Monday, July 27, 2015

How To Save On Home Decor


I literally whipped up this list within minutes of seeing a friend's post on her shopping adventures.  Here are a few tips on how to save a little money while adding the little touches that help make a house...or room...or apartment a home.

Target.  A necessary evil, dangerous yet oh so necessary.  When shopping "in-store" at Target for home goods be sure to use the Cartwheel app for additional savings.  Basically you can scan the item with your smart phone, and it saves any discounts for that item.  These discounts are applied to a bar code that's scanned before completing your transaction so you receive the savings.  Little known fact, Target also has coupons that you can print online.  So, check for these because it's likely there will be a coupon or two for some of the home decor brands.  Shopping online at Target will also bring you savings.  They often have special promotions and sales unavailable in stores like an extra 10-20% off for buying multiple items or spending over a certain amount; sometimes they'll even offer free gift cards for your purchase.



Thrift shops.  Especially for picture frames.  While beauties like these may be an exception, I just can't let myself spend tens of dollars on picture frames.  You can easily find some really great wood and glass frames from the Goodwill or other thrift stores for as low as $1 or $2.  The last time I was there I found a great one from Ikea, new with the plastic!  The same goes for baskets and other decorative items.  Jasmine definitely shows how a little creativity can bring new life to used pieces.  This leads me to my next point:

DIY.  Pillows, curtains, even paintings.  It's a lot easier than you realize.  I love how Kalina saved on her bedroom update by making things like pillows and even a headboard on her own.  Whether you look to an online sewing tutorial, use the ever classic needle and thread, or a no sew iron-on adhesive you can cut costs by doing it yourself instead of buying.  For all you bloggers and online sellers, Lexi has an especially clever DIY that serves as artwork as well as a backdrop for photography.

Friends/Family.  Chances are you have a friend or relative with unneeded and unused furniture or household items that they'd be happy to handover.  I've been lucky enough to have this happen several times, so don't be afraid to ask around.  Chances are you know someone with a closet, basement, or garage with a few things they wouldn't mind you taking off their hands.  Remember, you have not because you ask not.

So whether or not you consider yourself to be particularly creative, don't feel like you always have to spend more to get the look you want.  There are tons of ways to save, so be patient.  Don't forget to shop around for the best deal, and look to others for inspiration.

What are some of your money saving decor tips?  Feel free to share the results of your home DIYs below!
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Monday, July 13, 2015

Percy Street Barbecue

Nothing happens the same way twice.  This is a conclusion I've come to from years of experience.  Part of me also feels I may have read this in a book.  Either way, this past Saturday I revisited a restaurant I first tried over a year ago with J, and boy am I glad I did.  



The service at Percy Street Barbecue was impeccable.  At one point before our meal my mom dropped her knife, and the waitstaff swooped in to grab and replace it before she even had a chance to sit up.  Drinks were constantly refilled, before we even had a chance to ask.  To be clear, I'm not a difficult diner in the least.  In undergrad I worked for catering services where I did my fair share of "waiting;" I know the job, and I know "the struggle."  I also know how rude some diners can be.  Bottom line: I'm kind and reasonable.  I point out just a few examples of the great customer service this time because I don't remember it being as good the first time around.  In contrast to a cold more distant staff, this time the energy was great and we felt welcome.

Now on to the food.  Just like the first time I visited Percy's (we're on a first name basis now), I ordered "the Lockhart" a barbecue sampler with sides.  It's $25 per person, minimum of 2 people per table, but I think it's a great option because it let's you try a little bit of everything: brisket, chicken, ribs, German Potato Salad, Coleslaw, and Collard Greens.  We also ordered the Buttermilk Chive Cornbread and Mac and Cheese on the side.

We ended up at Percy's because the weather was nice and we were looking for a place with outdoor dining.  While I didn't find the food to be outstanding on my first visit, I remembered the flavors to be interesting and the chicken to be ridiculously tender.  I think that's what sold me on giving this place another try, and I must say that yet again the chicken was ridiculously tender.  As for the sides, everything was good, but in my opinion the Mac and Cheese stole the show.  My mom enjoyed everything, but she was pleasantly surprised by the Baked Beans and German Potato Salad.  One of the things we could both agree on was that each meat and side had a distinct taste.  Many times you go to a restaurant and all the food tastes the same.  Everything blends together.  However, each dish really did have it's own unique flavor profile; none of them had that mass produced taste.  At the expense of sounding dramatic, we could taste the care that went into each dish.  With each bite, we wondered which combination of seasonings and spices were used in the preparation.  Regardless of what the chef actually used, my mom's exclamations throughout dinner tell it all:

"Do they have the recipes online?"

"I'm going to leave this place with a potbelly."

"The coleslaw was divine."

"I have to bring your dad here."

In conclusion, Percy Street Barbecue is a place that will leave your mother happy and result in date night for dad.  The chicken is tender.  Each dish is unique.  And for those of you who enjoy a cold brew, Percy's has a billion different choices.  And by a billion I mean more than any other place plus cocktails and other drinks, though I stuck with the oh' so classic root beer.  So if you're ever in the Philadelphia area be sure to give Percy Street Barbecue a try.  After this experience, I know I'd definitely go back...maybe for the Pulled Pork next time.


Get all the food, drink, and location info here.

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