Jen Jones

Organize With This: Sanity Saving Gadgets!

Technology plays a large role in many of our daily lives, and the best part is that it can be used to streamline our routines and make life a bit easier.  Aside from the endless number of organizational applications for phones and tablets, there are a few fun gizmos that offer time, stress and money saving properties.


1.  The Tile App uses bluetooth technology and allows you to track and locate an endless number of items that easily become lost or misplaced.  Just place the waterproof Tile on/in anything from your keys to your wallet, and your phone can track down the whereabouts of the object should it go missing.  As the bluetooth signal draws you closer, the Tile’s melody will play until your lost item is back in hand.


2.  Charging stations have been around for many years now, however, with the number of devices that any single person or family may acquire, it is wonderful when you can find one capable of managing them all no matter the shape or size.


3.  Devices and cords go together like peanut butter and jelly.  Cord clips and wraps are a quick and easy way to prevent the cords from becoming a tangled mess while stored inside of your bag or a junk drawer.


4.  There is nothing more frustrating than having your phone battery dwindle while out on a day trip; especially during work events or travel days where access to a power source is limited.  Stay charged up with a portable power pack, which provides your battery with a boost of power at a moment’s notice.


5.  Many of us make resolutions each year to exercise more, eat healthier and sleep better.  Keep track of all of that and more with the help of a Fitbit.  Whether you clip it on or wear it around your wrist, Fitbit tracks more than just your steps and heart rate.  It allows you to pair it with your mobile device and enter your food intake, manage your sleeping patterns and track your exercises; really allowing you to analyze your daily fitness with specific detail.


6.  There are many options that allow you to partner with technology to create a more efficient home, and one of the easiest ways to get started is with the Nest thermostat.  Not only does it allow you to manage your home’s climate remotely from your phone, the Nest has the ability to sense when you’ve left and adjusts the temperature to avoid over heating or cooling an empty abode.


7.  2014 was declared the year of the selfie, and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.  In fact, more than ever folks are using their devices to take and manage photos on a daily basis.  The problem is that the photos then sit on our computers and phones and never make it into albums on the coffee table.  The Canon Selphy is a wireless photo printer that allows you to send your images to be printed via WiFi within the convenience of your own home.  Now that glowing grin can be seen online and inside of a pretty frame on the wall.


8.  The Neatdesk Scanner is a classic, but it continuously makes my list due to the hot topic of paper clutter headaches.  Even if you take all of the necessary steps to become as paperless as possible, it is inevitable that some will need to be filed away for the future.  The Neatdesk is a super speedy scanner that reads and identifies key properties of each receipt or document, and indexes it away electronically.  Once scanned, you can recycle the paper piles and quickly use keyword searches to locate your important documents online.  With this smart scanner you can even kick the bulky file cabinet to the curb!


9.  Introducing the most beautiful gadget on the market; the Ringly allows you to disconnect from your phone during the day, and notifies you when you have an important call, text or meeting that requires your attention.  This is a sweet way to keep your phone tucked away during a dinner date or at the office, while keeping you connected should something come up.


10.  Prop power brings the power directly to you.  With the ability to wrap and form around objects, this flexible outlet allows you to set up a charging station at your desk or easily work with power tools while up on a ladder.


What gadgets have made a positive impact on your day-to-day routine?

Khristian A. Howell

Take your January Style from Blah to Brill

2015 is here! Can you believe it?  We all get really excited for the possibilities of a new year.  However, sometimes the January blues can get the best of us after all the holiday fun.  I have some simple ways for you to take your January space from blah to brilliant after all the decorations come down!

Adding some living, breathing accessories to your space always feels like an instant refresh.  House plants are a great way to add an organic element to your space and a sure cure for the winter blues!  Step outside of your typical fern comfort zone by varying shapes, arranging in clusters or hanging for a fresh take on things.


Who says the sparkle has to hide for the rest of the year with the Christmas tree?  Keep your spirits up through the dark winter months by keeping those fun sparkle and shine accessories out to play.  Mix in with those cozy winter textiles for a warm upbeat atmosphere.

via BHG

Dreaming of escaping the winter wind? If a beach escape is not in your near future why not add a tropical image to your walls?  Remember your artwork is not set in stone in your space.  It is so much fun to change up artwork in your home to fit your mood of the moment.  This keeps thing fresh and keeps your space feeling like a true reflection of you.

via BHG

Categories: Style Spotters | Tags:
No Comments

BHG Guest Blogger

The Mom! Where’s My Car? Journey: The Little Idea With Big Wheels



Hi!  My name is Lo, creator of A Lo and Behold Life, a blog about all things that make my house a home.  I’m constantly searching for thoughtful and creative ways to add charm, style and organization into my family’s life.  My passion is to breathe a little innovation into ordinary items giving them life and inspiring others to do the same.  I was honored to be chosen to have my favorite and most popular DIY car garage project featured in the Better Homes and Gardens January I Did it! section.  As if that wasn’t fabulous enough, to have my sons included in the article showing off their beloved toy car collection was the proverbial cherry on top!



Since the 1950′s, children have been captivated by Matchbox® and Hot Wheels® cars. My boys are no different. Their infatuation with all things on four wheels started at a very young age, and I can hardly find a baby picture without one of them holding a toy car in his little hand.

My husband and I found ourselves using these cars as an inexpensive reward system, “If you are good for mommy in the grocery store you can pick out a new toy car at the check-out counter.” Before we knew it, the overwhelming toy car collection was growing up and over the broken & warped storage basket in the playroom and migrating to all parts of our home!

You’ve been there, right?  In the last week how many times have you heard, “Mom, where’s my car?”  How many minutes have been wasted trying to find that one favorite toy car that always goes missing?  Can you count the number of times you’ve stepped on those toys cars that never seem to get put away?


I searched high and low for a functional and affordable storage solution for these cars, but everything out there was either really expensive or just not practical for a 2 year old, never mind two of them.  Then I discovered that with a little ingenuity and creativity I could repurpose a shoe rack to create a wall unit that would organize their entire toy car collection and look really cool too!

What I didn’t expect was how enthusiastic my toddlers would become in keeping their toy cars organized.  Not only was this rack a total space saver but now the boys were taking responsibility for cleaning up their cars, becoming independent in finding that favorite car on his own, and taking pride in their beloved toy car collection.  It was a Matchbox miracle!

There has been an overwhelmingly positive response to the Do-It-Yourself car garage project on A Lo and Behold Life.  Clearly parents are in need of a practical organization solution to solve their household storage dilemmas.  Knowing that not everyone out there has the time, resources, or interest to be a DIY’er I thought, “How can I get this car garage to the masses?”  And so with a little encouragement from family and friends the Mom! Where’s my car? wall garage was put into production.

If you told me two years ago that this seemingly simple idea would be as popular as it is and could potentially be the little engine that could clear toy car clutter forever I would have laughed.  But if my family and I can bring some peace, independence, and organization into your home then all our efforts to bring it to you will be worth it.  Come along with us to put the brakes on toy car clutter at


Erin Menardi

Friday Finds 1.9

Hello Style Spotters! Vacation is over, but I’m excited to be back sharing the best of the Internet with you all again! I hope the holiday craziness was all worth it–family, friends, fun–all that good stuff. I’m still wrapped up in the glitter and glam of the new year, so today’s post is my last homage to all things sparkly and girly for 2014.


I love, love, love this wallpaper tutorial I found on Dream Green DIY. Not only is the gold pattern everything I’ve ever wanted on my walls, wallpapering so much easier than you’d think.



If you got some wine glasses over the holidays that you want to spice up a little bit, try this speckled glass DIY I stumbled across on I Spy DIY. Pick some of your favorite colors for a set that screams stylish.



Vintage lace looks to be all the rage this year (I never understood who decides what’s “in” at any particular time–sounds stressful). Get a head start on the trend with this lace doily table runner from The Sweet Escape for decorations that are guaranteed to impress.



I always seem to accumulate a ton of candles this time of year. Make some awesome marbled votive cups with this tutorial from Lovely Indeed to add even more brightness to your home this winter.



And lastly, if you’re looking to find that finishing touch to a new outfit, take a peek at this cute DIY bow belt I spotted on Momtastic DIY. Make one or five or ten–just in case. Options are always nice.



And there you have it. Until next week!


Chelsey Andrews

DIY-ify: Simple Makeup Organization for Small Spaces

Trend: Simple Makeup Organization for Small Spaces

Flat surfaces are in high demand at my home. We don’t have enough storage space, so my husband and I are constantly coming up with low cost organization ideas. This time around I tackled my makeup and brushes. I typically keep all of these items in a big bag and it’s hard to find exactly what I’m looking for, so we moved my makeup to the inside of the bathroom cabinet door! This little space saver project makes it 100% easier to find what I need, saves shelf room, and it takes no time at all to put together.





Gather the makeup you use most often. Use the hot glue gun to attach a strip of magnet to the back of each piece.
Tip: these magnetic strips can’t hold anything too heavy, but can easily hold up light shadows and mascara. If you have heavy items, put them in one of the  acrylic cups. 

Clean the cupboard door, back of the tray, and cups. When these are dry, follow the Command Strip directions to apply to the back of the cups and tray. Then, attach the tray to the cupboard door.

Put away all your makeup and enjoy!

Do you have any organization ideas for the new year?

- Chelsey, The Paper Mama

Jennifer OBrien

Budget Friendly Master Bedroom Reveal

Hi there! My name is Jen, I am the author of the DIY & decorating blog City Farmhouse. I also write for BHG’s Style Spotters, you may have read some of my Flea Market Chic/Vintage Living articles. I am so happy to be sharing my master bedroom today! My Rustic Chic Budget Friendly Bedroom is being featured in the Feb 2015 issue of BHG and I couldn’t be more excited!!! This reveal has never been seen anywhere so that makes it even more thrilling!

When we moved into our renovated coastal Long Island home 4 years ago I had BIG plans. I was so eager to transform our home into a stylish oasis that oozed warmth and charm. But these things take time & money which at the time I didn’t have an abundance of either. With 2 little boys and a new mortgage, my husband & I made a choice to go one room at a time. Hard as it was at times, I always felt so blessed to have a home that was practically new, overlooking the bay & barrier island. Plus, it really is way more fun to take your time & to be thoughtful about what you choose for your home.

As time went on, we did as we said and went one room at a time. We tackled all of the common area rooms first and all the while my wheels were turning for my master bedroom. I knew I wanted it casual, clean, rustic with a touch of glam. When the time finally came I was so ready. I began by sketching out my ideas. I laid out a solid plan so that I stayed on track & budget. I knew what I was looking for at my favorite retail shops, what I wanted to repurpose & what I would DIY. I tried to find a balance in layering all of these details & projects so it felt seamless.

The first DIY project up was my HERRINGBONE WALL. I have always loved herringbone, even in my early 20′s. It is a classic pattern that can work with any style. Here I took a traditional design and made it more modern with only a few dollars. The base color is Beach from Valspar and the white detail is just a semi gloss I had left over. After sketching my grid on paper with my actual measurements of the wall I was ready. I found my middle first and worked outward from there using a measuring stick and pencil.

DIY Herringbone Wall

The vertical lines are 16″ apart and the horizontals are 12″. I then taped a 1/2″ seam, making sure I pressed firmly on the tape to seal the edges. Tip-you can run caulk along the edges with your finger to allow for a perfect line, especially if your walls have a texture. I then took a small foam brush and painted the white detail. Be sure to use a small amount of paint at a time and stroke inward to lessen the bleeding. Two coats will do it, once it is dry you can pull off your tape.

This project is one of my favorites of all time, it took me about 4 hours to complete and the best part, if I tire of the design I can simply paint over it.

City Farmhouse DIY Headboard & Herringbone Wall Dimensions

The next project I chose to tackle to save some money was the HEADBOARD. The original headboard was custom made by Calico Corners many moons ago, it was originally done in a red & gold chenille that was beautiful when we were living in Colorado but didn’t seem to fit with my new design plan. I love fabric headboards, they add warmth to a space and are super comfy. So I began the hunt for fabric to update this focal point. When I saw this discontinued linen fabric {that was probably meant for a kitchen or family room} I fell head over heels. The texture and vintage feel was perfect. I tore off the existing fabric from the frame which took a long, long time and upholstered it with the new fabric. For around $65 we had a whole new headboard which I absolutely love.

City Farmhouse Gray & Peach Bedroom DIY Upholstered Headboard

I had been hunting for SIDE TABLES for a while but I never really saw anything that spoke to me for the right $. So I shopped my basement, remembering I had bought clearance tables at Target 6 years ago for less than $20 a piece. They were perfect with their X design on the sides, they just needed a little lift, literally. I added height by adding a plywood bottom & casters. I then painted them with Benjamin Moore Stormy Night. Total cost for each makeover just under $40. I finished the makeover by adding a DIY color blocked basket for storage.

City Farmhouse Rustic Chic Bedroom All On A Budget-DIY  Side Tables

This DIY Driftwood Mirror has my heart. The great thing about DIY is sometimes you get to create beautiful things with your loved ones. And that always adds a layer of meaning to your home. One day last year in early June I took my boys to the beach. We pretended to be pirates, finding as much treasure {aka driftwood} as we could. When we got home they helped sort the sizes and assisted in creating this stunning focal point. We finished the back by writing “made with love”, our names and the date. Total cost just $3 for the mirror. Memories of a fun day spent together-priceless.

City Farmhouse Farmhouse Chic-DIY Drfitwood Mirror

Last but not least my DIY JUTE ROPE RODS & linen drapes. I worked for Calico Corners for many years so I know what these things cost. I knew I could keep the cost down if I could DIY the rods and purchase the drapes at a discount. A while back I had seen something similar done with rope & kept it in my mental archive. It was a perfect idea since the other side {which is featured in the issue} is a bay window and those can be costly. I simply used thick 3/8″ jute from the hardware store, large eye hooks and cord cleats to secure the ends. Total cost for the rods for each window just under $12. This is a rustic look, it will not look perfect but that is part of the appeal. The drapes I found after many trips to Restoration Hardware at a 40% off sale for just $22 per panel.

City Farmhouse Master Bedroom Reveal-DIY JUte Rope Rods

This room is my favorite room in the house. I created a stylish space my family can enjoy on the smallest of budgets. It is well lived in and loved, we pack in the bed on weekend mornings, snuggle & read while we look out across the bay.  And that is what decorating is all about, setting the stage for the bigger things to happen:).

For more sources and details be sure to check out the Feb issue.

Thank you for having me today. Have a beautiful week,

Jen-City Farmhouse