Sweaty and Saving

Looking for cute workout clothes on a budget? Don’t, uh, sweat…I’ve got you covered!

While I love a good piece of Lululemon workout gear, there are so many cute, cheap fitness brands and accessories that it’s easy to put together a cute gym outfit without spending in the triple (!) digits. I’ve rounded up a few of my favorite affordable fitness finds below. Did I mention the Adidas duffle bag pictured below is only $11.99?! Also, I’m absolutely loving that yoga mat. What would you pick?

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Water bottle, duffle bag, yoga mat, tank, leggings

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Ginger Jar Bar Cart

Image.
Image.

I already mentioned the other day that I’m a bit of a furniture fanatic…let’s just say that when it comes to bar carts, my crazy tendencies are even more magnified!

In my first apartment in New York City, I used a small console table from Pier 1 as my “bar cart,” but honestly it never had any bottles on it and mostly just held cute cups, straws, coffee table books, and the like. When I moved to Philadelphia, a friend of mine told me she was selling her gold, vintage-looking bar cart for only 30 bucks, and you can bet I jumped on the subway to her place to take that baby home (don’t worry, I took an Uber for that part) the minute she was free! However, since that cart is pretty large, I ended up eventually using it as a side table next to my bed (I was inspired by the image below), and I used a different cart (also a secondhand score!) for the actual bar supplies. Whew, that’s a lot to keep track of, I kind of have furniture ADD at times! Let’s not talk about the other cart I purchased from Goodwill and then fixed up and sold…

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If you’re a normal person who only buys ONE bar cart and sticks with it (please teach me your ways), you may now be wondering how to style it. While there are a million posts floating around the internet on how to decorate a bar cart, I’ll have to say that coming across the above image on Pinterest definitely inspired me. Ginger jars have been and continue to be all the rage among bloggers and other interior decor-obsessed folks, and I love the idea of storing them on the bottom shelf of a cart.

I guess I would maybe worry about them getting knocked over by eager bar cart visitors (ha!), but otherwise I’m totally on board. Thoughts on this look?

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Pink & Gray Bedroom Decor

Abstract art + cozy bedding + fun pillows...what more could I want?
Abstract art + cozy bedding + fun pillows…what more could I want? (Image from Adore Home Magazine)

These two images popped up on my Pinterest feed a few days ago and I saved them right away—while these aren’t the normal colors to which I gravitate when decorating, I absolutely love how the pink looks with the various shades of grey and wood accents.

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Image found here.

The colors and accessories are also giving me serious H&M home vibes—if you haven’t checked out their products before, hop right on over! I’ve ordered pillow covers from the site for less than $5 each, and the small décor items are super cute and affordable, too. Now if only this pillow was still available! I’ve rounded up a few items from the site that could easily be used to recreate the looks shown above.

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Pink blanket, wood box, wood tray, fitted sheet, pillow

 

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Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

When it comes to home decorating, no detail is too small! Image via Apartment Therapy.
When it comes to home decorating, no detail is too small! Image via Apartment Therapy.

I have a bit of a furniture addiction. I think I shop for furniture the way other people shop for clothes (as in: too frequently, and sometimes a bit impulsively). I found some great deals while living in Philly, but since I didn’t have a car, things sometimes got a bit tricky (to the couple in South Philly who hoisted a campaign-esque shelf down two floors with a rope and then helped me place it in an Uber, thank you). But I rarely regret a purchase and generally have a vision for how I’d like to style it. And getting a good deal is always important. The situation I describe below was no different.

This past spring, I came across two adorable bamboo pieces (one nightstand, one dresser) on Craigslist for pretty affordable prices. I thought they would look great painted (of course that would have to wait until I was living somewhere other than in my tiny Philadelphia studio), but hey, I had a vision! I went ahead and purchased the nightstand as soon as I saw it listed, but I couldn’t rationalize buying the dresser as well at that time. Luckily, I ended up staying in touch with the seller over the next couple of months. But when I finally decided I was ready to purchase the dresser, she told me that actually, she wasn’t ready to sell! So I waited. Then one day she texted me and we negotiated the price down a bit more (even though she had received several full price offers, she could tell how much I loved the piece and wanted it to go to a good home–plus she figured that since I already had the nightstand, it may be beneficial for me down the road to have both items as a set). In this case (but definitely not normally, especially when it comes to Craigslist) patience was a virtue!

SO. Now that I’ve gotten the backstory out of the way….This weekend I’m embarking on a bit of a DIY project. Both of the bamboo pieces are sort of a yellow/light wood color that looks fine but isn’t exactly the look I’m going for. I had heard about Annie Sloan chalk paint after doing some googling, and even though I would love more of a lacquered look, it just seems too complicated. And sending the pieces out to get them painted would cost nearly three times as much as I paid for the dresser alone, yikes! So Annie Sloan chalk paint it is. I’m hoping to use a few coats of the Napoleonic Blue to get the look pictured below. Can’t wait to share the finished product!

The dresser I purchased kind of looks like this one, only mine is half the size!
The dresser I purchased kind of looks like this one, only mine is half the size!

Have any of you done a DIY with chalk paint? Would love to hear your tips!

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DIY “Press for Champagne” Craft

Loving my finished product!
Loving my finished product!

So, I have been obsessed with these adorable Press for Champagne frames for quite awhile, but after having searched Etsy multiple times, I have never been able to find one that’s both cute and in my price range (though if I had an extra $75 to spend on a necessary unnecessary piece of home decor, I’d totally scoop up this one).

After reading a few DIY tutorials (this one is awesome, and I modified it a bit to make mine), I decided to go ahead and make my own sign for cheap. No printer? No worries– I literally printed out the text for the frame at my local library, this is NOT a difficult project! I am thrilled with the final product, even if it didn’t go 100 percent as planned.

The frame I ordered from Etsy was less than $10 but smaller than I thought it would be, which meant that the “doorbell” I had picked out would be way too big for the frame. I decided to instead order a cute button (also from Etsy!) that had detailing in the center so that it could kind of work as a “bell” (go with me here…), and I fastened it to the front of the glass frame using a glue gun. Since the frame I ordered didn’t come with a hook to hang on the wall, I ordered a cheap package of sawtooth hooks from Amazon, which will be perfect when I eventually display this piece by my bar cart.

While I still spent some money purchasing the materials for this project, my total cost was no more than $20-25 total (thanks for charging me a whole dollar to print out ONE piece of paper, library!) and I know this is a piece of art that I’ll be keeping around for awhile!

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Tuesday Tidbits

This sassy pillow is on sale...run, everyone!
This sassy pillow is on sale…run, everyone!

1) These adorable (witty, sassy, on point) needlepoint pillows from Furbish are now ON SALE! Run, do not walk, over to their site, as I’ve never seen these discounted before! I absolutely love how Katey of Chronicles of Frivolity styled hers, as shown above.

2) How cute would the pennant below be in an office? It screams happiness. Use Hobby Lobby’s 40 percent off coupon on their site for an even better deal.

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3) I love anything by Jennifer Close, but the fact that her latest book is about a couple that lives in DC is bound to make it even better! Can’t wait to pick this one up. Has anyone read it yet?

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Tips & Tricks, Take 2

This picture sure isn't helping cure my obsession with decorating...
This picture sure isn’t helping cure my obsession with decorating…

From My Domaine: “This Is What Your Home Décor Obsession Says About You, According to Science,” by Kelsey Clark. You mean there’s an actual reason I can’t get enough of home décor? Hmm!

From Domino.com: “How to have fun at the office when you DON’T have summer Fridays.” I’m thankful that my workplace gives us shorter hours in the summer NOT just on Fridays but all week, woo! However, this is my first time getting any benefit of this type and I can fully relate to the frustration that comes with spending a full Friday indoors when it’s nice out. Not sure what I think about all of these (some seem a little too leisurely for most workplaces), but some of the ideas could be cute for an after-hours work celebration.

From BuzzFeed: “21 Perfect NYC Coffee Shops You Should Visit ASAP,” by James Harness. What’s the point in stopping at Starbucks when there are so many unique places to try? Gotta save this one for my next trip up to NYC—love Happy Bones!

From Kelly in the City: “Life Lately,” by Kelly Larkin. I love Kelly’s blog and the MAC studio fix foundation she mentioned seemed to be calling my name after I read about it! Since I also have fair skin and didn’t want a “cakey” look, I decided to give it a try. After a quick trip to the MAC counter at Nordstrom, I settled on this product—already loving it (now if only I was as good as the workers there are at doing makeup!).

From Love Always Audrey: “DIY Floppy Hats,” by Audrey. This tutorial looks so fun and makes me want to take a trip to the craft store, stat! I don’t know if I would have the patience to make a hat that looks as good as the ones pictured, haha.

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Tips & Tricks, take 1

Talk about a winning morning routine...
Talk about a winning morning routine…

While I hope to share a few of my own tips and tricks along the way, I’m always finding great ones across the web (oh, and as a journalist myself, I’ll always, always include an author’s byline below–gotta give credit where credit is due!). Click the links below and bookmark for later (I have a whole Pinterest board dedicated to tips like these, and it’s a great way to file everything in one place!):

From Bustle: “10 Successful Women Share Their Morning Routines,” by Genevieve Fish. Curious as to what the other half does before breakfast? More on the morning routines of Victoria Beckham, Gwenyth Paltrow, and Anna Wintour, right over here.

From The Everygirl: “What Happened to Hobbies,” by Daryl Lindsey. I am so guilty of ending my evening with every intention of diving into a new book, but social media always gets in the way (in fact, I came across this piece linked on Instagram when I was scrolling through the app instead of settling into bed with After You– which I scored for 50 cents at my local thrift shop after almost buying it at full price, I’d like to note!)

From DC Girl in Pearls:Buffalo Roasted Chickpea Wraps,” by Lauren Anne. Ok, I love chickpeas and am always in need of good desk lunches—I work in the suburbs without all of the usual lunch joints in close proximity—so I am hoping to whip up Lauren’s nutritious, affordable meal idea sometime soon!

From The Stripe: “So You’re An Aspiring Cat Lady?” by Grace Atwood. One of those candid columns that’s so good that you immediately have to text the link to your best friend (or at least that’s what I did!).

From Gen Y Girl: “7 Easy Ways Millenials Can Save Money Right Now,” by Kayla Buell. Whether you’re saving for an upcoming vacation, paying off debt, or just trying to spend smarter as a whole, these practical tips are great to keep on file.

 

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