Work Shoes Don’t Have to Be Boring

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I needed some cute work shoes fast, as I started a new job yesterday! I found these adorable polka dotted pairs at the Gap. Since I wear so many basic clothes to work, these shoes should go with pretty much any outfit. I like the cute quirky style that comes with the lace up oxfords, and the fun pop of color with the pointed classic flats. Totally impressed with Gaps shoe selection – they are fun, affordable, and who doesn’t love polka dots!?

Tools to Have Around the House

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This pink tool box was one of the greatest high school graduation presents I got! I have used its contents countless times and don’t know what I would do without it. This is one accessory no woman should go without.

Here is my list of top ten tools to have around the house.

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1. Hammer: Hanging up wall art and seasonal decor

2. Screw Drivers (Phillips and Flat-blade): Assembling furniture

3. Staple Gun: Hanging Christmas lights around your home or garden, reupholstering furniture and attaching curtain ties

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4. Exacto Knife: Great for cutting tape when painting or tracing paper molds to hang a wall collage

5. Wrench: When you made a mistake and need to get that nail or screw out. Oops!

6. Drill: Hanging up curtains, shelves or building gardening boxes and other fun things

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7. Pliers: Get a good grip on anything you can’t pull out with your bare hands

8. Sander and Sand Paper: For the crafty woman who likes to refinish furniture or to smooth out any rough surface

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9. Nails and Hooks: To hang up wall art and seasonal decor – you’ll always need them.

10. Measuring Tape: FOR EVERYTHING! Measuring the perfect position while hanging wall art, making sure the furniture you liked at the store will fit into the space you have, laying out plans for your living room to space out everything perfectly. (I recommend a travel measuring tape as well to keep in your purse – just in case you find something you love on the go!)

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You can get your own Pink Ladies Tool kit here : http://www.collectionsetc.com/Product/105-piece-pink-ladies-tool-kit.aspx?utm_source=www.google.com&utm_medium=CSE&mr:trackingCode=3DFDD1BF-696A-E111-9D2A-001517B188A2&mr:referralID=NA

The Garage Sale Guide

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Spring is a perfect time to host a garage sale: the weather’s warm and you can clean out your home of things you haven’t touched in the last year – or ten! My friend Kelsey is an expert garage saleist and sent me this list of tips. I found it extremely helpful and thought I would pass on her advice!

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1. SIGNS!! LOTS AND LOTS OF SIGNS! I’m putting this first for a reason. This is the #1 way people will find you.

o   Placement: I put them all the way up and down the busiest street near my house, in addition to our own street.

o   Hanging them: MUST use hammer and nails. Staple gun will NOT work. Don’t hang them until you are set up – people start coming immediately! I wait to hang them up at 7AM the morning of.

o   Making them: The best way to make them is with cardboard and craft paint. Keep them simple and consistent in color. Don’t really need address if you are good with the arrows. You could also put “at the end of (your street)”.

o    I always hang one up that says “Keep Going” so people didn’t think they are lost.

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2. Post on Craigslist a week before the sale and again the day before. List as many things as you can. Post some pictures of some interesting/big items you have. You might get a few emails about you posting too.

3. Price as many items as possible. People like to see prices on things. You will sell more. I just printed out labels on the computer (.25, .50, $1, $2 etc.) and started sticking them on everything.

4. You will need help. People always have questions, need help with something or are “checking out” with their purchases. Plus, even when no one is there, you’ll need to keep things neat, which brings me to my next point…

5. Keep things neat and organized. One table for household items, one for kitchen, etc. This kind of stuff on the ground does not sell as well. And nothing in boxes sells. Spread things out. I put a sheet down and put all the shoes out on the sheet – same with purses.

6. Hang as many clothes as you can! I hung all the nice stuff and folded the rest (t-shirts, jeans) on round tables like in a retail store. I also had a sign that said the clothing prices so I did not have to mark each item, although some jackets etc. were priced individually if they were worth more. I also sold a ton of clothes by “bundling”. Tell people that you’ll give them a deal if they buy a few things.

7. Have paper and plastic bags for people’s purchases.

8. Speak up! If someone is looking at something and it appears they are interested, tell them “I’ll give that to you for $10!”

9. Candles melt in the sun.

10. People LOVE LOVE LOVE jewelry, but keep it close to you. People also steal jewelry. I always sell out of jewelry.

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11. People buy everything. Don’t be afraid to put anything out there. I’m telling you….everything.

12. Use signs at the sale. I also put signs on the kitchen table “Set of Four Champagne glasses – $3” or “Set of 6 Coca-Cola Mugs – $5″

13. Start with some change. I always had a bunch of $1, $5 and quarters to start with. I wore an apron to keep the money organized and on me at all times. Then I just took $20s in the house as we collected more money so I didn’t have a ton in our pockets.

14. WATCH OUT FOR FAKE MONEY. If someone offers to buy something with $100 bill or even a bunch of $20s, don’t be afraid to check it. People use counterfeit money ALL THE TIME at garage sales.

15. Don’t be afraid to tell people NO if they are not willing to give you a fair price.

Hope these tips help you as much as they helped me! Thanks Kelsey!

Budget Bouquets

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These homemade arrangements are so easy make, and would make the perfect centerpiece for a bridal or baby shower.

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I found these adorable pantry jars at Marshalls for under $4 to use as the vases.

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These ranunculi and viburnum from my local farmers market made this arrangement look both rustic and elegant. I love the bright green and pink color combination.

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No need for a florist! These budget bouquets were less than $15 dollars each and were a huge hit.

All Tied Up

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I finally decided to hang my curtains- and stop giving my neighbors a show. I needed a way to tie them back but didn’t want to use tasseled ropes because it seemed so formal. My solution was both affordable and girly: Grosgrain ribbon.

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Grosgrain is a heavy ribbon made from silk or nylon with ribs. I used one that was about 3″ wide, and cut two pieces 2 yards long.

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I secured the ribbon on the wall behind the curtains with a staple gun.

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And tied back my curtains.

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Remember when tying bows and square knots, left over right and right over left.

A Little Bit Country

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This weekend I flew home to Sacramento to celebrate my baby sister’s 16th birthday. My mom and I whipped together some fun country-themed decorations with the help of Rustic Event Rentals. They supply great custom accents for any occasion. Check them out at: http://www.facebook.com/RusticEventRentals

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Some sand blasted glass jars, tied with burlap and twine made the perfect country lanterns.

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We used these colorful cowboy hats as both party favors and as garland to decorate!

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My favorite inside-tip from the girls at Rustic Events was the cowboy boot center pieces!

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All you have to do is place a regular glass jar or vase inside a cowboy boot.

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Just add water and flowers!

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Yes, that is a mechanical bull– what country-themed party would be complete without one?

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So, my sister insisted on having Taco Bell to serve for dinner.

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Rustic Event Rentals provided the cutest wooden containers to display all the tacos and burritos.

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It was a great way to feed hungry teenagers!

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Chalkboards are an instant way to personalize an event.

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I loved all different shapes and sizes and scattered them around the party.

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Other decorations were simple items we found around the house – like jean jackets.

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The party was definitely a success thanks to Rustic Event Rentals! Thank you for some great ideas and supplies!

Spring Sandal Savings

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I hate spending a lot of money on sandals. No matter how much you spend on them they will be dragged through sand, doused with sun tail oil, drenched in chlorine – ultimately meeting their demise at the end of every season. These three pairs are stylish and cheap!

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Jessica Simpson Dusty Blush Jaqcui Flip Flops: I found these cute braided flip flops with rhinestones at Marshalls for under $30

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Yellow Box Jessica Flip Flops: Nope these aren’t the $195 Tori Burch Sandals – but you could have fooled me!

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Merona Emily Braided Strap Gladiator Sandal: My co-worker just grabbed this adorable pair at Target for her upcoming trip to Jamaica! I cannot believe they are just $15!

What are your favorite sandals this spring?

The Not- So Temporary Bedside Table

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Yep – a moving box. I moved into my apartment a year and a half ago. Didn’t have much furniture; had plenty of moving boxes. Fast forward to my current bedside table: still a moving box, but don’t tell anyone!

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I found some great fabric (shocking – in back and white) at a local craft store and layered it over the box.

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I love this fluer-de-lis pattern on the top fabric!  It almost makes this card board box look regal.

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Voila! An instant bedside table. Honestly NO ONE who’s seen my room would ever guess that this was a moving box. I added a few personal items and was all done.

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Hey, when I decide to move again, I’ll have one less box to buy!

Springtime Purse: 10 Essentials

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It’s sunny out! Time for afternoon strolls, picnics and dining al fresco. My 10 essentials include: tinted moisturizer with SPF, day planner, camera, travel spray perfume, sunglasses, a good pen, phone charger, Swiss Army knife, bobby pins, and pink lip gloss.

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Laura Mercier tinted moisturizer with SPF – this product is amazing, making your face glow while protecting you from the sun.

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‘My Agenda’ day planner- this is a fantastic way to stay organized, and you can even get it personalized!

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Sony Cyber-Shot camera – when my camera phone just isn’t enough.

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J’adore Dior travel spray – fell in love with this scent when I was 16 and have never looked back.

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Chanel ‘Mosaic Cat’ Sunglasses – yes, expensive, but this is one classic item I will always have with me.

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Cute pink pen from Target – to get away from the key board and jot down my thoughts or a personal message.

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Phone charger- boring but essential.

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Swiss Army knife – I’m always in need of scissors, and this is a great compact way to carry them around.

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Bobby pins – I never go anywhere without them. Messy bun = instant cool down.

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Revlon Color Burst lip gloss (orchid) –  this slight pop of color goes with every outfit.

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Kate Spade ‘Pacific Heights- Zippered Helena’ Tote – a perfect bag to hold all my essentials.

Quest for the Perfect Cafe Table: Rose Bowl Flea Market

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For the first time in my adult life I have a backyard! (well in reality a 3×6 foot balcony). But it’s just enough space for some flower boxes, herbs and potted tomato plants. What was missing was seating to enjoy it all.

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I searched all the usual places: Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, Craigslist – I wasn’t impressed. I fell in love with a perfect garden table at a store on Montana but it was $400. Finally I found this adorable metal cafe table and chairs at the famous Rose Bowl Flea Market for $100. Not cheap, but still a great deal.  It’s the perfect addition to my ‘backyard’.

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This flea market is enormous. You can find vintage clothes, antique furniture, old records, estate sale jewelry – pretty much anything you could possible imagine. It’s open the second Sunday of the month. Don’t miss out this weekend! My next search will be for some cute upholstered stools to put by my fire place. I found this photo from http://thetwinsfashionblog.wordpress.com – check it out for more information on the market.

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I thought this lantern from Cost Plus World Market (www.worldmarket.com) was a great accessory for the table. I can’t wait to have a dinner date out here on a warm spring night!