Moving Woes, Part II

Saturday, June 29, 2013

When I leased my apartment, I was excited about two things: 1. my bedroom is gigantic 2. I have a deck (key to city living). After getting the initial move out of the way, it became obvious that I needed a desk for my bedroom (as piles on my floor are unacceptable). Quite easily, I found and purchased a used Ikea desk for $10 off of Craigslist. With the purchase of the desk, I needed to secure the perfect desk chair for my bedroom. Immediately, I pulled up Craigslist, typed in "Eames," and prayed that something halfway decent would turn up in the results. Luck was on my side, as a beautiful Eames Molded Plywood Lounge replica came up in the results - a bargain at $75. My obsession with Charles and Ray Eames began in 1997 when I took a college elective on design and architecture in the US. When we started to learn about mid-century modern, small town me suddenly understood why I never "got" the country decor that my mom prefers. I always had a sense of style, but I never had seen furniture design that "matched" my personality and taste. Ever since that class, I have been hooked, so when I found the Eames replica chair for $75 (others on Craigslist had the same chair listed for $195), I jumped at the listing. The chair is gorgeous and nicely dresses up my simple desk. I am thrilled with it! 
Next up, the deck. For nearly two months, my deck sat empty. Why? Finding simple and inexpensive deck chairs (that don't look like they were designed specifically for NASCAR viewing parties) is impossible. I had found a chair that I liked at Ikea, but at $30 a pop, buying two was pushing the high end of my budget. Miraculously, I found a girl selling a set of those chairs on Craigslist for $50. I successfully haggled her down to $40 and saved myself $20 off of the original Ikea price (they are in great condition, but do have a few marks). 
Tonight, I gave my new deck chairs a trial run and enjoyed the first non-rainy night we've had in days! My pug and I sat outside and enjoyed the breeze - it was amazing! Chairs=deck success! 
The nearly empty apartment that could is coming together nicely, and, not to brag, I'm getting scary good at finding amazing deals on Craigslist. Next up, my DIY curtain project that may prove to be either brilliant or disastrous. Stay tuned!

What I Wore Yesterday

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Putting an outfit together on a hot June day is next to impossible. You want to look nice, but have to be prepared for the following challenges 1. sweating 2. being cold in air conditioning and 3. your hair/makeup getting all kinds of unruly. I tried to solve these problems yesterday by keeping it simple - the less fuss the better! 
What I wore: 
Eugenia Kim for Target hat (2010, clearance)
Striped Mossimo maxi dress (Target, this season, $29.99)
Vintage Longchamp crossbody bag (one of my favorite thrifted finds, $20)
Old Navy flip flops ($2.50)
(many thanks to a photographer far too talented to be on my blog for the photo of me)
The Longchamp bag has been in rotation recently as one of my favorite purses. Let it be known that I did meet a total stranger in a post office parking lot to buy this. Isn't it beautiful?

Orly on the Cheap

Friday, June 21, 2013

I am a total nail polish junkie and possess an embarrassing collection rivaling that of most manicurists. At least that's what I assume, as I refuse to pay for manicures and/or pedicures. Why? For starters, I am way too cheap to pay somebody to paint my nails when I'm perfectly capable of doing it myself. It's relaxing in an utterly mindless way. Having a dog, working on a computer all day and doing housework destroys my nails, so there is that, too. My indecisive nature also comes into play here...when friends boast that their gel manicures last three weeks, the first thing that comes to mind is "but didn't you want to switch colors by then?" You get the picture. A few weeks ago, I noticed Orly had new ads featuring a sleek new logo and packaging. Further investigation uncovered a new website and rumors of new in-store displays. My cheapskate mind thought of one thing and one thing only - they must be having sales to clear out their old packaging. One quick walk to my neighborhood CVS later, I discovered that not only was I correct, but that the normally $8.29/bottle polish was half off! 
Unfortunately, the display was already largely picked over, but I was able to snag some of my favorite go-to shades Gumdrop (mint), Liquid Vinyl (black, obviously), and Faint of Heart (a taupey grey). 
Now, this is where this CVS experience gets awesome and thrifty. I was armed with not only a $5 off coupon, but also a $4 off $20 coupon. For the record, I am NOT a coupon clipper (damn those horrible reality TV shows and the crazy people who hoard 50 six-packs of ramen and 30 containers of laundry detergent), but I'm a sucker for a CVS coupon. You can combine those suckers and basically rob the place blind.
Now, three bottles of half off polish wasn't going to qualify the use of the $4 off $20 coupon, so I did what any nail polish junkie would do, invest in Orly Won't Chip, some milk and cereal (Cinnamon Toast Crunch, because I just saw This is the End and have been craving it since) and call it a day. All of that for just $13.18. Normally, you couldn't even buy one bottle of polish and the milk for that. Success. This weekend, I plan on devouring my CT Crunch while painting my nails black. It will be glorious.


Tuesday, June 18, 2013

I have been toying with the idea of getting new glasses ever since I got my new Gucci frames last spring. Why would I want new glasses when my frames were only a year old? Because even though my Gucci's are great, they are blue, which is limiting (matching is key to a point). Plus, I am a huge nerd, so the fact that nerdy glasses are a thing makes me want about five pair to mix and match with. I also didn't want to spend Gucci glasses money on trendy nerd frames. Enter I am sure you have seen their ads somewhere - likely on Facebook. Perhaps you saw a friend claim a deal from them, "like" their page or boast about a free set of glasses (and you assume their account has been hacked). No. is all that and more. You only need your prescription to order and will have to pay for shipping, but your first pair (frames and lenses) is indeed free. How easy is that? They don't even ask to see your prescription! Not all of their frames are eligible for the first pair free offer, but many are. Very quickly, I fell in love with a brand named Derek Cardigan. My selection method was extremely scientific. I found a pair of frames I liked, then I searched for them on real people on Instagram. Sounds crazy, but it worked great. For my free pair, I selected the 7012 black fade.
I was so thrilled with them (and received so many compliments on them), that I ordered a second pair (7012 Derek Cardigan in tortoiseshell) at 30% off.
They frequently run sales (and good ones at that, 2/$95 for complete frames and you can submit your receipt for insurance). (and other optical sites like Warby Parker) believe that glasses should be an interchangeable accessory, and not something you should sink a wad of cash into every few years. My kind of thinking. May I also note they ship quickly and have impeccable customer service. Basically, is a brilliant company. I've recommended them to numerous people already (they sell prescription sunglasses as well) and carry regular designers (in case you're too cool for my boy, Derek). My face is much happier with three sets of glasses to now choose from, and I have become a full on junkie and can't wait to buy another pair!

Moving Woes

Monday, June 17, 2013

Moving is expensive in the worst possible way. Three months rent upfront, a pet deposit, movers (and tip) and the random costs that just appear (all new cleaning products, paper products, food basics and the like) add up really quickly. That left me with almost no money to decorate. Fortunately, I am resourceful and became obsessed with the challenge of making my living space look like I wanted it to look, for as little as possible. 

First up, the dining room: Craigslist is such a great place to find exactly what you need. My dining room is oddly configured (narrow with brick flooring - seriously, who, other than Ronald McDonald, puts brick on the floor of a kitchen?), so a regular dining room table wasn't going to work. I found a person selling a sofa table for $20 and knew it would work perfectly. It's an Ikea table, and I have a hack in mind for it (sand it down, stain it dark and replace the wood block legs with hairpin legs). I have been on a search for a globe for ages. I've scoured flea markets, yard sales and Craigslist. While looking for chairs to go with the table, I found a guy selling a beautiful vintage black globe for $30 (that's a steal for this 1956 gem).
The replica ant chairs chairs were found thanks to dumb luck (I was looking for a desk, not chairs). A woman in my neighborhood had just listed them on Craigslist. I was the first person to contact her and scored them for $30. Considering they sell for about $80-$100 a piece, I was thrilled to get the set for $30 (and they'll match my Ikea hacked table brilliantly). The curtains were on sale for $19 at Ikea (I was so excited to get rid of the horrible curtains that came with the place) and the framed ad is from a 1991 edition of Benetton Colours (scored during a high school field trip to NYC). The jute rug was a major steal at Ross for only $9! So inexpensive - my little dining room nook!
Next up, the living room: I have had my Ikea Kramfors chaise lounge (discontinued) in storage for ages and finally lugged the beast for this move. The rug ($69 -a major splurge) and lack tables ($30 total) are from Ikea. The white chair (also from Ikea) was pulled from a dumpster two years ago. The pillow and throw are also from Ikea, the flower canvas is an Instagram shot (my own picture, via Living Social deal over a year ago, $19.99). The baskets were on clearance from Marshall's ($9). The vases were free (leftover from a charity event I helped plan), the pussy willow was free (from an old friend who worked for a florist) and the paper roses in the bouquet were handmade and scored at a craft fair(maybe $10). The bored pug was $500 and purchased from a trailer (true story).
I am absolutely in love with my thrifty little space. Not counting the pug (who will soon be eight, so he can't be factored into the costs), the sofa or the art (if you can call it that), I spent less than $250 between two rooms and they look and feel like me. Yes, I could have spent less, but I don't think I would have been as happy if I had chosen different dining room chairs or a plain rug for the living room. Have you used Craigslist to find items for your house/apartment? What are some of your favorite pieces in your home?