Today I wanted to share a fun shop I recently discovered in Anchorage called re:MADE.  I’ve been following them on Facebook for a while now but am not often on their side of town so I have’t been in until last week when I saw a post with those adorable animal pillows you see in the photo above.  I knew they’d be great for my neutral winter decor and could transition into other uses so I made plans to visit them the next day during my lunch hour.


When I pulled up I spotted their cool re-purposed signage and immediately knew I was going to like this place.  There was so much to look at inside, but I quickly found the pillows I had come from and pondered which to get for several minutes.  I’ll share which ultimately came home with me at the end of this post.


Nearby I spotted this fun deer art which was created with wood planks and painted license plates.  It would be perfect for an industrial or rustic style room.


This cute antique desk held fun little paper trees.  If I’d had a spot for either they would have come home with me as well.


These map phrase frames caught my eye too.  They were all very different, yet each inspired adventure.  My favorite was “I haven’t been everywhere yet, but it’s on my list.”


There were several large reclaimed marquee lights available.  These would be so cool lit up on a wall to spell out words like FAMILY or PLAY!


I giggled to see this large pile of driftwood in a back corner.  The Hubs thinks I’m crazy when I collect pieces every time we go riding on the trails in the summer, but apparently I’m not the only one fascinated wit the cool textures.


These cork trivets and halibut pot holders were great gift ideas for the cooks in your life – or just as decoration for your kitchen.


These vintage looking pieces were tablet pouches or covers.  The leather tab helped keep the tablet secure inside while the outside just looks totally cool and retro.


Still wondering what came home with me after my little shopping trip?  These cuties – a bear cub and hare!  They work well with our current pillows and fit right in with the other rustic winter decor I’ve got up.  I’m excited to use the hare again for spring as a nod to Easter and the bear cub will probably move to the guest or foster room.



I’m kinda loving how simple everything looks after the holidays, especially with the new to us sectional we found on the buy/sell page for a great price.  It’s super comfy and the new pillows just make you want to hang out on it all day.


I also  brought home this cool vintage sled!  I spotted it as I was heading to my car after paying for the pillows and stepped into the snow bank it was sitting on to check it out.  I quickly put the pillows in the truck and headed back inside to pay for this.  It’s going to be a great prop for winter time family portraits with small children. 🙂


I’m glad I found this new resource for unique decor and it warms my heart to know that what I spend there helps those in need.  That’s what I call a win-win!  If you’re in the Anchorage area and like upcycled decor I highly suggest you check them out.


My Pants Crisis

In the midst of No Spend January my fur babies decided I needed a little extra drama in my life, so they pulled two of my dress pants from the hamper and ‘restyled’ them with huge holes. Yeah…. Let’s just say they’d be considered indecent exposure, especially in a corporate office!

Two may not seem like a huge deal, but because I’d been losing weight I was down to a handful of pants that still fit at the time. So my little problem became a mini-crisis. As an event planner, I am usually on the go at work and don’t often wear dresses or skirts because they just aren’t suitable for what I’m doing most days. Thus, having multiple pants options is a must and now that I no longer had enough to rotate through each week it became something I actually NEEDED, although I hadn’t planned on clothes shopping for the month.

I hit a few thrift stores and consignment shops in the hopes that I’d find the ever elusive style that fits my long legs and curves – in the right size, but that didn’t happen and I didn’t have time to keep searching.   Luckily, retailers were gearing up for the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day sales so I ordered several pants in different styles and sizes from Macy’s. Although the total price tag was a bit hefty even with the sales, I figured whatever didn’t fit would be returned – keeping me on par for No Spend January. Unfortunately, NONE of them fit and I had to return the entire order!  Although that meant I still fit within No-Spend January’s rules I still needed pants.

By this point I was desperate. That’s when I decided to try The Limited. I’d never ordered from them before, but had heard about them on several fashion blogs so I figured it was worth a try. I placed an order for 11 pairs of pants in various sizes and cuts so I could see what worked for me and what didn’t. I ended up keeping two of the 11 pairs which thankfully put me back in balance for my weekly rotation.

Because I’d placed such a large order I received a sizeable amount of “virtual dollars” to use later in February. Now that I knew what style I liked and size fit me, I used those dollars along with the President’s Day sale to purchase another round of 10 pants. This time I kept all but one pair, giving me a whole new arsenal of pants for my wardrobe!

I’m still losing weight, so eventually I’ll have to get most of them taken in, but it was worth it to have the pants crisis abated. I’m still on the hunt for a few additional colors since several of the ones I kept ranged from gold to khaki, so I might pick up a few more with the coupon included in the recent shipment. And since I just purged my closet in preparation for a big consignment sale later this month, I’ll have a few dollars to reinvest!

Hopefully, I’ll find time to start sharing some of my outfits soon so you can see all these new duds in action! 🙂

The Hubs’ New Desk Chair & A Few Other Bargains

Check out the hubs’ new desk chair! Isn’t it pretty?! I’m loving it, not only because it can also double as a photography prop (whoop, whoop), but because I got a great deal on it.  Originally marked at $218 at Target, I asked customer service to price match their website where I found it for $152.  And to make it an even sweeter deal I used a $5 off coupon, plus $10 in ShopKick rewards and got another 5% off thanks to my Red Card. Let’s just say I was doing my happy dance!


I also found a couple of other bargains on that shopping trip.  The first was this pouf, which the hubs has been enjoying using as a foot rest when he sits on the couch.  It’s indoor/outdoor material so it can be used on our deck next summer, but in the meantime it can also serve as extra seating when we have guests over.


I snagged a couple of bargain art pieces as well.  One became a little project I’ll share with you next week, but here’s the other.  I found this pretty little piece on clearance for just $7!  It was the perfect size for the blank wall next to the mirror in our guest bathroom and it fits the colors I’ve used in that space exactly.


Just another example of why I adore Target and shop there often!  I think the only way it could get better is if they would pay me to shop!  A girl can dream right?! 🙂

My Macy’s Personal Shopper

Did you know that Macy’s offers a free personal shopper service? I heard about the program last year and scheduled a session when I was in Portland last fall. The process was super simple, I just sent an email to the address on the website and within 48 hours I was in contact with a personal shopper associate who asked questions about my style and expectations.

When I arrived my shopper had a selection of items already pulled for me based on those conversations. I was a little worried that she might just push their new or designer products, so I was very pleased to see several clearance items among my choices.

As I tried things on she offered feedback on how each item looked and styling suggestions. She also brought alternate sizes for several items and because she knew exactly where everything a located in the store she was often back with the new size before I’d changed into the next outfit!

She was also able to look up items in the computer to find out if they came in alternate colors and if they weren’t the store if they could be ordered. Those that I chose to order were shipped directly to my home for free!

I was a little surprised when she politely declined the tip I offered saying they aren’t allowed to accept tips and confirmed they don’t work on commission. I guess Macy’s just believes in good old-fashioned customer service!

I enjoyed the experience so much that I decided to do it again this trip. This time around I worked with Lori, who started the appointment off with a home run on a pair of leopard print flats, which I had told here I had been wanting for some time. And they were on sale!

That was the only item she pulled ahead of time. Instead she chose to have me walk the floor with her and choose items together. I really liked this option because I did miss the fun of browsing the racks and grabbing things that caught my eye last time. She let me wander the different departments, but kept me on track making sure we also got items I’d told her I was in need of ahead of time.  And she rang everything up in multiple orders so I got the most savings possible with the coupons I had! That impressed me even more.

I ended up finding just about everything I was looking for, including a few last minute requests I asked for upon arriving!   Here’s a few of the items I picked this time:

So if you’re looking to update your wardrobe or just need something particular, I highly recommend the Macy’s By Appointment service.  It’s like shopping with a girlfriend, but without the drama. 🙂

New Thrifty Haunts

One of the best things about moving to a new place is finding new, exciting stores – especially discovering which thrift stores have the best inventories!  Although we’ve been pretty busy since the move I have had time to check out a few local shops and have to say I’m pretty darn impressed.


BricBracThe Wasilla Salvation Army Thrift Store was the first new thrift shop I investigated due to its rather large size and convenient location right off the main drag of town.  It was pretty well laid out for a thrift store and seemed to have a good variety of inventory.  Unfortunately their hours don’t always work for my commuter schedule, but I was fairly tickled to see they had a decent pricing policy, as some thrift shops I’ve perused seem to be a bit bi-polar in that department – likely dependent on whoever volunteers for that task on a particular day.

I was also impressed by Boardwalk, which is also located just off the highway, but closer to the road that leads to our area.  This shop is a combination of three main vendors – Home Again Decor,  Gladheart Acres and Cranberry Cottage – with a smathering of consignment pieces too.  I got to speak with one of the managers while visiting and learned that they plan to start renting out space to regular vendors this year and they sounded interested in having some of my Thrift D’ Creations items available.  Once I’m settled and back to crafting I’ll certainly be looking into it – maybe even getting some Valentines inventory prepped this week!


I was already aware of the Alaska Picker shop which also houses a unique antique restorer, Fancy Lou.  I’m a fan of both on Facebook and love seeing their new inventory via social media when I can’t stop by to browse.  Luckily, they are now just a few miles from my home, which means I can always make a quick shopping trip on the weekends.

Thrifter’s Rock, located half-way between Wasilla and Palmer has been a favorite of mine for a while now.  Run by a local church to support their missionaries, they have amazing sales and a pretty good rotating inventory.  Just 10 minutes from our house, they are always a first choice when thrifting.


SledAnother new favorite is Chickadee in nearby Palmer, just 15 minutes from our house.  I’d been wanting to check them out since spotting them earlier this summer, but schedules just hadn’t permitted it until recently.  I knew I’d hit the jackpot when I spotted this antique sled out front as soon as I stepped out of the truck!  And at just $26.50 it was a great deal!

Vintage Poppy in downtown Palmer has been on my radar for a while now too.  I made it a point to visit them when I was visiting from Kodiak and ended up buying the “Moose, It’s what’s for dinner” sign that hangs in our kitchen on one of those trips.  There are also other vendors in the same shop, including Alaska Chicks and Love Nugget Designs, so they always have a variety of apparel, accessories, home decor and antiques.   I haven’t been in since the Alaska Picker moved out of this spot and into their own digs so I think it’s high time I return to check out what’s going on.

There are still a few stores I’ve spied, but haven’t had  a chance to check out just yet, like Happy Dawn’s Thrift Store located between our house and Wasilla, which looks like it might be a perfect resource for home decor project materials.  I also need to check out the Value Village I spied at the far end of town since it seems pretty large.

Of course I have grand plans to hit the multitude of antique shops throughout Wasilla and Palmer this summer, so watch for projects from those adventures!  What’s your favorite thrift shop or boutique?

Finding My CHI and My Lucky Streak All at the Same Time!

I’ve had a CHI flat iron for about 2 years now and love it.  I was first introduced to the brand when I borrowed my mother-in-law’s iron while visiting her and instantly knew I wanted to upgrade from my ‘bargain brand’.  Unfortunately, it recently developed a short where the cord connects to the iron.  I first thought it had popped the fuse because it wouldn’t turn on, so I hit the rest button on the plug with no success.  But the heating indicator light came on when I moved the cord, so although I was able to continue using it with the cord strategically positioned, I knew the end was in sight.

I originally thought I’d hold out for a black Friday sale, but then I saw a purple CHI flat iron on sale at JC Penney while browsing a beauty look book in my Shopkick app!  (Seriously, if you don’t have this app, get it now.  It’s become an obsession for my hubby.)  Same awesome brand, but in purple and on SALE from $95 to $74.99?!  Um OK!

The only JC Penney around is downtown, which always means parking hassles and traffic, so I wasn’t looking forward to the shopping trip, but it was worth it.  Luckily the hubs was off and wanted to run errands with me, so I let him drive on the snowy roads.  This was just the beginning of my lucky streak.  Not only did we find a curb-side spot right by the door, but just as we were about to put coins in the meter a woman passing by explained that you don’t have to pay the meters on the weekends!  Say what?!  If I’d known that… nah, I still wouldn’t like driving downtown.

Once inside we collected our ‘kicks’ and then were quickly directed to the salon by a Bieber look-a-like (figured if anyone would know where it was, it’d be him! LOL) and the sales lady there knew exactly what I was looking for when I asked.  She also helped us get an additional 20% off for being retired military on Veterans Day weekend and explained the warranty on my old CHI would probably be honored if I sent it back to them.  More good to know info!

And the cherry on top was realizing that the new iron came with a free gift – a bottle of CHI silk infusion serum!  Score!


I’ve used the new iron twice now and am pleased with how it performs.  It’s a little different than my old model, in that the indicator light and on/off switch are on the inside of the iron rather than the side.  It doesn’t have a heat selection option like my old iron did, but I honestly never really changed it other than when I’d bump it accidentally and then wonder why my iron wasn’t very hot! So it’s not a feature that I really miss.  The cord on the new iron is also much longer than the old one, which I appreciate.

I’ll be contacting CHI about my old iron to see if there’s anything they can do about that.  Wouldn’t hurt to have a spare  on hand – maybe I’d even keep it at work for those days when the weather kills my style. 🙂

Banana Republic for Under $5!

I decided to check out a thrift store I’d spotted around the corner from my office while at lunch today.  I’m glad I did, because I found this beauty just sitting on a rack waiting for me to find it!


I loved the bright color and the short sleeves because summer is finally making an appearance here in mainland Alaska, albeit slowly.  I about swooned when I saw the price tag of $4.50!  Seriously?  There were no rips, tears or snags anywhere that would justify that price, but I wasn’t about to look a gift horse in the mouth.

I continued browsing hoping to find another super sweet deal and spotted a cute little Uncle Sam figure for $3.  I won’t share him now since he is very likely to show up in my patriotic decor change over this weekend!  All together I walked out of the store for $7.50!  You just can’t beat that.  I would have paid that total for the jacket alone!

When I got home this evening I tested it out with a favorite layering piece.  Of course it’s just adorable!  Even with wrinkles!  I love that it’s versatile too.  I can see pairing it with jeans, black or grey slacks or even brown pants. I might have to try it out with a cute little dress I bought while in San Diego recently too!


So that’s my bargain score for the week.  I’m pretty happy about it and will be enjoying it’s little details for a while! Including this awesome texture on texture look!  🙂


Pottery Barn Knock Off Wall Medallions

PBMedallionsI can’t explain why, but I’m completely drawn to anything with an exotic print or pattern.  Perhaps it’s because of my plain Jenna, American apple pie background – you know, the whole you want what’s different and mysterious thing?  Whatever the reason, it’s part of why I L.O.V.E. Pier One and Pottery Barn‘s eclectic accessories.  So it was no surprise that I audibly gasped when I saw these in a Pottery Barn catalog a few seasons ago.  And then quickly went into sticker shock when I saw the set of three ran $130!  Um.. I don’t think so.  No even if I had a gift card.  I just have a mental block about over-priced items.

So I did what I always do.  I pinned them for inspiration and kept an eye out for something similar at a more reasonable price.  Then one day I found some wooden trivets at a yard sale in Kodiak.  They looked pretty old and dried out, but the carving pattern was pretty similar.  Plus the lady had three – small, medium and large!  I tried not to act too interested when I asked how much she wanted.  She glanced over and mumbled, “How about $5?”  I don’t think a $5 bill ever flew out of my pocket so fast!

MUnfortunately I wasn’t blogging back then and don’t have a before picture to share, but here’s a sneak peek at what they look like now.  Of course when my hubby saw them he raised an eyebrow and asked just what I intended to do with them.  I showed him my inspiration picture and explained I wanted him to paint them white for me.  I don’t do well with painting since I’m usually in a rush and try to do thick coats instead of thin ones and usually create a pretty wide berth of over spray so we decided long ago that when it comes to painting he saves himself a headache and just does it for me.  Yes, I’m spoiled, but he is too, so it’s an even trade! 🙂

It took a few coats because the wood was so porous and dry, but they turned out beautifully.  Unfortunately we were living in military housing at the time which meant ALL of our walls were WHITE.  Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE white walls?  If not, just accept that I do.  They make me feel like I’m in a cold hospital or crappy hotel room.  That left me stumped on what to do with these newly painted pretties.  So they sat in my project pile.  Waiting for something to happen.  And then it did.  We moved!

90% of the walls in our rental are painted and I decided to do a Modern Exotic theme in our bedroom since we opted to do a road trip honeymoon rather than jet off to some foreign locale.  The pattern fit right in with the other elements in the room and the white looks great against the colored wall.  I hung them above the TV on a small wall that needed a little something to make it look finished and I’m very happy with the final look.  Especially when my version comes in at just under $10!


Another Super-Sweet Craigslist Find!

1100I’ve been looking for a dresser or hutch to live in our guest room while in the rental and then become the entry way table when we move into our new home later this year.  I knew I wanted lots of storage, preferably with cabinets, but didn’t want to spend a lot if I still had to refinish it.

I had found this piece at a local antique store and fell in LOVE with it.  I seriously daydreamed about it.  But with a price tag of $1100 I just couldn’t commit.

1600I also found this one at a local furniture boutique and was smitten especially when I realized the bottom 5 drawers were false fronts making doors that opened to cabinets!  But at $1600 I walked away again.  So I continued watching Craigslist and the local refinisher’s Facebook profiles to see if I could find something similar at a more palatable price.

While browsing during a car wash – yes I multitask often! – I spotted a posting for a couple of dressers by someone moving out of state.  One looked like it would work, although it didn’t have the cabinets I was hoping for.  I showed the post to the hubs who liked it.  So I called the guy and arranged to come take a look that afternoon.

DresserScratchCash in hand we checked the piece over and noticed a sizable ding in the top front of the dresser.  The hubs thought he’d be able to repair it when we refinish the piece, so I made an offer $25 less than what they were asking.  And the seller accepted!  It came with a matching mirror, which I wasn’t interested in but figured we could clean up and resell to off-set some of the cost of the dresser.

So we loaded it up and headed home just a few blocks away.  Good thing it wasn’t far because this bad boy is MASSIVE and TALL.  It was interesting getting it inside and upstairs with just the two of us but we did it.  And then took a well deserved break.

I cleaned it up with some Old English and filled most of the drawers with my decor materials, leaving a few for guests to use.  Unfortunately some of my larger decor pieces like my glass cloche domes and candlestick stands are too big to fit in the drawers and still have to be stored in the closet, but it holds 90% of what I wanted it to, so I think it turned out alright.

So what do you think we paid for this piece?  Remember I’m a bargainista…..


Would you believe we brought this baby home for just $100?!  It’s true!  And that included the mirror which I’ll clean up and sell in a few weeks making it even more of a deal!

We don’t plan to refinish it until we move since it will likely get dinged and scratched on the way to the new house, so that gives me time to ponder exactly what to do with it.  I’m sure we’ll paint it so that we can fix the ding in the top but need to decide on a color.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAWe do have paint left over from the little sewing table nightstand we did while in Kodiak.  Since the new house will have an extra bedroom to furnish there is a good possibility it could remain a guest room dresser.  If we use the same gray/green color as the nightstand and distress it a little to show some brown it would make a nice ‘set’.

I did find this DIY tutorial to make the same style as the $1600 dresser, so we may still end up with that in our new entry way, but I’d want it to have a molding on the bottom so I’m not constantly fishing Sangria’s tennis balls out from under it, which is a feature I was very happy to get on this bargain piece.  Although even if it didn’t, I’d still think I found a sweet deal! 🙂