June 2, 2017

Pom love! My favorite pom tassel trimmed fashion & decor

pom tassel
I don’t know what it is about poms that appeal to me so much. They are just so stinking cute. They have the ability to transform even the toughest, edgiest pieces of clothing into something more whimsical and fun. Below is a list of my favorite pom tassel fashion and accessories. As most of my loyal readers know, I try to keep the price point for any clothing or accessories I promote on this blog to $50 or less. But in this post, I managed to even outdo that and keep everything under $30! All that cuteness for under $30? You are welcome.

Pom tassel trimmed fashion for spring and summer

pom tassel

Details (clockwise from top right): Lulu’s Pina Colada Clutch $21, RoseGal Beach Tunic $9.99,  Shiraleah Ava Pouchette $25, Forever21 Striped  Pom Tassel Dress $28, Charlotte Russe Two-Piece Sandals $20, M. Haskell for Inc. Multicolor Necklace $26, DollSkill Sun Hat $14, WearAll Strappy Chiffon Tassel Tank $22.

Some fun pom DIY

pom tassel

I saw this wreath on Pinterest a few years ago and HAD to make it. It turned out gorgeous and I use it every Christmas as an indoor decor. You can vary the colors to match any holiday, like this Halloween wreath and this Patriotic themed wreath.

pom tassel

This pom garland would be so precious hung up in a nursery, or used as decor at a baby shower! Again by changing the colors, you can make it appropriate for so many other uses.  Try peach, aqua and gold for a little girl’s room or black and orange for a Halloween themed garland. The possibilities really are endless. I also looooove this pom rug! It looks so soft and comfy, perfect as a bathroom mat on cold tile floors.

So get your pom pom on girl! Pom trimmed clothing, accessories and decor are fun and appropriate no matter what your age, sex, income bracket, etc…They are universally cute!



March 11, 2017

St. Patrick’s Day ideas for food, fun, decor and more!

St. Patrick’s Day used to be one of those holidays I did not pay much attention to. I mean, I dressed in some green to avoid getting goosed at school by a perverted boy, and then later in life by a perverted co-worker, but I wasn’t much for decorating or seeking out green-colored food or decor. Then I married a man who is part Irish, and my whole paradigm on St. Patrick’s Day changed. Now I need to represent yo! But you know me, my darling Faking Fancy readers, I don’t just throw out some green M&M’s and call it a day. Nooo sir. I have to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a fancy way! But I needed  St. Patrick’s Day ideas for clothing, food, drinks and decor that was cheap and easy, like my cousin Cheryl…(Just kidding, she’s married now. And what happens in Lake Havasu…)

Cute, affordable St. Patrick’s Day outfits

First things first I’m a realist..(my blog’s fight song!) and I know that NO ONE looks good in head-to-toe green. I’m also not big on buying holiday-themed” clothing you can only wear one day of the year. Using the pieces below for inspiration, you can get all gussied up for St. Patty’s in style, without purchasing specific St. Patrick’s themed wear.

We all know the St. Patrick’s Day clothing rule, as long as you are wearing something green you are good. I love this outfit inspo collage above from Shoes & Tricks on Tumbler. Her site asked me for a password so I couldn’t get to the sources for each piece. But I found this super cute long sleeve blouse and this flirty cap sleeve blouse, both green and both only $11! If you aren’t going to wear it often try your local Goodwill or consignment store for green clothing that is even more affordable.

st patrick's day

This outfit from Polyvore is St. Patty’s Day perfection to me, minus the Tom’s. I hate those shoes. I’ve got some gray slip-on Vans I’d pair with it instead. Brown riding boots or white espadrilles would look super cute too, depending on your local weather.

Easy St. Patrick’s Day Beauty

Last year I took some green-colored hair powder my stepdaughter had and threw a streak in my under layers. It looked cool, yet totally mom-appropriate. (You can see it in my profile pic on Facebook this month!) If you don’t have green eyeshadow or nail polish on hand don’t sweat, cheap versions of each are found at the Dollar Store or even at Walgreens. If you are doing a green eye keep the rest of your face neutral, no matter how many people tell you a red lip is totally Irish. Unless you are twenty-three and dancing at the Irish festival, it’s just tooo much.

st patrick's day

How great is this Irish flag eye look? If you have hooded eyes like me the look is even more subtle and only shows when you blink or look down. The link went to sunfrog.com t-shirt shop, but the look doesn’t really require a tutorial.

st patrick's day

I also loved this subtle St. Patrick’s eye from iheartmakeupart at makeupgeek.com.  This look is pretty and versatile enough to wear out on a non-holiday as well!

st. patrick's day

With the nail art pens they have on the market now it’s possible to create all kinds of cool and creative nail looks, but I usually don’t have the time for anything too intricate. The fun and sparkly green & gold mani above is perfect for St. Patrick’s Day and doesn’t get any easier!

Quick and Delicious St. Patrick’s Day Food

I’ve never been a fan of the cabbage and corned beef dinner that is the normal dinner fare for most St. Patrick’s celebrations. But I found a few ideas and recipes for meals and snacks that are delicious AND use the same elements found in more traditional St. Patrick’s Day meals.

st patrick's day

Who doesn’t love sliders? These genius little sandwiches from realhousemoms.com look totally amazing, and, if you use potato rolls as the buns, they could not be more Irish!

This recipe for corned beef Reubens caught my eye for two reasons. One, I love Reuben sandwiches! And two, these are made in a crock-pot so you don’t have to slave over a hot stove all day.  An added bonus is the house will smell sooo good all day long!

st patrick's day

Dessert doesn’t get any easier than this scrumptious puppy chow! Just set some plastic cups and a scoop next a big bowl of it and let people scoop their own chow. Less mess and only one bowl to wash!

st patrick's day

Unless you want to hike it on down to McDonald’s sometime after dinner, making your own shamrock shakes is a MUST for St. Patrick’s Day dessert! Add some Irish cream to a separate pitcher for the grown-ups!

Fun and easy St. Patrick’s Day decor

I’m still not big on decorating for a holiday that is celebrated for only one day (versus Christmas, Halloween, and Easter). But I’ll frame some cute free printables like these ones and throw out some easy DIY decor with items. Most of the decor below can be made last minute and with items you probably already have around the house!

st patrick's day

Irish decor doesn’t get any cuter than these beer mug centerpieces filled with gold water gems and mint carnations! Carnations are super cheap and you probably already have the mugs, so the only investment is the water gems which can be found at any at amazon, any craft store and even Walmart.

st. patrick's day

The beauty of pillar vases and candles is you can use a huge variety of cheap items to fit the St. Patrick’s Day theme. The vase filler above is just dried peas, but you could also use green candy or beads. I once filled a couple of vases with coins from our vacation jar and added green candles. You could also grab a bunch of small pebbles from your neighbor’s xeriscaped lawn (shhh) and spray paint them gold. Add some green Dollar Store candles, et voila!!

St. Patrick’s Family Activities

st patrick's day

The Leprechaun toilet visit above is totally happening at my house! My kids are all teenagers but they will still find it hilarious. Check out diyprojects.com for 22 other fun and easy ideas for kid-friendly activities.

st patrick's day

Yep. Again this leprechaun beard game is definitely happening at our house. I don’t care HOW messy it gets. And knowing my stepsons, whip cream is guaranteed to get everywhere. But laughing until my stomach hurts and the resulting photo opportunities will make it well worth the mess!

I hope these fun, easy and affordable ideas help to make your St. Patrick’s Day the best ever!



February 24, 2017

How to have an awesome last-minute Oscar Party!

oscar partyThink it would be fun to have a few friends over for an Oscar party, but you are afraid it’s too late to purchase and/or create everything a glam party like this entails? Fear not my Faking Fancy readers, I’ve got some amazing and affordable ideas for food, decor, AND entertainment that will make your last-minute Oscar shingdig a BLAST. No online ordering and praying your expensively expedited shipment arrives on time; all of my ideas can be purchased at your local drugstore or retail chain store, like Walmart and Party City and Walgreens. Trust a true party planning guru (me!), the only ingredients you’ll ever need for a fab fiesta is yummy food and fun activities. So read this post, follow my ideas and instructions, and get ready to have an awesome last-minute Oscar party!!

Last-Minute Oscar Party Decor

You only have to have two items that are specific to a”Hollywood” or “movie” theme in your overall party decor, the rest of your decor just has to be gold and black or red, gold and black, to fit the traditional “Oscars” color scheme. Buying most of your decor in a non-specific theme allows for leftover items, like cups, plates, napkins, and balloons to be used at a future party, stretching out your cost-per-item and overall party decor budget. The two specific items are an Oscar trophy or cut-out, and a director’s clapboard.

For the director’s clapboard head on down to your local Party City where it is a mere $3. This item is imperative for a fun activity later in the party!  Then hit up Walmart for a small helium tank, two bags of 25 balloons (one black and one metallic gold),  gold curling ribbon, gold napkins and soda cups, and clear plastic champagne flutes. Party City has most of that as well, but it’s much cheaper at Walmart.

As you can see above, the balloons make the decor! Fifty balloons floating on the ceiling with the pretty curled gold ribbon hanging from them turn any normal living room into a glamorous party area! Make sure the ribbon curls are short enough that they don’t block anyone’s view of the TV!

These Oscar party printables are great to place on the tables and tape on the walls around your party area. These 2016 Oscar party printables are cute too, just don’t print the ones that say 2016. If you don’t have a home printer,  you might have to send some of these items to your local Staples or print shop, but be sure to ask around with friends and neighbors before paying to have these items printed, as most people have a color printer at home these days.

Oddly enough, I did not see an Oscar trophy or something similar at Party City, but Walmart has one for about $10. Can’t find a trophy at as nearby store? Click here or here for an easy DIY version.

Last-minute Oscar party food

Of course you need movie theater popcorn and candy! If you are lucky enough to have a home theater popcorn machine, great! If not, you can also just microwave, air pop or buy your popcorn premade at a local popcorn store. Whatever you do, make sure it is nice & buttery, just like you’d get at the movies! The Dollar Store usually has cute little plastic popcorn buckets. If you can’t find any of the reusable plastic ones the paper popcorn bags are cute too.

Hot dogs are also a popular item at movie theaters. Not only does everyone love hot dogs, but they are also they are easy and cheap to make! Heat up the hot dogs and buns about a half-hour before the party, then wrap them in foil and keep them in your oven on warm until guests arrive. Serve your dogs in these cute paper trays just like you get at the theater! (They are also less likely to roll off a plate onto your carpet!)

Theater sodas come in paper cups with plastic lids, but as far as I could tell you have to order those online, and that would take too long, so just serve your sodas in gold party cups. Be sure to get gold sanding sugar when you buy your food items. Use it to rim your plastic champagne glasses for instant glam! Actual champagne can be kind of expensive, so sparkling wine is fine.

Our local Walgreens always has boxes of popular movie theater candy at 4 for $4, so I would grab an assortment (two boxes per guest). If you don’t have this option, Walmart has great prices on candy as well. Don’t forget the tub of Red Vines! The 4lb tubs are available at Walmart, Target and even most office supply stores like Staples.

Want a little fancier dessert without more fuss? Buy a can of edible gold glitter spray paint (it does exist!!) and paint a bunch of Oreos gold, then stack them on a cake plate for an easy but super-glam dessert!

Fun Oscar Party activities

The Oscars can be a bit long if you are just commenting on the attire and speeches. Oscar Party bingo, like the one here and here, is the perfect way to keep everyone entertained during the show! Print out one for each guest (and include yourself!) when you print out the decor above.

This second activity is my favorite! Have each guest recite a line or two from their favorite movie (or they can make it up!) and film the “scene”, complete with director’s clapboard filled out with their info, using a video camera or cell phone. You can do this before the Oscars start or during commercials. At the end of the show do a blind (names in a hat) vote of who had the best scene. Post a photo on Facebook of the winner holding your party Oscar and wearing shades, Ray-Bans are best if you have some! Include the video scene in the post if the winner is so inclined, they’ll be even more famous (at least with your Facebook circle, lol).

You don’t even have to do ALL of the above to have a great party! Throw out some popcorn and candy, play the “film scene” game, and wait for the belly-rolling, “I think I just snorted” laughs to ensue.

And the award formost awesome last-minute party hostess goes to…<your name here!>



February 21, 2017

Clever & easy small bathroom organizing ideas!

Do you have a bathroom or powder room that has a pedestal sink that doesn’t offer any storage? Or maybe it’s just a very small under sink cabinet? I have both issues in my home, so I decided to look up some clever and easy small bathroom organizing ideas. I say clever because I didn’t want the normal “shelves with baskets of towels” kind of ideas. I wanted organizing solutions that are not only useful but unique, creative, and pretty!

Clever and easy small bathroom organizing ideas

Repurposed crate shelves

small bathroom

I love this idea for two reasons! One, recycling or repurposing anything is usually much cheaper than buying something new. Two, the crates offer so much more shelf space than your typical bookshelves. You could also easily paint or whitewash them to match your bathroom decor scheme.

Full-length mirror cabinet
small bathroom

Source: Shabby2Chic

How brilliant is this mirror storage cabinet?? It’s obviously more involved than nailing in a couple of shelves, but the storage payoff is well worth the extra labor. The fact that she was able to create it for only $100 is so impressive. Mirrors are a great way to instantly make any space look bigger, and full-length mirrors double the impact!

“Floating” glass shelves
small bathroom

Source: Stylecaster

Because it is clear, glass shelving creates the optical illusion of taking up less space than shelves made of wood or other opaque material. Stack several of these glass shelves above your toilet or on a side wall above your sinks to create more space seemingly “out of thin air”.

Make a small bathroom LOOK bigger
small bathroom

Source: Home Bunch

You can also use certain design elements to create the look of more space without adding shelves or other storage items. Click here for eight super creative ideas from Life as Mama for making a small bathroom look bigger.

Do you have any unique ideas for making a small bathroom look bigger? Share in the comments below!




This post participated in the Penny Pinching Link Party on February 21, 2017.

December 28, 2016

Best Small Space Organization Hacks

My house was built in the 1970s, which apparently was before the advent of the walk-in closet or open floor plans. There are actually quite a few closets throughout the house, the problem is they are all insanely tiny. My three and a half bathrooms are also on the smaller side. Because of these small space issues, I started researching and collecting organizational ideas and tips for making the most out of a small space about a year ago. Below are (in my opinion) the BEST small space organizational hacks.

Top Small Space Organizational Hacks
Small Bedrooms

Design blogger MinYang Lu of Haive shows us the incredible power of paint in a small space through her compilation of small bedroom makeovers. She also illustrates the optical illusion certain patterns can have. Check out the difference wall-length curtains do to expand the room below. I’d think it would make it smaller but it’s the opposite!

small space

I also like this “closet to changing room” idea for a small nursery from Charlie & Chooka, and the corner desk and floating shelves from Shanty to Chic that turns a tiny teen room into a multi-functional and fun space!

Small Bathrooms

This over-the-toilet shelf idea below from Rachel, a contributor for the online DIY mecca Hometalk, is just one of many brilliant ideas in her small bathroom makeover.

small space

If you have a towel rack over your toilet like I do in my kids’ bathroom and powder room, consider moving it to the back of the bathroom door, as blogger Lilly from Listotic has done below. (Lilly is so amazing she’s got two ideas in this post!)

small space

Small Kitchens

Not a lot people can afford to renovate their kitchen, and for some people with loadbearing walls lining their kitchen, it’s structurally impossible to make a kitchen bigger. The latter was the case in our kitchen, so I had to find ways to make the most out of the space we already had. Luckily I found some creative ways to make our smallish kitchen much more organized and functional! Below are my favorite solutions for a small kitchen.

I love this under cabinet shelf below from DIY blogger Jen Caputo. While under cabinet shelves are not a new idea, the fact that these shelves match the cabinets in material and color makes the overal design much more seamless and chic!

small space

When I am frustrated with a small space I tend to fall back on hanging things inside of cabinet doors with 3M peelable hooks. But when I saw this idea from Listotic for hanging sandwich bag boxes with simple thumbtacks I was almost embarrassed I hadn’t thought of it on my own! I also love the pretty simplicity of this baking rack storage idea from Amanda at IamBaker. My favorite kitchen space saver, however, is this outer cabinet shelf idea from Ashley at MyPerfectNest. When she ran out of space in her kitchen she simply created more space with floating shelves and baskets…genius!

Small Closets

Built-in closet organizers can be a godsend for those of us with small closets. Take a look at the impressive transformation of this small closet before and after from Abby at JustAGirlAndHerBlog. It really highlights the point that sometimes the best space saver (or finder) is proper organization, pure and simple.

Another favorite source of home design and decor inspiration comes from Lela at InTheNewHouse. Her linen closet makeover is an example of how sometimes organizing does not always lead to more space, but it can make a normally cluttered or sloppy space look much more streamlined and clean. As you can see from Lela’s after shot below, you can even have some wasted space, but still make a space look better. I don’t know about you gals, but my linen closet can look very pretty lined with my neatly folded towels and sheets, but it all becomes a flaming hot mess once one the kids rummages for a washcloth or pillowcase. The basket solution is perfect- everything looks so pretty and sorted, I don’t care how messy the inside of the baskets are!

small space

While it’s true you can’t put lipstick on a pig (although seriously, who would want to?), you can transform a small space from cluttered and unsightly to smart and orderly by using just a few of the amazing organizational hacks above.

Here’s to a happy, healthy, and organized 2017!




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December 7, 2016

Affordable holiday decor- decorate your entire home for around $25!

affordable holiday decorI am going to start this post on affordable holiday decor by saying that it DOES NOT include the Christmas tree, stockings or gifts. When I say you can decorate your entire home for around $25, I mean it is possible to decorate your walls, tables, windows, light fixtures, counter tops, and pretty much every area of your home aside from the tree…all for around $25, which in my frugal living book is still amazing!

To help out on the tree & stocking front I’ve included links to some very lovely and affordable trees (artificial) and stockings.  If you are looking for cool & budget-friendly gift ideas check out my holiday gift guides for men, women, and tweens/teens.

So how it is possible to decorate almost every area of your home with festive Christmas splendor for around $25? My first stop is always the dollar store! My local dollar store is called The Dollar Tree, but there are several dollar stores nationwide including the Dollar General, Family Dollar, and the 99 cents only stores.

Top Dollar Store Holiday Items

The following items offer the most bang for your buck (literally).

  1. Pine tree garland: Nothing says Holiday like pine tree garland! My Dollar Store had 15ft of pine garland for $1. The cheapest I have seen garland anywhere else was $3 for 9ft at Michaels. I bought eight pieces  and wrapped it around my front door frame, balcony, fireplace mantel, living room mirror and window, and stair railing. Cost: $8 (Note: I could not find this product online, but it is located in the Holiday section of the store.)
  2. Holiday ribbon: By “holiday” I mean anything in the colors that match your particular holiday decor color scheme. Gold and silver, red and green, blue and silver… It doesn’t have to be labeled “Holiday” to be festive! I wrapped the 2 yards of ribbon I bought through the garland on my fireplace mantel and balcony to brighten it up. Cost: $2
  3. Holiday bows and assorted decorI picked up some metallic leaf and berry picks during my latest Dollar Store visit and stuck them in the garland on my staircase railing. It really glams up my staircase, which isn’t easy to do as it is covered in a hideous, short gray, speckled berber carpet. Cost: $5affordable holiday decor
  4. Signs and banners: I bought this “Merry Christmas” paper banner below a couple of years ago at a dollar store. I wasn’t sure if it would look cheap (it was $1!) once it was hung up, but it looks so pretty with the garland! Cost: $1affordable holiday decor
  5. Candy canes: While you can often find boxes of candy canes for around a dollar, I figure I’d pick some up while I was there. I tied them to the garland framing my living room window. I’ve also seen people hang them around window frames, like Christina at The Frugal Homemaker did. So pretty! Cost: $1

Paint it baby!

I am constantly amazed at the sort of crappy interesting items people spray paint into something Fancy! From plastic, dollar store storage buckets to tacky, thrift shop porcelain figurines. Check out these incredible decor transformations using cheap trinkets and spray paint!

affordable holiday decor

These beauties from astangelife.blogspot.com are just normal, everyday pine cones covered in Krylon Glass Paint!


affordable holiday decor

Katie at Bower Power Blog took some Dollar Store nutcrackers and completely transformed them with some cheap acrylic paint. The pastel versions look so expensive!


Re-purpose with pride

affordable holiday decor

I found some pretty gold place mats at Goodwill the other day, but I wanted decor I could keep out all season long (and not just one meal where they would be stained by teens with sloppy table habits).  The solution? I draped the place mats over my dining table chairs and tied some metallic gold tulle around them… et voila, glitzy chair covers! Cost $4

Because of the fantastic after-Christmas sales every year, I always end up with WAY more ornaments than I can possibly fit on our one tree. Instead of stuffing them back into the storage box to languish for another year, I thought why not use them for decorating things other than the tree?

affordable holiday wreath

Last year I made an Easter wreath with pastel-colored peeps. While it was adorable last Spring, the peeps are now chipped and faded, so I pulled those little chickies right out of their toothpick perches in the foam wreath and, along with some of the gold and silver leftover ornaments, created the beautiful door wreath above. I had to buy some more glue sticks for this project which made the total cost of the wreath $2.00, but I have seen similar wreaths like this one and this one for waaaay more (sometimes $100 more) than what I spent. Cost: $2

Hang Em High

affordable holiday decor

I took the rest of the ornaments, some leftover metallic ribbon and a couple of strands of tinsel garland to create this gorgeous and festive lighting display on my dining room chandelier. Cost: free.

Being Felt Up

affordable holiday decor

I created this vintage-looking Christmas tree art from a picture frame I wasn’t using and some leftover felt from a puppet craft we did earlier this year. I put the frame glass behind the felt to keep the vintage feel and let the texture of the felt come through. Cost: free.

Mad for Plaid

affordable holiday decor

I also had some plaid Christmas wrapping paper and art canvas leftover from crafts last year, along with some black construction paper. I had seen some cute plaid wall art on Etsy and tried my best to recreate it using the canvas and wrapping paper (and lots of tape). They turned out extremely homemade looking up close, but my husband says that only adds to their charm. Cost: free.

Speaking of wrapping paper- I have seen other people wrap their current wall art and hanging photos with Christmas wrapping paper and it seemed like a super easy way to update my wall decor for the holidays, so I tried it. It IS pretty much the easiest and (if you have extra holiday gift wrap) the cheapest way to create holiday-themed wall decor. Just wrap it in the front of the frame and slap a bow on. Cost: free.

affordable holiday decor

I’m thinking of purchasing cheap wrapping paper with other holiday themes (like Valentines and Easter) so I can transform my wall art into easy holiday decor year-round!

My grand total was about $25, but even if you don’t have any leftover felt, unused picture frames or spare wrapping paper like I did, you can purchase those items for about $5, which means you can still decorate your entire home for less than what most people spend on one holiday wreath!

Want more detailed “how to’s” on any of these affordable holiday decor projects? I would love to share the exact steps for each project and answer any other questions related to this post! Simply comment below and I will respond within 48 hours.



Side note: This post will be featured in the Reviews, Chews and How-tos blog on December 17. If you are interested in more tips and resources for living a great life on a budget- check out this fantastic site!

March 22, 2016

Top 5 Frugal & Easy Easter Decor Ideas!

easy easter decorBeing a true girlie girl, I LOVE the traditional color scheme for Easter decor. The baby blues, the chickadee yellows, and of course, the flirty PINKS! As I have mentioned in past posts, being on a strict budget the past few years has prevented me from decorating for holidays other than Christmas. What changed things? The magical world of Pinterest! I found so many cute ideas for Easter decorations and activities, but if I listed ALL of the ones I liked, this post would be about four pages long. No bueno. To keep things simple I created a list of the top 5 frugal and easy Easter decor ideas.

The criteria for my top 5? They not only had to be adorable and/or tres chic, but also innovative. We’ve all seen tulips in a vase of pastel candies (yawnnnn), I wanted ideas that were innovative and modern, but with a shabby chic (or just plain chic) vibe. Finally, they had to be simple to make and consist of inexpensive, easy to find items.  A decor idea is not frugal if one of the $.50 items to create it takes two months and a trip to eight different thrift stores to find!

Top 5 Easter Decor Ideas! 

easy easter decor

How gorgeous are these gold glitter eggs? Glitter makes everything better. Everything. Take a scary, slimy snake and sprinkle him with glitter – et voila, not so scary!  I’m not saying you should try this in real life anytime soon, but trust me. Glitter = better.  I also love the metallic gilded eggs Martha Stewart makes in this easy to follow video.

easy easter decor

To make this gorgeous springtime centerpiece even cheaper, I would skip the Brussels sprouts & floral foam cage (just poke a stick through the foam that can sit on the vase opening). And Walmart has some pretty & affordable fake flowers!

easy easter decor

This centerpiece is super easy to make. You can “speckle” some real or fake Easter eggs, buy one bunch of baby’s breath and grab a loose-woven basket or wire bucket you already have at home. Sooo cheap and easy, just like some of my friends. Totally kidding! I only have one friend like that. She lives in Canada. You don’t know her.

easy easter decor

Love this idea! Just stick Cheetos in clear party bags and tie them with green ribbon or rafia. It doesn’t get easier. Bonus- you get to eat the Cheetos after Easter. Yeeeaaahhhsss.

easy easter decor

I HAD to add this cocktail, even though technically it is not considered by most weirdos people to be decor. But it’s so pretty and colorful. For the fifteen ten three minutes it would last after being made, I would definitely consider it decor…of course, after two more of these beauties, I might consider the dishes in my sink as decor…

Do you have any cheap and clever decor ideas for Easter? Share them in the comments below!



January 27, 2016

Cute Valentine’s Day ideas

valentine border

I used to be one of those people who only decorated for Christmas. But other holidays like Valentine’s Day, even Easter and Halloween, passed by without even one piece of seasonal decor being set up. This was mostly due to the fact that my decor budget only allowed for items that could normally be used year-round. Then I discovered Pinterest. For anyone who is even moderately interested in crafting, Pinterest can be an amazing (and endless) source of inspiration. However, it can also be THE DEVIL a source of frustration. The frustration part affects mostly women with a “type A” personality and passion for making things in life prettier. Being one of those women, I can attest to the fact that once I see all of the cute and frugal Valentine’s Day ideas, I simply HAVE to try creating a few hundred of them!

Below are some of the prettiest, easiest and most affordable ideas for Valentine’s Day decor and gift ideas that I have come across recently.  I usually have my Valentine decor out the entire week of Valentine’s Day to get the most use out of it. However, I also tried to include items that are so simple and easy you could grab things from around the house and make them the day before Valentine’s (or even that morning)!

Easy DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts
Valentine's Day

Photo courtesy of Smart School House

I love these pink sugar scrub cubes!! If you are in need of some containers you can buy a dozen of the smaller jelly jars from Walmart. I always have at least a half dozen of these jars on hand. They are super affordable, and you can use them a hundred different ways: storing leftover food, organizing small household or office items, and of course as a cheap container for homemade gifts! You can scent these cubes with your favorite scent, or customize it for the occasion. I am scenting my cubes with a fragrance oil from Rustic Essentials. Their fragrance oils are usually under $3 for an ounce and come in a HUGE assortment of scents. I think pink sugar cookie, angel heart, or love spell would all be amazing for a Valentine’s themed sugar scrub. Tie a printed label on the jar with a pink ribbon and voila – a super sweet and useful Valentine’s Day gift! If you make a dozen of these, even if you have to purchase ALL of the required items (fragrance oil, pink soap base, jojoba oil and the mason jars) this DIY gift costs about $2 each. If you already have any of those items this craft is even cheaper!

Only one of my semi-perfect step-kids still passes out Valentines, which is kind of a bummer for a DIY addict like myself.   I refuse to buy store-bought paper Valentines. Come on people, store-bought Valentines are so pre-Pinterest last year!  I usually need to make anywhere from 10-30 of the Valentines, so I also make sure they are easy and affordable. And did I mention easy? There are some truly awesome ideas out there for kids’ Valentines, but some are so complicated I’d need an entire day and box of wine to complete it (which, after half a box would result in me printing “Valentine’s Sucks” on some of the wrappers…). So I’m sticking with simple.

Valentine's day

Photo courtesy of Fiskers.com


These Pop Rocks Valentines above are so stinking cute and clever. My 12-year-old stepdaughter doesn’t pass her Valentines out to her entire class, just a few select friends. But I’m no dummy and realize some of those friends might include a few 12 year-old boys, so I try to avoid affectionate sayings that could be misconstrued in a “she totally wants me” inappropriate way. To make this craft even easier and cheaper, I would just print the music notes right on the wrapper (versus buying music note stickers or cutting them all out separately). You could also print the wrapper out on glittery or heart printed scrapbooking paper, it would only take 2-3 sheets at $.20 a piece. If you don’t feel like hitting up your local 711 or drugstore, you can get Pop Rocks online and in bulk at Oriental Trading or Amazon, bringing the cost of this craft to about $.60 each.

Easy DIY Valentine’s Decor
Photo courtesy of Money Hip Mamas

Photo courtesy of Money Hip Mamas

Holiday decor doesn’t get any easier or more affordable than this! Just grab a vase you already have, snap off a few bare twigs from a nearby tree, and cut some hearts from pink construction paper. I mean seriously, even if you don’t have pink paper you could simply print out some pink hearts and this entire craft would still cost you about ten cents! Don’t have a spare vase? Use an empty soup can or water pitcher. Want to sweeten it up even more? Sprinkle pink glitter on the hearts after they’ve been brushed with glue (before cutting out). Or get some candy conversation hearts and hot glue to some natural twine ties. Talk about a sweet conversation piece! (Yeah I went there…not punny, I know…)


Other fun ideas include writing sweet nothings on pink sticky notes and putting them on the wall or bathroom mirror in the shape of a heart, or kissing a piece of paper in various shades of pink and red lipstick, adding a brief love note in pink or red marker, then framing it and presenting it to a loved one. I love this last idea so much I would leave it out as part of my usual house decor. Soo roMANtic!!

Do you have other fun and budget-friendly ideas for Valentine’s Day? Comment below and share the love!!



January 5, 2016

Linkspiration: The best blogs for Faking a Fancy living

best blogs

Throughout the course of running this blog I have come across hundreds of online tools and resources dedicated to helping people save money, get their personal finances in order, find the best shopping bargains, and live comfortably within or beneath their means. What better way for me to share the love than to share the best frugal websites and blogs for living a Fancy lifestyle on a budget!

Need outfit inspiration from a site that doesn’t have a girl dressing in head to toe Dolce & Gabanna? As if! Or perhaps you need to update your bathroom but can’t afford a contractor?  Maybe you are just looking for new ways to save or make money this year? The following sites are the BEST at helping with these topics- and more. The blog authors are funny and smart and most of all genuine. No preaching or haughty talk here- just plain good advice and down to earth inspiration.


Favorite budget fashion sites
best blogs

A couple of super chic outfits from Lilly Style.

The Mommy Stylist: I love this site because it offers fashion tips for moms with “real bodies”, not skinny hipster twenty-somethings obsessed with thigh gap. Blog owner Kristin Hull posts a series of outfit compilations called “What to wear” for actual events and activities that moms attend or partake in, such as a school choir concert or brunch & errands. Please note: these outfits are NOT your mom’s outfits, at least not my mom (sorry mom!). You won’t find any high-waist jeans, seasonal sweaters or sweatpants.  Kristin’s outfit arrangements are so stylish and chic- think Kate Moss meets Jessica Alba. Her site is the bible for any fashion-loving mom (or at least it SHOULD be!).

Fash Boulevard: Blog owner Anna James is so fashionable that she caught the eye of style icon Lauren Conrad and is now a regular contributor on her site. It’s not hard to see why after checking out Anna’s blog. If I ever need outfit inspiration (which is at least 2-3 times a week) I check Fash Boulevard first. Anna is always coming up with the cutest, coolest outfit combos. A black t-shirt with a pink & white striped skirt? Why didn’t I think of that?  Check out her outfit posts for the past week and I guarantee you will find a fresh, new way to combine items you currently own. She’s genius!

Lilly Style: Like the Mommy Stylist, the outfits that blog owner Lilly puts together are always classic, chic and “age appropriate”. She has a unique knack for mixing the trendy and the timeless into outfits that capture that elusive “I’m stylish without trying” look.  She rarely includes expensive designer items in her posts, and if she does include a designer or “top shelf” store item (read Nordstroms or Top Shop), it is usually purchased from a current sale, of which she shares the link to share the savings!

Favorite DIY sites
best blogs

One of the many amazing makeovers in the Live Love DIY home tour.

Live Love DIY: I cannot express enough how much I love this site! Blog owner Virginia renovates her entire 70s era home and shows you step-by-step how she does it. Her DIY  decor ideas and projects are the bomb. She has this incredible gift for turning just plain shabby into shabby chic. I have borrowed SO many ideas from her site for design and decor I feel like I owe her some commission!

I Heart Organizing: Instead of making you feel bad because your life is not perfectly organized, i.e. Martha Stewart, blog owner Jen is chock full of insanely easy and helpful organizing tips. Like “Live Love DIY” she also offers a home tour that includes a lot of easy, crafty and super cute DIY projects. She even makes a Stain Removal kit look cute!

Thrifty & Chic: In her latest post, blog owner Alicia shows you how to convert an old diaper box and an old sweater into a cute and useful storage cube.  I mean, talk about DIY genius! I think we are secretly related she also loves Target, junior mints, Andes mints and can’t ever throw away magazines…

Favorite personal finance sites
best blogs

Living Well Spending Less is a HUGE resource for money-saving tips and tools!

SpringsBargains: This is a regional site that shows bargains and best prices for stores in the Colorado Springs area. The site has a “milk prices” tracker, a list of restaurants offering free kid meals, and an event calendar that shows free or cheap events in the Colorado Springs and Denver area for that month. The site owner, Carrie Issac, also offers training and helpful resources if you really want to get serious about couponing.

The Busy Budgeter: Login to this site now and sign up to get blog owner Rosemarie’s “Ultimate Money Saving” ebook. Be sure to check out the rest of the site as well- Rosemarie is the budgeting guru on almost every subject! Need a recipe for a low budget meal? Check. Want advice on how to rein in a “spendy spouse”? Check. I could go on for pages,  but it would not be fair to the other amazing sites!

Living Well Spending Less: Looking to revamp your finances or your improve your financial lifestyle in general? Ruth Soukup, the site owner, offers online training and other incredibly helpful resources, including a “Best Live Ever” planner that has pretty much changed my life. Her site has hands down the yummiest recipe posts as well.

Do you have a favorite site related to these topics that is not listed above? Let me know in the comments below and I will be sure to check it out and possibly share it in a future post!



October 15, 2015

Faking a Fancy Wedding: Out-of-town Guest Goody Bag

We had quite a few out-of-town guests at our wedding, and I wanted to make sure they knew that the special trip they were taking to join us at our wedding was very much appreciated. I mean, out of town guests have it much worse than local guests. Especially if they are bringing children. There is the cost of the actual flight, the packing and driving to the airport, the flight itself…they don’t just get in their car an hour ahead and jaunt on town. To me, someone coming to a wedding from out-of-town is a very big deal, and I wanted to get each of them a little something as a thank you. Being on a budget that little something definitely had to be little, and very affordable. While surveying wedding ideas on Pinterest, I saw that many brides were making up hotel guest goody bags to leave in the rooms of their out-of-town guests. How perfect! Now I just had to assemble one for around $3.00 per bag.

Some of the hotel goody bags on Pinterest were downright adorable and seemed like the perfect assortment of goodies for people who were tired and hungry after making their trip out. One popular idea was a basket or box that contained a water, snacks and “recovery” items like a Pepto packet and Advil. While I thought this was a super cute and helpful idea (I often get back to my hotel starving after an event like this) it would also be pretty expensive to create a goody bag with this many items for about 15-20 people, and again, I only had about $4.00 to spend per bag. A snack bag idea seemed to be a very popular, I wanted something a little more unique in my guest goody bags, as well as something useful.

The typical hotel wedding goody bag on Pinterest- adorable, but more expensive than my budget would allow.

The typical hotel wedding goody bag on Pinterest- adorable, but more expensive than my budget would allow.

After giving it some thought I remembered the one thing I always pack when I travel to make a hotel room seem more like home and smell nice is a small travel candle. Not wanting to alienate any single men or people sensitive to scents I avoided cloyingly sweet scents like vanilla cupcake or pumpkin spice and opted for the light, breezy, unisex scent of fresh linens. The travel candles at Wal-mart are only a dollar, so I had some more wiggle room in my budget for a personalized door hanger and some cute little matches. The door hangers I found on Etsy were a little more than a dollar each, at $15 for twelve, so that worked out great. But since I only needed about 15 personalized matches, not 100, that was my main problem. I could order some pretty non-personalized matchboxes online, but they were kind of expensive and didn’t match my blush and bashful color scheme…so I took matters into my own hands, and saved a TON!



I bought matchboxes for next to nothing from the grocery store, glued scrapbooking paper to them, tied them with pink yarn and…ta-da! The world’s cutest matchboxes, customized to my wedding color scheme! They totally made the goody bag- everyone wanted to know where I bought them!



As I mentioned earlier, when browsing Pinterest is it very easy to succumb to all of the really cute ideas. So again, BEWARE when searching Pinterest for wedding ideas and make sure you keep your budget in mind at all times. If I could not have kept the cost of my goody bags to $3.00 a piece it was not happening. But thanks to my brilliantly creative mind love for crafting and DIY willpower, I was able to make it happen!


Sometimes half of the cost of the goody bag is the actual bag, I used brown, paper lunch bags that I already had for kids’ lunches. I added chalkboard stickers that I got at the Dollar Store and tied the bags with the leftover matchbox yarn. Including the pink tissue I stuffed inside, the goody bag packaging cost me like $.20 each.

Faking a Fancy wedding is all about the littlest details. You don’t need a forty-two piece orchestra or a six-course meal to WOW guests. If you keep surprising your guests with special, little touches throughout the wedding and reception you can still have a memorable event that people will truly enjoy. Repeat after me, “Fancy events do NOT have to come with a Fancy price tag!”

Looking for more money-saving wedding ideas? Check out these posts on gorgeous wedding dresses under $200 and a pretty but super affordable wedding dessert table.



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