Flaunt It Friday #5

Well Flaunt it Friday really crept up on me this week and I almost didn't make it!  Wanted to get my link up and tomorrow I'll pick the features from last weeks party.

Thanks everyone for "Flaunting It" with me!!  Can't wait to see what you've got this week! ;)

How to Make a Birds Nest with Flower Garland

Hello friends!  How are you on this beautiful spring morning?  Happy St. Patrick's Day to you!

I am bucking the system and not talking St. Patrick's Day.  You can see my St. Patty's decor here.

I have already moved on to Easter decorating but am having some major decorator's block.  My kitchen looks like an explosion of forsythia branches, faux eggs and a random bunny here and there.  They are not playing together nicely.  Coming together more like a clown show which is so not the look I'm going for.  

Until I get this mess figured out, I though I could share one of my more successful spring looks  from 2 years ago when my blog was just a baby.  Most of you probably haven't seen it since I had about 16 followers at the time.

So here goes... may have to do this again this year if I can't bust out of this decorating slump...

On a recent trip to Home Goods (which is a big deal because the nearest one is like 2 hours away!) I found these great huge candle holders that were super duper cheap !.  When I bought them I was worried that they might be too big but I am loving them! 

I got these little green birds at TJ's for $2 each and didn't even have to spray paint them. :)  I saw the same birds at Michaels for $5.99!  That's why I heart TJMaxx. :)

I thought they'd look great on my new gianormous candle holders for spring but they were just missing something....

I decided they needed nests, but not the stick kind, pretty, flowery nests.  I took some garland that I got for 50% off at Michaels and made them flowery nests.

To do this all I did was cut the 5 foot garland in half and then curled it up to the appropriate nest size.  I held it with some twist ties.  Easy stuff. 

My twist tie is gold, I'm fancy, huh?!

It's just what the little birds needed.  I really like how they turned out... :)

Don't the birds look so much happier now in their flower nests.  I think they like them! :)

Flaunt It Friday #4

After having a wonderful vacation in Florida last week we had to re-schedule our flight home because our little guy came down with a nasty stomach bug the day before we were supposed to leave. When we got home kiddo #2 came down with it the next night. Needless to say I've been a bit distracted from my blog lately. 

After a week of cleaning up er, well... yucky stuff I've had a chance to check out all my party participants projects and choose my features. 

From Party #2  All Doll'ed Up refurbished an out of style dresser and turned it into this... Love it!!

My feature from Party #3 is a simple monogram from Froufrou Britches that anyone can do... even if you are one of the few people on Earth, like me, who don't own a cricut!  So cute!


So here it is pals... time for Flaunt it Friday.  Show me what you got...:)

A 180 on Orange... make that Burnt Orange

I have always really hated disliked the color orange.  I think it goes back to my junior high days when we had to start wearing ugly PE uniforms which consisted of our beautiful school colors, orange and black...yuck.  Our uniforms consisted of an orange t-shirt and black shorts... pair that with huge bangs and a bad perm, what do you get = U.G.L.Y.

However, my sis-in-law recently turned me on to burnt orange.  I'm helping her do some decorating and after we talked about her wanting to use the dreaded color and me trying to talk her out of it, I decided to give orange another shot.  I didn't have to live with it after all, just had to make sure it coordinated with her room.  When I started shopping for her I kept seeing it all over, and you know what... I found myself starting to like it!  I like it so much I've decided to use it as my accent color in my living room.  No way you say?  WAY.
This is the pillow that did me in... I found this pillow at my fav store TJ's and fell in love. 

Isn't it fantastic?? It makes orange look so pretty... I seriously am in love with it. 

The best part is I found the the same exact pillow at Z Galleries for $59, I paid less than a third of that! I live for finds like these!! :)
Pic courtesy of Z Galleries

If you haven't been by in awhile, please check out my new tabs on top and new on-line decorating services.  I'd love to help you make your home Chic on a Shoestring! :)

Don't forget to come by Thursday night to link up to my Flaunt it Friday party where anything goes!


Chasing a Decorating Dream... Starting a Business!

For several years I have been decorating and redecorating my own home on the cheap and have helped many friends and family do the same.  I loved every minute of it.  I constantly had people tell me that I should go into business and that I'm a regular old "Martha Stewart"... yeah, I'm not even close to domestic goddess Martha but what a nice compliment! :)

I've been thinking/dreaming/hoping/praying about starting a decorating business for quite some time.  I've never acted as it never has seemed to be the right time. But what is the "right" time?  Anyone that ever considers taking a risk can always come up with a million reasons why they shouldn't do it now.  I've finally decided that now is the time.  What do I have to lose?  Nothing (maybe some pride if I'm a miserable failure :)... but there is SO much to gain.  So here I am, chasing that dream.

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating is becoming a business!  Now please don't "un-follow" me because you think I'll be posting everyday about trying to sell you on my fabulous new services.  My blog actually isn't going to change much at all.  I've added a "Decorating Service" tab to the top where you can check out what I offer and I'll probably be sharing some before and after photos from some of my clients but that's about it.  So please don't go but just give me this next little ditty to tell you what I'm so excited to be offering.

On-line Room Redecorate Consultation: Here's how it works. A room (or several) in your house has been driving you nuts but you can't really figure out what else to do with it. That's where I come in... send me a few pictures of the room. Tell me what you don't like about it and if there is anything you do like.

For $25 I will email you a plan of attack suggesting furniture placement, window treatments, paint color, wall art placement, and accessories using things you already have. If you are looking to buy some new accessories I will email you pictures of product suggestions from budget friendly stores (Target, Wal-Mart, etc.) or websites.

Add Personal Shopping: You really want a whole new look and are willing to spend a little more money. We can discuss your shopping budget. I will find and purchase the accessories that you need within your budget and will send you detailed photos. After your approval, I will ship them to you. I charge $15 an hour for shopping (average 2 hours for one room) and you pay for the items (that I promise will be great deals!) plus shipping.

If you live in my area (central Illinois) I offer these in-home services:

In Home Decorating Consultations: I would love to come into your home and help you re-decorate on a shoestring budget. This will include suggestions on furniture arrangement, wall decor placement, accessories, paint color, and window treatments. $30 (discount for additional rooms)

Add Personal Shopping to your In Home Decorating Consultation: You really want a whole new look and are willing to spend a little more money. We can discuss your shopping budget. I will find and purchase the accessories that you need within your budget and bring them to your home at your convenience. I will arrange the items in your home and you purchase the items you wish to keep from me. $15 an hour, average 2 hours for one room. Multiple room discount available.

Home Staging: Getting ready to sell? Currently it is a buyer's market so make sure your home looks its very best with a home-staging consultation.

We'll go room by room and I'll advise you on de-cluttering, furniture placement to show optimum space, wall decor rearrangement or placement, accessory placement and paint color (if necessary).

Often it becomes difficult for a homeowner to see their home through a potential buyer's eyes as they are so used to the way their home looks. It helps for someone (like me!) to come in and suggest "if you move your sofa to the other wall it will really open up this space". You will receive a to-do check list via e-mail after my consultation. $50

*Prices subject to change without notice

So there it is!  As always, thanks for stopping by and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about my services. :)

A Frustrating Travel Experience...

Oh my... I feel so out of touch with my bloggy buddies.  I really didn't mean to take such a big break from blogging but sometimes life just gets in the way. :)

I normally don't post about family things because that's not what this blog is about.  However, my shoestring budget comes into play on this issue and I'd like to hear if any of you have had a similar experience and if you were able to do anything about it. 

We had a wonderful week long vacation in Florida where I thought I'd be able to update my blog (yeah, didn't happen, next time I'm going to ask for one of you cool bloggers to be my guest poster, lesson learned.) 

Anywho,  we were scheduled to get home last Friday.  Thursday night my 5 year old was up all night long with a terrible stomach bug.  There was no way we would be able to fly home on Friday with him in that condition.  We paid a small fortune to have our flight re-scheduled for the next day.   The airline told us there were no special vouchers or discounts for medical issues. 

The more I think about it the more frustrated I am with the airline.  I watch the news and I know that over the past several years airlines have been struggling.  Some going out of business and others constantly adding fees and taking away perks for the passengers all the while.  I understand that they have to cover their own rear end and that giving a special fare to someone changing flights due to illness opens a whole can of worms(ie; what is considered a "medical condition" worthy of a flight change discount and those faking illness to get a cheaper flight change fee). 

But for those who really do need to change a flight due to illness the charge is highway robbery.  We paid more than half of the cost of 4 round trip tickets to reschedule.  There was no discount for illness, instead a "too bad so sad, you're out of luck" attitude. 

Do they want me to bring my vomiting, fever-running, running to the bathroom every 15 minutes little guy on their plane?  At this age they don't make it to the bathroom until it's too late.  I mean, seriously!?

Obviously, we wouldn't do that to our boy because it wouldn't have been fair to him.  It was bad enough that we had to take him the following day, he was a little better but not great.  (He was a trooper though and we were very proud of him.)   

Another reason I'm disgusted with the hefty fee we paid is that our original flight was full, so the airline was able to re-sell our seats to someone else.  So, we paid for our original seats, then we paid an outrageous price for our rescheduled flight, and then someone else paid the airline again for our original seats! 

While it would've been nice to have our flight re-scheduled for free I knew that would never happen and did not expect it.  I did expect to pay a reasonable fee, maybe $50 or $75 a person.  Instead we paid more than our original one-way ticket cost totally blowing our budget.

Any of you ever have this happen to you?  Did you write the airline?  Did they do anything about it? 

I plan on writing the airline to voice my concerns... I'll let you know how it turns out.

I heart Sanibel Island!

Flaunt it Friday #3!

Hi bloggy friends!  It's already time for Flaunt It Friday #3!!

I know what you're thinking, you're thinking I'm the worst blogger ever because I haven't had a "real" post in like 2 weeks but before you think awful of me... I have a great excuse... I've been on vacation!

I really thought I would post from vacation (what was I thinking?!  soooo not happening)  Anyway, I promise I'll be back in the swing of things next week.

Don't give up on me, please! :)

Now, down to business... Thanks so much to everyone for joining me last week for my party! I loved looking at all of your creative posts but wasn't able to comment on everyone because I was too busy vacationing! ;)

I will be sharing my faves later this week when I can look more thoroughly....

Flaunt It Friday #2

It's already time for Flaunt It Friday #2!! 

Thanks so much to everyone for joining me last week on a busy Easter weekend for my first ever party!  I loved looking at all of your creative posts, I enjoyed every one!

It was hard to choose but the post I'd like to feature was done by Stephanie over at Decorating Addiction.  She recently completed a big part of a bathroom renovation and it turned out just beautiful.  She said she was inspired by some fancy hotels and her new bath could pass for one!  Love it Stephanie, nice job!

Garage Sale Fever

Any of you bloggy pals have garage sale fever yet??  (Not you Southerners and Westerners who are lucky enough to have garage sales year round.)  I'm talking about haven't-seen-a-garage-sale-since-last-September garage sale fever... I've got a bad case.  And the only cure...  more cowbell. ;) 

(for those of you completely confused, the cowbell line is from one of my favorite Saturday Night Live skits :)

It's been unseasonably warm around here which has only seemed to make my fever worse.  Shorts and t-shirt weather is totally garage sale worthy but it is too risky around here to have a garage sale as the weather could take a turn for the worse at any moment.  Seriously... it could still snow, not likely but very possible.

Not only am I longing for garage sales, I'm longing to have one!  After moving last summer and skipping out on having a garage sale last season I really need to have a garage sale.  I managed to talk my hubs into keeping all this old junk decorative stuff when we moved because I didn't know what I would need in our new house, turns out that most of it didn't work and I need to unload it, like now.  But, because of my location I have to wait.

So in honor of my garage sale fever, I've decided to post about my best garage sale find ever.  It's a beauty...

Pardon the fuzzy pictures, it wasn't a sunny day... :(

This lovely secretary was a steal at $50 bucks!  I've seen these in antique malls for $500 and up!  I have no idea how old it is but the woman I bought it from who was old enough to be my mom said it was her mothers.  I really have no idea if it is an antique but I don't care.... I love it! 

It was in great shape except for some scratches around the pretty feet.

I busted out some of this Old English Scratch Cover for dark wood stuff (found at Wal-Mart) and made it all better...

The only trouble with it is that the insides of it smells like really stinky potpourri.... eww!  The previous owner told me she stored candles and potpourri in it.  It smells like an awful mixture of flowers and old lady perfume.  ;)  Does anyone have any idea how to get the smell out of the drawers?  I'm scared to spray it with Febreze for fear it will harm the wood.

It stinks in here!  Help!

Don't forget to come back tomorrow night for my "Flaunt It Friday" party! Anything goes, showcase your latest project, fav recipe, whatever you want! :)


First Ever Flaunt It Friday Party! Come on over and link up!

I'm SO excited that today is my first ever party, Flaunt It Friday!!  I realize I'm posting the party a little late, by bloggy standards, I should've posted it last night.  But, we had this very random power outage in the evening which killed my wi-fi and messed up my whole evening.  So... here it is  better late than never!

I will be featuring some of my favorites next week, can't wait to see everyone "flaunt it"! :)