Flaunt it Friday #26

TGIF!

CSN Damask Rug

Well friends, I have a confession to make...  like many of you fellow bloggers I was offered a $60 CSN gift card to giveaway or keep for doing a little advertising for CSN stores..... I decided to keep it! 

Ssssshhh!  Seriously, I think I'm the only one in the blogosphere that didn't give the CSN gift card away.

Ok, so I was feeling a little guilty about that whole better to give than to receive yada yada yada... until my rug showed up... then, I didn't care anymore.  Sorry!

I got this awesome and desperately needed rug for under my kitchen table and I absolutely LOVE it!!



Just un-rolled

You may remember how much I heart damask ( I can never get that little heart symbol to work!?)  I have these damask panels in my family room nearby and thankfully, they look great together!  This rug really pulls the two rooms together but the best part is... it hides a mess! 

One of my very first posts was about our new bamboo floors.  I love them but my biggest complaint about them was how bad they showed a mess... especially crumbs under the kiddos. 

Oops... this pic is a little overexposed... it was a beautiful sunny day!


This lovely rug hides so much of the mess.... LOOOOOVE it!


This rug is considered an indoor/outdoor rug and  I was nervous when ordering it that it would look too outdoor-ish but I don't think so at all. 

An indoor/outdoor rug is a great alternative to buying a traditional indoor rug.  You can usually get an outdoor rug for about half of what you'd pay for a traditional indoor rug of the same size. 





Since I was unable to see the rug in person before buying it I was worried that it would be cheaply made with the damask pattern screen printed on it.  Thankfully it's very well made, the pattern is weaved into it and the outdoor fabric is treated to resist stains and it really works!

We've had the rug for about 2 months now and have tested the stain resistance pretty much everyday. :)  We've had a plate full of ketchup covered  scrambled eggs dropped under the high chair (and splattered for about 2 feet in all directions) and it came right out with just water.   

The rug was reasonably priced at $118 for the high quality and had free shipping!  After my $60 gift card I only had to pay around $60 with tax.  Oh how I love a sweeeeeeet deal!

I did my research and while I could've found a cheaper indoor/outdoor rug at one of the big box stores, none of them had my glorious damask pattern and many of them were cheaply made... the kind that snag easily and just look cheap. 

If you're in the market for rug or just about anything else, try CSN stores.  They have been so generous to our blogging community and I'm happy to say that they offer quality products!

Don't forget to party with me starting late tonight... Flaunt it Friday is here again! :)

Fall Centerpiece Love



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 this year?  What are you coming up with??






























I'm linked to:  The Tablescaper Seasonal Sundays,







HookingupwithHoH

Flaunt it Friday #25

I've been working on fall decorations and have some good stuff to share with you guys... stay tuned! :)

For now it's time to party!


Everybody loves IKEA

Why does everybody love Ikea??  What is it about this place?... 

Do you live nowhere near an Ikea and have only heard the grand stories of the deals that can only be found at the mysterious Swedish retail giant.  Maybe you're considering a roadtrip to the shopping mecca, or maybe you're just curious about it... this post is for you!


I live within 2 hours of 2 Ikeas, they are far enough away that I don't go too often (which might be dangerous to my bank account!) but they are close enough if I want to make a day trip I can do it.  They are both in Chicagoland (can you believe Chicago is lucky enough to have 2!?!... I know, right!) 

Having recently taken an Ikea-cation (get it?? like vacation or stay-cation... I know,don't quit my day job;)   I thought I could share some advice and info with all you Ikea virgins (stop blushing silly)  so here it goes...

First of all, what the heck does the name IKEA mean?? 

Nothing really, according to Wikipidia IKEA stands for Ingvar Kamprad Elmtaryd Agunnaryd.  The guys name that created it, Ingar Kamprad, plus the farm where he grew up (Elmtaryd), and his home parish (Agunnaryd, in SmÃ¥land, South Sweden).

Now you can say you learned something new today. ;)

I've been to IKEA several times and if there's one thing I've learned from my little trips it's to avoid going on the weekend if at all possible.  Especially Saturday mornings... avoid it like the plague people...  Ikea is an absolute hot mess on Saturday mornings. T.E.R.R.I.B.L.E.

If you do have to go on a Saturday morning prepare yourself for loads of people, many of them speaking different languages.  Last time I was there on a Saturday I overheard people speaking German, French, Italian, Japanesse, Spanish and something else I couldn't quite place- all in one Saturday... Wow!  This was kind of cool until I realized I didn't know how to say "Excuse me, you're holding up the aisle and there's about 200 people behind you!" in any of those languages. :)

No offense to non-English speakers, Ikea is a little confusing to everyone (including yours truly) on the first visit.

Anywho... for this little trip we went on a random late Thursday aftternoon and we owned the place!  There were a few times I looked around and we were the only people in the department (which are really big!)... it was actually kind of creepy but after getting over the creeps it was awesome! 

So here are some tips from your favorite Chic on a Shoestring Decorator for taking a trip to Ikea:
  • Don't go on the weekend if at all possible... especially Saturday morning. 
  • If you're going for specific high ticket items do your homework.  Sometimes Ikea's prices are NOT the cheapest! 
  • If planning to buy furniture, appliances or other big items check their website to see if delivery is available in your area and what the minimum charge is, it can be very expensive especially if you live far away from the store.  You are welcome to bring a truck and pick it up yourself.
  • Get ready to be confused by the mostly non-English labels on the items with very strange names that do not explain what said item is, sometimes you can't tell by looking at it...  seriously.
  • Even more frustrating, these same confusing labels many times have NO price on them.  Look for a sign nearby the items bin/shelf.
  • Most Ikea furniture requires assembly.
  • Bring your own bags, Ikea has none but will sell you the reuseable kind.
  • If you find an item in a room display it is always somewhere else in the store nowhere near the room display... just keep looking!
  • Ikea has a cafeteria style restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. 
  • Some Ikea's have a food market inside selling lots of international specialty items.
  • Ikea's are kid friendly, they have big kid's "club" enclosed play areas (that may even have supervision).  Not sure because I've never used it, call first before bringing kiddos to hear about age requirements and if it is indeed supervised.  And of course you can drag your kid around in there with you. 
  • Wear comfy shoes and plan for at least 2 hours if you really want to look at things, they are huge!
Ikea has really come a long way in their kitchen designs.  They used to be uber modern looking and many times cheap and plastic-y.  Now they have this fabulous model:
The pic really doesn't do it justice.  You can purchase the whole kitchen, cabinets, granite counters, appliances, sink for about $15,000.  This is amazingly cheap for a kitchen remodel that looks this great!

I may have confused some of you with my "Everything has a strange name" comment earlier.  Here's an example... I bought some dish towels named "Etty" and I bought a white ceramic flower pot labeled "Kardemumma", I have no idea...

Here's Etty.... so cute I couldn't resist!!  I'm a sucker for cupcakes.  3 for $5.99



 Here's some very Pottery Barn-ish pillows...


Here's part of their large selection of decorative pillow covers... great for people like me who can't sew! :)
You can buy a cover with an insert or just a cover and save some $$





I mentioned earlier in my tips that there are no bags at Ikea (unless you buy one).  Along with not having bags, you can't take your shopping cart into the parking lot at Ikea.  You have to carry all your junk (which is hard to do sans bags) or back your car up into their "loading zone" which consists of lots of parking spaces at the exit doors that are lined with cement poles that are just close enough together that you can't squeeze your shopping cart through... dang!  These back up to the exit doors and can get quite congested on a busy weekend.

If you haven't been able to tell, Ikea is a Swedish based store with lots of Swedish names, etc.  In their cafeteria they actually sell Swedish meatballs!  For some reason my hubby and I find this to be hilarious and always tease each other about eating some Swedish meatballs at the Ikea cafe which we have never done and would never do.  I'm sure they taste fine (if you're into Swedish meatballs (no thanks) but the picture they use on the cafe sign of them is not very appealing.

With that I'll leave you with a few more pics...

Another nice Ikea kitchen:

A nice family room set up (although the bookcase is stuffed a little too full for my taste :) 
A sleek set up...

Well, I hope you've enjoyed my Ikea-cation and got some tips for yours!

So, if you've never been do you want to go??  If you have been what did I forget to tell everyone?

Flaunt it Friday #25

Sorry for the late start, had some connection problems last night. grrr.
Anywho... Where did this week go?!?  It's already time to party again so party on friends....

Flaunt it Friday #24

I love my linky friends!  It's Friday again... link em' up! :)

King Me



Well friends, the fifth time is apparently the charm when it comes to new bedding.  Last time I talked about my struggles adventures in the search for  bedding for our new king bed I had the fifth one on order (read about it here).  It arrived and I was a bit skeptical when I pulled it out of the package.  Of course it was a wrinkled mess from being packaged but it had a satin look that I wasn't expecting.  From the pictures I could tell it had a little sheen to it but not full on satin shine. 

I have no idea why but I'd always associated satin bedding with cover pictures on trashy romance novels... I don't even read them so I have no clue where this weird association came from.

Anywho, with very low expectations I put it on my bed.  I made it up and stepped back... to my surprise I thought it looked lovely.  I got a few new throw pillows because I couldn't resist them (you can read about my pillow obsession here) to pull it together and now it's complete!


It's hard to tell from the above pictures how fabulous these white damask pillows are, especially if you heart damask like I do. ;)  They are down filled, heavy and expensive.  I love the way their weight will hold my other pillows in place.  I got them at Tuesday Mornings and I had store credit so only had to pay a few bucks...awesome!!!


Since diamonds are a girls best friend I like a little bling on my bed... no, they are not diamonds, but you know what I mean, right??

I've learned the hard way that these sequins will snag the heck out of my pretty comforter, have to be really careful.  But, they are so worth it!

One more bling in blue....

What do you friends think??  Do you like my new satiny look?  Please tell me it doesn't look like the cover of a trashy romance novel because I love it! :)


Flaunt it Friday #23

It's Friday already?!?  Time has been flying by as my family adjusts to the back to school schedule.  I have tons of posts in the making but just haven't had time to do them. 

Don't worry though.... I'll be back! (said in my best Arnold Schwarzenegger voice)  I know... I'm a dork. :)

Even though I've been busy I'm not too busy to party!!  Link em' up!