IKEA BYOF Event Recap {Charlotte, NC}…

Last Saturday, IKEA stores nationwide held their BYOF (Bring Your Own Friend) event.  It was a code red weekend.

Code red: Over 8,000 visitors were expected to visit the store in one day

I was asked to give two organizing presentations throughout the day.  Woo hoo!

Love the banner.  I spy... :)

Love the banner. I spy… 🙂

Time to dress the part.  Makeup, hair, the works! 🙂

Getting ready for my big day!

Getting ready for my big day!

I arrived and the parking lot was packed!

Packed house for the BYOF event!

Packed house for the BYOF event!

My parents were inside shopping so I met up with them an hour and half before my first presentation.  The Charlotte store recently made some changes to their Marketplace.  All renovations were complete and their Spring line was front and center.  Thanks IKEA for inspiring me to redo my entire apartment!  😉

I love these colors!  And that rug?!

I love these colors! And that rug?!

I headed upstairs to get my organizing on.  The topics were home office and closet organizing.  I prefer to have an interactive discussion so I made sure to ask questions like, “What is your biggest challenge when it comes to closet organizing?”  I love hearing the responses, but most importantly, I want to make sure the audience is getting something out of my presentation.

Lights, camera, ACTION!

Lights, camera, ACTION!

Apparently I like to move around and make funny faces! ;)

Apparently I like to move around and make funny faces! 😉

"Excuse me, could you speak up?"

“Excuse me, could you speak up?”

Suggestions on home office organizing:

  • Set up storage and use wall space.
  • You need to store all sorts of items in a home office from paper to pens to paper clips.  Have storage options available so it is not out and in the way.
  • Use cork boards to keep track of invitations, bills to be paid, and store coupons.

Suggestions on closet organizing:

  • Display it and you will wear it.
  • Use consistent hangers to cut down on the visual clutter.
  • Insert pool noodles (aka floats) into boots to keep them upright.

There were some other suggestions but those were the most talked about. 🙂

And look who came to see me…

Why yes that is Dwell by Cheryl! :)

Why yes that is Dwell by Cheryl! 🙂

Yes that is a thrift store dress.  Banana Republic — from Goodwill — $5. 😉

It was an awesome day filled with great ideas and conversations.  Who is ready for another Pure & Simple Organizing & IKEA Charlotte session? 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

Snow + Southerners = Mayhem

Snow Plus

I realize the southern blizzard was days ago … although it seems like weeks ago!  I touched on the subject here with a recap of the weekend.  However, I have since been busy as a bumble bee (new tagline?) and haven’t had a chance to blog about The Blizzard of 2013.

I might be overly dramatic but it was a lot of snow for this beautiful southern town … in a very short amount of time. So here we go…

If you grew up around here, then you are considered a Southerner.

If you are a Southerner, then you freak out at the drop of one snow flake. *cough cough Mom* 😉

Southerners have no idea how to drive or manage in snow or ice.  Practice makes perfect, right?  Well we get very little practice each year, so therefore we really stink at dealing with all the white fluffy stuff.

I don’t remember the weatherman saying we were going to have a blizzard on Saturday.  Then again, I don’t watch the news everyday.

I was in Bessemer City when the blizzard decided to attack.  I was in one of my favorite Gaston County Goodwill stores to be exact.

And racking up too — the cart was full.  I was elbowing people for more room.  “Excuse me, I was looking at that dress!” 😉

Then I hear my mom, “Oh no it is snowing really hard … and starting to stick!”  Yep, when it sticks to anything, we (Southerners) freak the heck out.

Cue Mom in panic mode.  I cannot be rushed at Goodwill and I was being rushed.  I ended up buying 3 items and hitting the road.  My mom was out of there faster than … a thunderstorm in the summer?  I don’t know.  She peeled out of there without even dusting off her car.

So here I am stuck in the parking lot of Goodwill (that had cleared out btw) dusting off my car.  I also don’t have a working defroster which made that trip back to Charlotte even more fun and exciting.

Mom calls from the road, “Where are you?!  Maybe you should come back to our house!”

No thank you.  I was not prepared for an overnight stay, and I do not do well with unplanned visits.

I proceeded to make the trek back to Charlotte which took about an hour and half.  It looked a lot like this:

Blizzard 2013 Blizzard CLT 2013

Those are blooming trees covered in snow.  Global warming anyone?

Those are blooming trees covered in snow. Global warming anyone?

What I don’t understand is the concept of riding on the interstate … in a blizzard … with your caution lights on?  That is fine if you want to go 30mph … but why bother when you are going 70?  *scratching head*

I made it back and took some pictures outside with Raymond and Cody.  They were short lived as Cody and Raymond were “so over it”.

View from the apartment

View from the apartment

Bexley Creekside Snowy

I was way too excited to be in the snow with Cody. :)

I was way too excited to be in the snow with Cody. 🙂

The next morning Raymond was all about the pictures and the taking.

Really Raymond?


I was left to my own devices .. iPhone device to be exact.  😉  I luuuurrvvee me some Instagram so it was a photographer showdown.

Yep - no makeup

Yep – no makeup

iPhone 3GS giving him a run for his money! ;)

iPhone 3GS giving him a run for his money! 😉

We had a great time until I realized he had to leave!  IKEA President’s Day sale was starting in 15 mins.  Eeekk must get GORM unit for $9.99 before everyone else.

One last photo then we booked it out of there faster than … a thunderstorm in summer?  Still no good?  Eh. 🙂

Loving the snow

Clearly I cannot take photos facing the sun. 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature

How Was Your Weekend?

What a weekend!  If you lived in or near the Charlotte area, then you know what I’m talking about! 🙂

NOTE: Besides a recap of the weekend, this post will be a slight phone dump of pictures I took each day.  My new love Instagram did not disappoint. 😉


Cody & I went for a quick run to enjoy the beautiful 60 degree weather.

While running

Cody was soaking up the rays of light.

Cody was soaking up the rays of light.

That evening I met some friends for dinner and a drink.  Very authentic Italian started off the evening with this:

@ Ciro's Italian Restaurant. Yes that is an accordion.

@ Ciro’s Italian Restaurant. Yes that is an accordion.


I drove in to Gastonia to help a family member with some home recommendations.  They are putting their house on the market in a few weeks; we talked about clearing out some extra stuff to make the home appear more luxurious. 🙂 Then it was lunch for my mom’s birthday! 🙂

Cupcakes from Jenn's Sugarlicious Bakery

Cupcakes from Jenn’s Sugarlicious Bakery

The snow started to fall (Oh Em Gee!) and I realized I needed to book it back to Charlotte.  It was a long stressful ride back home which included 2 traffic jams and a lot of this:

Driving home -- stuck in traffic -- but isn't it gorgeous!

Driving home — stuck in traffic — but isn’t it gorgeous!

Once back, I changed clothes and joined Raymond & Cody outside.  It was picture taking time!  Cody was none too happy.

Me & Cody playing in the snow. :)

Me & Cody playing in the snow. 🙂

Cody in the snow

I thoroughly enjoyed our Winter Wonderland.

Winter Wonderland 2013.

Winter Wonderland 2013.

Raymond and I came in and relaxed the rest of the evening.  I was exhausted and so glad he didn’t go to work.  See, us Southerners aren’t that great at driving in snow and ice. 😉


We took Cody for a walk in the melting snow.  BTW … who on earth wears cowboy boots in the snow?  Bad idea!

Cowboy boots in the snow

Raymond wanted to take some pictures so we had a photographer standoff! 😉

Cody's impromptu photo shoot in the melting snow. ;)

Cody’s impromptu photo shoot in the melting snow. 😉

Photographer Face Off

Who’s the better photographer? 😉

I kindly asked Raymond if he would go with me to IKEA.  Their President’s Day Sales were awesome but I really only wanted the GORM shelving unit … and at a $20 discount!

He wasn’t thrilled but said yes … then I asked if he would drive.  Tricky little girl. 🙂

Not thrilled about driving to IKEA.

Not thrilled about driving to IKEA.

I’m not great with crowds … much less anxious bargain crazy crowds.  We were greeted with that exact scene and Raymond went hiding.  I was left to fend for myself against the mob and was successful!  This craziness happened — we had to ride home with the window down.

Hey, I’ve done crazier things in my car. 😉

Craziness at IKEA

Home we came, I put together both GORM’s … reorganized the storage closet … went grocery shopping … put together the LAIVA unit for my bathroom … shopped for baskets for the LAIVA … made dinner … cut my finger … broke an entire $10.99 6-pack of beer at Total Wine with my big badonka booty … and froze like nobody’s business all the while.

So I now ask … what did you do this weekend? 🙂

Until next time…

Jennifer Signature


Inside The Organizer’s Home {Files & Such}…

One last post about how I currently organize — before I move. 🙂  No telling how I will organize post-move!

Files & Such

It is safe to say that I hate filing cabinets.  They are industrial and clunky looking.  The trend is to overstuff and forget.  I see filing cabinets all the time when I walk into people’s homes. When I open them and ask what is inside, this is the general reply, “Oh I have no idea, I haven’t been in that cabinet in years!”

Oh my!  What’s the point?  It’s kinda a fire hazard.  😉

We all need to file and keep certain things.  Insurance papers. Bills. Taxes. Important estate documents.  Etc.

I know there is a huge trend towards paperless, but in my opinion we are not there yet.  So what to do with those files.

Since I hate filing cabinets, I trend towards file boxes.  Almost every store that sells organizing stuff sells them.  Target has the best ones (btw).  Mine are from The Container Store … surprise surprise I know. 🙂

Here is a peak inside one of them.

Now where to store these boxes.  Since they are decorative, I put them on my trusty Expedit bookcase.  If I was putting them in a closet, I might go with something less decorative and expensive.

The Expedit bookcase is by far my favorite piece of furniture from IKEA!  I am thinking about creating a Pin Board just around that obsession! 😉

Now on to the “Such”.  We all know I am not Crafty McCrafterson.  But I do own a few crafty supplies.  Stickers (totally addicted to collecting stickers…this dates back to my childhood).  Cardstock.  Acrylic paint.  Spray paint.  Ribbon.  Etc.

I organize these items in photo boxes labeled accordingly.  The boxes are from Michaels and are about $2 each.  Not too bad.  For some reason, these boxes have been stored in plain sight in my living room.  I don’t think I will carry that forward when I move.

I will be updating the binders post-move.  Martha Stewarts new line is calling my name! 🙂

I also plan to purchase photo albums post-move.  I have not decided on style yet, which is why I keep dragging my feet on that project!

Do you have any good ideas to share on how to organize your files or “such”? 🙂

Until next time…

A Few Of My Favorite Things {IKEA}…

Im thinking of starting a new series {yes another}. 😉 I’m often asked which organizing product(s) that I recommend for <insert problem>.  Or which company that I recommend for totes, bins, hooks, you name it.  So – here it is – a few of my favorite things organized by brand! 🙂  Enjoy!

Kid’s Toys & Closets

Trofast Storage Combination ($87.98)

Another way to use it:

For crafts (beads, jewelry), office supplies (paper clips, rubber bands), or kitchen supplies (dried beans, sugar, flour)

Burken Jar ($2.99). Available in 3 different sizes.

For Shoes (High Heels)

Fintorp Rail ($7.99).

See the rail in action (I couldnt grab the picture so Im linking). 

Love the shoe organizer on the left page as well!

For shoes (boots, flats, heels, anything really)

Billy Bookcase ($79.99).

Bookcase in action:

For arts & craft supplies (brushes, paint, gluesticks, pens), or kitchen supplies (forks, knives, small utensils)

Grundtal System. Caddy ($5.99), Rail ($8.99)

See it in action. Pg. 248

If you click on the pictures, then it should take you to the IKEA website.

Until next time…