creating affordable change with food, fashion and home decor

“Don’t be afraid of what someone may think if your vision isn’t exactly in style. Remember, this type of forward thinking is exactly how new style is created!” -Jessie

One of the things I learned growing up was how to get creative with resources. I knew money was always going to be tight and that I wouldn’t have the coolest stuff. In a way, it was good because once in a while, when I got cool stuff, I cherished it. Still do. If I make the decision to invest in something, whether it’s a piece of furniture or a cute pair of shoes, I remember what it took to make that purchase. Also, I try to make it last. One of the things I’ve realized about myself is that I love change. Change often costs money, or so you may think. I don’t like to let money get in the way of changes I crave. Some things aren’t reasonable but many are. Perhaps the couch could use a makeover with a couple of fresh pillows with material leftover from a different project. Look at how easy it is to make pillow covers here. Maybe the furniture can be moved around for a fresh feel. Maybe the table could use some weeds in a jar for color. Who says plaid doesn’t go with polka dots? Mix and match new things. The point is, when you are craving a new something, think creatively with what you have and experiment with the fabulous changes you can make without spending a dime!

On cooking. Because we don’t eat out much and things get so busy, we often fall into the “what to cook” slump because for one, there are only so many times you could eat the normal routine stuff you cook. Two, time is of the essence. When you only have a half an hour to get it done, you better be on your toes. Otherwise, you may risk a crackers and cheese night. My only advice here is to slowly build up your pantry with different spices, oils and vinegars. I have made Thai Coconut Soup fifteen times but it’s never the same. I add different vegetables, maybe shrimp versus chicken or tomato to change it up, a boiled egg on top here and there, cilantro for zest, red pepper or black, garlic powder or fresh ginger, basil. You name it. Experiment with variety. Also, take note of your favorite dishes at restaurants. Maybe you could make the same fabulousness for a fraction of the price and in the comfort of your own home. Or maybe you will make a variety that is even tastier! As much as I try to stick with a shopping list at Trader Joe’s, I always tend to throw in chickpeas and extra veggies because I know they will come in handy. Maybe they will end up in a stir-fry or a soup. Here is an easy soup I threw together just as explained! Super fast and easy. Also, we had leftovers.

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ivanka on the left, old navy on the right

Shopping for Clothes and Shoes. Because I crave quality in every capacity, shopping can be costly. That’s why I don’t do it often. But when I do, I like to make sure I love it. If it takes me a little longer to save for it, that’s totally fine. I love color, patterns and variety. What I have found is that you don’t need to buy an entire outfit to feel like you have a new ensemble. You can grab something neutral, maybe a dress or pair of pants and spice it up with a new top or even one you wouldn’t have thought to pair with before. My favorite is fall because you can use scarves to accessorize like crazy. I like to have as much leopard print around as possible because for me, it’s definitely a neutral. My favorite new pair of leopard flats that are super comfortable are from Old Navy. Check them out here.

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originally purchased from World Market in mustard yellow-repainted/finished in charcoal by moi

Home Décor. Home decorating can be costly, especially when it comes to furniture. Because I don’t have thousands on hand to spend when I crave a change, I have to be extra creative. A coat of paint or some new knobs can go a long way, for only a few dollars. When I am looking for a piece of furniture, I prefer it to have a lot of character. Also, it can’t have that cheap veneer look. So, before buying a dresser that is overpriced and not quality from the local chain furniture store, I often look to flea markets or resale shops. If I don’t like the color, I try to think creatively on how it would look if I painted or distressed it. Some people think reusing old furniture is gross. I get it, it kind of is. My advice, especially for something like a dresser where you are going to store your clothes. 1. Wipe down the entire thing, especially inside the drawers with antibacterial wipes. 2. Paint the inside of the drawers with a clear coat of polyurethane. You can even spray it in there for easier application. This will seal in whatever happened in the past leaving it fresh and new for you. 3. Run a bar of soap along the tracks of the drawers so that it slides in and out with ease. You can even do this straight on the wood. It’s amazing the difference it makes. Make sure to sand before painting, and have fun with the accent pieces you can make all on your own! When I do have to buy something, I always look first at World Market. They are always turning out great little pieces. Everything I’ve bought from there has been quality, unique and affordable. Plus, if you time it right you may hit a sale. My newest piece from there was under $100 dollars. It’s adorable and totally functional.

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If you are like me and crave change often, embrace it. Also, be a leader. Don’t be afraid of what someone may think if your vision isn’t exactly “in style”. Remember, this type of forward thinking is exactly how new style is created! Have your cake and eat it too in all that you do!

XO

Jessie

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