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Flaunt it Friday 72!

Hello friends!  It's that time of the week again... come on out and show me what you got!
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
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Budget Friendly Fall Mantel

Happy Fall y'all!!  (that's the one time a year that I say y'all)

My favorite season is officially upon us and here in the Midwest we are having some lovely cool fall weather!  This makes me SO happy as sometimes summer stays around too long and we go to the pumpkin patch and sweat (sweat = not fun).  It's also hard to be motivated to decorate for fall when you are sweating. 

Anywhooo, this year I did a budget-friendly Fall mantel.  I haven't done a Fall mantel in a while (last year only did Halloween).  I had to come up with something from scratch because I didn't want to pay full price on fall decorations (it's against my religion ;).

I luckily picked up this great gourd filled swag for 90% off after the season at Hob Lob last year.  $6 bucks!  (Major score like my fall wreath you can see HERE)

I used a bunch of candle stick holders that I already have and picked up some gourds and mini pumpkins for .25 cents each at our local Farmer's Market.  (I heart our Farmer's Market!  I love the fresh finds and supporting our local farmers plus, the same gourds at the grocery were $5.99 for a bag, about $1 a piece!)

I like the long, spindly stems, gives them character. :)

I left up my black vase 'o sticks to give it some more height and I added my first attempt at a coffee filter wreath to finish it off.

So there you have it, a new fall mantel for about $7.25 (and $6 of it was spent last year!) 

What are your thrifty fall finds??

Linking: Sunday Showcase, Tatertots & Jello The Lettered Cottage, Nest of Posies

Flaunt it Friday 71!

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
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Hey, Hey, Party People!! 

Aren't you so glad it's time for another Flaunt if Friday party?! 

What's so great about another Flaunt it Friday party? 

Well, I'm glad you asked...

First, if it's time for Flaunt it Friday that means it's Friday!  Hooray for the weekend!!

And, you guys always bring lots of awesomeness to my party... I love to check out your stuff!

Plus, you get to hang out with me!   Woot Woot!  ;)  Ok, I'm a dork but just go with it peeps....

A Deelish Dessert! (it's even Low-fat!)

Hello fabulous friends! 

It's about that time for a late night snack.  You know, something sweet.  The one you're not supposed to have because it's after 7 pm so it will surely go to your hips (thighs, butt, belly, wherever you don't want it to go).

But , this snack is low-fat and easy.  And, it's something different.  How many of those little 100 calorie packs can you really eat, anyway. 

This is a spin on the Rice Krispie Treat.... but so much better.

Whenever we make Rice Krispies in this house, the whole pan is almost devoured within the first few minutes when the Krispies are warm and gooey.  I prefer them this way, once they cool off and harden they aren't nearly as good.

My mom found this easy "recipe" on the back of a marshmallow bag.  It is so simple and delicious I have no idea why I never thought of it before... it seems like common sense now. :)  

Here are the ingredients you need:

You do not have to use "Gluten Free" Rice Krispies, I got them because they are made with brown rice which is supposedly better for you than white rice, wasn't that so healthy of me?

You also don't have to use butter, you can use a little cooking oil or margarine.  I found that these Campfire brand marshmallow melt the best and are actually tastier then the other brands.  They didn't pay me to say that, it's your lucky night Campfire Marshmallows.

So here's what you do,  put a sliver of butter and one jumbo marshmallow in a microwave safe bowl.

I love how I picked the one bowl we have with a chip in it, so fancy.

 Microwave for about 20 seconds depending on your microwave.  Make sure you call for your kids to come watch the amazing expanding marshmallow.

Campfire brand gets the biggest without coming apart and dripping over the edge of the bowl.
  Pull it out of the microwave and dump some Rice Krispies on top and start stirring!

STIR, STIR, STIR, STIR!!!  Add some more Krispies in if necessary.  Make sure you get enough Krispies in the marshmallow or it will be too disgustingly sweet.  I'd say about a 1/3 to 1/2 cups of Krispies.

Now it's time to enjoy your delicious melty Rice Krispie Treat.  Eat immediately or it will turn hard which defeats the purpose of making this one serving melty treat. 

I got so excited to eat this one that I accidentally ate half of it before I realized I hadn't taken a picture of finished product ... you get the idea though...

It make s a pretty big serving and it's less than 200 calories with 90 in the marshmallow and about 50 in the cereal and just a little from that sliver of butter. 

It's something different and delicious with very little effort to make and just few minutes and ingredients.

Have you ever made this before?  What's your go to sweet treat??

Kitchen Feature!

Hello there! 

I'm very excited that today my glazed and antiqued kitchen cabinets/kitchen makeover are being featured by the good people at Remodelaholic! Please click HERE and go check it out!! 

I'll be back tomorrow to show you my Fall Mantel, don't forget to come back and check it out!

I Heart White Pumpkins

Last fall, somewhere in blogland, someone posted a lovely little vignette of all white pumpkins.  I didn't give it much of a second thought but I burned the picture into my memory because I loved it so much (this was before pinterest!) 

I knew I had to do some white pumpkins myself.  I then went out to some crafty type stores (and even Wal-Mart) to pick up some faux pumpkins in white or to be spray painted. 

That's when I remembered that it is against my religion to buy holiday decorations when they are "in-season" even if they are on sale.  I refuse to spend $12 on a fake pumpkin even though $12 is the sale price.   Especially when I need  8 to 10.  Not happening when I know they will 90% off in a matter of weeks (when I won't need them cause Christmas will be in full swing). 

So, I decided to scratch the white pumpkins and save it for next year (meaning this year).  I ended up not getting any faux pumpkins after pumpkin season last year, which was fine because at every garage sale I went to this summer I picked some up.  I think I spent $1.75, total.  

Here's what my pumpkins looked like when I got 'em.

Bag o' Pumpkins

I picked ups some off white spray paint and primer, taped off the stems and went to spraying...

I am an impatient and sloppy spray-painter and used my hand as a make-shift spinning pedastel to get all the pumpkin angles. 

Note to self:  next time wear gloves.

Here is how they turned out...

I tried to get some different textures... I loved this burlap one (even though on the back there is a big glob of hot glue from the previous owner, no one will ever see it!)

Since I saved so much money on garage sale pumpkins I allowed myself to buy these cute little owls that hold votive candles... AAAA-dorable!

I also added in my white pitcher and some fall leaves to add a little bit of color and height.


I added a swag in the background that was one of my 90% off scores at Hob Lob last year (read about more of my 90% off deals HERE).    I also put up my mocha wreath (which I love!) from my friend Abbe over at Brown Apples sent me.  Here's how it turned out...

I love how it looks in my kitchen but I love even more that it cost next to nothing to get a whole new look!

What do you think of my white pumpkins??

Linking:  Nest of Posies Fall Festival, Fingerprints on the Fridge, The Lettered Cottage, Faded Charm

Flaunt your Fall Link Party!!

Who doesn't love fall??

Anyone?  Anyone??  Buehler... buehler.

Who doesn't love a party?? 

Why not combine the two for tons of fun!!

What a great party combo if I do say so myself.  How do I come up with these ingenious ideas??! ;) 

It's time for the first annual Flaunt your Fall link party!

I can not wait to see all of your creative fall-ishness right here in one place!

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
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Flaunt it Friday 70 and UPrinting Giveaway!

Hi party animals!! 

Please sign-up for my UPrinting giveaway that ends tonight! (Thurs 9/15 at 11:00pm cst)  50 FREE personalized brochures!  Click the link just above this post.

Also, don't forget that Saturday is my first ever "Flaunt Your Fall" link party, be there or be square!  Does anyone say that anymore? It was retro even when I was a kid. :)  

Party time!!!

Fall Centerpiece

Hi fellow fall lovers! 

I am busy spreading leaves and pumpkins around my house in preparation for my big Flaunt Your Fall  party this Saturday. 

I decided to use the same kitchen table centerpiece and thought it was worth sharing again...

Oh fall, I just love you even though you're so unreliable and short... good thing you're not a man or you'd be in real trouble. hehehe ;)

When I say unreliable I'm talking about this past week, on the first day of fall it was 95 degrees... yes, 95 scorching degrees and no, I do not live in the south but pretty close to Lake Michigan!

Fall days are supposed to be cool, crisp, open the windows and air out the house kind of weather. Unfortunately, it seems like there are only a few perfect fall days a year, we go from running the air conditioning to running the heater seemingly overnight... that's what I mean by short.
But, I still love it. I mean loooooove it. I love those perfect fall days, the beautiful colors of the trees, the trips to the pumpkin patch, apple cider, pumpkin cake, cookies, bread, seeds, etc., and most of all, the decor!

I've been hauling out my pumpkins since September 1st. This is a little early for me because the heat just doesn't make me feel very fallish. But, I decided since fall is so short (and unreliable, remember?!) I'm going to enjoy my pumpkins from Septemeber through November!

Because it seems to be the "in" thing to do (and it doesn't cost any money) I decided to reinvent some of the fall stuff I already have. Today I'll share my "new" fall centerpiece.

I got a giant cloche on clearance at Hob Lob this summer. I've been dying to use it but haven't had the right space for it. I busted out my huge-mongous cake stand that I got after Christmas one year at Wal-Mart for $3 and (then realized I will never ever make a cake that big). I then did the happy dance because the giant cloche actually fits on the huge-monguous Wal-Mart platter!

Now, what to put under the cloche, obviously a pumpkin, but which one?!? I love my squatty white pumpkin but it's so short (like fall). It would be lost under the giant cloche. What to set it on... I remembered a candleholder base I had, it worked perfect!

 Then just topped it off with my old fall wreath. And my lovely centerpiece is finished!

Are you reinventing your old fall decor??

I hope so... bring new and old fall decor to my Flaunt Your Fall link up party on Saturday the 17th of September!
Also, please enter my UPrinting giveaway for 50 free personalized brochures, see entry just about this post.

Linking:  Delightfully Inspiring Thursday, Hookin' Up w/ HOH, Fall Nesting Party

Pumpkin Plastic Surgery

Last year I had fun doing pumpkin plastic surgery... taking apart some old junky fall decorations and giving them a new life (check it out here).  While tearing old pumpkins apart I realized that a lot of my fall stuff had gotten old and had started to look shoddy, most of the stuff had been around since we got married (11 years next month!). 

I made do with it last year but decided I needed to pick up some good stuff on sale after all the pumpkin-type holidays were over.

I hit the pumpkin jackpot at Hob Lob when I showed up on the first day of 90% off fall decor and they even had an amazingly good selection left.  Usually by the time it's 90% off they only have very ugly and/or broken stuff left. 

I didn't buy a lot but got some of the really good expensive stuff for super-duper cheap!  I then had to wait an entire year before I could use it or even share it with you (you didn't know I was this good at keeping secrets, huh?)

It's been so long that I pretty much forgot about my 90% off deals.  As I dug out my fall stuff it was like Christmas morning.  I was like, Whoopee, a zeplin!  (name that movie)

Anyway, the big daddy deal that I got last year was something that I totally didn't need, but whatever, it was too awesome to pass up.

This super huge-mongous wreath!

Isn't she a beauty??  (even propped up all crooked on the floor in a poorly lit picture?)

$149.99 marked down to $14.99!  Just to buy the big grapevine wreath with nothing on it is worth way more than that!


She had one little flaw, a pumpkin who'd lost her stem exposing the cheap styrofoam.  Good thing I'm a skilled plastic surgeon (for pumpkins).


I'm pretty sure that's why she was still there, (do you like how I keep referring to it as "she"?)

I knew I could save her but had no idea where I'd put her.
She is really big... 31 inches across at her largest point!  That's almost 3 feet!! 

Before I figured out where to put her she needed a stem-job.  Nothing ruins a fancy wreath like cheap white styrofoam poking out where a stem should be.

So I went to work, I found one of the old junky pumpkins from last year and pulled the stem off to use as a replacement.

I then decided I needed some wire or the glue gun to attach the new pumpkin stem.  Both were in the basement and because I was too lazy to walk down the basement stairs  so I came up with this brilliant Macgyverish idea...

I took the twist tie from our bread bag that happened to still be laying on the counter leftover from lunch,  bent it and stuck it in the stem which then easily stuck into the damaged pumpkin!

It worked perfectly! 

By repurposing the twist-tie I am helping to save the planet because that is one less twist-tie taking up lots of space in a landfill. 

All because I am too lazy to walk down the basement stairs a skilled pumpkin plastic surgeon.  ;)

Good as new!!

Now I just had to find the perfect spot for her. 

She is too gigantic for the mirror over my fireplace and even for the front door.

I am not one to just hang a holiday wreath on the wall so that wasn't happening.   Hmmmm....

I decided she needed to be on the biggest mirror we have (ummm, not the bathroom) and thankfully she fit!

She is a lovely addition to our formal living room!

No one would ever notice the wired on with a bread bag twist tie stem-job, right?? 

Speaking of my formal living room, I'll be giving a tour soon so you can check out my new French Script pillows.  I'll also be sharing some of the other 90% off steals from Hobby Lobby, I have to warn you that they aren't as good as this... but they are still really good. :)

Don't forget to enter my UPrinting Giveaway HERE for 50 free brochures here, ends soon at noon CST on 9/15/11!

And, don't forget that this Saturday is the first annual "Flaunt your Fall" link up party... you've got a few more days to get your Fall on!  (don't worry, Flaunt it Friday will be held as usual too.)

Linking up to:  One Project at a Time, Nifty Thrifty Tuesdays, Tuesdays Treasures, Wow us WednesdaysFall Nesting Party

10 Years

10 years have passed but as I watch the footage of that fateful morning it feels like yesterday.

We all know where we were, what we were doing, and how terribly awful it was and I don't want to dwell on that.

I want to remember how we came together as a nation in a way that I had never seen in my lifetime.

People risked their lives to save and recover those who were victims.

People donated money.

People donated time.

People donated their own blood in record numbers.

People joined the military.

People found Jesus.

People realized that life can change forever in an instant and it shouldn't be taken for granted.

People were a little bit more friendly to each other.

People hung their American flags proudly.

People wore American flag pins on their clothes and stuck American flag stickers on their cars and wherever they could.

We were UNITED.

The terrorists maybe gave us a black eye but did not succeed in devasting our way of life.

If you ask yourself or someone else the names of the terrorists on September 11 could they name more than one?

I couldn't. That's how it should be. 

While hearts still ache over the loss of that day the American way of life is as strong as ever.

I hope you are able to spend today with the ones you love reflecting on 9/11 and full of gratitude that you have today.

God Bless all of those who served and sacrificed on 9/11 and God Bless America.

UPrinting Giveaway!

Hi everyone,   Happy weekend!  I have an exciting giveaway announcement to kick off the weekend. 

UPrinting is sponsoring a generous giveaway of 50 high-quality print brochures!

UPrinting Brochures
If you're a blog reader you may have already seen UPrinting's name popping up all over blogland.  They offer reasonably priced online printing with an easy-to-use online ordering system. 
They have tons of brochure templates to choose from so even if you're "technically challenged" UPrinting's site will walk you through the steps to designing a professional looking brochure for your small business. 
The winner will receive:
  • 50 pcs Brochure printing for One (1) Winner 
  • 8.5" x 11"
  • 100lb Paper GlossWith Folding (Half Fold, Trifold/Letterfold, Z-Fold, Roll Fold, Accordion Fold)
  • Outside and Inside Printing 
  • 2 Business Days Turnaround
  • *Free shipping
Restriction: Limited to *US residents 18 years old and above only

To enter the giveaway please...

1.  "Like" UPrinting on Facebook.  This will also give you discount codes for several of their products! (Mandatory)
2.  Follow Chic on a Shoestring Decorating (Mandatory)
Extra entries...
3.  Follow UPrinting on Twitter
4.  Sign up for email posts by Chic on a Shoestring Decorating via Feedburner.

Please leave a separate comment for each entry.
Best of luck!!

Please note, this giveaway is sponsored by, an online printing company. No monetary compensation was given and I will receive brochure printing services for hosting.

Flaunt it Friday 70!

Hi party people!  TGIF! (almost)  I'm hoping that you got more creative things done this week than I did. :)  I can't wait to check out your goods!

I hope you're all gearing up for Flaunt your Fall party next Saturday, the 17th... I can't wait!!

Also, I finally fixed my party button so please grab it and add it to your linked up post! (or at least a text link back to my party) 

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
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Murphy's Law

Hello friends,  in a string of unfortunate events I have been unable to blog.  I guess I could blog but haven't accomplished much to blog about.  Because I haven't been doing much I thought I'd share some pretty pictures with you from Pinterest and such but then I decided I should be real. 

Because I'm sure you've had a string of unfortunate events at one time or another too. 

Doesn't it make you feel better that you're not the only one??

Ok, in keeping it real, here it goes...

My unfortunate events consisted of Mr. Chic's car breaking down and needing an expensive $$ repair.

Our washing machine that is only 2 years old (2 YEARS OLD!) breaking down and leaking water all over the laundry room floor and surely needing some expensive $$ repair that hasn't been done yet.

Mr. Chic's glasses breaking randomly (more $$ to buy new ones)...

All the same week that our expensive $$$$ property taxes are due (along with our car insurance and license plate renewals which is good for several hundred more bucks, sigh)...

This has left me a bit frazzled with little spare time (and even less money!). 

Why do all these annoying things always happen at once?

These things are supposed to happen in 3's so the good news is I should be done.

Am I the only one living out Murphy's Law right now? 

I doubt it.

Has something like this ever happened to you? 


Everyone goes through times like these. 

Although these things are just darn annoying, they make me grateful that there is nothing really wrong in my life.  I have a healthy beautiful family who I love more than words, I feel blessed beyond belief. 

These annoyances are just bumps in the road.  Hopefully I'm heading for smooth pavement soon. :) 

Flaunt your Fall Party! Saturday, Sept. 17th

Hello friends! Is everyone busting out their pumpkins yet?? 

Despite the unseasonably stifling 100 degree heat in the Midwest,  I am gladly fall-ifying (I just coined that term, you like?) my house even though it feels like mid-July.   (I know, I know... Texas is hotter, but I am up by lake Michigan!  It should be a beautiful 70 degrees in September!)

Since fall is my fave and you guys like to party, I thought that fall deserved it's own special link up party. 

"Flaunt your Fall" link party will be held on Saturday, September 17th. 

Yes, "Flaunt your Fall" will be on Saturday the 17th, Flaunt it Friday will be held as usual and this will be a separate Fall only party.  I will have a Halloween link up in October so let's just do fall stuff.

You've got 2 weeks from today so start Fall-ifying!

Also, feel free to post my cute "Flaunt your Fall" button on your sidebar so more people can join the fun!

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
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Happy Fall-ifying!

Flaunt it Friday #69!

Hello and Happy Flaunt it Friday! 

Can you believe that it's September 1st?!? 

No way, Jose! 

It was 101 degrees here in the Midwest today, seriously!  101 stinking hot degrees!!  Ugh!!

I'm going to be busting out my pumpkins very soon despite the crazy hot weather so stay tuned!

Now it's time to party.... I think I fixed my party button (before Christmas!!  Woo Hoo!!) 

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
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