Tuesday, January 25, 2011


I am so excited for the Calligaris Parisienne chair to arrive to hip! I have been loving this chair since the moment we received the new catalog. Finally we are getting it! With all the colors available I have no clue which I would choose! Glossy white, glossy black, amber, clear, red and smoked grey. I think one of the chairs would look amazing at a vanity!



Come into Hip Furniture to check it out!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

The Joy of Budgeting

I intend to move out very soon, living at home after college has lasted a little two long (about a year and a half).In order to do this I really need to start managing my money better. Currently I do not have a lot of bills, but I have realized I spend a lot of money without even realizing it. I tried to get mint.com to work and had so many problems with it and they would not help fix it (many people were having the same problems). Then I tried using Quicken and had issues. So I kept putting off the budgeting. Finally I decided I was just going to start tracking it in an excel document. There are quite a few pre-made budgeting spreadsheets available on Microsoft. In the end I decided to take the ideas from several templates and create my own.  I made individual pages for 

  • Income
  • Food/drinks
  • Gas
  • Cell
  • Car insurance
  • Student loan
  • Clothes
  • Household items
  • Entertainment and fun
  • Health
  • Credit Card
  • Gifts

The last one is for everything. Once I have a month done I will add each category and the total amount spent into this everything list so I can see how much I am actually spending on each of these things.

Here is an image of one page of my excel sheet with all the pages below.

At this point I have almost made it a month tracking my expenses. I feel more in control by being able to actually see and analyze the expenses. I can easily go on to my banks website and see all my expenses ( I pretty much only use my debit card). However, oftentimes I don't bother looking at it and many times you don't know what the expenses were for. I have actually been keeping all my receipts and try to enter them into my spreadsheet at least every few days. I cross check these with my online account data. It has made me a lot more conscious of my spending habits and makes me not want to spend money on things I don't need.There are several things I have been focusing on to limit my spending:

  • Cutting back on my coffee fix - this has not been successful yet :(
  • Limiting eating out and getting $8 drinks! What a waste!
  • Avoiding stores even Target- those are the worst for me I always spend money on things I really don't need but think I do

I am actually + $30 in my clothes budget. How you say? Well I had to return two items from Christmas and I was still able to buy a few things! Pretty cool. Even though mom says I need to use it on things actually for me :)

I really enjoyed this article about a woman with a shopping problem. Our society has become so obsessed with the value of objects. The car you drive, the phone you text on, the outfit, shoes and accessories you strut yourself in, the place you live and what you have. Do any of these things really mean anything? Do they bring any value to our life? Everyone needs clothes and a phone and a place to live but we need to learn to be less focused on these things as they should not be a value of who you are as a person.

What do you guys do to limit/control your spending?

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Deep Rich Blues

Lately I have been seeing some great rich blue colors. I have always loved all shades of blue but these intense navys are just to die for. I am looking forward to incorporating some of them into my apartment (once I finally move out). Enjoy the photos, i'm sure there will be more to come.


Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Soap Making

Several years ago I loved making soap for gifts. This last holiday season, I decided to share my secret with my group of friends and teach them how to make soap for loved ones. All supplies can be found at Michaels or another craft store. The main things you will need are:
  • glycerin soap brick
  • soap molds
  • soap scent
  • soap dye (or watercolors)
  • a microwave
  • a stirring utinsel (I like using a wooden skewer I can just throw away)
  • Microwave safe bowl
  • sharp knife and cutting board
  • plastic wrap
First slice the soap into cubes cutting along score lines. It depends on how many soaps you want to make with the same scent and color. If you are making a lot, use lots of soap, if you are just making one only use about three depending on the size of the mold. It's all about experimenting.

 Place the cubes in your microwave safe container and stick in the microwave according to the directions on the package. I believe it is generally 30 second interval, stirring occasionally.

Once completely melted carefully remove from microwave. You will then mix in your color using the desired amount. There are specific soap colorants at the craft store but I have also found that using watercolors creates beautiful colors as well.

Next add several drops of soap fragrance (depending on how big your batch is).

Make sure you have completely mixed in your scent and colorant using the skewer or knife, whatever works! Slowly pour mixture into mold filling to the top. If you decide to only fill it halfway it will be very difficult to get it out. I learned this the hard way.

Allow the soap to cool completely for easy removal. If you get to anxious, you may be able to get some of the soaps out, you also may crack your mold. I learned this the hard way as well. Here is the finished product!

Now wrap the soaps up individually in plastic wrap to hold in their scent. They are ready to give as gifts!

There are many different things you can do in making the soap.

  •  insert objects in soap such as a small toy or a ring
  • create two toned soaps by layering the soap colors
  • holiday soaps
  • put in additives into soap-herbs, coffee beans, oatmeal
I hope you enjoyed reading the simplicity of making soap!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Apothecary Jars

I received a large clear apothecary jar for Christmas and recently purchased a smaller one. I can't seem to figure out what I want to put in them. Do you guys have any suggestions? I could do:

Fruit (fake of course)

Image from displayfakefoods.com


Image from sallyleebythesea.com 


Image from kikareichert.com.br


Image from housebeautiful.com


Image from slightlyoff-center.com 

I do like these ideas, but don't feel they are very original. I want something unique for my home. Any suggestions of other things you guys have seen?

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Love this look

Little Green Notebook led me to to this fine blog where Tina shows a stunning $2300 cabinet recreated for $125 + a few supplies!

Original expensive cabinet

Ikea Besta Cabinet ($125) after upholstery nails were applied in desired pattern.

This is such a unique look, I just <3 it!

Skin Deep

I just found a very interesting website, completely unrelated to something I would generally post on. However, it had such an effect on me I figured everyone should know about this. The website is called Skin Deep which is a safety guide for cosmetics and personal products. It is ran by the Environmental Working Group to show you the toxity of the ingrediants in your products. They even have a section for baby products; I looked up Johnson's and Johnson's baby lotion and found it is a moderate hazard 6 out of 10!!! This is a product people are using on babies and the ingrediants have been known to lead to:

 They even said 90% of other baby lotions had a lower risk! Eeek! I will definitely be checking this database for products I currently use as well as before I go shopping. I don't quite understand how this isn't regulated better. I challenge you to buy products with a low hazard and get rid of any with a moderate or high hazard!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Spray Painting

I finally found the perfect lamp bases a few nights ago. I have been searching for two that match... impossible! I finally found two that were petite and very similar so I bought them for a few dollars at Goodwill. I also have accumulated a few candle stick holders I wanted to spray paint. I found the best selection and great prices on spray paint at Fred Meyers! Krylon was on sale for $2.99! I found two cool colors took my supplies out and began working. This is my first spray paint project and sure enough I ended up with drips. I just searched for how to fix spray paint drips and found that lightly sanding the area and then reapplying a light coat of spray paint will do the trick. Here your will find ten good tips for spray painting furniture. Stay tuned for the finished product!


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Easy Christmas Wreaths

My group of girlfriends decided to do a white elephant gift exchange but the catch was you had to make it. For some reason I could not figure out what to make. I stopped in at Michaels and found 60% off wreaths and many decorative items. I was able to purchase supplies for 2 wreaths for $13! I made one for myself and one for the gift exchange. I was very suprised to see how easy it was to create this.
First, gather supplies. I used  a basic green wreath, ribbon, mini ornaments, pine cones,  faux berries, and a good hot glue gun.

I then arranged where everything would be placed on the wreath. Once I figured the perfect Arrangement I began hot gluing everything done. Each wreath probably only took 20 minutes to complete! Super easy! Below is the finished product!

I encourage you all to give it a try for your home or to give away as a gift!