Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

What would Halloween be without a costume post?! Sorry for those of you stopping by to read about decorating, although I guess it can be considered decorating in a sense...I decorated my kids!

Confession...I'm not the biggest fan of Halloween. I find it a little stressful coming up with costumes and like I've mentioned before, I'm CHEAP! I don't like spending money on something my kids will only wear once, twice at the most.

So this is how a CHEAP mom does costumes:

Candy Corn and Zombie Costumes
Hopefully, it's obvious that my daughter is a candy corn. She came up with her costume all by herself. Want to know the truth behind this picture? Her smile is completely forced and fake! Prior to the picture, she announced she wasn't going to wear the hat. Was I ever so happy that I had just gone to several stores looking for hats, couldn't find any, so finally got creative and made her one?! All of that for, "I'm not wearing it!" Well, she got the "you're wearing it for the picture no matter what" speech, put it on and forced the smile! Can't say that I blame her, I chicken out when it comes to costumes too. She comes by it honestly.

The bloody little fella next to the candy corn is a zombie. One day last week, we went to check out zombie costumes at Target and I quickly realized zombies are expensive! Something to the tune of $25 for a very poorly constructed piece of junk. So on to plan B.

Plan B was genius because it made me the coolest mom around! For a total of $3, my son came away totally happy and ended up with a hands on experience.

Let's take a closer look at this nastiness.

I handed him a $2 white t-shirt and told him to go outside and get it as dirty as possible. After the shock wore off, he quickly seized the opportunity, afraid I might change my mind. Off he went to make some mud and drag the shirt through it. Exactly what every little boy loves to do...play in the mud! Next, I handed him a pair of scissors and said, "Now, cut it up and rip it." That got me a "Oh my goodness! This is the best costume ever!" It wouldn't be complete without covering his hands in red paint to smear all over the place. And last, but not least, let's glue on that fake liver found for $1 at the Dollar Store. Totally gross and disgusting...exactly what he was going for this year.

I say our $3 hands-on creation is far better than a $25 Target costume. What other child will be wearing their own work of art as their costume? Ha!

Any other cheap-os out there like me, or am I scaring my kids for life since I won't spring for the "nice" costumes?

Now that you've seen what I can do with mud, paint and livers, don't you want me to decorate your house?! Contact me so the fun can begin!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Shopping the Sales


Here's a little fact about me. It's safe to say I have rarely, if ever paid full price for any home decor item, including furniture. I am a firm believer that if you're patient enough, you can save hundreds of dollars.

Today I'm passing on these savings to you! I've shopped the sale sections of several of my favorite stores and brought you some great deals.

Let's shop...
Z Gallerie
Leaning mirrors are a great way to fill wall space and make a big impact at the same time. Loving this one at $100 off, making it $399.

Z Gallerie

This 5-drawer dresser is marked down from $999 to $499. A great rustic version of the mirrored furniture we all love.

Z Gallerie

Loving this accent chair! Wouldn't it bring instant texture to your room? Marked down from $349 to $299.
Z Gallerie

Speaking of texture, try out this braided herringbone rug for $199.89.
Ballard

Now is a great time to shop for outdoor items since many stores are clearing the way for current season items. These outdoor rugs range from $9.99 to $129.00.

Home Decorators

In the market for a new sofa? Here's a sleek option shown in graphite. Marked down from  $999 to $489.99.
Z Gallerie

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it. This amber colored stemware would look stunning on your table. Set of 4, marked down from $35 to $23.96.
Ballard Designs

I'm a sucker for all things quatrefoil. This vase can be used in so many different ways. Go traditional with vase filler or flowers or get really crazy and use it as a ice bucket at your next gathering. Snag this deal for a cool $29.99 (marked down from $79).
Potterybarn

Having company for the holidays? Dress up your bed with a set of pillowcases for only $7.99.
Ballard Designs

Aren't these picture frames cute? The chain link frame would make a great addition to any bookshelf, mantle or picture ledge. Prices range from $16.99 to $34.99.

Lots of money to be saved, friends! Be patient and stalk shop around. I hope you all have a great weekend. I'm off to make a zombie costume for my son. Why do boys find it fun to be gross and scary for Halloween?

Need help decorating your home? Contact me so we can get started!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Random Act of Kindness #8

Happy Thursday, friends! Are you ready to hear about today's RAK challenge?

Okay, first you have to promise me that you'll actually do the challenge. This is our eighth challenge, so no more reading and thinking, "Aahhh, that's so nice." No way friends, today's your day of action! On your mark, get ready...now go act kind and random!

Here's a little glimpse of what to expect...
etsy

Go through a drive-thru and buy yourself a coffee. While you're paying, tell the cashier that you would like to pay for the person's order who is behind you. Leave the cashier with instructions to tell the lucky recipient that they've just received a Random Act of Kindness and encourage them to pay it forward. If you're really on top of things, make a little notecard that shares this message, then hand it to the cashier to give to the person as they give them their "paid for" drink!

You can adapt this RAK for just about any drive-thru. Just make sure there's not a van full of people behind you, unless you plan on spending a fortune!

So there it is, friends. Go out and share "a whole latte love!" Don't forget to leave me a comment and tell me you've accepted the challenge!

Need to catch up on your RAK challenges? Click herehere, and here to see what's been going on.


Linking up to Casey Leigh's Fall Followers Fest. Stop by to meet some new friends!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Trendy Backsplash Options


For some reason I've totally had kitchens on the brain recently. Not sure why. Maybe it's because I keep seeing these beautiful backsplash options that make me realize I really should have varied up my kitchen a tad bit more when I was making selections. Hindsight is grand, isn't it? 

If I were to do it over again, maybe I'd go with a little Moroccan flair. Wouldn't this make an interesting kitchen?!

Via Exquisite Surfaces


Here's a similar look that's so cool and fresh. 

source
What do you think about these? I think I love them! Daltile has created a tile that looks like linen. Aren't they the coolest?

 

Have these field tiles cut in rectangles and you're set with an amazing modern look.  What about you? What type of backsplash would you choose if you had it to do all over again?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Knobs and Pulls- a perfect match?

Okay quick, when I ask you to think about kitchen hardware do you think of a matching set? I'd venture to say most of you said, "Yes." Traditionally, knobs and pulls do match.

Let's think outside of the box a bit now. What if they didn't match? When we moved into our house, one of the first projects we did was add hardware to the drawers and cabinets. We didn't do this in the first house and we began to quickly see wear and tear on the wood. Anyway, I purchased glass knobs and metal pulls from Hobby Lobby.

 

I didn't think anything of it and honestly the thought of these two having to "match" never entered my mind. When people come to visit, one of the most common comments I hear is, "Wow! I never knew you could mix hardware." Why not, friends? Don't you think it's much more interesting to look at things that blend rather than being an exact replication of each other? I do!

Here's what they look like in my kitchen...

There are so many great options when it comes to cabinet hardware. Have you checked out Anthropologie's collection?



 

 

Need a less expensive option? Try Hobby Lobby, like I did. They run their hardware 50% off almost every other week!

 
 

They give Anthropologie a run for their money, don't they?

So, what are your thoughts? Are you a matchy match person or are you willing to push the limits and mix it up a bit?

Do you need someone to help you create a beautiful kitchen? Contact me and let's get to work!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Life as a Floral Designer (kind of)

Wow! I never knew how hard it is to make floral arrangements. Well, the actual arranging is the easy part, but you wouldn't believe the amount of work that goes into the rest of the production! I agreed to help my friend, Jennifer, with her assistant's wedding. Hence, why she needed my help. You can't exactly make your assistant work on her wedding day!

In order for you to have a better appreciation of the process, I'll break it down for you...
First, you have to drive to at least 2 different wholesalers to check on your order and make sure the flowers that came in are wedding worthy. If they're not...back to the spreadsheet to refigure and redesign.  The worst part is that the prices of flowers fluctuate almost daily! You don't know how much you're going to make off an event until the day you purchase the goods. That would drive me insane!

Next up, picking up the flowers then unloading. Here's a peek of the beginning process. Who knew a garage could look so pretty! Ha!

After unloading the car, you get to unpack all the boxes and sort by flower. Did I mention you have to strip off all the thorns on the roses?! Warning, floral designing can be painful!


               
See all of these vases? They get to be washed by hand! Like I said, hard work my friends. Who thinks about that part when you're staring at the pretties? You'll appreciate it next time, won't you?

The work quickly becomes so worth it when you start to see the arrangements come to life. Look at this massive table arrangement...


Next up, peek-a-boo tulips...

Aren't the colors amazing?

Don't kill me, Jen!
Sometimes you have to get a little silly. Especially when it's late and one of you're biggest vases just got knocked over and broke into a zillion pieces. Oh yeah, and you don't have an extra!

 Here's Jennifer hard at work, the next morning, making the bride's bouquet. The jewels were the bride's grandmother's. Great idea!

Okay, all the arrangements are made except for the handful of items that must be created on-site. Now it's time to load up 2 SUVs packed to the brim. Now you say serious prayers that nothing will break during the transport.

The couple got married at the bride's parents' house then rented out a restaurant for the reception. Unfortunately, I don't have pictures of her parents' house, but a majority of the flowers ended up at the reception anyway. 

This is the restaurant before its flower makeover...
Reception BEFORE

And...

Reception AFTER




Seriously, it wasn't that bad, but I do have a newfound appreciation of this profession. Now I know why they charge big bucks!

Lots of pretty close-ups to share. I'll leave you with some eye-candy. Stop by Jennifer's website and see her work!



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