Saturday, December 31, 2011

Bailey's Room: Old Hollywood Glamour

Korina, one of my fabulous hostesses, is a busy mom of 4, wife, daughter, friend and elementary school teacher. This woman goes nonstop! She also has a love of words and a great eye for decor, which is great for her lucky daughter, Bailey.

While Korina was home for Winter Break, Bailey's room got a dramatic makeover! As Bailey heads into her teens, her room needs to reflect her more grown up taste. With dark furniture and photos of Marilyn Monroe already in the space, Korina knew exactly what she wanted to add.  She started with a custom Marilyn Monroe quote in one of our newer fonts, Satisfaction. Korina has become quite a pro at using the MyDesign Suite on my website to create custom expressions. The quote she chose is perfect for a teenager's room, I think, especially when insecurities creep in. She placed it on a narrower space above the closet, where Bailey will see it from her bed. The space doesn't lend itself to most decorating options, but UL lettering fits it beautifully.
The focal point of Bailey's room is her bed, featuring pale grays and pinks. Korina set it off by adding our Grande Chandelier in Matte Black. The color pops on the soft gray walls, but doesn't distract the eye from the color on the bed. Elegant and glamorous, it's a wonderful addition above Bailey's headboard. 

The finished room is a gorgeous space for Bailey to hang out. The decor Korina picked is sure to please for many years. I don't foresee Bailey outgrowing this room any time soon. In fact, I can think of several adults who would love a room like this. Oh, and did I mention the fabulous deal Korina got on all this vinyl (and much more) by hosting an Uppercase Living party just before the holidays? She got much of her order absolutely FREE.

I'd like to thank Korina for allowing me to share these photos of her beautiful work. I'm so pleased that I got to be involved in a small way in helping create Bailey's room. I can't wait to show you what else Korina has planned!

You can see more photos of Bedroom Decor in my public Facebook album.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Guest Blogger: Getting and STAYING Organized in the New Year

I am so excited to feature my first ever guest blogger, Stacy Thomes of Strive to Organize. Stacy is a professional organizer and Super Mom with lots of great ideas to help keep our homes and lives more organized. I'm thrilled she's written this post exclusively for Please Use Your Words.

As we approach 2012 (yes, 2012) we likely have New Year’s resolutions on our mind. We all have behaviors we would like to change and traditionally the New Year is the time to make the declaration “out loud” and commit to making those changes. But, how do we really make them stick? Whether it’s cooking more, eating less, spending more time with family, helping others in need or never being late again, staying organized is the core factor behind all of these behavioral changes.

But how, you ask, do I stay organized? To tell you the truth, it’s a mindset. You have to make the decision to simply stay on top of things, plan ahead and believe that you can do it. And you can. Really.

If you really want to make a change, you have to do some research, on yourself. Take a few moments to ask yourself why you are disorganized, let’s take a look and analyze our behaviors step by step. Try this exercise;

  • Write down the main obstacles you come across on a daily basis on piece of paper. Be totally honest with yourself. Too much clutter in your home? Can’t keep up with the kid’s obligations? Always late? Constantly feeling stressed and rushed?
  • Now, dissect those behaviors by writing down the reasons you think that is your reality. Why are you always late? Why is there too much clutter? Be totally honest with yourself-no one has to see this. Just do it for you.
  • Now write down HOW you can change it. Do you need to hire a professional organizer to come and help do a clean sweep in your home? Do you need to work on your time management and start keeping lists? Do you need to stop over committing to too many events, volunteering and work?  Asking for help and saying NO are often very difficult, but sometimes we just need to. Respect yourself and know your boundaries and ONLY do things you really want to.
Are you done? Great job! This exercise should be enlightening and reveal patterns in your behavior that can easily be tweaked to help you be more productive and less stressed. Just believe you can do ANYTHING you want BUT it is up to YOU to make those changes. Anyone can do this, but like I said, it is all in your mindset. Empower yourself. Make a decision to make those changes, even in tiny baby steps, one thing at a time, and you will achieve your ultimate goal.

Once you’ve gone through this process and highlighted the areas you want to work on, then look for the specific tools that will make this easier. Uppercase Living has a variety of products that work well in an organized home. Their line of Erasable Vinyl (chalk or dry erase) can go anywhere from the garage to the kitchen to the kids’ rooms. You can cut a plain piece to any shape, or use the predesigned items that fit your needs, such as a chore chart to help keep the kids on track, a weekly menu (planning meals ahead means no more last minute pizza delivery), or a family calendar.
With Uppercase Living custom lettering, you can add your kids’ names to bins or tubs so they have one place for their things to go. For a child who is too young to read, a little face is also available. There are also images such as trains, cars, planes, etc. that can help you label boxes or tubs for specific toys. Again, no reading required!

We often spend so much time helping others that we tend to put ourselves last. When we have families that depend on us, taking care of ourselves is of number one importance because if we don’t, our whole family can crumble (and we can succumb to the desire of wine, pills and overall exhaustion!). This year, make a resolution to be kind to yourself. Consider adding an uplifting UL expression somewhere where it will be a daily reminder to go easy on you! If your child were suffering from chronic disorganization how would you help him or her? Treat yourself, you really do deserve it. Cheers to a New Year and a new and improved you.

For all of your organizing needs, contact Stacy Thomes, owner and operator of Strive to Organize located in Woodland Hills, California -

For daily organizing tips, visit her on Facebook.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you're enjoying a relaxing holiday weekend, surrounded by loved ones, with happiness and joy all around. Merry Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Uppercase Living Holiday Madness Sale and Clearance NOW!

While most retailers wait until after Christmas to mark down their (leftover) merchandise, Uppercase Living has a sale and clearance going on NOW through December 29th. As if that weren't enough, tons of accessories have been put on Clearance and the 20% off applies to them, too! If you've been missing some of the discontinued accessories like the Mini Punched Metal Tiles or waiting for kits like the Pre-Drilled Foundations Board with photo frames included...they're back! Of course, this is a limited time offer, and things have already begun to sell out, so don't wait to place your order.

Here are some ideas for how you can take advantage of this great sale and maybe even get a jump on some 2012 projects:
  • Stock up on Blume monogram and birth stone charms for all the birthdays next year.
  • Order lettering to advertise your business on your storefront or car. A small investment can bring lots of business your way. 
  • Create a magnetic memo board, signed by the whole class, for the teacher's end of year gift.
  • Get some Erasable Vinyl to get your pantry or garage organized. Don't forget the markers!
  • Create a photo board for the perfect Mother's Day present.
  • Finally get that Grande Format expression you've been wanting. Ditto for the long custom expression that has just been too expensive, and the clock too!
  • Get lettering for the office: names, business hours, and mission statements are all so much more affordable. If your business has leftover marketing dollars in the budget, use it before the end of the year!
  • Order embellishments for your scrapbooks and cards!
These are just a few ways to save big on Uppercase Living during this fantastic sale, but there are so many more. I'd love to help you with a custom design or whatever you need. Happy Holidays and enjoy the savings!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Keep Calm and Uppercase

It all started with King George. In 1939, prior to the outbreak of World War II, his Ministry of Information commissioned the now-ubiquitous "Keep Calm and Carry On" poster as a message to motivate and reassure the British population. Rediscovered in 2000, the poster has taken on a new life and you can now find it on socks, tins, stationary and so much more, with dozens of variations.

When the new Uppercase Living catalog was unveiled this past summer, I was thrilled to see the original "Keep Calm and Carry On" included. My customers were, too, and have enjoyed selecting this expression in different sizes and colors to fit their decor. Of course, it doesn't just have to go in your home. Personally, I think every car on the Los Angeles freeways needs one for its back window.

Since the beauty of Uppercase Living is our endless options for customization, it wasn't too long before I started coming up with other "Keep Calm" designs. First, this one for Halloween, which fit in perfectly with my friend JoAnne's decor.
After that, I decided to have some fun with Thanksgiving. It wasn't long before I turned "Keep Calm And Give Thanks" to "Keep Calm And Eat Pie." At the same time, I realized that there are some sentiments that aren't limited to just the holidays. Thus were born "Keep Calm And Drink Coffee" and its big sister, "Keep Calm And Drink Wine" (could tequila be far behind?).

Before long, it was time to start thinking about the holiday season. I had a couple ideas of my own, such as
 but JoAnne insisted on
Of course, I couldn't forget Hanukkah, so I also designed

And then when the snow started to fall on the East Coast and Midwest, I realized that people might get into somewhat of a panic. To reassure them, I created

Obviously, the possibilities are endless. As I thought about all of the different embellishments Uppercase Living offers, I realized what a great addition these signs would be in sorority and fraternity houses. We have all of the Greek letters and over 50 colors to choose from. So something like this design is quite easy to create.

And so is a design to share your team spirit:

Wouldn't that be great for tailgating?

All of the designs shown here are sized to fit a 16x20 canvas (available inexpensively in most craft stores) that can be painted in any color. Of course, they can also be applied to the wall, door, cars, etc. Because they are custom designs, the size is completely flexible. In this size, most designs are under $30.

Whether it's a reminder to yourself to keep calm, or a custom gift for someone else, this is one expression that will be fun to have around. Contact me so I can create the perfect "Keep Calm" for you!


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