And now, we have IKEA.

I’ve tried to avoid it, but it just can’t be helped.

Alas, I still have home ownership on the brain. With the recent opening of retail heavy hitter IKEA, in addition to treating house hunting as a sport, it’s been incredibly hard to pretend I’m not imaging what my future (loft-style) home will look like.

Although my thoughts on fancy drapes and decor are right now nothing but reveries, I would still like to share some IKEA-inspired home decorating I’ve found online.

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Oh, and here’s something else that I found on this website that I thought was ridiculously cool.

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A girl can still dream.

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All about the details (a post on packaging).

If there’s one thing I enjoy more than receiving a brand spankin’ new product, it’s unwrapping the packaging.

I know, I sound like a big lame-o. But I can’t pretend that I don’t find joy in a clean, pristine box with quirky copy and gorgeous graphic design.

For my Threads of Hope project, I tried to brainstorm some inventive (and cost-efficient) ways to package my product. I had the choice between creating custom bags, boxes or simply wrapping it with a bow on top.

Here are some pretty sweet examples I’ve found online:

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After a little bit of research (and a lotta bit of compromises with my reasonable inner self), I decided to create a printed sleeve and a custom tag for my Hustle Hard Have Hope T-shirts. Check ’em out!

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A shameless plug (for a really good cause).

This year, I’ve taken on a very special project for a very special organization. The project is called Threads of Hope, an original line of apparel and accessories raising funds and awareness for The Children’s Wish Foundation. All proceeds raised from this project are going directly to a Wish Child, helping make the dream come true for a child diagnosed with a life-threatening illness.

On Tuesday, November 20, 2012, I will officially be launching the Hustle Hard Have Hope tees on my online store. They actually arrived at my doorstep yesterday night (I was super stoked)! Here’s a sneak peak:

For the next couple weeks leading up to November 20, I am hosting a social media contest. If you share the picture below, you will have the chance to win one of two Hustle Hard shirts in the style and colour of your choosing!

For more information on how to order one of these fabulous tees, visit the Threads of Hope website.

Home, sweet home.

Any spare time I’ve had these past few months has been consumed with house hunting. My boyfriend and I currently live in a beautiful downtown apartment, but it has come time to move onto bigger, better things. Having a driveway and some gardening space is also a bonus.

Now, we haven’t found the picture perfect home quite yet, but I have already taken the initiative to brainstorm some interior design ideas. And where better to get inspiration than from good ol’ Pinterest. Here are a few attractive rooms and accessories I’ve stumbled upon.

Now, all I need is a ginormous open-concept downtown loft to be able to make my vision a reality! Before I forget, props to my good friend Corinne Rikkelman for donating her abandoned book shelf to a worthwhile cause.

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That’s cool.

 Lately, I’ve had campaigns on the brain. The toughest part of coming up with something fun, interesting or shocking is that you really have to turn to someone else to validate the awesomeness of your concept. To cleanse my creative palette, I turn to the Internet for inspiration (it’s encouraged to come up with ideas off the cuff, but sometimes it’s nice to know where the bar is set). I use these ideas as a starting point to get the creative juices flowing. Here are some interesting ideas that have caught my eye over the past year.

Ugly Betty paper bag.

Always be prepared for the creatures of the night.

A testament to skincare.

Not so tiny bubbles.

Feed the needy.

Sheer genius, McDonald’s. Sheer genius.

Pixel pup.

Goo.

This billboard originally appeared near Time Square a few years back. This sour note caught the attention of millions of people, turning out to be a clever guerilla marketing campaign for Parco P.I. The campaign originally had a website detailing Emily’s vengeful activities, but is unfortunately no longer in commission. Neat idea though, considering it got tons of people talking about an ad without a visible brand.

Keep Good Going

Has reading up on life insurance ever pulled at your heartstrings? If the answer is no, this website might change your mind.

American insurance company New York Life provides life insurance, annuities and long-term care insurance. After reading a description of what they were all about, I was expecting nothing more than a dull and dry website with meaningless numbers, charts and forms. Instead, I found this:

 

It turns out, New York Life is currently running a feel good campaign called Keep Good Going. By visiting this subsection of their website, you can browse through a collection of beautiful stories submitted by real customers about making the most of what you have, being the best person you can be and cherishing your loved ones.

If you’re feeling like you need a little inspiration, I suggest you check out some of their videos. They’re a simple reminder of where you came from. Here’s my favourite website (and be prepared for the waterworks): Father and Son.

 

As heard on TV

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Daenerys Targaryen courtesy of nerd.tanklikeagirl.com

What does Modern Family maiden Sofia Vergara mean by La Toti? Has the Duchess of Cambridge become a mononymous person? And what, exactly, is a Dothraki?

These unusual terms have become intertwined with our native tongue as part of pop culture language. For those of you who are on the up and up of the entertainment beat, here’s a list of this year’s top TV words (via Time.com).