summer living room on a budget

Hello dear readers.  Today I want to talk a little bit about decorating on a budget.  I know most of you probably already do but in case you are interested in how I've assembled the things in this room, stick around.

For me budget has always come first when decorating.  I wished and dreamt of gorgeous fabrics that were beyond my income but I always had to find ways to make things work for me.  Most everything in this room and the adjoining dining area were free or very inexpensive.  Decorating this way takes a TON of patience so it becomes a labor of love.  You will note that I use the word lucky a lot in this post.  Rather than go back and edit them all out I'm leaving them bc honestly, luck has a great deal to do with finding things when you are on the hunt!

The Pottery Barn sofa in this room was free with American Express reward points.  We also got our headboard with those points.  The large black armoire was purchased over 30 years ago from a furniture store going out of business. It's made by Lexington and I still love it.  The old luggage stacked on top was $2 for the 3 pieces.  Even the roman blinds were inexpensive from JC Penney.  They still sell them here!  These are actually a little nicer than mine as these are cordless.  I made the toile pillow cover out of a fabric remnant.

Some of you will recall I got the antique silk chinoserie screen from and estate sale for $12.  Such a lucky find.  The antique iron sconces were $1 each.  I paid $4 for the pair of hanging light fixtures in the room.

Little details add up and create warmth and texture.  These books were mostly given to me but I did purchase Gil Schafer's book - one of my favorites!  Dear reader Linda sent me Mark D. Sikes book.  The longer I own it the more I love it.

I rescued this trunk from my neighbors trash.  It's beat up just enough for me. The round peacock tin is another $2 favorite.  The glass bottle was a lucky $2 find.

I love this corner and everything in it.  That's saying a lot for me bc I've always been at war with it.  Nothing has ever looked right to me here.  But for some odd reason I breathe easy when I walk in the door and see it now.  The table was free bc it was broken in pieces.  All it needed was a little glue, it's one of my favorite pieces in the house.  The lamp was given to me by my daughter in law and the painting was obtained through a swap with Alex.  The fern is from my garden.

Catherine is a family heirloom and that little lucite lamp was 75 cents.  The childs concrete head was free and the books were either gifts or very inexpensive yard sale finds.

Some of you may have seen this branch on my Instagram on Monday.  I found it on my walk and I love it.  Here's a breakdown of everything here...

Mirror $17 estate sale
Desk Swap with Alex
Seascape oil painting $2
Coral free from friend
Vase $1 garage sale
Ralph Lauren book birthday gift (I get asked about this all the time)
HERE is one on eBay for cheap!
Antique Garden Urn $20 (huge, huge score)
Wall hook came with the house
Straw hat free
Riding boots $4 thrift store
Persian rug free from friend

So that's it dear friends.  Is this interesting or boring to you?  Let me know what you think in the comments.  Like decorating my home, slowly but surely, this blog has become a labor of love too! x


my fall lookbook 6 pieces - endless possibilities

Good morning darling.

Today I've put together some fall looks that I can't wait to wear.  It's too hot here to wear them regularly but I can see and feel the weather changing.  Thank you to Cindy Hattersley for inviting me to participate in this thing.  All 6 pieces are mix and match and can take you from housework to a dinner date.  At the end of the post you will see links to 7 other bloggers who've joined today.  Also I put together similar items for you at the end.  Also Also, I've linked a favorite 2nd hand source.  I hope you enjoy what I've put together bc I had a lot of fun doing it.

Look No. 1

My first look is this $5 Ralph Lauren Goodwill skirt.  It was made in the USA and seems to be from the 80's.  I've paired it with my Everlane Cashmere Crew sweater which is also a favorite of mine.  I would wear this combo anywhere.

I love that the skirt is full and has really nice movement to it.

Look No. 2

An old favorite, my uniform.  I feel so comfortable in a chambray shirt and jeans.  I will never get over this look.  My chambray is almost 20 years old now.  The jeans are the high-rise cheeky from Everlane.

The leopard mules from Madewell def give it a bit of an edge.

Looks good with a broom.

Look No. 3

I found these vintage elastic waist tweed pants last year and wore them through the winter with my black cashmere sweater.  They are like wearing pj bottoms.

The vintage cotton blouse is from my daughter in law who sells vintage for a living.  THIS is her instagram.  I'm dying over THESE mules and wish they fit me.

Can you see how everything can be mixed?  Thank you so much for reading and allowing me this space to write to you.  You are like family to me.  I hope you get some inspiration and enjoyed the post. Now pop on over and see all the exciting things the other bloggers are posting. x

1010 Park Place
Brenda Kinsel
Classic Casual Home
Most Lovely Things
Northern California Style
Rough Luxe Lifestyle
Une Femme


Fall Fashion

Hello Dear Friends.  Please watch this space because on Thursday there will be a compendium of fashion and beauty here and on several other blogs.  I was invited to participate and am grateful for that.  I gets me off my tush and into action trying to bring you vintage and new finds to carry you through fall and winter.  Take care and see you Thursday!  x

keeping my cool

The dog days are upon us and we are at the beginning of a long heatwave and I'm not looking forward to it.  Life goes on whether it's hot or not so I may as well get over it right?  I've been working a little bit and have to pull myself together for that.

This outfit from Everlane has come to my rescue.  It's the easy chino and cotton muscle tee.  The tee cotton has a beautiful drape to it that belies its $22 price.  Together they look almost like a jumpsuit without the hassle of undressing to use the ladies.  Both are so comfortable it feels like I'm walking around in my pj's. I keep mixing and matching these pieces with everything.  I recently wore the tank with a pair of vintage silk sateen trousers which is not where you think a muscle tank would work...but it did.  What do you wear on these v hot days?  I normally wear dresses but I keep turning to this situation.  I also have the cotton muscle in white  just to keep you on your toes.  x

How I do my easy messy bun

Happy Friday Loves.  You've asked how I do my messy bun so I made an awkward little tutorial showing you how.  I started wearing this bun early last year when it seemed as if we were living at the hospital.  It doesn't matter if your hair is clean or dirty, long or short.  With a few bobby pins maybe even short hair can work.  You'll get to see just how wild my hair is without a blow dryer and flat iron.  I just can't with all that any longer.  I love the ease of this bun and I hope you do too.

Have a beautiful weekend. x

7 simple ways I save money in the kitchen

Hello Dear Reader.  Many of you want to know if I have any tips or tricks on saving money.  I feel like I do but honestly, you guys have just as many.  The emails and comments are loaded with great ideas.  I'll share a few things I do consistently that add up. They may seem small but some save money and some save the planet.


The biggest way I save money is by not buying animal products.  Say what you will but they are expensive in all ways financial and ecological.  Other things I do is grow my own herbs.  I do have a few tomato plants growing but I save a ton year round by just growing herbs.  I can freeze them and also dry them.  Right now I'm harvesting basil that I'll use this winter in my recipes.  A friend just gave me a gazillion apricots and I've washed and frozen most of them for desserts and smoothies all winter long.  I always always have a container of fruit and veg scraps and they wind up in broth or my compost pile.  Nothing is wasted.  I was able to plant my small garden this year with soil I made 100% myself.  I even impressed me doing that 😹.


I still shop the .99 store for lots of things.  A few of you said you enjoyed it when I would post my shopping receipts so you could see just how cheap it is.  I am finding I spend even less when I only go to the market every week to 10 days.


I don't buy bottled water, I just use tap.  I fill a pitcher and put it in the refrigerator sometimes with lemons.  Now when I drink bottled water it tastes like plastic to me.  Our water is safe here.


My kitchen gets lots of sunlight and especially late afternoon very hot sun.  I hung my insulated drapes in here and what a difference they make.  My electric bill and the planet thank me.


I do batch cooking in the summer because of the heat.  I'll put a pot of potatoes or beans on early in the morning and use them in tacos, burritos and salads.  Yesterday I made a bunch of zucchini boats filled with Mexican and Italian ingredients.  Zucchini is basically free here because all my friends grow it and give me their surplus.


I keep my pantry as fresh and well-organized as possible so I can see at a glance what I'm low on.  I try not to buy processed food and cook from scratch most meals.  I build all my menus on what I have fresh and just fill in beans, rice or pasta to round out the meal.  It's so easy that way.  Also, I rarely purchase paper towels or paper anything.


I hand wash all my dishes because I don't have a dishwasher so I  save on water and electricity.  Of course I get my dish soap from the .99 store and will pour it into a prettier bottle (not always!) bc I'm a cheapskate.

I hope I haven't left anything out but if I did please add them in the comments. x


What I've spent on clothing this year

Hello Sunday and friends.  Thank you so much for all the comments and emails I've received.  So many emails with very detailed advice and suggestions and courage!  Thank you so v much.  A lot of you say don't pay off the house and more of you say pay it off.  It's such a personal decision and one I don't take lightly.  I'm still in the camp of pay off the house but I hear the other side loud and clear.  I suppose it depends on your life experience which side of the issue you land on.  I will go more into detail about my personal decision in a future post.

But today I wanted to do a check-in on how much I've spent so far this year on clothing.  I've been combing through my numbers bc that's what I do and this is what I saw.  I remember frantically rushing through Target one January day and grabbing a pair of black jeans.  I had no time to try them on and they sat in the bag for a few weeks before I even did.  That's the way things were in January 😢.  Anyway they fit perfectly and I kept them.  Also, Everlane kindly sent me a few free things to review which you've seen but those were gifts so do I count them?  I'm choosing to tally what came out of my account.  Here is the list...

Target black jean $15
H&M Blue Toile Dress $19
H&M Red Toile Top $34 (Love this little linen/cotton top!)
Thrifted white cotton top $15

Total $83

I really don't plan to spend anything this fall or winter but if I come across something one never knows.  Over the years of blogging I notice I mostly shop in Spring and Fall.  I suppose that's pretty normal?  Of course I have no idea what normal is.  Do you?  x

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