If you guys hadn’t noticed already…I’ve stopped posting temporarily. Things got very busy with my day job, and I’ve entered a period of re-evaluating what value this blog can provide to everyone.
A great number of my original reasons for beginning this blog 8.5 years ago have now changed, and I’ve begun a transition to a new phase of my life. What this means is I am still trying to determine the best content that I can provide, and what would be the best format. How to best serve all of you.
I just needed a bit of a break to figure out what’s on the road ahead for all of us.
Thanks for your understanding as we enter into the next phase. 🙂
Photo taken of the open road in the Frenchglen/Steens Mountain area, Oregon.
My bathroom cabinet was a mess – overflowing with expired meds, unused items, and general junk. (If yours is only half as bad I’ll feel slightly better. I mean, who keeps a bottle of silly putty slime from their son’s 7th birthday party in their medicine cabinet??! (My son is now 10 and a half.) But I digress.) The first step in a makeover is to remove!
Remove everything and go through it mercilessly.
2. Wipe down the inside of the cabinet and remove the shelves (if you can). Apply a pretty washi tape to the edges of the shelves, cutting the ends flush with the ends of the shelves.
3. Measure the inside of the cabinet and cut a piece of shelf paper that matches in size. Remove the backing to the paper and, starting at the top inside of the cabinet, start applying the paper, smoothing down as you go.
4. My cabinet had screws in the center of the back, so I used a box cutter to carefully cut out a round hole for each screw as I encountered it. I then carefully smoothed the shelf paper around it to remove bubbles and lumps.
5. Once the paper was flush with the back of the cabinet and secure, I replaced the shelves.
And the pared-down pile of junk I still wanted to keep in there!
It looks a lot better, no? All in all – it took my about 15 minutes – and it makes me grin every day when I open it and see how pretty it is on the inside. I chose not to do the sides of the cabinet or the inside of the door just yet…because I think I want to do something different with the back of the door!
Here’s one more time, before…
and after! A huge improvement, and I’m totally happy with it.
Tell me: Have you gone crazy and papered the inside of your cabinets yet?
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So, cards on the table, I participate in the Shopbop widget program for bloggers, which means I host a Shopbop widget in my sidebar, and occasionally promote their sales as per our agreement.
Plus I shop there. At first I didn’t want to, because they were the reason Girlshop went out of business in the early 2000’s (show of hands who remembers Girlshop?? OMG I miss it so much!)…but Shopbop is an awesome, comprehensive destination for brand-name merchandise, with free shipping (2-day shipping if you’re an Amazon Prime member) to boot.
But since they sell brands, a lot of their merchandise is pricey. They sell Badgley Mischka and Zac Posen, for goodness’ sakes. Totally beyond the price range of the budget-conscious fashionista.
So I wanted to put together a list of the brands I actually DO buy on Shopbop (and don’t just drool about). There are some great, affordable finds on there…if you’re willing to look, and during a sale you can snag them up for some great prices. This blog is all about chic steals, after all! Here are some of my favorite affordable brands:
(And, I also included some brands from Shopbop that I have bought which do not fall into the affordable category IMHO, designated with an asterisk* after their names.)
1 – dRa (clothing)
A line where the styles are unique and unusual – though prices are beginning to climb.
Beautiful, delicate, cool jewelry, most for less than $65. I love the unique designs and how pretty they are. I also have a handbag by Gorjana that I used daily for a year and half…that held up great and I would get compliments on. Love it!
Though yes, you can get Free People from their eponymous stores, if you buy through Shopbop you get free shipping AND take advantage of lucrative sales. I picked up a pretty strappy bra for $26 and a draped ombre sweater for $35 that I just wear to death.
Never thought I’d pay $88 for a pair of jeans, but these are worth all that and more. I used to just buy jeans from Forever 21 and Old Navy. $29.99-$36.99. Thought I was getting a deal. My butt looked fat in them. The jeans wore out quickly. After 1 wash they were horribly stretched. If I didn’t wash them they started to smell…funky…fast. While I was wearing them by the end of the day they would literally have stretched out and be sagging around my rear. Every single pair I eventually gave away to Goodwilll…because they weren’t worth it. I probably spent $200 buying those junky jeans over the years. NO MORE. Since I began buying Blank denim (i own the Skinny jeans in Rub a Dub Dub, gray, and the destroyed boyfriend jeans), I have not bought any other denim. I don’t need to! They are beautifully soft and velvety, keep their shape no matter how long or how many days I wear them, wash and dry perfectly…flatter my curves, cover my ankles (I’m prudish like that)…and are an all-out AMAZING value for the money. Many reviewers say they are like the higher prices 7 for All Mankind luxury denim but for a mall price point, and I completely agree.
My favoritest neoprene sweatshirt is by JOA, as well as my summery striped skirt and crop top combo. Very affordable and fashionable, though skirt length and design I’ve found hit and miss. Items aren’t lined and fabrics are sometimes low-quality, but the cuts are unique and fun. Strangely, I’ve spotted JOA in Target lately, so it looks like they’re expanding their reach.
Since the Kate Spade brand has expanded to include lifestyle items, I’ve found that the homewares category (like notebooks! pens! candles!) is surprisingly affordable and utterly chic. Some jewelry is, too, around the $35 price point – and every time I wear my Kate Spade earrings I receive a compliment. Seriously – EVERY.TIME.
Draped, loose, and chic, this is another “I can’t believe I paid this much for this but I wear it so much it kinda doesn’t matter” item. I do the half-tuck thing into the above skinny jeans for the weekend days, tuck into a high-waisted skirt at the office. They span the line of casual and dressy effortlessly.
Never thought I would pay $65 for a long-sleeved shirt (on sale)…but that was probably the best $65 I spent. Amazingly soft, with a high crew-neck (so appropriate for the office too)…a little sheer if you wear a contrasting bra underneath but opaque if you choose flesh-colored,,,hugs in all the right places and skims elsewhere…long enough to cover muffin tops and hip bulges, doesn’t cling like Three Dots tees (don’t even get me started on the inappropriate Spandex content in those)…sleeves super long so they bunch at the wrists so my wrists don’t look absurdly mantis-like sticking out of the sleeves…I can’t stop singing this shirt’s praises. I wish I’d bought 6 of them, I love them so much. I wish they’d make them again. I wish they’d go on sale before other people snap them up. I wish for so much.
Though the clothing can get pricey, I have snagged an absolutely beautiful jacket (ombre, power shoulders, cropped, 80’s-style, Hawaiian-print…say that 10 times fast!) ofr around $100. But it’s the jewelry I wanted to mention here: gorgeous pieces with a bit of an edge. I actually own a surprising number of pieces because it’s THAT GOOD.
Steven offers some great styles for $130 or less. (Especially if you can grab then on sale – then you can score something pretty for around $60!) They resemble the higher-end line and still last like a boss. A GIRLBOSS.
So ladies…right now button-down shirts in blousy, dressy shapes are all the rage. I’m loving it because that means my Men’s Shirts DIY’s are once again totally topical! (The posts may be a little older and photos not great, but you can still follow along!)
Here’s how to get your craft on with 5 different projects to makeover a man’s shirt into a super-cute DIY piece for yourself:
Hi, I'm Carly. I LOVE making things: all things, from clothing to jewelry, accessories, crafts, and home decor. I infuse my life and wardrobe with DIY creativity while staying on a budget. This site is about looking and living chic for a steal, and this is how I do it.