How to Transform Your Bathroom in One Simple Step

Spring is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start thinking about refreshing your seasonal décor. One of the easiest rooms to revamp (surprisingly!) is your bathroom, as you can drastically change its look with one simple update: swapping out your shower curtain. Most people buy one curtain and keep it forever, but we’re firm believers in rotating between a few staple styles. Ready to give your bathroom a quick and easy refresh? Check out these trendy shower curtains for some decoration inspiration.

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Dainty Details

If you’re shooting for a look that’s both classic and elegant, opt for a neutral-colored shower curtain with three dimensional details. Ruffles add interest to this chic grey style, while faux diamond curtain rings give off an extra classy vibe. Or, if you’d rather bring a playful twist to the room, choose a curtain with small pompoms lining the top and bottom. You can complement both drapes using a rug with the same color scheme – but choose a contrasting pattern to keep the room interesting!

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Neutral stripes

To give your bathroom more of a nautical vibe, choose a shower curtain with thick stripes in neutrals or pastels. We love this clean, monochromatic style that alternates between white and grey; as well as this bright, crisp design that features a silvery, eggshell blue. Both look great in spaces with solid, neutral walls! To ensure you don’t distract from the room’s new focal point, stick with clear or white curtain rings that will blend in with the stripes.

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Bright Patterns

Finally, if you’re loving the warmer weather and feel totally ready for spring, brighten up your bathroom with a bold accent color. This is an especially great choice if your walls are painted neutral! Stick to one bright tone to highlight throughout the space, like dark pink-peach or light teal-blue. Don’t be afraid to play around with pattern too – owls are great for your kiddos’ assigned bathroom, while this geometric print is perfect for your own.

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Looking to add even more color to your home? Check out these decorating tips from Maya of Charmingly Styled!

Photo Credit: Tosha Cole Photography

The Perfect Décor for Every Valentine’s Day Party

As spring begins to peek around the corner, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear the season’s hottest trends. From fashion tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up for a new year of style.

This week, we’re welcoming Nina of The HSS Feed to share her favorite Valentine’s Day party items, from kids stickers and cupcakes to home décor and style.

Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to add a pop of color and warmth to your home in the middle of our typically snowy Midwestern winters.

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I love creating tablescapes with a holiday theme, and today I’m excited to share our bright breakfast room setup for a day with the kids, making cards and Valentine’s mailboxes for school events, play dates or just for fun!

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I wanted to stay pretty traditional when it came to colors, so the red, pink and white color story became the main theme of this table. This plaid tablecloth was a great place to start and becomes even more Valentine-y with the help of this subtle heart runner. The tablecloth itself is a really versatile piece that you can keep on hand for Mother’s Day breakfast (just add some daisies or peonies and it’s a whole new look!).

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While I like to make sure things at our house are kid-friendly, it’s easy to add a few, more sophisticated elements that would make it easy to turn a playful tablescape into a cozy dinner with friends or a fancy at-home Valentine’s date night.

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Tinsel hearts on the back of the chairs add just the perfect amount of sparkle! But this little “love” sign from the Meijer home décor department is one of my favorite things in this display. It’s modern and chic, but also playful and fun. Fresh flowers and a little bit of green always brighten up a table, plus they’re great to keep around your home and get you ready for spring.

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As far as kid-friendly activities, Meijer is stocked with lots of cute foam mailboxes and decorating accessories for the classroom or play dates. I remember taking a shoebox to school when I was a kid and these are a serious upgrade (and at an awesome price point!). We also found a lot of fun and easy Valentine’s in any princess, pirate or super hero theme you might be looking for!

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This holiday is made for chocolate lovers! Thankfully, there are lots of candy options in store that match my color scheme and add to the infinite amount of hearts on display, all while satisfying any sweet tooth. I’m also a firm believer in cupcakes for any occasion. Whether you’re making a trip to the Meijer bakery to order a dozen, picking up a mix, or making from scratch, they’ll add some playful deliciousness to your tabletop.

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When the crafts are complete, all you need to do is switch out the cupcake stands for some candles and quiet and a good bottle of wine, and you’re all set up and ready for a date night at home or even a Galentine’s get-together with your girlfriends.

Nina is the fashionista behind The HSS Feed, a fun lifestyle blog full of her thoughts on happiness, success and style. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Photo Credit: Tosha Cole Photography.

How to Add More Color to Your Home this Winter

As winter’s chill sets in, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear the season’s hottest trends. From style tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up for winter weather.

This week, we’re welcoming Maya of Charmingly Styled to show us how adding a few colorful additions to your home can brighten your winter décor and mood!

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It’s easy to feel like your world is grey in the winter – between the overcast skies and snowy days, the cold weather blues definitely can start to get you down. I’ve been doing my best to keep myself in good spirits lately, but I’ve definitely noticed that the low temps have been affecting my mood a little more than usual. So I decided to kick the blues to the curb this season by adding a little more color into my home décor. When you surround yourself with cheery colors, you can’t help but feel a little cheerier, too!

Like you, I’m always on a budget – so I love swinging by Meijer to check out their colorful selection of home goods and décor. It’s tough when you want to style an affordable home, but Meijer makes it easy to find beautiful pillows, trays, lamps, candles and more without breaking the bank. Last time I went to Meijer, I picked up a few goodies that made my living room even more bright and beautiful. Here are a few of my favorite tips and the products I used to make my home a little more lively during these gloomy winter months.

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Get Bold with Colorful Pillows

Don’t judge me too much, but I spend quite a bit of time on my couch in the winter (how can you not when you have Netflix and wine?!). To make my couch more comfortable and chic, I picked up these pretty chevron pillows to add a much needed pop of color. I love buying neutral, classic pieces when it comes to furniture, so the bright pillows do a great job of pulling the room together and making the space a little more cheery. Plus, who doesn’t love a classic chevron pattern? I’ll definitely be keeping these pillows on deck throughout the season to add a little more fun to my favorite room.

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Say Yes to Colorful Storage

I am a big proponent of multi-tasking décor, so when I spotted this cute storage basket from Meijer, I knew it had to come home with me! I always have blankets lying around during the cold winter months, so this colorful basket is the perfect addition to my living room to keep my blankets organized. I also picked up the faux fur throw, because you can never have too many blankets this time of year! I live in Chicago and spend most of winter huddled up in my living room with a big cup of tea, so the cozier the blankets I can find, the better!

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Mix in Some Gold Pieces with your Color

Obviously you don’t want your living room to turn into a circus, so it’s important to find balance with neutral and accent colors. I love decorating with gold accents, and I try to incorporate mixed metals whenever possible. This lamp from Meijer, along with my favorite spherical spike accent, adds some much needed balance to vignettes that are rich with bright colors.

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Find Colorful Upgrades to Your Favorite Pieces

From trays and bowls to your morning coffee mug, treat yourself to a few colorful upgrades to combat the grey weather outside. I replaced my drab, white tray with this pretty chevron patterned one. It matches my new pillows and adds a pop of color to my black coffee table. Not too shabby for a quick update, right?

I also bought these adorable polka dot bowls for my regular (almost nightly) bowls of popcorn – they’re the perfect size for indulging in a Netflix episode or two, and I love that they add even more color to my coffee table.

I hope you’re managing to escape the winter gloom but, if you’re struggling like I was, make sure to add colorful pieces to brighten up your home! It’s amazing what a few affordable pieces can do to make your living room feel like an oasis from the cold, and I’d definitely recommend swinging by Meijer to check out all the home décor they have for winter.

Maya is the fashionista behind Charmingly Styled, a Chicago life and style blog dedicated to the little charms that make life so good. Follow her Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

The 7 Essential Holiday Hostess Gifts

As winter’s chill sets in, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear the season’s hottest trends. From style tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up for winter weather.

This week we’re welcoming Lauren of Lake Shore Lady to prepare seven essential hostess gifts to bring to all of this season’s holiday parties.

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I’ve been saying this nonstop, but ’tis the season for holiday parties! I mean… I’m NOT wrong here! Even beyond just the parties – it’s really the season for hosting in general! House guests, cozy movie nights, drinks with the girls. No one wants to go outside (at least not in Chicago), so gathering in someone’s warm home pretty much always wins.

I usually like to bring some sort of gift, alcohol or food to the full blown parties, even if it’s just a bottle of wine. That’s a given. But let’s say you have a friend/family member who is ridiculously generous and always hosts gatherings at their place? You stay at their house every Christmas, or you eat their pretty cheese platters nearly every Friday night… if you can relate to this, then maybe it’s time to reward them!

But what to get?! What would be thoughtful, budget-friendly AND useful? Luckily, Meijer has a ton of incredible gifts for this very purpose. You could certainly give each of these pieces separately, but I thought it might be fun to pair some things together for different types of people, parties, personalities and relationships. So here we go!

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I love these goodies for a family hosting a party. This plaid tray is super festive and might even be used at the party you’re attending, which is always fun. Then, there’s the Modern Family Cookbook, which could be a new way to get the kids interested in cooking (especially if they like the show), plus the olive oil can be used in the process! And I threw a candle in there for the Mama, because she might need to relax after the party, am I right?

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Plaid Holiday Tray ($12.99)

Modern Family Cookbook ($14.95)

Canaan Olive Oil ($18.49)

Burts Bees Candle ($8.99)

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This is one of my favorite gifts in this roundup, because it’s perfect for the cozy hostess! She can set cookies out on the wooden platter, turn Elf or Home Alone on the TV and whip up some hot chocolate in this adorable (and huge!) new mug! Bonus: these wood coasters are so rustic looking that you could totally give them to a guy, too. Woo!

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Wooden Platter ($14.99)

Holiday Mug ($6.99)

4 Pack Wooden Coasters ($8.99)

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We all have a friend who loves candles and is always cold, do we not? Well this time, she pours the wine and you bring her this cinnamon candle and cozy blanket scarf! Easy peasy!

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Winter Scarf – Plaid ($20.00)

Woodwick Candle ($22.99)

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A dessert cookbook and chocolate – this combo could work for literally ANYONE with a sweet tooth! And maybe they’ll invite you over again to try one of their cast iron creations…

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Cookbook ($12.99)

2 Divine Dark Chocolates ($2.99 each)

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Cheese always looks more impressive on a pretty granite platter, and these coasters match it so beautifully! Now, I know coffee and cheese aren’t usually paired together – but most of my friends love both, so this combo seemed very logical to me. Anyone else?

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Marble Cheese Platter ($14.99)

Starbucks Coffee ($8.99)

4 Pack Coasters ($10.99)

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Hello, fancy cocktail party! Everyone likes champagne, especially in a cute bag like this one. And instead of just bringing booze, this gold frame is a fun way to personalize the gift. Throw in a photo from their holiday soiree last year and they’ll want to put it right on the mantle!

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Wine Bag ($4.95)

Segura Viudas Cava (not from Meijer)

Gold Picture Frame ($9.99)

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And last but not least, sometimes you want to bring something for the cute little munchkins! Sure, they might not actually be hosting your stay or the party, but they sure do make the whole visit more adorable, right?!

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Coloring Cards Book ($9.99)

3 Holiday Cookie Cutters ($3.99 each)

What do you like to bring as host/hostess gifts?

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Lauren is the fashionista behind Lake Shore Lady, a blog full of lovely tips for fashion, beauty and lifestyle. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

 

The Best Last-Minute Gifts for Everyone on Your List

We’ve all been there – with just a few days left of the holiday season, you realize you haven’t found the perfect gift for everyone on your list. Luckily, it’s easier than ever to get all you need at one place. So if you’re already out shopping for food or festive décor, here are a few last-minute presents your friends and family are sure to love (and they’re all things you can find at your local one-stop shop: Meijer!).

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For the ladies

Whether it’s your mom, sister, daughter or a friend, all of your best girls will love these thoughtful gifts.

  1. Chocolates from Ghirardelli or Ferrero Rocher are a great stocking stuffer for anyone with a sweet tooth. Bite-sized treats are best – they’ll last longer (and they’re easier to share!).
  2. You can’t go wrong gifting gloves or mittens since the weather is so chilly during the holiday season. There’s always a need for extra warm accessories!
  3. There’s no such thing as too much jewelry, so your gals will love a new bracelet or watch. Opt for neutral metallic tones like gold or silver – that way, your gift is guaranteed to match all their favorite outfits.
  4. If you’re shopping for a family member or a close friend, you could pick out a sweater or a pair of pajama pants. If you understand their style and know what size they need, they’ll appreciate the thought you put into this present!
  5. If you’re not sure what treats or trends your ladies like, opt for a cute knickknack or unique household item – whether it’s a coffee mug, a chevron frame or a polka-dot phone case.

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For the guys

Not sure what to buy for your dad, bro or S.O.? Here are a few foolproof ideas the men in your life are sure to love.

  1. A new mug or thermos + your guy’s favorite beverage = an easy and useful combo that they’ll definitely appreciate. Some drinks even come in gift boxes this time of year!
  2. For men that are dreaming of warmer, sunnier days, brand new golf balls are a great holiday gift. They’ll love having them on-hand when they’re ready to hit the course again.
  3. But with winter’s not-so-warm weather, puffy vests + plaid are a must-have pair this season. Your guy will stay just the right amount of toasty if he ventures outside on a mild winter day.
  4. For guys that like to spend a night in now and then, a new Blu-Ray or DVD is the perfect present. Opt for a blockbuster that just hit stores or their favorite flick of all time!
  5. While the ladies in your life buy new wallets on the regular, your dad, brother or husband might be in need of an upgrade. Choose a billfold in brown or black leather – it’s a sleek, classic style that all guys appreciate.

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For the kiddos

Need to cross your child, niece or nephew off your list? Here are a few simple gift ideas for kids of all ages.

  1. A goofy board game like Pie Face or a Disney movie like Finding Dory will keep your child laughing all winter long. You might enjoy getting in on the fun, too. 🙂
  2. If your child loves cuddling or has lots of furry friends, choose a brand new stuffed animal they can add to their collection. Tie a bow around its neck and leave it under the tree for them to find!
  3. Washable paint + brushes are a great gift for children with an artsy side. They’ll have a blast creating their unique masterpieces – plus, the kid-friendly color shouldn’t stain their clothes or your carpet (in case they get extra creative or messy).
  4. A winter hat featuring the child’s favorite character is a win-win – they’ll stay warm (which you’ll love) while repping their character of choice (which they’ll love).
  5. Finally, if you’re brave enough to withstand your child’s inevitable sugar rush, candy is a great (and easy) holiday stocking stuffer.

Already finished your shopping, but need some outfit inspiration? Here are some blogger-approved accessories to pair with your holiday ensemble.

How to Have a Fun Family Night in the Kids Will Love

As winter’s chill sets in, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear the season’s hottest trends. From style tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up for winter weather.

As the holiday season approaches, it can be hard to find time to truly focus on being home with your family. This week we’re welcoming Melissa from Melissa Takes Fashion to show us how to create a fun family night in with games, snacks and – of course – the perfect home necessities.

As a working, stay-at-home mom, I try my best to strike a decent work-life balance. That’s why I feel extra lucky to have a local store like Meijer that has everything I need (and more) under one roof. Especially during this busy time of year, redirecting any time saved “adulting” into quality family fun time is what’s most important to me.

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Every holiday season, we like to set a few new traditions, as well as carry on old favorites. High on the kids’ list of oldies-but-goodies includes visiting Santa, riding the Polar Express train and spotting that cheeky Elf. New to our traditions this year is Family Night In.

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We spend so much time running from one party or event to another that we just needed an excuse to slow down. (Of course, we use the term ‘Family Night In’ loosely – with three young kids, it begins around 4pm, which basically makes it senior citizen night!).

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Our Family Night In consisted of board games and movies. Oh, and lots of yummy snacks. But you won’t find me turning frozen chicken nuggets into chicken nugget rainbows or sourdough pretzel nibblers into fancy Christmas pretzel snacks. I’m no Pinterest mom, so I don’t spend a lot of effort on the frills trying to make my food look picture perfect. Just toss it all into a pretty serving bowl and call it a day! Seeing my kids play, laugh, fight together – these are the IRL moments that I live for.

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Here are 5 other easy ideas for a fun Family Night In:

1. Arts and crafts. Bet you didn’t know all the silly things your kids can make with a basic paper plate.

2. Family photos. Take turns snapping silly photos of each other. Then print out your favorites and hang ‘em up.

3. Scavenger hunt. Make a list of obscure things for your kids to find around the house.

4. Write a story. Start with one sentence, then let your little one tell the next sentence. Keep this up until you have a short story with a beginning, middle and end.

5. With the rising popularity of adult coloring books, parents can get in on this classic childhood activity. Sit around the dining table, color together and let the conversation flow.

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We stocked up on everything we needed from Meijer for a successful Family Night In. I got an assortment of the kids’ fave snacks and drinks, comfy clothes for everyone, Pie Face Showdown the game, and Finding Dory the movie – and best of all, I was in and out in under an hour! Next time you go to your local Meijer, keep these tips close at hand and don’t forget to check out the fish tanks. My kids love watching the fish!

What are some of your family’s favorite holiday traditions? Do you prefer to stay in, and if so, how do you make staying at home fun for everyone?

Melissa is the fashionista behind Melissa Takes Fashion, a blog full of lovely style, beauty and family tips. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Master Thanksgiving Dinner with These Kitchen Gadgets

As winter’s chill sets in, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear the season’s hottest trends. From style tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up for winter weather.

Preparations for your big Thanksgiving meal are right around the corner, so this week, we’re welcoming Natalie from Natalie in the City to share her favorite kitchen gadgets and cooking tips to make dinner prep a breeze this holiday.

Thanksgiving can be a stressful time where even top chefs are scrambling to cook, craft and perfect their version of a holiday feast. But this Thanksgiving, I wanted to make sure nothing stood in my way of enjoying the holiday, while putting my own personal touch and twist on some traditional Thanksgiving side dishes and desserts. And just because I’ll be working in the kitchen doesn’t mean my prep tools can’t look as good as my meal!

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Before getting started, I knew that my kitchen needed a plan. So I took a trip to Meijer to stock up on ingredients, kitchen gadgets and appliances to put me on the right track. Some of my must-grab items were Kitchen Aid mixing bowls, measuring cups and spoons, a whisk, a potato peeler and a wire masher. I also picked up a Nordic Ware baking pan, a Farberware paring knife, Pyrex bowls, an adorable kitchen timer and a silicon basting brush.

I was immediately drawn to the Kitchen Aid mixing bowls because they have a pour spout—which my old set of mixing bowls didn’t—and I could not resist the gorgeous purple, pink, and teal colors. Once I had my mixing bowls, I decided to keep the color schemes similar—since I totally have to have cute kitchen gadgets. Another up-side to color coordination is that I can find all of these gadgets in my crowded kitchen cabinets!

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Now that my kitchen is prepped with all the essentials, I’m excited to share three of my favorite holiday recipes that will make prepping Thanksgiving meal a breeze.

First up is an appetizer that is both festive and very easy to master: pumpkin biscuits.

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Start with Pillsbury crescent rounds or warm-and-serve dinner rolls, and use a pairing knife to cut six slices around the dough, making sure to leave the center intact. I loved the pink color of this paring knife, since having brightly-colored kitchen gadgets motivates me to cook and bake more, and it makes the holiday cooking experience a fun one!

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Brush the dough with butter using a brush with longer, silicon bristles that are perfect for applying a thicker layer of butter, which means you’ll get that flaky texture when these come out of the oven. Poke half of a pecan into the center of the roll and place into the oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

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I usually leave the Turkey or main dish to the master chef of the house, and I handle the appetizers and desserts. One of my favorite Thanksgiving side dishes is sweet potato mash with cinnamon maple syrup pecan sauce.

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Bake two sweet potatoes until soft (usually an hour or longer). Once done, mash the potatoes in a mixing bowl and add a half tablespoon of brown sugar and two tablespoons of melted butter before stirring together. A heavy-duty KitchenAid masher is perfect for creating that fluffy, airy texture you want in your potatoes.

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To make the sauce, heat a half cup of maple syrup and a dash of cinnamon in a pan until the syrup begins to boil. Then add the pecans and whisk for 30 seconds. To finish, drizzle the sauce onto the mashed potatoes and top with a dash of whipped cream.

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When the holidays roll around, I love to make personal-sized or individual dishes for each person, and these personal chicken potpies are my go-to.

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Start by lining a ramekin bowl that you can bake the potpies in with refrigerated piecrust and brush the crust with melted butter. Then, mix together a can of cream of potato, shredded chicken, cheddar cheese, frozen vegetables, and a dash of garlic and paprika in a mixing bowl.

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Add a few scoops of the mixture into your potpie bowls and top it with another layer of crust. Press the top layer of crust to the bottom layer with a fork and brush more melted butter on top. Bake at 375° F for 45 minutes or until crust is golden-brown.

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When it comes to pies, I can only speak to my potpie baking abilities, but dessert pie is a whole other story—I’ve never mastered it. Pumpkin pie is one of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving dinner, though. I am always the first one to say, “Are we ready for pie?!” Which is usually met with, “I am too full!” So I created a little recipe hack that even the fullest guests couldn’t deny, and a recipe that I couldn’t mess up: Pumpkin pie bites.

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I picked up this pre-made pumpkin pie from Meijer and used the Wilton Comfort Grip Cookie Cutters to create mini pumpkin pies. Add a dash of whipped cream and cinnamon, and dessert is served!

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With these recipes and kitchen gadgets – including my personal MVP, the timer – by your side, you can master any recipe this Thanksgiving! Happy holidays and happy cooking! For exact recipes and instructions, click here.

Natalie is the fashionista behind Natalie in the City, a fun lifestyle blog full of her adventures in plus size fashion, city life, and being a “fashionista.” Follower her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

How to Host the Perfect Friendsgiving

As winter’s chill sets in, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear the season’s hottest trends. From style tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up for winter weather.

This week, we’re welcoming Jess from The Golden Girl to share her must-have kitchen and home décor pieces for the perfect Friendsgiving dinner.

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The holidays are here, the holidays are here!

Sounds a little crazy, right? Wasn’t it JUST Halloween? If you can believe it, Thanksgiving is coming up fast, which brings both excitement AND stress. (Hopefully more of the former and less of the latter!)

One of the best parts of the holidays is the excuse to get together not just with family, but friends, too! Hosting Friendsgiving is a great way to get all of your favorite people under one roof and do it with very little stress – and on a budget, too!

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Although I love to throw a great party, I’m not very well-equipped when it comes to things like decorative place settings, beautiful platters and things of that nature. I love the layered look of soft linens and earthy serveware, but as you all know, it can get to be pricey when hosting large parties.

When I decided to throw a last-minute Friendsgiving, I headed to Meijer to pick up both my grocery essentials and all the entertaining staples I’d need. (Who knew I could afford such trendy matching flatware?) Next time you go to Meijer, keep these tips close at hand, so you can put together your own Friendsgiving in a snap!

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Decide on a color scheme

It’s always helpful to decide on a color scheme right off the bat, which prevents any wishy-washiness in-store. I tend to gravitate toward neutrals and metallics, as they’re suitable for nearly every occasion and pops of gold make anything feel festive!

I went with this gold and white tablecloth and matching gold and white napkins from Meijer. This is a foolproof color scheme if you’re like me and already have white dishes because they make it easy to dress up your table in other ways.

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Incorporate wood elements

One of the biggest trends for fall is bringing the outdoors in, so I knew when I saw these place card holders at Meijer, they were perfect for the occasion! (Plus, creating name cards is about the easiest way to make any table look fancy, you know?)

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Keeping with my neutrals + wood theme, I picked up this wooden flatware (I didn’t know that silverware could have a Midcentury Modern feel, but I am so into it) and wooden salad plates, which look perfect set atop white dinner plates.  I got so many compliments on these when my girlfriends sat down for dinner!

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I also picked up this wooden serving platter. It’s not just pretty to look at; it’s elongated shape is a bit deeper than your normal platter, so it’s perfect for serving everything from salad, to cheese, to crostini, to your main course!

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Set the mood

Candles always make everything feel more special, so I picked up these vintage-inspired glass candlestick holders and simple white candlesticks from Meijer’s candle aisle. They only set me back a few bucks, but really go a long way to make the room feel fancy and cozy.

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Keep appetizers simple

When you’re hosting a Friendsgiving, you already have a lot on your plate (no pun intended!) so it’s best to keep your food as simple as possible. When I saw this adorable cheese board (less than $30!) at Meijer, I knew a charcuterie would be a great bet for appetizers. All you have to do is pick up a few cheeses, some bite-size salami and a bit of fruit, and you’re good to go! No cooking required.

I also made a small salad, which I served as guests sat down. You don’t want people to completely fill up on appetizers – plus, a cheese board makes you seem extra fancy!

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Divvy up the workload

Just because you’re the host doesn’t mean you have to do all the work! Divvy up the workload – focus on the main course and the appetizers, and ask everyone else to bring a side or dessert. That way you can actually enjoy your Friendsgiving along with your guests!

What are your tips for hosting the perfect Friendsgiving?

Jess is the fashionista behind The Golden Girl, a fun lifestyle blog full of tips on shopping, travel, décor and DIY. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest.

How to Create Your Dream Closet

As winter’s chill sets in, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear the season’s hottest trends. From style tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up for winter weather.

This week, we’re welcoming Andrea from blonde bedhead to share how she transformed an empty room in her new house into a dream walk-in closet, including storage, décor and – of course – style.

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I pulled the trigger and became a homeowner last month! I was struck with waves of excitement followed by fear, reminding myself I’m responsible for this structure and all the work I want to see materialize. Luckily, I’m type A and never without a plan.

The second largest room in the house became my closet after some planning and physical work, which truly is my least favorite thing in the world. But it doesn’t seem as bad if it’s for your own home, I promise you.

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Tips for Converting a Bedroom to a Closet

It can be overwhelming to reconfigure an old room to serve a brand new purpose. But, by focusing on these five tips, creating my dream closet was much simpler than I ever imagined.

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Map out the space. After I painted the walls with primer and DutchBoy white paint from Meijer, I could finally see what it could become and mapped out how I wanted the room arranged. I determined just how many garment racks I needed, how to organize my shoes in a white cube shelf, as well as where my shelving, Meijer full-length mirror and desk-converted vanity would be placed.

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Change out the light fixture. This really finished the room for me. The standard light was dull and unattractive and a quick change added some personality (and much more light!) to the space.

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Rug it up. Without the rug and grey leather storage bench from Meijer, the room felt sterile and empty. I wanted my closet to feel like a boutique where I could sit and try on shoes and it works practically and aesthetically.

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Less is more. Before I moved anything into the room, I conducted a deep clean and purge of clothes, accessories and beauty/skincare products. The point of the space is to make me feel inspired to not look like a bum in the morning and make it easier and more efficient to get ready each day.

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Add some green. To add to the bohemian vibe and liveliness, plants were a necessity. I’ll be adding more plants as time progresses. We’ll see how long I keep the ones I have alive.

I still use the closet in my bedroom, but try to keep it uncluttered by only having clothing that is in heavy rotation for the season (or that I want more visible, so I remember to wear it more) on the racks for easy accessibility. Some of these pieces include sweaters, jackets and ponchos, like the Meijer one I’m wearing.

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Products from Meijer to finish the space: primer and DutchBoy white paint, grey leather storage bench, full-length mirror, white cube shelf and shoe organizer, natural wood stool, wood and white plastic hangers, fuzzy pillow for vanity chair, small plants and command three hooks to hang hats and décor.

Andrea Kerbuski is the fashionista behind blonde bedhead, a fashion and lifestyle blog featuring chic outfits, life’s inspirations and big hair. For more home décor and style tips, follow Andrea on InstagramPinterest and Twitter.

How to Host a Boo-tiful Halloween Dinner Party

As fall transitions us to cooler months, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear this season’s hottest trends. From style tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up for fall weather.

This week, we’re welcoming Nina from The HSS Feed to share some favorite spooky tablescape décor for a boo-tiful Halloween-inspired dinner party.

Fall is my favorite time of year and Halloween is my very favorite holiday. I love decorating my house for the season, picking out costumes and, of course, hosting friends to celebrate this fun fall holiday.

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In our neighborhood, trick-or-treating is a big event not only for kids, but also for the parents. As we go door to door, it’s very common for neighbors to invite you in for a drink or snack along the way. At our house, I already have our candy bowl fully stocked for trick-or-treaters, but this year, I’ve planned a Halloween party for the adults (the big kids!) as well.

The great thing about party planning and shopping at Meijer is that, in a couple of laps around the store, you can get everything you need.

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For this party, I started with décor and wanted to keep things feeling a little more sophisticated, but still playful and festive. I already had some lacy, spider web linens at home, so I planned around those. I chose to focus on keeping things mostly black and white, with a hint of shimmer and pops of festive orange.

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Halloween décor just isn’t complete without a few cute critters. These tinsel cats are a really fun and whimsical element to work with, and I also loved how the tinsel spiders and glitter pumpkins added a bit of sparkle. To complete a sleek and – dare I say – glamorous Halloween look, just add a bit of candlelight, some twinkle lights and you’re all set!

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Halloween is a busy night, so when it comes to food, I chose items that are easy to pick up, eat quickly while visiting, or even take along with you as you go! The Meijer deli was my go-to for putting together an easy charcuterie and cheese platter, and a trip to the bakery helped me with some festive cookies. I even found these pumpkin picks in the holiday baking supplies for my favorite chocolate cupcakes.

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I have a serious sweet tooth and fully believe that grownups should also get candy on Halloween, and I’m never one to turn down a good handful of candy corn or peanut M&Ms! I also put together these super simple chocolate covered “ghost pretzel sticks” as a fun, sweet snack.

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Wishing you all a fun, safe and Happy Halloween!

Nina is the fashionista behind The HSS Feed, a fun lifestyle blog full of her thoughts on happiness, success and style. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Photos taken by Tosha Cole Photography.

8 Things You Need to Host an Instagram-Worthy Fall Picnic

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While summer may have come and gone, there’s still plenty of time to enjoy the great outdoors before the first frost hits. We’re talking lazy afternoons in the backyard with a cozy blanket or two and your favorite fall snacks to really celebrate the season. So grab your besties and get ready for a picture-perfect get-together everyone is sure to love. To give you some inspiration for a cozy afternoon, here are eight essential items that every fall picnic needs – all available now at Meijer.

1. Neutral Picnic Blanket

Skip the classic checkerboard blanket and opt for a neutral tan or brown blanket. The understated, simple style will allow your picnic décor to really shine. Make sure the throw is thick enough to give your guests some extra comfort, like a king size quilt. That way you’ll be sure to have a welcome layer between yourself and the cool ground.

2. Fall Florals

Once you have your blanket laid out, frame your picnic space with fresh, natural accents – this is an outdoor picnic, after all! Choose fall floral arrangements like mums and heleniums from the Meijer garden center, featuring your favorite autumn colors.

Roosevelt Group (www.roosevelt-group.com)

3. Rustic Baskets and Serving Platters

Worried about getting your décor set up or carrying glasses to your picture-perfect picnic? Wicker baskets work great for outdoor events, especially with rustic rope handles. Serve snacks on rope-lined wooden serving platters or in wooden serving bowls for a natural complement to your outdoor event.

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4. Outdoor-Safe Drink Dispenser

Since cider is a must for any fall gathering, put it on display in a plastic drink dispenser. Add slices of apples and cinnamon sticks to bring the flavors to life, and let guests serve themselves with an easy-to-use spout.

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5. Mason Jar Glasses

For a unique way to enjoy cider, skip traditional tumblers in favor of rustic mason jars. For an extra cute touch that your guests will love, decorate the jars with a simple twine bow.

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6. Chic Throw Pillows

Since picnics are notably sans table and chairs, bring throw pillows so your guests can get totally comfortable. Pick two hero colors in various prints and solids (we love plaids and stripes), incorporating neutrals like white and grey to add even more dimension to your décor.

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7. Cozy Blankets

If your soiree is going to last until sunset, don’t forget to bring extra blankets to keep your guests cozy. A large wicker basket makes set-up a breeze, while allowing you to bring plenty of blankets for everyone. Throw in your favorite book or magazine and swap favorites with your friends.

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8. Your besties

The best thing about a picnic is the people you share it with, so always invite your friends (and take lots of creative pictures!).

You’re covered when it comes to fall picnic essentials, so now it’s time to plan your ensemble! Here are a few autumn outfit ideas perfect for your next event.

For even more fall inspiration, check out these posts from some of our favorite bloggers: Live Love & Read, Natalie in the City, The HSS Feed, That Chic Lex, Selective Potential and Blonde Bedhead.

Color Crush: Turquoise Necessities for College

As fall transitions us to cooler months, we’re partnering with our favorite style bloggers to show us how they wear this season’s hottest trends. From style tips to makeup trends to home décor, we’re excited to see how these fashionistas gear up for fall weather.

This week, we’re welcoming Meghan from Lincoln Park Minute to share her favorite color for decorating her college apartment this year—turquoise!

I’m headed back to school for my senior year at DePaul University and I can’t believe it’s already here, but thanks to a recent shopping trip at Meijer, I feel quite prepared in all aspects.

I picked up a ton of great stuff all in a common color: turquoise. Lately I’ve adored turquoise because it’s so bright and fun, and it makes adding color to anything and everything so easy. Blue is also an incredibly calming color, which we can ALL use during school and the stress it often brings.

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For school itself, I knew I needed to stock up on a lot of things. For example, I needed a few new tech accessories so I grabbed this sparkly Incipio Design Series case for my iPhone 6/6s and JVC gummy headphones. My phone is regularly in my hand so seeing the blue sparkly pattern instantly lifts my mood. Of course, I can use my headphones with my phone or laptop since they’re always in my purse ready to go.

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When it comes to class and studying, there are so many needs! For desk basics, I grabbed this gorgeous blue Mead Cambridge Edition 80 sheet notebook, Maped tattoo soft scissors, LockerLookz 4 piece magnet set, a Sharpie, and Scotch matte tape. Because my desk is white, I love the pops of turquoise each of these items bring to it. To store my books, I used this Whitmor resin weave basket—it really helps keep things looking organized.

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I bought another of the same basket to stow away on my built-in bookshelf too—I love how well it matches.

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I also grabbed this bright Brita sport water bottle with a built-in filter—I always need to have a water bottle with me whether I’m working out, in class or studying. Speaking of studying, I bought a 2 pair pack of Simple Pleasuries cozy socks to wear while I work on things for class (who can say no to fuzzy socks?).

Outside of school and studying, I really needed to brighten up my apartment overall so I got a few décor items in that turquoise blue I kept seeing all over Meijer. Can you tell I love this color?

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In the kitchen section, I stumbled upon the cutest, bright turquoise kitchen items: a berry colander and a Pyrex 4 cup glass storage container. Sometimes I use the colander as storage in my fridge too. Just be sure to put a paper towel underneath to collect any excess water!

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In my bedroom, I prefer to have a cute and brightly decorated nightstand. It’s a great place to put a photo, like I did with this Malden International Designs 4×6 frame, because I see it every day when I wake up and go to sleep. Next to it, I have a Studio Nova turquoise rope handle glass tea light holder that looks nice on my desk as well. Like many of the other items, these can both be placed in practically any part of a dorm or apartment.

Now that my space is much more colorful, each and every day is somewhat brighter too. I’m incredibly happy about my finds! What color are you stocking up on this season?

Meghan is the fashionista behind Lincoln Park Minute, a blog full of fun style, beauty and lifestyle tips! Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Back-to-College 101: 5 Must-Have Bedding Basics

Every year when you head back to school, college becomes your home away from home. If you move into an apartment, it’s easy to transfer your basic room necessities, but if you move into a dorm, things can quickly get a little trickier. You can’t take your bed from your house to your res hall – but luckily for you, we know everything you need. Here are 5 bedding basics to snag before first semester:

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1. Since you’re not always in control of the thermostat in your dorm, it can be tough to regulate your body temp when you sleep. To ensure that you’re never too hot or too cold, invest in an Allerease Ultimate Protection & Comfort Down Alternative Pillow. It’s light, fluffy and super-high tech, adjusting to warm you up or keep you cool when you need it.

2. We’re all guilty of eating snacks in bed sometimes, so protect your stuff from spills with an Allerease Ultimate Protection & Comfort Zippered Breathable Pillow Protector. Thanks to this soft, comfy pillowcase, you can relax with munchies and Netflix after class without a worry!

3. Dorm room mattresses are almost never comfortable, so add a Room + Retreat 5 Zone Foam Mattress Topper for extra padding. You’ll be glad that you did (and regret it if you don’t!).

4. Remember the strange bed cover your mom put under your sheets? It’s called a mattress pad – and it’s a basic bedding necessity! Prevent the collection of dust mites, pollen and common household allergens with an Allerease Hot Water Washable Mattress Pad.

5. Finally, to prevent a hefty damage fee if anything happens to your mattress, invest in a simple, yet durable Allerease Zippered Mattress Protector. It’s waterproof and bed bug proof – nothing’s getting past this thing!

Now that you’ve got your bedding basics figured out, here are 4 trendy ways to decorate your dorm room.

Back-to-College 101: Dorm Room 4 Ways

Move-in day is just around the corner, which means it’s time to start shopping for your dorm room décor. It’s important to create a space that reflects your personality – so whether you’re preppy, carefree, casual or modern, here are four trendy ways to decorate your dorm room this year.

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1. Preppy Chic

For a bright, trendy dorm room, mix bold, summery colors with simple, feminine prints. Choose one or two shades as the foundation of the space, then add glamour with stylish neutral accents. For the perfect complement to this chic look, opt for faux fur décor, geometric patterns and metallic gold details.

Shopping List:

Medallion print throw pillow

Pin-tuck comforter

Geometric table lamp

Mel “Be You Tiful” Photo Clipboard

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2. Carefree Boho

When it comes to boho dorm décor, there’s no wrong way to mix and match. Play with color, patterns and texture to create a carefree vibe that’s unique to you. For an extra touch that’s especially personalized, feature your favorite quote or phrase on a wall or throw pillow.

Shopping List:

Tie-Dye Motif Comforter

Stick Lamp with Gold Leaf Lamp Shade

“Own Kind of Beautiful” Wall Art

Three Hands Metal Accent Table

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3. Relaxed Plaid

Since most dorms don’t allow its residents to paint the walls, a much-needed punch of color needs to come from your décor. Choose a bold comforter or rug to give your room some personality – then add a casual, rustic touch with a nature-inspired wooden side table.

Shopping List:

Tonal plaid comforter

Essex Slice Round Table

Artissimo Captain America Madbomb Comic Cover Canvas Print

Tripod Table Lamp

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4. Modern Geometric

To avoid creating a space that looks uninviting or outdated, the key is to mix cool and warm colors. Elegant neutrals (like gray, white and black) look great with sunny shades (like yellow and orange). For a trendy look that is perfectly modern, opt for geometric patterns like chevron and checker.

Shopping List:

Geometric chevron comforter

Essex Slice Round Table

Stick Lamp with Gray Chevron Lamp Shade

For additional dorm décor inspiration, check out DIY projects perfect for your first place and 10 trendy back-to-college necessities.

Back-to-College 101: Trendy Dorm Necessities

Packing for school can be stressful, especially if it’s your freshman year. So many things can be easy to forget – but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are 13 trendy items that are back-to-college necessities:

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1. When you’re headed to campus to study or do homework, it helps to have portable computer accessories along. The Logitech K380 Multi-Device Bluetooth Keyboard connects to your desktop, smartphone or tablet, making it easy to type no matter which device you use. For the ultimate convenience when you’re headed out with your laptop, be sure to grab a Logitech M185 Wireless Mouse.

2. Speaking of techy accessories, never leave your dorm without a trendy Incipio iPhone 6 Phone Case or Skullcandy Ink’d Earbuds. The earbuds come equipped with a built-in microphone, so it’s easier to take calls when you’re out and about.

3. If you’re gone for a while and need lunch on the go, the Rubbermaid Fasten + Go Soup Kit is a great, simple solution. Say goodbye to bulky lunch boxes and hello to this compact container!

4. Most importantly, don’t ever forget the coffee. Invest in a travel mug so that much-needed boost of energy is always readily accessible.

5. When you finish your essay and it’s time to print it for your prof, make sure to have an HP 60 Tri-color Original Ink Cartridge on hand. Or, go digital with a PNY 16GB Compact USB.

6. You’ve got your shower caddy ready for when you get home, but towels are always easily forgotten. Choose a few in colorful patterns and you’ll be good to go!

7. To ensure the little sleep you will get is exceptional, invest in a Room & Retreat ‘Back to College’ Sherpa Throw and sleeping mask. It will probably make waking up for your 8 a.m. tougher than it already is – but it’s so worth it, we promise.

8. When those early morning classes do come around, count on an iHome Portable Alarm Clock Speaker System to get you up and moving. It allows you to set more than one alarm at a time (while conveniently doubling as your back-up phone charger).

9. To keep your alarm clock running and save yourself some cash, splurge for a pair of Duracell rechargeable batteries. They can hold charge for up to a year!

10. Finally, if anything ever breaks – might as well fix it in style! Grab some Printed Duct Tape® in Arabesque for all your dorm room needs.

With these trendy necessities, you’ll be ready as ever to head back to college!