December 4, 2016: Hola everyone! Winter has arrived in Milwaukee and there are snow flurries today. Despite several hard freezes remarkably my "spikes" in two of my patio planters have absolutely refused to die. The rosemary and thyme plants I nursed inside the house through last winter spent the summer in their pot outside next to the side stoop off the driveway, where they get plenty of sunshine all day long. I transplanted them into a cozy sheltered spot right next to the stoop in October and they are still green and growing, too! With the delay in getting the drywall patching done in the relatively minor "reconstruction" work I had done in my kitchen, I am way behind my time in getting the house decorated. But yesterday I got my wreath decked out with extra lights and dressed the front door of the house, and my battery-operated traditional candles were put up on the window sills all around the house Friday evening. It becomes a ritual to go around at dusk and turn the tops to the right to turn the candles "on" and at bedtime to go around and turn the tops to the left to turn the candles "off." Today I put some "glittery" throw pillow covers purchased new last month from H&M on three of my sofa pillows to glam things up a bit in the living room and add some sparkle. Later on, after I sufficiently fuel myself up with wine and snacks and probably to distract myself while I listen to the Packers game on the radio, I will huff and puff and pull my artificial tree up from storage in the basement. I will decorate it simply this year. Every year I say that, and every year I end up throwing just about everything except the kitchen sink on the tree. I am very proud of myself this year, though. I did not buy a single new ornament or Christmas doo-dad for the house (throw pillow covers don't count!!!) Happy Holidays to all, with hope and fervent prayers for 2017. I've a feeling we're all going to need a lot of help from Goddess in the coming year. Jan

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Look for Less!

One of my favorite websites for scoping out fashions is "The Look 4 Less."  Jen Madigan, the blogger, features the high-end fashions that moneyed-people (or silly, pretentious people) wear and then shows one or sometimes more reasonably priced alternatives to get the "look" without spending money that is better spent elsewhere than on cloth for one's back or plastic for the soles of one's feet!  I often visit The Look 4 Less to get newly-inspired as I continue to ever so slowly (so damn slowly) continue to shed ounces and fractions of inches that I've spent the past 25 years putting on my yes, I really am almost a petite frame...  Thank you, Jen Madigan! 

Today I came across a blog entry from Visual Eye Candy entitled "Designer Look on a Budget" that did the same thing - except design-wise rather than clothing-wise - and I thought it was very well done! 

Debbie, the blogger of Visual Eye Candy, featured a photograph of a designer-put-together living room.  She then showed an "idea board" she had created of how various elements of that look could be put together, where she "shopped" for them and how much each one cost.  Now that is the kind of blog information I want to read!  I found it helpful and informative, and cool to look at too.  There are probably 220 million different decorating styles in the USA today (that's my estimate of the number of women decorating households these days in the USA, and I think I'm probably under-counting).  What many of us want is HELP.  What we NEED is information.  PRACTICAL ADVICE.  Those multi-million dollar homes that some bloggers offer us with "budget" decorating tips (oh please!) add nothing to the conversation we want to hear!

So, KUDOS TO DEBBIE OF VISUAL EYE CANDY for a blog post that provided the visuals and the information that many of us clueless out here are looking for!  Thank you, Debbie.  Whether one wants to recreate the look that Visual Eye Candy demonstrated or do something else, Debbie provided an easy-to-follow road map of how to do that look -- and that knowledge can be applied to any look.  That's good information

There are probably few among us who are not looking for ways to save money when we can.  I have great admiration for women who come up with alternatives that will give them a designer look or a  decorator look they want without the often ridiculous cost of the original look. 

I mean, really, does your butt feel any more comfortable sitting on a $5,000 chair than it does on a $250 chair or a gently used chair purchased from Goodwill with a down slip pillow on top of its cushion?  Have you ever asked your butt?  Do you think it really knows the difference, darlings!  We just know what we like, what appeals to our sense of what makes us comfortable -- and 99 times out of 100, it has nothing to do with how much something cost.  In the end, does it really make a difference how little we might have paid for something that makes us happy???  

What about a place to rest one's stinky feet at the end of a hard, long day?

Well!  This isn't my forte, you understand, but I thought what the heck, let's take a crack at it.  You could spend thousands (don't know exactly, because the price is NOT put online anywhere that I could readily find), for Henredon's (you know the brand - uber expensive dahlinks!) "Susan Bench" -- ha, some "bench": 

Width: 17"; Height: 20"; Depth: 24"

Or you could spend $230 to buy the Safavieh Hand-Carved Roxie Zebra Stool:

24W x 16D x 23H in.

I don't know about the "Susan Bench", by the Safavieh Hand-Carved Roxie Zebra Stool features hand-carved hard wood. In my opinion, Roxie's 3-inches more height than Susan Bench also makes it more conducive to being used either as a footstool or an actual "bench" or boudoir seat. 

Or, you could spend even less and get a "look" for the Roxie that I found at Kaboodle -- note: don't know if this ottoman is still available from Target:

Dimensions: unknown.  Hardwood in expresso finish.  The X-Bench ottoman, Target, for $79.99

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