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50th Birthday Decor On A Budget

Need some decorations fast, easy, and on a budget? I did when I was asked to help out with my mother’s 50th birthday party. In this post, I will go over two very easy designs, (1) Banners and (2) DIY Photobooth.

Banners

This was amazingly easy and super cute. All you need are a few things:

  1. Cardstock – I would argue that a good book of multi-color cardstock is a must-have in any household. There are so many adorable things you can do with it and it’s inexpensive to keep around. Joann’s almost always has coupons for 40% off one item so I paid $6 for 100 pages.
  2. Letter stickers – They sell these in different sizes and a pack comes with 4-5 of every letter so it will last you through a few different occasions as long as you can creatively incorporate Q’s, Z’s, and X’s.
  3. Paper trimmer or good old fashioned scissors. The paper trimmer just saves a ton of time but not necessary.
  4. Hole punch
  5. Twine or ribbon. Jute twine is another great resource for loads of different projects. It goes with every color and gives a more rustic look and feel.

With those materials, I really don’t need to give much direction. See for yourself:

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Did I Get Scammed By The Mattress Industry?

Yes. But I think I got more emotionally swindled than anything. I paid $2000 for a King Simmons Beautyrest World Class Firm, a queen Serta Formosa Eurotop, box springs, metal frames, and a 43” Insignia LED TV.

The list price for all of these things together was somewhere around $5199. What an amazing deal!!!! OR WAS IT? On the positive side, I don’t think I overpaid. Could I have gotten the price knocked down another couple hundred dollars? Probably. But the part that bothers me the most is that I left the store feeling like I had robbed it. Like I had gotten a STEAL. Well it turns out that this was the board that they set and I played perfectly into their little game.

mattress

Game

Here’s how it happened. Tommy and I wandered into a Mattress 1. They had a very confusing promotion going on that was called “Any Size for Twin Price”. The confusing part about this was that it was EXACTLY what it said it was. Come again? “Any Size for Twin Price”. Seriously? This went on for some time with the sales associate. When I really think about it, mattresses are probably made of extremely cheap materials. The $3699 king size mattress that was marked down to $1599 probably cost $20 to make, so either way their margins are ridiculous.

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Afternoon Tea and Scones

After living in London for six months, I finally appreciate scones. Not the dry crumbly triangles that americans pass for scones. But real scones. Which are actually more like biscuits. Not the english kind. The american kind. Let me start over.

The staple of a proper afternoon tea is a good scone with fresh clotted cream and jam. It’s always the simple things that get overlooked and underrated. But when I stumbled upon this recipe for homemade clotted cream, the craving came to me. And when I gave my Irish husband the pick of my next culinary experiment, he was instantly drawn to the scones. A match made in heaven.

All credit goes to the view from the great island and fifteen spatulas for the recipes but here are anecdotes from my experience.

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Extreme Makeover: KitchenAid Edition

At one time, I found the bright sunny yellow color of my KitchenAid standing mixer cute. I thought it was quirky, spunky, wacky, whimsical. Perhaps that was just a rationalization I told myself so I could get the 30% off that goes along with a discontinued color. I manufactured love for this color for quite a few years. But in my newfound DIY spirit, I took on the KitchenAid Makeover Project.

Cute isn’t exactly what I’m going for in the new house. Which is going to be done in TWO WEEKS! Classic, sophisticated, clean. Those are the words to describe the new kitchen. So the KitchenAid needed a makeover. I roughly followed the directions from Dwell Beautiful. And here follows my interpretation with the quite remarkable result!

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Carrara Marble Stain Test

This post is for the naysayers. For all of the people that gasped and asked “Are you sure???” when I told them I was getting carrara marble countertops in my kitchen. This post is my resounding “YES I AM SURE”. Every home decor blogger has an obligatory carrara marble post. I’ve read many of them and here is the bottom line. Yes, carrara marble is difficult to care for. It is porous. You have to seal it at least once a year and even then, you will get stains and marks no matter what you do. BUT, it’s gorgeous and it’s a great countertop to work on, especially if you bake.

Many people say that if you are a perfectionist, don’t get this countertop. If you are happy with the imperfections that will develop over time (what is referred to as patina), then get it. I had my heart set on carrara from the beginning and nothing was going to change my mind. So I wanted to prepare myself for the future which is why I decided to perform this stain test with this sample that I got from a local fabricator.

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