#StayHomeSeries MASK. MATCH. CHALLENGE!

#StayHomeSeries MASK. MATCH. CHALLENGE!

Who’s up for a challenge you can do from your couch?! Everyone? Okay, good.

Let’s start by introducing you to David, the Founder of DocPPE that launched an incredible new startup in response to the need of extra masks not only on our front lines, but in our communities. A software developer for 20 years who has founded his own companies and attended law school, David was inspired by his wife who witnessed the shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) herself working as a physician at Boston Children’s Hospital. As she continuously shared her concerns, David being an entrepreneur himself felt compelled to do something.

“From start to finish, we’ve been doing this for four weeks. I had the first design done in 4 days, tested within five.” David’s team, which consists of several family members, friends & manufacturers, also includes his wife: she donated her two weeks’ vacation time to devote it instead to getting the necessary supplies out as quickly as possible. “We’re working night and day to get these things out,” he explains. “My wife is a great woman and donated her vacation time to make masks. I don’t know how you get much better than that, to be honest.”

An American-made product with a facility right at home in Boston, David says he’s been taking calls constantly. “It’s crazy because we have a live chat on the site so it comes to me directly. I’m the one who answers, I’m the one who’s there and people are like: Are you real? Ae you in America? Is this a real thing?” The skepticism, he says, is understood. “Because everybody buys this stuff online and they’re not getting it, they want that assurance that they’re actually going to get what they pay for.” To ease concerns, David has taken to giving out his personal cell phone number. “We’re for the people, by the people.”

So, what’s this challenge we’re talking about? If you are able to donate anything from $5-$500 (of course, more is always welcomed!), David will match that donation of masks to go to either front line workers or Navajo Nation, who do not have access to PPE. “If you donate 500, we’ll match it with another 500. When friends start sharing with friends making this a competition to get it to healthcare workers on the front lines.” The response so far, he says, has been overwhelming as they have partnered with Blue Sky Entertainment to get well-known athletes like Andrew Raycroft & Charlie Coyle to show their support. “Everybody’s starting to come out and they want to help. It’s so nice to see the communities, the personalities and different celebrities come out and want to help people.”

So far, DocPPE has been able to donate supplies to Boston hospitals such as South Shore, Beth Israel, and Mass General Hospital. Want to join in and help? Donate here and challenge a friend to do the same!: https://docppe.com/donations/

Mermaids on Cape Cod: How A Cape Cod Artist Is Using Her Talent To Help Feed Fellow Residents

Mermaids on Cape Cod: How A Cape Cod Artist Is Using Her Talent To Help Feed Fellow Residents

CAPE COD, MA- With all of the heartwarming stories coming to the forefront these days, it’s not rare for me to tear up a time or two at hearing how so many local heroes are stepping up to help their neighbors. It is, however, rare for me to do so several times in just one call. That’s what happened when I spoke with Shari, “Chief Executive Mermaid” behind Mermaids on Cape Cod. Getting to know Shari over the years as we bumped into each other at local festivals, the “Mermaid Truck” gal always had the cutest setup of all the vendors. Her mobile truck, set up so anyone could hop on and shop great local outfits, jewelry and accessories always had me leaving with something!

Mermaids on Cape Cod Founder & Chief Executive Mermaid, Shari.

Yet in talking with her this week, I saw another side of Shari I had never seen before. Instead of being her laughing, contagiously bubbly self, she was heartbroken for her fellow artists and fiercely determined to make waves of change. “In March, I was at the Boston Flower Show and they were closing it and packing up due to the virus. They had said they weren’t going to close, but turnout was so low and things were just starting to happen, so they had to. Everybody was crying and having a tough time, and that’s not usually what the vibe is there. It was very dark and sad, and I couldn’t fathom what this would be like,” she explained. “The woman next to me looked at all her stuff and realized she didn’t have another event to go for four months, and all of her creations that she’d worked so hard on were perishable. We looked at each other and said, ‘What are we going to do?’ and I said, ‘I’m going to figure this out.’

After going home and racking her brain of how she could help those that just lost their entire livelihood all night, Shari said she remembers seeing the sun rise the next morning was suddenly inspired. “I saw sunrise with the trees and just said to myself, ‘I need to rise up.’ I started drawing rough waves, the sun rising up, the waves rising up, and realized in this distressing time we need to create some joy and rise up together.” After watching many of the funds created for such smaller local artists going to larger corporations, Shari knew what she had to do. “I’m going to raise some money. And it’s not going to be for big companies or big organizations.”

Quickly, Shari began reaching out to local organizations to guide her in her mission and fellow artists responded. “Steve at Cape Cod Textile, he came in and said, ‘Let me design something and if you sell them, I’ll just give them to you so all the money can go where it needs to.’ The Cape Cod design was him.” Pointing to a long sleeve shirt and sweatshirt in our Zoom call (which she’d tied together to hold hands and I’m not crying, you’re crying), she explained that the 15 stars on the flag design were placed to represent each of the towns on Cape Cod where in each, local artists reside. How have the sales been?

“I’ve cried a lot in gratitude,” Shari admits. “We’re shipping 500 pieces a week, which is stressful as well as keeping my business afloat working till 10-11pm at night and waking up at 7am. But with every package, I say thank you to the customer and thank you to God.” The humble artists refuses to take most of the credit, however. “This is from our community, your community, not us. The money is just from them,” she explains of how the funds from each purchase go directly towards local food banks in Sandwich & along the South Shore. “$500 keeps the food pantry alive for the community. If you give them $1, they can go to the Boston Food Bank and get 20 cans of corns to stock the shelves here. So far, we donated $1000.”

Want to help be part of the effort and grab some custom-made Rise Up swag yourself? Visit the Mermaids on Cape Cod website at https://www.mermaidsoncapecod.com/ and check out Shari’s full video interview below.

#FreshLookFriday: Creating The Perfect Coffee Corner

#FreshLookFriday: Creating The Perfect Coffee Corner

When I first wake up in the morning before my feet hit the ground, there is one thing that makes getting out of my warm, cozy bed acceptable: COFFEE! Of course, no one wants to be stumbling around in the morning wondering where the last person that used the sugar left it, if your favorite mug is clean, or-THE VERY WORST SITUATION POSSIBLE- if there’s even any coffee left! Let’s avoid all that, shall we?

The coffee corner is literally the easiest home hack that anyone can do, but it’s not something everyone would think of. Let me tell you though, if you don’t have one yet and are a coffee lover, it’s about to be your new favorite place. First, make sure you have enough space for whatever your source is. Are you a french press person like me? Are you a Keurig user? Classic pot? Or, do you prefer cold brew? Either way, other than the cold brew (which should definitely stay in the fridge), make sure your desired area has a plug and either plenty of counter space, or its own little table.

Second, pick out a tray to set everything on because at some point, you know those grounds or maybe even the whole cup might be lost to a case of the Mondays! In those horrifying situation, it’s best to keep the mess contained. What easier way to do that then having a cute little tray to put everything on? Also, from a decor aspect, things just plain for whatever reason look more organized when they’re placed on a tray. I don’t know why, but it’s magic that turns what looks like counter clutter into a purposeful space.

On top of the tray, place your two favorite mugs (making sure they match both your kitchen aesthetic & each other) so you always have a spare handy. It also looks inviting for guests that you have more than one mug out – sharing is caring, after all! Now, it’s time for your accessories. If you use coffee pods, there are some great coffee pod racks that can hold them on Amazon or, you can just use a cute basket you have at home. For the sugar (I love using these little sugar cubes!), while you can buy mason jars pretty much anywhere, I recommend using one with a sealed lid or a fitting jar you can find around the house. After all, this is a simple project-there’s no reason to spend money unless you absolutely don’t have anything at all to use.

Get my Le Creuset French Press: https://www.amazon.com/Creuset-Stoneware-27-Ounce-French-Press/dp/B00U00IRFA/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2AXWGKS7THSC0&dchild=1&keywords=le+creuset+french+press&qid=1587737754&sprefix=le+creuset+frenc%2Caps%2C141&sr=8-1

Get my Le Creuset Mugs: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B003F24D12/ref=twister_B003F24D26?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1

Headbands for Heroes: Local Business Owner Helps Those Who Help Us

Headbands for Heroes: Local Business Owner Helps Those Who Help Us

BOSTON- When Shop The Cue owner Lindsay Reilly watched a heartbreaking video of a New York nurse taking off her mask to reveal raw and bleeding her ears after wearing protective equipment all day long, she knew she had to do something to help. As Reilly saw the nurse fashion a homemade headband after a long, 12 hour shift, she had one thought. “There was a nurse spending their time when they get home after a 12 hour shift to put buttons on a headband to solve their problems. We should be able to do that, especially since I had a sewing background and a sewing machine,” explains Reilly.

Quickly, Reilly and her team at Shop The Cue got to work on headbands that could be used to protect the ears of those wearing masks by holding them together with buttons. “We had such a powerful network platform, I just asked myself: How can we use that to make a difference in the most impactful way with these headbands?” Once the word of her good work got out, the response grew overwhelmingly as nearly 600 orders flew in within a matter of days. Despite the positive reaction, this meant a bit of a struggle for Reilly. “I’d order fabric or buttons and it wasn’t coming as expected so the need got bigger. We got bombarded with orders,” she explains. It didn’t take long for the shop owner to realize she was going to need an extra hand in getting them together. “There was no way we could keep up.”

As a small business, Lindsay says it’s been a whole new ball game working in a situation where the products are newly developed and an immediate need. “Normally, you develop a product, market it, produce it and we have time to do that. In this case, one of my girls is going through all of the emails of people who are really in crucial need of these.” Watching the order numbers go up as their material stock and the ability to fulfill orders quickly went down, Shop The Cue’s network made a plea for help on social media that brought in an outpouring of support from the community. “Everyone in the community reached out, small businesses or friendly neighbors or Cue supporters to help build kits. We created kits for people to pick up on the curbside to help sew them within a matter of days.” One gentleman named Chris of Custom Sports Sleeves in Worcester approached Lindsay and her team with a generous offer that would help her not only reach her goal to fill current orders, but keep production going strong for the new ones flowing in. “He said ‘Hey, I have the material, we’re local and we can do this for you in a day. What do you think?’ Immediately I just said ‘You are an angel, and yes!'” Other businesses like Christa Hagearty of Dependable Cleaners and a local salon owner in Quincy also stepped up to help out. “It’s really the small businesses that are coming together, and that’s where the impact that’s being made the most.”

Looking closely at every order coming in, she began to notice urgent requests for headbands are now coming from outside the healthcare field as well. “The last few days, I would say we’re noticing that it’s not just the nurses. We’re having people from police stations, a local bakery who needed headbands baking all week for Easter weekend, we have one restaurant that just bought 50 of them because workers for takeout are wearing the masks as well.”

Yet the response from those that have received their headbands reminds her every day that their hard work is worth every minute. “They send us before and afters of their ears of how much it was helping them, how they love seeing the small businesses come together. It’s the little things, and being a small business I can see if there is any sort of problem and fix it that day.” The only problem Lindsay says she’s encountered: trying to get to everyone as quickly as she can, without those in the most dire need paying a dime. “We’ve had to do completed -or not completed-at least 2,000 headbands just after week one,” she explained. “We have a fund that people donated to so nurses don’t spend a dollar, but if you’re reaching out to buy one for a friend or family member you can do that as well.”

Are you or is someone you love in need of a headband? Head on over to Shop The Cue to get yours or request one for a front-line worker here: https://shopthecue.com/collections/giveback

Tackling The Weirdest Place To Decorate: The Bathroom

Tackling The Weirdest Place To Decorate: The Bathroom

It’s the one room that many of my friends and family have come to me struggling with: WHAT DO I DO WITH THIS BATHROOM? We all spend time in it every day. We all want it to look nice when we have guests over. Some of us are fortunate to have large, spacious bathrooms and interior designers on hand to tackle them, but for the rest of us that may have a slightly cramped space that you just want to look nice, it can pose a challenge. How do you make those three necessary fixtures of a toilet, sink and shower look welcoming?

The biggest tip I give people is this: it ALL starts with your shower curtain. And if you have sliding doors or another design where you don’t need one, even easier! Think about it: it’s the biggest statement piece in the room unless you have a massive floor-to-ceiling painting (which if you do, should STILL match your shower curtain by the way!). It’s what people see when they first walk in, and those colors should set the tone for the rest of the room. Sticking by the rule of three color tip and one consistent theme, your shower mat and towels should BOTH match your shower curtain and its theme (i.e., beach theme, Parisian theme, etc.). If you’re one of the lucky ones that have a walk-in shower/sliding doors I mentioned before, make sure those two pieces match each other along with every other piece you bring into that room.

Let’s talk about theme for a second: what does it mean to stick to a theme? Well, it means that sometimes even if you’re following that rule of three colors, if you have a navy, blue and white shower curtain with an anchor that screams “we’re nautical in here”, while your Patriots canvas may match the shower curtain perfectly by COLOR rules really isn’t the best place for it because that would fall under a sports theme. Believe me, I know this is hard. At the end of the day, what I always say is it’s all up to you: do you want this room to match, or do you want to throw it off because you can’t move ONE piece to the other room? If your answer is that you really want that one piece in that one room, there’s only one option: change your theme for the whole room to match that one piece. It’s annoying, I know, and trust me when I tell you I’ve been there centering an entire room around a piece of wall art I couldn’t live without. The pink & gold in my closet? Yup, I spent a week re-painting a dresser to match the theme of a gold mirror & pink Marilyn Monroe sign I couldn’t let go of. I feel you! Was it worth it, though? Absolutely! Now every time I walk into that room, my spirits are instantly lifted at the glamorous space I was able to create for myself because I decided not to be lazy and just keep that dresser teal.

Now, let’s talk about what we did in our bathroom to put that into perspective: when I walked into our new bathroom, we had white walls and grey flooring with THANKFULLY a matching grey sink. Immediately, I knew I had two colors to work with: grey, and white. Loving both of those colors, I chose not to add a third (remember, three is the MAX amount of colors, not the required amount to stick by). That being said, it made it super easy to pick the colors for our shower curtain. After showing several to my husband that we couldn’t agree on, I finally found it: one that said “Get Naked” in pretty script writing. It made him laugh, and it looked pretty for me. Done deal, and now every time I come into the bathroom, I get a good chuckle, too!

Getting to work, I was off to TJ Maxx, Marshalls and Homegoods to find the PERFECT plush, white shower mat to match the white lettering on that curtain since the floors already have that grey. While I was there, I also picked up a white and grey patterned soap dispenser and toothbrush holder for all under $15. (These were GREAT investments because you don’t have to worry about the cucumber melon soap looking out of place, and have a holder to match!) Since the walls are white, I opted for a chrome handle bar to match our fixtures and grey towels from Target. Next, it was time to look into my own decor inventory and see what matched. Large white mirror? Yes. Grey & white heart-shaped sign? You bet.

The final touches were what went above the toilet. With little sink space, this meant a neutral, clear accessories holder. Next to that, I chose to take a clear flower vase, some beads from Michael’s Craft Store, and add faux flowers I’d purchased on Wayfair. Before I knew it, voila…our small bathroom was done! All by keeping things consistent, we created a space that was both pleasing to the eyes & functional.

Do you have a space in your home that you’d like a little help with? I’m here to listen! Email me at emmalyn@emmalynreid.com and I’m always happy to help in offering any tips/advice for any space!

Irish Hearts Gala Takes On New Form In 2020

Hey..do you have any plans this weekend?

These are the words I feel like we’ve ALL been waiting to hear for so long, and this weekend I mean it when I say I want you to get dressed up and do something FUN with me!

Truthfully, it’s been difficult watching so many amazing events be postponed or cancelled. Lucky for us, one foundation found a way to both keep its patrons safe AND keep the party going! The Irish Hearts 11th Annual Benefit Gala has moved to a virtual celebration where you can pour yourself a cup of Irish Tea (or champagne!) and join in a live auction from home just by listening over the air at WROLradio.com on Sunday, April 19th from 1-2pm. Prizes include a trip to Ireland, private tour of the MFA, signed Red Sox memorabilia, and so much more! To qualify for the live drawing, text IRISHHEARTS to 41444 to get your raffle tickets. If you prefer a silent auction, you can also enter that as well by heading over to Charityauction.bid/irishhearts.

What is the Irish Hearts Foundation? Started in 2010 by the Irish community in Boston in response to the devastation left behind by the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti, the foundation is committed to “transforming the lives of vulnerable children in Latin America and the Caribbean by supporting their homes, health services and educational programs”. On Sunday, you’ll get to hear from Alexis, a special guest speaker who will be sharing his story over the airwaves of how programs like Irish Hearts have helped him become the person he is today.

While of course we’d all prefer to be attending the gala in person, I would still LOVE to see your formalwear looks from home! Tune in with me this Sunday for the special event, and if you do post a picture of yourself all dressed up for the occasion please tag me @realemmalynreid to help raise awareness for this amazing cause.

Check out this video to learn more!

Cleaning Out My #Cloffice

Cleaning Out My #Cloffice

Yep, you read that right: the “Cloffice” trend is spreading like wildfire and I’m ABSOLUTELY here for it. Since moving into our new place, we traded the giant walk-in closet in our old place for a short walk to the beach & easy access to the city-it was SO worth it! However, it did leave us with one *slight* issue: while my husband’s clothes could all fit in the dresser & small bedroom closet, WHERE DO I PUT ALL MY CLOTHES?!?!

While originally we’d planned to turn our spare bedroom into the traditional guest room, we realized the closets were just plain too small no matter what we did. After much research into this new “Cloffice” trend of having a closet/office, I began to use what we had to design a glamorous, feminine space where I could do my hair & makeup with a cup of coffee in the morning or sit in the evening and write blog posts like this. (Am I doing that right now? MAYBE!)

Starting with the rule of three, I selected the same colors from our wedding: blush pink, gold and white! It was an easy choice not only because they’re my favorite color scheme at the moment, but because I already had most of the decor items I needed to make this happen. This is key whenever you’re decorating on a budget or simply have pieces you can’t imagine NOT having in the space you envision. For me, I wanted the room to be centered around a giant gold family heirloom mirror that belonged to my great-grandmother that I could get ready in front of every morning. There was just one problem: the dresser I wanted to use was teal & gold instead of white & gold! As you’ve seen in the past though, I’m by no means afraid to get my hands dirty and slap a whole new coat of paint on something, so that was my first order of business. I chose Ultra Pure White by Behr and made sure to use painting tape to cover the gold areas I wanted to keep, and take off the drawer pulls before I got started. Once the paint was dry, I thought about what I wanted on my dresser that doubled as a lingerie chest & holding hair/makeup/office products (yes, that’s a v wide range, but remember: CLOFFICE VIBES!). I had this GORGEOUS tray from Homegoods that was a perfect white marble/gold combo on which I could place my makeup brush holder and have as my workspace. To the right, I wanted to have one of my favorite scents, Yankee Candle’s Sparkling Extra Dry candle, light pink flowers as an accent (easy to find both flowers & vases at Dollar Tree & Michael’s!) and of course my signature scent on hand, CHANCE by Chanel. I also put to use these PERFECT white & gold coasters that were made by a close friend as favors for my bridal shower since I love personalizing our space, but you can find some that would match easily at Homegoods/TJ Maxx or even on sites like Amazon or Wayfair.

Of course, I needed to have all my hair tools on hand as well, so I spray painted a silver hair tool organizer I got from Amazon gold (if you want to buy new, you can go here!). To help dress the walls, I found white & gold picture frames also leftover from our wedding that we’d found at Dollar Tree, and printed out my favorite photos of getting ready on our big day!

Nearby, I knew I’d need to have my jewelry on hand. I used this pretty gold table from Wayfair and placed a tray I legit found at a thrift shop on top to hold my pearls & earrings. Above it, I hung my favorite chandelier painting from Oliver Gal and placed a pretty table lamp for ambient lighting. In the center of the room, I placed this pretty rug from Safavieh (one of my favorite rug brands!) that I was SHOCKED to find for such a great price at Target!

Now, let’s finally get to what started this whole project in the first place: MY CLOTHES! Instead of putting damaging holes in the wall with hanging wire racks, I opted for rolling racks that are really reasonably priced on Amazon. Since a lot of light comes into this room, to make sure my clothes didn’t fade from the sunlight I grabbed pink quatrefoil curtains from Job Lot and some gold curtain rods (again, from Wayfair!). For that dirty laundry and those clothes that don’t really need to be hung, I grabbed a couple of gold & white baskets from Homegoods.

Before I knew it, I had SMASHED #ClofficeGoals mostly by using things that I already had! If you’d like to create your own, let me know if you have any questions and what your color scheme is – I LOVE looking at creative new spaces 🙂

Camping With A Cause: The Story of Camp Hale

SANDWICH, NH- Nestled on the peaceful shores of Squam Lake in New Hampshire, the Camp Hale grounds serve as more than just a getaway from the hustle & bustle of Boston. First incorporated in 1900 and now one of the oldest camps in the country, its mission is to offer children from Boston neighborhoods that may not otherwise have the opportunity a “refreshing, enlightening and meaningful camping experience.”

“It’s been a lifesaver for a lot of people and taught them about love, community, diversity and how to deal with it,” says Aaron Dushku, Vice President of the Camp Hale Alumni Association who recalls many years he worked summers at the Camp. “The friendships that you make in those situations.. there’s 8 kids in a cabin together, they don’t know each other when they show up yet they create lifelong bonds because they go back year after year.” Today, the Camp is attended mostly by children from the South End and lower Roxbury neighborhoods of Boston. Though the camp may have brought in children from many different areas of the city and of all ethnicities over the years, some things remain the same. “The camp program has songs and activities, of course time on the lake. You see the way things change like the telephone game over the years, but you also see a lot of traditions that stay the same.”

For Aaron, serving on the Camp Hale Board was a family tradition that he was proud to be a part of. “Our family gains so much from Camp because of what it gave to my dad. He grew up in a rough neighborhood. People who grew up in these neighborhoods came from difficult circumstances.” Aaron’s father, who was an active member of the organization, decided to also his own children to Camp Hale. There was only one problem: since it was a dedicated boys’ camp, his daughter was not able to attend. “My little sister is an actress (Eliza Dushku) and she watched as her three older brothers went to camp every summer and was bummed she couldn’t go. Over the years, she saw how dedicated our family was to the camp.”

This inspired the actress to use her talents to help give back to the organization in a special way that would forever change the future of Camp Hale. In a 2009 celebrity basketball shootout, Eliza was able to raise $60,000 in heels as she dominated a game of Horse that she used to fund the beginning of a girls’ program at the Camp. She didn’t just stop there, however. “She also auctioned off clothes from different television shows she’d been in and got some of her friends to donate in Hollywood,” explains her brother Aaron. Eliza’s efforts transformed Camp Hale from being strictly a boys’ camp to offering a program that would be welcoming young women as well.

Overall, Aaron estimates the Camp Hale Alumni Association has raised several million dollars to sponsor inner-city youth to go to camp, and it’s an organization shows no signs of stopping. “The alumni just keep coming back, and we have a really active situation,” says Aaron.

Unfortunately, the organization’s most anticipated charity event of the year that was slated for this spring had to be put on hold until November due to the Coronavirus outbreak. Yet that doesn’t mean this year’s coveted Casino night will be anything short of spectacular. “This is our big one,” says Aaron, describing the catered event by Chilacates that emanates an old-Boston feel in a setting surrounded by gaming tables provided by Boston Charity Casinos. Given the current circumstances, “Every single one of our vendors have been wonderful,” says Aaron.

With so many events being rescheduled, there’s quite a bit we can fill our calendar up with for the fall. Personally, I’m making sure Camp Hale Alumni Association’s Casino Night is one I don’t miss! If you can’t make it there yourself, no worries. Look forward to a video coming on the big event this fall!