Home Sweet Room – Create a Haven with These 5 Tips

1279048430b3b61d1a963a025a26b020Okay, we are obsessed with succulents! They’re stunning and nearly impossible to destroy. Succulents store water just about everywhere, allowing them to thrive in various conditions while remaining low maintenance. Throw a few on your windowsill or desk for an immediate earthy touch. There’s something about bringing nature inside that makes a space so much more zen. Home Depot has quite the collection.

337e812b7d2bb8ecd06e678f003e0b07A photo string is a flexible, creative way to display pictures. Hang a string/wire vertically or horiztonally on your wall, and use clothes pins to hold up photos, collages, ticket stubs, meaningful letters, etc. It’s quite easy to compose. Just purchase string, clothespins, and command hooks from any local crafts store. Decorate the pins with jewels or paint, and hang the string using command hooks. Done.

35b7ec7fd98eb1768edee6cbdbb96471I’ve never really understood why bulletin boards come in such an unattractive, brown color. No fear, there’s a fix for that too… Simply buy a cork board tile, modge podge, and the fabric of your choice from any crafts store. Glue the fabric over the tile using the modge podge, securing the fabric ends around the edge using hot glue. Use your cute new board to post reminders, photos, tickets, anything.

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Our final suggestion truly embodies “last but certainly not least.” If you haven’t heard of washi tape, your life is about to change for the better! Washi tape is a low adhesive, prettier version of masking tape composed of rice paper. Like chalkboard paint, it has an array of functions. We’re loving this use, while this one goes perfectly with our frame wall suggestion above! In fact, you can use washi tape to decorate the clothespins and pictures on your photo string, as a border for your homemade bulletin board, and to spice up the succulent pots. If this isn’t enough, check out this amazing pinterest board for more washi tape inspiration!

Moving? Save Money with Our Tips

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Moving can quickly drain your energy – and your wallet. We’ve compiled a list of money saving tips you can apply to your next move to simplify your life during this busy time and reduce the stress that often accompanies relocating to a new home, whether the change is just across the street or in different state or country.

Save on packing material costs. It can be a shock to step into a packing store or Home Depot and see that small, simple cardboard boxes cost upwards of a dollar each, that bubble wrap goes for around $15, and that tape starts at $3 a short roll and adds up quickly. And the cost of hiring a mover, which is usually a must, is already high enough that you shouldn’t be spending much on supplies. Some tips to keep your spending minimal:

  • If you look hard enough, you will be able to find all the boxes you need and more for free. For example, if you work in an office, ask to keep the boxes where the printer paper comes. Apartment Therapy has a list of 8 more places you can find free boxes – just keep an eye out and plan ahead.
  • Most moving companies will allow you to return unused boxes if you bought too many, so if you’re not sure of how many you’ll need, it’s always best to buy in excess so you don’t have to do too many runs to the store.
  • Minimize the amount of boxes you need by keeping clothes or other items inside drawers. You can cover the drawers with Press’n Seal instead of duct tape to ensure they remain closed and free of tape marks. If you do buy duct tape, buy it in different colors and designate a different color for each room in your new home to make finding the items easier (and that way you also save time since you don’t have to write on each box what it contains). Mark the boxes you want to open most immediately with a red sticker so they are easier to find.
  • As much fun as popping bubble wrap is, it’s even nicer to save money which you can then use on more entertaining pastimes. So to wrap delicate and easily breakable items, use clothing, old rags, and even blankets. They will protect your items just as well while being less wasteful. Saving money and being kind to the environment? Win-win!

Tired of scavenging for boxes? If you’d rather save time than money, U-Haul has an option which might be convenient: moving kits for apartments, 1-2 bedroom homes, and students, among other options.

Time is your friend. The farther ahead you plan, the more time you have to accrue your ‘bank’ of materials and to start packing so you don’t fret last minute. A stress-free move is possible!

Slice Platform Lets Partners Create Engaging and Personalized Shopping Experiences

IFTTT, TheFind and Trov join as inaugural API partners; applying largest, most comprehensive set of online purchase data anywhere to customer offerings

Palo Alto, CA—September 11, 2014—Slice, the company known for its eponymous shopping app that makes online shopping smarter by extracting and organizing valuable online shopping data from e-receipts, has today opened its API to web publishers. Inaugural Slice Platform customers IFTTT, TheFind and Trov gain access to relevant Purchase Graph insights, detailing rich data about anonymous, aggregate buying patterns across merchants and categories – at a level that far exceeds any existing data set.

“How people buy says a lot about them, so the Purchase Graph is a highly strategic asset,” explained Harpinder Singh, Slice’s co-founder and vice president, product. “Giving developers access allows them to offer the highest level of personalization and innovation, fundamentally transforming their online offerings. The possibilities of how they’ll do so are as endless as the data itself, and we love the variety of creative use cases that we have seen so far.”

Slice’s proprietary technology unboxes all the data in e-receipts and makes it actionable for consumers and partners alike. Originally developed at Stanford, Slice’s machine-learning technology automatically identifies e-receipts within inboxes and creates Purchase Graph readings of relevant details across more than two million merchants, from as far back as 2006.

The Purchase Graph is never tied to individual consumers’ identity, but the new Slice API lets web publishers build new features and functionalities based on a visitor’s Online Purchase Profile, using the largest, most comprehensive set of online purchase data anywhere.

TheFind Finds More Precise Offers

TheFind, the largest ecommerce search engine in North America, will now serve up search results that can be further personalized using the shopper’s online purchase history that is stored in their email account.

“The Slice API gives a big data makeover, with very little heavy lifting,” said Ramneek Bhasin, mobile GM and VP product at TheFind. “Leveraging this valuable data set let us deliver a personalized experience that is far superior to what our users find elsewhere. As a result, we see higher levels of engagement and repeat visits.”

IFTTT Discovers a Magic Ingredient

IFTTT, which helps people simplify their lives by automating a variety of tasks, taps Slice’s package tracking capabilities and delivery notifications. Using Slice, IFTTT automatically creates a Google calendar event when a delivery is expected, and notifies customers when the package has been delivered.

“The Slice Channel on IFTTT helps us solve an annoying problem for many online shoppers — keeping track of their online purchases and packages. Now you can follow your latest purchase from the warehouse to your front door!” said Linden Tibbets, CEO at IFTTT.

Trov Taps New Revenue Streams

Trov, an app that helps people collect and value the things they own, uses the Slice Platform to automatically add people’s purchases to their Trov through email receipts. With that information, Trov surfaces insights for users and connects them to unique opportunities, such as selling and insuring.

“For people to really benefit from the information about their things, collecting this data must be ridiculously easy,” said Scott Walchek, founder of Trov. “Integrating with the Slice API helps us a lot, as we can now automatically fill up people’s Trovs with their purchases – ultimately providing them with more value.”

The Slice API is available to any web publisher who can easily integrate item-level purchase data to build new products and services. As customers, their development decisions are informed by the wealth of personalized information gleaned from e-receipts, including spot-on recommendations from nearly every retailer, shipping notifications, recalls, and item-level details to enhance banking and financial services offers. All Slice data is safely obtained and personally identifiable information is securely protected. Developers can sign up for the Slice API at http://developer.slice.com.

About Slice
Slice is online shopping, smarter. Slice’s technology automatically identifies e-receipts within inboxes and extracts every data point about every purchase to create digital commerce products that delight consumers and create business value for partners. 
Slice is transforming online shopping and retail by unveiling never-before-seen digital commerce data via its APIs, information products and consumer applications. The company has processed more than 175 million items to date for a total purchase value of over $4 billion.

Based in Palo Alto, CA, Slice is an independent, wholly-owned subsidiary of Rakuten. To learn more about Slice, visit www.slice.com.

 

 

Organize Your Office!

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An organized office leads to productivity. In fact, if your office is cluttered, you will be negatively affected, Mikael Cho at Lifehacker explains. So whether you work 9-5 in an office or in the comfort of your own home, we’ve gathered some tips to help you save while still having the kind of office you deserve. Remember: you can track the location of any items you purchase and monitor price drops using the Slice app – sign up today!

Reconsider your furniture. Changing furniture is a great expense, so weigh the pros and cons. If the furniture you currently have is not helping you stay organized, it may be time for a change. Furniture that is multi-functional, like a desk with concealed drawers, can be a great way to keep your items stored away but still close enough for easy access. Ikea and Overstock have a wide selection of adequately-priced office furniture.

Have your basics covered. Every office needs basic items like file cabinets or trash cans. The Container Store is a great store for stylish and practical home office items and furniture. The store is not terribly expensive if you choose your items carefully and stick to a budget – we all know how easy it can be to go overboard with office supplies galore. Staples has a checklist you can use on your next office item shopping spree to make sure you have everything you need and no more.

Cute office supplies: functional and smile-inducing! Urban Girl has adorable office supplies, from planners to file folders to organization items and file boxes. The best part? Their clearance section is updated regularly. The Martha Stewart collection at Staples is another go-to for cute, non-extravagantly priced office supplies like wall managers, labels, and message boards. ModCloth also has quirky and highly useful supplies to put to use in your revamped office.

Now I have the supplies…what do I do next? Start with a clean slate by clearing your work area. Throw away any items that are no longer functional or that you have not used in months and remove all decorations. Documents you no longer need can be shredded. And then move items around! If you are not satisfied with the location of your items, you will be distraught, so keep trying combinations (i.e. file cabinets closer or farther away from your desk, your computer perhaps completely isolated from paperwork and other clutter). Check out HowStuffWorks for a list of tips on office organization.

5 Easy DIYs to Create A Bedroom That Inspires

Screen Shot 2014-09-08 at 2.27.25 PMYour bedroom is your sanctuary. It’s what you long for when your head aches and when people are too much to handle. It’s where you return to after a long, gruelling day, to be rejuvenated by the comforts of familiarity and privacy. The bedroom is also the first environment you encounter. It’s where you warm up before taking on another day of life, and we all know how important preparing for success is. It is for these reasons that the bedroom must be a place of inspiration, comfort and most of all happiness. Don’t you just want to walk into your room and go, “ahh”? Well, we do! And we want to do it for cheap too, because there’s no sense in breaking bank when a DIY version already exists. We present you with a carefully crafted list of ideas to help you transform your bedroom into a heavenly oasis you’ll never want to leave (but should)!

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One of several beautiful tapestries from TrippyStore.

Landlord won’t let you paint the walls? Tapestries are your best friends. They take up lots of wall space with one step, while instantly setting the vibe of your room. You can hang a tapestry on the wall or make a headboard that drapes over your bed. The best way to secure a tapestry without damage is by using command hooks, which you can find at Target, Kmart, craft stores, CVS, etc. You can find big tapestries at TrippyStore for cheap, while Urban’s are creative but pricier.

Awesome chalkboard ideas!

Awesome chalkboard ideas!

You’ve probably heard of chalkboard paint, but you probably haven’t heard of its gazillion different uses. You can paint an entire wall, the side of a desk, your drawers to label them, a patch of the wall for a calendar or greeting sign, or frame it for decorative purposes. If black is too dark for you, it comes in all colors of the rainbow courtesy of Benjamin Moore! You can find inexpensive black paint from Amazon, too, in either a jar or spray on form. Creating a chalkboard masterpiece is ridiculously simple–use a brush or roller and it sticks to just about any surface. But if you’re painting over something glossy, be sure to use sandpaper so the paint will stick.

flower chains

A lovely display to wake up to!

Our next idea is a stunner, but you’ve got to work for it. If you have smaller open spaces near your bed or around your room, this display is perfect for you. Flower chains will add a beautiful, girly touch to your room and trust us, you will get compliments on it! Essentially, a flower chain is created by hanging fishing wire with colorful fake flowers strung onto it. To see what it looks like and how to make it, click here.

Twinkle lights from Urban!

Layer lights and tapestry to give your room a soft glow.

So it’s just getting dark, you’re tired and you’ve retreated to your room. The bright overhead light just isn’t doing it for you, but you still want to see. Bam! String lights! They add a warm bohemian vibe to your cave while providing the perfect amount of light. You can string them around your bedframe, curtain rod, window, or where the wall meets the ceiling. Here’s a tip: hang them behind your tapestry to illuminate the fabric and disperse the light. They’re inexpensive, too. You can find generic ones at Ikea, or if you’re feeling artsy check out the collection at Etsy.

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Wall frames and washi tape make an attractive couple.

Tapestries not your thing? Design a frame wall with pictures, posters, and your favorite images. Once again, Ikea comes in clutch with its cheap frames and you can find awesome posters at Allposters.com.