Posts tagged ‘Target’

Gifts that keep on giving

If you’re looking to save more in the new year but aren’t willing to give up certain luxuries, such as seeing movies, a nice hair cut, or eating to name a few, the following are great gifts to ask for this holiday.

Gift Cards

Some say gift cards are offensive, impersonal, and impractical gifts. They only make more work for the recipient who must go spend it. I wholeheartedly disagree. A gift card is the gift of shopping. Who wouldn’t love that! For those of you who disagree, I would like to present an exception to the impersonal gift card stigma. The salon.

I made a decision a few years back that my hair was an investment I was not willing to scrimp on. I have a thick pile of curls atop this head and the $15 Hair Cuttery trim just wasn’t doing it for me. If you have poker straight hair that only requires a steady pair of scissors and no product, by all means, Hair Cuttery is for you. But my locks require more maintenance. I try to stretch my salon visits to 3 times a year but sometimes it’s not possible. On top of that I purchase salon quality product regularly. This can add up to several hundred dollars a year. Therefore, a gift certificate to my salon would be personal, thoughtful, practical, wonderful, necessary, etc. etc.

Memberships

Along the same lines of a gift card is a membership. A membership still gives the recipient some freedom to choose their own gift, but may not be as broad. A gift card to Macy’s leaves many options. Do I want a jacket, a purse, a sofa, sunglasses… But a membership is 1 thing in a large variety.

ShoeDazzle is a monthly style service available for $39.95/month. You begin your membership by creating a “Style Profile” outlining your taste in fashion and shoes. Based on the results, 5 pairs of shoes, handbags and jewelry are selected by the stylists for you to choose from every month. You are charged only after making a selection and can also choose to skip months without the obligation to pay. Gift cards are available in 1, 2, 3, 6 or 12 months.

A similar service is Beer of the Month Club. With memberships starting at $22.95 a month, beer is chosen for you by a panel of experts and shipped in a 12-bottle variety pack each month. For those of you who don’t like beer, the same organization also offers wine, gourmet chocolates, cigars, cheese, and flowers. You can mix and match to get 2 months of each for a year. I love getting packages in the mail, even if it’s something small that I ordered as a gift for someone else. Just seeing the box below my mailbox gives me a warm feeling of excitement. I can only imagine my delight if it was wine in that box.

Are you a Blockbuster fanatic? If you love to curl up and watch a good movie without paying the $4.99 Comcast fee or a trip to the video store, Netflix is perfect for you. For $9.99 a month you get unlimited movies mailed to your home. That’s the price of 2 movies OnDemand. You can only have 1 movie out at a time so you may not be able to watch 3 movies each week, but 1 movie a week is good leisure time for such a low cost.

If you’re the head of a large household or just like to buy in bulk, a membership to Costco may be a rewarding gift for you. For a $50 annual membership fee, you will save hundreds a year on groceries, jewelry, furniture, electronics, basically everything but an iPad.

Food

If you’re someone who enjoys eating, but you can’t cook, or you’re always too tired to chop up all those vegetables, or you just don’t know any good recipes, there are plenty of gifts out there for you. Since fasting is not really an option to save money on take-out, viable alternatives include cooking lessons or just a few cookbooks. I request cookbooks every year because I like to have them on display in my kitchen, but I also enjoy reading them. I like to challenge myself with new recipes in order to make cooking fun. I look at cooking as a science experiment that you get to eat. I can have fun in the kitchen, toying with different spices and condiments, and I may end up having to order a pizza when all is said and done, but I always learn something. Next time I make a chicken wrap I won’t add french dressing, salsa, AND barbecue sauce.

Some of my favorites:

One thing I do hate about cooking is all the supplies needed. I don’t mind stocking up on produce for chicken pot pie, but when I get home and realize I don’t own ramekins in which to bake the pot pie…I get frustrated. That’s why I never leave Home Goods empty handed. I’m always picking up little tools that you don’t think about, a portable slicer, a lettuce saver, salad spinner, etc. I like salads and really wish I could eat more, but in the winter I’m more about soup. So when i buy a bag of lettuce and only have 1 or 2 salads a week, it will be bad before I can have my 3rd. My lettuce saver keeps the lettuce fresh and crisp for upwards of a month.I like to cook with alot of vegetables. Adding a bundle to plain chicken can instantly make a healthy meal. But all the chopping and dicing!This little baby is on Amazon for under $15.

But what to do with all the leftovers? It’s only Chris and me in our household and cooking for 2 can be hard to adjust to. Sure you can freeze it in tupperware and have it for dinner the next night. But when Target sells lunch boxes this cute for adults now, why not eat your chicken soup at work, saving the $7 you would’ve spent on a sandwich, and have fun cooking again tomorrow!All of these gifts will keep on giving throughout the new year and you’ll have more in your bank account as a result. What more from a gift could you possibly want!

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Making things pretty

I’ve shown furniture pieces that I wallpapered in previous posts, but never before have I shown the process. That changes now.

I’ve been wanting to wallpaper the built-in center unit in my bedroom closet for a while now, but didn’t want to deal with taking it down. so I started smaller.

While cleaning up the office for our housewarming, I came across a small drawer that I bought months ago from Target when we were first moving. It had been sitting under the desk for months, unused. So I inserted it into my vanity without measuring…luckily it fit like a glove!Then I applied wallpaper glue using a neat little rolling sponge. This baby goes miles!

This wallpaper is from the same roll I bought off ebay for $10. More wallpaper than I could ever need…who am I kidding, I’ll find a way.

Press the wallpaper on with a smoothing tool..any straight edge will work really..to get out all air pockets.Go over the edges with a box cutter to obtain neat edges.Finito!

Pre-vanity I kept all my jewelry and makeup in drawers at the bottom of the office closet. I freed those up for guest linens, arts & crafts, miscellaneous storage, and sewing accessories. Any chance I can to improve storage, I jump at.

My vanity gets better looking each day 🙂

Now that I am experienced with wallpapering vertically, I can tackle the closet built-in. Stay tuned!

The Office – post decorate, pre paint

I’ve hesitated to show our office for a few weeks now, because it has become our storage room since we hastily moved in. But with all the bargains we scored in this room, I just had to clean it up a bit for a photo shoot.Everything in this picture cost us around $350 out of pocket. The horrible uncovered light fixture was left in the condo and we have yet to install a light into the ceiling fan (are you sensing a pattern here? 4 rooms: 4 ceiling fans: 1 installed with a light). The recliner was given to us by friends who were moving and decided not to move this with them. Bella, my mannequin was a Christmas gift from my mother. If I ever finish the dress she’s wearing (currently inside out) I’ll showcase it on here. The bookshelf (behind Bella) was on sale at Walmart for $15, down from $25.

The desk was a Staples floor model. When our local Staples revised their business model and stopped carrying furniture, we scored this for 75% off…only $180. The real expense was carrying it up 3 flights of stairs. It did break up into 3 separate parts, the hutch and both halves of the L, all pieces equally heavy. Out of everything we now own, this desk was the worst thing to move in.

The futon was from The Dump: $150. Our condo has 2 bedrooms, this being one of them. Since we only need 1 for ourselves, we felt it wasteful to use the second exclusively for guests. We also needed a work room for me to sew and for he to work. The previous owner used what is now our dining room as his office, but as someone who loves to hosts dinner parties, our guest room became an office/guest room.

The closet holds mostly arts & crafts, such as fabric, sewing patterns, sketching tools, etc. But it also holds shoes, belts, and his endless supply of t-shirts (2nd shelf from the top: exclusively t-shirts). The top shelf consists of items that we have yet to find a place for: Purses that were taking up too much room, winter boots, guest linens, etc.

Suggestions welcome!

Obviously we still need to paint. We’re going with a light red color, possibly identical to the dining room, maybe lighter. A large piece of artwork is also missing from above the futon, just haven’t decided what it will be yet.

The top shelf in the closet existed before move-in. The lower shelves and hardware are from Home Depot: under $5 each. The 4 drawers on the bottom are 2 separate components from Target: $25 each.

 

 

My Bedroom in all its imperfections

My last post about the canopy gone wrong made me realize that I haven’t photographed my bedroom in full yet. This wasn’t just a misstep on my part, but a deliberate attempt to not show what was not yet done. But I’ve gotten over that and am ready to reveal my “in process” rooms, no matter the state.

Here goes:

*Pay no attention to the “canopy” above the bed that I haven’t taken down yet.

The window valances came with the bed set and are not staying. I hung them up with white sheer panels that I “eyeballed” instead of taking measurements. They were about a foot short of touching the window sill.

I may have previously mentioned my newfound addiction to wallpapering furniture. That is on display in these photos.

The bench at the foot of the bed is made up of 2 2-drawer components from Target. I made the bench pad from foam, batting and the same velvet fabric used for the headboard. The trim from JoAnn fabrics is only fastened with pins right now because I didn’t buy enough and haven’t sewn it yet.

The drawer front is a different pattern than the sides.  Not sure if I love it yet. In the picture above it seems to go together, but up close it looks a little more clashed. Take a look:

I bought the rolls of wallpaper on Ebay for a total of $20 (1 roll of each).

What triggered the addiction was my bedroom vanity. One of our first furniture purchases was a TV stand from Ikea for $50. After falling in love with a coffee table that didn’t match this style at all and deciding to mount our tv to the wall, we had no use for this TV stand. I mean NO use. With a little over 850 sq ft to work with, we brainstormed every room. Maybe a buffet in our 8×8 dining room. Maybe a wall mounted shelf over our bedroom closet. Maybe a work area in the office. None of these rooms could spare the space. It stayed in our hall for a month while we thought of who we could give it to or if we should eat the $50 and throw it out.

Finally! when talking with a friend about my desire for a vanity in our bedroom as well as my wish for a versatile mini bar, she suggested I add taller legs to the trash-bound TV stand and paint it. We left for Ikea immediately and bought 4 legs at $12.50 each with casters for easy mobility.

It was decided the surface couldn’t be painted without sanding, and wallpapering would be the way to go.

The result is my beautiful bedroom vanity:

The ends are a little messy so I plan on adding a gold trim…just haven’t figured out how yet.

The stool is from Home Goods, $30. It’s a little short right now, nothing Ikea legs can’t fix. Still not sure if I will keep it. I wanted a vanity stool that could look good on its own if I ever move the vanity into the living room to serve as a buffet table during a party. But maybe that’s a silly idea to decorate around.

The mirror will be hung on the wall. We’re also still looking for alot of creative art work. Don’t judge our bare walls just yet.

Revisions to be made to the scene on the left:

  • Canopy removed
  • Pendant lighting hung above nightstands.
  • Wall art

 

 

 

 

Revisions to be made to the scene on the right:

  • Mirror hung on wall
  • Wall Art
  • TV wires hidden (in living room)

The Master Bedroom

Our bedroom was used as storage for the first 3 weeks, with space reserved against the wall for an air mattress. That’s right. An air mattress. For 3 weeks. My back is only now just recovering. (This is not our bed. We ordered our cloud-like bed, along with our couch, from JCPenney during their Memorial day sale). I’ll save the details of what went into decorating our bedroom for when I post the ‘after’ shot.

Although it’s still a work in progess, I am in love with how it’s turning out and probably only have about 15% to go.

Our master closet

(You can catch a glimpse of our bed set in the photo to the left).

Boxes of shoes and bags of clothes filled the room until the closet was ready. I wish I had a ‘before’ photo but I wasn’t thinking this far ahead at the time. One measly shelf sat wall to wall. About a foot and a half lower than where the new shelves sit, it was hung too low to hold a few maxi dresses that fit my 5’9 frame.

So I gutted it and rebuilt it to my standards, all for about $100. Now I have room for everything! (Shoes shown are only flats, heels are a whole other closet).

All shelves are from Lowe’s. Center unit is comprised of 4 separate components from Target.

**It may look like his side is unfairly small, but the closet protrudes further to the left than shown. I swear, it was evenly distributed.

Organization comes easy with space

Our old closet was a DISASTER. It was a “walk-in” with an angled ceiling that went from 6 feet high at the door, to 2 feet low in the rear. It was 3 feet wide, with clothes lining both sides. It was like crawling into a cave every time I needed something from the back. Needless to say, any attempt at organization was useless. But NOW! Now, everything is within sight, making wardrobe choices much easier in the morning. Laundry doesn’t pile up from fear of the closet exploding. Life is easier.

The 2 baskets to the left of the photo are from Walmart. The rattan basket on the right (which I will photograph at a better angle later) was a flea market purchase from the Basket Lady.

You can see other items from The Basket Lady here. http://www.basketlady.biz/

 

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