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Q&A with Tastemaker Meaghan Murphy of Good Housekeeping

9 Jun

Meet our Tastemaker Meaghan Murphy, Executive Editor at Good Housekeeping

Last month, we were thrilled to introduce you to our new Tastemakers.  We love partnering with influencers who have great style and love a good monogram.  We decided to do a Q&A with one of our favorite Tastemakers – Meaghan Murphy.  I highly suggest you follow her on Instagram as her posts are both inspiring and funny.  We hope you enjoy getting to know her!

Photos courtesy of Meaghan Murphy Instagram

Q.

What is your favorite thing about working at Good Housekeeping?

A.

We cover everything I love from cleaning hacks and top toys to tested-‘til-perfect recipes and cute shoes. And the covers are just so pretty that I get a matching manicure every month. My nails have issues…of GH!

Q.

We know you are all about a good workout! What is your favorite workout to do and why?

A.

Picking a favorite workout would be like picking a favorite child. I can’t do it! I do something different every day so I never get bored (or injured). My steady rotation is: SLT, Poe yoga, OrangeTheory Fitness and Flywheel.

Q.

What is the ONE thing in your wardrobe you couldn’t live without?

A.

Right now it would be my Karl Lagerfeld critter sneakers. OBSESSED!

Q.

What’s an emerging home trend you’re seeing right now?

A.

We just ran photographer Gray Malin’s guest retreat in the July issue of GH and I fell in love with his layered carpet look. I went home an immediately ordered a grey sisal carpet from Capel Rugs as the base for a fun and graphic Pottery Barn rug.

Q.

Just for fun … who is your celebrity crush?

A.

Kelly Rippa! I love, love, love doing her show. She’s a Jersey girl just like me and is so kind and engaging with her fans.

 

Housewarming Gifts for Starter Homes and Apartments

6 May

Housewarming Gift TipsIf you have a friend or relative moving into a new starter home or small apartment, it’s customary to bring a special gift to celebrate their new move. A very nice well thought out housewarming gift can certainly help them turn a house into a home.

What are some of the best tips to picking that perfect housewarming gift?  Remember to keep in mind the type of space they are moving into and also what type of person they are in terms of what they like, their style and their hobbies.   If they are moving to a small apartment or small new home, or a retired individual moving into an independent living facility, they will likely be short on space. Someone moving to a small place needs small essentials that will be of use and not take up extra space.

Below are Ideas for Gift Ideas For Smaller Apartments, Starter Homes, Dorm Rooms, Independent Living Apartments or Retirement Homes.

Little gift ideas – literally – are the way to go for the new home owner in a smaller space.  Square footage is at a premium but that should not stop you from finding something special as a gift.  Remember, it might be small, but it’s still a new space and they are still celebrating their next phase in life.  Giving a gift they can use that is both compact, functional and needed is the key here.

If they are just starting out in life, their needs and likes might be different than someone moving into an independent living location who already generally has a big collection of things.  But, regardless, just keep in mind the person and what you think would be of best use for them.  Some smaller in size gift ideas along this line include:

  • a new pretty doormat
  • a wind chime
  • a really nice wine bottle opener (with a nice bottle of wine with it!)
  • a gift card for a nearby restaurant
  • a personalized self-inking stamper with their new address
  • a nice set of personalized address labels (since they’ve just moved they’ll need them!)
  • printed luggage tags featuring their new contact information
  • a nice box of stationery with their new address printed on the envelopes
  • a pretty set of new notepads or post-its to keep in the kitchen or bedroom for quick notes or reminders or lists
  • a pretty little vase with some flowers in it
  • a small houseplant (if they are someone with a green thumb)
  • a gorgeous little candy dish and some candy
  • quality personalized guest towels for a powder room
  • personalized playing cards, a nice splurge-type idea for older people who love bridge and other card games

Bigger ticket gift ideas (but still small in size) for someone you know very well, such as for your adult-child moving into a new home or your parent moving into a retirement location, are suggested below.  For some of these type of gifts, talk to the recipient(s) and be sure that they would like (or need) the gift item before you invest. If they do, sometimes it’s nice to go shopping with them and let them help you pick them out. Some of these gift ideas include:

  • a new vacuum cleaner
  • a dust buster
  • a new set of everyday dishes
  • bathroom accessories such as a new shower curtain, garbage can, tissue box, and soap dispenser
  • a new set of pots and pans
  • a slow cooker
  • a toaster oven
  • a new TV for their bedroom or kitchen
  • a new comforter set
  • a grill for their patio
  • a crystal vase with fresh flowers
  • a cleaning service to help them get the home ready for move-in day
  • sending over a painting crew or helping them paint their new space
  • an outdoor planter filled with flowers to put by their front door, in backyard, or on a balcony
  • a great set of quality wooden hangers for guest’s coats to be used in their front hall closet

Gifting Rest & Relaxation 

It can be stressful moving into a new home and giving the gift of Rest & Relaxation can certainly be appreciated.  If you think the new homeowner can use a little break, consider a gift that will provide a bit of calmness and serenity.   These sort of gift ideas might include:

  • beautiful candles
  • aromatherapy items with essential oils
  • a gift certificate for a massage at a nice spa
  • a gift certificate for a mani and pedi at a spa they like
  • a gift certificate to a movie
  • gift cards for a dinner at a nearby restaurant
  • yoga mat
  • bath pillow, sea salts, nice bath gels or soaps and lotions

The gift of your time and help can also be something very helpful such as helping them unpack their boxes, lining their kitchen drawers for them and setting up their kitchen, and/or help watching their children (if they have them) during move in day.

Few things are more exciting than moving into a new home!  Starter homes and apartments are milestones and can be a very special step in an individual’s life.  Make sure you let them know you are there to help, love and support them throughout the process and celebrate this milestone with your time and special housewarming gifts.

 

5 Share-Worthy Graduation Party Ideas

3 May

May and June mean it’s graduation season!  Junior high, high school and college kids will be graduating and moving into the next chapter of their lives.  With graduation comes celebrations – big and small.  To help celebrate the graduates big day, there are some fun ways you can make it special.  I’ve rounded up some of my favorite ideas to make your graduation party memorable.

  1. Coordinate everything in their school colors.  This goes for everything you have at the party!  If the school colors are blue and white, coordinate everything with those two colors:  balloons, plates, napkins, table runners, cups, etc.  It really brings the theme together.  If you have a high school graduate who will be going to college, you can celebrate by using their new college colors.  It’s also a great way to announce their college choice for those who aren’t already aware of where they will be headed in the fall.

    Decorating in school colors. Photo source: Catchmyparty

  2. Decorate with pictures of the graduate. To get people “oohing” and “ahhing” display pictures in frames of the graduate throughout the party. If it’s a small gathering at a restaurant, you can put a few on the table(s). If you are having a big backyard party, put various pictures at different tables so everyone can view the graduate through the years. You can also hang them from outdoor tents for a great backdrop as well. This is also a great ice breaker for guests who may not know each other.

    Surrounded by memories of the grad. Photo source: Pinterest

  3. Set up a photo booth.  Make a huge chalkboard backdrop with chalkboard contact paper.  You can have it say “Class of 2017” where friends (and family) can take pictures at the party.  You can also add a hashtag so everyone can view the pictures later on social media (i.e., #Samgradparty17).

    Say cheese! Photo source: Pinterest

  4. Give everyone a class ring.  For a fun and inexpensive centerpiece, put out a glass jar or bowl filled with Ring Pops and label it “Class Rings.”

    Class rings for everyone! Photo source: Mylifeatplaytime.com

  5. Design a box for cards. Most guests will bring a card to congratulate the graduate. You can gift wrap a medium sized box (and don’t forget to make a slot big enough for cards!) in their school colors. Guests will appreciate having a place to put their cards before enjoying the festivities!

    Congrats cards welcome here! Photo source: etsy.com

Do you have ideas you’d like to share? Maybe something you did at your party that really “wowed” your guests! Share in the comments!

Congrats to all the 2017 graduates and best of luck in your futures!  See our graduation ideas for even more inspiration!

xoxo,

Jennifer