Getting Campus Ready for Fall

After living in Manhattan for 22 years, living and working in small spaces comes pretty naturally to me.

If we buy something new, something else needs to go. When space is limited, that adage applies to a new pair of shoes, new coffee mugs, and sometimes, even something as simple as a box of cereal!

Each summer, I work with Bed Bath & Beyond - which is sponsoring these TV segments and this post - to share tips for making the most of limited space in student housing. Along with our daily life in Manhattan, doing these segments helps keep my small-space decorating skills sharp.

Dorm rooms are tiny, so finding a way to use every bit of precious space is a priority. These extra-deep underbed storage drawers enable you all of the space underneath a twin bed. Hanging organizers for the closet, backs of doors, and even around the base of the bed keep clothing, supplies, toiletries, and snacks in their place.

Mattresses in campus housing may not be the most comfortable, but you can do a lot to make them feel like home. A mattress protector that completely encloses the mattress is a great first layer, especially for people with allergies. I’m a big fan of this thick foam mattress topper as well. Two inches of memory foam make it comfy - plus it has a layer of cooling gel that is especially nice for dorm rooms. The anti-microbial (read: anti-odor) properties also make them perfect for the dorm room setting.

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To stay connected, wireless charging pads keep gadgets juiced up and ready to go. A cleverly-designed surge protector power strip with USB ports and rotating outlets allows you to use every outlet. For students who always need their phone close at hand, this shower tote even has a cell phone pocket!

To make it easy to get your stuff to college, Bed Bath & Beyond has a free Pack & Hold service that lets you shop at a store close to home, but pick up your order at the store close to college. I can personally attest to the genius of this, as I had so much stuff filling my parents’ van when I moved away to college that there was barely enough room for me to squeeze in. The service saves times and money, which often seem to be in short supply as the new school year begins.

Happy shopping!

Happy School Year!

Where we live in New York, school just got out for the summer a couple of weeks ago.

But in the rest of the country, most school districts are gearing up for the new year.  I love this time of year because I have so much fun checking out all of the new school supplies.  I always end up buying a lot of them for my work, because hey - you're never too old for a sequined notebook!

Here are a few of the ideas I am sharing on TV shows this season for Office Depot/OfficeMax, Jif and Smucker's, and Mattress Firm.  They are sponsoring these segments and this post.

How cute is this Unicorn Backpack Set?

These "reversible" sequined notebooks!  (Where were these when I was eight?)

I don't think you ever get too old for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (especially with an ice cold glass of milk).  While some people may prefer the peanut butter on its own, for many kids, it's better together with the jelly.  For something moms and kids can agree on, try Jif Creamy Natural Peanut Butter (only five simple ingredients!) with Smucker's Natural Strawberry Fruit Spread.  To mix things up a bit, you can also try more creative recipes beyond the traditional PB&J sandwich.  Yum!

After a long summer of staying up late and sleeping in, getting into a regular sleep routine for back-to-school can be a bit of a challenge.  Since educators and sleep experts agree that children who sleep better learn better, they often recommend easing into the new year by moving up bedtime by 10 or 15 minutes each night until you reach your goal bedtime.  Having a good mattress is also part of a healthy sleep routine, and Mattress Firm has a back-to-school special from July 25 through August 14 with deals for the entire family.

Happy New Year!

 

 

Photos from Office Depot, Smucker's, and Mattress Firm.

Getting Campus Ready

For many years after graduating from college, I moved into progressively smaller spaces.

My first apartment was a 1,200 two-bedroom shared with a roommate.  I then moved on to a series of 900-square-foot one-bedroom apartments, and then into a 600-square-foot studio.  

Then, I moved to New York City - the land of 200-square-foot studio apartments.

We now occupy 700+ square feet - which feels like a veritable mansion to me.  But those small space decorating skills honed in college certainly paid off long after I finished my degree.  I still keep in practice every year working with Bed Bath & Beyond, which sponsors a series of television segments - and this post - featuring ideas for decorating dorm rooms that are both stylish and functional.

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Here are a few of the ideas I am sharing for them on TV segments this month:

You can find more items - and tons of ideas and inspiration for organizing tiny spaces - on Bed Bath & Beyond's college website.

 

Sunday Stories

This Sunday Stories feature has been on a bit of an unplanned summer hiatus.  Between being on the road for work most of the summer, and hitting the books for my own graduate classes each and every day, I've fallen a bit behind on this.

As summer vacation for most people winds down - and I have a week before fall media tours and classes begin again - Sunday Stories returns this week, and hopefully for many more Sundays to come.  Instead of focusing exclusively on stories from the last week, here are a few highlights from the last couple of months.

Alley outside Brattle Book Shop, West Street, Downtown Boston.

Alley outside Brattle Book Shop, West Street, Downtown Boston.

Do your reading habits change with the seasons?  I don't think mine depend so much on the season as much as what I need to focus on for work and school.

Books are also top of mind for colleges that distribute summer reading lists to their students.  Here are the most popular books that appeared on those lists this summer.

Did you take a summer vacation?  Scotland is high on the list of places Scott and I want to go.  If this post from Aspiring Kennedy doesn't make you want to drop everything and trek to the Isle of Skye this very minute, I don't know what will.

Srsly?  I don't know one person who will hire you if you do this.

Lemon desserts are my fave, and my mom's lemon bar recipe is one of my favorites.  But this one looks like it will become a new addition to my recipe collection.

If you blinked, you missed The Spotted Cheetah - a Cheetos pop-up restaurant.  Because we all need to eat more junk food, right?

Your guide to popular places to Instagram from in New York City.  You're welcome..

Apparently, I am not the only person who tries to figure out the floor plans of fictitious homes and offices on movies and TV shows.

Finally, you can definitely count me in the category of people who just love it when autumn rolls around.

Have a lovely week!

 

On-the-Air: "Good Day Chicago"

They don't call Chicago the Windy City for nothing!  It's always fun to do segments outside, although heavy blocks and duct tape go a long way toward keeping table coverings and products secured on the table on a windy day.

I had a great time this morning talking back-to-school on "Good Day Chicago," doing our segment live on their Michigan Avenue plaza.  Check out this link or click on the image below to see the full segment!

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It was also great to be back at the close of the show with four of the anchors.

I did this segment on behalf of several companies.  Here is where you can find the items discussed!