It's hard to believe that Valentine's day is just around the corner! Being in the V-day spirit, I though that I would start early and think up some cool things from my favorite stores that would make an awesome Valentine's package (or rather things that I would love to get on a special - or even not so special day). Oh and let's keep it under $50, cause I'm cheap like that. The first one is from Urban Outfitters (sale items of course).

I'm pretty sure any lovely lady would love to have this ensemble. The heart necklace is adorable, and long enough to add some edginess to any outfit. The bust is awesome to hold all those pretty trinkets that are too beautiful to put away. The wallet is pure diva - you can't go wrong with a dash of faux fur and leather! As for the doggie, I've been needing a USB splitter for some time. My external hard drive, wireless keyboard, and mouse are always connected, so there must be other peeps out there like me! And finally, the rhinestone necklace is just plain classy. Any thoughts?

Heart Necklace .............$6.99
Grecian Goddess .........$14.99
Faux Fur Wallet .............$6.99
Dog USB Splitter ...........$6.99
Rhinestone Necklace ... $14.99 

Total: $50.95! Okay, I went a little over my goal by 95 cents, but it would be a small price to pay to qualify for Urban Outfitter's free shipping.

So I have a new obsession. It's called the picking-up-cheap-fresh-flowers-from-Kroger-and-decorating- our-apartment-with-them obsession. About once or twice a month I stroll through Kroger looking for some discounted bouquets and spend a little time arranging them all pretty like. This time I picked up two $3 bunches, and one $4 bunch for a total of $10 spent. Yep, I'm cheap and crafty! Look how many I got!

I thought this time I wouldn't have enough vases to handle my bounty, but I realized that I had some empty vases on display in our Billy, which totally solved the problem.

And how many arrangements did I manage to get out of $10? Seventeen! 
Yes 1-7! I was so delighted to be able to spread them around the house.

Here's couple in our coffee table slot and the side tables.

And here are a few close ups.

This one lives in our bedroom on my dresser.

This one went on the occasional table.

Our "Kartell" units.

Our tv stand.

The faux bar


The dining room table

So what do you say? Is that $10 well spent, or what? I can't wait to do something like this for a party!

I must admit, work as an IKEA interior designer has been pretty awesome thus far. Last week I got the opportunity to help out with a project  that my co-worker, Activities Specialist, Michelle  had been diligently working on before I joined the team. Our store was asked to create some cost-efficient solutions for giving your home a facelift for the new year, and the vignette Michelle designed was featured on CBS's Better Mornings Atlanta! 

As you know, no other place on earth takes cost efficiency more serious than IKEA, so you know we rose to the occasion. I delighted to lend a helping hand with executing the build-up and breakdown of the design AND I got to check out the behind the scenes shenanigans! 

The raw space was really cool. It had curved walls and of course, super bright lights. Michelle said that the challenge was creating the vignette within an 8x8 space, and not being able to place anything on the walls. Here are some of the items being brought in and set up.

Here's the finished space. I love fabric in the glass doors and the color pallet is something that is so unexpected, but it looks great - and of course screams IKEA. Besta media storage and the Ektorp sofa were the main players here, followed by Kassett organization boxes, an Isala coffee table, and a Lantliv plant stand, which is shown here as a side table.

So to recap what this vignette teaches us about giving your space a facelift:
  • Adding fabric behind glass doors can freshen up your storage
  • Adding or changing hardware can breathe new life into any unit
  • Storage boxes are great for controlling the clutter
  • Coordinating frames can take a sea of pictures and turn them into a gallery 
  • Fabric sofas with washable, removable slipcovers gives you lots of options
  • If you don't have a slipcover, pillows allow you to change color schemes and add texture
  • Don't be afraid to re-purpose your existing pieces (Michelle turned this plant stand into a side table)

And because I couldn't resist myself, here are some cool shots of the camera guy doin' his thang.

I was really grateful for the opportunity to help with a project outside of the store so early on in my position! Here's a link to the clip on CBS if you want to check it out!

Remember IKEA's Life Improvement Project that I talked about here? Well, now is the time, People! Our project is one of three that was chosen to possibly represent our store. All we have to do is get great people like you to vote for it. I never ask for favors from my readers, but if you could do me a solid this one time I would really appreciate it! And if you can, make a daily thing of it, you know - when you wake up in the morning, vote. And when you see a friend, tell them to vote. And if you see your cousin, your sister, or your grandmother (who definitely knows how to text) tell them to vote too. Think about all the good that can come from it! Thanks so much for all your support!