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Flaunt it Friday 129!

Hi guys!  Before we get to partying I am very excited to introduce you to my newest sponsor, Art by Catherine McDonald.  


Catherine, who goes by Katy, is an amazing photographer and I just love her style, especially her beachy scenes.  This beautiful piece below titled "Mid-Summer Eve" is being presented to celebrities as part of their "swag" for the 2013 Golden Globes at the GBK Celebrity Gift Lounge.  Real, live celebrities are going to be putting her art in their homes!  Isn't that so super cool?!

This one is my absolute fave....


Katy is kindly offering my readers 20% off, go to her site and put in the promo code "CHIC" at checkout.  

Swing on over and get some amazing Christmas presents for those hard to buy for folks, or just get one for yourself.  Or both.

Ok, time to party it up!!

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See Me at Tatertots & Jello!

Hey friends!  I'm SO honored and excited today to be featured at the amazing blog, Tatertots & Jello!

Please stop by and check out my DIY burlap Christmas wreath and all the other great ideas in her Happy Holidays Series.


Besides my tutorial there are about one million awesome ideas on her blog.  You probably already know this because I think everyone who knows about blogs reads Tatertots & Jello.

Go check it out!

Germageddon and Downton Abbey Randomness

Hey there,  how's it going?  Did you see my sad Thanksgiving story I posted at the beginning of Flaunt it Friday last week?

What a way to kick off a party with a depressing story about illness on Thanksgiving.

Long story short, my whole family was sick on turkey day, half of us with a stomach bug, half of us with a bad cold.  My prediction was that we would switch illnesses at some point and guess what, my prediction came true.  I predicted this occurance on my own without consulting the Dionne Warwick Psychic Friends Network (does anyone remember that??) or any other psychic hotline.  Impressive, huh?  I should start playing the lottery with these psychic skillz.  Yeah... right.

Anyway, the cold hit me Thursday morning and the stomach bug hit me Saturday night and I am still exhausted and it's Wednesday.  Walking up the stairs makes me feel like I just ran a mile, usually it only makes me feel like I ran a half mile or so.

Besides missing Thanksgiving, I'm now totally behind on my Christmas decorating.  I'm so bummed because this year I was so excited that Thanksgiving was early so I'd have an extra week to enjoy our Christmas decor.  Not really happening.  I at least got the kids tree up before our house was struck by Germageddon.

On the bright side of things, I've lost 6 pounds since Saturday.  I do not recommend this "diet" to anyone but hey, I'll take it.  Now if I can just keep it off I'll be set for my normal 5 pound holiday weight gain.  At least I'm ahead of the game on that.

I also was able to catch up on Season 2 of Downton Abbey while laying around recovering.  Just in time for Season 3 happening in January... so that's another perk.  Do any of you watch that?  SO good!  Besides the drama it's great just for the scenery, costumes and especially the house castle... all beautiful.

Highclere Castle plays home to Downton Abbey. Photo credit Flickr user Richard Munckton
Are any of you as excited as I am for season 3?

Flaunt it Friday 128!

Happy Thanksgiving, party animals!  I guess this will be the first official Christmas season post as this is the Black Friday Flaunt it Friday.  Yeah for Christmas! :)

But, before we start partying do you want to hear my very sad Thanksgiving story?

I knew you would.

We didn't celebrate Thanksgiving this year.  Yeah, it was that bad of a Thanksgiving.

We had to stay home for Thanksgiving because my whole family is sick.  Half of us have an awful cold and half of us have the stomach flu.  This is a great combination.  I'm sure we will all switch at some point although I am washing my hands to the point of bleeding to keep the stomach flu at bay.

Yesterday we realized we should stay home from our families big Thanksgiving celebration so that we wouldn't risk infecting our entire extended family.  Mr. Chic went to the grocery and planned on making a special meal for us so we could celebrate here (isn't he so sweet?!)  Unfortunately, Mr. Chic got hit with the "throwed-ups" (as my little one calls it), this afternoon.  :(

Ugh.  I'm thinking this our worst Thanksgiving ever.

BUT, I have so much to be thankful for and I'm not trying to have a pity party for myself. (maybe just a little teeny tiny bit, because Thanksgiving is my favorite meal of the year and I missed it... woe is me...)

But really, I got to spend the day with my family and I'm so thankful for them and that we are all healthy (except when we get annoying little bugs like we have right now, but we'll get better).  I know that things could be much worse.

My mom just called to tell me she's going to bring by some leftovers (thanks, mom!!) so I won't miss my favorite meal after all.  I'm going to sit on the couch (I'm eating in a "no food allowed room" Shhh, don't tell!!) and eat by myself while watching Million Dollar Decorators (the show I love to hate!) that I recorded the other night.  That actually doesn't sound all that bad.

Plus, I'm hosting a party.  Now that doesn't sound bad at all.

Happy Thanksgiving, Chicsters!!

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Flaunt it Friday 127!

Hey Party People!

Today I put away all of my pumpkins and fall stuff, what a buzz kill that was.  Knowing that I could get started on my Christmas decor once the hundred-million pumpkins were gone was great motivation.   I am super excited to put up my Christmas stuff and now I can get started!  Hooray!

Now I'm going to be annoying and share some deals with you from my sponsors.  But really, I'm not being annoying because these are crazy good deals.  I only share the crazy good deals that I buy myself with you.  Because if you're a regular around here I know that you like a crazy good deal just as much as I do.  You all play the shopping game just like me.

Anywho.  Right now Canvas People are offering 80% off all canvases, I have never seen them this cheap!  You have to pay shipping but it's still a great deal- especially on the larger prints.

Just in time for Christmas and Holiday card season you can get 140 free address labels from Vistaprint, just pay shipping which starts at $3.69.  They have cute holiday themes and stylish chevron if you want something less seasonal.  Hurry... this deal ends November 16th!!

See, I told you I only share good stuff. :)

Party time!!  By the way, sorry for the link-up trouble last week... the helpful folks at inlinkz got all the bugs out. (hopefully!)

*I am an affiliate of Canvas People and Vistaprint but all opinions are 100% mine.  I only share things with you that I use/order myself.

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Holiday Bake, Craft & Sew Along Giveaway!

I am over at According to Kelly guest posting today for the Holiday-Inspired Bake Craft Sew Along.
But, I get to help start the holiday season off with a bang, & treat you to an absolutely amazing giveaway as part of our crafty series.
We are giving away a fabulous Prize Package worth more than $700!
One lucky winner will receive...

  • Silhouette Portrait: this is Silhouette's newest electronic cutting tool for personal use. Like a home printer, it plugs into your PC or Mac® with a simple USB cable. However, instead of printing it uses a small blade to cut paper, cardstock, vinyl, fabric and more up to 8" wide and 10 feet long. The machine also has the ability to register and cut printed materials.
  • DecoArt Glass Paints & Stencils: non-toxic and enviromently-friendly, DecoArt has one of the widest selection of paints and finishes for arts, crafts, and home decorating, which includes over 25 brands of paint and finishes.
  • $100 Michael's Gift Card
Simply wait for RaffleCopter to load and enter there! Be sure to check out all the fabulous craft projects shared this month for this Holiday-Inspired Bake Craft Sew series going on all month long. & Don't forget head on over to Skip to my Lou & A Southern Fairytale for more chances to win! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Million Dollar Decorators, I love to hate it...

Oh my, this completely ridiculous reality show is back on TV and I'm watching it.


I'm so disappointed in myself.

Over a year and a half ago I wrote this post all about the first season.   This season I don't think I will be so kind.  I'm already completely annoyed and it's only the first episode!  Can I will myself not to watch this show full of obnoxious and egotistical decorators?...

Hello lovely friends!  I don't have time to watch much tv but there are a few shows I record on the DVR that I watch when everyone else is sleeping.   Recently I've added Million Dollar Decorators on Bravo.

Have any of you been watching it??


I don't know if I love it or hate it.  Maybe I love to hate it??

I can't stop watching it even though some of the decorators are reedonkulously annoying and seem to get all the air time.

I am floored by the outrageous amounts that people spend on pieces of furniture (I know, I know, it's Million Dollar Decorators, of course they are going to be spending insane amounts of money)  BUT, my Chic on a Shoestring brain says, NO!!  You could totally get that at HomeGoods for $89.99!! 

Even if I was a millionaire, I wouldn't spend $25,000 on an end table.  I just couldn't do it, I don't care who made it or how old it is, it just doesn't make sense to me.  I'm not saying that it's not ok for people to do it because I think people should spend their money how they want to, I just couldn't do it.  Just sayin'.

So, on to the cast...
via Bravo, from left Mary McDonald, Jeffrey Alan Marks , Nathan Turner, Kathryn Ireland ,  and Martyn Lawrence-Bullard

The show has some big name decorators that are super talented with big personalities (of course, it is reality tv ya know).

Mary McDonald is my favorite, I love her style, elegant and glamorous.  She also has great fashion sense.  She's a little bit of a "Miss Priss" but I think the show tries to make her appear worse than she really is.  She is kind of funny and I like that she seems to tell it like it is.

Here is a bedroom from her portfolio, I think it's fabulous even though it's definitely not a look that everyone could pull off in their home.  That's why she decorates for millionaires.  ;)

via Bravo
A lovely living room by Mary McDonald which could be pretty easily recreated on a much lower budget.

via Bravo

Kathryn Ireland (not the swimsuit model) has a very eclectic and warm style.  It's not really me but I can definitely appreciate it and she is great at it.  She seems to not take herself too seriously (kind of a goofball!) and always have a drink in her hand.  It could be the producers making it appear that she always has a drink in her hand??  Who really knows?!  She couldn't be too goofy or drunk all the time because she is so successful.

This bedroom by Kathryn is just so cute!

via Bravo

Next is Nathan Turner.  He owns a popular furniture boutique in LA.  He seems like a nice guy and doesn't get nearly enough airtime on the show probably because he's a nice guy.

This is a  beautiful table scape he did, I love the Ikat table cloth I'm also loving the pillows in the background.

via Bravo
Next on the show is Jeffrey Alan Marks, he is very talented but he takes himself way too seriously.  On the show he says "some days my job is more important than the President".  What?!  Are you serious?!?

He really said that.  Yuck.  Give me a break Jeffrey Alan Marks, you're killin' me.

So even though he takes himself way too seriously he is super talented which is why I can't turn it off. Look at these beautiful rooms!

via Bravo

Ok, it looks cool but I'd always worry that the boat hanging from the ceiling was going to come crashing down and kill me in my sleep.

via Bravo
I absolutely LOVE everything about this kitchen!

I saved the worst for last.  Martyn Lawrence-Bullard.

However incredibly talented he may be I can not get over his snobbish personality and super-annoying Thurston Howl III accent.

The first time I watched the show I almost fell out of my chair because of his ridiculous accent, I thought he was joking... like doing an exaggerated impersonation of someone else (like Thurston Howl III).  But that's just really how he speaks!   It's unbelievable.

I need to stop myself  now because I was raised that if I didn't have anything nice to say I shouldn't say it. :)  Watch the show and make your own opinions dear friends.

Here is a room from his portfolio...

via Bravo

As someone who loves decorating I enjoy the show, even though it drives me nuts 90% of the time.  Have you watched it?  What do you think??

© Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

Flaunt it Friday 126!

*UPDATE*  If you weren't able to link up with the new tool below try linking up HERE.

Hey friends!  It's time for another party!

Sadly, this week I was a total blogging loser.  I have good excuses to why I've been MIA but they are just that, excuses.

I'll be back to my normal awesomeness (hahaha) very soon.


Ok, let's party and forget about my week of not being awesome at this blogging thing.


PS: I'm using a new inlinkz link party widget, if it gives you trouble or you prefer the old way let me know.  I can switch back!
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Flaunt it Friday 125!

Hey party animals!

Can you believe it's November 1st?!  

I hate to break it to you because I know it doesn't seem quite possible to be that time of year already but... Christmas...  Yes I said it, Christmas is going to start blowing up all over blogland any minute.

Any minute!!

Can you believe it?!

Wow..... I'm a little bit in shock.

Now that it's November it's free game.  So wrap your minds around that for a few minutes...

If you can't handle it yet you can avoid the "C" word by partying with me.  Or if you're ready, feel free to drop some "C" word bombs in my link ups.  You know me, I'm not picky and if you feel the need to get your Christmas posting on tonight, more power to ya.

You can catch up on my 31 day series here at the bottom of the post, it's almost done... slow and steady!

31 Days of Decorating on a Shoestring Budget Day 23,

Hello there!  Welcome back to my 31 days of decorating on a shoestring budget series.

Day 23: ReStore

ReStore what?  Why are you capitializing the S, Kate?

No, ReStore... according to their website ReStore is "a store that sells new and gently-used home improvement goods, furniture, home accessories, building materials and appliances to the public at a fraction of the retail price.

The proceeds are used by local Habitat for Humanity affiliates to help build and renovate more homes and communities in the area."

Do you have one in your community?  You can check HERE to see if you do.

If you're on a budget (which you probably are if you're reading my series) the ReStore is a great place to check out.  Each store is different.  My store has lots of furniture and tons of bathroom sinks.  I mean tons and tons of bathroom sinks and tubs too.  Everyone in my community must be tearing out their bathroom, seriously.  

Whole aisle of bathroom sinks and vanities, some chandeliers and misc. items on the right side, the rest are all sinks!

They also have lots of building supplies, like doors, wood trim, tiles, wood flooring, appliances, fireplace mantels, kitchen cabinets, everything and the kitchen sink!  

My ReStore is a very hit or miss kind of place.  They always have lots of stuff but sometimes it's not what I need since I'm not building or renovating a house.  They usually have a large selection of furniture, all needing a little tlc.  But it's priced so cheap it's worth the tlc.  Sometimes they have great vintage furniture, I've seen a lovely vintage dining set for $150 which was a real steal.  

They also have tons of light fixtures and chandeliers, most chandeliers just need a little spray paint.  They are usually a sweet deal priced at $10 bucks.

Did I mention this isn't a fancy place?

If you're lucky you may score something new.  We picked up some brand new decorative landscaping lights for $4.99 each and they still had the $49.99 each price tag from the high-end landscaping store in town.

You can also donate these types of items to your local ReStore, it's for a great cause and it's a tax write-off.  Sometimes they'll even come and pick up your larger items for free... check your local store for details.

Catch up on my 31 day series here:
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