Flaunt it Friday #51

TGIF!  Link 'em up!

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating





A non-TV stand for a TV stand.

I am not a big fan of TV stands. 

Why?  Because the ones in my price range just aren't pretty. 

They look like TV stands. 

If I wanted to drop a grand on one I could find a pretty "media console" from Pottery Barn or Ballard's that did not look like a TV stand. 

Anderson Media Console
Image from Pottery Barn

But hey, this is Chic on a Shoestring Decorating,  not Big Money Decorating.  And,even if I had an extra grand burning a hole in my pocket, I wouldn't spend it on a TV stand... that's just how I roll.

Our last house had built-in shelves in our family room so I avoided the ugly TV stand problem, that made it so easy!  When we moved into our current home we had no built-ins so I had to face the TV stand dilemma. 

I did not want to put the TV over our fireplace... that's not the look I'm going for.  And, I just love to decorate the mantel too much to do that.

So, I had to face the dilemma on a very limited budget.   I had no idea what I was going to do...

We closed on our new house but hadn't moved in yet, we were there tearing out carpet, painting, etc.  

The door bell rang, I answered it. 

It was a a young man whom I didn't recognize and he said, and I quote,

"Hi, is your mom home?"

I said "I love you."

He gave me a puzzled look. 

I said, "Umm, I am the mom" 

He then looked kind of embarassed and began to explain that he had 2 semi's full of high quality furniture from a famous maker in North Carolina and would I like to see what they have. 

How could I turn this guy down now?

So, I went through the semis, stacked to the ceiling with sofas and recliners.  The prices were really good but I didn't need a sofa or recliner.

I then went to semi number two and there it was...  my pretty little black TV stand.  Although it wasn't a TV stand at all.


Swoon

I LOVED it.... I mean really loved it. 

I thought for sure it would be too expensive but I had to ask the price because I couldn't walk away from it. 

The sales guy said $375.  Hmmmm.... it would obviously be way more than that on a show room floor. 

So I started talking, there were a few little scratches on it and I was able to haggle the guy down to $250!! 

SOLD!  

This was such a steal!!  I love the details... look at this:


And these cute feet!


Here is a blurry shot of the whole thing...


This is one of my favorite pieces of furniture! 

The moral of this story is, don't settle for a yucky TV stand that looks like a TV stand, there are plenty of great deals at places like HomeGoods, Tuesday Mornings, Hobby Lobby and semi trucks driving through your neighborhood selling furniture.  A nice chest of drawers like mine or a console table can do the job of a TV stand much more eloquently.

PS:  Don't forget to enter the Tupperware Chop 'N Prep giveaway HERE!

I'm linking up with Miss Mustard Seed, Fingerprints on the Fridge, Finding Fabulous, Someday Crafts,

Tupperware Chop 'N Prep Chef Giveaway & Review

Yay!  A giveaway! 


This is an awesome giveaway by my sweet sponsor Chris from Today's Organized Kitchen. 


Visit my Sponsors
 There are 2 ways to win!

First, Chris is very generously giving away one Tupperware Chop 'N Prep Chef, retail value $39 plus tax and shipping! 


Picture via Tupperware
 Also, any person that places a Tupperware order through Chris' website during this giveaway will be put in a drawing to have their purchase price REFUNDED... meaning FREE!  Plus the Chop 'N Prep is currently on sale at her website for $25 through April 8!


Chris was kind enough to give me a Chop 'N Prep Chef to try out.  She also sent me a great Tupperware "Sensational Salads" cookbook that has fabulous pictures of each of the recipes (I love that!).  All opinions are 100% mine. 



Tupperware says this about the The Chop 'N Prep Chef:
"A faster, easier way to chop.  Turbo chop fresh herbs, vegetables, berries, cheeses and more in record time with this compact and earth-friendly product. Its easy-pull cord mechanism saves time and effort while eliminating the cost of expensive electricity. Plus, the Tupperware® Chop 'N Prep™ Chef is small enough to store in the cupboard, drawer or pantry. And it’s gift boxed for added convenience."

I decided to test this out on an onion.  I hate cutting onions because my sensitive eyes sting and cry (I know, I'm a wimp in the kitchen).  Anywhooo... to fit my onion in the Chop N' Prep I had to cut it in quarters, easy enough and no tears. 


I then attached the lid and had my sous chef help me with the string mechanism so I could take a picture at the same time.  The sous chef said he very much enjoyed pulling the cord to chop the onions and suggested we continue chopping things in the Chop 'N Prep so he could keep "testing" it.  He suggested carrots (good one!), Captain Crunch cereal and M&Ms.  I told him we'd try that another day. ;) 




My sous chef did a fantastic job yanking the pull cord 4 or 5 times to give us this perfectly chopped onion.

The onion is chopped in equally sized pieces for even cooking and NO tears!

Before the Chop 'N Prep I had a chopper that was similar to this...

KitchenAid KG304OB Food Chopper




I stopped using it because every time I chopped with it, the onion (or whatever I was chopping) would get stuck on the blade the first several chops so I'd have to take the bottom off and pull the onion off the blade after every. single. chop.

It was such a pain!  It was easier to just use a knife and cutting board and cry the whole time.

This old chopper is totally going in my garage sale!  Maybe some sucker someone else will have better luck than me. ;)

The Tupperware description mentions that the Chop 'N Prep is earth and budget friendly since it doesn't use electricity. 

Ummm... I'm not really worried about the cost of electricity for using small household appliances but I do like that it has no power cord to wind up (and annoyingly come unwound and hang out of my cabinet door) and the whole thing can go in the dishwasher.  I guess it would also be handy if the power goes out and I decide to cook dinner anyway. I love convenience! 

2 thumbs up for the Chop 'N Prep Chef by Tupperware!!

Now, you're probably wondering how you can win.... you have 5 opportunities!  Leave a separate comment below for each entry.  Winner will be drawn 4/18/11 by random.org

1. MANDATORY: Visit Today's Organized Kitchen and become a Follower.  Leave her a quick message "I heart Chop 'N Prep Chef!"

2. Like Today's Organized Kitchen on Facebook.  Leave her a quick comment "I heart Chop 'N Prep Chef!"

3. Check out Chris' Tupperware catalog HERE, and tell me the product you would love to have. (Remember,if you make a purchase during the giveaway you're entered in the drawing to have your purchase price refunded!)

4. Follow Chic on a Shoestring Decorating

5. Like Chic on a Shoestring Decorating on Facebook

6. Post about this giveaway on your blog

7. Post about this giveaway on Facebook

Good Luck!!





Flaunt it Friday Features

Another fabulous week of link ups... so hard to choose!  Thanks for joining me. :)


Chic on a Shoestring Decorating



Check out the fabulousness of this dresser re-do by Twice Lovely.  I heart damask...

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Beautiful and brilliantly colored eggs by Craftberry Bush.




A fabulous spring mantel by Sweet Something Designs.

 LOVE this pink-a-licious makeover by Chrissie's Collections!  Check out the pics of the inside... it's cute too!

Fun floor stripes by Little Blue Chairs... love those colors!


A beautiful slipcover from a dropcloth!  Great job Restoration House!

My mouth is watering just looking at these!  Check out While He Was Napping's deelish soft pretzels! 
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Super-Cute Spring has Sprung canvas tutorial by Making Messes
Look at this cute little nightstand makeover by Fabulously Flawed.
Awesome board and batten at Recaptured Charm... plus they put up a wall!
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A fantastic and frugal bedroom makeover at Welcome to Heardmont.
Craigslist turned cute Pottery Barn knock-off mirror by Red Door Abode.

Fantastic stenciling projects by Design Share.
Sweet and Cheap Ballard knock-off pillows by West Furniture Revival.
The best little sandwich recipe from I Should Be Mopping the Floor.  I've had these before and they are DEELISH!! 
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Flaunt it Friday #50

Hey peeps!  It's time for Flaunt it Friday!  Be sure to come back this weekend for an exciting new giveaway announcement!  And, don't forget to enter the $75 Willow House giveaway in the column to the left... tell her Chic on a Shoestring Decorating sent you! :)

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating



Taking a risk on myself


image from sjengraving
 I had a completely different post planned for today until I read some of my faves this morning, Kate the Centsational Girl and The Nester's posts about risk taking.  This got the old noggin' spinning in a completely different direction. 

Many of you may or may not know that I started my own interior decorating business less than a year ago.  I had always wanted to but didn't think I had the right credentials or the business know how.

I did not go to school for interior decorating/design.  Growing up I was always decorating and rearranging my bedroom, this should have been my clue... Duh.

As a nieve 18 year old making huge life decisions when entering college, I didn't even consider interior design thinking I was going to make big bucks as a business professional.

It wasn't until after graduation and becoming a homeowner for the first time that I realized my true calling was decorating.  I absolutely LOVED it.  I considered it a new hobby that I couldn't get enough of.  To curb the expense I shopped at TJ Maxx, Tuesday Mornings, Target, etc. 


image via google

When people came in our home for the first time they were always very complimentary, sometimes shocked at the nice decor.  A few people called me Martha (as in the Martha Stewart... aww shucks :). 

image via Martha Stewart Show


When we put our houses on the market over the years as we've moved several realtors thought our homes had been professionally decorated.  No, just little old me...

Friends started asking me to help decorating their homes and started telling me I should start a business...who, me?! 

All of these wonderful compliments slowly built my confidence.  Maybe I could do this as a career....

When we had our first baby I quit my job to stay home as we had planned (quite a risk in itself!).  Being a mom was definitely my first calling just ahead of decorating. 

After our second son turned 2 and years of thinking about starting a business I had had enough of the "what ifs" in my head... you know, What if no one  hires me? What if people don't like my style? What if people question my credentials?  What if I fail?. 


“Security is mostly a superstition.
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”
– Helen Keller

I finally decided what do I have to lose?  The important stuff was covered... thankfully, my husband has great job security and benefits so I didn't have to provide benefits or a steady income.  I have family around to watch my babes if I needed to see a client during the day. 

Could I fail? 

Yes. 

Did it really matter if I failed?

No. (besides my pride taking a hit)

So, I followed a dream.

I made a plan (kind of), gave myself a name (actually, my dad came up with it... thanks dad!  isn't he creative?!)  I made a website for myself using a free service (which was pretty easy for a non-techy girl like me once I got the hang of it).  And then I just put myself out there (told my friends and family and posted on Facebook... free advertising!) 

And, amazingly... someone hired me.  It was a Facebook friend from a mom's church group I had been a part of a few years ago. 

Shortly after that, someone was reading my friend's blog, she saw me as a follower of my friend and clicked on my picture, intrigued by my business name, she then became my first client that I didn't previously know.  This was SUPER exciting!!  Someone I had never met hired me based off my blog pictures alone! 

Since then, I have steadily had clients contact me.  I haven't spent a dime on advertising.  It's purely been word of mouth. 

I am amazed that people are paying me to have so much fun. 

I am so thankful that I took that risk on myself. 

How about you... taken any risks lately?
image via google


Flaunt it Friday Features

Happy first day of spring, friends!  Boy am I ever ready for it after a long snowy winter! 

On this lovely spring day I'd like to feature some lovely link ups from Flaunt it Friday.  Thanks for another great party!! 

If you're featured please feel free to grab a button...


Chic on a Shoestring Decorating


Check out this fabulous cheap slipcover and pillow by The Mathews Family Happenings.


An antique cart turns into an amazing knock-off Restoration Hardware coffee table by Reef Botanicals.


Cute DIY birdie art by Who's Watching the Baby?.


Love this trellis covered dresser re-do by Kreative Knack.


Deelish and darling cake pops by The Moody Fashionista.


 Cool mod painted wall using painter's tape and cardboard by Room by Room.
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These fabulous Pottery Barn knock-off pillows from Sisters of the Wild West.


 A very yummy looking chopped salad with semi-homemade dressing by The Pursuit of Happiness.


Have a great week!!

PS:  Don't forget to enter the $75 Willow House Giveaway, instructions to enter are here.

Flaunt it Friday #49 and a Willow House Giveaway!

Hi friends!  It's time for Flaunt it Friday again! 

Tonight I'm excited to announce a fabulous $75 Willow House giveaway by my sponsor, Nanci of Willow House.  This giveaway is a little different, if you win I do too!

To enter, all you need to do is go to The Willow House Blog ...
Willow House with Nanci



1.  Click the button above and post one comment telling her Chic on a Shoestring Decorating sent you
2.  Become a follower of The Willow House Blog. 
3.  Sign up for her newsletter
4.  Like her on Facebook

Remember, you only need to post one comment (and don't forget to mention me!) ;)  The winner will be selected by random.org and announced on March 26th @ 9am.


Willow House has super cute stuff!



Now, time to Flaunt it!


Go Green for St. Patrick's Day (but I'm not talking about saving the planet)

Top O' da mornin' to ya! 

Sorry for the lame attempt at Irish jargon.  I have a little bit of Irish decor going on that isn't quite as cheesy (hopefully).

Since I have a lot of Irish in me, I'm ashamed to say that in the past I really haven't decorated much for St. Patty's Day.  It always gets lost in the shuffle of Easter and Spring decor.   It also has something to do with the fact that I'm not really into decorating with rainbows, pot's o' gold, and troll-looking leprechauns.    

This year I decided to pay tribute to my Irish heritage with a little St. Patrick's Day vignette (as long as it didn't cost me anything). 
I did one simple vignette on my kitchen console table and  pulled it off without buying a thing.  First, I printed out some free subway art that  Today's Fabulous Finds so generously gives away on her blog.  I had picked a much fancier one than this with a cute damask background but my printer was not cooperating. instead of printing picture quality it looked like I had photo copied it... not pretty.
So, I settled for the black ink on white paper and then glued it to an old piece of scrapbook paper I had lying around and stuck it in a frame. 



WA-LA!!  Free St. Patty's day decoration.


This little shamrock was the only thing I had that was an "official" St. Patrick's Day decoration.  Not too cheesy or rainbow-ee.  :)





I decided to "Go Green" (and not in the environmentally friendly way) with the rest of my decor.  I busted out my green wreath....


Green candles....


Green apples in an apothecary jar...


And accented everything in black for the finished look below...




May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back,
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again,
May God hold you
In the palm of his hand. 


HAPPY ST. PATRICK'S DAY!

Linking up: This Blessed Nest, Someday Crafts