Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Budget Nursery Design

Decorating a nursery is challenging period, but decorating a nursery on a small budget is extremely difficult.  After doing Cole's nursery for less than $200, I can say I speak from experience. ;)

Here are a few tips for keeping your nursery budget in check:

1.  Reuse and repurpose as many items as you can.  "Shop" your house!
2.  Scour thrift stores, consignment shops, craigslist, etc.
3.  If you see something you love that is just too expensive, do a DIY version instead. :)
4.  Etsy.com can be your best friend.
5.  Create a budget and stick to it!
6.  Finally, don't be fooled into thinking that you need to spend $1,000 on a crib, $500 on bedding, $600 for a rocker, and so on.  If you're not careful, you could easily buy a car for what you spent on your nursery! :)

For example, this crib is quite lovely:

But not for that price!  No thanks! :)

One of my favorite tips for creating designer spaces on a dime is finding high-end rooms and pieces to use as inspiration.  Once I find something that I love, I make it my goal to achieve the same look within my budget. 

When looking at cribs for Blake, I fell in love with the crib on the right from Restoration Hardware.  But it was out of our price range at $1049 plus a hefty freight charge.  I eventually found this look-a-like by Carters at Babies 'R' Us for $399.  Much better! :)

And if you're really looking for a deal, Graco has this crib for $149:

Not too shabby! :)

Just remember, you don't have to spend thousands of dollars to create beautiful spaces!  Never thought I'd be saying that!  Boy, has five years of marriage to my wonderful hubby changed me! ;)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Love Me, Love Me

Today marks five years since I married my wonderful hubby!  I am so blessed!  Speaking of love and marriage, I found a few more prints that I'm considering for our master bedroom.  Etsy again! ;)

I absolutely love this print from the Song of Solomon! :)

And these silhouette prints are amazing! :)


There are just so many different prints that I love!  Thankfully I have lots of wall space to fill! ;)


Thursday, July 26, 2012

Jane Austen Typography

If you know me, you know I'm in love with Jane Austen.  Emma, Pride and Prejudice, and Sense and Sensibility are some of my favorite movies.  Yeah, I'm pretty sure I've seen Emma approximately 100 times. ;)  Anyway, I've been looking for artwork for our bedroom, and thought it would be neat to include some Jane Austen quotes.  So, I hit Etsy!  Shocking, I know. ;)  I found these adorable ones from Uplifting Prints.  They actually have a section just for Jane Austen fans, and the prints range from $20-$30 a piece. 

You can check out all of them here: 

I thought I'd play around with Publisher and see if I could come up with something similar.  This is the Pride and Prejudice print I made:

And here's my Mr. Knightley quote that I personalized with our wedding date. :)  I absolutely love that scene!

Feel free to print the Pride and Prejudice quote if you'd like, and I can always customize the Emma print with your colors and wedding date.  Just let me know if you're interested!  And if you haven't seen these movies, you're missing out! :) 

Do you guys have any other good ideas for master bedroom artwork?

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

J. Crew Bubble Necklace

Don't you just love this outfit?  And that necklace?!?!  I've been drooling over it for a while now! :)

If you want the real thing, check out this one from J. Crew.  I just couldn't break down and spend $150 for it, although I'm sure it's great quality. :)

I'm happy to share that I found an abundance of look-a-likes on Etsy.com that start at $17!  Hallelujah! :)  Because I already have around 10 turquoise necklaces, I decided to order a yellow one.  This one is actually $29, but the seller has thousands of reviews and they are all positive.  That's something I always like to look at when shopping on Etsy. :)  And she's a quick shipper too!  Mine is already on its way, so I'll be sure to share pics when it arrives! :)

What do you guys think?  Drool worthy or not? ;)


Monday, July 16, 2012

A Car-Themed Birthday Party

 I believe I've already shared with you all that my husband is very frugal, right?  Combine that with my love of decorating and you have a wonderful mix...or a huge battle! ;)  I love party planning as well, and I knew when I started planning Blake's 2nd birthday party that I was going to have to find some budget-friendly ideas.  So, I thought I'd share some practical tips on how to reduce the amont of money spent on decorating for a birthday party. :)

I knew I wanted to do a cars theme since Blake is obsessed with cars, so I started browsing for invitations and party packages.  I found the invitation on the left on Etsy.com.  It was a digital printable file for $15.  Then, on top of that, printable party collections range anywhere from $30-$50.  So, my tight-wad wheels start turning, and I search Etsy for transportation-themed digital scapbooking paper.  Lo and behold, I find a set of twelve papers and bonus clip art for $6 from Goodness and Fun: http://www.etsy.com/shop/goodnessandfun
I then designed Blake's birthday party invitation on Microsoft Publisher.  It's not exactly the same, but it's close enough for me! :)  The invitation became the inspiration for the rest of the party decor. 

Here's Blake in front of his dessert buffet (which he thoroughly enjoyed!)

The backdrop is a cheap presentation board from Walmart covered in colored computer paper with lines of black Gorilla tape.  I already had the board from a baby shower I decorated, my mom had the paper, so all I had to buy was the $3 tape. :)  Cheap and easy!

The plates ($1 for 20) and the napkins ($.50 for 20) were all from Walmart.
I designed the racetrack initial on Publisher, printed it, and hot glued little cars to it.  I then framed it in a white frame I already had.

The candy, cookies, and cupcakes were from Walmart and Dollar Tree.  The only thing I actually baked were the traffic light sugar cookies, which cost all of $6 total.  I just used frozen Pillsbury sugar cookie dough and Betty Crocker cookie icing.  The orange cones were also form Dollar Tree.  The sucker stands are upside down buckets from the dollar section at Target.  The suckers came from Oriental Trading ($6 for 12).  The tablecloth was $1 from Walmart and I added sticky yellow post-it notes down the center.  The cake came from Rachel's Cakes, http://www.facebook.com/#!/rachels.cakes1.  Her cakes are always delicious! :)  One way I saved money on the cake was by going with buttercream icing instead of fondant for the layers.  This actually cut the cost of the cake in half.  The topper came from Blake's toy box (I cleaned it off, of course.) ;)

I used the same digital scrapbooking paper to design the cupcake toppers, jar labels, and favor labels on Publisher.  This truck also came from the toy box, and the bubbles are from Dollar Tree.


We also had some inexpensive activities for the kids and adults outside such as a little pool, sprinkler, slip and slide, bubbles, and corn hole.  Most importantly, Blake and all of our guests had a great time, and that's what really matters! :)

Monday, July 9, 2012

Mirror Mirror

No, this post is not about the movie "Mirror Mirror", although I'm anxiously awaiting its Redbox release. ;)  This is more about my obsession with high-end mirrors and my quest to find them on a budget. :)  I've been in love with this sunburst mirror from Horchow for years now!  I could seriously have one in every room in my house.  The only thing I don't like about it is that it's $294.90 on sale.  Zgallerie has a very similar one for $199, but that's still more than I'm willing to spend.

Imagine my surprise and embarassing squeal when I found a similar version at TJ Maxx Homegoods for $59! Since it came home with me three years ago, the only problem I've had is deciding which room to leave it in because I love it in all of them! :)


And I've already told you about my other amazing sunburst mirror find here:  http://threemenandagirlygirl.blogspot.com/2012/04/deal-of-day.html.

My latest steal is a gorgeous quatrefoil mirror, another one of my all-time favorites.

You can have this beauty for only $475!  On sale, mind you!

So, needless to say, when I saw this bad boy at Lowe's for $65, I knew I had to have it!  And that was before I noticed that it was on sale for $30!  SCORE!

I love using high-end design as inspiration for my budget makeovers!  And I really love it when I can impress my husband with the awesome bargains I've found! ;)  This find is now hanging above the bed in our master bedroom.  I'm debating whether to paint it white, silver, or yellow.  What do you guys think? :)

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Let There Be Light!

Our master bedroom is officially about 50 times lighter than it was yesterday. (Thanks to my Dad, who painted all day!)  After much deliberation and three paint samples later, I finally decided on a fourth color! ;)  We went with Palladian Blue by Benjamin Moore, and we love it! :)


Here's a reminder of how our yummy dark chocolate bedroom looked before:

And here's our bright, happy room now!

I also decided to add a diaper station since we change approximately 139 diapers a day on our bed. ;)

We still plan to add crown molding, artwork, and more pillows.  Also, I'm most likely going to paint the mirror over our bed white.  But it'll look like this for at least another week or so because I'm switching to party planning mode now!  I have to get ready for Blake's 2nd birthday party this Saturday!  Anyway, we already love how much brighter it is in here, and I can't wait to add the finishing touches! :)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cole's Navy and Green Nursery

Cole is two months old today, and I'm just now sharing his nursery!  Better late than never, right? ;)  This room was done on a major budget and with the thought that we would be trying to sell our home soon.  With this in mind, we opted to paint the nursery a neutral color instead of navy blue, and also did a removable accent wall instead of painting stripes.  Of course, now that we know we'll be here a while, I'm kicking myself for not painting it navy!  Oh well, we're pretty happy with the way it turned out anyway. :) 

All photos by Brandi Hunsicker of Immeasurable Moments Photography
Like her page on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/#!/immeasurablemoments.


Crib - Carter's Lifetime Convertible Crib

Crib Sheet - Grass Trellis by Serena and Lily

Bed Skirt - DIY using Blake's crib skirt and adding ribbon from Hancock Fabrics as a border ($6 total)

Pennant Banner - DIY using ribbon, Serena and Lily fabric samples, and fabric form Hancock Fabrics ($4 total)

Striped Accent Wall - DIY using particle board from Lowe's cut to size ($5) covered with a Blue Rugby Stripe shower curtain from Target ($15)

Letters above Crib - Etsy seller going gaga, painted Serena and Lily's Grass Green, sample size ($6)

Brothers print - Etsy seller Nella Designs

Jesus Loves Me Print - DIY using Microsoft Publisher

Airplane - Walmart craft section ($1), hand painted

White frames - Michael's

Chevron baskets - Target

Birth announcement - Shutterfly

Paint - Benjamin Moore Silver Fox

Total Cost (not including items I reused from Blake's nursery such as the crib and rocker) - $167