December 03, 2014   //  Posted in: Home Safety, Supporting Sponsors   //  By: Emily   //  one response

Hey guys – Thursday 12/4 at 7pm SentrySafe has invited me and a group of other bloggers to participate in a holiday Twitter party. Follow the hashtag #safefortheholidays to participate and have a chance to win lots of prizes. SentrySafe is known to always give away lots of its products (and raw cash on occasion), so it’s a pretty exciting event to hang out in. As part of my collaboration with them during this event and a Live Burn event they had invited me to earlier this fall, they offered me a product, and I chose the one shown in this post.

Sentry Safe Guardian Storage Box in my home.

I get oddly sentimental when I talk about SentrySafe – and completely enthuzed. It’s rare to buy a product that you never hope to use, but owning a safe offers peace of mind that you can’t put a price tag on. Plus, cool company in Rochester, national reach via all of the big name stores, people I like making a product I am happy to endorse. I bought my own small SentrySafe when I went to college; used it for the security of checks and my passport and other important documents more so than to level fears about fire protection. Got a bigger one when I had a house; insurance docs, banking info, deeds, everything that would be a pain to replace, totally for fire protection.

There are lots of other things that I know I’d want protected in the case of a fire or flood, which is why the Guardian Storage Box was my most recent product of choice: I liken it to a big plastic storage container that’s a fire-and-flood-safe catch-all for memories. The kind of thing you can snap shut (no key or combo) and slide away on a shelf in the basement for safe keeping. The kind of thing that could be organized with file folders, but contains important clutter that might not otherwise find a safe storage location.

GB20L Sentry Safe Guardian Storage Box.

My Guardian sits in the basement; because of what I’ve chosen to use it for, it’s not the type of product that I’m going to be needing to access regularly. Pack, stow, and store kind of mentality. Within it I’ve stashed away some irreplaceable yearbooks, old family photos, and some memorabilia that had been previously been packed away in completely torchable cardboard boxes – a few birthday cards with notes from Grandma, an extra copy of our wedding invite, and that little sheet from the hospital with my baby’s footprints.

GB20L Sentry Safe Guardian Storage Box.

If you want to see how the product performs in a fire, check out this video. Live burns and reveals are the best.

Do yourself a favor and get one this holiday season – or gift it. The gift that keeps giving. SentrySafe has lots of ongoing sales for its products, and has free shipping on every order is standard without a special offer code, so pick the perfect model for your needs and rest a bit easier.


December 02, 2014   //  Posted in: Merry Travels, Supporting Sponsors   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

Stained glass window at the Rochester Airport.

Thanks to a partnership with Delta Faucet, I’m at the airport and on my way to Martha’s Vineyard with a small group of bloggers to get the low-down on the HGTV 2015 Dream House! There are really very few times when I feel like my real voice doesn’t translate to my writing, but I’m squealing at a higher octave and there’s a bounce in my step, neither of which come across well, even with the addition of 4,000 exclamation points.


No secret here, I’ve wanted a chance to get inside one of the HGTV or DIY Network custom homes long since before working with them… during construction, post-construction, loitering out front with a camera and a mocha just to get a glimpse of how things come together on broadcast-worthy projects like the this one, and HGTV Smart Home, and DIY Network Blog Cabin, among others. Construction and interior design are something I’ve gravitated to for decades.

Hook up with me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter to get the inside scoop on my trip – I’ll be posting photos of the activities Delta has planned for us, and then plenty of photos from inside the house tomorrow when we have our tour.

Hey Santa

November 28, 2014   //  Posted in: Helping The Economy, Holiday-Related Projects   //  By: Emily   //  Leave a comment

I’m told I’m hard to shop for, but who isn’t? This year instead of doing my traditional “I don’t really need anything, doesn’t matter what you buy me” thing, I started pulling together a rough wish list for myself to help guide you (Pete, Santa). Take some liberties along these theme lines and you’ll be on the right track.

Christmas Wish List 2014.

Hey Santa.

Just like every other year, beeline for the practical gifts. And please, no cable-knit sweaters and sherpa-lined slippers that the retailers have on uber-promotion and insist that I need/want/crave. I’d actually rather scrimp on gifts and save some coins so the family can indulge in _ _ _ _ _ _   _ _ _ _ when we take that surprise vaca in a few months, but if you want to put anything under the tree to keep up appearances, here are some ideas.

Anything Poppin. Santa, there are two Staples stores within a 10-mile radius. Did you know they both carry Poppin office products? Me neither. In the same way that I’m obsessed with a giant pack of multi-color fine Sharpie markers, having a blue stapler, new folders, and a set of magical markers or great gel pens would really make my workday. And you know how much I love to work, so go ahead and make my desk happier.

I could really use a new small wallet; something that holds more than four cards and my license. Good news – has free shipping. This one will do. Black/Bone, Black Multi or Mustard Gold, preferably.

I’m pretty sure that anyone giving me gifts already knows that anything Charley Harper will be a hit. See if you can find some artist who makes stained glass CH ladybugs for me to hang in our windows (I’ve been looking, no luck), or something inexpensive and fun (i.e. it doesn’t need to be a $200 print, or a $16,000 original). The products for kids are great too, hint-hint. Fishs Eddy finally has the red bird glasses back in stock, so you could always pick up those since you know if you don’t buy them, I’ll probably get them anyways, and I might even get them this weekend depending on sales. Collections.

5×7 photo prints are damn expensive compared to 4×6, but such a luxury. Let’s vow to print more 5x7s of our awesome family in 2015. You can probably figure out a way to preorder the prints on Snapfish so they’re in my account and ready to go. Let me know if you need my login info.

Brit McDaniel of Paper & Clay makes the coolest danish-inspired mugs. I’ve wanted one ever since I came across her work on what is the deep, dark hole of Instagram. Any of them would look great in our kitchen, but a mug like this one would be most practical for me.

Kid art. Can you team up with Julia to make me a new oil pastel on nice paper that I can frame? Pull some inspiration from images on my Pinterest Art board. Better yet, have her dupe a Charley Harper print in her own way. Gift ideas colliding, ka-pow.

Would it be totally wrong to ask for a 9×12 rug for our bedroom or all of the cleaning supplies sold by Method? Yeah, probably. Those seems more like Mother’s Day.

It’s unlike me to ask for anything holiday-themed since I normally try and gobble up items immediately after the holiday, but maybe you’ll spy a good deal on this astronaut nutcracker. I think I love him. I think he’s gonna sell out.

I’m 99.99% sure that the influx of tech products around the holidays speaks to gimmicky sales tactics, but I still think a cordless keyboard that I can use with the iPad mini would be killer.  Something that I can use to write with on the plane, because yeah, I still really hate trying to draft posts on the iPad screen keyboard. I wish I could borrow one to try before spending so much money on this West Elm bamboo model, just to see if it’s really worth it. In the same vein, buying me a fun iPhone 6 case wouldn’t be a bad gift either (J.Crew has consistently manufactured my favorites, and this one is nice, but it looks like a hardshell…bummer). Whatever you find, just please test it to make sure it passes my needs of it fitting well and feeling very slim. And no chevron. I know, you tried. Maybe just skip the iPhone case idea.

More cool home decor. If you need inspiration, just look up “Scandinavian home decor” on Pinterest and click through to the cool stores and people who sell these products. Similarly, think Pendleton Wool (we’ve gotta check out that store in Pittsford next time we have to buy dog food). This Glacier Park flannel sheet set would be cozy.

None of these links are affiliates, so go click-happy. All product images belong to the retailers.