Sunday, February 28, 2010

Targeting my cravings for March

I love Target. I really do. As a frugal shopper I have scored awesome deals at my local Tar-jay, and as I look forward to March, here are three items from my Target wish list:

The Twilight Saga: New Moon 3 Disc Edition plus collectible film cell - 26.99

Come on. How could you not? I thought the 2-disc special edition was the end-all, be-all of special editions, only to find out that Target is having an exclusive THREE-DISC edition with movie cell. Just the fact that Catherine Hardwicke did NOT direct this is enough to jump for joy at the thought of owning this. Yeah, I own Twilight but I think the universe agrees Cathy just up and butchered the damn thing. She should be disbarred from the directors union for what she did to that poor movie. Anyway, yes I will be getting this because I may be 38 and married with two children, but Robert Pattinson is the epitome of my skinny, weird-looking Brit fetish.

Iron Fruit Basket - 29.99

Holy crap, I so want this. It is the antithesis of frugal, since there are many fruit baskets for half that price that will do the same job, but my kitchen/dining area has lots of scrolly iron accents and this would fit perfectly. This is one of those times where I have to weigh the resentment of staring at a plain steel fruit basket for the rest of my life against the pang of guilt at spending thirty buckaroos on a beautiful, scrolly iron fruit basket. I'll get back to you on that one.

Bath Rug in Aqua
- 24.99

Okay, let me tell you about this rug and how it would be awesome for my bathrooms. First, it would go in either bathroom without being horribly clashy like my deep magenta bath set in the newly painted pumpkin yellow house bathroom. I decided on a beautiful and cozy yellow for our house bath (as opposed to the master bedroom bath) and while I love how it turned out, it clashes with the magenta rug set and it completely overpowers the pale green rug set. Right now, the only rug set that works is the tan set, but with turquoise being THE color of 2010 and us entering into spring pretty soon, I figure this gorgeous rug can hold its own against the yellow walls AND shake off the doldrums of winter.

There you have it, what's on my non-clothing list for March. I'm making a deal with myself which involves a bunch of pounds and whether I lose them or not.

What's on YOUR Target list?

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Looking forward to ranunculus


I am looking forward to ranunculus. There are many flowers I love, but this beauty has taken my heart fairly recently. It makes for a beautiful container bloom

Photo: Better Homes and Gardens

BHG is right, ranunculus do look like "they're made of crepe paper" - the beautiful blooms are so vibrant and delicate, their color so saturated, that for a second it fools us into thinking it might not be real.

Photo: Martha Stewart

According to Martha: "Few flowers come in more hues than the ranunculus. Not just clean whites, pale yellows, and bright pinks, but also burnished coppers, neon greens, and even a creamy cafe au lait. Many lighter varieties are tipped with another shade, from lemon and rose to brick-red and magenta, lending them an added voluptuousness."

I'm waiting for warmer weather to plant my ranunculus - what flowers or plants are you looking forward to?

Saturday, February 20, 2010

And of course . . .

The day after I vow NOT to spend any money during Lent, I get the JoAnn's flyer with the one machine I want on sale at like 70% off. Same price as on Black Friday. The one thing that made me think "if this thing ever goes on sale at that price again . . . "

We are not amused.

Actually, that's not true. My mom and dad were real amused when I told them about it the next morning, so at least somebody laughed. Then dad told me to buy it anyway, that it was a "special situation". Ok, dad, I'll see you in hell.

No, I did not buy it. Because this is exactly the point, right? That whatever we're giving up be something that is tough to give up. I figure at some point after Lent the thing will be on sale again, or, most likely, later this year some newfangled thing will be available and it will be better and cheaper.

That's what I'm telling myself, anyway.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

omg omg omg omg omg!

I forgot to post about this last week!

While shopping for my spring plants at this new-to-me nursery, I found out that not only do they carry lovely flower pods for planting including more types of roses than I've ever seen at other local nurseries, but they also carry chocolate cosmos.

You're probably not familiar with this flower, but I have been in love with it for years, and for various reasons.

First, it's a dark, dark burgundy, which is my favorite color.
Second, it's a small, delicate round shaped flower.
Third, it smells like chocolate, hence the name.

In fact, I love it so much that I had it in my wedding bouquet, along with Black Baccara roses.

Yes, that's a crap picture because it was taken with our P&S and back then I didn't think I'd be posting about it all these years later. But anyway, it's rare to find florists that carry chocolate cosmos, let alone nurseries.

It's not yet the proper time to get these dark beauties started, but be assured that once it's warm enough, I will be getting some cosmos sets to plant!!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

My Promise for Lent

Due to a severe case of anemia which has plagued me my entire life, and which ended with emergency surgery being delayed because my blood count was too low to go through with it without transfusions, I will not be giving up meat this Lent.

Besides, giving up meat is hardly penance for me. I have had bouts of vegetarianism before and it wasn't too big a deal, and to me the true spirit of this 40-day vow is to give up something that will truly be missed. No offense to anyone who gives up meat for Lent or on Lent Fridays, this is just my personal view on things.

So, in order to honor the spirit of this promise, my choice for Lent 2010 is to give up purchasing, or otherwise acquiring, any and all craft items, AND also, to not start any new crafts during this time.

Not easy at all, when I've been lusting after Mirabilia's "Sabrina" - but no, the spirit of the thing is, nothing new. No new purchases. I have about a dozen Mirabilia patterns stashed somewhere in the garage, three of them already started, and I will work on what I have for the rest of the year.

Not easy, when I've been dying to try Alcohol Inks to make cards with, but then I remember I bought a super cool paper pack of 180 gorgeous ornate designs. I can work with that.

Not easy, with the gazillion ideas and projects out there that I want to try and emulate or adapt.

But that's the point for me. To give up something that's not easy.

That's my vow for Lent.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Today's plantings

My poor young'un, A2, had a horrible school drop off. He absolutely did not want to go to school and I had to scrape him off the floor in order to get him to his teacher. I came home and needed some zen time, so I asked my oldest, A1, to help me plant the rest of our newest seedlings.

Here's my serious helper posing with some joi choi we planted earlier this week. I was sick as a dog with an allergy attack and only managed to plant the joi choi and some onions before I gave up.

I spent $24.99 at the nursery for 8 six-packs of seedlings that included broccoli, the aforementioned joi choi and onions, peas and celery. Our spring onions are doing incredibly well but I wanted some big yellow/white onions as well. I've also started a spreadsheet to record what was purchased, how much it was, how well each plant produced, etc.

What are you planting these days? I can't wait for the summer planting!!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Fleur de Lis is the flower for moi

Ballard Designs Towels

On the heels of the New Orleans Saints triumph at the SuperBowl, I figured it was a good time to share with you my passion for the design element known as the Fleur de Lis.

Anthropologie Dinnerware

Long held as the symbol of the French monarchy (and some others, but mostly it is representative of the French royals), the Fleur de Lis is a stylized representation of a lily flower, which is what the name means.

My decorating style is best described as "pared down with some ornamentation" - and I like my colors and elements to be strong. As a lover of all things history, I found the Fleur de Lis to fulfill my sensibilities - ornate to be sure, but not overdone, a few strong lines that make up a pleasing design that can be incorporated into many parts of the home.

Target Fleur de Lis wall art

Even before I consciously decided to begin collecting Fleur de Lis items - and no, I don't have a collection to speak of, this is the planning stage here - I had assembled throughout my house a few items that I liked, and it was only recently I realized they all had a Fleur de Lis motif.

Now that I purposely seek them out, I find these beautiful flowers everywhere, from wallpaper to jewelry, from dinnerware to towels. A charming element that transcends centuries - the Fleur de Lis is my favorite motif.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

This is what I don't understand

It is not often I call out overpriced items but really, when I see something like this, I can't keep it to myself.

I have been a fan of Anthropologie for a while. The kind of fan that browses through the website and/or store and finds inspiration for my actual shopping trips where I find similar stuff that is not so wildly overpriced. But today I happened upon an item that just took the fricking cake.

This 10x15.5 cotton purse is $428. The main fabric is cotton, and the lining is cotton - no satin or silk here. The closure is magnetic, no sparkly button or semiprecious bit to add some flair. $428. With taxes, you're paying almost FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS for barely a yard of cotton.

It says Italy - don't know if that means it's made in Italy or the cotton is Italian, but either way, give me a break here. To charge this amount of money for a rather homely little clutch is pure robbery.

I am so tempted to go get some fabric and make something similar except this purse is too damn ugly to even try to replicate. It's not worth my time and about $8 worth of materials, and it's definitely not worth paying $428!!!

I know it's Anthropologie and all, but this is ridiculous.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Why I love Tarjay!

I mean, really, any chick with a frugal cell in her body has to love Teh Tarjay. Today I was looking for some Lysol spray and happened upon these sweet frames on clearance. How much were they, you ask?
$1.24 and $2.48.

I also found a nice black frame with three 5x7 openings but for some reason the photo is not loading. ANYhoo, that one will join my husband's side of the office, along with all his other black frames. And it cost me $6.24. Not bad at all.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The 80/20 rule

We've all heard of different versions of the 80/20 rule - you wear 20% of the clothes in your closet 80% of the time while the other 80% of clothes only gets trotted out 20% of the time. 20% of people do 80% of the work in any given work setting. Kids only play with 20% of their toys 80% of the time. This is a universal truth that applies to most settings.

In my kids' case, it definitely applies to their toys. Sure, everything gets trotted out - and makes for a big mess - every day (God help me), but they only actually play with a fraction of their humongous stash.

Given that my oldest is about to have a birthday (which means, more toys coming into the house), I proposed that we get rid of some of that 80%. Of course I didn't present it to him that way, what I said was "we need to make room for your birthday presents so let's give some of the toys you don't play with to Ms. Camille's schoo1, ok?"

Ms. Camille is the director of the special needs school where Alex first went a couple of years ago. Aidan was allowed to attend as a model peer so the students could see how a non-special needs child functions and reacts to various situations. They both LOVED the school and everyone there. Some of the staff have moved on but we love to keep in touch and I thought it would be a good idea to share some of our abundance of toys with them. Aidan dove into the project and we put together a whole grocery bag full of dinosaurs and animals that he no longer wanted.

But before anyone feels sorry for this poor deprived child, please know that he chose everything to be donated himself, and that this picture above is only about 10% of the number of indoor toys he and Alex have. We have been blessed with generous friends and family, and it's a good thing for the boys to start learning to share those gifts.