container store chic: the brocade desktop file


I have a feeling that having the brocade desktop file from the Container Store would change my life. I could finally put away all my files, organize my home office and stop my husband from nagging about my piles of clutter that I leave everywhere. A little peace of mind for $20 – not bad! If you’re feeling extra ambitious, a matching garbage can, pencil holder , and letter tray can be ordered separately. — Katie D.

From our partners

crazy for custom calling cards from rifle paper co.

custom 3

I’ve been in the market for calling cards for some time now (what can I say? I’m picky about paper products!) and while I’m usually a typography and white space kinda gal, I’m loving these custom illustrated calling cards from Rifle Paper Co. For a fee, illustrator Anna Bond will draw your portrait for your notes or calling cards, and can also hand-letter your text if you so choose, giving you a personalized set of stationery that is truly one-of-a-kind. Simply choose your portrait count (singles are $100), quantity and lettering style and color and in two to three weeks, everyone will be able to put your face to your name. Though pricier than some other options, these might make a fun gift for some of the organized friends in my life. – Sarah C.

From our partners

post off: how are your finances?


Okay, you can feel free to go anonymous for this one — keeping in mind that your comment might not be approved until later in the day. The past few years have seen major upheaval in my personal finances just like the rest of the US. We moved to a city where our cost of living tripled, we bought a house at a price (which was cheap for the area) that a year earlier I would have considered insanely high, and after a year first I was laid off, and then my husband! I’m delighted to tell you that I am once again fully employed (at a job I love), my husband is doing well with his own work, and we weathered our jobless year just fine. But now that we’re beyond the panic of “Can we pay the mortgage this month?” I’m thinking more about our 401(K)s, the level of our savings, and our long-term financial situation. What about you, if you are interested in sharing? Were you affected by the fallout of the housing market? If so, how? Was your job a casualty of the economy? Have you bounced back? Are you still struggling? How are you planning for your financial future? — Mary T.

Photos of “moneygami” by Hasegawa Yousuke originally appeared on Whorange.

From our partners

to-do: find a cool to-do list


Some of us can’t wait to get the to-do list app for our iPhones, others of us just want a pleasant pad to keep track of day-to-day obligations. I’m one of the latter — I’m tired of scribbling lists in random notebooks, and I figure (in theory, anyway) a fun-looking pad might take some of the drudgery out of my daily tasks. I found a surprising number of cool to-do lists just doing a quick seplace on Etsy. My front-runner is this Octopus to-do list notepad by boygirlparty, $8. (All of the notepads listed here have 50 pages.) Mainly, I love the illustration, but I’m also amused that there’s a “not yet” circle that you can check off — I guess to make you feel like you’ve accomplished something.


The For the Birds to-do list by Notebooks, etc. is cute, colorful, and affordable at just $5.


The elephant illustration on this Things to Remember pad by This Is It! Creations, $7.50, is simple and sweet, though I probably need lined paper to help keep my thoughts straight.


Offering lined paper and a message that made me laugh is Finch and Hawk’s “The Freakin Never Ending To Do List” notepad, $5.50.


The vintage pistol notepad from Two Poodle Press is only $2.50 and has a whole lot of attitude and style — that might be a nice addition to my desk.


The long list notebook, $8 from REDSTAR ink, is nice way to cover up the list and forget about it for awhile.



Finally, I was delighted to find this notebook from My Book of Lists, $10. Behind the pretty cover is a way to organize a lot of the fun things in life such as movies you keep meaning to see or music you want to buy, as well as the practical like online passwords. That’s a nice reminder! — Mary T.

From our partners

post off: what role does technology play in your life?

smart phone

I’m getting a smart phone. There, I said it. To be clear, I have nothing against them; they’re proven lifesavers when you need to consult a map or simulate a light saber duel. My issue is with me. I’m not averse to technology, I’m slightly obsessed with it. Recently, I’ve been making an effort to “unplug” after work instead of constantly doing eighty miles per hour on the information superhighway, and I’ve resisted the allure of a smart phone knowing it certainly won’t help with that. But it also makes sense to upgrade, and I’m embracing my high-tech life knowing that I can still “power down” to relax, and that having a smart phone might actually (gasp!) make things easier. I’m counting the days until I can download Real Simple’s To-Do List app, but what about you? Do gadgets play a big role in your everyday, or would you rather go without, or with less? — Sarah C.

Photo by Flickr member Panduka Senaka

From our partners