Archive for January, 2011

Addicted to Scarves

Monday, January 31st, 2011

In every season, on any given day I can be found wearing a scarf.

They keep me snug in the winter, and comfortable in the air-conditioned months…they match any outfit, and fit in any purse…they make the best travel companion, and the perfect souvenir…but best of all they fit any size, and any age. In short they’re perfection.

There are lots of different scarfs out there, and plenty of different ways to fold them, here are 3 of my trustworthy faves:

No. 1 We’ll call this fold the ‘loop-da-loop’ (because I don’t know the official name). This fold was all the range at the beginning off the 2000’s, and popular on both men and women. This fold works best on a thicker, chunkier scarfs, and ranks highest on the warmth scale!

No.2 This next one I’m naming the ‘cross-over knot’. This is a great fold for any scarf , but especially a thin pashmina type. Looks great with a little jacket, or even just a tee. Great for summer months.

No.3 This fold I named the ‘double decker’ because it’s basically just layering the ‘cross-over knot’ fold. This fold is fun to mix and match a couple of different coloured scarfs for different looks. It’s great for traveling… just keep adding more scarfs to depending how cold you are!

Here’s a quick how-to video:

click scarf folding ‘how-to’ to download

ps. song by the lovely mindy gledhill

Feminine Finds

Friday, January 28th, 2011

I love seeing a piece of jewelry that instantly reminds me of someone.  Without a doubt it is one of my favorite gift giving ideas.  These pretty finds from Charlotte Russe would make a perfect little gift, packaged in a brown box and adorned with a feminine bow.  For all under $10, I think we can pick up a few for ourselves too!

Time for Tea

Thursday, January 27th, 2011

In England the kettle is always on.  Traditionally named ‘tea time’, the pastime is now rather a Starbucks run while out along with endless drinks of coffee and tea at any given time, in every home across the country.  This ritual didn’t leave the blood when we came across the pond.  Whenever our family gets together the kettle is always put on at some point, no matter the season or event.

My drink of choice lately has been Twinnings of London herbal teas.  They are delicious, virtually calorie free and warm my bones!  Maybe someday I’ll go for afternoon tea at the Ritz in London, but for now I’m very happy with a cup of Twinning’s Lemon and Ginger with my friends and family.  I think I need one of these fun tea towels from HERE, which one should I get?  I can’t decide.

by Mr PS

by Little Mashers

by pintuck

Winter Wonderland Decorations

Wednesday, January 26th, 2011

This year I dragged my feet at taking down my Christmas decorations; I was just too sad that my favorite season had come and gone, and here I was stuck in January, the cold, and long dark nights. While I was packing up my stock I decided that just because Christmas was over, winter was not, and I should bring what I adore about this season, the twinkly snow, inside to enjoy.

So here it is, my inside winter wonderland

Birthday Card Organizer

Tuesday, January 25th, 2011

Another one of my goals this year is to get family birthday cards to recipients on time!  Being one of 8 and the hubby being one of 9, I have been notoriously bad at this, especially to those across the pond. 

This pocket file found at the dollar aisle at Target is perfect to help me get organized.   With a tab for each month, my goal is to have cards written, addressed and stamped ready to go at least a month ahead.  Yea, I am loving this!

Monday Deals: Banana Republic, Gap + Old Navy

Monday, January 24th, 2011

There’s something about a GREAT deal that gives me a bit of a high, I love knowing I got the very most bang for my buck. Good deals can be found throughout the year, but the best finds are when the stores are trying to clear seasonal items for new stock, and NOW is definitely one of those times.

Today at the Mall I discovered Banana Republic has an additional 50% off ALL the sale items store-wide; Gap is an additional 50% off sale items in the women’s department, and an additional 40% off sale items in baby section; and Old Navy is somewhere between 40%-50% off all sale items depending on store.

One of my favorite deals of the day was THIS cardie from Gap, it was originally $49.50 I paid $3.99. woot woot!

When shopping for deals, it’s very important to know how you will use the item, never purchase for the sake of the deal, it’s only truly a deal if you put the item to good use. Plan ahead, shop early for gifts, and a season or two ahead for those you clothe, you’ll be amazed at how much you can save. Good luck…and happy bargain shopping!

Get the Look: Sundance Style

Friday, January 21st, 2011

One of the things I most enjoy about living in Utah, is being so near the mountains. I’m not big on all the outdoorsy stuff, but I do love a quite log cabin to mingle with friends, sleep in, and drink lots of hot chocolate.

Staying at Sundance is really special, the cabins feel so cozy that even on a summers day it’s hard to leave. Sundance style is all about: natural textures, vibrant colours, and handcrafted goods like these:

You don’t have to stay or shop at Sundance to get this look. By adding a few of these suggestions, you can turn your home into a moutain retreat…even just for the night.

Light lots of candles, add that mountain smell, top with lush throw.

Shop this mirror, these pillows (contact me for more info), these glasses, this rug.

Sundance Style

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

It’s time for the Sundance Film Festival again!  I love being in Park City to catch a screening, feel the buzz of excitement in the air, and maybe see a few of my favorite celebs.  Dressing for Sundance is all about the just woke-up/smoky eyed grunge look with a hint of fur and glam while trying to survive the sub-zero temperature.  Taking an outfit from a daytime screening to an evening bar-hop is essential.

Here are a few thrifty finds, I think worthy for this weekend!

Target Mossimo Shirt

The North Face Greenland Jacket

Walmart Leggings

Uggs of course

For Night time, simply add this shiny belt to cinch waist over shirt and switch out Uggs for these cute flats:

J Crew Belt

Target Mossimo Sequin Balet Flats

I Think I’ve Died and Gone to Heaven

Wednesday, January 19th, 2011

How gorgeous are these?!  I find it extremely difficult to introduce color in my home decor as well as hardly ever seeing patterns that I fall in love with, so I think I’ll play with texture instead!

These adorable pillows are featured in February’s House Beautiful, make sure to check out the whole collection HERE.

Family Trees

Tuesday, January 18th, 2011

Family trees can be great addition to any household. Not only do they make interesting conversation pieces, but add a level of personality to the home. Visually, they help connect the dots to fuzzy memories, and give a sense of belonging.

One of my new years goals is to finally get around to making one, I’m just trying to decide on the style, here are some ideas from Martha Stewart.

These would make gorgeous gifts, don’t you think?

Happy Martin Luther King Jr Day!

Monday, January 17th, 2011

“No work is insignificant.  All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painsaking excellence.”

Bath Time

Friday, January 14th, 2011

Oh my…. a bath can work wonders. How’s that for a cliché, and those who know me know how I hate clichés!  It is true, I can’t deny, a candle-lit bath is the best spa treatment available on a student budget.  Target’s own baby bath nighttime melts away my daily stresses.  Go ahead, pamper yourself.  At only $2.19, it’s the best investment in the world!

hot water bottles

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

To me, there’s nothing worse than getting into a freezing cold bed. But a bed with a hot water bottle nestled between the sheets is haven of warmth and luxury, and a sure recipe for a cozy nights rest.

It’s pretty hard to beat these cashmere beauties from Restoration Hardware, but Martha has a quick ‘how to’ HERE that’s much more cost effective…one in felt would be divine! You can pick up a basic bottle at most pharmacy’s.

PS. How completely adorable are these mini hand warmers, they’re on sale for only $10.

I’d like the grey ones pleaseeeeee!

Baby, it’s cold outside…

Wednesday, January 12th, 2011

The cold makes me shudder.  These Uggs are literally my saving grace!  They add joy and warmth to bitter winter days.  My collection throughout the years has ranged from pink to full on Eskimo-style, but nothing beats the good ole’ classic.  Thank you Nordstrom for your huge variety, and thank you tall chestnuts, I love you.  hehe.

A Pretty Little Deal

Tuesday, January 11th, 2011

These Bath and Body Works soaps are my favorite.  My house guests always comment on how nice my soap smells.  Not only do they smell delicious but are so much prettier than most store bought liquid soaps or chunky soap dispensers.  My favorites are Mandarin Lime and Orange Ginger.  I have just stocked up for the year because this week the Aromatherapy collection is buy 2, get 2 free!  You can get an additional 20% off coupon found HERE, which makes the soaps only $2.20  each, instead of $5.50…sweet!

Also, make sure to check out the Christmas Clearance.  Candles and gift sets are 50-75% off, perfect to stock up for birthday presents.

Monday, January 10th, 2011

Thank you notes: free printable

Friday, January 7th, 2011

I consider myself a person with good manners, but one thing I’m hopeless at is sending “thank you” notes. It’s just not in my nature. However, I’m always thrilled to receive one in the mail (especially from my 5-year old nephew, Arthur); so with this new year in tow, I vow to do better.

“Cheers me deers” is a little saying I’ve been on for quite a while; I think it’s got quite a ring to it, and I always love to add a little English sass wherever possible! You’re welcome to download my template HERE. Just print, trim, and add a little ribbon. Enjoy!

A Clean Slate…

Thursday, January 6th, 2011

I am motivated for a fresh year, to detox my body of all the holiday treats and to clean and organize my life.  Nothing helps motivate me more than being surrounded by a clean interior.  I am aiming for a clean, organized yet cozy feel in my home for the upcoming winter months.

While I am  still busy taking down the Christmas décor, I am hoping to create a similar vibe as these beauties very soon:

Country Living

Traditional Home

Atlanta Homes & Leisures


Traditional Home

Elle Decor

Pottery Barn

Christmas Storage

Wednesday, January 5th, 2011

In my dream world I have a storage room filled with shelves that can be moved like in a library.  Ooooh, just like these:  Each unit would be assigned a color, and would contain all of my seasonal and occasional use decorations.  This way I would have easy access to my red Christmas baubles and my white star ornaments to decorate for the 4th of July without digging through mountains of Christmas décor. My 700 square foot apartment is a long way off from this dream.  So, for now I use $5 transparent Rubbermaids to color-code all of my Christmas décor.  Shatterproof decorations go straight in without any packaging to maximize space, while fragile items are wrapped on top.  Right now my house is embarrassingly full of them as I am taking down my decorations and organizing all my new Christmas clearance deals (thanks Sar!).  When they’re all packed up I simply stack ‘em up and come July, I go to the rainbow of stacked Rubbermaids to see immediately where my red baubles are.

(Images from Precision Office Storage and Target)
I like these Sterilite 66 qt with the latching lids.  On sale for $6 at Target this week.  The clear color has the perfect transparency to see through when they’re all stacked up.

Christmas Clearance Tips

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011

The first year Brock & I were married we set a budget for our Christmas decorations. $50 on a live tree, and $50 for decorations. However, once I hit the stores I saw how expensive basic decorations were, and the $50 was easily spent on just a couple of sets of lights and a few boxes of baubles. Of course, that year I loved our first festive home together, but I learned a valuable lesson of when to shop to get the most for our money.

(My bedroom Christmas ’09)
My passion for holiday decorations is now a hobby and a bit of an obsession. My dream is to have a variety of colours at my finger tips, for whatever ‘look’ tickles my fancy each year. Five Christmases later, I have 12 Rubbermaids full of festive decor, that I got for an average of 80 percent off retail price.

My Christmas decoration rules of thumb are:

Buy one or two special decorations when the season begins at full price (some stores do early bird sales)–these items are usually purchased from boutiques–to help enjoy the beginning of feeling festive!

One to three days after Christmas is when the 50% off sales start. Here I purchase the few items that I loved when they were full price, but not enough to pay full price!

Three to seven days after Christmas is generally when the sales go to 75% off. Here I stock up on items like Christmas cards, wrapping paper, candles, and small seasonal gifts for next year. There should still be a good amount of stock to choose from, even if your absolute favorites have gone my now.

Nine days to several months later is when you can find the 90% off sales. Here I stock up on the bulk items such as baubles, lights, and garlands. At this stage in the sale the items may not be your favorite, but an important thing to consider is how you can rearrange items to look better. For example, if there’s a pack of balls with colors that don’t look attractive together, look at the individual balls, and break up the ugly and organize them into monochromatic color schemes when you get home. 90% off sales can take a while to get to in some stores. Generally, Target is within a week. K-mart within 2 weeks, and higher-end stores like Pottery Barn can be a month or two. It’s also a good idea to call ahead before going to look for the sale, as well going to shop in the morning. FYI: some Targets just went to 90% today, so keep your eyes peeled; the others will follow in a day or two.

Some of my best holiday clearance shopping deals include:

Rosanna 12 days of Christmas appetizer plates, originally priced at $100. I paid $20.

Pottery Barn silver pine cone garland, originally $100. I paid $9.