Time for fall shopping which means Summer Sales…

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Ever since moving into my condo I have been paying off debt including one student loan (whooohoooo) first so I can save for the down payment to buy it next year. So things like the rec room and landscaping have been on hold. However, I know the best part of home purchases is buying when stores have major discounts. Patio and outdoor furniture have been on sale now for a while but I’m still waiting for some funky retro umbrellas to get marked down.

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I like fringe styles but unsure if that’s what I want for my patio table. I am going back and forth on if I want a solid hot pink or black and white stripes…

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{Jennyk21 via instagram}

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Maybe I should scour Craigslist or Ebay and see what I find. I think something is incredibly nostalgic about seeing retro pieces of patio furniture from our childhood. I’m an 80’s baby and though I don’t want vintage seating, I do like when people mix some of the styles together for their yards. Even if it’s a small nook.

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My fab cousins actually gave me their old patio table and chairs that I will spray paint next year and get new cushions. That will be another post. I know the color scheme I want is black, white and hot pink but I just haven’t decided the colors of the pieces… except the frames which will be pink.

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Scalloped and key like trims are also fun and adds so much personality. Decisions decisions…

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{Lost my sources….but one of the vacay images is via you make fashion}


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Remember when I blogged about…

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…that graphic ceiling and gold chandelier here and then that abstract black and white art/vignette styling here? Well I just discovered from Simplified Bee that those two rooms were part of the San Francisco Decorators Showcase. Here are some other rooms of that home that like.

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Every. Single. Thing in this bathroom is glamorous.

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This is probably the prettiest basin and fixtures ever…

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Funky wallpaper…

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The details….like the acrylic bathtub tray…

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Love the additional seating tucked under the table…

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Cute use of space for a dog or cat…

{Photos & designers by Matthew Millman, David Duncan Livingston Photography, Cristin Bisbee Priest, Eric Rorer, Tineke Triggs & Green Couch Interior Design}


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Yacht and boat wedding decorating ideas…

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I love unconventional wedding ideas and I have searched for two point five days for the right yacht images for this post so I hope you all enjoy. Also please click the links of the sources as there is so much beautiful inspiration for a boat, nautical or beachy wedding, reception, or bridal party.

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If you follow my blog or read my summer bucket list or any of the weekend recaps, you would have noticed a common theme: I love water. I find it incredibly calming to be near water in some capacity. Any body of water is so pretty to me and such a beautiful backdrop for a party. The fact that I am looking into doing a boat ride soon, I started thinking about entertaining afloat. The reflection of the sun or moon would make any boat party that much more magical…
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I think that if you charter a private boat, you should see about decorating it to personalize the space a bit. I find floral garland over the railings a classy look…
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I think having a wedding beachside then boarding a yacht for a seafood dinner cruise is a great alternative to more traditional receptions…

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Have you gone on a private boat party lately or been to a wedding on one?

{Images in no order via Jordan Weiland, Corbin Gurkin, Alison Conklin, Alicia Pyne Photography, Mustard Seed Photography, Stephanie Hunter Photography LVL WEDDINGS & EVENTS, Linda Chaja Photography, blue lane studios, eden yachting, Jonathan Young weddings, carasco photography, luxury travel magazine, wedding wire, everything fab, knotsvilla, sargeant creative, the southern california bride, alegria by design, meghan sepe weddings, the bridal detective & wedding chicks}


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Summer Weekend Recap No.5

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I don’t have many images again so since I didn’t do an inspiration post yesterday, I will fill this one with quotes. Friday I went to the lake to see fireworks for Festa Italiana and watched all of the party boats and speed boats cruise back down the river. It was so warm that night. I live for nights in the 80s…

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Saturday I got my hair done, bought gourmet popcorn from Goody Gourmets and an iced coffee from Dunkin Donuts before heading to meet my brother, niece and sister in law. From there we drove to Illinois to Gurnee Mills Outlet Mall. It stormed like crazy while there. We ate at the Rainforest cafe…

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I bought these 2 weeks ago but just now posting pics of my little cacti. I hope I keep it alive. I bought it from Home Depot…

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Hope your weekend was funfilled and you’re having a good start to the week. I know some of you may noticed sparse postings. I want to assure you I have no intention on dropping this blog. I just have to get back in a routine where the post I publish are earlier instead of noon and more frequent. I try to not post fillers for the sake of having something so I hope you all understand. Thanks for reading and for the continued support. Also, check out one of my real life friend’s blog She’s Out and About which details her adventures in New York.


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Tiny Tot Thursdays: brown pouffes in nurseries

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While reading Erin’s debate on whether to do a bold or neutral nursery, I noticed something in several of the ones featured and thought I’d search for more. Moroccan poufs are nothing new but I still love them no matter how trendy they are. Seeing different variations of brown designed ottomans and in different textures is a great look for a child’s room or nursery. It gives the right amount of warmth to a room to compliment any brass or gold fixtures and accessories.

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It also looks incredibly chic in a white, cream and neutral palette. Most importantly, it can easily get swapped out of the kids room and get placed in an adult setting.

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To me it’s best to pick furnishings that can truly grow with a child along with something that can easily transition to other rooms should the child grow up to want a Disney themed room. Notice some of the storage baskets and rugs….

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{Images via Summer Thornton Design, me oh my mama, lauren conrad, project nursery, brittany makes}


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My introduction to Arhaus…

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I meant to post about my first introduction to the Arhaus showroom a couple months ago but forgot. I was in Shaumburg, Illinois at the Woodfield Mall heading to another store when store windows captured my eye. Everything was so glamorous and dramatic. The lighting was moody and gave this deep glow everywhere. I felt like I was in furniture heaven.

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Then Jayson approached us. He was incredibly knowledgable about the products and even went as far as to rearrange some showroom pieces so I could get a better vision on what I had in mind.

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I think I even mentioned that the pieces were out of my price range and he could have easily left me alone to approach other customers, but he didn’t. Even when one rude lady interrupted us to ask him a question and even tried to take him toward the area she needed help in, he politely informed her that he would finish up with us first before helping her. I was stunned as I never get that quality of service. Unfortunately some salespeople assume what customers will spend money based on appearance and even race. I’m a designer and though I was looking for myself, I could have been shopping for a client. Often times my experience in a store determines where I spend my client’s money. In college, one of my instructors told us if we ever design or work in a showroom, to treat all people equally. You never know who is sitting on money! In his experience, the most casual dressers ended up being the ones to spend a lot. So I appreciated Jayson’s professionalism during that time.

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But the furniture….and the fabric….

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Everything there made me wish I was rich…

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You can browse digital online catalogues…
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Some of my favorite lighting by them…and a fab mirror!

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What I like about some of the pieces at Arhaus is the craftsmanship of the furniture. The distressing and carving in some of their furniture is all done by hand by Italian artisans to make each piece feel as if it has history.  They are having an annual storewide sale 20-40% off so you may want to check them out. No this isn’t a sponsored post, I just really like what they have to offer and can’t wait to make my first purchase.

 


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Summer Weekend Recap No. 3 & 4

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Happy Monday. I hope you all had a great weekend. I didn’t recap last week because I really didn’t have good pics of anything but if you follow me on instagram you may have saw the fireworks video I posted. Other than that July 4th weekend also consisted of grilling out, fireworks twice, going to the lake and an outlet mall. For this weekend, I simply chilled and had cocktails with my cousins on their porch Friday evening. Saturday after errands, I went with a friend to brunch back at Cafe Benelux. Man….my chicken and waffles with the carmelized apples was A plus. So delicious.
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After that we went to this pizzeria spot on the river and sat on their deck and watched boats and had drinks. Nothing better than drinking on a hot Saturday afternoon.
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I also helped my friend with opinions while shopping at some stores after this because he makes too much money to have an apartment styled like a college dorm…

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Milwaukee finally has a West Elm. I need to hit them up soon…

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Later that evening I took my little cousins to the lake to watch an outdoor movie. I admit, I people watched more than anything because there was a festival going on but it was fun for a while….
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Sunday was a funday and I went with my cousin’s to Bastille Days, French and Parisian street festival that is free and has bands, performers,card readers, henna tattoo artists, food and accessory vendors. I go every year so that was fun. I had a tito’s strawberry lemonade while there. Afterward I went back to their house for more drinks and we all just talked for hours. I got home rather late and it was so warm out. The early wee hours had a ton of lightning and thunderstorms which made my day! I live for thunderstorms. Overall another good weekend. We almost knocked down one of my summer bucket list items to take a boat ride but maybe another time.

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What fun things have you done so far this month?


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QOTD: what brings you joy on a budget?

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Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have good home style. Just because you have a strict amount of disposable income, doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself occasionally. We all work too hard to not enjoy fruits of our labor. This isn’t to say you should splurge or buy every pay period when you’re in debt up to your ears or have a large bill that you need to handle. Just try to at least think of ways you can enjoy your money without spending a lot.

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I think buying experiences is more meaningful than items. If I know a concert is coming up, I’d much rather use my own money to buy tickets than to go shopping. I’m all about not charging anything outside of hotels and flights and even my flights are booked with my debit card. It’s so much more better knowing you paid for stuff with your own money than borrowed.  So if I’m taking a sizeable chunk of my cash, know that it will be for something really fun like those Kevin Hart tickets or a wine and paint bar experience. I’d rather have several good shindigs to attend a month than random things. It helps me feel more fulfilled even when I haven’t bought something tangible. I at least have some exciting moments of the month to look back on. I spoke about that here.

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I also got in a habit of writing down everything I wanted and needed and DIY projects I felt I could complete in my condo. Having a house (my condo is stand alone, no shared walls) is awesome. I have so many plans for next year like landscaping and furnishing the rec room that I’m constantly dreaming of directions I want to go. Writing things down helps me keep track of my spending so that if I AM going to buy stuff, I’m at least tackling the NEED list first and want list second. I also have the list based on the rooms that need priority. It’s helpful in all aspects of our lives. If we know we need to get certain items of clothing or wardrobe staples, we should write it down so when we buy, we are deleting things off the need list and not adding to more junk. Nothing worse than coming home from the store and having buyer’s remorse because you just bought 5 shirts at the mall that you didn’t need and still can’t find a solid blue blouse to go with (insert pants here). Follow me? I do that often with jewelry. Maybe it’s old age. I just find that I am more fulfilled now when I shop more than ever and it’s not just because I have more money disposable. I’m truly getting what I need and making better decisions on buying what I want.

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I know when my job wasn’t giving us raises years ago due to the economy (meanwhile, everything else was increasing), it was very difficult to justify buying anything really. I started getting into buying fun colors for my nails. And no, I don’t buy brands that are near $10 a bottle. I actually love the N.Y.C. colors sold at
Target and they are 99 cent and 1.99. I would buy several at a time. Now I’m in a place in life where I get raises and have multiple sources of income. Though I still have a frugal mindset most of the time, I do often allow myself to buy something each pay period, whether it’s for my home or something for me. I still love the mall and affordable home décor places like Marshalls but buying one item (or a couple small items) does wonders. I don’t have to do happy hours weekly and dine out for lunch daily…I’d rather buy clothes, jewelry and décor and save my coins by bag lunching it mostly. You have to pick and select what is important to you if you can’t do it all. I’d rather drink at one of our houses instead of going out buying rounds at a restaurant for a drink that’s going to be watered down and overpriced. Also doing this allows me to really truly savor the moment when I DO decide to meet up with someone for dinner or lunch. I’d rather redbox movie it up than going to a crowded theater and getting irritated at cell phones ringing and loud mouth talkers.

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With traveling, a lot of times I stay in really nice hotels where a bulk of the money is going to the room because I enjoy laying my head in a room that is designed fabulously. I cannot do a rinky dink hotel even if I’m going to be exploring the city. With that said, I have a smaller spending budget. Some people would rather not travel if they can’t live it up. I’m happy traveling regardless of how much cash I have. As long as I can stay somewhere nice and still do the things I want, I’m fine with not being able to buy a lot of stuff to bring back with me.

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One of my cheapest trips was to NYC staying in Times Square the at the beautiful Ameritania Hotel during the Christmas Holidays. That was such a budget vacay for 2 nights and 3 days. I really didn’t come home with much outside of some jewelry from H&M, and a few other items. We didn’t dine out anywhere extremely fancy or expensive. We had the most fun walking all around looking at stuff for absolutely zero bucks. The holiday window displays, the skating rings at Bryant Park and the Rockerfella center, etc. There was so much to do and look at without paying for more than another hot chocolate beverage to stay warm. It was so much fun. I encourage you to continue to travel and see the world even when funds are small. Not sayin forego paying bills to travel but don’t get discouraged just because you don’t have a stack (1,000) bucks to spend while there.

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What are ways you enjoy life while being on a budget?


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Transom windows…

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I was watching HGTV last night on dvr and learned something new. The architectural horizontal window above other windows and doors are called transom windows. Usually there is some sort of beam between them. Some offer extra ventilation while keeping the room/home secure since they are so high up and small, one wouldn’t be able to get in from outside. Others offer extra light and sometimes you will see stain glass or ornate decorative window panes for the transom window…

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Now when it comes to drapery, I like the idea of hanging the rod under the transom window to allow privacy…

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Some people put sheer valances on that part of the window…

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If you have transoms over room entrances, you can always hide them…

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Do you like this added characteristic of a home?

{Images via pink peonies, birmingham home & garden, dust jacket, patrick baty, pretty little world & Christian Garibaldi}


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