How To Style Your Nightstand 3 Different Ways

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Today I’m here to talk about one night stand – and not the kind I usually write about on this blog. I’m talking about nightstands of the furniture variety, not the “I overindulged at  99 cent margarita Monday and now I can’t feel my face” variety. While working my way through Mission: Make Bedroom Sexy, I’ve learned that when it comes to making your space feel like your own, furniture is important. Up until a few months ago, I was using a repurposed stool (that I’m pretty sure my parents bought at Ikea in 1981) as a nightstand/bedside table. While functional in the most basic sense, my stool didn’t exactly ooze sex appeal or offer any additional storage.

Now enter Overstock.com. This website has been instrumental to my bedroom makeover (remember those cute chevron pillows?) When the nice people at O.co offered to help me upgrade my nightstand game, I leapt at the chance.

For my nightstand I wanted something that would go with my existing furniture and offered both a drawer and a shelf underneath where I could display some of my favourite coffee table books. If it had a bit of a retro look – even better. I was really impressed by how many really great nightstands and end tables that I found on O.co. There’s literally something for everyone. However, I decided on the Daniella 1-drawer Wood Storage Accent End Table (below.) It had all the features I was looking for & had received really good reviews.

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The Daniella table came disassembled. I’m always weary of putting together furniture, however I was pleasantly surprised by how easy and straightforward the assembly was for this piece. From opening up the box to positioning the product in my bedroom, the whole process took about 20 minutes, tops.

Overall, I’m extremely pleased with the Daniella table. The quality is great. The piece is made from sturdy wood veneer and finished nicely. It’s also incredibly versatile – you can use it as a nightstand or an end table. I also love that it has a drawer to stash everything from your lipbalm and Kindle to your sexy time goodies.

To show off it’s versatility, I decided to take photos of “Daniella” styled three different ways. Not sure what to do with that awkward space next to your bed? Here are a few fun options –

1. BRIGHT & QUIRKY

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Although I was attracted to the Daniella table in yellow, I am so glad that I went with white. The smooth white finish looks amazing with bright accents. When you’re living and working in a  small space, it’s so important to surround yourself with objects you truly love, so for this look I chose to style it with some of my favourite books, pottery pieces, my beloved 2Pac print and cactus – a gift from The Secret Agent. The pottery animals are all from Jonathan Adler – including the zebra tray that I picked up on a recent trip to Seattle. The Jonathan Adler store = my happy place.

(PS. I just finished Aziz Ansari’s Modern Romance & it’s definitely worth checking out. I snort laughed throughout.)

2. ELEGANT & SEXY

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For the second look, I wanted to do something sexy and glamorous. Cheetah print? Check. Glam gold accents? Check. Erotic literature like The Story of O? Check. Handcuffs? Feather tickler? Sexy coffee table books? Check. Check. Check. Check. The lovely print is by Jen Ramos of Made by Girl. The vintage gold plate and hand are thrifted. The sexy products on the bottom of the shelf are by two of my favourite companies, Kama Sutra & Sliquid. Meow!

3. KIDS ROOM

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When I was putting together this post I realized that this nightstand could totally work in a kids room (in the case of this photo, a very hipster-y kid who reads Dave Eggers…) I paired a few of my beloved sock monkeys with some of my favourite pottery and voila! A cute & chic kids look (however, I’m not sure how well pottery would pair with tiny, curious hands..)

So, which one of these setups is actually in my bedroom? If you guessed the first one, you’d be right! Although I love how the ‘sexy & elegant’ look turned out ( I imagine this is what people think my bedroom looks like – you know, handcuffs lying around like no big deal), I prefer my nightstand to be bright & bookish with 2Pac looking over me while I sleep.

Which look do you like best?

This lovely nightstand was provided to me free of charge by O.com in exchange for my honest review of the product. All opinions are my own because that’s how I roll.

True Story: I Can’t Have Sex In My Own Bedroom

Given that I’ve been living with my Mom ever since I moved back to the West Coast, it shouldn’t come as a huge surprise that there isn’t a whole lot of sex happening in my bedroom these days (at least not with a partner.) Although I’ll forever be grateful for the opportunity to live with family while I grow a successful freelance writing business (I couldn’t have done it otherwise), it hasn’t exactly been great for my sex life. Not only do I live under my Mother’s roof, her bedroom is right next to mine. It’s not exactly a set-up conducive to sexy times.

However, I’d be lying if I said nothing ever happened in my bed. My Mom travels a lot, so there are times when I have the house to myself. And sometimes I date people. At 33 it often feels like my hormones are raging and I want to have sex with everyone & no one all at the same time. So, when the opportunity for sex arises sometimes you just have to roll with it and make do with what you have.

This is exactly what happened the first time Fitness Guy and I hooked up last year. After a fantastic date, I invited him inside and things progressed from there. However, once we were making out on my bed, I realized I was completely distracted by my familiar surroundings. While I should have been focusing all of my energy on squeezing my pelvic floor muscles or how amazing his ass felt cupped in my hands, there was this inner voice that kept saying things like, “What if he looks away from my boobs and notices that I have an extensive wooden monkey collection? Oh god, did I forget to hide my Muppet memorabilia before he came over?! Oh no wait, that isn’t Gonzo’s nose, that’s just an errant purple Dildo I reviewed last week.”

It was Fitness guy himself who pulled me back into the moment.

Hey, there you are.” he said, as he tenderly held my face in his hands.

It was only when he forced me to make eye contact that I realized how distracted I had been. Our tryst was steamy and passionate, yet part of me couldn’t fully relax. It was silly, because at the end of the day I don’t really think Fitness Guy cared about what was on my walls or any of my strange collections of objects d’art. In fact, when we were finished he wandered around my room, thoughtfully looking at the artwork on the walls and eye-ing my book collection with admiration. If there was something about my decor that he found off putting, he didn’t let on.

With that said, I vowed that the next time I had a guy over I would make sure that my space was cleansed of anything that I might find embarrassing. Now, flash-forward to close to a year later, when I found myself in a similar situation with a new guy I was dating. When it was decided that we would move our make-out from the front seat of his station wagon into my bedroom, I asked him to give me a 4 minute lead so I could run inside and tidy up a bit.

Mainly I was concerned about Joe and Hammer (who at the time had been going through a particularly interesting week costume wise). So, I spent the next 3.5 minutes shoving everything (and everyone) into the closet as quickly as possible.

However, the same thing happened again.

Things were fine, until they weren’t. When my date noticed mid-makeout session that I seemed kind of distracted and asked, “What are you looking at?” I couldn’t tell him that it was this….

Sigh. Joe the Intern: always there when you need him and even when you don’t.

Whether it’s just casual or I’m in a relationship, I like my sex full of intimate eye-contact, playfulness and connection. However, for some reason I can’t quite get there when I’m in my own space. Instead, I find myself really holding back. The irony is that anyone who attempts to have sex with me in my own bedroom likely leaves with the impression that I’m a bit uptight and possibly have some detachment issues- which couldn’t be further from the truth.

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Man Repelling Looks for the Modern Spinster

I feel like the Universe is trying to make it painfully obvious that I’m in some kind of rut. We’re approaching the 6 month mark on my online dating hiatus  and I’m starting to get the itch to put myself out there again. From bizarre bar-room pick-ups to getting hit on by the over 60 set, in September I was definitely putting out a vibe that was attracting (albeit unsuitable) members of the opposite sex. However, something has shifted and whatever energy I’m sending out is decidedly different this month.

Last week an elderly woman stopped me in the middle of the sidewalk to discuss the rising price of cat food. To add insult to injury, Amazon has emailed me three times in the past month suggesting I purchase this – a glaring reminder that the only “men” I’ve spent time with lately are 12 inches tall and made of plastic (either that, or Joe the Intern has been shopping on Amazon for new “friends” when I’m not around.) Either way, things are getting weird around here – more so than usual.

It seemed only appropriate that this week another copy of The Added Touch (aka “Spinsters ‘R’ Us“)  arrived on my doorstep. If you’re new here, I received this same catalog last year. Inside I found a wide selection of libido killing nightwear, cat trinkets and the world’s saddest coffee mug – all of which were documented on the blog.

Well, The Added Touch is back with more Amish-like “party dresses”, body camouflaging sleepwear and other ingenious items that are guaranteed to repel potential suitors. Here are a few of my favourites –

Are all those shapeless muumuus you bought from last year’s catalogue feeling a bit breezy? What you need is something equally as figure obscuring, but in a two-piece pant suit. Love your Snuggie and have a Smurf fetish? Why not try this blue fuzzy lounge set? Just don’t be surprised if you get this stuck in head when you’re writing this post wearing it.  If velour isn’t your thing, there’s also these fantastic two-tone track suits – perfect for a light jog or joining the Heaven’s Gate Cult. Last but not least, if you’re looking some something a little dressier, why not grab a pair of these elasticized waist, sexuality neutralizing, corduroy pants. Apparently you can wear them with your favourite pair of cowboy boots. I mean, why wouldn’t you?

Any of these outfits would look great paired with this red “Hoodie Dickie.” Inspired by Eminem circa the movie 8 Mile and Little Red Riding Hood, this convenient hood gives you all the warmth and comfort of an actual hoodie but without the bulk. Sorry ladies, the Psalms of David book is sold separately.

Speed up the insanity process with a mug that makes you think you’re living with a bunch of cats, even when you’re not. Meow?

There will be no horsing around in your bedroom with this nightlight….

I’m single and have bad feet but luckily, there are lots of fun socks available to cheer me up. The catalog says “Ahhh…socks”, Simone says “Ahhh…celibacy!”

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My Week of Eating Like a Celebrity

This post was sponsored by The Fresh Diet. I was given a week of food in exchange for an honest assessment of their services. All opinions and confessions about my weird eating habits are my own. 

One of the things that made my recent two week trip to Toronto awesome was that The Fresh Diet provided me with a week of free gourmet food delivery while I was in the city. I always find that my diet suffers the most when I am busy. My time in Toronto was jam packed with social engagements, meetings and packing up all of my worldly possessions. Not having to worry about food for a week while I was worrying about all kinds of other stuff (ie. “Omg, what if this bed-frame doesn’t fit in my tiny storage locker?!!” & “What the hell am I going to with all these shoes?!”) seriously felt like the ultimate luxury!  There’s nothing like having all of your meals delivered to make you feel like a total celebrity.

The food came. I ate it. Now I’m ready to report back on my week with The Fresh Diet.

What I liked: 

1. Service and convenience:  All of the Fresh Diet staff I interacted with were super friendly and professional. Their service was prompt and all of my food was delivered outside my apartment door by 10pm the night before in one of these snazzy blue cooler bags:

{Each bag includes breakfast, lunch, an appetizer, a dessert and a menu for the day.}

2. IT’S DELICIOUS. Everything tasted amazing. With the exception of one or two items (a lamb and a beef dish – I’m not a huge red meat fan) I loved everything. The food was made with fresh, healthy ingredients and tasted like it had been prepared at a high quality restaurant (it was actually prepared at a state of the art kitchen not far from my house – almost the same thing!)

3. Variety:  Although most of the meals took the same format – Omelette or Fruit Salad with Yogurt for Breakfast, Salad for lunch & meat or fish with veggies for dinner – there was a lot of variety in regards to flavors, proteins, fruits and vegetables.

4. Gluten Free: As per my request, they made all of my meals gluten free which was totally awesome! Not having to worry about whether something contained gluten meant that I could just sit back & enjoy my meals.

5. Lots of fresh fruit and veggies:  The Fresh Diet is heavy on the fruits and veggies which I love. I especially enjoyed the variety of vegetables offered (everything from kale to butternut squash) and the plentiful fresh fruit salads.

Some of my other favorite meals:

• Asparagus Tarragon Souffle Omelet with Gruyere Cheese and Roasted Cherry Tomato (Breakfast)
• Lemon Pepper Grilled Shrimp Salad with Yellow Tomato, Cucumber, Alfalfa Sprouts & Citrus Dressing (Lunch)
• Grilled Portabella Topped with Yellow Tomato, Basil, Fresh Mozarella and Balsamic Vinaigrette (Hors D’Oeuvre)
• Fillet of Sole with Lemon Caper Sauce with Butternut Squash Puree & Steamed Cauliflower (Dinner)
• Chocolate Dipped Strawberries with Creamy Vanilla Ricotta Cheese (Dessert)
• Maple Baked Pear filled with Mascarpone Cheese (Dessert)

{Day One:  Fresh Fruit Salad with Yogurt, Grilled Portabella and Mozzarella Hors D’ Oeuvre, Cod Loin with Tarragon Dijon Sauce  with White Bean Puree and Sauteed Kale, Grilled Chicken Breast with Baby Arrugula, Orange, Mango Strawberries and Citrus Ginger Dressing}

What I didn’t like:

SMALL PORTIONS.

Those of you who know me and have been present for “All you can eat Sushi Carnage 2008”, “Late Night Chinatown Incident 2011” or my recent trip to Chipotle where I ate 3 tacos, a full serving of chips & guacamole plus 1/2 of my roommate’s burrito, know that I have a disturbingly large appetite for someone my size. I’m also extremely active. When I’m in Toronto, I walk a minimum of 2 km a day (to and from the subway), walk all over the city and work out several times of week. Overall, I didn’t feel like the meals were substantial enough for me.

When my roommate saw the food for Day #1 sitting out on the counter, she said to me:

“This looks like what you would eat for ONE MEAL” (She’s right)

The portions of the entrees are similar to what you’d get in a Lean Cuisine package (but a bazillion times better tasting). All week I felt like I was eating extremely luxe airplane food prepared by a bunch of fancy Keebler Elves who had magically shrunk everything into tiny, adorable portions.

To satisfy my appetite, I topped up all of the fruit salads with extra Greek yogurt, my salads with heaps of extra greens, nuts and seeds and added extra veggies and quinoa to my dinners so that I would at least feel full. However, mid-week (as I got busier) things got a bit out of control. By the time the food arrived at 10 pm, I’d still be hungry from dinner so I’d usually eat the appetizer and the dessert intended for the next day (Bad Simone!). A couple of nights I just ate the lunch and dinner together OR two days worth of dinner. I also made a few late night trips to Chinatown for clandestine carb loading.

As far as taste, ingredients, freshness, quality and convenience, I think The Fresh Diet is amazing. It’s just not the right diet for me. 

However, with this said it might be perfect for other people, especially if you have a lighter appetite or are looking to lose weight by eating delicious food.

To end things on a positive note:  Although I wasn’t looking to lose weight, I did feel healthy by the end of the week. I ate tons of fruits & veggies and people have been telling me I have a nice “glow”. Even though it wasn’t the ideal diet for me, I’m still grateful for the experience.  In fact, I enjoyed a lot of the meals so much that I’ve been inspired to make my own versions of them at home, just with “Simone sized” portions.

If you’re interested in trying The Fresh Diet yourself, Skinny Dip readers will receive 3 days free with the purchase of a 31 day plan at $29.99 per day when you use the promo code singlmar29.

Have any of you tried food delivery before?

Count Social Engagements, not Calories.

This post was sponsored by The Fresh Diet. As always, all opinions and details about my slightly disturbing Mexican take-out addiction, are my own.

When it comes to “cooking for one” I  have a love/hate relationship.

The upside to eating single:

I can eat WHATEVER I want.

The downside:

I can eat WHATEVER I want.

Although I usually start off with good intentions (cooking healthy meals for one that involve grilled tilapia, quinoa and hearty spinach & kale salads) I inevitably burn out, get super busy and reach this slightly depraved point where 90% of my meals start to involve ketchup in some way.

It’s not that I don’t like cooking or healthy food, it’s a time issue for me. I’m a really messy cook. So, when I have an article due the next morning or an event to get to that night, I’ll often choose Mexican take-out versus the “Omg, it looks like a bunch of 8th graders just had a food fight in here” style clean-up that usually comes along with one of my culinary experiments. One of my ultimate fantasies is to one day have my very own personal chef. To be able to live single and not have to worry about any of this stuff would be the ultimate luxury for me.

Now enter The Fresh Diet. If you’re living single and the concept of “cooking for one” has also lead you to being on a first name basis with Javier the guy who works at your local tacqueria, The Fresh Diet is here to save the day. The Fresh Diet is a gourmet meal delivery service designed to manage your culinary needs so you can manage your social calendar. The Fresh Diet includes 3 calorie controlled meals and decadent snacks, which are cooked fresh in state of the art local kitchens and delivered to your door daily. The Fresh Diet is the easiest  way to get fresh, nutritionally balanced meals with no fuss or clean-up. In other words, it’s kind of like a dream come true.

While I’m in Toronto next week, I’m going to be super busy packing, moving things & visiting as many people as possible. The last thing I want to be worrying about is food. The amazing news is that the awesome people at Fresh Diet have offered to provide me with a free 7 day trial of their gourmet meal delivery service! Having my meals delivered to my door every day is going to be almost like having my own personal chef. The best part? They are adjusting my diet so it’s all gluten free. I’m going to eat the Fresh Diet and let you guys know what I think!

Here’s an example of the kind of sexy meals I’ll be eating:

Almond Honey Bar with Yogurt (Yum!)

 

Roasted Poblano Omelette with Pico de Gallo (This looks delicious. I think Javier would approve)

Blackened Ahi Tuna Filet (I heart blackened seafood anything)

All of these meals are things I would normally eat & none of them appear to involve ketchup! Yay!

Because the Fresh Diet is calorie controlled, it can help you lose up to 10lbs a month (they say the average weight loss is 1-3 lbs per week.) The Fresh Diet is great for people who are looking to slim down by eating healthy (when my friend Skye tried The Fresh Diet she lost a few pounds so, I know they aren’t kidding around here!) However, as someone who’s already very petite (& looking to hang on to the few curves she has) AND has a disturbingly large appetite for someone her size, I’m both curious and slightly apprehensive about how this diet will work out for me. Will the portions be satisfying? I guess we’ll just have to wait and see!

Check back the first week of April when I report on my Fresh Diet experience!

If you’re interested in trying the Fresh Diet yourself, Skinny Dip readers will receive 3 days free with the purchase of a 31 day plan at $29.99 per day when you use the promo code singlmar29

Have any of you ever tried a service like this before? What did you think?

 

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