Friday, June 29, 2012

Pinterest #27

Guys, I'm all melty. And not in the "hello, little puppy!" sort of melty.  More like "it was 100 degrees yesterday and we live on the top floor of our building." (New House, that won't happen with you because you live on the ground. [I love you.]) It's marginally cooler today, but still not enough to get me excited.

Good thing it's Friday! Let's distract ourselves with Pinterest.

I imagine this would be kind of like wearing a cloud. Get yo' sparkle on:


You know those cool vintage letters from old building signs? Here's how you make your own using foam board. Genius.


Fancy Italian shoes, anyone? BHLDN is being all sneaky with these, though, because the gold bows are actually sold separately. I clicked over and was like, "What?! $40?! Oh, just the bows." The shoes are an additional $280:


Revisiting the lighting post from the other day, I stumbled upon another contender. I think this would look smashing above my $300 dining room table:


And in magic happy land, my office will turn itself into this. And it will also stay this clean:


So how are you holding up in this dreadful heat wave? Eating lots of ice cream? Watching Frozen Planet and wishing you were there? What are you up to this weekend?

Yo, dawg: Wanna be Pinterest buds? Follow me here.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Deal o' the year!

If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram, you might have seen this picture yesterday:

That's our new dining room table! For the house we haven't closed on yet! (Minor detail.)

Isn't she purdy? I was at the Crate & Barrel outlet getting a birthday present for a friend when BAM! there it was. It's the Basque table, 104" long (for our cavernous future dining room), and still for sale at their regular retail stores for $999. We paid $299.

That's 70% off! I basically paid an IKEA price for a table that seats 10!

And that is why we jumped on it. There's one tiny imperfection on one corner, and that was all it took to get banished to the outlet. It needed a good home, the poor thing. It'll just have to join us in the condo for a couple of weeks. See? Part of the family already. Now if I can just find an equally good deal on some chairs, we'll really be in business. I found some contenders on Overstock, but we'll see...

Have you scored any awesome deals lately? Or perhaps you're prematurely buying furniture when your closing date isn't until July?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


So. Light fixtures. Generally not the most exciting things on earth, but last night the Hubster stumbled upon a website that was quite illuminating (ha!). It's a sister company of Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma called Rejuvenation, and they specialize in all sorts of cool hardware and finishes. But last night, my eyeballs were on the lighting.

Most of these very awesome fixtures are from the industrial collection, which seems to be a common theme as we look for new house ideas:



This long, skinny white one is part of the Deco collection. We admire these every time we see one in a restaurant, but this particular design won't work in the house. For one thing, the price (waah!), but it's also 4 feet long:




The other so-called outlier is this chandelier from the Victorian collection. It looks pretty similar, though, especially with those wide shades:


Sadly, I don't think we'll be purchasing any of these. They're super cool, but apparently that comes with a higher price tag. I might splurge on one as an investment piece, but I'm cheap, I'll own that, so paying for designer lighting is a hard pill for me to swallow. 

On the bright side, all of our ceilings are only 8', so we have to stick with smaller (and therefore less expensive) fixtures. Silver lining, right?

Have you heard of this lighting company before? Maybe you have another one up your sleeve that you can tell us about? Are you a fan of industrial lighting, too?

Monday, June 25, 2012

DIY: Ring Holder Makeover

It was borderline too hot for spray painting this weekend (the cutoff is about 90 degrees), but that didn't stop me from doing a quick little project!

Back when we got married, I found this ring holder at GoodWill for like, a dollar. The idea was to put it in the kitchen for when I washed the dishes. Well, it turns out that I just shove 95% of things into the dishwasher and thus, never need to use the ring holder. It just sits there, sad and alone.

Fast-forward three years and now I need the poor neglected thing in the bathroom. We switched over to Dr. Bronner's hand soap a few weeks ago and WOW does it leave a lot of residue on my jewelry. (Maybe we don't water it down enough? I don't know.) So now I have to train myself to take those rings off after all.

Here's how it was before. Nothing inherently wrong with it, but it just sort of faded away into the background. The more I thought about it, the more it needed a makeover.

This sunshine-y color is called Bright Idea, and I just love it. I've only used it for one other project (an old candelabra!), but I think it needs to be a mainstay for the new house. I've learned my lesson about spraying on hot days, though. The paint almost didn't set because it was so warm, but I rushed it inside and stuck it in front of a fan for a few hours. That seemed to do the trick, but next time I'm waiting until the sun goes down.

The paint makes all the difference. The original crystal was pretty, but not really my style. This is much better. Bonus: I already owned the paint and the ring holder, so this project was F-R-E-E.

What were you up to this weekend? Anybody else do some painting, spray or otherwise? Or perhaps you saw a movie? We saw Brave yesterday (it was cute, solid B+) and now I'm trying to figure out when I can go back to see Abe Lincoln and his vampire slaying skillz.

P.S. I announced the winner of the $50 Shabby Apple gift card! Click here to see if it's you!

P.P.S. Linking to with My Repurposed Life. Ch-ch-check it out.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

What I Wore: Upscale Girly Date

Despite the fact that it's been 9,000 degrees in Chicago all week, I busted out some layers for a girly-date last night. Bet you can't guess what kind of layer it was!

Did you say cardigan? Five points for you.

sweater: Banana Republic
tank top: Target
skirt: thrifted
shoes: Target
necklace: Oh Nostalgia
purse: Coach Outlet (a gift from the friend I had dinner with, actually)

My friend and I went to a place called Cooper's Hawk, which I heard and immediately thought, "that sounds like a steak house" and then, "barf," but it's actually a WINERY. And a delicious one to boot. Their website said it was casual dining, but dammit, we felt like being fancy. It bums me out that people don't dress up much anymore, so I'm trying to bring that back.

You guys know that I don't wear much color, but lately it's been creeping into my brain and making itself cozy. Hence the turquoise wedges AND purple clutch in the same outfit. The necklace is purple too, but for some reason is photographing really dark. Ah well.

This is also one of the only skirts I've ever worn that has any sort of volume. I was kind of nervous back when I bought it, afraid that it would be a weird proportion to my bulky ribcage (thanks, scoliosis), but it's fine! What a delightful surprise! I should probably take this as a sign that I need to try new things more often.

So what are you wearing lately to stay cool? Anybody else embracing summer colors? Or dressing slightly too fancy for the restaurant you're going to?

P.S. Don't forget to enter the Shabby Apple giveaway.

P.P.S. For those wondering what the heck happened to my straight hair, I actually took these before I did that. The light was good, so I played dress up early.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Movie Madness!

It's a big week for movies here at Casa Ronchetti. Normally I'm the one only one who gets excited, but since Brave comes out on Friday and I'm married to Pixar's #1 Super Fan, he's stoked too. (Though in true Hubsey form, he requested that we go to a matinee so it will be cheaper.)

In honor of the occasion, I've put together a little outfit:


Everything here is under $50, and the most expensive is the dress at $47. I thought about including an ACTUAL bow and arrow just for kicks, but then I saw the jewelry instead and suddenly the whole outfit went in the legitimately wearable direction.

Not legitimately wearable, on the other hand...

Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter

Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter also comes out on Friday, and this is what I'm pumped for. I mean, Brave will be good because Pixar always delivers, but this book was AWESOME. And hilarious. And still maintaining a lot of historical accuracy, which is saying something since it's about monsters.

Are you pumped for either of these movies? Or something else in theaters? (I'm still raving about The Avengers and that was like, six weeks ago.)

[P.S. I'm the guest poster over at Milo & Molly today, chatting about maintaining life balance as a small business owner. Hint: it's hard. Come holler at me.]

Monday, June 18, 2012

Giveaway: Shabby Apple $50 Gift Card

This giveaway is now closed. Thanks to everyone who entered! The lucky winner is...

Congrats, April! I'll be emailing you shortly.

Let's start the week off with a bang: I'm giving away a $50 gift card from the fine folks at Shabby Apple!

I was thrilled when they reached out to me last week and asked if it was something my readers would be interested in. (Um, YES!) It might be a summer of savings for me, but one of you will be getting a nice little boost for your next shopping trip! You could use your gift card toward a fresh chevron skirt:

Crosswalk Skirt, $52 
Or a delicate lace dress:

The Mad Hatter, $88

Or the poshest swimwear you'll ever hope to see:

Fairbanks Swim Top, $55

Mandatory Entry, please leave a comment:
1. Like Shabby Apple on Facebook (or if you already do, just leave a comment saying so!)

Optional Entries, leave a comment for each one:
1. Go to Shabby Apple and tell me what you would use the gift certificate on.
2. Tweet about this giveaway.
3. Pin this giveaway.
4. Post this giveaway on your Facebook wall.
5. Follow this blog.

The giveaway is open to US residents, and will run through 11:59 p.m. Sunday, June 24th. One winner will be randomly chosen and announced next Monday!

Shabby Apple was also awesome enough to create a special discount code just for my readers. Until July 18th, use code littlenostalgia10off during checkout to save 10% on your purchase.

Now let's get this party started! Good luck!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Pinterest #26

Hey, this week it's my Golden Pinterest Picks! The 26th roundup, and I'm 26 years old. And to think, it almost got delayed a week because I forgot what day it was yesterday. (I got half an hour into another post when I remembered that, yes, today will be Friday.)

Possibly my very favorite this time around is this gorgeous color of blue. You don't see it on walls too often, and I LOVE what it does with the wainscoting along the bottom of the room. Plus, look at that sweet mirror:

This outfit is cute, but what really grabbed me was her hair color. I've left my hair its natural light brown for a few years now, and I'm getting the itch to go dark again. This would be perfect:

Another easy spray painting project! Just add doilies:

And in case you buy too many, you can make the leftovers into a cute summer blouse. Obviously, I encourage better undergarments, but I imagine the pictures were easier to see this way:

These shoes! Get on my feet. Right now. You are the perfect example of following a trend in a versatile way:

And! And! I can't believe I never thought about this before! Now there are TWO plot holes in Harry Potter! (The other one is the fact that Barty Crouch, Jr. could have made ANYTHING a port key in the fourth book. It didn't have to be the needlessly complicated TriWizard Cup.) Anyway, now this has been pointed out to me:

So what goodies did you find on Pinterest this week? Feel free to leave us links in the comments to peek at, and if you don't follow my boards yet, you can do that right here. Happy pinning!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Hypothetical Dining Room

Before I get to the point for today, I need to get something in writing. Last night, Hubsey and I were watching old episodes of 30 Rock when I noticed that some of the cheap-o throw pillows were looking pretty shabby. And he was like, "It happens, go buy some new ones."

DOCUMENTED. You all heard it. No complaints from you, Husband, when I come home with options.

[Edited to add: Now he's saying he meant "buy them after we move." Nonsense. You meant today.]

Anyway, the actual meat for today is decor-related, so that was fitting. I might be jumping the gun a smidge, considering our moving day is over a month away, but I'm already getting a lot of decorating ideas for the new house. I've been pricing out flooring, looking at paint swatches, and making all sorts of mood boards on Polyvore.

Dining Room

The dining room in the new house is large. The previous owners used it as their living room, but we've decided that we don't need one. Our generation doesn't receive company in the front of the house like that (really, does anyone?), so a big ol' dining room seemed to be a better fit. It's 21'x12'. Ballroom-esque, you might say.

We want timeless furniture that will last for a while, and we'll leave the trendier stuff to the accessories. The table is normally $999, but I've seen some at the Crate&Barrel outlet near us for about 70% off. The cute chairs are IKEA and a very reasonable $60 each. Sadly, that rug will only serve as inspiration, because it's $2,500 and... that's not happening. The mirror is $283 (eh...), but the vintage travel posters can be had for about $10 each.

Of course, these are only ideas for now and might change once we've lived there for a while, but for now we're feeling a vaguely vintage-inspired look with some color.

Have you been doing any decorating lately? Where do you get inspiration? Anyone else use Polyvore for furniture and not just outfits?

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

DIY: Favorite Quote Wall Art

Yesterday I made myself some wall art!

Sometimes when I get into a creative slump (or a heat-induced stupor, as was the case this week), I just go to GoodWill. There's always so much random stuff in there that I'm bound to find something interesting enough to spark an idea.

This time did not disappoint. Lookie here:

Sorry to any fans of colorful abstract art, but this is pretty terrible. It spoke to me, but in that horrifying whisper that says, "Did you see the new Dynasty last night?" I decided to get it anyway because it was only $1.99, and I've been looking for something to use in this project for a while. Something worthy of hiding.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me tell you what you need overall:

--a painting/print you don't mind covering up (an ugly one!)
--letter stickers
--spray paint
--a favorite quote or song lyrics

First, take those stickers and spell out the quote/lyric you want to use. It may look something like this:

Pardon the cacophony. It doesn't matter how insane the stickers look because you're just going to paint over everything. I used my good ol' oil-rubbed bronze that's seen action in about five projects so far:

Let the paint dry for about an hour. Then, peel those stickers off. This was the most time-consuming part, and it only took about 10 minutes:

If there's any paint ooze that worked its way under the stickers, you can just scrape it off with your fingernail or the edge of a credit card. There shouldn't be much.

Now leave the piece to cure for another few hours (or overnight to be safe) and you're done!

Has anybody else done this project? Or used a favorite quote/lyric elsewhere? Are you recovering from a heat stupor as well? (Today is mercifully cooler, thank god.)

Linking up at My Repurposed Life.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Summer of Savings: Update

Naturally when I know I can't do something, that's when I'm most interested in it. I haven't broken any of my self-inflicted shopping rules yet, but I was extra enthusiastic about all forms of sparkly and/or pretty things this weekend. After the show on Saturday I was a little heat-weakened zombie (90 degrees! All day!), so I ate some ice cream, watched the Celtics shamefully lose to the Heat, and did some online window shopping.

I opened Pandora's box.

This was the dress I saw first. I always keep an eyeball out for cute dresses, since I have kind of hard time finding ones that are long enough, yet also flatter all of my weird body parts. I think this one would be magical, AND it's only $36!

Obviously, I had to keep looking around.

So then I found a cutesy blush blouse for $39--perfect for wedding shows or wholesale meetings:

And look! I could wear it with this white midi skirt, $46:

And this mocha flowered (I almost typed "flavored," ha) dress is just lovely. It's a little fancier than what I normally need, but at $69 it's a good price for evening wear:

When I did shopping challenges like this in the past, they were only for 30 days. So by now I'd be all, "Look! I'm almost halfway through!" But this time it's like, "Hey... I'll be 1/6 of the way... on Friday..."

Le sigh. I suppose it's time to distract myself so my willpower doesn't crumble like a stale cookie.

How was your weekend? Anybody else suffer through the heat? Or do some online shopping, real or imaginary?

Friday, June 8, 2012

Pinterest #25

I actually showed a bit of self control and wasn't on Pinterest every available second this week, and yet, there were still plenty of things for me to choose from for the post today. A lot of them were house-related things, but I'll spare you most of that for now since we aren't even moving for another 6 weeks.

First of all, if you're in the market for some respectable summer oxfords, I suggest you ignore that side of your brain and get these spiky ones instead!

Next, the weather has been SO nice around here that I'm itching to get back outside for another spray paint party in the parking lot (seriously, cannot wait until we have a yard). I have some assorted knickknacks that would benefit from a splash of color, like these did:

I won't show you ALL of the decor pins I found, but these two are my favorites of the week. This bathroom is just stunning, with the steel windows, and the chunky wood vanity, and the contrast with the white...

This kitchen is along the same lines. Lots of dark and light being awesome together (though I think the styling here is a little cluttered):

And finally, I legitimately think about this on a regular basis. For the record, I'm still waiting:

So, how about those spiky shoes? Do you kind of want a pair, if only to have a minor built-in weapon? Because what if you DO get super powers? You'll need to defend yourself from those pesky super-villians. What cool stuff did you find on Pinterest this week? Feel free to share links in the comments.

P.S. You can follow me on Pinterest right here.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Another Jewelry-Making Frenzy

It's hard to believe, but I have my second outdoor show of the year on Saturday. I feel like the first one was last weekend, but nope! It's already been a month. I've been a little quiet online this week, and it's because I'm strapped to my work table, churning out mass inventory to fill the tent. Sometimes I'm jealous of the people who sell furniture and the 4 items they bring, but then I think of the heavy lifting involved. Forget that.

I like having these summer shows because they're a kick in the pants to make new products. I've been too swamped with wedding orders to get anything else done for Little White Chapel (one of my customers has 10 bridesmaids!), but Oh Nostalgia is getting some much-needed love. These will hopefully be in the shop today or tomorrow:

I also busted out higher numbers of some bestsellers, including mix-n-match hair pins and tiny flower earrings:

It can be hard to know what will sell, but those hair pins have been on a roll at shows since last summer, so as long as people still want them, I'll still sell them.

Have you been making new goodies lately? Or prepping for a show? Or wondering why certain things sell in person and other things sell better online? Just when I think I've figured it out, people go and surprise me...