Tuesday, December 16, 2014

{Memphis}: IKEA Coming to Memphis!

If you've been around the blog for any amount of time, you know of my obsession/love for IKEA.

In January 2010, I wrote an open letter (that in retrospect is a little ridiculous but was early in my blogging career) to IKEA outlining why they should open a store in Memphis (and I'd like to think they listened to me): http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2010/01/open-letter-to-ikea.html

In December 2010, I made a polyvore collage in anticipation of my New Year's trip to Atlanta: http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2010/12/trip-to-ikea.html

And then, after our post-Christmas trip to Atlanta, I blogged about my experience: http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2010/12/atlanta-ikea-experience.html . We still have the dog tails and that huge canvas in our den.

In July 2012, I posted twice about IKEA - the first time I did a "browser window shopping" post using the gorgeous eye candy that is IKEA's website. Their catalog-esque interactive rooms are drool worthy and I highlighted my favorites: http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2012/07/browser-window-shopping-ikea.html

The second July 2012 post was about my design inspirations on the showroom floor and my purchases at IKEA during my trip to Atlanta: http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2012/07/shopping-ikea-2012.html

For Easter 2013, we went down to Atlanta again and so naturally I blogged about our experience: http://www.makinitinmemphis.com/2013/04/shopping-ikea-adventure-2013.html . We ended up getting my beloved kitchen bar cart on that trip, as well as a duvet for our guest room among other things.

So rumors began flying Monday and were confirmed via press conference on Tuesday morning of this week that indeed, Memphis is getting an IKEA (*pending all legal approvals) in fall 2016!

Obviously I'm overjoyed, not only selfishly because I love those crazy Swedes and their sleek, inexpensive furniture and accessories, but also because it is a great move for our city from an economic standpoint!

So what kind of advice do I have for a novice IKEA shopper?
1) Be prepared - scan the website inspiration pictures to get an idea of what you are looking for

2) Bring a list of "must buys" so you don't forget those things in the amazing chaos that is IKEA

3) For your first time, plan to spend 2 -3 hours. The showroom (2nd floor) is eye candy and a magical experience, if only to get inspiration. A lot of the accessories and furniture pieces at IKEA do require some imagination because of the various configurations and it is nice to see them in action. Additionally, if you like the furniture you see, make sure to mark down the location in the warehouse area so you can find its home and get yours.

4) For subsequent visits if you're in a hurry you can skip the showroom and just go to the first floor (the shopping area) where there is a maze of home goods and then a warehouse area with all the furniture in their happy boxes. The way the home goods maze works is that it is designed to make you walk through all the departments but there are short cut doors if you know specifically what you want and don't want to get distracted.

5) Expect some major assembly. Like ridiculous amounts.

6) Not everything is best to buy there and sometimes you have to weigh the cost versus expected outcome. For example, I love their furniture but some of it isn't top quality. But you've got to think about what you're paying for it, how long you expect to use it, etc.

What kinds of things should you buy at IKEA?
These are my personal favorites...

  • picture frames
  • lighting
  • organization/storage
  • bedding
And now, some of our favorite IKEA buys from over the years...

These turquoise metal vases were gifted to me by my Atlanta hook-up and have gotten miles of use:

Hanging racks for the kitchen renovation, with what were going to be mini herb gardens but turned into little flower displays:

Magnetic spice rack and another hanging rack for the kitchen:

Kitchen bar cart:

A huge city scape canvas from our 2010 trip:

Can't wait to have our own IKEA in Memphis, even if it does mean we have to wait a while. What are you excited about most?

In meatballs and tiny allen wrentches,

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Sunday, November 9, 2014

{Baby Jasper}: Christmas Stocking Decision.

How can it already be November? I think the calendar is playing a trick on us.

Part of realizing the holidays are a bit more than a month away meant realizing Ruthie needs her own stocking for our mantle. Stockings are very special - my brothers and I have ones made by my cousin that we've used since we were young. Jake and I have standard red and green block letter monogram ones but for Ruthie I want something in between whimsical and reverent of the season (can a stocking be reverent? I guess just not a snowman/secular item).

With the inter webs and etsy, there are just so many options.... Here are a few I've been mulling over:

Pottery Barn Kids:

Option 1: http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/angel-quilted-stocking/?cm_src=AutoRel2
Pros: Whimsical and Reverent
Cons: A blonde, knowing our Ruthie will be decidedly brunette with her genes

Option 2: http://www.potterybarnkids.com/products/woodland-stocking-collection/?cm_src=AutoRel
Pros: Brunette angel
Cons: A little too "woodland" and less fun


Option 3: https://www.etsy.com/listing/206328402/girl-red-gingerbread-appliqued-christmas?ref=shop_home_active_7
Pros: Adorable, whimsical, unique
Cons: Secular, price ($90!!)

Land of Nod:

Option 4: http://www.landofnod.com/christmas-stockings/decor/dot-bright-side-stocking-by-jill-mcdonald/s114804?rv=Decor%3achristmas+decorations%3achristmas+stockings%3aBl+Confetti+Stocking+SKU+371920+Product+Page
Pros: Price (clearance, $17), colors
Cons: No monogram (would have to get it monogrammed myself), secular

LL Bean:

Option 5: http://www.llbean.com/llb/shop/75692?feat=513739-GN2&page=christmas-crewel-stocking
Pros: Classic, very traditional
Cons: Monogram seems small on cuff, secular, sort of too grown up

I haven't made any sort of decision and that is ok with me... for now. Any thoughts?

In holidays and traditions,

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Saturday, November 8, 2014

{Baby Jasper}: Checking in and Progress...

Hello there! Things have been the best kind of crazy around here. So much to update... Thought before I broke off into some specific blog posts, I'd do a general update on life with Ruthie on board in the belly.

Pregnancy has been pretty good since the initial morning sickness, which was manageable as long as I had the Zofran my doctor prescribed (miracle worker).

We have continued to make progress in the den - found these mismatched dressers to use as side tables for the couch. I thought I wanted matching dressers and looked everywhere but now love the look of these two.

We got invited to a Labor Day cookout, which was the perfect excuse to make the buffalo chicken dip - ridiculous.

Doctors appointments have come and gone - passed my glucose screening!

Gave in to my caffeine craving and let myself have the allotted 200 msg of caffeine a day. Life has been better ever since.

The parentals went to St. Louis to see family and brought back the family christening dress - here it is from when I wore it:

Ruthie's closet has been getting clothes added with each week that passes...

We got Ruthie's rug in the mail (Rugs USA, waited for an 80% off sale, highly recommend it) and Tyson just had to try it out:

Went to my cousin's gender reveal for baby #2:

It's another girl! Ruthie and Elloree are going to be so close in age and they'll have big sister Layla to boss them around!

Went to our favorite birthday tradition, the Cooper Young Festival, where I got this art for Ruthie's room:

Jake threw a surprise birthday party for me at our favorite, Garibaldi's. We had all our family and friends gathered for pizza, cake, and fun. It was really wonderful.

I started to get baby things in the nursery, including a whole bunch of hand me down clothes, and started sorting through them - with supervision, of course:

I officially had to ditch the wedding ring for a Target version because of preggo fingers:

Elise + Chandler threw the most wonderful baby shower for Ruthie in September:

After bringing Ruthie's goodies home, Beamer had to adjust to all of these new things in his room:

I had a small fall up the stairs (yes, up) at work which resulted in a quick hospital visit, as one can never been too careful. Great news was Ruthie was fine, kicking like crazy, heartbeat was fine.

We finally got some art on the walls in the den:

I took a chance in the great weather to spray paint some things for Ruthie's room:

More baby items were procured, which required expert assembly. Beer was used as bribery for the expert.

Ruthie in her 27 week ultrasound:

A lovely stroll in October at Beale Street Landing:

After piling the clothes by category and size, Tyson decided it was the perfect napping place and reversed all my work:

Fall break brought a quick trip to the beach:

Someone was glad to see us come home:

Jacob and Lydia got a sweet new puppy, Mabel:

Tyson has been very interested in Ruthie:

A family fishing weekend in Arkansas:

More Tyson and the bump:

Ruthie got her own pumpkin this year:

And Halloween - had to play up the bump. I went as a "celebrity baby bump".

That about catches us up - been living life big over here!

In preparing for Ruthie,

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