Misfit Chairs

mismatched chairs1

I have eight mismatched chairs around my dining room table.

Don’t get me wrong, this is exactly what I wanted, but they all look like this and BORING!

So I think it’s time to mix it up, a good project during Holiday break,

but I can’t decide which way to go { all one color or different }??

Here’s some inspiration for my misfit chairs:

yellow chairs 2

{ p/c A Beautiful Mess }

red chairs

{ p/c Dreams & Happy Things }

turquoise chairs

{ p/c Better Homes & Gardens }

mismatched chairs

{ p/c Never Without }

What do you think??

If this has inspired you to get yourself a series of super cool misfit chairs,

we { Stuff Etc } have OPTIONS!

Check it out:

chair Collage

This is a tiny sampling of what I found in our Coralville location, and the other four have a whole lot more.

Even misfit chairs need a home for the holidays. ūüôā

Happy Monday!

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Holiday Whiplash

fuzzy tree

Don’t worry … it’s not your eyes …

it’s my brain!

I feel like I’ve been Rip van Winkled!

I know I need to apologize for my lack in posting, but what the heck?!

Where o where has the time gone?

Maybe it’s my old age catching up with me¬†(turning 42 this year .. ¬†get my AARP card ready), ¬†but I am experiencing some serious holiday whiplash.

I mean, if this nifty thing called a calendar didn’t exist, I’d swear I was a zombie princess two weeks ago and plucking feathers from a turkey last week (not really plucking, just going for a dramatic visual to get my point across).

But curses … the calendar does exist and it’s only 18 days from Christmas and we have gifts to buy and cookies to bake and a home to decorate and presents to wrap and family to visit and cards to send and food to make and whoa! sister!

Seriously.

Take.  a.  breath.

{ inhale }

{ exhale }

Got it.

Less panic.  More peace.

peace

Who’s with me?

snow on pines { p/c Design is Mine }

Is Your Weekend Costume Ready?

costumes simpsons

It’s the Friday before Halloween and there’s a whole lot o’ stuff ¬†happening from this day forward and I don’t know about you, but I have yet to have my costume(s) ready!!!

{ scary }  

I have two of the six kids confirmed and (mostly) outfitted, but the others we are piecing together and pulling it out of our arse. ¬† Heck, we have a collection of costume wear, bits and bobs that date back 15 years … surely we can frankenstein something!

If you are still looking for ideas, here’s a few cool ones (and far less lame than my leftovers) I spotted on I Spy DIY:

costume pop star

costume katniss

costume honey boo boo

costume katy perry

costume fab 5

And let’s not forget another movie that gives us plenty of costume inspiration …

costume magic mike

{ get more movie costume ideas via Screen Crush }

And it you’re still not sure, visit this post for other Halloween costume winners ¬†{hint: anything Zombie is a definite bullseye}.

O!  

If you find yourself less fortunate than my lucky children to have their mother’s box of costume glory circa 1989, then head over to any of our Stuff stores and pick up what you need – all Halloween¬†is 50% off!

HAPPY HALLOWEEN from all of us to all of you!

Stay safe and have a blast!

xoxoxo

p.s. ¬†I’d L.O.V.E. to hear/see what your costumes are!

Tights or no Tights?

tightsI say TIGHTS!

Seriously!  How fun are these?

Now that it’s getting cooler out you should TOTALLY consider picking up a few pairs… they keep your legs warm, look fashionable, add flair to a boring outfit, and let’s admit it…

they look fan. freaking! tastic. with boots.

BUT!

{ and there is always a “but” }

You are probably thinking unless they are grey or black, they’re a little too schoolyard? That your legs must be the size of matchsticks to pull ’em off? ¬†Or be that twenty-somethin’-too-cute-for-words working at Urban Outfitters?

Not true.  Not anymore.

wool tightsAlthough black tights are very chic & timeless, this season’s hottest trends are way more fun.  Instead of regarding tights as you do leggings (black, boring, basic…), think of them as a statement piece of your look. With different colors, patterns and textures to choose from, there’s no reason not to let a great pair of tights become the focal point of an outfit!

colored tights

If all the crazy colors frighten you a bit, try the deep jewel tones like emerald green, navy blue and dark maroon  Рall are gorgeous hues that can be worn day or night.  And opaque tights are perfect for all shapes and sizes because they give a smooth look to the leg.

jewel tone tights

But how do you wear them when you’re over thirty (plus) without looking like you’re trying to be 20?

Best rule of thumb:

 Keep your clothes simple and one color.

A black shift dress looks awesome with a bright pair of tights.  Or be a little daring with a printed tight set against basic black.

tights fashion

If a fun pattern is where you’re at, tone it down with a knee-length skirt and knee-high boots so it gives a glimpse of tights, but gives your look a jolt of fun.

And don’t forget about layering. ¬†If you have an old pair of fishnets, layer them over a gray pair of tights for a whole new look. Or grab a pair of knee-high socks to layer over coordinating tights with your boots.

There are so many options!

tights purple

And all are an inexpensive way to add a bit of fashion and fun to your fall and winter wardrobe! So … ¬†tights or no tights?

TIGHTS!

xoxoxo

Downsizing is HARD; Get Ruthless

Saw this today over at The Money Side of Life and just had to share:

And because I know first-hand how incredibly hard it is to do it!

{ we’ve talked about it before here }

That’s why my favorite quip is from #2 … “get ruthless”.

Ain’t that the truth?

May the force be with you.

Hope you have a fantastic weekend.

xoxoxo

Money Matters … RIGHT?! This blogger nailed it!

savvy. social. style.

It is not uncommon to overhear friends boasting about the latest deal in fashion they happened to stumble upon.  As a matter of fact, it’s the popular thing to do!  So mush so, that consignment shopping has made a comeback.  Never heard of it?  Let us assist you with becoming better acquainted.

Consignment shops are retail stores that sell gently used clothing on behalf of the consignor (the individual who brings the clothing to re-sell).  There are a few great reasons to shop at consignment shops…Reason #1, you can make a profit by taking you gently used clothing to be sold.  Yes, the store owners will pay you a percentage of the profits for your items. Reason #2, you can find items 50-75% off the retail value.

Now that you are familiar, let’s look at how to be a Savvy consignment shopper.

  • consignment shopping takes patience and an open mind. ¬†Unfortunately‚Ķ

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Iowa Artist: Isabel Bloom

isabel bloom

Do you know Isabel Bloom?

Well, maybe you don’t know her … I don’t know her either, but I wish I did.

Maybe you are familiar with her work?

isabel bloom violet

{ This is Violet.  She is my favorite. }

Being born and raised in Iowa, and a fellow artist, I have a special place in my heart for Isabel Bloom and just want to share some details about her that I find fascinating.

Isabel Scherer Bloom

  • born in Galveston, Texas, in 1908.
  • moved to Davenport, Iowa, in 1909 and remained there for the rest of her life.
  • original education was in dressmaking and design.
  • started attending the Stone City Art Colony in 1932.
  • studied under Grant Wood.
  • met her future husband, John Bloom (also an artist), while at the Colony.
  • created and starred in a children‚Äôs program at the Davenport WOC television station for several years called ‚ÄúMake Believe” ( she made all the sets )
  • her figurines are crafted from the locally available materials of concrete and river stone.
  • she sculpted in their basement studio in her spare time, mixing her own cement with a shovel.
  • got her business started by submitting several concrete pieces to shops in Chicago
  • Hoops, a garden shop on Michigan Avenue, was the first American retail outlet for the Isabel Bloom figurine line.
  • by the early 60’s, she quickly outgrew her basement and rented studio space in an abandoned ice cream factory.
  • she maintained a studio, which became her shop, on Brown Street in the Village of East Davenport until 1981.
  • Bloom sold the shop to a group of Quad-Cities businessmen who expanded the retail chain on a national scale. The original storefront is still a staple of its quaint shopping district.
  • She continued to advise and promote the figurine company until her death at age 93 in 2001.

Living here in Iowa, we are fortunate to have access to an abundance of Isabel Bloom figurines. ¬†Shoot, it’s practically a staple in the gardens & homes of local residents.

We are also extremely fortunate to receive several pieces on consignment at all of our Stuff locations. ¬†At any given time, you can walk into our Davenport store and find at least a dozen pieces for sale in the case. ¬†The extra special, often retired pieces are featured in our “Silent Auction” – like this one currently available:

{ Girl With Bird, ¬†1ft 7in tall ¬†– isn’t she beautiful? }

Here’s a little sample of what else is currently available in the case at the Davenport Stuff Etc …

Thanks for letting me share!  Perhaps you are an Isabel Bloom fan too?

xoxoxo

Star Picks for Fall

Inspired by the September issue of Bazaar Magazine …

Bazaar Magazine Extras

Bazaar Magazine Extras

Bazaar Magazine Extras

Our Cedar Rapids Stuff Etc put together their STAR PICKS for FALL 

Cedar Rapids Stuff Etc Star picks

Cedar Rapids Stuff Etc Star Picks

Cedar Rapids Stuff Etc Star Picks

And ALL of our picks are less than $19.99 each!

It Just Feels Good

p/c of Iowa Alumni Magazine

Giving back.

It just feels SO good inside.

Not to toot our own horn, but every month for the last four years, Stuff Etc selects a local organization at each location to raise money for.  At the end of the month, we give 100% of all donations collected to that charity.  One weekend a month, we center the sale around collecting donations while offering a discount.

To me. ¬†Personally. Being involved with that … it feels good.

The customer giving a dollar to get  a discount; it feels good.

Presenting the check at the end of the month; it feels good.

Seeing the faces of who we present it to; that feels Ah – Mazing!

Knowing how grateful they are for every bit of help, every dollar, every cent; knowing we are helping the organization, helping the people they help; it feels AWESOME!

Today we had the opportunity to partner with a new group, 100 Grannies.

This group is organizing an effort to Ban the (plastic) Bag.  On Sunday, they will be hosting a rally in downtown Iowa City to raise awareness and support for the Ban.  They are asking community members to bring their plastic bags to the rally which they will tie together to create HUGE chain around the University  of Iowa pedestrian mall to demonstrate the amount of waste generated by plastic bags (read more about that here ).  All the bags will then be recycled and each participant will receive a fabric recycle bag donated from area businesses (while supplies last).

Stuff Etc has opted to donate 100 of our recycle bags.  We are very proud to be a part of this movement and partner with our friends at 100 Grannies!  We encourage you to join them in their efforts this Sunday and moving forward.

This weekend, you can also help these local organizations when you shop our Stuff Etc stores and save 20% off all full-priced items (excluding mattresses):

One last thought before we part for the weekend …

In August, I blogged about a random act of kindness (seen here), that really affected me emotionally.  Last week, I met a friend for a drink after work.  My ticket came to $5.85.  I gave our waitress a $20 bill and told her to keep it (not something I normally do since living on the Dave Ramsey plan, if you know what I mean). She questioned me like I must have read my ticket wrong.  I assured her the it was indeed her change to keep. She thanked me numerous times, all the while with tears in her eyes.

This was just a $14 tip and the poor thing welled up with tears.

I too welled up with tears.

And it felt good.

xoxoxo

Happy Weekend!

No More Door to Door

I still have a couple of trick-or-treaters at my house, but no more door to door for the four teenage boys!  Hands-down, Halloween is our favorite holiday, so how do we keep that spirit going?

Time to get creative.

The boys had some pretty creative ideas that I thought were worth sharing and might give you some ideas of how to take your Halloween to the next level.

ZOMBIES.  This is the winning vote in our house.  AND, apparently, you can turn ANY theme into a ZOMBIE theme!  { I especially like the Easter Bunny zombie } Even the wee ones thought this was THE. BESTEST.

VAMPIRES. ¬†And this is not your traditional, old-school vampires… so uncool. ¬†It’s only acceptable now if you are a ‘Twilight’ or { for the older crowd } a ‘True Blood’ vampire. ¬†I saw a party where someone had a huge twig tree decorated with apples for a Twilight themed party … very cool idea.

SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE. ¬†This is a personal favorite! I have been an SNL ¬†fan for a very long time now, and what’s even sweeter, is our oldest ones are fans too! ¬†So fun to share!

CLASSIC SITCOMS. ¬†How fun would this be?! ¬†Roseanne. Brady Bunch. I Love Lucy. Happy Days. Three’s Company. Partridge Family. ¬†The ideas go on and on { if you ask the boys, it would be more current shows like GLEE, etc .. jk ¬†… the GLEE reference was totally for their benefit … hee hee }.¬†

SUPERHEROES &¬†VILLAINS.¬† ¬†So timely, especially with the recent release of ‘The Avengers’, ‘The Dark Knight’, and ‘Spiderman’.

FAVORITE MOVIE CHARACTERS. ¬†I personally voted for this one. ¬†It didn’t win.

KID PARTY IDEAS.  The wee ones had some fun ideas too.  Fairy Tales. Video Games. Pirates. Disney. Hunger Games.

Guess I better get working on my zombie!

xoxoxo