Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Cheers to 2013

2013 has been a great year and as I look back, I feel incredibly grateful.  I'm lucky to have started this project, to be seeking out great deals every day in life that make me smile and to be sharing them with you. As I put two thousand thirteen behind me, I resolve to be even more adventurous in my future endeavors and to never take the small things for granted. Happy New Year and cheers to what lies ahead in 2014!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Eve Sparkle: What to Buy

Renting not for you? You still have plenty of time to purchase just the right look before the ball drops. Here are a few great sequined dress options that would work for any kind of celebration that night and any budget too since each is under $100. Happy shopping!

forever21 glamorous mini/ ella moss tiara dress/ zero degrees dolman dress/ lulu's beige mini/ forever21 bombshell mini

Friday, December 27, 2013

New Year's Eve Sparkle: What to Rent

Looking for the perfect New Year's Eve outfit? JOIN THE CLUB! We all want to look fabulous on NYE but you also want to buy an outfit you can afford since you won't wear it every day. The perfect solution is to rent....the outfit arrives at your door with another size, just in case and without the hassle of having to try on 100 options. If renting is right for you, try these RTR looks, all for under $50, with the perfect amount of sparkle for the occasion. Happy renting!

badgley mischka dacruz mini/ robert rodriguez dance off mini/ halston heritage roll call mini/ trina turk vega mini

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

happy holidays

"Merry Christmas to all and to all a goodnight."
- 'Twas the Night Before Christmas

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Holiday Notes

Tis' the season! I love to get crafty with wrapping gifts but nothing dresses up a present more than a great tag. I enjoy using printable templates because they are fool-proof and ensure the note will always look great. Below are a few of my favorites but if you don't see any you like, feel free to use these other great printable sites...just click here or here!

these might be my most favorite tags to use around the holidays. they are classic and look great with any gift since they are all different sizes. just click here to get started (tags pictured are printed on white cardstock)

using craft paper, I printed these tags (4 on each page) and they are great for larger gifts or wine

looking for something a bit more traditional? use this template and print on red paper to help make your gifts stand out

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Curb Appeal

The words "curb appeal" didn't hold much meaning to me until my husband and I owned our first home. While there are many benefits about living in an urban setting, I've found that being in the city poses serious challenges when it comes to creating home-front appeal. To start, there is only a tiny amount of real estate to work with and you don't want your house to look like every other one on the block but you certainly want it to stand out. Taking that into consideration, I decided that three crucial elements would set us apart from our neighbors. Here they are:

                          1. finishing with a great front door and frame color that are classic but still stylish
                          2. having a door knocker that no one else within a 2 block radius already has (not an easy task)
                          3. a great wreath and surrounding greenery that can withstand any weather conditions

This was our door when we moved in. Understanding that it would take some time to find and install a new one, we started by picking out plants to sit on either side of our front steps. It wasn't a new door but it helped to dress up the house for the time being. I did a lot of research but we finally settled on the Holly Steed. This type of tree stands upright, are great in any weather, prefer sun and only needs a little shade to survive making them the natural choice and they look amazing framing our entryway.

We knew that we wanted to keep the integrity of the house intact by replacing our current glass door with a wooden craftsman style version. After scouring every salvage yard in Baltimore each weekend for months without finding anything, we made the decision to purchase a brand new one. After looking online and visiting our local Lowe's, we decided on a 4-lite wood door from Home Depot. This specific door was not sold in the store or online but after a quick chat with the door manager, they said it could easily be created for us using one of  their many partners. ALWAYS ASK!

Picking colors proved to be one of the most challenging parts of this project. After weeks of back-and-forth, we finally settled on using Sherman-Williams's oil-based wood primer in Clary Sage for the front door and Accessible Beige for the framing.

We wanted the door accents to help modernize the craftsman style so with that in mind, we picked newer hardware from Overstock. We originally bought a crab knocker to fit the Baltimore theme but it just didn't look right so we went with this cast iron anchor knocker from eBay instead and the wreath is a DIY project that can be found here.

 and finally, the finished product!
(minus a new outside light, which is next on our list once the weather breaks)

Thursday, December 12, 2013

DIY {upside down & liquidless} Snow Globe

There is nothing better than coming home to a house that feels festive during the holiday season. Although I love breaking out my decorations from the basement, I try to take a minimalist approach when getting my house holiday-ready. I love snow globes and they are a simple way to mix holiday decor into your own home but I wanted to take an unconventional approach to creating them. Since I had about 50 antique mason jars going unused from my own wedding, I got the idea to make these great looking globes. I bought fake snow flakes, miniature tree and animal figurines and used my own various mason jars (get them here) to create these great upside down and liquidless globes that are the perfect way to decorate any coffee table or create a chic centerpiece. They look great and only take 5 minutes to make!

{step 1} fill your jar (does not have to be mason) with the fake snow (less than half way to make room for the figurines)

{step 2} drop in and press down your miniature trees

{step 3} repeat the process with any additional holiday figurines you want to include (I've included deer in my own)

and lastly, place your globes wherever you need a mixing of holiday decor in your own home!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Snow Day Attire

I love snow days. Having grown up in Maine, it brings me back to my childhood excitement at getting to stay home from school to build snowmen and take part in neighborhood snowball fights all leading up to warm hot chocolate with my sisters in our kitchen. My version of what a snow day means has changed but I still feel like a kid when those white flakes cover the city streets. I can't help but stay in bed as I anxiously hold my breath waiting for the oh-so-important "we won't be open today" text message that so rarely seems to come. These days, a snow day looks more like taking calls from home as opposed to the office with the perk of having my favorite mug of coffee hot in my hand followed by baking with any ingredients I have laying around. Most importantly, the winter freeze means wearing fabulously comfortable and cozy attire all day (I'm talking an L.L. Bean matching plaid pajama set....until I leave the house, of course).

Here is what I chose as my "snow day friendly" budget attire
hat / gap jacket (old but similar here) / sweater / chambray shirt / black jeans / hunter wellies

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Nautical Pillows

It’s easy to get simple seaside style wherever you live with the right decor. Growing up in Maine and now living by the water, naturally it made sense for me to fall in love with these popcorn sea pillows the instant I saw them in a local Baltimore furniture store. They make any bench, chair or couch look amazingly chic and give a room that perfect amount of nautical touch. They are also a quick and easy way to add or change the style of your room so whether it’s your kitchen, family room, beach house, patio or deck — the addition of a few pillows can make a dramatic difference.

I found my own nautical pillows at Beach Decor but One Kings Lane is having a fantastic deal on equally as fabulous pillows right now with prices ranging from $29-$60. When I originally saw these great pillows, they were selling for $120, I bought my own for around $45 and One Kings Lane is selling them for $39!

pillow images courtesy of One Kings Lane

Curious to know how you can style your own pillows? Here is some inspiration (images thanks to pinterest)



Monday, December 2, 2013

Cyber Monday Steals

The Black Friday frenzy has come and gone but I have been biding my time scouring every site to bookmark my must-haves, which brings me to my favorite post-Thanksgiving day....Cyber Monday. Today is filled with great deals from all of your favorite retailers and online shopping from the comfort of your couch, office or even car. Here are a few of my favorites and happy shopping!


Use code EVENMORE for 10% off of $100, 15% off of 250, 20% off of 500 and 25% off of $1,000 and FREE SHIPPING

Amazon is offering lightening deals every 10 minutes on their site and TONS of great deals on electronics

30% off the entire site using promo code CYBER

http://factory.jcrew.com/womens-clothing.jsp                                 http://us.asos.com/?hrd=1 

                     50% off everything using the code GOSHOP                30% off using the promo code GIMMEMORE

Thursday, November 28, 2013

A Day of Thanks

I don't know about all of you but today, I bake (and arrange table centerpieces).
Happy Thanksgiving, budgetista's!

Monday, November 25, 2013

DIY Starbucks Glitter Cup

It's almost time for the holidays and I'm getting in the spirit with this very simple DIY project that I have been dying to try. As a year-round iced coffee drinker, I've owned this clear cup for awhile now but I am always looking for a more stylish way to keep my hands warm and carry coffee during those chilly months. When I originally saw a picture of these amazing glitter Starbucks tumblers on Pinterest, I knew I had to make one and I love the way it turned out. If you want to recreate this great project yourself, just follow the easy steps and DIY "necessary items" list below!

{all from Michaels for $12.96} gold flake glitter (similar here) / tacky glue / mini gold glitter for any "fill" areas / brush

{DIY} Glitter Cup in 6 Simple Steps
{Step 1} purchase an acrylic cold cup tumbler from Starbucks (must be the kind with two detachable cups)
{Step 2} add glue around the outer portion of the inside cup & start pouring the glitter around those glued areas
{Step 3} continue the process above until the entire cup is covered
{Step 4} fill in any gaps with the smaller gold glitter so the entire cup is covered
{Step 5} let the cup dry in a place where it won't be bumped our moved
{Step 6} lastly, glue the two cups together by adding tacky glue around the portion where it screws closed

Friday, November 22, 2013

Real vs. Deal: Transport Tote

You have likely already spotted this Madewell transport tote on the blog many times (last seen here) because it's one of my most prized style possessions. I wear this bag everywhere and with everything but purchasing it wasn't easy on a budgetista like myself because of the $168 price tag. That's why when I came across this twin to the Madewell version, I knew I had to share it. Mod Cloth's inside-haute bag is so similar in appearance that you might not even be able to tell them apart and still has the great rustic appeal that the transport tote exudes. For only $59.99, you really can't go wrong and this is a bag you will use forever (or for as long as it lasts)....enjoy!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The Look for Less: Frends Headphones

images thanks to Welcome to Legs and Pinterest

If you like music as much as I do, you understand the importance of good headphones and for that reason, I adore these amazing metallic version from Frends. I love how they are bulky and cover the entire ear but most importantly, the gold metallic just makes a huge style statement. I really covet the Taylor gold ones but whether it's those, the Layla rose gold or any other version, for that matter, I would treat them like an expensive dress that garners it's own corner of the closet. They are a simple and attractive way to listen to music but each also comes with a hefty price tag of close to $199. I need to own these and at some point, I might be lucky enough to but until that time, I've managed to uncover a few more affordably chic options that everyone can splurge on....enjoy!

1. Asos $32.04 / 2. Forever 21 $19.80 / 3. Yoox $75

Friday, November 15, 2013

The Look for Less: Leather

{inspiration images from pinterest}

We all love seeing what celebrities are wearing and with their endless budgets to purchase fantastic-looking wardrobes, they manage to always look chic but the truth is, that just isn't realistic for everyone. Leather pleated skirts have become a style staple lately and whether they are worn casually or for a glamorous night out, each option gives a natural edge for your everyday look. The inspiration above gives a great taste to how a leather skirt can be worn while the look for less gets you the fashion you crave for a fraction of the price.

 1.  H&M $29.95 / 2. Sheinside $21.97 / 3. Asos $32.04 / 4. ChicWish $33.92 / 5. H&M $24.95

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Real vs. Deal

Plaid is in! I am loving this tartan pant look with a loose blouse for work or more casually for the weekend with a white tshirt and military jacket. Every fashion power house has a version of these pants for fall each with small and subtle differences in look and price for your own personal style. However you wear them, these pants are fantastic and can certainly be a cheap steal if you find the right ones. I've looked through many options and fell in love with the TopShop Tartan Cigarette Pants featured on Polyvore but found a more affordable and almost identical pant from H&M for just $24.95. Will you go for real or the deal?

Monday, November 11, 2013

Mini S'more Pies

Looking for an easy Sunday baking project? Look no further because this is it! I ran into these great like Keebler mini graham pie shells while grocery shopping and couldn't resist the urge to get them despite not having any gathering in the near future to bake them for. I wasn't quite sure what I would use them for until I realized we still had marshmallows from making s'mores over the summer and that's when a light bulb went off. S'more pies, quite simply, are a bakers dream because they are simple to make and they taste fantastic. I followed this simple recipe from Iowa Girl Eats but made a few addendum's including using chocolate chips as opposed to Nestle bars and for the topping, I mixed chocolate syrup with the chips, honey and fall themed sprinkles to add a festive touch.