Budget Friendly Offie Decorating

Some of you may or may not know this, but recently I went back to working full time outside of  my home.  While it was a difficult decision to make, it was the best decision for me.  Something else you all may or may not know is that I am an aesthetic person.  I like beautiful and personal things around me.  From past experience I have learned that in many cases, less is more, especially in work environments where you can be forced to move around or relocate.  I can remember having a box of shoes under my desk at one point in my career.  I think when I moved my office from one building to another, I threw most of the shoes away.  (That says a lot about the number of shoes I have, but that is a topic for another blog).

So once I was assigned to my new workspace, a pretty spacious cubicle on the top floor where most of the Directors are located, I knew that working 8 hours and staring at blank, white walls was not going to work for me.  I also did not want to spend a lot of money to make the space look nice and I knew I wanted the space to feel like and represent me.  So I spent a Sunday afternoon scouting for some items to brighten up my new workspace.

Ironically, the most expensive item I purchased for the space was $3.99.  So I definitely did not break the bank. I placed myself on a $20 spending limit, I am great at finding great items on clearance and maximizing things that I already have.  I did not exceed my budget, and after editing what I did purchase and returning an item that I decided I did not want, I was able to make the space more welcoming and less institutional.

Here are the items I purchased.

Good Morning Shadow Box.  This box was just cute and sassy, a lot like me. While I am not into the lash trend, I have pretty nice natural lashes, this was something that spoke to the glam girl in me.  It shows that I am friendly, and that I have a little sass (well I have a lot of sass, they will get to know that eventually).  I found this item on the shelf at Dollar Tree.

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Conversation Dice.  I found this at Marshalls for $3.99.  As I was browsing the clearance section, the shelves were being stocked and this was one of the new items added to the shelves.  I thought this was something cute and whimsical that could not only be a conversation started when meeting new co-workers as they walk past.  It is also a conversation starter and can be inspirational to them and to me.

 

Transparent Shadow Box.  Another Dollar Tree find.  Just something to add a little inspiration to the space.  While I do Aim to Inspire, I feel that it is something others should strive to do as well.  We all have something to offer the world and I hope that this is a good reminder to my co-workers as they walk past to be an inspiration to themselves or to someone else.

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Canvas Wall Hangings.  These were also picked up at Dollar Tree.  I placed these vertically on the wall directly in front of where I sit.  When I have those moments of boredom or overwhelm, there is a lot to read and a lot to learn, I have a little dose of colorful inspiration to look at.  The placement is perfect.  I can see all three just over my computer monitor, so the placement selection was spot on.  I remember David Bromstad from HGTV saying to always purchase things in groups of three, this way it is easier for you to edit if you need to and you don’t run the risk of an item no longer being in stock.  This piece of advice has served me well in my decorating endeavors.

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There were some other items that I had at home and brought along with me.

One of those items was my colorful calendar that I picked up in the dollar, (not really dollar anymore) section at Target at the beginning of the year.  I was drawn to the pink in the calendar as well as the rose gold binding.

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Several months ago I attended a Captain Morgan’s event where they were introducing their new Apple Smash Flavor, (more about that here).  The drinks were served in these really cute plastic green apple shapes with lids.  I knew that I could find a way to repurpose them, and what better was than to keep paper and binder clips all together and within arms reach?  I took the green apples home and washed them and there you have it.  No cost for these and I think they are so cute.

 

I was gifted a desk sign that reads, “It Is A Woman’s Prerogative to Change Her Mind”.  It is also in my favorite color, PINK.  This was a gift from a former co-worker who retired.  I will always remember her spunky, feisty ways and the way she was a work aunt to me.  She kept me laughing, encouraged me in everything I did and would occasionally catch a ride home from work with me.

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The only thing I have left to add that I haven’t yet is a few personal pictures.  Once I get them printed out, the office transformation will be complete.  One of my new co-workers gifted me with a few pieces from some of her plants to root.  I will be heading back to Dollar Tree for a few of their tall glass vases that will do the trick for the rooting plants.  I am not feeling the old water bottles that I am currently using.

It doesn’t take a big budget to make a space feel more comfortable or cozy.  If you are like me and like to be surrounded by things that bring back good memories but also inspire you, you can find inspiration all around.  Dollar Tree has some great items, you just have to look with a creative eye.  Some of my other places are Hobby Lobby, Ross, Marshalls and Home Goods.  You just have to look and sometimes think of how things can be used in non-traditional ways.

Happy Decorating,

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous!

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Sparkle & Glam Beauty Fair

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If you are a makeup lover like myself and you were not at the #Sparkleandglamsoiree then you missed a fabulous experience.  Sparkle & Glam lived up to it’s name and was definitely an intimate, glamorous beauty event.  Sparkle & Glam is explained as an A-Z beauty experience and it lived up to its description.

The Venue

Sparkle & Glam was held at the beautiful and swanky restaurant BLVD in Chicago’s West Loop.  The venue is a beautiful tribute to the times when glitz and glamour were the rule of the day.  Satin draped semi-circular boots and spectacular chandeliers grace the space.  Mirrors, dim lighting and plus furniture greet you throughout the space.

The space has two levels.  The downstairs is an open area with a bar in the back of the room and then there is a curved staircase that leads you to the upper level where there are smaller rooms, rooms that could accommodate a private party complete with a fully stocked bar as well.

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The day started with a skin care class sponsored by Erno Laszlo Skincare.  The two masterclasses, skincare and makeup, were a apart of the VIP experience.  The skin care line, who was the go to line for Marilyn Monroe and JFK, included an opportunity to experiment with their products.

The full scale demonstration was led by one of the company’s representative and allowed us to clean our faces and have the opportunity to experience the step by step skincare process on the spot.  This doesn’t usually happen, you get your samples in most cases and go hoe and experiment.  The Laszlo class allowed us the opportunity to have the full experience, including bowls of water for washing and rinsing, and individual mirrors.  I must say that while I did not try all of the products all over my face (I suffer with adult acne and problem skin) I did spot test some of the products and they made my skin feel amazing.  The only complaint I would have is that later that day the moisturizer made my skin a tad oily.  The line is carried at high end stores and while maybe a good choice for some, it was out of my skin care budget.

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After the skincare class, we had an opportunity to go downstairs to the glam hall and experience some of the makeup and skincare brands that were onsite.  But before that we all received a complimentary drink ticket and there were refreshments provided as well.  The cookies that looked like MAC cosmetics were so good and went well with my drink.

The best of the best beauty brands were represented at the soiree.  Most brands you could think of from Burberry to Benefit were represented.  Not only did they have products for sale, many were offering complimentary makeup applications or the opportunity to have your browns done (they knew exactly what I needed).  There was no shortage of new fall products, samples or consultations.

 

After the drinks, snacks, mixing and mingling, it was time for the next masterclass which was a makeup demonstration by MAC.  The makeup artist Christy Wielosinski (@Christywillowmakeup) did an amazing job of showcasing some of the colors in MACs upcoming holiday collection.  Her makeup skills are amazing and she has a genuine and bubbly personality that made the demonstration enjoyable.

 

 

Of course we left the event with a bag full of swag.  Everything from full sized lipstick MGS Beauty (mgsaccessories.com) to perfume samples from Burberry.  Sparkle and Glam also provided samples of their brush cleaner and a beautiful bag to carry all of our purchases and freebies in.  It was a great event and a fabulous afternoon.  When the Sparkle & Glam Soiree returns to Chicago make sure to grab your ticket.

 

Be Blessed, Be Fabulous!

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