Decor finds/Spring decor: Pt 3

So, I have to say, I am just ITCHING for Spring.  Most people in Pennsylvania and the New England states normally are around February and March, but I feel like I take it to another level of stir crazy!  I find my true happiness being outside in the warm weather.  I’m in love with almost everything Spring & Summer.

We bought a pool on sale halfway through the summer of 2016, so I’m stoked to be able to enjoy it this time around for the ENTIRE summer.  In the summer, my usual gardening takes me away from all my troubles around this time too, and now I’ll be able to blog about it since this was started in late August last year.  This year will be different with the addition of chickens!  Stay tuned for goodies in my blog posts!

With that being said, do you think this 30-something already started her Spring decorating?  If you don’t know the answer to that already then this blog’s not for you!  I like to use the first of the month to start a new holiday or season to decorate for (or weekend, if the first of the month is a weekday).  That means this weekend was the first weekend in March – so out with Valentine’s Day and into Spring!  I, personally, am not fond of St. Patty’s day decor because it can go in the direction of just a little too weird for me – like nothing to decorate with but 4-leaf clovers and leprechauns. I have nothing against the holiday but can’t see decorating my house for it.

Enter – HomeGoods! IMG_20170225_153045873

Every so often I’m going to do a post on chic, inexpensive home decor finds.  Check my previous posts for decor finds. Most of my focus will be on Homegoods, with some TJ Maxx, Marshalls, and Michael’s mixed in.  Since there is no website to order products online and HomeGoods’ inventory is leftovers or overstock items, so it’s constantly changing, I think posting items on my blog when they’re fresh from the store, may help some of you shoppers!

I received a HomeGoods gift card from my future mother-in-law for my Feb birthday so I decided to spend it getting more imported-from-Italy Extra Virgin Olive Oil and a bread box!  I was told bread boxes are now harder to come by (mainly in stores).  We got a steal on this one that’s extra roomy and matches our appliances!

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Price: $19.99.

Location: Vestal, NY Homegoods location.

Anyway, back to Spring!

Check out what HomeGoods has to offer for your Spring decor.  Wreaths and birdhouses galore!

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Flower and plant decor with some bunnies and baskets.

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This end cap is super cute and mixes my fave – metallics with pastels for Spring!

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What’s your Spring decor look like?  When do you plan on decorating?  Leave a comment and share your thoughts! Let me know if you need any prices checked at HomeGoods.

40% off Valentine’s Decor Haul

Those of you excited for Valentine’s Day, since, let’s be honest, it gives you another holiday to decorate for – I’ve got special deals in store for you.  My last 40% off haul was around the Fall at Michael’s for awesome deals on Halloween decor.  If you’d like a re-cap, click here.    For those of you against Valentine’s Day because some consider it to be a commercialized/greeting card holiday to promote shopping, I’ve still got something in store for you or your kids!

Michael’s is holding a sale for 40% off of Valentine’s Day decor.  INCLUDED in the sale are the crafts for your kids’ classroom Valentine’s Day party.  In addition, this carries over to all pink, red, and purple home decorators!  Even if you are not celebrating Valentine’s Day, per se, there are a ton of advantages of shopping right now for your home color scheme.  Everything from wreaths, to throw pillows, gold lips, and the paper-made mailboxes for your kids Valentine’s cards from classmates!

In my master, I have “XOXO” signs hanging around the bed with pictures of my boyfriend and I, so I thought it was sort of fate to run across these mini, yet perfect, throw pillows.  These work great in your master for 365 days a year regardless of the holiday.:

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Below, I transitioned my holiday decor from Christmas with the use of metallics like gold and silver into Valentine’s Day decor from Michael’s with the tabletop scatter. Tip: I like using neutrals and metallics for all holidays as a base and then build off of that with whatever color scheme for whatever holiday it may be:  less money spent on decor items and less decor to store in the off-season!

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Lastly, here’s a look at the items Michael’s is offering:

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Happy bargain hunting!  Leave a comment with your shopping or decorating tips!

Decor finds/After-holiday sales: Pt 2

Alert interior designers, decorators and bargain hunters! Every so often I’m going to do a post on chic, inexpensive home decor finds. A few months ago was my first post on the topic! Most of my focus will be on Homegoods, with some TJ Maxx and Marshalls mixed in.  Since there is no website to order products online and their inventory is leftovers or overstock items, so it’s constantly changing, I think posting items on my blog when they’re fresh from the store, may help some of you shoppers!

This post will only be slightly different because I want to include some wonderful “after-holiday” sales as well as decor pieces.

First up: Adorable, life-size and potted, faux birch tree & pine arrangements

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Price: $49 down from $99.99.   This price may still seem expensive to some but keep in mind that it’s life-sized (I want to say 6ft tall but did not get the measurements in the store).  If you’d like measurements, let me know and leave a comment!  Two of these would look great flanking a door, outside or inside, or in a mudroom or entryway.  I also think they are worth the price because they don’t need to necessarily be out during the holidays only.  I could see these fitting in a Fall theme or everyday of the year in a rustic decor setting or rustic cabin or primitive setting.  They can go modern if being paired with modern pieces or painting the base a metallic color, etc.

Location: Vestal, NY Homegoods location.

Similar items: See Below.

Next: Other decorative, life-size trees, along with a “Fresh Cut Trees” sign and a “Santa Stop Here” sign

 

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Prices:  Varied. A couple hundred dollars or less.  As far as the height, much like what I wrote above, these were probably around 6ft tall.  They were made of balls of yarn and the tree directly to the right of the sign, with it’s base showing, was a metallic silver.  In the second pic, faux flowers, a wooden tree, probably closer to 3ft, and a white deer are shown – all for under $100.

Location: Vestal, NY Homegoods location.

Next: DOG LOVERS!  Many doggie Christmas sweaters, coats, stockings, and treats were on sale.  NOTE: that there seemed to be more Small and Extra Small sizes than Med-Extra Large.

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Prices:  Varied.  I don’t remember seeing anything over $30.

Lastly: Wrapping paper, gift bags, ribbon, and gift tags

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Prices: Varied.  This was a huge red-ticket clearance with some wrapping paper being between $0.99-$1.99!  I saw some of the cutest gift bags and ribbon!  Generally, these items can be pretty pricey before the holidays so I know a lot of people that stock up after, and the quality of these items were really great compared to the sales at other stores.

Drop a comment or question and stay tuned for more decor finds and other blog posts.

DIY Cut Flower Food

As some of you are aware, I was lucky enough to get no-occasion flowers from my boyfriend a couple of weeks ago.  From the Farmers market haul and blog post I did last week, I was able to then pick up another fall bouquet!  The results:  combining the yellows and greens from the earlier bouquet my boyfriend bought img_2057

with the NEW bouquet from the farmers market:img_2085

 

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I was able to get a steal of a deal with the farmers market bouquet being either $3.95 or $4.95 (can’t remember)!   There was enough that it could be separated into 3 full or 4 semi-full bouquets!  That’s about $1 per bouquet.  I like to separate them out when I get them into “skinnier-necked” vases so that I have more to place around my house.  Take a look at my good friend’s blog for the creative ways she separates her flowers around her house – so adorable, and not to mention versatile, no matter your decor.

Store-bought or fresh-cut flowers tend to die pretty darn quickly, and if they do come with the flower food packet, it doesn’t stretch far enough for the life of the flowers.  TIP: If you are able to get the flower food packet, DO NOT use it all in one watering!  Cut flowers require the water to be changed every 2-3 days, so you should use some of the flower packet food every time you change the water.

IT’S THE LITTLE THINGS IN LIFE. img_2086 I like to have monthly house flowers if possible.  One of those ways that make it possible, is my homemade plant food recipe that keeps one bouquet lasting 3 weeks to a month.   This was how I was able to take the old flowers from my boyfriend’s bouquet from two+ weeks ago and incorporate it into my new farmers market bouquet. Before getting to the recipe, the first few things that are a must is to cut all of the stems of each flower at an angle.  Make sure you get a clean cut, and you should probably also sanitize your sheers with rubbing alcohol (I admit, I sometimes do this and sometimes don’t). Every time you change the water, you should also re-cut more off of the stem again at a new angle.  It seems like a lot of work, and it seems like you’re wasting the majority of the flower, but I promise you it will be worth it for how long you can make your store-bought or fresh-cut flowers last.  The other tip  is to remove all leaves from the bottom portion of the flower so that they don’t sit in the water, which will create mold.  Lastly, it also helps to keep them out of direct sunlight.

RECIPE:

Per 1 quart of water.  I prefer to use lukewarm water.

  1. Combine 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (to balance PH levels)
  2. with 1 tablespoon of sugar (to feed the flower)
  3. with 1/2 teaspoon of bleach (to keep the water clean & bacteria-free)

If all else fails or you’re not using an entire quart of water, I actually eyeball this recipe A LOT, and it works out just fine.  If you eyeball it, just remember that bleach is used as little as possible so you don’t kill the flower, but instead, want to keep the water clean and clear.  I created a homemade recipe to stop algae in my outdoor water fountain last summer, and that requires bleach with hydrogen peroxide, so I’m going to say it would be okay to see if hydrogen peroxide will work in place of bleach here, if you don’t have bleach on hand or don’t like to keep this ingredient in your household.

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Try some of these tips and let me know how long you can get your flowers to last!  If you have any recipes you’d like to share, please comment below!  Happy Fall Ya’ll.

Fall Farmers Markets

Fall is today!  For Pennsylvania (as some of my local followers know) it’s something out of a movie.  It truly is picturesque with the leaves changing color and the crisp, coolness in the air.  A lot of us have started to watch a few Sundays worth of football.  It’s cool enough not to have the AC running but not cold enough yet to turn on the heat…it’s juuuust right.  We started buying apple cider and are just about ready to go apple-picking in our flannels.  Shortly, we’ll be picking out costumes!

It’s the PERFECT time to pick up some fall goodies at your local farmers market.  I fully support buying local, and it’s not just to keep the money local, although that in and of itself is amazing!  I TRULY can taste and see the difference in the food and flowers/pumpkins I get at farmers markets and local festivals.

I’m about an hour outside of Ithaca, NY – home to Ivy League school, Cornell University, where my boyfriend attends – but also the melting pot around the Finger Lakes, NY.  Here there’s local EVERYTHING that your little heart could desire.

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Going to the Ithaca Farmer’s Market is a must if you are in the area.  There’s every type of vegetable, fruit, flower, or herb you could imagine with international cuisine from all over.  The area is home to stunning views of multiple waterfalls and places to hike.

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However, if you can’t make it here, try a local farmers market or nursery near you!  A few minutes from me, a farmer has his own building where he sells all of his own stuff in the Spring to Fall (link below).  In the Spring to Summer months, there’s anything from various colored mulch & fertilizers, flowers, herbs, fruits & vegetables, local crafts, outdoor fountains and handmade furniture. Below is my summer haul from Summer 2015.

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In the Fall months, he’s carrying local apple cider, pumpkins, gourds, mums, fruits & vegetables.

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He also sells and supports other local farmers, craftsmen, and meat & cheese processors that carry hormone-free and grass-fed meats.  The apples are huge and crisp.  All of my summer herbs/flowers, fall mums, and hanging baskets are the largest and healthiest I’ve seen anywhere.  Hot dogs are a must and shouldn’t be bought from anywhere but here! You can literally taste the difference in grass-fed burgers as well.  And this Italian swoons over the garlic cheddar.

So, I’m not one to start decorating too soon before the appropriate holiday, HOWEVER, Farmer Fred’s was having his 10% off everything, annual Fall Fest, so I had to take advantage.  My haul is pictured below with my dogs (Gus the pug & Gizmo the french bulldog).  I try to get three different-colored mums and put them in the opposite-colored pots!  I’m always a fan of varying pumpkin colors and pumpkin sizes up and down your steps.  My front door is a bright aqua color, and I normally use that as a jumping off point for all of the holidays, so I try to incorporate oranges and whites against the coral chair from summer, for the transition between the two seasons.  The small pumpkins and gourds will be used inside on my mantle for fall decorating inside. To see my most recent post of my mantle pics, click here.

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Comment below and tell me about your fall decor or your hauls from the markets and festivals near you! By the way, there’s another 10% off everything sale near me coming this weekend, visit Shore’s Sisters page for more info.

 

40%off Halloween Haul & Homegoods

I swear,  I’m not one to decorate too soon for a holiday, but when there’s sales, there’s sales. Who am I not to partake?  I felt like I NEEDED to do this blog post so all of you decorators, designers, moms, DIYer’s, and all are aware!  Michael’s Crafts is currently (as of this post) having 40% off of its Halloween decor and 50% off of its Fall decor.  Usually my go to is Homegoods or Pier One, but this week, Michael’s was my winner!

I don’t overly decorate my house for the holidays or spend too much money, but I like to do a little.  With doing just a little, it helps me find stuff that works well in my everyday decor and color scheme while not spending a TON of money.  My color schemes throughout my house are various shades of blues/greens & greys mixed with silver and gold as neutrals. When I decorate for the holidays, I keep to the main living area which is the living room, dining room, and kitchen, because it’s open concept.  When I decorate for any holiday, I tend to lean toward a contemporary styling – using modern metals like gold, silver, & copper, mixing them with black and white.  My Christmas decor is mainly silver & gold or blue & silver.  My front door is aqua blue, but it goes great with silver Christmas decor and orange pumpkins. It also looks lovely with reds for Valentine’s Day.  One wouldn’t think so, but my aqua-colored door is just as good as any neutral!

Let’s get to my fireplace mantle.  I’m lucky to have a HUGE stone fireplace, mantle, and hearth.  It’s the perfect mix of rustic yet styling it with modern and contemporary decor.  My mantle theme after my haul are witch accessories on the left side and then a general Halloween/fall theme on the right.  I usually keep one big piece of artwork or something similar in the middle and then decorate around the artwork as the seasons change.  The other constant I have (besides the big piece in the middle) is some sort of banner or swag hanging from the mantle and above the fireplace screen.

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Pictured are witches bottles and potions with a collection of spell books.  The Poison bottle is the only thing purchased at Homegoods, not Michael’s.  On a mantle, it’s extremely important to have things in groups, generally groups of three, as it makes the decor more “impactful”.  In addition, I have most of the items at various heights, which is pleasing to the eye and lets shorter things be shown.  I have done this with the witches bottles and with the spell books.

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My FAVORITE ITEM from Michael’s was the 1000ML flask since my boyfriend works in a lab.  He helped me fill it with water and green food coloring and added the rubber eyeballs for a creepy-looking lab experiment.  The rest of the items on the right are mixed from other stores and not a part of the sale.  The huge skull and cross bones & glass container with fillers are from Homegoods last year.  The small pumpkin and Indian corn are from a local farmer, and that blog is coming up!  The vase is handmade from Jamaica.

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Next:  My dining room table! I try to keep to the same gold and silver theme here as well from what I already have, while mixing in the holiday decor.  I purchased the placemats, napkins, napkin rings, candle sticks and candles from last year at Homegoods, along with the giant skull this year for $14.99.  The gold skull would be nothing without his counterparts – the gold skeleton hands and furry spiders from the Michael’s sale.

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Lastly, throw pillows.  I am a self-professed throw pillow addict, especially themed ones.  I keep my standard off white furry and dark navy pillows from Pier One but always mix in holiday throw pillows.  Pictured here are my standard throw pillows mixed with the last two skull pillows from Homegoods and were only $9.99!

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WHAT ELSE YOU SHOULD KNOW:  I cannot find on Michael’s website how long these sales will last, so act now!  The decor from Homegoods was purchased from the Vestal, NY location.  As for the skulls at Homegoods, there’s still another gold one left, a few black and white ones the same size and then mini ones and skull candles as well.

 

Decor Finds

Alert interior designers and decorators! Every so often I’m going to do a post on chic, inexpensive home decor finds.  Most of my focus will be on Homegoods, with some TJ Maxx and Marshalls mixed in.  Since there is no website to order products online and their inventory is leftovers or overstock items, so it’s constantly changing, I think posting items on my blog when they’re fresh from the store, may help some of you shoppers!

Currently, you can download “The Goods” app to follow the Homegoods stores near you and the staff will post maybe 2-3 pictures a day of some of the items in the store, so you can see what they may have new before having to drive over.  The website also has an option for customer finds but most don’t know about it or use it, so there’s not many items posted.  You can access it here.

The other option (which tends to help me) is to follow Homegoods hashtags or other similar home decor hashtags on Instagram so you can see what others may have at stores near them.  I’ve found amazing pieces this way.  It also helps show me when the store transitions from one seasons’ decorations to the next without having to drive there since others are posting their finds.  Other than this, there’s not really an efficient way to know what they’ll have in stock to buy and when. So let me keep you posted on some items!

First up: A super cute, white fur & white faux leather office chair.image

Price: $119.  This is a decently-priced office chair considering they can be hundreds of dollars. It’s got a chrome base that I am considering painting gold since the fixtures in my home office are gold. Currently, I have it at my desk that’s built into the kitchen area, so I’m keeping it chrome to match the SS appliances in the kitchen.   It has a lever to adjust the height as with most office chairs and is on casters.  It’s extremely comfortable. I know white fur and white faux leather isn’t for everyone but for those looking for something similar, you can’t go wrong with this office chair!  Add whatever throw blankets or pillows you’d like.

Location: Vestal, NY Homegoods location.

Similar items: Another office chair was there. They also had a white fur, square ottoman and two white furry bar stools!