IKEA's 2015 Catalog Picks (and the Giveaway Winner)

IKEA's 2015 Catalog is now online (you can view it {here}) and I got a chance to look through it and check out all of the new products they've come up with. Some years they have tons of new furniture and accessories I love, while other years...not so much. The 2015 catalog was a "not so much" year for me. I found a few fun things that would work in my home but most of 2015's new products fall on the ultramodern side of the IKEA fence.

My favorite new item (by far) is this PS2014 Corner Easy Chair with Cushions - this could be a really cool piece in the right space but the price tag was higher than I would have expected ($369):

This folding table and bench are a fun buy - definitely better looking than your typical folding table and it can be used both indoors and out:

I may be picking up this cute little GUNNERN Pedestal Table for my bathroom - I need something small but tall for a little spot next to the sink and this might just fit the bill. It also comes in gray and blue:

This STRANDKRYPA duvet cover set would be so darling in a little girl's room!

And you could pair it with this new BUSUNGE extendable bed frame (which also comes in blue) - my kids are way too old for this but I would have loved it ten years ago - so cute! 

I'm intrigued by this KNOPPARP loveseat only because it's so darn cheap ($99) - perfect for any of you with kiddos who are heading off to college in a few weeks.

And finally, this simple PS2014 Plant Stand is kinda fun, especially since it's listed as suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. The highest tier might work for a little cocktail table if the stand was placed next to a chair or sofa.
You'll have to let me know what you think about the 2015 catalog after you've had a chance to look through it. Are there any great finds that I missed?

And before I sign off, there's a little bit of blog business to take care of - it's time to announce the winner of the $75 Novica gift card giveaway - it is.....
Debbie W. (entry #661)
Congrats Debbie! I'll be shooting you an email with your electronic gift card!

Hope you all have a great day and that I see you back here on Friday to link up your July projects (and to check out everyone else's inspiring projects) on Best of the Nest!
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Ten Tips for Creating a Beautiful Bouquet That Lasts

After moving from a house where we had hardly any flowers in our yard to one that is teaming with hydrangeas, lilies, and all other sorts of beautiful blooms, I gave myself a crash course in flower arranging as I was creating bouquets from our yard to place in vases throughout the house. I figured out most of the basics on my own but also learned several new tips at a recent flower arranging class hosted by Christine Keane (who was fabulous!) at Juliska. These are the ten tips that have helped me the most for creating beautiful bouquets that last:

Cut off all leaves and foliage that will be submerged in the water - this prevents the build-up of bacteria that can occur from the underwater decaying of leaves.

Give your stems a fresh cut immediately before you put them in your vase - snip at a 45 degree angle with a sharp knife or garden shears while running the stems under water.

To prolong the life of hydrangeas, use a knife to shave the outer layer of the last 1-2 inches of stem, increasing the surface area from which the hydrangea gets water. 

Be sure you're starting with a vase that has been washed in hot soapy water and thoroughly rinsed to get rid of the bacteria that accumulated in the water of the previous arrangement. If your vase hasn't been well cleaned, bacteria will build up more quickly and your flowers won't last as long.

When creating a mixed bouquet, choose flowers with a variety of heights and textures. Start arranging your flowers with the largest blooms first, using the smaller flowers to fill in the gaps of your arrangement.

To keep the your arrangement tight in the vase, wrap a clear elastic hair band around the stems (I use {these} which are also great for hair), a few inches below the base of the blooms. 

For ceramic and other solid vases, floral foam is great for keeping your flowers in place. But since it can look ugly peaking out the top, add some moss (moss from your backyard works!) to cover it and add texture to your arrangement. 

To help prevent bacteria and prolong the life of your flowers, add a packet of flower food or a few drops of bleach to the vase water.

For bouquets of tulips that have started to droop, add a penny to the water and it will perk them back up (it really works!).

Every few days, remove the flowers and recut their stems along with changing the vase water. 

That wraps up my ten best tips - now it's your turn. What tried and true tips do you have to share?
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What My Dog and July Have in Common

My Boston terrier and July have something in common...
they're both kinda sneaky. Don't let the sweet face fool you, if there's food that can be grabbed on the sly or an off-limits piece of furniture that no one's around to see her jump on, this ball of fur turns into the queen of sneak. 

And July's no better because even though it seems like the 4th of July was just last week, somehow the last Friday of the month (today!) snuck up on us Best of the Nest chicks. 
So guess what Best of the Nest linkers? You've got another week to sneak in a July project because we're postponing our July Best of the Next link party until next Friday, August 1st. 
For any of you planning to link up today (and also those who stop by to browse through the inspiring links), we can't wait to see you back here then. 

So how did the end of July sneak up on me? I was busy eating my way through a trip to Cape Cod with lobster rolls, lobster rolls, and more lobster rolls,

followed by ice cream (mint chocolate chip is our family fave):

We took a long bike ride along the Cape Cod coast,

And hung out at the pier,

watching the seals swim and play around the fishing boats:

We went shopping in quaint Cape Cod towns (where we successfully found the store with the most plastic on the Cape. And spend a half hour in it debating which ducks were the cutest):
It was a trip where we didn't plan a thing ahead of time and just rolled with it each day. And we learned that with lobster rolls, ice cream, beaches, and...plastic ducks...even the most unplanned trip to Cape Cod is a great one.
See you next week,
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