Taste{Full}: April 2010

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Deal Alert!

Gap sale...So you might have missed the 20% off but it's not too late to get 15% off.  Plus they are also offering 30% off shorts!

Just in time for Mother's Day!  New York and Company's BIG 50% off sale!

And last but certainly not least, check out Old Navy for their stuff and save sale!  I love these!!

Happy Shopping!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Need a Little Inspiration?

I rarely watch award shows and certainly not the Dove awards. But this year Joe DVR'd the award show and I'm watching it now. Now of course it's no frills compared to the Grammy's or the AMA's. But I also don't have to look away while Adam Lambert demonstrates his "freedom of expression." It's actually pretty inspiring to watch these talented singers who clearly aren't in it for the fame and fortune. They're so obviously trying to inspire those around them to live an abundant life. Here are some of my favorite picks from the nominees/winners:

Christian music is no longer lame.  And this band proves it.  Check out the upbeat track, "Something Beautiful." $7.99.  Click here to preview and buy.

I love this girl. Ok, I don't know her personally, but I love her pop-with-a-bit-of edge style. "I'm letting go" is one of my favorites.  Here's an excerpt: "...There's no turning back.  I'm letting go of the life I planned for me and my dreams.  I'm losing control of my destiny.  It feels like I'm fallin and that's what its like to believe..."  That's becoming the song of my heart more and more each day!  $10.68. Click here preview and buy.

So I'm not a huge fan of rock.  Especially hard rock.  But this is hard-ish.  I could totally work out to this stuff.  Interesting side note--during the Dove awards, Red was joined on stage by special guest Brian "Head" Welch who used to be the bass player for Korn (the notoriously dark rock band) until he got radically saved.  Very cool.  $11.68.  Click here to preview and buy.

This guy has managed to stay relevant for what...20 years?!  That in and of itself is pretty impressive.  Check out the feel good track "Get Back up Again."  Click here to preview and buy.

And a special shout out to my former hall mate at Oral Roberts University for being nominated for new artist of the year.  Go Kari!!
Buy her CD here (and get the FREE download)!

Friday, April 23, 2010

April Showers

What is the saying? April showers bring an excuse to purchase adorable wet weather wear? Oh wait, that’s not how it goes. Whenever the season changes, regardless of how sad I might be to lose those beautiful sunny days or say goodbye to the scenic New England fall, I can’t help but get excited about what that means for my wardrobe. Spring (at least up north) might be a bit drab at times, but not only does it bring with it the promise of summer, but also the chance to wear bright rain jackets, fun wellies, and cheerful umbrellas as demonstrated here (PS- These great pieces are all $55 or UNDER!):

For a classy and classic look:
Upon a quick glance, this could seem rather boring, but the ruffle detail on the umbrella, the tailored trench, and the shiny wedge make it anything but...
Echo umbrella. $28. Old Navy trench. $49.50. Capelli New York rain boot.  Only $22.50!

For those of us who aren't afraid of a little color:

I'm imagining wearing these bright fun accessories over skinny dark denim jeans and a white tee shirt.  How cute are these rain sneakers?  I know- maybe a bit over the top but if I saw someone wearing them on a rainy day it would definitely make me smile (while thinking "You go girl"). ;)
Clear umbrella. $16.99.  Topshop Parka. $55. Capelli New York Rain sneaker. $22.50.

And a combination of the two looks?  You got it:

Obviously I can't get enough of the ruffle umbrella.  This look is still bright but a bit more conservative.  How cute is the trench?  Would you die if I told you it was from Wal-Mart?! 
Echo ruffle umbrella. $28. Norma Kamali for Wal-Mart trench. $35. Nomad flat rain shoes. 39.95.

See?  There's no reason for rain to dampen your style. ;)

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Mother's Day Gifts with Floral Flair

Love getting your Mom flowers for Mother's Day?  This year, use your creativity to combine both flowers and a personal gift for Mom inspired by these beautiful images (courtesy of bhg.com).  From gardening boots to wine glasses to cooking tools, there's a perfect fit for every mom!

For the mom who loves to garden, gardening boots full of sunflowers or some garden tools cleverly wrapped around a vibrant bouquet...

For the mom who's most at home in the kitchen, a container garden full of flowers now, perfect for fresh herbs later, or a mortar and pestle bursting with blooms...

And for the mom who just needs a break, a set of beautiful wine glasses and her favorite wine (or sparkling lemonade!)...

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Taste{full} Deal Alert! 30% off Friends & Family at Ann Taylor & Loft

Enjoy a lovely 30% off your entire purchase at either Ann Taylor or Loft this week, from now until Sunday!  Simply use the code FRIENDS at checkout.  You can also get free shipping automatically on orders over $100!

Friday, April 16, 2010

LC Lauren Conrad for Kohls plus 20% off your entire order!

Whether you love her or hate her, sweet little dramatic LC has probably made an impression on all of us.  I'm liking the fact that she's making it a more practical impression with her line at Kohl's, which offers some really cute (and affordable) items!  Her new spring lookbook has been out for a while and several items are getting great reviews, like this super versatile boyfriend jacket (only $33.59 with the 20% off code THANK20) and this gorgeous blue dress (also $33.59).  

She's also got some great tops... my sister was wearing this one the other day, tucked in to a stylish black suit and it looked fantastic! Very chic and high-quality.  The chiffon top is only $19.99 with the 20% off code. 

Check out the entire line here and don't forget to save 20% off any Kohls.com purchase with the code THANK20 (thru Sunday!), plus get free shipping on orders over $75 with the code MY75SHIP.

PS, I'm also in love with this adorable ruffled skirt, only $23.99!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Celebrate Tax Day For FREE!

In honor of April 15th, many retailers are offering special deals good today only, and a few that last through the weekend... here's a selection to help you celebrate!

  • SUBWAY - BOGO: Buy one footlong sub, get one footlong sub free!
  • BOSTON MARKET - Click here to get a coupon that gives you BOGO free on Individual Plates!
  • STARBUCKS - Bring in your own reusable mug and get a free cup of coffee!
  • CINNABON - Snag two free cupcake bites between 6:00 PM and 8:00 PM tonight!
  • IHOP - Kids eat free between now and the end of the month with the purchase of any adult meal!
  • PF CHANG'S - Score 15% off your bill if you dine there today!
  • MCDONALD'S - But a Quarter Pounder with Cheese or Big Mac and get a second for only $.01!
  • DUNKIN DONUTS - Get a free donut with your purchase of coffee!
  • T.G.I. FRIDAY'S - At participating locations, get a $5 gift card when you spend $10 - $25 on your meal.  Get a $10 gift card if you spend more than $25!
  • STAPLES - Will copy up to 30 single-sided pages of tax-related documents free of charge!
  • OFFICE DEPOT - Will copy up to 25 single-sided tax-related documents free of charge!

Happy Saving!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Deal Alert!

So while gathering links for another post, I stumbled upon the fact that Urban Outfitters is having a great $5 sale! Here are some of my favorite items:

For the fashionista:

Kimchi Blue Sandstone Full Skirt. Available in four fab colors.  4.99 from 48.00.

For the boys:
Contrast Argyle Beanie.  This would make a cool gift or a cool guy.  4.99 from 24.00.

For the flirty ones:

Naughty and Nice Pillowcase Set. Totally rad.  4.99 from 28.00.

For the classy punk:

Rhinestone half moon earring.  These remind me of a prettier version of one of those studded bands.  4.99 from 20.00.

For the aviator in you:

Hello Aviator Shades.  I'll never tire of Aviators.  Ever.  4.99 from 10.00.

 And there are many more fun $5 items to choose from.  There are also selections priced at 9.99, 14.99, 19.99, and 29.99.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

DIY- How to Make a Teacup Lamp

Ok, so in the spirit of full disclosure this should be titled "DIYWSHFYH- How to Make a Teacup Lamp"--(Do it yourself with some help from your husband). Because I'm not very patient, not a huge fan of power tools, and was eight months pregnant when I made this teacup lamp, I enlisted my handy husband for help. That said this really is a project almost anyone (with patience) can do.

I was inspired to make a teacup lamp when I fell in love with this one, but was SO not in love with the price ($110!). I thought, surely I could re-create this! And I figured I could make it look vintage and modern if I got to choose what types of cups to include. I promised I'd post specific instructions when I mentioned the teacup lamp in the post "Decorating a Nursery on a Budget, Part II." So here they are.
For me the most fun part was, you guessed it, shopping for my plates and teacups. I'm a little obsessive so I picked out all kinds of girly, fun teacups and teapots with the intention of deciding which ones I'd actually use in the comfort of my own home. (Plus I was waiting on baby and unemployed; let's just say I had some time to kill). The great thing about this project is you can spend as little or as much as you'd like. I shopped at thrift stores, Homegoods, TJ Maxx, and Marshall's for my plates and teacups. All in all, it cost me about $35 to make. Besides the fun stuff, you'll also need:
Drill bits
Lamp kit
Self hardening clay
Lamp shade

Ok, so after the fun part, comes the technical part.
1. Before you start to drill, stack your teacups in various arrangements and decide which you like the best. Make sure something heavy is on the bottom (or you can fill a teacup with marbles, etc) to avoid the lamp being top heavy. I also recommend buying some practice plates from a thrift store or garage sale to make sure you get the drilling right!

2. Start drilling holes in each plate, cup, and teapot. This step takes the longest. I used tungsten drill bits about 1/4" thick that I bought on eBay. However, diamond drill bits would have saved some time. They are expensive but you can find them on eBay for a reasonable price. An important thing when drilling is to make sure you keep wetting the drill bit so it doesn't overheat. That will make the drilling process go a lot smoother. Also, when Joe stepped in to help I realized that you do have to put some power behind it. I was afraid I'd break the glass (ok, and I have the upper body strength of an 11 year old), but it takes a lot longer if you're trying to be gentle. Use your practice plates to get the pressure right. Drill in the center but if you’re a little off, don't worry about it. It doesn't have to be perfect; it will still look cute!

3. Once all the drilling is complete, you’re ready to thread the lamp cord through the cups. For this part, just follow the instructions that come with the lamp kit. It’s fairly simple (I did the wiring with no help from my husband so it must be simple!). The toughest part is pulling the cord taut and looping it (the instructions make it seem like you’re looping tiny string instead of a fairly inflexible plastic cord). Besides that, it’s pretty easy.

4. Glue cups/plates together.  I'm kind of speculating about this part since I haven’t done it yet (and yes, Genevieve is 4 ½ months old!). But now that my lamp is assembled, I’m realizing I probably need to glue the cups/plates together. I only move my lamp when I clean the table, which, let’s face it, isn’t very often, so I’ve gotten by, but ideally the lamp would be a bit more sturdy than it is with no glue.
You may want to reverse this with step 3.  I was afraid if I had issues with the wiring it would be easier to correct if the cups were not glued…your call.

5. I have to admit I haven’t done this yet either but I’d suggest filling the top cup with clay as this demonstration shows. Right now I have pebble type things in the top cup but they are not heavy enough and are choking hazards (how many things you think of as choking hazards once you have a kid never ceases to amaze me!). So before Genevieve is mobile I plan on following these instructions.
6. Place your lamp shade on and ta da! You’re finished!

Here are some links I found helpful:

 Here are some photos of the process and the finished product!
So these are the mock ups I did initially to see which cups, plates, and teapots I wanted to use.
And the winner was, drum roll please:
The top teacup was $2 on clearance at Marshall's and has an embellished dainty chandelier on one side and a dressing table with perfume bottles on the other.  Just darling! 
The G mug was $5 or $6 at Homegoods and the teapot was on clearance for $3 at TJ Maxx.  The plates in between were 50 cents each at a thrift store.
And now the finished product:

Monday, April 12, 2010

DIY Cake Stands!

Yes, it's another post about cake stands!  Honestly though, can a girl ever discuss them too much?  Or have too many?? The ones I have to show off today are not only uniquely beautiful but c-h-e-a-p.  As in, less than $10.  As in, maybe even less than $5 if you are very thrifty.  Heck, they could even be free if you've got the supplies on hand!  For all the details and more pictures, check out the directions here from the fabulous blog Design*Sponge. (For a few bucks more, you could even do a cool graphic silhouette design like the second picture below... insects and a crossstitch print, who knew it could be cool??)  For another pretty variation, click here to check out some versions with clear glass plates from the Armelle blog.  Now I'm off to the dollar store to increase my cake stand collection for next to nothing!

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