Savvy Style


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ways-to-save-at-target-header copySometimes I feel like I should just hand over my entire paycheck to Target. It’s like a vortex of shoppy goodness that I can’t seem to walk away from. Here’s how my typical Target experience goes…

[enter internal monologue]
“Ok, I just need gift wrap, coffee creamer and light bul….ooh, look at that adorable journal. I know I have 10 other journals, but that’s so cute and on sale. I need it, yeah…i’ll definitely use it.
Alright let’s head over to paper towels (by route of the accessories section). Just the paper towels, you don’t need anyth… Oh look at that cute purse! It is summer now and I do need a new bright summer color purse, mine are so worn out. Oh, it’s on sale too? Jackpot.
Now wait, what was I looking for? Oh right, paper towels…”

I don’t know where this photo originated from, but it’s awesome.

And so it goes on and on until an hour, a shopping cart full and $150 later I walk out with way more than I came in for, and probably forgot one of those items on my list to begin with.But have no fear, I have some savings tips for you! I mean heck, if you’re going to spend half your life in Target, you might as well save a little money while you’re at it! (Helps me justify that pair of impulse wedges or earrings that just magically land in my cart)


1. Shop the end caps of each aisle for clearance and discounted items.         These are the often cluttered looking end caps that line the outer perimeter of the store. Did you know that Target has a markdown schedule? To catch items just as they get marked down, check out the schedule below:


2. Pay attention to the clearance tags.                                                                              These nifty little labels offer more information than meets the eye! Target has a system for marking down all items that you need to know about. Generally, most items are marked down at 30%, 50%, then 70% off. You can tell how much an item has been marked down by looking in the top right corner of the clearance sticker. (they mark down their sale items bi-weekly)Target clearance sticker

The other thing to pay attention to is the last digit of the price. You can tell by the last number whether or not an item is priced as low as it will go. Here’s the pricing protocol:

  • Item ends in “9” – Full Price
  • Item ends in “8” – Marked down once
  • Item ends in “6” – Marked down twice
  • Item ends in “4” – This is the lowest it will be discounted…grab it now!

3. Get the Target RED card. (DEBIT card)                                                                       If you’re money conscious like me, chances are you’re also like me and don’t use credit cards. Don’t run yet…this is NOT a credit card! Why should you get this card? Let me count thy ways:

  • It’s FREE.
  • It’s NOT a credit card – it’s a debit card linked directly to your checking account.
  • You save 5% on EVERYTHING every time you use it – in store and online (even clearance items)
  • You can still get cash back from your checking as if you were using your regular debit card.
  • You get an extra 30 days for returns.
  • You get FREE shipping online for everything.

I know you’re probably thinking…how have I not heard about this before? Probably because you’re like me and as soon as you hear the cashier say “would you like to apply for our Target RED card…” you think credit = debt = more money spent here than I already do (if that’s even possible) no. way. jose.IMG_3402

But I did some research and found out the debit card is the JAM. It’s super easy to apply for (just go to the customer service desk with a voided check, and it takes 5 minutes tops). I got one for myself and the hubs…both linked to our checking account. 5% may not seem like much savings, but think of it this way….if you spend $100 there a week (which is easy to do, especially if you buy groceries there)…then that’s $5200 spent a year. 5% off = $260 in savings. Why wouldn’t you do it?! Just make sure you ask for the DEBIT card, not credit!

So there you go friends…next time you go to Target you can feel a little better about that yoga mat you bought that’s just going to collect dust in your closet as you eat the candy you found in the dollar section, cause hey….you saved extra money!

Happy shopping!

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by, endorsed by or paid for by Target. In fact, they have no clue who I am. I just find a lot of good deals there, and think my readers should too! However in full disclosure, some (not all) links provided are affiliate links. I do NOT make any commission for you signing up for the RED card…I just think it’s a great deal!




Happy Friday!  Here’s a sweet treat to get your weekend started…Bachelorette cupcakes!

We had my baby sister’s bachelorette party a few weeks ago…she wanted something fun, but not crazy. (And i’m glad – I mean let’s be real, the movie Bridesmaids is hilarious, but I don’t want to re-enact it.) So we landed on a night of good food and bowling. Yep, that’s how we roll. (pun intended)

It’s hard to decorate a bowling alley, so instead I made these easy cupcakes…complete with cute engagement rings from Michael’s Arts and Crafts (also seen in my bridal shower game here), but if you don’t have a Michael’s or other craft store close by, you can also find the same ones here.IMG_3445bachelorette-cupcake-blueIMG_3455IMG_3467I mean come on, what could be better than pure sugar and bling? Not much, if you ask me. 

Pure bliss.

Happy styling!






MOTHER [muhth-er]  –noun.

1. One person who does the work of twenty. For free.

I have been beyond blessed to be able to have so many wonderful mothers in my life to celebrate: my mom, two grandmothers and now a mother-in-law and two grandmothers-in-law…not to mention countless relatives, mentors and friends who are incredible mothers as well. Let’s just say I have some BIG shoes to fill when I become a mother someday.

And for those shoes, I am eternally grateful.

Here’s a peek at a Mother’s Day dinner I hosted last night. I downloaded some adorable FREE printables from Catch My Party. It was as simple as picking out my favorite colors…print, cut, decorate and done! A small amount of work for a big payoff – a party that looks pulled together and extra special for mom!mothers-day-cake-buntingMothers-day-decor-collage-3mothers-day-printablesmothers-day-decormothers-day-table-2


Here’s to the moms who have given their all…

when they didn’t feel like it.

when we didn’t even thank them for it.

when we needed it the most.






In the first six months of marriage, merging lives and “stuff” has been a fun, but ongoing challenge. Namely, how do I decorate our apartment in a stylish, cozy and affordable way without making my poor husband feel like he’s living in a girl’s apartment.

(Rule #1: Limit the usage of pink. Obviously.)

Today’s task: Incorporate hubby’s coffee table with a touch of shabby chic style that’s not so feminine he feels like he’s looking at a home you’d find on Lifetime: Television for Women.




coffee-table-decorGet the Look (for cheap!):

1. Chevron Table Runner: I got this from the awesome website Very Jane that has AWESOME daily deals…cheap, and I mean cheap. It was only $11.99! (I liked it so much I bought three different colors)

2. Flower Tray: It’s actually a cheap picture frame from Michael’s that I unscrewed the back off of so that it would lay flat, and I bought a .50 piece of printed card stock to put in the frame for a little style. The frame was only $7.99, and bonus…I opened my Michael’s iPhone app and used a framing coupon, so it was only $5!

3. Bird Tealight: I got this adorable tealight holder from Crate & Barrel for only $7.95.

4. Antique Frame: Only $2.99 at Hobby Lobby. The adorable married couple in the frame? Of course, that’s us.🙂

5. Hydrangeas: These aren’t real…but in real life, they really don’t look super fake! They were $5 at Michael’s (I used a coupon again!), and then I took an old mason jar I had laying around, wrapped it in burlap, tied it with jute ribbon, and bam…can’t even see the fake stem  hiding beneath!.

6. Books: I just picked two books I already owned that were a good color to complement the decor and took the covers off of them! 

TOTAL COST: Less than $35!

Finding a look that both my hubby and I can live with: PRICELESS.

Happy styling!




bridal-shower-welcome-chalkboard-titleI can’t believe my baby sister is getting hitched in just a few short weeks, y’all!

She’s tying the knot in the cutest little barn up in the north Georgia mountains, so of course it was only fitting to throw her a rustic bridal brunch full of sweet southern charm.



Remember my window panes from this post?

I just keep finding ways to use them!



Cutting boards filled with advice and love from everyone.

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The awesome LOVE banner was made by my friend Krista!
The spread of brunch goodies made by all the lovely hostesses!


bridal-shower-beverages bridal-shower-food bridal-shower-fruit-cheese bridal-shower-monkey-bread bridal-shower-muffins bridal-shower-parfait bridal-shower-sausage-balls

And of course, me (left) with the bride (right)..


The final countdown is on…here’s to a lifetime of love!






Call me crazy, but I love….I mean loove themed parties!

Just the thought of dreaming up decor, food and activities around a fun theme is enough to keep my brain swirling for hours. So when our Just Married’s Small Group decided to do a Board Game Night for our first social, I was all over that junk like white on rice. I couldn’t help myself!

My focal point for the snack bar wound up being cupcakes. If you’ve know me for more than five minutes, this is not a surprise to you. In fact, I’m seriously contemplating petitioning to have cupcakes become an official food group.

That way at least i’ll feel better about myself when i’m eating them for breakfast.

Anywho, I digress…let me tell you about the easiest theme-related dessert you’ll ever make: dice cupcakes!


I originally saw the idea on Pinterest where someone had made some adorable fondant dice for cupcake toppers. So cute, but let’s be honest…ain’t nobody got time for that.

So I figured out a faster, cheaper option…sugar cubes!


I enlisted my awesome hubbs to help me make the dots on the die with edible ink while I made and frosted the cupcakes. Here’s how you do it:

1. Bake and frost your favorite cupcakes…any flavor, any frosting – the possibilities are endless!  (Note: I would recommend piping the frosting on though, just to give it a stylish look, and create a “platform” to sink the dice down into.)

2. Buy these cheap and easy sugar cubes at any local grocery store.

3. Find an edible ink pen for the numbers on the dice (I found mine at Michael’s Arts & Crafts). I used these Wilton Edible Ink Pens, they worked great!

4. Display them in a fun way…because let’s be honest, it’s all about the presentation.

5. Game on. Eat as many as you can without them going straight to your hips.


The adorable sign my hubs drew.
The adorable sign my hubs drew.



Life is always sweeter when there are cupcakes involved. Enjoy!





Question: How do celebrity women always seem to have thick, luxurious, perfect hair?

Answer: They bought it! (no seriously, they bought it)

It’s no secret that a majority of the rich and famous look the way they do because they can afford to have the best stylists and the best products at their fingertips. But today I’ll show you how you can have beautiful, thick, natural-looking hair for your wedding, special event or night out with the girls…for less than $100!

Can you tell that I have hair extensions in here?

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Yeah, neither could anyone else! Score!

For my wedding, I knew I wanted my hair to be down and natural for the ceremony. But I also knew that by the end of the day my hair underneath my veil would wind up looking flat as a pancake. So I searched for something to give me volume without costing a fortune.

My stylist recommended Jessica Simpson clip-in hair extensions, and I think I literally laughed out loud at her. They are $99, which seemed a bit steep to me for synthetic hair, but I went ahead and checked them out at Ulta where they told me I could return it, even if it had been opened…so I had nothing to lose!  (UPDATE: They’re actually on sale at Ulta right now for $79.20! Also note that they are now branded as “Hairuwear” instead of what’s listed on my tutorial video)

Here’s a quick tutorial on how I got the look:

Products you need:

  1. Hairuwear Clip-in Extensions (or hair extensions of your choice…my color used in the video is Ginger Brown, but a Chestnut Brown in the new product would be similar)
  2. Comb
  3. Clip to section your hair off while attaching extension
  4. 1 & 1/2 inch curling iron to style your own hair before attaching extension

Note: Be sure to NOT curl or flat iron the synthetic hair…it will fry it!




Another great thing about this clip-in extension is that I left it in for a quick updo for the reception! My makeup artist put my hair up for me in between the ceremony and reception into a low, soft do…and the extension just gave her more hair to work with!

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So now that you know my little secret, I guess I have no excuse for a bad hair day. Ever.🙂

Happy styling!




You know what they say: all that glitters is gold…and flipping expensive.

Ok, maybe they don’t always say that last part, but I sure do! Sparkly things aren’t cheap, but dang they look fabulous!  The Sherri Hill dress above was my inspiration for what I wanted to wear for our rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.  I knew that on my wedding day I wanted to look classy, elegant…bridal. But the night before, I just wanted to look glamorous.

And sparkly, of course.

But when I did some digging to find this dress I found it (and basically every other sequined designer dress with good structure) was waaaaaay out of my budget. Ouch. What’s a girl to do?

Then I remembered this awesome website my friend Misty had shared with me a few years back called Rent the Runway…and all my problems were solved! Can I get a sparkly amen?!

Rent the Runway is a fabulous website where you can rent…yes rent designer dresses for a fraction of the price. And double bonus…they do the cleaning for you! (that alone can cost a small fortune!) They have dresses for every occasion: weddings, parties, formal events, bachelorette, a night out on the town….you name it! Most of the rentals range anywhere from around $50-$150, and you can even rent the accessories too! It’s like borrowing the runway and then giving it back! 

I found this AMAZING Badgley Mischka dress which looked similar in style to the one that I found on Pinterest, and I just fell in love with it. It retails for $375 (ouch), but with the discount code I had for being a first time shopper, I rented TWO of the dresses for a whopping $56 (that includes tax, shipping both ways and insurance). Heck yes!


Here’s how I got it:

1. I did a search on their website for sequined gowns. You can browse their dresses online and find one you like by searching for event type, color, size, style, etc. You name it…you can find it!

2. Once I found a dress I liked, I read the customer reviews. These were great because they tell you what size they are normally, and what size they wound up ordering in that dress. I found a few girls closest to me in size and ordered the size they wore.

3. Here’s the awesome bonus – you actually get a second size in the same dress for FREE. So two designer dresses for the price of one rental. This worked out great for me because I wound up having to wear a size smaller than I thought I would. 

4. You place your order, pick your date (the dress can arrive 1-2 days before your event) and cross that to-do off your list!

5. The dresses arrived on time, in perfect condition, and they came with a cute garment bag I got to keep! 

6. Once you wear the dress, you just toss them in the pre-paid envelope that was included and drop it off in the mail. Done and done. 

So easy. So fabulous. So freaking cheap! 

And let me tell you, the dress was a HIT. When I told hubby that it was rented, he asked how much it cost to buy it…and seriously considered forking out the dough for it, he liked it that much! (and if you know how cost conscious he is, that is a HUGE statement. But don’t tell him I said that)😉


2012_07_30-1849Do yourself a favor and check out the website…it’s free to join! And if you’re thinking about renting a dress, use this link: Jamie’s RTR Referral  – we can both get $20 back from your first rental! You’re welcome!🙂


Please note: This post was NOT sponsored by RTR in any way, nor do I get any kind of compensation from them for posting about it…I’m just sharing this fabulous deal with you because i’m a raving fan and I want my friends to look fabulous too (without spending the big bucks). 

Here’s to looking like a runway model on a Target budget!





I have an entire drawer full of all the cutest wedding favors i’ve ever received…

…said no one ever.

Let’s be honest – most wedding favors don’t even make it out of the car on the way home. They either get left at the reception, or they’re in the next round of things you toss in the garbage can when you’re bored at the gas pump and decide to start cleaning out the trash in your car. I am well aware of this rule.

Even so, at our wedding I wanted to do a simple an inexpensive favor that made each place setting feel a little more personalized (and tied to our theme). A sweet treat they could actually enjoy at the reception (if they wanted to) and not feel like I wasted a ton of time when they were tossed later. And bonus: lots of people use mason jars at home, so these bad boys are reusable…they make a great traveling jewelry jar for the nightstand! 

Here’s how I made them:

Step 1: Do a little research. 

You can find Mason Jars everywhere…and I mean everywhere. They even have them by the case at Publix! We did tons of online research and found them really cheap on several websites…however the shipping wound up being almost three times the cost of the actual jars! Crazy. 

We landed on wanting the 4oz Ball Mason Jars, and we found a great deal through Ace Hardware, of all places. They were $9.99 for a case of 12 online, and even better…they ship them FREE to a local Ace near you, all we had to do was swing by and pick them up!

ball-mason-jars-4ozStep 2: Printable Labels.

We found the perfect printable labels online as well, from a company called They were super cheap (less than .75 per page) and they have a ton of online templates you can dowload directly into Microsoft Word to design and print…it was super easy!

For a 4oz jar, we needed the 2 inch diameter round labels. We chose ivory, but there are other colors available. You can find those labels here: 2in Round Labels.

See how nicely they fit?

Sorry for the not-so-great photo…I was just taking these for myself at the time, didn’t realize i’d be using them on a blog later!

Since the free template downloaded into Word, I just created the text from there. You don’t have to be a super-pro designer to do this, either! There are all kinds of free pretty script fonts that you can download…two of my favorite font websites are dafont and Scrap Village.

Our name logo at the bottom I did design in Photoshop using some of the free fonts, however if you don’t have Photoshop or don’t know how to use it, you can still create something similar! Back in the day when I was just experimenting with designing things, I would actually create them in Power Point. You laugh, but it totally works.

Because the paper margins are square and the labels are round, I did have to print a few test sheets onto plain paper to make sure the text I inserted didn’t get cut off of the label. Be sure to do this before you send all of your labels through the printer!

Step 4: Fill them with yummy goodness!

My two accent colors for the wedding were dark purple and green, so I knew I wanted to use those for a pop of color on the gray linens. I ordered Jelly Bellies in bulk…in just those two colors so that I didn’t have to spend days upon days eating, I mean sorting candy. I ordered those here: Bulk eCandy

Step 5: The finishing Touch.

To finish them off, and tie in the style of the raffia I used on the aisle markers as seen here, I took two pieces of the Dollar Store raffia and wrapped them around the lid, tied them in a double knot and cut off the excess. Volia! Finished product:


Photo: http://sugarsnapatl.comDon't they look cute on the tables? I think they give it that extra touch.
Don’t they look cute on the tables? I think they give it that extra touch.

That’s it! What’s the best favor you’ve ever received? Or maybe that actually made it home…

UPDATE: Get your own FREE copy of the mason jar labels or thank you note HERE

Happy styling!





I’m not sure what I was thinking about when I agreed to live on the third floor.

But you know what I wasn’t thinking about…? Groceries.

Holy cow, every week I’m sure I look like a crazy woman practically crawling up three flights of stairs, my arms so full of grocery bags that I barely fit in the stairwell…because I refuse, REFUSE to make more than one trip to get them upstairs!

Photo Credit

Such is the life of apartment living! There are definitely some perks to living in an apartment:

  • I walk to work
  • Free pool & gym
  • We each have our own bathroom and closet (gotta draw the line somewhere)
  • If something breaks, I just make a phone call

But there are also a few drawbacks:

  • Hearing your neighbors through the wall
  • Losing hot water mid-shower if I get in after 8am
  • What I call the lovely “apartment beige” carpet, walls, well…basically, everything. blech
  • Don’t even get me started on the 1990’s hunter green tile that is on our fireplace and front door entryway. Oh em gee.

Hubby and I decided we wanted to do the apartment living for at least our first year of marriage so that A) he didn’t marry a Bridezilla attempting to plan a DIY wedding and buy a house at the same time. (trust me, nobody wants to meet that beast) and B) we want to be completely debt free and have some substantial savings before we land on the home we’ll be in for quite a while.

With that comes the challenge to make our apartment a cozy home, with the limitations that we can’t do just any decorating and/or remodeling that our little hearts desire. We have to live with certain things…like did I mention the horrible hunter green fireplace tile? Yep, just wait. we’ll get to that.

So welcome to Part 1 of working with what you’ve got. Today, we’ll focus on the living room…specifically the fireplace mantle, and how to decorate it without spending a month’s worth of rent.

Yep. There's that tile. Ugh.
Yep. There’s that tile. Ugh.

I realize i’m fortunate I get to even say we have a fireplace in our apartment…we lucked out. So green tile and all, i’m going to take full advantage of this little house-like styling.

My goal was to make it look good using things that I already had, and buying only minimum items if needed. I also needed to give it a lot of height because the ceiling is two stories (we have a loft/office upstairs). So off I went. Here’s what I came up with:







Not bad, huh? I wanted to keep it fairly neutral in color…well, lets be honest, because that green was enough color for the entire room. (did I mention i’m not a fan of the tile?) And I wanted to balance out the height on each side without making it look completely symmetrical. So here’s the breakdown of what I have and where you can find something similar:


1. Mirror – I’m not kidding when I tell you i’ve had that mirror for 10 years…TEN YEARS! It’s hung behind the couch, in the hall, in the dining area (of two apartments). Let’s just say that mirror gets around. And I got it at Wal-Mart of all places! But putting it here and adding a little touch in front of it has totally given it new life!

2. Wreath – the cute little wreath cost me a whopping dollar. Ok, a dollar and ten cents. It’s literally a wreath from the dollar store that I hung with some rafia (also dollar store) and tied a rafia bow on it. It was also actually recycled from my wedding – I used these as aisle markers for the rows my family sat on…so technically I didn’t pay anything for them in this project.

Aisle Wreath

3. Candle Holders – these I got at Hobby Lobby for about $20 for both. And if you download their iPhone app, you can get all sorts of cool coupons. Score.

4. Frames & Glass Vase with Jute String – I got both of these at Marshall’s for about $6 each (the frame to the left I have had for years). The vase was on clearance because the string was coming off. Nothing a little hot glue gun couldn’t fix! Boom! I love the texture these frames added to the mantle.

5. Sticks for vase – these came in a bunch from Garden Ridge for about $7. 

6. Shutter – This was also recycled from my wedding! I bought it from Scott’s Antique Market and gave it a little refresh. Stay tuned for another post on what i’m doing with the rest of those from the wedding!

7. Star – This cute little star came from the dollar section at Target, of all places! If you skim past that section every time you walk in the store, you’re missing out…you can often find cute little treasures in there for cheap! (also got part of my wedding centerpieces there, but that’s coming in a later post!)

That’s it! In total, I spent about $40 to put this little ensemble together…and I love the fact that I can change it up, move things around, or use some of these pieces somewhere else in the house if I get bored with them here!

And here’s a few snippets of the rest of my living room (which is still a work in progress, but hey we’re getting there..we’ve only been married a few months!)

This is my other favorite space in the just feels cozy!
This is my other favorite space in the room…it just feels cozy!

One tip I learned to make a room feel more open is to hang curtains higher and slightly wider than the actual window. You’ll see here, instead of doing one looooong bar across this massive window, we opted to hang 2 shorter poles (from Ikea) and take the curtains all the way up to the ceiling to make it feel less closed in. It really opened this wall up!

And don’t worry, there was still plenty of length to do this! I bought these burlap-ish type curtains originally because they were only $20 total (also from Ikea) and because I didn’t want to spend a ton on curtains for a temporary apartment home. But you know, once I got them up, I really liked them a lot more than I thought I would! Sweet!

My favorite chair,  new chevron pillows from Crate and Barrel, and an old couch that is going to be departing us soon! Yay for a new couch on the way!
My favorite chair, new chevron pillows from Crate and Barrel, and an old couch that is going to be departing us soon! Yay for a new couch on the way!
Added this Ikea bookshelf in the entryway to break up the room a little...that way it doesn't feel as much like you're walking in the door directly into the middle of the living room.
Added this Ikea bookshelf in the entryway to break up the room a little…that way it doesn’t feel as much like you’re walking in the door directly into the middle of the living room.
I'm kind of in love with my little wire/burlap awesome find at Garden Ridge for $12!
I’m kind of in love with my little wire/burlap baskets…an awesome find at Garden Ridge for $12!
Love. (still getting used to the new last name though)
Love. (still getting used to the new last name though)

That’s it folks, hope you enjoyed the tour of my living room! I would love to hear from you about what some of your favorite pieces are to decorate a mantle…I have a feeling i’m going to want to change it up a couple times a year!

Happy styling!

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