pretty + cheap

Soy based candles for less


It always surprises me when I find a beautiful, delicious-smelling candle—and then I look at the price tag and it’s something outrageous like $49. I recently bought a soy based candle from Glade’s The Fragrance Collection, and was very pleasantly surprised. A nice consumer-friendly substitute to pricey designer candles. They’re available online from for $9.99, but I would keep my eyes peeled for coupons and buy one from a retailer like Target, Walmart or Walgreens.

Filed under: Decor, Home, ,

you’re so vain, you probably think this post is about you

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My boyfriend moved into a new appartment recently, so the fine art of apartment decorating has been on my mind a lot lately. As usual, I’m reminded of how much I can’t wait to move into my own place again (I’m one of those return-to-home-after-college casualties), but such is life when you’d rather crash at your parent’s house than default on your student loans. At least my room is an 8′ x 12′ place of solace. The best place in the whole room? My vanity!

Ladies: do not underestimate the power of a vanity in transforming a room from a space into a santuary. I think a huge part of why I love my vanity so much is that the entire project cost less than 100 dollars. I took the desk I used to use when I was in high school and covered the top of it with Martha Stewart craft paper ($4). I added a mirror from Fred Meyer ($20), a magnifying mirror from Ikea ($10), and then gave the vanity a shabby chic look with knobs and a stool from Target ($10, $37).  Craigslist, Goodwill, flea markets and garage sales are also great places to find one-of-a-kind accessories for a vanity.

Filed under: Decor, Home, , , , , , , ,

super affordable easter cards


I’m always surprised by how expensive greeting cards can be, so I was thrilled to find these handmade Easter cards by at Target for only a dollar each.  Add up the cost of the paper, the gemstones, the glitter and the ribbon– I couldn’t make these myself for less than a dollar!  And how could I say no to this cute little turtle?

Filed under: Holidays, Home, , ,

crazy for: chandeliers!


Nothing ups the glam-factor in a room more than a chandelier. Unfortunately, every time I see one that I like, my jaw drops to the floor at its price tag. That’s why I love Ikea. Their KRISTALLER chandelier is only 40 dollars, which makes it perfect for a budget-conscious decorator like myself.

If only installing it wasn’t such a pain…


Filed under: Home, Lighting, , ,

garden secrets


When I interned at House Beautiful in 2007, garden stools like the one above were all the rage. Now you can pick up an affordable knock off from Target for 55 dollars. I like these garden stools because of their versatility– they look just as great indoors as they do outside. I would stack a few hardcover books on top and use it as a small, decorative table in my living room.

Filed under: Garden, Home, , , ,

reclaimed wall art

When I decided to redecorate my room back in September, I didn’t realize how expensive my project was going to be. Even small items, like picture frames and photo prints, ate up an unexpected portion of my budget– but then I decided to get crafty. I found these black picture frames at Target in the back to school section. They were sold empty, two to a package. Cheap a.k.a. not super sturdy or durable frames, but they were on clearance, and I paid less than five dollars for two packages of frames.

When I got home, I searched through magazines and other scrap material that I had scattered around my room. For the top frame, I used a Bumble & Bumble shopping bag from my last trip to the hair salon. I’m minorly obsessed with these stylish black and white shopping bags, so much so, that I kept the bag because I thought it was too pretty to throw away. For the bottom two frames, I used magazine cut outs. I used a collage-type image for the middle frame from Portland Monthly magazine, and a photo from a fashion spread in Nylon magazine for the bottom frame. Aside from the actual frames, which were dirt cheap, all of the other materials I used for this project had been previously used. Talk about good for your wallet and the environment.

Filed under: Decor, Home, , , , , , , ,

look what I found: door knob magnets

I found this cool craft idea today in the Oregonian. Very clever andmost importantlyvery cheap!

Filed under: Decor, Home, ,


Ramblings about having fun and looking fabulous on a budget.

Katie loves: Libraries, writing creative nonfiction, vegetarian cooking, interior design, getting crafty, and of course... bargain hunting!