Unicorns for the Young at Heart

Raise your hand if you were ever a Sweet Valley Twins fan. I’ll pretend to see a few of you. Raise your hand if you started your very own Unicorn Club in fifth grade with your closest friends. Oh, that was just me? Well, no matter. If you are female, odds are at some point in your life you were obsessed with unicorns. I’ve been in a creative funk lately and for some bizarre reason an image of a unicorn popped into my head and I decided to run with it for a post.

You may only associate unicorns with weird fantasy art or little girls’ toys, but today I’m sharing some grown-up and stylish versions of the mythical beast that you’ll want to snatch up for yourself or a chic little lady in your life.

stylish unicorn accessories

Top Row: gold unicorn head, print blouse, necklace, ring
Middle Row: ring holder, pillow, cardboard unicorn head
Bottom Row: salt & pepper shakers, watercolor print, wall hook

Lest you think that unicorns are imaginary creatures, check out this beautiful room in France’s Chateau de la Goujeonnerie adorned with unicorn taxidermy. Too bad for the hunter, though – he’ll now live a miserable half-life for killing them.

unicorn heads in French castle

Image: World of Interiors via Apartment Therapy

Points to those who appreciate the Lord Voldemort reference. Now you know how dorky I really am. Unless you know me IRL and in that case, this is no surprise. :)

4 Tips for Organizing Toys with Evernote

If you have small children you know how quickly toys accumulate. Somehow a tiny baby who starts out with a handful of rattles and a play mat grows into a toy-crazed preschooler with enough Thomas trains to start his own eBay shop. When I wrote about our toy conundrum way back in October, to say I felt overwhelmed by the amount of toys in our living room would be an understatement. Without a dedicated playroom in our home, the living room is a catchall space and I am starting to lose my mind. At the end of a busy day at work and once the kids are in bed, I don’t want to sit on my couch and be surrounded by toys; I crave a more peaceful environment.

To kick-start my organizing efforts, I formed a toy organization game-plan using Evernote. No, this is not a sponsored post. My director at work, a woman for whom I have a great amount of respect, turned me on to Evernote a while back and it’s such a handy way to keep track of all kinds of ideas and lists for both work and home. So why not toy organization?

Organize Toys with Evernote

Divide the note into toy zones

Some of you (hi, Mom!) prefer handwritten checklists and that’s totally cool. But if you are like me and spend 90% of your day in front of a computer, create a new note in Evernote and write down the zones you want the toys to occupy. For me, that’s the cupboard in our built-in bookcase, the TV stand/media cabinet, toy corner (which will have a shelving unit), and the kid’s bedrooms. I focused on which zones I would keep and not the ones that are going away.

Be specific about what toys will go in each bin or basket so that you can determine what will and will not fit in advance, and also create graphic labels.

Use check boxes to stay on target

Check boxes are a great little tool to remind you of what you’ve already accomplished as well as what’s left to do. Evernote’s little check box feature is in the toolbar at the top of the note:

evernote toolbar snip

Use the check boxes to keep track of what you what to remove from each zone, what needs to be done to prepare it, what will be put back in the space, and what must be purchased.

Note that I started my Evernote list after we purged damaged books as well as unloved or outgrown toys from the space. If you haven’t completed that step, you should start there. Since we already purged, in addition to noting what I plan to put back in the space I added tasks like selling the changing table (yes, we had a changing table in the living room), throwing away a broken lamp, and adding a pretty rug to make the space more inviting and comfortable.

Link up products and inspiring images

It’s easy to keep track of what you want to buy by creating a hyperlink in Evernote. Simply highlight your text, right click, and select “Hyperlink -> Add”:

creating links in Evernote

You can use the same method to link up inspiring images, or use the paperclip icon (seen in the toolbar image above) to attach a file to the note.

Take action

A checklist is only good if you actually check things off the list and truly, that’s the hardest part. You can see that we’re slowly making progress. In fact, the media cabinet is almost done – I just need to label the new DVD boxes and photograph them so I can share the project with you. We purged a lot of toys, sold the changing table this weekend, got rid of a broken lamp in the toy corner, laid down a gorgeous rug that’s been in storage under our bed, and bought trimmings to update the canvas bins that were previously used in the changing table. Checking things off in Evernote helps me to stay on task and reminds me that I have indeed made progress.

Are you a fan of Evernote? Are you also tackling toy organization this year? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Weekend Product Picks: Minted

This is a sponsored post on behalf of Minted.com. I’ve been compensated for this post but all opinions are my own.

Well this week sure got away from me, didn’t it?? I always have the best of intentions, and a long list of ideas to share, and then POOF! Week over. So when Minted contacted me about sharing some of my favorite things from their site with you, it was a nice swift kick in the pants to get back to blogging. It was also serendipitous, as I has just been looking at the site for some new living room art.

More on the art in a minute. Minted has a beautiful selection of save-the-dates, including magnets and postcards. This beautiful travel-themed save the date (which would have been perfect for our wedding) comes in both a postcard (below) and a magnet. The vintage look and gorgeous font makes me want to renew my vows just to have an excuse to use it. :)

travel post card save the date_Minted The Minted selection of classroom Valentine cards is just too cute for words (okay, I can come up with a few words!). So many of them can be personalized with photos and different colors. My son is a total mac n’ cheese dude so this card would be perfect for him to pass out on Valentine’s Day.

Minted_macandcheese_valentine If you want to have a Pinterest-worthy party but don’t have time to get crafty with all the decor, Minted can hook you up with unique and pretty party supplies to make your soirée really stand out. One of my best friends is expecting a baby girl and the Guapa party decorations would be perfect for her shower.

Guapa party decor_Minted Finally, let’s discuss art. I love Minted’s selection of prints. From typography to abstract art, you are sure to find something unique and then can use the inspiration board tool to see how the different pieces will work together on your wall. With all the toy organization I’m planning for the living room, I feel like the space could really use an overall refresher, and art is such a simple way to change things up for the new year. “Sun Drop” by Holly Royval pulls in many of the colors of my living room and could be the perfect piece of art above the mantel.

sun drop art_Minted Have you checked out Minted yet? If you’re planning a wedding this year, use the code WINTERWED15 for 15% off all wedding stationery (ends Monday 1/13). If you didn’t get your act together to send Christmas cards, pop a New Year’s note in the mail with code HNY2014 for 20% off holiday and New Year’s cards (also ends 1/13).