Thursday, January 31, 2013

Champagne decor on a beer budget

My husband Dave told me a story about a discussion he and my brother-in-law had at lunch earlier this week.  My Dave and BIL are seriously like twins, having done everything together since they were little and still have a great relationship.  Can we say "bro-mance" ? :-D

My rad BIL is smart and successful in his job and going to grad school.  He is also going to be a homeowner of a brand new townhouse in Daybreak.  Construction is almost done.

So Dave mentions to BIL: "You should have Alina come help you decorate your place"

BIL: "I don't know man, her taste is too high"
Dave: "What do you mean?"

BIL: "Those chairs, they cost like $300 bucks each??"
Dave: "No.  We got them at Ikea for $70 bucks each

Before the dining table and chairs

Sorry for the bad lighting but here they are

This is with a tablecloth we got on clearance at Williams-Sonoma for $20 instead of $90.  The picture frame we got for free from one of Dave's friends.  The flower vase was from Burlington Coat Factory for $5.  The tray was from Tuesday Morning for I think $15. 

The chair without the slip cover is $50 but the white slipcover is the least expensive of this chair line at Ikea (and not everything there is a bang for your buck at Ikea in my opinion) and was $10.  We didn't want to budget $250 for 2 chairs that "matched" the dining table from Kohl's so we kept looking around until we saw something we liked at a price we were comfortable at.  

You can refer to the price of the Ikea chairs HERE

Back to the story, my BIL then said: "Oh yeah?? But what about that mirror??"

He was referring to this rectangular mirror :

Dave replied: "Oh that?  That is...

From WAL-MART."  

This was $40 bucks!!  
(look HERE, this is in-stores only but it has excellent reviews)

I love this mirror because (1) it makes our living space look bigger and more "balanced"  (2) it is light, it isn't heavy to hang like other mirrors and (3) it was the best price for a mirror that size.  

I think it looks great!  Looking at our little space makes me happy.  

Some tips for making your space look smashing good

1. Have a budget.  You need to be comfortable with paying the price you want. Plus if you don't set a limit, you'll be looking forever at the wrong stores and wasting time.  

2. Shop around and compare.  Sometimes you may not know what the average cost is for an item until you do this.  I had no idea what a mirror like that should cost so I looked around.  With the mirrors, some were $250, others (like Ikea) were around $99, and the price was right with Wal-Mart for the rectangular mirror.

3. Be inspired with what you see on blogs, Pinterest, TV shows, and home decor magazines on decorating on a budget.  There is always a look-alike somewhere if you just. keep. looking.  You get lots of ideas from this. 

4. Ask me for help :)  Let's see what I can do to help you find something lovely at a price you're comfortable with.  

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pillow Talk

What's up!!

I'm sure you heard this before from other interior decorators.....

The best way to spruce up your space for $20-$50 bucks is

PILLOWS.  Throw pillows, specifically.

Everyone...I hope they're still there but when I stopped by TJ Maxx a few days ago they had a HUGE HUGE over-shipment of throw pillows in all the colors you can imagine.

I took pictures as proof.

This sales associate at TJ Maxx was the bomb.  Look at how she coordinated all the pillows by color!!  The boxes at the end were still full of turquoise and blue pillows. Gorgeous!!

So run to "the Maxx" now!

I ended buying a pillow at Home Goods (which by the way is a subsidiary of TJ Maxx and Marshalls) because it was chevron and chartreuse green. This was $20 bucks but I was happy.

(I really need to figure out how to make the walls not appear like wasted space)

I've seen other blogs where they make pillows exactly like this but boy, I was sure glad to buy it and spare myself the trouble of making my own. :-D

As I said before, the guest room is still a work in progress.  Dave said we can't have the pink bed sheets from my single life anymore because it's "too girly".  He's right.  The guest room cannot be sexist.

So I'm thinking I have to keep the green pillow.  I am not sure about the ruffle pillow.  I love it but it has a huge pilling problem :(

I'm thinking that green can work with grey...I'm thinking of green like the green color on bamboo and the grey river rocks.

We did browse at Ikea and I SAW THIS:


I've never seen my name on anything.  Not even on a souvenir key chain.  
The plan is to buy it this weekend.  Because it has my name!  

And on a final note, I want to leave you with this

"Life takes you to unexpected places; love always brings you home"

Very true!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

How to agree with your spouse on anything

There are lots of things we agree on.

There are some things we differ on, such as where to eat, what movie to watch and decorating taste.  Neither what we like is "wrong", just different.

My style

From one of the most beautiful blogs ever HERE

His style

From Dave's pinboard.  1 of 3 pins in his entire account


1. Ask questions

2. Wrestle it through like this below.

From this weird fan page HERE

3. Then get the thing you both agree on.  Or go the restaurant you both agree on.  Or watch the movie you both want to watch

4. If not, then repeat Step 2, until you reach Step 3. Don't worry, it shouldn't last that long because you'll both be tired and waste no time coming to a decision.

It works.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Snow and Goals

It's snowing.

I believe in the power of prayer and witnessed several miracles resulting from it but...

Whoever is praying for snow, please stop.  

Dave is out with guys and I'm here at home enjoying my me time.  

I browsed through my magazines I received earlier this week:
  • House Beautiful
  • Real Simple
  • January's Crate & Barrel Catalogue.  

Below is some inspiration from Crate & Barrel.  I'm excited because they've picked colors that are my favorite and it's similar to what we have going on in our living room.  Lots of blues/greens/mints are trending up for 2013.

I'm drawn to the poppy flower picture frame.  Not crazy about the price but I love it.  Also the lamp, the driftwood table.  I also love white walls. 

Last weekend we started organizing the guest room a little bit more.


Some progress (this was taken on my new iPhone 5 so the pictures are going to look slightly better than before)

We're also in the process of finally framing some wedding photos and looking into purchasing more art.  February's  Real Simple issue had a nice article interviewing a guy who sells contemporary art. So when we buy more wall art, I'll post about that too and his tips. I hope to replicate the poppy flower wall art! 

And since it's 2013, my goal is to get my black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do this year.  If I want to kick butt, I got to get my fat butt back to training.  I went back this week and never felt better!  The black belt test is strenuous so I have to go exercise more often this year.  

Another goal is to sleep better by exercising and going to bed earlier during the week.  

Another goal is to save more money.  We are saving but we are looking to save more by using one car and eating more at home during the week and some other random stuff.  It is making a difference. 

My other goal is to be organized at home and throw out/donate things that we don't need piling up.  If the home isn't organized then nothing else is organized.  

I'll start making some posts about the progress of my goals too.  Hopefully they don't fall short! 

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Bathrobe is a great present

Long break out vacationing in TX and now back to work.

Looking forward to another year together with Dave.

2012 went by so fast! 

I think time flies when you're in love. ^_^

I'm so happy!

Being married to Dave is great!  He does not stress me out.  None of that first year is super hard stress. 

I think if you are happy and honest with each other while dating and then engaged, your marriage will be fine with nothing to fear.  

For Christmas, Dave asked me what I wanted and I told him I wanted a bathrobe.  

I got the idea after seeing a Christmas mail advertisement from Ulta Cosmetics.

I was thinking he would get me a regular bathrobe made out of towels.

Dave ended up picking out a super nice bathrobe from this place HERE

From Soma Intimates.  
Worth checking out if you don't want a "PINK" or "VS" written on your undies ;-).  Just sayin'

I doubt men read my blog but this is a GREAT gift option for your wife. 

My bathrobe is so soft. Wearing it makes me feel very pretty. The color is great too. 

It keeps me warm during these cold winter months.  I've been wearing this a lot at home.

A wonderful present!!! And this bathrobe is on sale too.  I have a size L/XL but it fits fine for me. 

Happy New Year 2013 and 7 months of marital bliss!