Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bag's to Love - And how to find them for less

Kate Spade has some great looking bags this fall/winter. On the scale of expensive bags they fall in the reasonable category. Yes, they're still pricey. But they're not so pricey that they're completely out of a normal person's ability to obtain.

A couple of tips for finding a Kate Spade bag at a lesser price:

Wait until it becomes last seasons bag and it will be reduced in price. Kate Spade does have a few outlet stores as well, and you can find them a little less expensively there.

When the new bags come out, take note of the ones you like the most, the color, style, and the price - THEN start checking websites like ebay. At first, you won't be able to get one for a good deal (and if you can, you should be very suspicious of that deal, although Ebay tries to curtail knock-off activity on the site, it does happen and any bag that is way too good of a price to be true, probably is). But eventually, as the season changes you will be able to find them less expensively. Some women do buy a lot of bags and sell them to buy different bags and usually those are slightly used, but not enough to make a big difference to you if you shop the site carefully. Also, some people get them as gifts around the Holidays, find that they are difficult to return for a cash refund, and decide to sell them instead.

If you do your homework and keep your eyes open, you might find your favorite bag for far less.  Whether you like Kate Spade, Coach, or you've had your eyes on a Michael Kors bag, the principles are the same. 

Or ask for one as a gift, I have had that work before too. :)

This is the Shuffled Spade Bon Shopper - $145 currently

The red Pastiche Darcy, currently price is $395

the matchbook bon shopper, currently $145

How gorgeous is this color?  This is the Knightsbridge Helena, $495

The Gold Coast Maryanne in red, $395

This is the Fanfare Brette, current price $295

Friday, October 28, 2011

The Cure for your Home

So for the next 20 days on Apartment Therapy I'm following "The Cure".  And though The CURE, is one of my favorite bands of all time, we're not talking about the Robert Smith led british band. 

No, if you want to follow "The Cure" for your home you can find it HERE (apt. therapy)  But basically what it is, are daily 20 minute steps you can take to re-vitalize your home.  Some cleaning, but also just some re-thinking, and a re-juvenating of sorts. 

I sort of feel like I don't have time for it.  And yet, 20 minutes a day is not that much, and it is helping me to feel like things around my house are in less of a rut. 

Back up...

Actually I feel like things around my house are in a pretty MAJOR rut at the moment, and I'd like to do something about that, but I really don't have much time to devote to it, and "The Cure" is helping me find a way to re-think it and maybe plan some projects in tiny bite sizes that I can accomplish. 

Up until about a week ago I was thinking that it would probably be a long time before I painted anything inside my house.  But now I'm thinking maybe I would like to paint something.  Maybe painting would give me some much needed ooomph around here.  But I'm getting ahead of myself a bit here - back to the Cure.

So each day there are these little assignments.  They can be as small as buying flowers for your home.  Or as large as doing some quick cleaning of floors.  And yesterday's assignment was to find some photos of some home inspiration that really truly feels like "you". 

I collect all these images all the time.  And truly, there's nothing I save that I don't admire in some way - either the color, the furniture, the style of just something about the space is happy and lovely.  They are all a little tiny part of me in a way.  Which made me think this task was not all that useful for me.  I save images all the time.  And then I share them here with you.

But I realized that most of those images are not necessarily something I'm going to use.  I like them, but that doesn't mean I would actually implement them.  So I spent the last hour or so going through all my most recent "saves" of images - all images I've saved since about summer.  And what I found were that there were particular things that really spoke to me - that I thought "YES, I want to do that".  So I'm sharing those personal favorites here with you.

And part of that process has led me to conclude that there are some very specific things I'd like to accomplish in 2012 in my home.  And now that I have a direction I'm trying to head, I think maybe I can actually accomplish some of these things.

The 2012 Goal The List & Images:

1.  Declutter and create some cleaner lines:

There are a lot of things I like about this image but here are the things that really stood out for me personally.  I love that painting over the fire place.  I would like to re-think the placement of some of my art and paintings.  I also love how clean all the surfaces are here.  I think I need to completely clean out my book shelves in my family room, and the mantle and really clean up the whole fireplace portion of that room to a neater more cohesive whole.  I also love the couple of glass vases they have on the hearth.  I'd like to find something pretty for the hearth.  (and I really adore glass, I don't have nearly enough of it).  I'm also a huge fan of the tile.  I'm probably stuck with the tile I currently have on my fireplace for at least a while, but someday I'd like to change it.  I also really like this kind of boring carpet.  My carpet in my family room is SHOT and I'd like to price carpet and make it a goal next year of replacing it. I think I might really like a carpet like this. 

2.  Molded Chair

I'd like to focus on finding a chair like this - or another style, but a mid-century molded chair.  There are many of them that were made and were not really name brand, and those could be found for cheap and painted with high gloss paint.  I saw a make-over of one on a website yesterday and they can be sometimes found cheap on Craig's list or at a garage sale, etc.  I have a couple of spots around that I'd love to have some of these.

3.  Awesome Chair Fabric

I have a chair in the front room I'd really like to re-cover.  To be honest, my dog climbs in that particular chair all the time though, so I'm a little loathe to do it in anything I really cared about.  What I'm thinking would be great though is if I could have someone help me make 2 or 3 slip covers that I liked.  That way They could just be thrown in the wash and rotated.  Wouldn't that be great?  They wouldn't be perfect looking or anything - just a nice change and an easy way to keep that chair cleaner.  Some would say to make the dog stay off, but I just don't have the heart to tell her no on that particular chair.  It's not an expenisive chair, and she loves to watch the street from there.

4.  Greens and Blues

One thing I noticed when going through all these images is I am very drawn right now to blues and greens and yellows and some reds.  But MOSTLY, blues and greens.  I do not have much blue in my house, nor have a typically liked blue all that much in the past, but I'm starting to think blue in my family room might be a fun change.  It's been two different shades of green, but I've never tried any other color back there.  Blue might be a fun change.

5.  A Most Excellent Blue

And I super LOVE this particular blue.  With green and yellow and red accents?  I love this idea. 

6.  And this is just a fantasy or two:

Nothing here will happen this year but - I adore adore adore those chairs.  Wouldn't it be simply awesome to find some like these?  Even that print on the fabric is super great.  And that light fixture is to die for, and I looooove the art work too.  This is just fantasy time.  But it makes me lightheaded and happy to look at it.  

And this???????  Practically Perfect in every way.  But the lesson here is that someday in the future, I want to re-do the small bathroom in a tile just like this.

I don't have much money to make any big changes this year, but if I could afford to change the carpet, paint is not that much, and I think I could do most of the other small things not very expensively either. 

It feels nice to have some direction and an idea of what I could do to improve things a little at a time. 

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Apartment Therapy Room For Color Contest - AGAIN!

Remember a couple of years ago I fought hard and made it to the quarter finals in the Room for Color contest for Apartment Therapy?  (but alas did not win...I did get a free design book for making it into the quarter finals though)

Last year I tried again, but failed to even make the cut into the contest.  :(  I felt like I'd completely lost my mojo.

This year I decided to enter my bedroom.  I know it's a totally insane green.  I get it, people often think I've lost my mind.  But I honestly really love it.  It makes me happy EVERY SINGLE DAY.

And guess what?  I'm back in the contest again for the Western Division!  I'm very happy about that. 

There are some other really great rooms in the contest so far, and I'm sure there will be more great rooms to come so I understand I'm up against some difficult odds.  (this sounds like the speech people make when they say "it's an honor to be nominated...)  But seriously, it is! 

But if you have a minute to pop over to apartment therapy and vote "like" on my entry, that would be super awesome.  You do have to sign - in  (If you voted for me last time, you had to sign in then too). 


I'll love you forever. 

And just for fun, here are ALL the photos I took of my room (you could only submit 5 for the contest)

Sunday, October 23, 2011


I love photography and I mourn the loss of my time that I used to devote to it.  Sometimes when you have a bunch of different important things to do and a few things that you just like to do, all the "HAVE to do's" have to come first and the "like to do's" have to come second and third and fourth and sometimes there is just not enough time for all of the "likes".  Or in this case, even though I actually love it, I just haven't had the time for it at all. 

Maybe someday soon.  I have a 30 day photographic challenge I would really like to do, but I've got to find a month that I know I could commit to it.  In the meantime, I still like to check my photos on flickr and see what people search for and "favorite" of the things I've already done.  I still occasionaly get a notice from JPG magazine from the photo that got published, letting me know someone is a "fan" of that photo.  This was the photo that got published and it's still my number one photo on flickr too: 

Scone Palace, Scotland, UK

Rounding out my other top 20 photos are:

Hollie poses as Marilyn Monroe, Roosevelt District, Phoenix Arizona

Jordan and friends at her Diva Party, Paradise Valley, Arizona

Jordan wades in Lake Saguaro, Arizona

Tie Dye sways in the wind, Greer Arizona
My front room, my piano, Phoenix Arizona

Hilary rests on a ledge, Downtown Phoenix, Arizona
Wolf, Yellowstone Park, Montana

blue marbles, my front room, Phoenix Arizona

Old Man of Storr, Skye, Scotland

Marshmallow trees, two-top, on the Idaho, Montana border

Isle of Skye, Scotland, UK

Hollie, Downtown Phoenix, Arizona

Roxanne, downtown Phoenix, Arizona

My pool, my backyard, Phoenix Arizona

The rocks near Carmel, Pacific Coast Highway, California

Jordan at the start of a monsoon storm, Chandler Arizona

Jordan on the red rocks, Sedona, Arizona

A ruined Abby, Scotland UK

My dresser, my bedroom, Phoenix Arizona

It's fun to see all the different places I've been able to take photos.  I'm sure I'll have time to devote to it as a hobby some day when I finish school. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fun Fall Fashions

I love fashion. I don't always have the budget for it that I'd like, and depending on weight fluctuations, I can't always fit into everything I'd like to wear! But I do love it.

When I was young I used to look so forward to the 17 magazine issue that came out in August - the back to school and fall fashions issue. It was about twice as thick as the usual edition and I would pour over the photos repeatedly until I had nearly everything memorized. I still remember some of those ad campaigns for Bass shoes and Izod and Benetton like it was yesterday.

My friend and I used to love to sit down with catalogues and go through every single page and determine which clothes looked more like I should wear them and which looked more like her.

My number 1 goal in life when I was about 14, was to grow up, move to Salt Lake City (I guess because that was the only "city" I was familiar with and it seemed more realistic), get a cool apartment, get a job, and wear lots of amazing clothes. Most importantly this wardrobe needed to include hats. I had absolutely no idea what the unspecified job would be making enough money and having the confidence to pull off wearing hats. I was very specific about the hats!

Still makes me smile to think about it. It was FUN to have that fantasy!

Today I still look through the September issue of Vogue, and think about what outfits I would wear if money and body type were no issue. Old habits die hard.

It is still FUN. :)

There are two clothing companies I really like though, who I always kind of keep track of just because I so often love what they do. Here are some great fall clothes from Kate Spade (probably my favorite designer) and JCrew.

I don't know if the imbed on this video will work.  It is an awesome video about older women who use fashion as a means to express their creativity.  Love it! (you might want to go over there on the side bar and pause culture club before you press to watch)


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