Monica Wants It: A Lifestyle Blog

Friday, July 18, 2014

Guest Room Storage Ideas with Sauder

I've focused so much on the master bedroom and dining area of our homes that I am ashamed to admit that the 2nd spare bedroom has gone neglected for the nearly four years we've lived in our home.

But it has.

Daniel and I decided that this bedroom would function as my office/craft space OR a 2nd guest room. If this space is to truly function as either of those, then it needs lots of storage. Being the wannabe interior decorator that I am, I wanted beautiful storage at an inexpensive price to fit my current obsession with rustic, reclaimed furniture. That's when I went to Sauder.com to see what I could find.

I've purchased Sauder products before at mass retailers, but I didn't know I could shop directly from their website. Their website is extremely user friendly—you can view by item, room, collection, etc. I spent well over an hour deciding on my purchase because they had so many fab choices. Ultimately my wish list was that the storage item be tall, large, and have a rustic chic charm to it. I also wanted to use the furniture piece in other rooms of the house in case our plans for this room had to change.

Sauder Furniture Review: Barrister Lane Tall Bookcase #decor #home

The Barrister Lane collection had a tall bookcase that fit all my wants and my budget. Score! I placed my order online, and my bookcase arrived about a week later via UPS. (Bonus: I didn't even have to be home to sign for it!)

Upon unpacking my beautiful bookcase pieces, I noticed a large chunk missing from the center vertical shelf that supports the entire bookshelf. Sad face. I then got busy with other things, and a few days later I called the Sauder customer service phone number to let them know I needed a new piece sent out.

To my amazement, I didn't get asked a series of 20 questions or anything! It was the easiest thing ever, and the rep on the phone couldn't have been nicer. I had my replacement piece about a week and a half after that.

Sauder Furniture Review: Barrister Lane Tall Bookcase #decor #home

Assembly was fairly straightforward and all the pieces were marked accordingly. Daniel had to help because this piece is HEAVY. I'm usually not a huge fan of assembling furniture, but the price and look of this bookcase was well worth the effort. It is a solid, functional, timeless, and oh-so-gorgeous piece.


Sauder Furniture Review: Barrister Lane Tall Bookcase #decor #home

The finish is very reminiscent of a driftwood/reclaimed wood furniture piece without the hefty price tag. I want this 2nd guest room to feel upscale, chic, curated, and organized, so I filled in the cubbyholes/shelves with some decor pieces I had on hand, plus some books.


Sauder Furniture Review: Barrister Lane Tall Bookcase #decor #home

Sauder Furniture Review: Barrister Lane Tall Bookcase #decor #home

If I do make the transition to making this space my office/craft space, it'll be super easy to find some fabric bins to store all my glitter and paint. But for now, it looks gorgeous as a place to display decor and provide guests a place to grab extra towels, toiletries, throw blankets, etc. I love it! Eventually I'll probably print little tags to go in the label holders in front of each shelf.

This bookcase from Sauder has inspired me to carry on and finish this room. Stay tuned to my blog to see all the projects I'll do along the way to make this an amazing space for guests to enjoy. I may even make this room my napping room. Aahhh.

If you're looking for trendy, quality, and affordable furniture, then check out Sauder. If you're really into the high-end reclaimed look, then the Barrister Lane collection in the salt oak finish is your BFF. Do you have any Sauder furniture in your home?

I've focused so much on the master bedroom and dining area of our homes that I am ashamed to admit that the 2nd spare bedroom has gone neglected for the nearly four years we've lived in our home.

But it has.

Daniel and I decided that this bedroom would function as my office/craft space OR a 2nd guest room. If this space is to truly function as either of those, then it needs lots of storage. Being the wannabe interior decorator that I am, I wanted beautiful storage at an inexpensive price to fit my current obsession with rustic, reclaimed furniture. That's when I went to Sauder.com to see what I could find.

I've purchased Sauder products before at mass retailers, but I didn't know I could shop directly from their website. Their website is extremely user friendly—you can view by item, room, collection, etc. I spent well over an hour deciding on my purchase because they had so many fab choices. Ultimately my wish list was that the storage item be tall, large, and have a rustic chic charm to it. I also wanted to use the furniture piece in other rooms of the house in case our plans for this room had to change.

The Barrister Lane collection had a tall bookcase that fit all my wants and my budget. Score! I placed my order online, and my bookcase arrived about a week later via UPS. (Bonus: I didn't even have to be home to sign for it!)

Upon unpacking my beautiful bookcase pieces, I noticed a large chunk missing from the center vertical shelf that supports the entire bookshelf. Sad face. I then got busy with other things, and a few days later I called the Sauder customer service phone number to let them know I needed a new piece sent out.

To my amazement, I didn't get asked a series of 20 questions or anything! It was the easiest thing ever, and the rep on the phone couldn't have been nicer. I had my replacement piece about a week and a half after that.

Assembly was fairly straightforward and all the pieces were marked accordingly. Daniel had to help because this piece is HEAVY. I'm usually not a huge fan of assembling furniture, but the price and look of this bookcase was well worth the effort. It is a solid, functional, timeless, and oh-so-gorgeous piece.


The finish is very reminiscent of a driftwood/reclaimed wood furniture piece without the hefty price tag. I want this 2nd guest room to feel upscale, chic, curated, and organized, so I filled in the cubbyholes/shelves with some decor pieces I had on hand, plus some books.


If I do make the transition to making this space my office/craft space, it'll be super easy to find some fabric bins to store all my glitter and paint. But for now, it looks gorgeous as a place to display decor and provide guests a place to grab extra towels, toiletries, throw blankets, etc. I love it! Eventually I'll probably print little tags to go in the label holders in front of each shelf.

This bookcase from Sauder has inspired me to carry on and finish this room. Stay tuned to my blog to see all the projects I'll do along the way to make this an amazing space for guests to enjoy. I may even make this room my napping room. Aahhh.

If you're looking for trendy, quality, and affordable furniture, then check out Sauder. If you're really into the high-end reclaimed look, then the Barrister Lane collection in the salt oak finish is your BFF. Do you have any Sauder furniture in your home?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Sauder. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Lose The Bottle & Gain Summer Fun #BlackBoxWines

So, my tropical vacation hopes are fading further and further away as summer winds down. I'm totally OK with that since Daniel and I have actually gotten to do quite a few mini roadtrip-esque vacations this summer, which is kind of nice. Getting away from it all is always a good thing even if it's not somewhere exotic, right?

My favorite thing to enjoy during our mini-getaways are hotel pools and their gorgeous outdoor areas...but most of them forbid glass containers in those spots, and this girl loves to drink wine while relaxing in the hot tub. Luckily, Black Box Wines has got us covered, AND I don't need to have a bottle opener or a corkscrew on hand (which I usually don't). They have high quality, delicious, and affordable wines that all come in a very classy black box (hence the name). And for those of you uber wine enthusiasts you'll be excited to know that Black Box Wines are award-winning—they've been recognized with 40 Gold Medals and 27 "Best Buys" from Wine Enthusiast Magazine.


Black Box Wines has helped me enjoy my summer more. Besides enjoying much needed pool and relaxation time, Black Box Wines also saves space in my fridge (to fit even more tasty food to go with said wine), helps me entertain more (I have to share this fabulous wine with those I love), and the compact box helps reduce waste. A box of Black Box Wines is the same amount as four bottles of wine, but for a fraction of the price. Also, I love that Black Box Wines last for a lot longer after they're opened than normal wine. I've wasted so much money on bottles that I don't finish quickly enough that turn sour in the fridge.


My mind is busy planning other occasions on which to enjoy some boxed wine—outdoor concerts, picnics in the park, a day at the beach, or an adults only family game night celebration. The possibilities are endless when you're not limited by glass bottles.


This summer it's been easy to "Lose the Bottle" and enjoy high quality wines. They recently released their Pinot Noir, and I'll admit I am usually a moscato/sweet wine kind of girl, but this one is superb with chicken and pasta dishes. The chardonnay is equally delicious, and I enjoy unwinding with a glass out on the patio after a long day at work with my dear Pee Wee and hubby by my side (he's sniffing all the aromas, as you can see).

Do you want to take the plunge and "Lose The Bottle"? Join the movement, and you could win a $5,000 shopping spree from Black Box Wines. Entering to win is easy-- Learn more by visiting www.blackboxwines.com. And meet other Black Box Wines fans over on their Facebook page.

The only thing as fabulous as enjoying a high quality, award winning box of Black Box Wines is winning a $5,000 shopping spree! "Lose the Bottle" and grab your shopping bag! Enter the sweepstakes by visiting https://www.facebook.com/blackboxwines/

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Black Box Wines. The opinions and text are all mine.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Summer Home Upgrades with Waterpik

It’s not everyday that I get the opportunity to ask questions to an HGTV designer, so when this opportunity came up, I was like…YES, PLEASE. I’m an HGTV fanatic and have watched their shows religiously for the past decade, so I’m familiar with Kelly Edwards’ work (she was on “Design On a Dime”). She’s teamed up with Waterpik to help us all with affordable ideas, projects, and advice to amp up our homes this summer. She also has a new design book out that I’ll mention later in the post.

I sent along some questions for her to answer, and you can view my questions and her answers in the video below that she made just for all of you Monica Wants It readers…cool, huh? Thanks, Kelly!

I love all of her advice, especially about upgrading bathrooms over the summer. It is kind of a genius idea because then the bathroom is ready for holiday guests, and you don’t have to worry about anything. I’m definitely considering a guest bathroom makeover during my vacation (ok, staycation) in August. I have lots of inspiration pinned already, and I have some gorgeous faux grasscloth wallpaper ready to go for the project.

I always feel an important part of the bathroom is the showerhead—it’s what I am most critical about in hotel bathrooms. I love a showerhead that can be customized to my mood that day. Sometimes I want a rainshower experience and other times I want a super strong stream of water. This new SprayShaper showerhead by Waterpik can do all of that and more. I’ve never seen anything like this on the market, and I’m stoked about installing this new showerhead in the guest bathroom. It’s going to be better than a hotel bathroom!

Waterpik #SprayShaper Showerhead Review

The outer panels of the shower can fold out or in to customize the coverage. I’ll illustrate below with my showerhead.

Panels below are inward:

Waterpik #SprayShaper Showerhead Review

Panels below are outward:

Waterpik #SprayShaper Showerhead Review 

And you can even rotate them to get even more custom angle spray shapes:

Waterpik #SprayShaper Showerhead Review

The showerhead retails for about $60 at Home Depot. Well worth the splurge—the chrome finish is gorgeous and high-end looking, plus it can do so much! It has 6 different spray settings, plus it has fancy schmancy OptiFLOW technology that improves water force by 30%. Yes!

Waterpik #SprayShaper Showerhead Review

I thank Kelly for making me realize that I should prioritize a bathroom makeover during the summer rather than waiting. I’m also gathering a lot of inspiration from her book. With the crazy amount of home inspiration available online via blogs and Pinterest, I didn’t think I’d be so enamored with her design book, but I am.

The Design Cookbook by Kelly Edwards

She’s got great “recipes” to help create beautiful, lively, and colorful spaces all over your home. They’re presented in a gorgeous, easy to read format, and it’s a design book that should be in everyone’s home library.

The Design Cookbook by Kelly Edwards

The Design Cookbook by Kelly Edwards

And guess what?

You too can win your very own Waterpik SprayShaper Showerhead, Kelly Edwards’ The Design Cookbook, and a $25 Home Depot gift card to help make your summer projects a reality. You can enter to win below—good luck! Contest is open to US residents, 18+ from now until July 18, 2014 at 6 pm. Winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to claim their prize.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 7, 2014

How to Make Iced Coffee Granita

This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp

Truth be told, my second favorite thing to do in the kitchen make dessert. Number one is eat, of course. Dessert is my absolute fave part of any meal, and sweets/treats are my go-to treat. Rather than use my oven to bake up something tasty (it is sweltering over here, y’all), I’m going to use one of my trusty kitchen appliances: my Keurig. I’m probably an odd person in that I bought my Keurig primarily for iced drinks. I am always in the mood for iced coffees and flavored teas, so I would say that about 80% of the drinks I make are Brew Over Ice varieties. I’ve had my Keurig almost a year, and I love it! If you’re on the fence about getting one, I’d highly recommend it.

Keurig #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp Recipes

The little blue icon on the box tells you if it’s a Brew Over Ice variety. Because I brew it up so much at home, I invested in this plastic pitcher/carafe that is made for my Keurig. It keeps my drinks super cold while I am blogging or when I make tea and take it outside during BBQs.

Keurig #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp Recipes

Never ever, and I mean NEVER brew over ice into a glass vessel. Use plastic only! This nifty little pitcher holds 2 K-Cups worth of drinks (brew on the smallest cup setting for best results), and while I love to whip up coffeehouse inspired iced drinks, I also use my Brew Over Ice K-Cups to make no-bake desserts. These recipes come in handy when you have leftover coffee and no idea what to do with it.

Keurig #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp Recipes

The first recipe I’ll share with you today is a super quick and simple coffee glaze that is perfect for homemade donuts, cakes, muffins, cookies, or in my case… a deconstructed berry shortcake.

Simple coffee glaze #recipe for baked goods! #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp Recipes

Coffee Glaze Recipe by MonicaWantsIt.com (Makes about 1/3 cup of glaze)

-3 tablespoons of Green Mountain Coffee French Vanilla Iced Coffee (iced & brewed)

-1/2 cup confectioner’s/powdered sugar

-1/4 tsp of pure vanilla extract

Directions: In a bowl, whisk all ingredients together until well mixed. Drizzle over dessert of your choice! If you want a runnier glaze, add in more brewed coffee.

Deconstructed Berry Shortcake Ingredients (Makes 1 Serving):

-1/3 cup of quartered strawberries

-1/3 cup of raspberries

-Angel food cake (1/4 loaf) cut into 0.5” pieces

-Whipped Cream

-1 tbsp of Coffee Glaze (see above)

Directions: In a mug or small trifle dish, layer whipped cream, angel food cake, berries, angel food cake, berries, whipped cream and drizzle the coffee glaze over the entire thing.

I love having a vanilla iced latte with a berry scone, so that’s where this inspiration came from. The glaze has a subtle coffee flavor that really helps bring out the sweetness of the berries, plus once the angel food cake absorbs the glaze…ohmygosh. So darn good.

Simple coffee glaze #recipe for baked goods! #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp Recipes

Once it’s all layered together, the flavors combine and become delectably gourmet.

Simple coffee glaze #recipe for baked goods! #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp Recipes

Simple coffee glaze #recipe for baked goods! #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp Recipes

My husband was working hard outside on our backyard (thanks, babe!), so I took this outside to him to give him a treat.

Pee Wee immediately followed and tried to get in on the fun. Look at that tongue! I guess he’s impressed.

Simple coffee glaze #recipe for baked goods! #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp Recipes

And Pee Wee also stalks me in the kitchen. I love that boy to pieces.

Simple coffee glaze #recipe for baked goods! #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp Recipes

But what if you have LOTS of iced coffee left? Well, how about some creamy dulce de leche coffee granita with berries? It sounds fancy, looks fancy, but is SO easy to whip up. Plus, since your coffee is already cold, you’re halfway done. Feel free to get creative with the creamer flavor you use to make it more gourmet. For instance, this fall you could whip up pumpkin spice granita. YUM.

Simply delicious dulce de leche coffee granita #recipe #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp #Recipes 

Coffee Granita with Berries Recipe by MonicaWantsIt.com (Serves 4):

-2 cups of iced/cold coffee (without the ice)

-1/4 cup of granulated sugar (may want to use more or less; sweeten to taste)

-1/3 cup of your favorite coffee creamer: I used Dulce de Leche creamer (you could also use milk)

-1/2 tsp of pure vanilla extract

-2 tbsp of condensed milk* (optional: you could use more creamer and/or sugar)

-1 cup of quartered strawberries

-1 cup of raspberries

-Whipped cream, for topping, if desired

Directions: Whisk together all the ingredients in a bowl. Pour mixture into a Pyrex dish (I used my 8x8 square pan). Put in freezer for one hour. After an hour, a slushy mixture will form on edges—rake it using a fork to break up the slush into flakes. Put back in freezer and repeat raking process every half hour until no liquid is left. Usually the whole process takes about 2.5-3 hours.

Simply delicious dulce de leche coffee granita #recipe #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp #Recipes

Simply delicious dulce de leche coffee granita #recipe #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp #Recipes

You can serve the granita on its own, or spoon it over berries.

Simply delicious dulce de leche coffee granita #recipe #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp #Recipes

Simply delicious dulce de leche coffee granita #recipe #BrewOverIce #BrewItUp #Recipes

I hope I’ve given you some ideas for how your Keurig can go beyond the K-Cup and onto your dinner tables as a dessert. If you have a Keurig and wonder what the heck you should do with all those used K-Cups, check out Keurig’s recycling program. Together we can all make a difference AND have tasty beverages.

I love Walmart, so that’s where I always head to when I need more K-Cups. I can usually find them in the coffee aisle, but sometimes there are special end caps/set-ups near the milk area, as seen below. That’s where I find the Brew Over Ice varieties.

photo (6)

What are your favorite iced beverages?

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