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Color Musing

craigslist find

We might be one of the few families who does not have a flat screen TV. We are still rockin’ the old school TV in a cabinet. We got both the TV and cabinet as hand-me-downs and it is hard to beat free.

I shared all about staining the cabinet a darker shade from the honey brown color it was originally. It has served us well but I am starting to feel the itch to upgrade. Plus the TV is at least 20 years old and its lifespan might be ending soon.

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After searching Craigslist off and on for about 6 months, I was getting discouraged. There didn’t seem to be much out there under $300 that wasn’t just pressed plywood. I didn’t want to pay that much, plus still need to put in all the effort and time to refinish it. I am a big fan of painted furniture.

I looked elsewhere and even consider this beauty from Crate & Barrel. My sister-in-law snagged one when it was on sale and loves it.

 

As much as I wanted to have it for my very own, the 60 inch version (our first choice) topped out at $599. Too much for our tight budget. Back to craigslist.

That’s when I found the posting for this solid wood credenza for $140!

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The seller was a lovely lady who was moving into a retirement home and passionately shared its life story. I reveled in every detail and promised to give it a good home. She even broke out the family tree before our visit was up!  It is from the 1930’s and she remembers her mother being so excited when she purchased it. Call me crazy but it is like that excitement was being passed to me.

Even as well-loved as it was, it still shows signs of its age. It’s begging to be repainted, but I want to be sure I do it justice.

I found this color combo chart from Chairish which is like a Craigslist for real authentic vintage furniture but a lot easier to browse. I am loving the first color combo. The credenza painted bright peacock blue is really speaking to me. (Click on the image to open the pdf).

Chairish: Color Couples

 

I love that bright pop of color, yet it still calming enough to go with the other cool blues, grays, and greens I have in my living room. Be careful on Chairish because you can quickly lose track of time. I already found a few accent chairs that I would love to add to our home. I think the design and hues of these could be a great fit!

Before I get carried away, here are a few blues I am loving for my vintage credenza, all Benjamin Moore paints.

 

Benjamin Moore Peacock Blues

1 Blue Danube | 2 Downpour Blue | 3 Van Deusen Blue | 4 Paddington Blue | 5 Oasis Blue | 6 Polo Blue

 

I am leaning towards #1-3 but I might just get a tester of all of them. Which blue do you like? Do you have a  favorite color combination? Are you a fan of painted furniture or do you like all natural wood tones? So glad I stuck it out on Craigslist. I can’t wait to add this little piece of history to our home!

3 Tips to Contain Cup Clutter

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Just like those pesky cords, cups can be a thorn in my side. Especially during the summer, when hot weather plus thirsty girls means our cup collection seems to multiply across the whole house.

In an effort to keep cups easy to reach for those little hands (did I mention I have 3 thirsty girls), I moved the cups to a lower drawer.

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In the past, I have banned plastic cups from my house, but since they seem to just reappear, I decided I need to keep them in their own little regulated area. This drawer is where we keep the lunch pails, so it is already a designated kids’ drawer. It’s a nice deep drawer, so it has been working pretty well as the new home of our cup collection.

The problem started this summer when the girls decided they needed to grab a new cup each time they wanted to take a drink of water. We wound up with a collection of half-filled cups of water all over the house. Lots of cups = lots of dishes.

In honor of my “house of cups,” here are 3 ways to organize and combat a full blown cup invasion.

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1. Keep Cups Out and Accessible

Lindsey, blogger at The Pleated Poppy, uses an old-fashioned cup dryer kept out on the counter to keep cups at the ready. She found hers at World Market for only $15.  She painted it pink. So cute

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I shamelessly stole the idea to use in our kitchen. I bought glasses from Ikea because I am a big fan of real glass over plastic. I figured at 88¢ it wouldn’t be a huge deal if we broke a few.

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I liked the idea of this cup dryer, but in practice it didn’t quite work for our family. It takes up a lot of room on our counter and doesn’t get to the heart of the issue, too many dishes! We still end up with a high ‘cup to person’ ratio in our house.

Maybe you could assign a certain hook for each person? Although I liked the idea in theory, I still needed to keep searching for another option.

2. Create a Permanent Home

My favorite option so far to curtail extreme cup usage is a simple, re-purposed candle holder.

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Each person has a designated spot to put their cup back when they are finished with it. My husband likes giant tumblers for water, so no getting rid of plastic cups entirely. But my girls have been loving the ‘fancy glasses’ as they like to call them.

It takes up a small amount of space on the counter so it can share the same area with the fruit basket.

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3. Keep Cups Where You Use Them

A few magnets and plastic cups are all you need to copy this idea from Made and keep your cups right where you use them.

cup magnets- Dana Made It

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If we had a fridge with a built-in water dispenser, I would definitely have to try this idea. Be sure to click over to Made if you are interested, because Dana gives some ideas for those kiddos who can’t help but to pull the magnets off.

What have you tried to keep your cups corralled? Do you use a bin in a cabinet, throw them all in a drawer, or put your kids in charge of dish duty?

The Unintended Consequences of Stitch Fix

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This post could also be called, The Only Stitch Fix Review You Will Ever Need or Way Too Many Words about My Stitch Fix Experience. Let’s just say that I am not officially sold on the idea. It’s been a while since I shared my 1st Stitch Fix experience, time for an update!

If you have never heard of Stitch Fix, it is a mail order company that sends out 5 items picked out for you by a personal stylist. The boxes are shipped to you as often as you’d like. You pay a $20 styling fee for each box you receive, but if you buy anything from the box the $20 is credited towards your purchase. You also get a 25% discount if you purchase all 5 items from the box, and a $25 credit towards future purchases if you refer a friend.

I usually try to purchase most of my clothes on sale, so I was initially hesitant about the $20 “styling fee.” Still, having a real stylist send you picks sounded like a fun idea to use as a special treat. During my pregnancy and postpartum, I socked away my clothing budget each month for the purpose of refreshing my wardrobe once I lost the baby weight. I used signing up for Stitch Fix as the carrot on the stick to get me out the door and moving.

I reviewed my 1st box and was smitten with the idea, but sadly found no keepers. When I received my 2nd Stitch Fix box, I was not impressed. Whomp, whomp.

I was ready to chalk it up as a wash and even write a negative review after I received this accessory I thought at first glance was a free gift; like the kind you get when you buy cosmetics at the department store.

Stitch Review 2

But this was no free gift. I still don’t know how a clear plastic pouch with polka dots could be $38. What! I was really disappointed with this one.

I was tempted to cancel my Stitch Fix account right then, but I did get the pair of jeans that I loved from my 1st Fix, now in the right size.

They fit great. I love them, and they have quickly gone into full wardrobe rotation. I even did a happy dance over them that my daughter captured.

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I will wear these jeans for years and would have never picked them without Stitch Fix. But has it been worth the $20 styling fee?

Besides my new favorite jeans, the three other items in my 2nd box were just as underwhelming as the overpriced plastic pouch. For instance, this striped shirt was cute and comfy, but I was swimming in it. Maybe a size smaller would have looked better.

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For me, one of the biggest downfalls of the Stitch Fix service- there is only one size to try on. I don’t believe having multiple sizes would really be feasible with this type of service but it feels like a waste of a $20 styling fee when I get something that I like but in the wrong size. 

Then there are some items that have one thing off, like this cardigan that was cut to flair up at the belly.

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I love the color, love the softness, love the faux scarf look, but the changing length hits right at a self-conscious area which would always bother me no matter how much I loved the rest of the cardigan. Plus I felt the $58 price tag was a smidge too high.

Then there are some pieces that are just way off, like this dress.

Stitch Review 2 (2)

I felt too frumpy; plus pale skin and pale yellow don’t play well together.

In conclusion, my 2nd box was only mildly successful because of the jeans. I decided I would give Stitch Fix one more try.  Three tries seemed fair. Then something strange happened.

While waiting for my 3rd box to come, I started noticing clothes in the store that I normally wouldn’t even give a second glance.

I found this dress that looked eerily similar to the Maxi dress I returned from my first Stitch Fix box, however the price tag was much friendlier.

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I wear it, I love it.

That’s about when my 3rd box arrived. It did not start off so strong.

Stripes on my thighs, nope. Boxy yet asymmetrical tank, no thank you. Green jeans that are even tight on your knees, oh no. This picture doesn’t look quite as bad as those jeans felt by the way.

Stitch Fix 31

I returned it all. But it wasn’t a total loss.

For instance, I love the cut and feel of the gray shirt from the 3rd box but not the price, $44 (but –$20 credit from the styling fee would make it $24).

At Old Navy, I found this very similar one in light blue. To be fair it is not as soft but the $9 price tag was a perfect fit for my lifestyle (baby spit-ups and carpool).

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The funny thing is I would have never picked out this shirt to try on. Thanks to Stitch Fix this shirt is now a go-to in my wardrobe. I feel put together while still able to run around after kiddos (i.e. get sweaty and not ruin my $44 shirt).

The bottom line: Because of Stitch Fix I updated my wardrobe, but not necessarily with clothes from Stitch Fix. For me, the priority was to find pieces that fit both in size and budget.

Maybe it was the style cards that came along with each shipment, admittedly my favorite part, which provided the styling inspiration.

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Whatever it was, Stitch Fix’s unintended consequence was more shopping.

This was contradictory to the initial benefit that drew me to the service in the first place; new clothes without having to go out clothes shopping and more importantly without having to try on clothes in those hot dressing rooms with grumpy kids. I might be a rare exception, but this service just inspired me to go shopping!

There are certainly much cheaper ways to be inspired: shopping with a friend, browsing Pinterest style boards, and fashion bloggers of course, (Kendi, J and Ms. Quirk never disappoint). But, I surprisingly found Stitch Fix to be very effective.

I’d read reviewers touting the benefits of trying on things you would never pick out for yourself. But since I had never been one to shy away from a new trend or a different style, I wasn’t expecting to be wowed.

But to prove me wrong the Stitch Fix stylist threw in this little ditty.

2014 Summer

 

I am smitten with this blue striped dress and would have NEVER tried it on in a store.

This dress won me over! So, it is with starry-eyed wonder I profess that Stitch Fix is fabulous. But just to be fair, we all know the lack of judgment that goes along with a crush, so let’s look at the numbers one last time. Numbers don’t lie (or is that hips?).

Total spent on 3 boxes from Stitch Fix:

Box 1 –  $20 styling fee

kept nothing

total = $20

Box 2 –  $20 styling fee

kept jeans $78 – $20 styling fee credit + tax

total = $82.35

Box 3 –  $20 styling fee

kept dress $54 – $20 styling fee credit + tax

total = $56.55

Grand total $158.90

So is $159 worth it for a dress and jeans? In my book, no; not when there are 5 people in my family to clothe. But was it fun? Yes, absolutely, and the hidden bonus was a few budget-friendly outfits because of it. Would you like some more numbers for proof? Sure!

Money Saved by not buying Stitch Fix (but all items purchased thanks to the stylist inspiration):

Old Navy

light blue shirt $9.20 vs Grey shirt $44 = $32 saved

Pink Maxi dress $23 vs Blue Maxi dress $88 = $62 saved

Grand total saved $94

I might try Stitch Fix again for a special occasion like my birthday since it is always fun to splurge on some special pieces. But until then, I’ll keep scouring the clearance racks.

Is your birthday coming up soon? Click over on this link if you are interested in signing-up for Stitch Fix because if this review didn’t convince you to join, I don’t know what will. Did I mention you get a $25 referral credit if you refer a friend?

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