Thursday, September 25, 2014

$15 Happiness: Glass Pumpkin Purchase

I'm not really into spooky Halloween decorations.  I think it's a much better idea to decorate with items that can carry you through Thanksgiving because it saves money and limits your decoration storage needs.  I've restricted myself to a few items that work from September to November, which include this really pretty new gold painted glass pumpkin from Home Goods which cost a whopping $12.99!

Isn't she pretty?  I put out a couple fall decorations this past weekend and I love this new addition!  This pumpkin perks me up for a few minutes every time I walk through the door, even after a long day at work!  If that isn't a $15 Happiness, I don't know what is. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Posh Purpose: Styling a Baby Bouquet

My friend Tara delivered the sweetest little baby boy a few weeks ago.  Mr. 3 is craaaazy for babies and we immediately went over to visit the newborn at only three days old.  I wanted to bring my good friend a flower arrangement and I decided to try my hand at styling a bouquet for a baby.

I bought all of my flowers from Safeway and used a clear vase I already owned. 

Bouquet vase
4 types of flowers - one large fluffy bloom, a medium fluffy bloom, and two smaller blooms
1 small baby balloon from the floral department

I picked up a pack of large hydrangeas with three stems, medium sized green hydrangeas with 5 stems, and two packs of mini carnations. I decided to do the main blooms in more "boy" colors with green and blue, but since I was sending these to a new mama, I added in some pink accents.  I put my arrangement together on Friday when I heard that the baby had been born in order to give the flowers time to open up before we visited on Sunday.

I started by trimming all the stems at an angle and prepping the vase with room temp water and plant food.  I put the largest blooms and the medium blooms with all of the leaves that were above the water line still intact (leaves below the water line = yucky, murky water).  

I moved the blooms around until they were evenly spaced and then began filling in with clusters of mini-carnations.

Once I had everything packed in, I added in my baby balloon.  I also eyeballed the arrangement and removed the hydrangea leaves that I thought looked a little wonky.  I liked the color and extra fullness that they added to the arrangement, but I didn't want my arrangement to look like a crazy overgrown wildabeast, so I removed the ones that looked "off."

Finally, I found some scrap white ribbon and tied a bow around the neck of the vase for a bit of extra festive fun (also, it's a gift...don't all gifts need bows?).

 Because I had the scrap ribbon and vase, this flower arrangement only cost about $23 (I had an e-coupon through Safeway for the carnations!).  If you had to add those costs in, you would probably be looking at about $35 if you had to buy the vase at the grocery store (but check Dollar Tree and the thrift can always find cheap vases!).  I also had enough leftover carnations to make two small arrangements for myself!  I tend to spend more money on flowers that take up a lot of room, but may only come with a few stems (like hydrangeas, lilies, peonies) and then using cheaper blooms that usually come in large quantities for fill in (like carnations and mums).

This is a great project to try your first attempt at flower arranging because you can make it really low cost and you don't need anything special like floral foam.  If you live close enough to take visit your friend or family member, making your own bouquet is also waaaaaaay cheaper and more personal than ordering flowers online.  You could easily use these same Posh Purpose styling tips to make bouquets for birthdays and other celebrations, or to cheer someone up as a get well present  (Safeway had several choices for balloons for every occasion).  Anyone else made any pretty bouquets lately?  We would love to see them, so feel free to email them to us at!

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thrift Store Finds

I can't wait until next time I visit Melinda so I can see those chairs in person! She learned a valuable lesson of buying what you love, even if you don't exactly need it at that moment. I learned that very same lesson last year when I missed an opportunity to have vintage green demitasse cups (there were four of them!!!!) so now I am much less hesitant to buy.

This lamp caught my eye from across the room but when I got up to it, the sparkly things were disappointingly plastic. Oh well. For $4, it would be cute in a little girl's room and you wouldn't have to worry about it breaking.

This funky lamp was $8 and definitely needs some frosted bulbs with a cool shape. The wooden base has serious scratches but I suppose you could stain/paint it. Or leave it as is and embrace the slightly used vibe.

This dresser makes a statement. What statement exactly, I am not sure. Price tag said $60 but you can always ask for less. Then put it in that girl's room with the plastic lamp from earlier.

I almost bought these pieces. I can't remember if they were $15, $25, or $35 each. Probably one of the higher numbers because I ultimately decided I had better things to do with my money.

This chair and table set is fun, but the chairs grab your attention. The whole set was priced at $95 and Habitat is sometimes reluctant to separate the chairs from the matching table. The metal needs new paint and the seats look like they had been recovered at least once before, and not well I might add. But recovering chairs is an easy fix!

Want to see more thrift store finds? We have a whole category just for that! We would love to see your finds, so feel free to share in the comments section. Or holler at us on twitter or instagram and hashtag it #ThriftStoreFinds.

Monday, September 22, 2014

DC Big Flea Purchase Round Up

Last week, I shared my experience at the DC Big Flea and I promised I'd show you my finds. Unfortunately, I did a bit of Christmas shopping so I can really only show two of my purchases. BUT, both of them are awesome!  First up, I finally found a vintage Pyrex refrigerator dish in pristine condition, with a pattern I wanted, and I could live with the price.  This Butterprint pattern is actually turquoise rather than the dusty blue it appears to be.  I've been on the hunt for a refrigerator dish for quite sometime to store bacon grease.  It's a southern thing y'all and adding a bit to your hot cast iron skillet before pouring your corn bread batter in makes an amazing and tasty crust.

My big purchase of the day was two of these sling arm chairs with attached cushions and brass trim from a super sweet retired couple who go to these shows for fun.  If you recall, I have been in mourning after I let two chairs get away, BUT in spite of that lesson, I still waffled back and forth on purchasing them.  After a text message picture sent to Mr. 3 who told me to buy them and we could find a spot for them and a conference call with Briana (which J helpfully interpreted while Briana was driving around St. Pete), I decided they were a must have!  As with all second hand goods, I made sure to smell them for smoke and check them for wear and tear to the fabric and the seat bottoms.  Aren't the brass bits on the legs awesome?

I talked the lady down by $100 by offering cash and playing hard to get (but super interested).  Playing hard to get means coming back to see the chairs twice and check them out for damage.  The seller had already knocked $50 off for me when I made my first pass (probably because it was the end of the first day), but then I told the lady that I had sent a picture to the my husband who said that he liked them (true) but they needed to be $50 less (not true).

Her super sweet husband then offered to carry the chairs out for me and waited with me at the curb until my friend Amy pulled the car around to load 'em up.

Even though I originally had no clue where I would ever fit these chairs into my house, I found out that it was meant to be after all!  I had two previously undiscovered nooks in need of seating!

The black leather (pleather? unknown.) works great in the living room and I plan to keep them this way for quite sometime...however, I have briefly thought how awesome they would also be in dark blue leather orrr banana leaf fabric with green leather sling arms.  Future home, perhaps?

Do I still mourn for my thrift store chairs?  Yes, a bit (Briana has taught us that one can never have too many thrift store chairs after all), but I can console myself with the fact that these pretty pieces don't need their seats replaced and they fit right in with my current furniture.

Between my great finds and the Christmas gifts I picked up, I'll be headed back to the DC Big Flea for sure!

Friday, September 19, 2014

DC Big Flea

Last weekend, I went to the DC Big Flea, which is a huge flea market that is held several times a year at the Dulles Expo Center.  For the low, low cost of an $8 admission fee, I went with my friend Amy to peruse all the glory.  We didn't have to pay for parking; and, unlike most flea markets, it was 100% indoors which was awesome considering it rained aaaall day on Saturday.

Although Briana and I have big aspirations to go to the Scott Antique Market in Georgia as a part of our Cousin Bucket List, most of our second hand adventures have been limited to Habitat and Goodwill.  So, I was really excited to go check out the DC Big Flea, because I originally thought I would be getting a larger variety of goods for flea market prices.

What I didn't realize was that "flea market" was a blatant lie and there would be no rock bottom deals. What there would be is tons and tons of beautiful antiques in excellent or mint condition with decent but not cheap prices.  When I say tons, I mean TONS...rows upon rows of fantastic furniture, home decor, and oddities., my friends.  There would also be many specialty vendors selling only fur coats and estate jewelry or booths containing niche these hat pins, a massive and creepy collection of Hummel figurines, book pages from the 1800s with hand colored artwork, and Victorian linens and dresses.

FYI - This is only about 15% of the Hummel booth.

I also found a few items that had been upcycled, but not necessarily in a good way.  Check out these sweet shell pieces.

Another upcycled piece, that was really interesting and neat, but I'm not sure how likely it would be to wind up in someones home.  I present to you a chicken incubator turned kitchen island?

When I first spotted it, I couldn't for the life of me figure out what it was...and when I did, I wasn't sure you Posh Purpose readers would believe it, so I took a photo for evidence.

 There was also quite a few beautiful pieces of furniture, BUT I was really displeased when I investigated further and found that they often didn't have dovetailing but did have a $2,000-$5,000 price tag.  I feel there should be a rule that you can't call it antique if it does not have dovetailed drawers.

Beautiful design.  No dovetail.  You are so pretty though, that I ~may~ forgive you...but only if you ditch that creepy mannequin head.

This beauty was only $375!
There were also a number of just flat out fun, cool, and interesting pieces that I'm not sure I would ever want to own, but I had so much fun checking them out!

Refinished parlor you don't get a chill whilst darning your stockings.

Beautiful and FUNCTIONING gramophone!

There were also a number of booths with with newer items like these IItala candle holders from the 1960s.  These ALMOST came home with me; but, after making a larger purchase, I had to pass (even though I'm having a serious case of regret about letting them get away).

Finally, there were scads and scads of beautiful glass and dishes and estate jewelry.  We found Baccarat decanters for $350 and $500 which sell for $500-$1,300, Fenton glass, hand painted oyster plates, and Tiffany, David Yurman, and Chopard jewelry. I also tried on a diamond ring for fun while another lady tried on a 1.55 carat diamond ring...probably for real.

I'm really glad my friend Amy went with me, because I'm not too sure Mr. 3 would have made it.  It was soooo overwhelming.  If I had bought nothing, this was totally be a $15 Happiness post.  I had the best time looking around and talking with the vendors.  It was also super easy to get around the expo center and it wasn't too crowded.  We were there for four hours, but we didn't see everything.  I've decided that I could spend one whole day just looking at jewelry and then go back the next to look at the other vendors (I said there were scads!).  The $8 admission was also actually good for two days, so I could have gone back Sunday.  Everyone was super friendly and willing to negotiate on price.  I only had one vendor that said she couldn't do any better, which I knew to be true for the particular item based on my Ebay recon.

If you haven't been to the DC Big Flea, I highly recommend you check it out!  Even if you have no room for antiques, it's a great resource for Christmas gifts!  If you don't live in the D.C. metro area, there are also shows in New York City and Fredericksburg, VA.  The next show is in New York, September 27-28th and then again in D.C., November 8-9th.

Check back on Monday when I'll be sharing a couple of my purchases!  Have a great weekend everyone!

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Life and Blog Updates

Since I accidentally published my dream house/pinterest post the same time as Melinda's shower discovery yesterday we didn't have a planned post for today. However, my communication error gave us the perfect opportunity to write a brief "state of the blog."  

Have you noticed decreased consistency in our posting schedule? Melinda and I have been working hard to improve our blogging schedule while still sharing content that we find interesting (and hopefully you do too). We don't believe that filler posts will help us grow Posh Purpose readership. Starting last April, we decided to get serious by posting regularly and often. And we did! But recently it has been hard to find inspiration for Posh Purpose because our focus has been diverted.

Melinda is searching for jobs away from D.C. and I am desperately hoping to buy and move into a house. We both found it hard to embrace apartment living when Melinda hoped to be moving to a new city and I hoped to be moving into an old house with plenty of character. We have day long gchat conversations about all of our ideas for entertaining, decorating, building/renovating but little desire to put effort into our (wishfully) temporary situations.

All that being said, we are making a new efforts to enjoy where we are in our lives! Melinda is resuming her How to Host series since renewing her lease means she can fill her refrigerator again. I will continue emptying Habitat with my hoarding collecting skills. And perhaps I may finish another project? Let's be optimistic, at least for today.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Building My Dream House on Pinterest

Melinda and I recently reorganized our pin boards. Thank goodness we made it a group project, because sorting through thousands of pins is not a task to be tackled alone. We learned a lot about our tastes and how they have changed over our years. And yes, some pins were deleted due to those changing tastes.

Another outcome is my Dream House pin board. While I have a board for kitchens and a board for everything else that could be considered home decor, a few of my already pinned images jumped out at me more than the others. I decided to create the dream house pin board to discover potential themes in my absolute favorite ideas. My home decor madness pin board is all over the place in style and colors (although not many patterns) but the dream house board is much more cohesive. I would describe it as art deco with an industrial flair.

After choosing these pictures as a preview of my pin board, I realized they do not convey my love of color whatsoever. Apparently I pinned based on architectural qualities and obviously the shininess factor. I suppose imagine these shapes with the color scheme in my chair project post plus maybe some emerald green and navy. My tastes will continue to develop over time but at least I know I am capable of a cohesive vision for a dream house, should I ever build one.

Do you ever have self realizations via social media? Or are you off the black hole that is Pinterest? By the way, Mel and I love dream boards so please share your links!

Recently Spotted: Drummonds Freestanding Showers

If you follow me on Pinterest, you may have seen my recent flurry of shower pinning.  I totally just discovered these amazing showers by Drummonds.  
Severn Shower
Image: Drummonds

Spittal Freestanding Shower with 8" Shower Head and Handset
Image: Drummonds

Spittal Freestanding Shower with 8" Shower Head and Handset
Image: Drummonds

I especially love the larger version and its beautiful set of double doors.   The water jets are built into the frame and has a shower head centered above.  According to the website, the showers can be installed in the middle of the bathroom.  The shower tray can be painted or finished in brass, nickel, or chrome.  However, it's best feature might be the distinct lack of grout lines to clean.  Squeegee-ing is preferable to grout maintenance.

Q: People, how are these not a thing?!?!?!?!
A: Because they start at £19,000 or roughly $31,000...

I guess that explains why the showers haven't popped up in all of our crazy Zillow real estate stalking.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Thrift Store Finds

Remember the pineapple mirrors from last week? Well our family warehouse now has a total of eight instead of the original six. Melinda just couldn't resist so I swiped two more for her! We reject the term "hoarders" simply because it is unwise to pass up a pretty wood mirror for $10. However, we have yet to figure out how to transport those mirrors back up to DC.. But enough with logistics, let's get to the fun stuff!

Habitat always seems to have sewing desks. These desks usually have sewing machines underneath the top, which you flip around to expose. This desk was without machine and is pretty cute. It was priced at $15 and would make an adorable desk for a child's room.

This festive bag was $1.50. I almost grabbed it for myself. It was sturdy and colorful, what more could you want?

This dresser was $65 but needs refinishing so the price will probably drop before someone picks it up. The hardware on the top drawers is different. I like it.

I cannot remember how much this yellow living room set was priced but isn't it fun! Someone else must have agreed because it didn't last long on the floor.

This piece of furniture has been sitting in Habitat for weeks, probably because no one wants to pay $70 for it. Ask for a better price, shoppers! There were no weird smells and the cabinet doors open and close smoothly so it is not a bad find. It is just too much money right now.

You can always find these clear glass tabletop pieces around town. I think $1.25 for each is a bit much, but you can usually get a lower price if they have been sitting out for a few weeks and you buy the pile. These sorts of thrift store purchases are perfect for when you host parties with more guests than dishes.

Maybe I am crazy but I love these chairs. I would want to recover the tan leather (most likely) and the $25 price tag says go right ahead. I am resisting the urge to purchase because I already own more chairs than square footage.

Want to see more thrift store finds? We have a whole category just for that! We would love to see your finds, so feel free to share in the comments section. Or holler at us on twitter or instagram and hashtag it #ThriftStoreFinds.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Bits from Behind the Scenes: Carpets & Tea Carts

Mr. 3 and I signed a renewal lease for our apartment complex this past weekend. On one hand, we are disappointed that my job search in Richmond hasn't worked out, but, on the other, we are glad to stay in our apartment which I've enjoyed decorating and turning into our home.  When we signed the paperwork, my super helpful leasing agent said she could snag us free carpet cleaning since we were renewing the lease.  Um, what? A rental company offered something for free?  I quickly responded "Yes!" before she could change her mind.  I've been on top of wine stains and dropped food when they've happened at our parties (or you know, takeout in front of the TV).  However, during Mr. 3's bourbon party in January, we had an unfortunate incident where the sofa table behind the couch, which was holding two hurricanes with lit candles, tumbled over flinging white wax aaaaall over the carpet.  Vacuuming the dried wax did not work and I hadn't tried anything else to get the wax up, so, I hoped that the carpet cleaning would take care of the problem for me.

I spent Wednesday night and Thursday morning piling furniture in the kitchen and bathrooms because the cleaners won't move furniture.

I was told that the carpets would be dry by the time I got home, but no such luck.  After realizing that none of the furniture could be moved back in place, I suddenly had the urge to potty...sooooo I climbed over a formal dining chair and wedged my knees under the tea cart (which I use as a makeup table) I'd stowed away in my bathroom.

After that enlightening experience, I realized my food choices for dinner were going to be limited to whatever I could grab in the sliver sized opening of the fridge.  Luckily, that was hummus (instead of some suspect fruit that I've been meaning to throw away) and I contorted myself to grab some pita chips.  Also, no dice on the wax removal.  Looks like I'll be spending some quality time behind the couch with ice cubes and a scraper, which I have unsuccessfully avoided until now.  Glamorous, no?  Needless to say, I'm adding this experience to my list of reasons against wall-to-wall carpet.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Posh Purpose Review: Victoria's Secret No-Show Hiphugger Sport Panty

I'm a huge fan of the Victoria's Secret Sport Collection and I've blogged my love and devotion to their line of sports bras before and my positive feelings about them have stayed the same.  I decided to give their sports line of underwear a go and I bought three pairs of the Victoria's Secret No-Show Hiphugger Sport Panty when I spotted them on sale for 3 for $33.

No-Show Hiphugger Sport Panty
$12.50 - $14.50
Image Source: Victoria's Secret
I wanted to try this line of underwear because of the cheaper price (Lululemon's are $18 each!) and the material.  I've had microfiber work out underwear in the past before which has been great performance-wise, but I still had horrible visible panty lines (VPL).  Usually, I'm soooooo anti-VPL and I simply do not understand women who traipse around with an outline on their tush.  It's not slimming especially if your backside is your problem area (I know it's one of mine!).  HOWEVER, the gym is the one place I give it a pass.  You should be as comfortable as possible when sweatin' it out and if that means VPLs then VPLs it is!

This underwear is made from moisture wicking fabric and billed as no-show.  I gave them a test run on Saturday at zumba class, because it doesn't get sweatier than that.  I was really impressed with how comfortable this underwear was when I wasn't moving around.  I loved them when I was hanging out around the apartment in the morning and sitting in the car on the way to the gym.  I hated them once the music started.  Let me just tell you that it is indeed possible to have your underwear ride up in both the back aaaaand the front at the same time...for a solid hour.  As for the no-show claim, I will say the panty lines were only partially visible and it was very faint, but I'd glad trade in more lines for less...ummmmm...upward mobility?

I'll be taking the other two unworn pairs back to Victoria's Secret because I just can't see these being a good thing for cardio classes.  I'll keep wearing the pair I have, but probably only for strength training or yoga type of classes which I don't attend too often.

Posh Purpose Rating: C

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Thrift Store Finds

Today's thrift store finds shows some of the things Mother and I bought last week. We left with a lot more than I have here as it was an extremely successful trip (or extremely unsuccessful, depending on how you look at it). I can't show everything because either I didn't snap a picture of it or it is going to be a Christmas gift this year. But here are some of the exciting things that came home with us.

This antique mirror had been sitting in Habitat long enough for both Mom and I to admire it more than once. Even though the original $30 price tag had not been reduced, Mom finally found a reason to buy it. My little sister doesn't have a mirror in her apartment bedroom and this one is perfect to set on top of her dresser.

Aren't these chairs great? Mom took home a set of four, all of which have caning in perfect condition. Each chair was priced at $30 but our good friends at Habitat gave Mom a buy three, get one free deal. She is going have the seats recovered but I'm not sure if she is changing the wood or not.

This adorable chair was only $10, but dropped to $8 thanks to a 20% off chairs discount. Mom is recovering this seat as well (the fabric is dirty and worn). She might also repaint, but the black wood is in good shape so she might leave it. The lower back is my favorite part!

Habitat had a pile of these pineapple mirrors (among many other things) donated by one of the Disney hotels undergoing renovation. They were priced at $15 each, but Mom and I bought six total for $10 each. I took two of them home (well not really.. they are in Mom's warehouse) because I thought they would be perfect for my version of this lavender and gold guest bathroom inspiration picture. The frames are solid wood and will eventually be turned gold, unless I change my mind before buying a house. I also bought a mirror about 5 feet tall and 4ish feet wide for $20. It and tons of matching mirrors were donated at the same time as the pineapple mirrors. Not many had sold, which is crazy considering the frames are also solid wood, so my Habitat friend dropped the price from $30 when we asked. Clearly the lesson of this thrift store finds post is that it never hurts to ask for a better price! And to be friendly with the workers/volunteers and to shop often.

Want to see more thrift store finds? We have a whole category just for that! We would love to see your finds, so feel free to share in the comments section. Or holler at us on twitter or instagram and hashtag it #ThriftStoreFinds.