A Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, is a special account that allows you to set aside part of your pre-tax wages to pay for certain healthcare expenses for you and your family. Eligible expenses include prescriptions, contact lenses and over-the-counter products. And most of the time these accounts are spend-it-or-lose-it by the end of the year. If you have an account, make sure you have saved your receipts and submitted claims. If you have a balance left, there are a few over-the-counter items you can spend this money on that makes this fun.
I’ve recently fallen so hard for Devol, a British kitchen company with jaw-dropping, drool-worthy kitchens. Their work is modern, merged with that heritage, been-here-for-100-years look. I love the saturated colors and the workmanship you can see from across the room.
These kitchens have me infatuated with inset cabinetry. They make me want to bring them flowers and whisper sweet nothings in their ears. For those of you who don’t know (and I didn’t even know the name of it before Devol), inset cabinetry is when the cabinet doors close flush with the cabinet bases. You see this a lot in old built-ins. Nowadays when most kitchens are bought from Ikea and come in cardboard boxes, we see overlay cabinets 95% of the time. (Absolute no hate on Ikea kitchens, I love them dearly too and used them in our last kitchen.)
What’s better than looking at a pretty home? Looking into the mind of that home’s designer. These podcasts take you past the pretty pictures and into the minds that created them. You’ll hear exactly what goes into a home renovation, what inspires some of your favorite designers, how rooms are born, how they’ve evolved and how they’re lived in. If I missed any, please comment!
This is produced by some lovely women at Ballard Designs. You know that catalog you would flip through with your mom growing up? Well, it’s still around and it’s still awesome. In fact, it’s gotten better. These ladies don’t claim to be designers, but they have a passion for design and are learning and getting inspired right along with you. They’re real people just like me and you who love to decorate and make things beautiful and happen to have some awesome industry knowledge. They’re like your fashionable friend who throws dinner parties, knows how to get the stain out of your coffee-stained silk dress and how to convert that itchy duvet into a luxurious tablecloth. These ladies interview interior designers and people in the industry. I’m constantly discovering new names and talents. I’ve also been known to go on deep dives in Atlanta real estate so I can move there and become best friends with these ladies.
Start Here: Ep. 36 with James Farmer, decorator, garden expert, and author
If you’ve ever read their blog you know how adorable and down-to-earth Sherry and Jon are, but after listening to their podcast, you actually feel like you know them. This is paced beautifully, the sound is crisp and Jon edits so there’s never a lull. While you’ll get tons of decor advice, the best part is listening to their banter. They keep it real by doing updates and not always recommending something to buy that they’ll profit off of. In the blogger world, that’s refreshing.
Start Here: Are Open Floor Plans Over?
Karen and Zandra run the blog the Little Yellow Couch. With more than 100 episodes, there’s a lot to binge. Most episodes a designer or blogger joins the ladies to talk design, projects and life. Some episodes are the two ladies bantering and providing tips for things like holiday decorating. And, yes these two are also on my girl crush list.
Start Here: My Scandinavian Home – Nikki Brantmark
This podcast is not exclusively about design, but it is about women who are making their dreams happen with a few career pivots along the way. Hillary (one of the creators of the Who, What, Wear lines at Target) interviews these inspirational ladies, and I love that she jumps straight into the meat of it and gets going with the interview questions quick. And don’t worry, many of her interviewees are in the design and decor realm.
Start Here: Lauen Conrad, Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of the LittleMarket.com
The podcast is interview style and they get some pretty big names to come on and chat inspiration. You’ll also hear how some designers got their start and the ups and downs of their careers. This podcast is a must-listen for the look behind the scenes about what it takes to make it in the design business and how designers got their start. I love the candid conversation and wisdom and inspiration.
Start Here: Jonathan Adler
What it took:
- A new mirror
- A shelf (we already had two we took from the previous house)
- New-to-us faucet (saved it from the curb)
- Less than a gallon of paint
- A Costco-sized pack of toilet paper and knick-knacks for styling
- Hardware purchased from local salvage store (installed post-pictures…)
Confession: I had done what (I assume) a lot of bloggers had done. I invested in a nice camera (a Sony A6000), hoping that would up my photography game and take it to a new level. But I didn’t put a lot of effort into learning my new camera. Sure I YouTubed some things, but I never got the information truly into my muscles and into practice. I invested in a camera that was capable of the most beautiful images, and then I stayed safely on auto and wasn’t always thrilled with the results.
We know about the plethora of good design and home decor items to be had at Ikea and Target, but there are a few that don’t get enough attention. One of them is H&M Home. We love them for their trendy fashion, but just like their fashion, their home decor is on-trend, full of simple basics and oh-so-affordable. Many don’t know just exactly how great they are because their items are largely sold online. Stores have started sprinkling the wares in stores, but they’re still a big underutilized resource.
I’m particularly smitten with the tall brass crane. This comes in at over 13 inches tall – perfect item to add height and style out that bookshelf or tabletop. And it is made of brass, not cheaply brass colored.
And that hand-y candlestick holder? It’s such a unique piece that looks like you picked it up at Jonathan Adler for quadruple the price. It comes in at over 9 inches tall, a total statement piece.
The simple design of the trivet has me with heart eyes. Trivets are an often overlooked kitchen piece–we’ve gotten our act together with cute measuring cups and pitchers, but trivets have not yet come into vogue. These are a must in our house when serving that cast iron dish on our antique wood table. It also comes in brass for those of you that are oh-so-over the brass craze.
See some of my favorite items below.