Thursday, January 17, 2019

Looking for the perfect work bag/tote/purse?

If you are like me, you are always on the look-out for the perfect work bag that will hold everything you need, and still look stylish. The "perfect" bag FOR ME not only has to hold a laptop, phone, and some paperwork files... but also keys, wallet, (sun)glasses, a make-up bag and maybe even a sweater? The "perfect" bag will also allow me to find all these things easily so functionality and organization is a must. I prefer to sling my bag over my shoulder, but there are times I need my hands. So a longer strap is a great accessory to allow it to be worn "messenger bag" style which keeps everything on my body but still easily available. Lastly, this bag should be able to fit under an airplane seat without dumping over!

I recently did some research for a client and from that I've created a list of my favorite handbags and totes. Now you'll also have to understand that I am pretty frugal and always looking for a deal, so while I may covet some of the more expensive ones listed, I will end up buying something similar that I find at TJ Maxx!

Kate Spade – Hadley Road Dina $348
A classic leather shoulder bag with open-top so everything is easily accessible. Plus it comes with a removable pouch that doubles as a clutch. (*Use this with the organizing insert below...)
SIZE 10.7"h x 13.5"w x 6.4"d.  drop length: 9"

Dagne Dover - Legend Tote $265
This bag has so many pockets and separate compartments, it can hold everything including a drink!  The zip top ensures that items won't spill out if knocked over.
SIZE 11.5"h x 14.75”w x 7”d.  9" Handle Drop.

Knomo – Grosvenor Place $199
Two easy-access front pockets with RFID lining – perfect for cards, passport and phones.  Main compartment: padded section for laptops; 2nd compartment for tablets or other; zippered top.
SIZE 13"h x 16.5"w x 5.5"d Handle Length: 10"

Michael Kors - Whitney Large Leather Tote $298
An everyday, everywhere bag crafted from 100% leather. The spacious interior can accommodate a laptop or extra pair of shoes. Zippered top. (*Use this with the organizing insert below...)
SIZE 11"h x 17.5"w x 7"d. Handle Drop: 11.5"
Kate Spade - Molly Large Tote $228
An effortless everyday bag. A removable pouch snaps in & out, a dog-clip closure keeps the tote closed while giving you easy access to inside. (*Use this with the organizing insert below...)
SIZE 11.5”h x14"w x5”d, handle drop: 9.5”


Madewell - Transport Tote $188
The top zip closure ensures all your necessities stay in place.  (*Use this with the organizing insert below...)
SIZE 13.5h x 14"W x 6 ½"D. 8" strap drop.

These are from Amazon, and have great prices. I would buy these!

YALUXE Women's Vintage Style Soft Leather Work Tote Large Shoulder Bag $60[]c2[i]eq5Pmb&tag=thecutonsite-20

SQLP Fashion Women's Leather Handbags ladies Waterproof Shoulder Bag Tote Bags $34[]c2[i]7nJCuO&tag=thecutonsite-20

If you choose one of the tote types above that does not have a lot of inside pockets or sections, you may be interested in one of these?  I found this on a Facebook ad so I don't know anything about this vendor.  But I thought it was a great add-on!  It comes in Red, Grey or Beige.
EasySwap Premium Purse Organizer $29.99

If you are into the backpack style for ease of carrying, but still want have organized access, check out this pack for a great option.  Again, I found this ad on Facebook so would love to know if anyone purchases it and what they think! 

Modernistlook LUXE Smart Backpack $89.99

And finally, one more Facebook find.  A great weekend bag for when you want to un-plug and leave the laptop at work!  This great bag seems perfect for a quick trip whether on a plane, train or boat. It's soft sided but has a great shoe compartment, can fit under the airplane seat and offers outside pockets for easy access to passport and tickets!

Lo & Sons - Catalina Deluxe $158.00

Wednesday, January 16, 2019

5 Surprising Remodel Trends We'll See In 2019

Here's the latest on five surprising remodel trends that experts expect to be popular in 2019, along with predictions about which ones are likely to have staying power.
- Courtesy of Craig Nosler RE/MAX Integrity P: 425-765-5588,

5 Surprising Remodel Trends We'll See In 2019

1. No Upper Cabinets In the Kitchen

Many interior design experts are talking about the growing popularity of kitchens that have no upper cabinets. It’s a clean, clutter-free look that pairs well with today's minimalistic trend, but it doesn't come without a trade-off.


Having no upper cabinets can result in a nice “win” in the looks department as long as the kitchen still has sufficient cabinet space. If the result is a lack of storage, however, it's likely to be a net loss.

Fad Factor: Low to high. It depends on how much storage space you end up with. The level of functionality you may lose is an excellent deciding factor for most rooms (and especially when it comes to the kitchen).

2. Sinks Made of Bright Metallics

The craze for metallics is one fad that’s bucking the current trend of minimalism, which means that this year you’ll see more sinks made of copper and bronze.

Some designers are confidently advising a matte finish, but you don’t have to look far to find someone else telling homeowners to boldly go towards the look of shiny gold.

Native Trails Farmhouse Sink, courtesy of

If you like features that make a statement but want to play things safe for future resale, an eye-catching style in a matte metallic may be a good option.

Fad Factor: Low to moderate. As long as a sink style is not too "out there" and the sink itself is a practical design, it's likely to stay reasonably desirable.

3. Terrazzo for Floors, Backsplashes, and Countertops

Terrazzo is a composite material made from chippings of marble, quartz, granite, or glass set into cement. It was popular in the U.S. from the early 1900’s through the 1950’s.

And now… it’s back. :) Here's an example of what it can look like, although it comes in a huge variety of other styles and colors:

Terrazzo's versatility makes it a good candidate for inventive backsplash designs, which are in high demand right now. It can be poured in place or purchased as ready-to-use tiles.

Fad Factor: Moderate. With such a wide range of styles available, how durable the Terrazzo trend may be for your home depends a lot on how unusual a pattern you choose.

4. Matte Black and Hunter Green In Kitchens and Baths

Last year gray seemed to be everyone’s favorite color, but in 2019 expect to see black and hunter green used more frequently in kitchens and bathrooms.

(This might not be the hunter green that immediately springs to mind. The color showing up in many design blogs is a dusky mix of gray and dark sage, as you can see in Benjamin Moore's 2019 Color Trends palette below.)

Fad Factor: Moderate. A black or dark gray color scheme may be a safer option than green.

5. Bold Floral Pattern Wallpaper

Yes, bold and colorful wallpaper is making a comeback... and floral patterns are trending. (But wait, keep reading! :) If you look at current design blogs you'll see a wide range of other fresh styles to choose from.

As long as the thought of wallpaper doesn’t make you want to dive into the nearest sensory deprivation chamber, you might enjoy browsing through the LED wallpaper collection from Meystyle, or Piet Boon’s amazing concrete-inspired designs.

LED wallpaper by Meystyle.
Image courtesy of

Fad Factor: Moderate to high, depending on the style. Bold floral designs make a statement that's hard to ignore and can make rooms feel smaller. Patterns that create an understated, contemporary look will have more staying power.

On Their Way Out?

To everything there is a season.... These are the styles some design experts say are losing popularity:

- The all-white kitchen.

- Classic subway tiles.

- Ornate features, such as heavily styled cabinets.

- Gray as a base color scheme.

Still Going Strong

- Deep drawer kitchen cabinets. (Expect these to be around forever.)

- Concrete countertops.

- Boldly colored kitchen appliances.

- Pendant light fixtures. 

The Bottom Line...

On any day you can usually find one expert saying a trend is "in" while another says it's going out of fashion. Styles that are both attractive and highly functional are the ones most likely to stand the test of time.

Monday, July 10, 2017

My good friend Sheila's article about "Upsizing" for Zillow's Porchlight on-line magazine.  Not only is she a great writer... but she interviewed me for this one.  LOL!  Thanks Sheila!

Your New, Bigger Space: 5 Ways to Win at Upsizing Your Home

By Sheila Cain on 30 Jun 2017
What to do with all that new space? Experts weigh in on filling it affordably and thoughtfully.
As a new generation graduates from renting to homeownership, they face plenty of uncertainties: How much homeowners insurance is enough? Is a home warranty necessary? How do you fill a 4-bedroom home with the stuff that used to be in a 1-bedroom apartment?
Transitioning from an apartment to a larger home is always tricky, but making that move — known as “upsizing” — is extra complicated for today’s young home buyers because they’re really going big.
“When Millennials do become homeowners, they leapfrog the traditional ‘starter home’ and jump into the higher end of the market by choosing larger properties with higher prices, similar to homes bought by older buyers,” states the Zillow Group Report on Consumer Housing Trends. “They pay a median price of $217,000 for a home—more than Baby Boomers, and just 11 percent less than Generation X. The Millennial median home size is 1,800 square feet, similar in size to what older generations buy.”
Many millennial home buyers move from small apartments into 1,800 square feet or more. Photo from Zillow listing.
When you upsize from an apartment into a spacious new home, opportunities abound — plenty of closet space, a yard for the dog, and extra rooms for that home office, spare bedroom, or home gym you’ve always dreamed of.
But once the moving van’s gone and the boxes are unpacked, new homeowners often face the harsh reality of upsizing: The furniture, wall hangings, and knickknacks that fit so perfectly in your small apartment occupy only a fraction of your larger home’s space. And that spare bedroom would be perfect — if only you had a spare bed.
Many new homeowners’ first instinct is to hit the discount stores and buy affordable pieces to fill the space. While budget-friendly furniture has its place, it shouldn’t make up the bulk of your new acquisitions.
There are plenty of ways to use what you already have — and optimize your spending for the things you don’t — to make your new house a cozy home.

Don’t buy things just to fill space

It’s tempting to stockpile new furniture and decorations, but it’s an effort that can easily backfire, according to Jennifer Dwyer, professional organizer and owner of Seattle-based A Logical Mess. Inevitably, the measurements are wrong, or the piece doesn’t match your existing style or decor.
“People naturally want to fill the space, but you really have to consider how you’re going to use it,” advises Dwyer. “Wait until you move in, place the furniture you have already, and assess at that point.”
Start by placing the pieces you have, then decide what to add. Photo from Zillow listing.
It’s OK to sparsely furnish the new place while you get a feel for your new home and the style you’re after. “You can tell when people just go to, say, Pottery Barn and buy what’s on the showroom floor,” says Jason Mathews, owner of Seattle interior design and home staging firm, Jason Mathews LLC.

Prioritize with a special piece

To furnish a large living room or family room, Dwyer recommends investing in a sectional couch. Like a dining room table that expands to seat more people, a sectional sofa pulls apart and goes back together depending on design preferences. And such sofas often have expansion pieces you can buy later to further fill space, adds Dwyer.
Sectional sofa components can be separated and expanded to change the room. Photo from Zillow listing.
Mathews agrees that a sofa is a good investment piece. “It’s something you’re going to use every day,” he says. Furthermore, sectionals pull apart to create more than one focal point in a room — think an L-shaped seating area and coffee table in one part of the living room, and a smaller couch and lamp in another for a cozy reading nook.
Not everything needs to be a statement piece, both Dwyer and Mathews emphasize. Once your sofa is in place, find inexpensive side chairs or perhaps an antique table to repurpose as a coffee table.

Place furniture thoughtfully

Furniture arrangement can make a big space seem smaller. Area rugs are ideal for anchoring furniture groups and making a space feel more homey.
A patterned area rug defines a space within a larger room. Photo courtesy of S+H Construction.
“The great thing about rugs is that they don’t have to be expensive — even a large rug,” Mathews says. He advises centering the rug, then placing furniture on and around it. “Even if the rest of the room is empty, you’re starting out with a cozy spot.”
Homeowners often make the mistake of pushing furniture right up against the walls. But pulling the furniture toward the center of the wall helps minimize an expansive room.
In an expansive room, arranging furniture away from the walls creates natural living areas. Photo from Zillow listing.
“Even just six inches off the wall,” advises Mathews. “It gives the room a chance to breathe a bit.”

Decorate your space

Once you’ve furnished your new home, it’s time to decorate. Items like a standing coat rack in an entryway or decorative vases in a stairwell are classic pieces that also fill space — and they don’t have to be expensive.
“I’m a big fan of T.J. Maxx and Ross,” says Dwyer. “You can play around with ideas, and if they don’t work out, you’re not out a ton of money.”
A few well-chosen decorations give a room a personal touch. Photo from Zillow listing.

Give extra rooms purpose

Empty rooms hold such promise: Will you have a home office? An extra bedroom for visiting families? A place for a treadmill, weight set, and stationary bike?
It’s OK to take some time to think it over — just shut the door if the emptiness bothers you. But whatever you do, don’t use that extra space as a storage room, warns Dwyer, or it will never become anything else.
“Find a home for everything, and don’t leave those boxes lying around,” she says. “If you don’t know where to put it, you probably don’t need it in your new home.”
Top photo from Zillow listing

About the author

Sheila Cain

Sheila Cain is a freelance editor and writer whose focus is on the architecture, construction and real estate industries. She loves cooking and baking, and enjoys experimenting with new flavors of chocolate truffles. She lives in Seattle’s Phinney Ridge neighborhood with her husband, teenage son, and various animals. You can check out her work at

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Logical Mess Website

Jennifer Dwyer

Room Organization & Design
Space Planning
Feng Shui
Interior Design
Storage & Organization
Kitchen Remodel and Design
Closet Organization
Clutter Control
Real Estate Staging
Packing & Relocation Services
Event & Party Planning
Personal Assistant
Personal Shopper
Personal Projects (photo albums, gift shopping for birthdays or holidays, mass mailings, etc)

What is a Professional Organizer?
A professional organizer enhances the lives of clients by designing systems and processes using organizing principles and through transferring organizing skills.  A professional organizer also educates the public on organizing solutions and the resulting benefits.

A Logical Mess
Jennifer Dwyer, Professional Organizer
Seattle, WA
(206) 351-4194

Friday, January 17, 2014

2014 NFC Championship Game: Seahawks vs 49ers

Sunday is the day!  The 2014 NFC Championship game between the Seattle Seahawks (yah!) and the San Francisco 49ers.  In case you didn't know, game time is Sunday January 19th, 3:30 PM PST.

Here in Seattle, we are very proud!  Every one is a Twelfth Man Fan!  We all love Russell Wilson (QB) and Richard Sherman and Marshawn Lynch, just to name a few....

But here is another player that is getting a lot of recognition this week.  Partly because he made an amazing fumble recovery to score a touchdown in (which game) but also because he the only deaf NFL player.  Derrick Coleman (#40 running back) has been deaf since age 3. 

Ht: 6' 0"  Wt: 233  Age: 23
Born: 10/18/1990, West Los Angeles, California
College: UCLA
NFL Experience: 2nd season
Salary: $405,000

Duracell Battery asked him to do a commercial.  It's moving and inspiring... made me a little teary.

Then he did an interview with Seattle's own Evening Magazine.

And now there have been several followup interviews from local news reporters, the Seahawks coaches and Derrick Coleman himself.

More info about Saturday's game:

The National Anthem will be sung by Seattle's Ann Wilson (Heart)
Macklemore and Ryan Lewis will perform during the Halftime Show

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Wedding Planning - it's all about the numbers!

This blog entry goes out to my friend @NoreenTiongson in NYC who just recently got engaged!  Congrats Noreen!  I found some interesting websites for you to check out - when you get some time.  Here are some helpful checklists, tips and do's/don't to help you get through it all!  Planning a wedding is all about the numbers!  So I tried to find lists that go in numerical order (it's harder than you might think!) but also tried to find relevant articles too!  I hope you like?!  ;-)

3 Planning Tools from Brides Magazine (you might have to log on and be a member to use these… but may be worth it?)

4 Steps to Try On Wedding Dresses — online!

5 Essential Finance Tips for Newlyweds

6 Hidden Honeymoon Getaways

7 clever kitchen gadgets

8 Tips For Taming Your Guest List

9 Tips For Acing Your Wedding Hair Trial

10 items couples forget to register for

11 Things to Avoid the Week Before Your Wedding

12 Steps How To Create A Wedding Checklist

13 Examples of Wedding “Style”

14 Fascinating Engagement Facts

14 Ways to Cut Your Wedding Budget in Half

15 Wedding-Day Beauty Emergencies and How to Solve Them

15 Favorite Wedding Invitations of 2012

15 Wedding Flower Mistakes to Avoid

17 Things You Didn't Know About Your Wedding Dress

18 Brides Editors Favorite Things

21 Wedding Hairstyles that Work Well with Veils

24 of America's Most Beautiful Cakes

25  Food Trends for 2013

30 Best Wedding Bouquets of 2012

41 Unexpected Flower Ideas

47 Wedding Shoes We Can't Live Without

50 Wedding Photos You Can't Do Without!

100 Top Wedding Reception Songs


Thursday, August 16, 2012

Nerium - the fountain of youth!

I am writing this blog post so I can share something important with all my sexy, stylish friends!  As you know, things start to change after 40. The wrinkles start showing, age spots appear out of nowhere and we start noticing the drooping of eyelids and jowls. I realize that I have been blessed with pretty good skin (at least on my face) since you all have been nice enough to point it out to me over the last couple years. Thank you by the way! But even I cannot deny the forehead wrinkles and lines around my eyes. I also have freckles that are getting larger and turning into the dreaded “age spots”! I have already had one scare with melanoma on my face (lip) and to top it off, since I have suffered from eczema for decades, and I now have the hands of an old woman!

Recently I have been hearing more and more of my girlfriends talking about laser peels, Botox and other potential surgeries that are being considered to battle this aging process. I hear all this and I begin to wonder if I too need to start saving for these procedures? Most of you know how frugal I can be about skin care… I don’t spend a lot of money on cosmetics, skin care or anti-aging. I am pretty much a gal who still uses Cover Girl, washes my face with water, and the only real skin care product I use daily is my Mary Kay moisturizer! (Even my Mary Kay rep can’t make any money off me because I only use the lotion, nothing else, LOL!) Never then less, I can’t help but pay attention to the daily Groupons that come my way for hydra facials, laser peels, Botox and cosmetic surgery – and I see the prices and gasp! So expensive – even with a Groupon!

About a month after my first “free” hydra facial (where I was consulted that I’d need many more visits to get my face/skin into shape) I got an email from my dear friend Debbie (who most of you have met) asking if I had heard about a new skincare product called Nerium. I got the email at work and was pretty busy so I didn’t pay much attention to it. However, it came from a close friend who typically does not spam out beauty care secrets. So it made me take notice of the email, but still my usual response was “no, I don’t need that…” Soon after, that same friend sent her own before and after pictures having used the product for just 2 weeks. I couldn’t believe how amazing she looked. Now this friend is in her early 50’s so a little older than me, and she had the typical amount of wrinkles that anyone that age has. The 2-week results pictures showed much shallower wrinkles for sure and a definite tightened up chin line. But what I really noticed was how her skin tone had evened out so much. The last couple times I had seen her I had noticed the red rosacea patches growing on her cheeks, and the freckles on her chest were getting larger. So these pictures showed a complete transformation there! Glowing, pink skin on her cheeks, and even skin on her chest. So I called her and said “what the hell are you using and could it help me with my growing freckles and eczema?!”

Debbie told me about this night cream that she was using called Nerium. She sent me emails and more before/after photos of all her friends who were now using it. I have met most of these women before so I couldn’t believe the differences. It’s like they all went to some fountain of youth! Now I am pretty skeptical by nature and Debbie knows this. She simply said, give it a try and see what you think. There is nothing to lose.

The product is a 100% natural, organically grown botanical extract that was originally used to heal skin cancer. Doctors found that not only was the skin cancer healing incredibly quickly, but the skin around it was healing too. They did more studies and found that this plant extract was healing and rejuvenating the skin cells from the inside out and that it was eliminating fine lines, deep lines, wrinkles, sagging skin, acne, rosacea, psoriasis’, and a host of other skin issues. They decided to patent the product and eight months ago started a company using just this one product. It is taking the skin care and anti-aging market by storm because NO OTHER product can come close to doing what this one does. Though the timeframe is a little different for everyone, EVERYONE gets results and most people get them fast! Debbie didn’t think she was seeing results after the first week, but then went back and looked at her “before” photos and started crying! The change was definitely noticeable! So I bought some and have been using it for a week now myself.

The best part about this lotion is that it is so easy to use! The routine is simple. All you do is wash your face at night and while your skin is still damp you rub it on. The next morning you wash your face and use your regular products and then go on with your day. That’s it! It’s just one product and it’s that easy. So you can still use the cleansers, day moisturizers and potions that you already own and use regularly.

Debbie had a party last weekend with all her girlfriends and she invited me to come so I could see her friends that were using the product and hear their stories. It was truly amazing to see all their before/after photos and hear how the product has literally saved them thousands of dollars in fillers, face lifts, and other crazy anti-aging potions. Every single one of them was glowing and beaming with confidence and beauty.  With all the results from Debbie and her friends, I decided to become a distributor (known as a “Brand Partner”). I’ve spent hours on the website and talking to other brand partners and I’m just astounded by the integrity and the commitment this company has. Their vision is not only to help people look and feel better, but to succeed in business and in their lives. The company was only started 9 months ago and it has already been named by Forbes as the fastest growing company in the US. The prediction is that it will become a billion dollar company in the next year, and they haven’t even officially launched the product yet!! It’s just one product and the stuff is THAT good. After trying the product and doing my homework on the company I knew that I didn’t want to be sitting around with a bunch of friends a few months from now with them all talking about their success with Nerium and wishing that I had taken advantage of this opportunity, so I decided to become a distributor!!

Here is my personal Nerium web site that has a great video on it about the product.

I’m telling you, this stuff is amazing! Most of you know that I would never share something with my friends and family that I didn’t believe 100% in, so trust me when I tell you that this product will blow you away. I’m not trying to rope you into anything…I just can’t wait to share this with every single person I know because the results are so incredible and I believe in this company so strongly that I just have to let you in on it! Not that any of you need anti-aging… but I know you all want to be as stylish and fabulous as possible. This product eliminates the need for fillers and botox and other expensive skin things that cost a fortune. They have a 100% money back guarantee and if you don’t get results…no questions asked. So far no one has returned their product because they are all getting phenomenal results and the company reports a less than one tenth of one percent return rate!

If you decide that you would like to purchase the product, you can do so right on my Nerium web site. Just go to where it says “purchase” and you can sign up to be a customer. You can save $30 a month by signing up for the “preferred customer”. If you want to know more before you order it, call me (206) 351-4194, or email me and I will try to answer all of your questions. If you decide after using it that you want to get into the business like I did, I can help you with that too. Also, if you begin using it and you have three friends that want to use it (and believe me, you will once you start using it) you can get your product free!

If you are interested in more info, please feel free to email me at  Thanks!