Friday 10.31.14

A NEAT Retreat this HALLOWEEN!

As many of you may have heard (through social media), we had our Annual NEAT Summit last week in our hometown of Chicago! It just so happens to be THE BEST time of the year for us...mainly because the Summit brings all the NEAT girls together from all across the country to discuss business and how we can help NEAT take over the country, one disorganized space at a time! ;)

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The majority of our three day retreat consisted of brainstorming sessions regarding business management, development, and product knowledge within the organizing industry. BONUS for you - over the next few weeks, we will be sharing exactly what our new favorite organizational solutions are! BUT because today is Halloween and all things black & orange, it seems only fitting that we share one of our more fun portions of The NEAT Summit 2014....our trip to a Pumpkin Farm!

** Apologies in advance for the large amount of photos...but when you only get together once a year, you've got to get as many photo ops as possible! And lucky for us, Andi Lantz of Andi Lantz Photography was able to capture our day perfectly!

ashley murphy, molly graves, pumpkin patch, neat method, home organizers, neat, hot blondes, cute girls, neat cofounders, neat method, bengtson's pumpkin farm


home organizers, neat, neat method, bengtson's pumpkin farm, neat method girls, neat girls, neat cities


home organizers, neat, neat method, bengtson's pumpkin farm, brooke ruder, ashley murphy, heather byrne, heather gilligan, chicago home organizers, neat method girls, neat girls


home organizers, neat, neat method, bengtson's pumpkin farm, neat method girls, neat girls, neat  cities


home organizers, neat, neat method, bengtson's pumpkin farm, catherine zinn, marissa hagmeyer, katie oswald


home organizers, neat, neat method, bengtson's pumpkin farm, lisa ruff, molly graves, cofounder of neat method, home organizers in san francisco


home organizers, neat, neat method, bengtson's pumpkin farm, marissa hagmeyer, lauren warner, heather byrne, heather gilligan


home organizers, neat, neat method, bengtson's pumpkin farm, mika perry, katie oswald


home organizers, neat, neat method, bengtson's pumpkin farm, heather byrne, heather gilligan, marissa hagmeyer, brooke ruder


home organizers, neat, neat method, bengtson's pumpkin farm, the neat girls, neat method girls, neat cities

We hope that today, you all have just as epic of a Fall day as we did! Happy Happy Halloween to all our NEAT friends & family!


the NEAT witches


Notebooks custom made at May Designs


PS :: Outtakes for your viewing pleasure! ;)

home organizers, neat, neat method, ashley murphy, cofounder of neat method, bengtson's pumpkin farm, chicago home organizer
home organizers, neat, neat method, catherine zinn, mika perry, bengtson's pumpkin farm, washington dc, scottsdale
Monday 04.07.14

Another NEAT doll added to the bunch! Bring it on!

Mondays are typically depressing since the weekend is over, but we can't help but jump for JOY on this particular Monday! Today we are super excited (like it's Christmas morning) to share with you the newest addition to the NEAT team! She is a loving wife, mother of two, and though itty bitty, she can whip your home into tip top NEAT shape in no time! Oh, and did we mention...she's stunning?!

Without further ado, please welcome NEAT Scottsdale to the lineup! 

mika, mika perry, neat method, neat method scottsdale

NM :: So girlfriend give us the facts! Let's start with your name and where you were born.

MP :: Hello hello NEAT freaks! I'm Mika Jennifer Perry (maiden name: Gabriel). You pronounce it like “Meeka,” but I get “Micah” a LOT and even “Mike” sometimes. I puzzle Starbucks baristas on a regular basis.

I was born in Japan and lived in Tokyo, New York, and Seattle before our family finally settled in Tucson, AZ. And by “family” I should mention it is very small - I’m an only child!

mika, mika perry, neat method, neat method scottsdale

NM :: Wow! You've really lived everywhere! What made you settle in Scottsdale, Arizona?

MP :: Arizona State University brought me to the “Valley of the Sun” (as they call it around here), but I stayed because I absolutely LOVE all the days of sun here! I think Scottsdale averages around 300 days of sunshine! A year! I'm spoiled! Phoenix is actually the 5th largest city in the US (which many people don’t know) and it’s made up of many amazing surrounding towns and suburbs. The resort feel and luxe lifestyle of Scottsdale just can’t be beat! And it also helps that my family and closest friends are all in AZ! 

My loving husband, Russ, and I have two beautiful girls - Maddix (8 years old) and Reese (1 years old) & we all agree that Scottsdale couldn't be a more perfect home for us!

(cue absolutley ADORABLE family photo)


mika, mika perry, neat method, neat method scottsdale, cute family photo

NM :: What are some of your favorite shops in Scottsdale? Or where do you like to eat? Our Scottsdale readers are dying to know where you spend your time when you are not busy making other people NEAT!

MP :: I am going to address the food part first, because I happen to LOVE to cook and eat - and look forward every month to my delivery of Bon Appetit and Saveur magazine! 

Date night: Chelsea’s Kitchen (FREE salted chocolate chip cookies on the way out. Enough said!), Mastros City Hall (steak & butter cake), Grazie Pizzeria (one of my favorites!)

Brunch with girlfriends: The Herb Box (great patio) and The Henry (love their espresso bar)

Group Outing: The Yard (a huge place housed in an old car-repair garage with ping pong!), Stingray Sushi (I dare you to try to find the door), and AZ88 (where else can you get waffle fries with your extra dirty martini?)

OK now SHOPPING! The Scottsdale Quarter has pretty much everything you need. There is also Fashion Square, the state’s largest shopping center! Small boutiques and local shops around town that are particularly stylish and cute are: Amy, Inc., Nove, and Stephanies. Oh and I can't forget Baby Lux in DC Ranch, which has the most amazing little kids clothes!! 

mika, mika perry, neat method, neat method scottsdale

NM :: Ok now that we know where you like to eat and shop, tell us a little bit more about this OCD tendency of yours! Where are you the most NEAT? :)

MP :: ….ummm I have to pick one? Having to have my bed made before starting the day, not being able to sleep unless the house is picked up, re-writing to-do lists because my handwriting doesn’t look right…probably typical stuff for a NEAT girl, right?

One thing I would say is pretty crazy OCD is my pre-travel routine. I cannot put anything into my suitcase without cleaning it first i.e. I have to wash all my makeup brushes & wipe down each makeup container and steam all my clothes. I also make sure my outfits share a general color theme, and I pack things in ziplock bags and label them. I also make sure to make time for me pre-travel - aka a spray tan, freshly painted nails, and my teeth whitened. I think traveling can be a hectic event, so having at least myself put together at my best makes for a happier trip!

mika, mika perry, neat method, neat method scottsdale

NM :: Ummmm your travel routine is AMAZING! Hysterical. Now, the most important question of this interview process. Are you ready? Who is your celebrity crush??

MP :: I know this is a BIG NEAT girl question... so I have been waiting for it!!! I’m going to start with my girl crush, Jennifer Lawrence. Are people calling her JLaw now? If not, they totally should. Anyway, JLaw needs to be my BFF because she is effortlessly hilarious. For the fellas, Heather I am Team Taylor Kitch all the way with you!!! He’s not a big star, so I died when I saw you picked him for the Valentines crush post! I loved him in Friday Night Lights. My husband watched the show with me, too, so I think he’ll be OK with this confession. Oh, I also really love Andy Cohen on Bravo!

mika, mika perry, neat method, neat method scottsdale

NM :: Now let's get to the real FUN! Give us some serious scoop on all things Mika. What do most people not know about you?

MP :: I  am fluent in Japanese. I enjoy classical music...and rap. Which doesn't totally make sense?! Also... I cannot get my hair to be big ever. I am OBSESSED with BIG hair. I'm 5'5'' but when my hair is done right, I'm 5'7''

(cue big hair, don't care) 

mika, mika perry, neat method, neat method scottsdale, big hair

NM :: What makes you most excited about NEAT Scottsdale?

MP :: Scottsdale already has an appreciation for a well-balanced, healthy, fun, resort-like lifestyle, and residents here are known to truly embrace aesthetics and a luxuriously-appointed living space. This town is ready for someone to put all the puzzle pieces together and introduce them to the NEAT life - and I couldn’t be more honored and excited to be the one to get it started! 

mika, mika perry, neat method, neat method scottsdale, cute family photo

NM :: Anything you would like to tell our Scottsdale followers in particular?

MP :: Absolutely! When I first came across Ashley, Molly and NEAT, I was already planning to start my own organizing company. I had this feeling that these NEAT girls were up to something amazing, and I always believe "go with your instincts," so I reached out. Months later, here we are - and the support and response I’ve already gotten about NEAT coming to Scottsdale has been overwhelming! What I love most is that everyone here at NEAT is someone you just want to be friends with immediately. I’m thrilled to spend each day doing something I love - but the extra step we take in making the client experience one where they look back and say "wow, that was actually fun!" is the icing on the cake. Bring it on Scottsdale! :)

mika, mika perry, neat method, neat method scottsdale

We want to point out that Mika has been loving a good bin since age 3 (see above)... so she's clearly perfect for the job! Isn't she just the cutest thing ever?

We couldn't be more honored to have Mika launching NEAT Scottsdale! Please give her a big warm welcome to the NEAT life!


the NEAT girls

Thursday 09.13.12

NEAT's Crush:: Jessi Sheehan, Evolve

We'd like to introduce you to our new series called NEAT's Crushes! We have quite the list of crushes (not that we fall in love easily), so get ready to learn how these gals live NEAT...or not so much!

Our first crush is Jessi Sheehan, Founder and Head Stylist of Evolve. Besides having an amazing sense of style, Jessi is also one of the sweetest ladies we have met since launching in Chicago. Thanks for the warm welcome to the Windy City!

Jessi Sheehan, Evolve, chicago, blogger, chicago blogger, stylist, chicago stylist

NM:: Jessi, what's your most OCD tendency? Trust us you are among friends!

JS:: My most OCD tendency, thank you Mom, is stacking things (mostly papers) into piles. When I am working on a project, getting mail, needing to go through a magazine, etc. I group like items into piles in the way in which I can work on them. It is my way of organized chaos. If all my papers were in a big pile I would forget about was in the middle or the should see my desk. I am starting to come to terms with a filing cabinet.

I am also a very literal person. Things are either black or white, there is very little grey area. I am this way with my clothes especially. I must love what I walk out the door in, or it may as well be in the garbage. There is no in between. My mood is affected by my look each day. I can honestly say I have had a bad day because I so strongly disliked what I was wearing. The way we dress is an expression of who we are, it is another voice giving people clues about us. Dress with intention!

Jessi Sheehan, Evolve, chicago, blogger, chicago blogger, stylist, chicago stylist, clothes hanging, clothes hanger, valet rod, hanging rack, clothes rack

NM:: Send us a picture of your most ogranized space - tell us what items you used to make it look this great and why you love it!

JS:: My most organized space is my accessories. I found these amazing vintage glass boxes at Marshalls. I have to have all of my things out in the open or else I forget about them. As I quickly get dressed in the morning I can easily complete my look. Sometimes I pick the piece first and then style the look around that. The pieces are organized by color, sized smallest to largest, and of course like items are together (bracelets with bracelets, rings with rings, etc).

Jessi Sheehan, Evolve, chicago, blogger, chicago blogger, stylist, chicago stylist, bedroom, girl in big hat



Jessi Sheehan, Evolve, chicago, blogger, chicago blogger, stylist, chicago stylist, jewelry, organized jewelry, bracelets, bangles

NM:: What is your least organized space? Why do you hate it and what went so terribly wrong?!

JS:: My least organized space is honestly my closet. An outsider would think I was crazy with this statement, but I spend so much time in other's closets that mine often gets neglected. It is in great condition just not where I want it to be.

Jessi, we totally know how it is to neglect your personal space at times, we do too (shhh...don't tell anyone). Thanks for being our first featured crush! 

Now that all of you are just as obsessed with Jessi as we are, please make sure to follow her on FacebookTwitter and Pinterest :)!


the NEAT girls

Wednesday 08.15.12

Here Comes the (Organized) Bride

I would like to take a minute to reintroduce myself not as Heather Gilligan, but Heather Byrne. Yep, I’m a blushing newlywed. Most amazing day of my life, BUT my new last name is somewhat leaving me with an identity crisis!

I’ve decided to dedicate this blog post to pre-wedding organization because everyone will need it at least once or twice in their life - either as a Bride and/or a Bridesmaid. I learned first hand what exactly you MUST have in order to make it through the BIG day!

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Biggest lifesaver:

With twenty minutes till my dramatic entrance down the aisle, not one – BUT two – bridesmaids’ side zippers busted off the dresses. My mother-in-law and wedding planner literally had to sew both girls into their dresses within ten minutes! Talk about adding extra nerves and sweat to an already nerve-wrecking situation! Honestly, it would have been a complete nightmare if it weren’t for The Bridessentials Kit. It literally has anything and everything you could possibly need in a pinch – including a sewing kit and pink string!

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Other than having an absolutely adorable clutch to hold your lip gloss, cell phone, and bobby pins – you will also need a second bigger bag to hold anything and everything you may need or use the day of. Because after all, your wedding planner was not hired to be your personal assistant. She will be a huge help throughout the day, but she is not paid to follow behind and pick up your belongings.

My Lo & Sons OMG bag (obviously) was filled with items including: the clothes I wore in the morning for hair and makeup, hairspray (you can never have enough), a brush, a comb, deodorant, perfume, white chalk (yes, I actually used this to get a spot off my dress), and a cell phone charger.

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This may not seem as obvious, but will make a huge difference: make sure there is a basket of delicious snacks in the suite for the bride and groom the night of the wedding. Regardless if both have time to sit down and eat at the reception, they will most likely be starving by the time they make it to their hotel after. 

I’ve put together a pile of NEAT’s favorite office snacks for inspiration! 

priates booty, champagne, stars, gummies, snacks, crackers, gourmet crackers, healthy snacks, whole foods, whole foods gummies, healthy beverages

When in doubt (or not in doubt), hire a wedding planner. Turns out, organization may run in the family. Molly’s mother is a wedding planner in the Chicagoland area - but will travel for those of you interested!

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Best of luck to you, hopefully organized brides and bridesmaids! Don't trip ;)



Wednesday 08.08.12

We are Officially Breaking the Streak

What streak you ask?? The Midwestern-rooted employee streak that is!

It is our pleasure to introduce you to our Lead Organizer and Austrian born, Nancy Winkelmann Clark. 

Living in San Francisco for just under a year, Nancy enjoys painting, being in the California sun, and organizing like a mad woman! Besides her husband, the love of her life is her pup “Fiona, our sweetheart of a dog.”

Nancy Clark, Nancy Winklemann, German Shepard, Girl and Dog

Nancy is a serious a sucker for the CW - relishing in Gossip Girl, while enjoying gummie snacks.  So is she on Team Chuck, Dan, or Nate? "Well certainly not Dan with that awful mop of hair in the last season, Nate is most attractive, but Chuck Bass has that mystery that is appealing to most girls." So true!

Nancy Clark, Nancy Winklemann, festive drinks

And when asked what her most embarrassing moment is, her response: “Every. day. of. my. life. Just kidding, sort of… I've always been on the quiet, 'look at me and I blush' side, so let's just say I embarrass a little too easily to just have one moment.” We love her just the way she is!

Nancy Clark, Nancy Winklemann, Nicholas Clark, vacation,

So what makes Nancy a fabulous edition to the team? Her ridiculous attention to detail (she claims “it's obnoxious to most, namely her husband”) but it is super helpful in executing the NEAT touch! Also having a design background and need to make things look 'just so,' doesn't always hurt either. 

Nancy Clark, Nancy Winklemann, pink dress, cute girl

AND have you noticed? She has a scary resemblance to Amanda Seyfried. Proving it:

Nancy Clark, Nancy Winklemann, Amanda Seyfried, doppleganger, Le Mis, Le Miserable, Oscar Awards, Academy Awards, Golden Globes

We are so lucky to have another fabulously organized and fun loving girl join the NEAT Method team! We are sure you will love her just as much as we do!!


the NEAT girls

Wednesday 07.25.12

Cat's Outta the Bag...

Or...should I say cat's in the bag?!? Yes, it's true! NEAT's having a NEAT-O! Your's truly is due this October with a baby BOY! Yep...only 12 more weeks. Thankfully! 

I don't really get people that just "love being pregnant"? Don't get me wrong, I know it will all be worth it, but this is NOT fun! I'm always tired. I feel like I'm walking around with the infamous waddle. I have to pee all the time. My back kills. A workout these days is walking up the stairs. Oh...and I can't enjoy a glass or three of wine every night! NOT fun.

ashley murphy, home organization, baby shower, baby tips, baby, how to prepare for baby, pregnancy, cute baby, pregnancy test

(This is the picture I sent to my parents on Valentine's Day announcing the news!)

Regardless, it's happening and it's time for me to get prepared. You would think as such an organized person, I would already have the nursery completed, registry registered and the name picked out and monogrammed all over...but as it turns out, I am fully overwhelmed with the amount of s*%#t this kid needs. Really...5 different things to rock him, swing him, bounce him, swaddle him??? 3 different pacifiers, bottles, diapers, bibs...just to see what he likes? I refuse to make my kid high maintenance and I feel like all these options will do just that. What ever happened to the days when parents would just lay a baby down on a blanket and call it a day? I turned out okay. Sort of!

baby shower, how to prepare for baby, organizing for baby, tips for baby, pregnancy, pregnancy test

(This was a picture from our baby reveal party with our friends & family!)

The good news is...I am fully on my way to getting the nursery figured out. However, that wouldn't even be happening if it weren't for my good friends, Sprout San Francisco! I had the privledge of getting to know this amazing children's boutique while living in San Francisco, and ironically moved back to Chicago at the same time that they opened their doors here. They have offered to help me with everything for my nursery! All of the furniture, decor, bedding, etc. I seriously don't know where I would be without their generous help! So...stay tuned for all of the Sprout nursery decor and NEAT organization you can handle! Coming to you in the near future. 

Oh....and happy Bump Day!



sprout logo, children, kids, baby tips, pregnancy, pregnancy tips, baby shower
Wednesday 07.18.12

Changing Lives, One Closet at a Time

Everyone can relate to that stage in life, when you aren't quite ready to commit to owning a new home because there are still so many perks to renting! As life happens and we slowly start to outgrow our space, we still want and need our rented apartment to be a mature and sophisticated living space.

How do we accomplish this if we can’t even take a paintbrush or nails to the wall??

Brit Morin, founder of Brit & Co. (an amazing lifestyle brand and website dedicated to innovative ideas, apps, and products for the digital generation) came to us with this very problem! Her rustic chic San Francisco apartment may be decorated beautifully, but it was seriously lacking in the closet department. How is a girl to fit all her clothes in one little closet, let alone share with her husband?

With the help of NEAT Method, Brit’s guest bedroom was transformed into her dream walk–in-closet! AND the best part – not even one nail was put into the wall!

With a little closet rearranging, Brit’s husband’s belongings were reorganized into her old closet:

Brit Morin, Brit and Co, closet, full closet, unorganized closet, closet tips, DIY, home decor, home organization


Brit Morin, Brit and Co, closet, full closet, unorganized closet, closet tips, DIY, home decor, home organization

And his old closet became the “catch closet” for all items that were scattered around the guest bedroom - including skis and seasonal jackets:

Brit Morin, Brit and Co, closet, full closet, unorganized closet, closet tips, DIY, home decor, home organization for the once “guest bedroom" you ask?  

Just to give you a visual, here is what we were working with:

Brit Morin, Brit and Co, closet, full closet, unorganized closet, closet tips, DIY, home decor, home organization just so happens to serve as Brit’s personal closet space filled with lovely dresses and amazing statement pieces!

Here are some pretty fabulous after pictures, along with tips on how we worked our NEAT magic:

The freestanding unit implemented is absolutely perfect for rental apartments! Not only does it leave the walls untouched, but the closet instillation can also be repurposed in your next home for an entirely new space. Whether it ends up in your basement or perhaps your garage, it's money well spent that can always find a new home!

Brit Morin, Brit and Co, closet, full closet, unorganized closet, closet tips, DIY, home decor, home organization, Elfa system, Container Store

With Brit and her husband’s taste in mind, organizational items were purchased from The Container Store and implemented within the unit. Open bins help to maximize the space and provide easy access to hold smaller belongings including: purses, hats, and scarves.  

We also organized her shoes ROYGBIV, Brown, Black, and then within the color: flats, to heels, to boots.

And once again, we implemented our favorite black slimline hangers!

Brit Morin, Brit and Co, closet, full closet, unorganized closet, closet tips, DIY, home decor, home organization, Elfa system, Container Store

We also placed her more fashionable jewelry on display in acrylic organizers:

Jewelry, Jewelry organizing, acrylic organizer, jewelry organizer, jewelry tips, organizing, home organization

Living in a rental apartment has so many benefits, and now the few “typical drawbacks” don’t always have to be a disadvantage. We helped Brit make her closet space more functional and aesthetically pleasing - without even leaving a mark!

Now when Brit gets ready every morning, she feels like she’s shopping her closet!

What’s a girl not to love?


The NEAT girls

Wednesday 07.04.12

Stars, Stripes, and Sparklers! Oh, My!

Happy Happy Fourth of July!

We here at NEAT Method happen to LOVE this “All American” Holiday! 

Yes, partly because of the historical importance - to celebrate the birth of American independence from Great Britain. For those of you who may have not gotten an A in history: on July 4, 1776 the US adopted the Declaration of Independence.

But aside from the history lesson, the 4th is a typically fun summer day filled with festivities ranging from fireworks and parades to family gatherings and barbecues.  The NEAT girls plan to be decked out in stars and stripes, writing our names in the air with sparklers at least a few times tonight, while also listening to Katy Perry’s “Firework” on repeat.

To help you stay organized in style on this fabulous day, we have decided to share some of our favorite holiday décor with you! We know that suggesting you purchase "costume like" items goes against every bone in our body, but believe it when we say that even NEAT breaks the rules sometimes!


It isn’t a party until you have a well thought out stylish American outfit - and this shirt is just perfect:

american flag shirt, all american, 4th of july, red, white, blue, red white and blue

And for the fellas, these will for sure give off the "All American Boy" vibe:

Bonobos, american flag shorts, stars and stripes, all american, mens swim shorts, swim trunks, 4ths of july, red, white, blue, red white and blue

We were raised to never come empty handed to a group gathering, so what better way to celebrate than by arriving with this ombre deliciousness: 

Layered cake, 4th of july desserts, 4th of July cakes, red white and blue cake, red, white, blue, DIY, baking, cake receipe

And to organize your utensils in true red, white, and blue fashion:

red white and blue, red, white, blue, all american, america, 4th of july, plastic ware, DIY, table setting

Lastly, one of our favorite ideas for the holiday is to decorate using these mugs (which will also be great for the Olympics!):

USA, America, anthropologie, olympics, red flowers, white flowers, blue flowers, USA, 4th of july, fourth of july, all american

We hope you enjoy your holiday, relaxing in patriotic style of course!


The NEAT girls

beach, preppy, all american, suntanning, American, 4th of july, fourth of july, red white and blue, red, white, blue, summer


Wednesday 06.13.12

It's now...2 Blondes vs. 2 Bruenettes!

With the expansion of NEAT Method, comes not only the excitement of new cities and new clients – but also amazing new employees! We are beyond thrilled to introduce you to our newest team member based in Chicago – Marissa Rae Hagmeyer! This brunette is wickedly good at marketing, has a graphic designer's eye, and can whip up some pretty fabulous gourmet meals we might add! 

We decided to take Marissa up on one of her famous home cooked meals, as we pried into this Real Housewife of Chicago’s life.

For those of you who would like a visual:

Marissa Hagmeyer, Marissa Crylen, cooking, brunette cooking, kitchen, homecooked

(PS, her secret ingredient is hot sauce and love)

NM :: (as we try to come up from our food for air) So judging by this feast, we obviously can tell you are a foodie! Since you clearly know what you are doing, what is your favorite restaurant in Chicago?

MH :: Oh man, favorite restaurant is soo hard!! I guess I will list them out for you by genre, and you can pick to feature any of them. (To bad we are featuring them all!) :

- Italian: Topo Gigio

- Mediterranean: Turquois

- American: Feast

- Fish: Shaws or Sunda

- Tapas: Emilios

- Special Occasion: NoMI or Girl & the Goat

- Indian: Klay Oven (LOVE spicy food)

- Thai: Opart (again always down for a little spice)

- On the bucket list: I recently read Life on the Line, the biographer of Grant Achataz, Head Chef and Owner of Alinea....some day I will go there!!!

Marissa Hagmeyer, Marissa Crylen, Chicago, Mother Daughter

NM :: And if you had to eat one food for The Rest. Of. Your. Life.?

MH :: This is REALLY tough because since I’m a foodie, I hate eating the same things over and over again. Can I pick a type of food?? If so, I would say Mediterranean. The only thing I am not a huge fan of, is (pause) cake.

Alex Hagmeyer, Marissa Hagmeyer, sports, Chicago, Couple, happy couple, married

NM :: (voice in shock) What?! Please elaborate.

MH :: I have just always been on Team Ice Cream. In fact when I was little, I always had an ice cream cake or a cookie cake on my birthday because I “hated cake.” We even nixed the traditional cake at my wedding, and served an ice cream sundae bar!  But ice cream is my indulgence, and I’m pretty sure everyone knows I can’t turn it down. My all-time favorite is an Oberwise Mix-In with peanut butter cups!  Should we go there after we finish dinner?

Alex Hagmeyer, Marissa Hagmeyer, sports, Chicago, Couple, happy couple, married

NM :: Before we get actual scoops, let’s get some real scoop on you! What are your favorite things to do in your free time? Besides organizing, of course!

MH :: I love to run along Lake Michigan, attend yoga classes, spend time with my family and friends, and I am constantly starting a new DIY project. 

Alex Hagmeyer, Marissa Hagmeyer, sports, Chicago, Couple, happy couple, married

NM :: So you have been blissfully married for a little under a year, but how did you two meet?

MH :: Alex and I are high school sweethearts and fell smitten in the halls of Naperville North High School. 

Alex Hagmeyer, Marissa Hagmeyer, sports, Chicago, Couple, happy couple, married

NM :: Since you obviously live with your husband, any tips to help dudes lead a more organized and clutter-free life?

MH :: Well the biggest lesson I have taught Alex since being married is how to reduce the amount of papers he keeps laying around. It used to drive me crazy, but I quickly learned that nagging him about it wasn't the best solution. Instead, I bought a cute basket that sits on our shelf. The rule is simple; every time I put another article in the basket, I take one from the bottom and throw it away. So far he hasn't come looking for any of the articles I threw away! I also would advise guys to have a place to organize the things that get emptied out of their pockets every night. It is a must! From golf tees, to loose change, a nightstand can get ugly real fast if those odds and ends don't have a place to go.

Alex Hagmeyer, Marissa Hagmeyer, sports, Chicago, Couple, happy couple, married

NM ::  We can already tell you are just the perfect addition to the team, but what do you think makes you a rock-star asset?

MH :: I think my marketing and design background, combined with my 'type A' personality is what makes me a great addition. I have also lived in Chicago for the large majority of my life, so I know this city well and can't wait to introduce it to NEAT!

Marissa Hagmeyer, Marissa Crylen, girl, brunette, bachelorette, big hat, fiesta

Isn't she just the cutiest little organized foodie you've ever met?? Personally, we think she is better than two scoops of ice-cream and that's saying a lot in Marissa's book!


The NEAT girls

Wednesday 06.06.12

Throwback Thursday :: Meet Molly Heffinger Graves

We hope you are LOVING Throwback Thursdays just as much as we are! This week, we would like to introduce you to Little Miss Molly. Otherwise known as “Dollface” or “Jones Patrol,” circa the late 80’s and early 90’s.

Ask her mother to describe Molly as a baby, and she says “a blonde Shirley Temple.”  

Ask Molly and she says “a blonde Ronald McDonald.”

Molly Heffinger, Molly Graves, curly hair, happy girl

She may seem like a sweet, innocent blonde… and truth be told, she was and still is!

At age 4, she dreamed of being a model. But, as she progressed through school, she loved all her teachers "so much" that she wanted to be a teacher when she grew up instead!

Can we say teacher’s pet?!

Happy baby, Molly Heffinger, Molly Graves, Red Dress

In her free time, Molly loved eating Dunkaroos, playing tennis (once ranked 34th in the Midwest, we might add) and fishing!


Molly Heffinger, Molly Graves, big glasses, bangs, fishing, fish, Wisconsin, Boulder Junction, White San Lake

She always had a fabulous sense of style, from bright orange overalls (???) to this fur number.

Her "first" fur coat!

Fur coat, coat, bowl cut, little girl, happy girl, Molly Graves, Molly Heffinger Graves, Wisconsin, Boulder Junction, White Sand Lake

BUT let’s be honest. You all want at least a little dirt on this bubbly and outgoing angel! So here we have it…all the DIRT we can muster up!

NM :: You seem like such a saint, what is the meanest thing you have ever done? 

MollStar :: I actually convinced my sister to take the lead role in my at-home Easter play. I got her naked, wrapped her in a sheet, and crucified her on a cross made out of sticks... oops!

Family Photo, Pale children, christmas card, winter, family, Betsy Heffinger, Fritz Heffinger, Molly Heffinger, Molly Graves, Black and white cat

NM :: You seem like such a heart breaker! How many boyfriends did you have in grade school / middle school?

MollStar :: Oh Man! Brian, Drew, Spencer, Mike, Jason, Allan, I think that might be it..... 

(And Homecoming Queen?! We bet you were breaking hearts - maybe this guy's perhaps??)

Homecoming, Wheaton Warrenville South, Molly Heffinger, Ross Cheairs,

NM :: Most embarrassing moment?

MollStar :: I'm not saying my worst one out loud - let's just say I was sheltered as a child. Basically all the dumb and embarrassing things I did (and still do), have to do with me living in a bubble and being naïve. I was the girl that fell for "your epidermis is showing!" 

We hate to break it to you Moll, but we think it's showing here: (eeks!)

Rope swing, Boulder Junction, Wisconsin, cabin, White Sand Lake, Molly Heffinger, Molly Graves, water, summer

And there we have it. Proof that MollStar always has been, and always will be, the outgoing and smiley little blonde everyone adores!  Staying true to her roots, not much at all has changed since birth!

We love our little Ronald McDonald angel! Don't go changing!


The NEAT girls

baby, chocolate cake, happy baby, Molly Graves, Molly Heffinger


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