Monday, November 28, 2011

Pottery Barn Knock-Offs at Walmart

First, allow me to take this opportunity to welcome my new visitors from YFS!  It's always great to welcome company to Fabulous Island.  Please feel free to make yourself comfortable, leave a comment (or 3) and *hopefully* enjoy the fun and fabulous content here on the island.

Thanksgiving is done and, I have to be honest, I couldn't wait to drag out my tubs of Christmas stuff... I live for the grumbling about tangled Christmas lights and fluffing my 2 Christmas trees (yes, I buy fake - WHAT?! I KNOW my limitations)... The egg nog, the is-she-singing-Christmas-carols? stares I get from strangers as I shop and SNEAK things for me into my shopping cart... *Exhales adoringly* 

CHRISTMAS!

One of the first signs of Christmas 'round these parts is the stack of catalogs we get in the mail... My personal FAVORITE is the Pottery Barn catalog.  I feel like a kid when the Toys 'R' Us big book arrives - squealing with excitement ready to fight whoever thinks they're going to trash my beloved inspiration catalog! Matter of fact, Munch and I circle what we want and strategically place them in random MAN CAVE parts of the house for him to see, trip over, fuss about...Hm, maybe I should start tearing pages to have a bigger impact. 

Wish lists *stares off into space* just another thing I love about Christmas. 

Of course, I don't have the money to furnish my entire home with Pottery Barn for the holidays so I'm always looking for D.I.My(self) projects or for things with a similar look and feel for MUCH less... I was surprised to find these Pottery Barn hacks at Walmart.  Check them out:

POTTERY BARN Stockings 

Knit, embroidered, fabu--HOLD UP, does the website say $34 + $7 personalization for EACH stocking?  On second thought...

WALMART Stockings



These stockings range in prices from $15-$17 with FREE personalization and $.97 shipping (to your home or free to your neighborhood store).  There are a lot of varieties and I'm loving the solid knit ones (just purchased the cream ones for my family).  Think about the possibilites! Order personalized stockings for your family members and fill them with little gifts, a bottle of wine or even baked goods(in baggies).  These would also make GREAT hostess gifts! 

POTTERY BARN Rug

While I think it's an adorable idea... I wish there was more variety. 1 rug, PB? It's certainly NOT worth my $89.

WALMART Rugs

These rugs range from $16 - $19 and most allow you to choose from several characters to make them your own.  Worth the investment to have a seasonal rug for less than $20!  These are just a few:






POTTERY BARN Dolls

These classic dolls are the perfect gift/stocking topper for girls of all ages. Aren't they the cutest?


Well, they were the cutest until I saw they cost $40 +shipping! Do they sing? Poop? Dance? For that price, if I'm not considering claiming them on my taxes, they won't be in my Santa bag.  Sure, I'll keep them in mind but I'll also keep looking... :)

WALMART Dolls
OMG, these little babies are absolutely fabulous.  They're $19 with free personalization on their little dresses.  What little girl wouldn't love a baby doll with their name? Perfect for room decor, a fluffy bed buddy for those scary nights and they too make great gift/stocking toppers.  Uh, YES PLEASE!

I could probably search and find  fabulous PB-inspired decor at affordable prices all day.  However, right now, I have some Walmart ordering to do so we'll have to pick this up at another time, mmK?



What are you searching for this holiday?

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Friday, November 25, 2011

Thankful.

Turkey Bow I made for Munchface's Thanksgiving outfit.

Thankful.  Grateful.  Blessed.  Me.

I am amazed at how great my life is. I have a good job, great friends, an awesome family, and this little island to visit whenever I want. 

In case you haven't seen me with my handy dandy notebook, I'm a list person.  You know that person who has a LIST of tasks, a LIST of things to buy, a LIST of things I want, a LIST of dream things for the home... A LIST-FOR-EVERYTHING PERSON... Yes, that's me.

I find that writing things down makes me feel more accountable to actually get them done (even when I've already completed them).  It's also a great way to track what I do day-to-day, nag remind my hubby of the Saturday projects, and keep my busy life on track (not to mention, the AMAZING feeling I get for every item I cross out).
For thanksgiving, I'm creating a list of things I never THINK anything of but I know my life would not be the same without:
  • The smile on Munchface's face when I don't want to open my eyes on Saturday mornings at 7AM - it reminds me to have joy every morning.
  • Family dances - they remind me that no night-out compares to a night-in with my family.

  • The smell of dinner cooking - it reminds me to be thankful for another meal.

  • The memories of family members and people I will never see again - they remind me to cherish today.

  • The early morning commute to work - though much shorter than a few months ago, it reminds me to be thankful for a job.

    
    My besties from work and I.
    
  • My long days and short nights - they remind to live a full life.

    Catching a nap after my bday party a while back.
  • Kisses on the forehead when Hubby comes home and seeing that he still carries a love note I wrote 9 years ago in his wallet - the kisses and note remind me to stay connected and ever-thankful for a successful (not meaning he doesn't get on my nerves) marriage.


My family is far from perfect. My house is far from spotless. My legacy is far from honorable. My life is far from memorable... But I'm thankful to still have my todays and my tomorrows to strive. To thrive. To work towards a better me.


Life's bumps and bruises are evidence of a well-lived life!  What are you thankful for?

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Monday, November 21, 2011

Mama-Made Monday

There is something about catchy blog titles that motivates me to write.  Mama-Made, hmmm... I likes!  Well, if you follow me on Twitter @CtheFabNLife, then you know I've been excited and preparing for an upcoming guest post.  I had to make something on short funds and, while I feel that's my specialty, it was difficult to narrow the topic.  I couldn't sit down and just throw something on e-paper like I do here.  I mean, this is home to me... So, I put on my Sunday best for company and got focused.

Me. My water in my adult sippy cup. My fuzzy Uggs. O and loud football cheers from the hubs who, no matter how large the sofa is, always manages to have his thigh touching mine ("why are you stretched all across the sofa? Is it so your thigh heat can make my thigh sweat?! UGH.")

I type. Backspace. I- backspace. Am I? Backspace. Sip Water.  sgsldigfuhsreug- backspace. backspace. BACKSPACE!

I just couldn't get motivated to narrow my topic.  OK. Tabitha, breathe.  Relax. Is my heart racing?

WHY AM I SO NERVOUS?!!!!

That's it. I had to make something to calm me down.  Something pretty and small to keep my mind focused on finishing a project and NOT on writing words that might lead to judgements that might bring out my insecurities, thus, causing sweat stains under my arms.  TMI? Well, if I can't say it here to my FRIENDS then WHO can I say it to...

Sometimes, just sitting still long enough to make something allows me to escape the incomplete projects around my home.  Like that basket of laundry that needs to be folded or that pile of donation items for Goodwill or that sock bin that needs to be matched... Sometimes seeing something through to the end gives me a little sense of completion which motivates me to tackle larger projects... Hmm, maybe this crafting is more like therapy than a hobby... Hot glue for thought.

Anyways, here's what I used to warm-up my creativity. Isn't she lovely?


O cupcake clippie, how I heart thee!  Of course, I'm willing to share a tutorial on here but this post is just to let you know everyone needs a push and sometimes we have to give ourselves a kick in the butt to continue the forward momentum.  Plus, with this cupcake clippie, I had a vision and needed to make sure I could do it before I actually documented the process; tutorial coming, I promise! It was just the perfect dose of Tabby-you-can-do-this that I needed to amp myself up for a guest post over at the CRAZY SUCCESSFUL Your Finances Simplified.  Check this site out for amazing tips to control your finances.  Some of my favorite posts include:




So, yep-yep! Momma's making waves and trying not to let the fear of exposure get me too sea sick :)  Sometimes, I stop and make something to remind myself why I stranded myself on Fabulous island in the first place... So, I did it and here's a sneak peak of 1 of the projects featured:



Do you have projects to check off of your list?

No reason not to start TODAY!

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How do you motivate yourself? 

Friday, November 18, 2011

Frugal Friday - Fabulous Floral Arrangements

Happy Frugal Friday, Islanders!

Confession: whenever I say, "island" I can envision myself with a smoothie on the beach playing tag with beads of sweat on my brow... the salty taste of the sea in the back of my throat... a good book screaming for my attention beside my beach chair... Shooooot, I might start using that word "island" more often. Anyways, I'm back from my much-needed momentary vacation... Maybe... well, for now.

Let's get to today's frugal tip, shall we?

FLORAL ARRANGEMENTS... ON THE CHEAP!

I was asked to create baby shower floral arrangements for a client/friend on a next-to-nothing budget this past Saturday.  The only requirement was to keep in mind these were for 6 small tables so I knew vases could not be large... Off I went on a hunt for narrow vases only to realize they were in the $5-$10/each price range.  WHAT?! I mean, my entire budget would be BLOWN on 3 or 4 vases alone... NOT AN OPTION! I considered purchasing the vases and just going crazy crafty using things OTHER than flowers but the labor-intensive option was not worth it in this case... SO, I looked around at what I had and I made it work!  Here's what I came up with:

From this:
Just a can of tomatoes with the label removed.

To this:
Covered with purple card stock.

With flowers:

How'd I do it? Here goes...

Supplies
- Containers (I used a can and other random jars from around my house and pantry).
- Coordinating card stock and scrap booking paper
- Embellishments (ribbon and buttons)
- Hot glue gun
- Hot glue
- Scissors

Steps 
1. Measure the circumference of your bottle.  You can use a ruler OR, do like I did, and just wrap the paper around the bottle making creases so you know where to cut.  Here's a pic of my fancy "technique" ;) 
Lazy crafter, I know but how about I'm all Idon'tcare.com about it?!


I just cut above the creases...
 2. Glue the paper to the container.

3. Add embellishments.

For the can, I used 2 sizes of circle punches. I glued the larger paper punch to the container. With the smaller punched paper,  I got fancy!  I balled it up, pinched the center to make it look ruffled, then glued right on top of the flat circle.  I added a button and BOOM SHAKA-LAKA!! Pretty paper flower embellishment is born.

4. I added ribbon to unify the look of every arrangement.

5. Add flowers. I purchased various floral mixes from my neighborhood Wegman's and combined them to ensure each container had a similar arrangement.  Note: I typically prefer a solid color if the vase has a lot going on but in this case the client wanted a little more variety.

6.  Do a victory dance, call yourself your hero and yell "TAKE THAT" to the stores who almost got your money! OR you could quietly enjoy the beauty you created from what you had... As for me, I'm still snappin' and 2-steppin' because I saved $40 - $60 and the mommy-to-be LOVED them!

Check out the other arrangements:
Mason Jar

Small Mason Jar

Spaghetti Sauce Jar

Salsa Jar
Small Mason Jar
Seeing these images reminds me to save jars.  What an affordable and fabulous way to place small arrangements around your home or event space.  Other uses for jars include: Soap dispenser (they sell lid kits at your craft/hardware store), desktop office supply holders (ribbon would make my paper clip holder fab? DONE!), bathroom supplies (Q-Tip, cotton balls, bobby pins, etc.) organizers and so much more.  So, before you trash (or recycle) it, think of what else you could do with it! 


All together...

 How do you turn trash to treasure or re-purpose in the name of making something fabulous? 

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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Southern Charm Bridal Shower Wrap-Up

The long and VERY overdue Southern Charm Tea Party wrap-up is finally here! As a heads up, this is photo-heavy post but it kinda needs to be for you to get the full event experience, right? RIGHT! :) 

"Soon to become Mrs. T, come shower the bride-to-be.
Hats, gloves and tea party wear, we're sure Tamara would love to see you there!"

Let's just walk through the space first, shallllll we?  Here's what guests saw as they arrived:

  

I lined a walkway with pinwheels and made the floral T (for Mrs. Tamara TURNER-to-be).  Want to know how I made it? Check out the post here.

Flowers? Yes, of course! I used arrangements for both decor and gifts as it was Mother's Day Eve (don't even give me the side eye like you don't stretch your holidays out... I have a birthday eve, a Valentine's Day eve, an Anniversary eve...).  I purchased white pitchers and filled them with floral mixes to match the decor.  Who needs more random vases? Get creative and put flowers in anything that can hold water! Aren't they fab?

Tammy's Grandmother's Arrangement.
I got a lot of questions about how to achieve the look of sliced fruit in such a wide vase.  I recommend, the vase inside of a vase technique(I bought a dollar store vase).  The closer the vases are in size, the easier to achieve a neatly stacked look.

Groom's Mom Arrangement

Bride's Mom's Arrangement.

The pergola was built BY the bride's MOM... OMG! IT HAD TO BE A FOCAL POINT... We hung tissue paper poms and I made a pillow case pennant banner to give it some drama. This area housed the large teapot-shaped planting pot (guests signed it as the guestbook), the recipe station (guests brought yummy ideas for the bride-to-be) and the gift/card area.  


 
That fabulous card box is a planter I "borrowed" from her mom's garage and placed lavender tissue paper in the bottom.  She used it for the wedding because it was really THAT beautiful!


Other decor items:

Dessert display centerpiece.
Food was kept on the balcony close to the house.
 Let's talk food, shall we?  We kept to theme by offering southern comfort food in bite-sized portions. So, mini mac-n-cheese, sweet cornbread muffins, fried party wings, chicken salad sandwiches, and so much more was well received.  We also created a dessert display with mini eclair pies, mini sweet potato pies, mini chocolate pies, sugar cookies, cupcakes, blueberry bread, etc.


Sweet tea was served from my Wal-Mart drink dispenser and placed on decorative columns.  The columns are for more than just wedding aisles folks and cost $15 at your neighborhood craft store.  Also, guests LOVED the Mason jars I splurged on for drinking... i made an easy tulle topper to ensure guests had their sweet tea bug free! Wanna know more about it? Click here

Bottomline, it was too much good food not to put guests in a great mood for loads of fun. 

Yes, Munch is dressed like a piece of decor, what of it?! LOL.
 



Speaking of fun, let's get things started.  First the bride's entrance...

She LOVED the floral letter!





 Time for games...

Game 1. Bridal Walk off.  I made up this game to keep with my recipe for successful events.  SHAKE SOMETHING! So, Tammy isn't our average bride and will not have our average walk down the aisle. It was up to our guests to come up with a diva-appropriate walk for our bride-to-be.  We blasted Beyonce's "Single Ladies" and I demonstrated first:

 

Guests lined up and got ready for fun!

That's my mommy starting it off!

Our top 3 finalists - My mommy, Jamica and Munchface (you see her arms and face).

AND THE WINNER IS??
 ZION!!

I love this picture by the way, OMG. Who was on camera duty? O wait, it was me!  LOL.

Can I just say she was SO excited  Here's how it went ALL that night around our house:

"O mommy, did you see me? I was doing this *pose* and THIS *pose* and *face* and *pose*" Then she'd runway walk her naked butt to the bathroom for her bath.

Of course the bride had to walk the runway to show us how it was REALLY done... Note: this game made for a fab photo-op for all of the guests. I made a small collage of each guest's walk for the bride.

Game 2. Are You an Avid Learner About Mr. Turner.  10 questions about the groom were asked to guests and the bride. For every one the bride got wrong, she had to hold a Tootsie Roll in her mouth.  The guest with the most correct answers won a prize.

Game 3. Do You Know It All About Ms. McCall? 10 questions were asked about the bride and the guest who had the most correct won!

Game 4. Name that tune: Bridal Edition.   After playing snippets from 8 songs, the BONUS round started.

Me: "OK, we've done the title/artist and given a point to whomever could sing the next line but do you know the moves to THIS SONG??"

*insert cha-cha slide* and guests got up dancing... So cute. Auntie was into it so I had to cut the music right at the "how low can you go?" 
 part.

2 of the guests tied so we had a bonus dance round. Next song? R.Kelly's "Step in the Name of Love"... SINCE they couldn't do it alone, they did it together... Please note, the bride was supposed to be judging but couldn't sit still - LOL.

Game 5.  Tulle Kit. I split the group into 3 teams, handed them a bag of supplies and they had to come up with a diva veil for the bride.  Note: we combined this game with the toilet paper dress game.


Other activities included: mingling, giggling, dancing, eating and...



POSING! We set-up a photo booth area with boas, glasses, wands, hats and even a hoola hoop.  As you can see, Munch was ready to GO with her pose.

Finally, the affordably delicious CAKE:


Wal-Mart bakes their own cakes (if you didn't know...). I had 2 layers of each size baked and frosted for around $25.  I added the ribbon and fresh flowers right before the event started. It was gorgeous and really gave the simple southern elegance I was looking for.

All-in-all, this was a TYPICAL Tabby event... Equal parts fun and fabulosity for all who made it.  I don't just make my events pretty... I make them pretty awesome!  P.S.  I got a little conceited and I admit to toot-tooting my own horn... Every now and again, I have to be my own super hero and if you don't do that, you're missing out.  Nothing like being able to make yourself feel good :)

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Minnie Favor Bag Ideas and A FREE Printable!

Last week's Wordless Wednesday post was a sneak peek into the fabulous first birthday party hosted for god baby 'Lani. I know. ...

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