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{save} rue la la

FREE PEOPLE on rue la la as we speak (type/read):

{source: rue la la}

through thursday (march 3rd, 2011) rue la la is offering a $10 credit upon sign up --> click here. this credit is good through may 31, 2011 and will appear in your account within 48 hours.

not familiar w/ rue la la:
rue la la is a a daily deal site featuring "row upon row of designer deliciousness at private sale prices". they open a new boutique ever day and the boutique remains open for only two days or until they sell out!

french kissed: alexandre desplat

did you watch the oscars?!?

we watched a bit. remember how we don't have cable - just digital tv and a broken pair of bunny ears? well - we could only get clear reception if i had my hand raised high above my head. i gave it a go (even raised my feet for a while) ... and finally we settled on 28.1 (ion) to watch "good fellas" for the umpteenth time this month.

obviously - we need to see the king's speech! that movie is sweeping the floors this year. which brings me to today's french kissed: alexandre desplat

you probably haven't heard of him ... but i guarantee you've heard his work. the french movie composer has scored several successful films including syriana, fantastic mr. fox, the curious case of benjamin button, the king's speech and my personal favorite coco avant chanel.

it's a rainy awful day outside today in perfect need of a soundtrack. sit back, relax ... and enjoy this tiny sampling of alexandre desplat:

1) dreamcatcher: the twilight saga: new moon
2) the engagement: birth
3) children's games: the curious case of benjamin button
4) sunrise on lake ponchartrain: the curious case of benjamin button
5) the meadow: the twilight sage: new moon
6) river waltz: the painted veil
7) lovegood: harry potter and the deathly hallows

{sponsor} express

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Express. All opinions are 100% mine.

it was 70 outside last weekend ... and today they are forecasting a high of 65. Is it really February?!?
it's days like these when i daydream about summer vacation. i'm secretly hoping (taxes willing) to head to hawaii this summer to visit my sister and her husband after they relocate there this spring. and that would of course mean i'd need a new swim suit (or two)!

which brings me to the NEW spring women's swimwear collection at express:

{click to shop}

i'm torn over which of these bikinis is my absolute favorite. stripes are so much fun ... but i love the flirty ruffles too. and i'm crazy over the bright colors which look amazing on any skin tone!!!

AND what better way to stock up for summer than w/ a $200 express giftcard! sign up today through 4/21 for Express e-mail and a chance to win one of ten $200 express giftcards (sweepstakes rules).

Visit Sponsor's Site

{love} norma clare

last night i attended a trunk show for sweet friend anna redmon's fashion line "norma clare". i've had the privilege of hiring anna to style a couple of our photo shoots - but i didn't realize her full fashion genius until checking out her upcoming spring collection yesterday. beautiful!

confession: i spent 95% of my march blood money. {and it's not yet march. eek.} including this darling little dress ...

all this talk about budgeting and i go and do something crazy like that. but for real people ... check out her lovely collection from this past fall:

{source: norma clare}

as soon as her spring collection launches you bet i'll be posting about it! (and the fantastic shirt i picked out!!!)

check out the norma clare facebook page for a little of current stores carrying norma clare.

simple things: goodwill

my parents plan trips around goodwill stores. i love them for this. and because of their great finds, they motivate everyone around them to shop there too. i remember stopping by goodwill w/ our entire youth group (about 50 kids) one year on a mission trip. everyone returned home w/ 2.99 "souvenir" t-shirts for the local little league team or fall festival.

so it wasn't any surprise that they wanted to hit up goodwill while they were in town last weekend.

1) lace curtains for our bedroom:

every room in my grandma's house has lace curtains. i'd been googling vintage curtains for a while ... but either couldn't find the perfect pattern or shade of aged ivory or couldn't afford them on our shoestring budget.

i know what you're thinking - lace curtains ... that seems a little TOO pretty for a bedroom shared by a man. but remember our industrial bookshelf (made from pipes and planks):

{before curtains. see it needed something!}

and our homemade bedside lights:

the room need a touch of soft. and at 2.99 a panel (we bought 2) ... even wade was in!

2) this cute little studio chair:

not entirely sure where it will end up but for now he sits in the empty corner of our living room (where our christmas tree once belonged). i love him - paint splotches and all.

3) these little chair decals:

i particularly love the chairs on the far left and right. again no idea what i will do with them. but aren't they cute!

i think i might exact-o knife around the black so that i can use the white parchment paper behind them as stencils. in fact, i have an extra burlap pillow i made last week that would be perfect. hmm ... it's decided!

now i have the itch! i purposely chose to walk to work today so that i wouldn't be tempted to hit up the local consignment stores during my lunch hour. best way to attack an addiction is to have a game plan. ;)

what's your best goodwill find?

{look for less} anthropologie

i love you, anthropologie ... but there's no way i can spend $696.00 on an outfit. get this look for less ($516.12 less).

the blazer:

l: anthropologie's neoclassical blazer {118.00}
r: ruche's rhythmic blue sweater jacket {52.99}

the blouse:

l: anthropologie's springing season blouse {68.00}
r: ruche's sweet lemonade print dress {38.99}
this was my hardest item to match.
the skirt:

l: anthropologie's seamingly maxi {98.00}
r: forever21's vertical stripe skirt {18.90}

the belt:

l: anthropologie's ring-cinched belt {48.00}
2: lands' end canvas' ring buckle belt {29.50}

the shoes:

l: anthropologie's keeping tabs thongs {248.00}
r: old navy's braided t-strap sandals {19.50}

the jewelry:

l: anthropologie's strung palms bracelet {58.00 each}
r: ecorevivals on etsy's handcrafted tagua bracelet {10.00 each}

anthropologie {696.00}
my look {179.88}

food for thought: discount grocery chains

i mentioned yesterday in my 6 confessions that wade and i are REALLY trying to be smart w/ our money. we joined a new young married small group through our church and during the first meeting the conversation turned to dave ramsey's "total money makeover". well, we haven't completely committed (it costs money to take the course! ha.) but we did decide to get serious about all the budgeting "talk" and put in a plan for some budgeting "action".

we've decided to cut our weekly food budget. the challenge: spend no more than $40 a week on groceries + optional 1 meal out.

i have an old friend from college that has a weekly budget of $40 ... and she has 2 kids to feed. she's a coupon maniac, a meal planner - and my mom reminds me - "a full-time stay-at-home mom". either way, if she can feed 4 on 40 bucks a week ... that budget is completely doable for the 2 of us. ($40 x 52 weeks = $2,080 ... approx $173 a month!)

step 1) meal plan

wade and i sat down on sunday afternoon w/ our schedules for the week ahead and a few of my favorite recipe books. it's really easy for food to spoil before the two of us get to them (especially fresh veggies). so w/ a game plan, we know exactly what we need to pick up.

we decided we needed some basics for breakfast + 4 meals (we tend to eat leftovers for lunch). and based on our schedule - we decided to try out 2 new recipes and have 2 quick easy meals.

step 2) shop!

i saw a feature on the early show earlier this month about the rapid growth of discount grocery chains due to tough financial times. i had this misconception about them that they only sold hamburger helper and other prepackaged meals (no offense, hamburger helper) ... but w/ discounts on fresh fruits and veggies ... i decided to start at ALDI.

a bit about ALDI: almost 95% of their products are sold under exclusive ALDI select brands. on occasion, you will find a national brand at ALDI. these are usually “special buys” --- limited-time offers of products that score you huge savings, but are only available while supplies last.

the outcome:

i spent a total of $43.80 (yes - $3.80 over my budget). but i included deodorant and we haven't really decided if items for the house are included in our $40.

we also haven't decided what to do about wine purchases. yes - slightly a wino. come on tennessee and the legislation to sell wine in grocery stores ... momma needs some 2 buck chuck. (okay not an attempt to be political. i leave that to my husband over at his blog mundification.)

okay i have to admit - this was a very basic attempt to cut grocery spending. baby steps, people.

doing research on coupon clipping (ie. how to coupon shop w/out having to buy in bulk + how to coupon shop w/out making it your day job) + meal swaps (exciting!) + more. stay tuned.


a couple notes for shopping at ALDI:
* bring a quarter. the carts are a quarter for usage - though you get it back when you return the cart. an effort to keep spare carts out of the parking lot.

* an "excuse" to remember your recyclable bags ... plastic bags are 10cents each and paper bags are 6cents each. :)

love: haven hammond

today is my grandpa's birthday.

{can you tell which is me!?! yes the porky little one.}

not a day goes by when we aren't reminded of what an amazing man he was. i so wish wade could have met him ...

whatever wednesday: six confessions

after reading i go by katie's post with the same title and a long weekend to think, i wanted to share my six confessions with you all. however, today's 6 confessions are specifically about blogging on "a case of the mundays":

1. a lot of bloggers that i follow (including myself lately) just post about "stuff". i find myself so greedy - "wanting this"/"needing that". i don't like myself very much when i get in these ruts. my favorite blog aren't the ones w/ lead ladies with lavish wardrobes & perfect homes - but rather real moms/wives who live on a budget & make do w/ what they have.

2. wade and i are trying to budget & save for more important adventures in life. and w/ limited "blood money" for each of us to spend each month, i don't buy most of the stuff i post. i am trying out a new tagline: dress and decor for little more than a pretty penny. i hope to tweak some of my posts to focus on how to live on a budget.

3. about once a week, i look at wade and say "i think i'm done blogging". blogging can feel overwhelming. there's always this desire to one-up yourself & sometimes life doesn't allow time for one-upping. nor is one-upping really necessary. i also have found that i'm ridiculously competitive w/ other bloggers - honestly the ONLY thing in life i've ever been competitive about. ha!

4. blogging isn't my day job. it doesn't bring in an income (yet) and is something i have to find time for between my already busy work schedule & personal schedule.

5. i post about things i love or projects i'm working on. at times i feel completely narcissistic. who am i to think i have anything worth sharing. plus it's a very one-sided conversation. i love feedback about my posts - what you like/dislike.

6. i sometimes wish i hadn't limited myself w/ the blog title "a case of the mundays". it would be super cool to pair up w/ other bloggers to consolidate ideas. i think this would attack a lot of my other confessions - the overwhelming-ness the narcissistic-ness. any other mundays out there?!? bueller?

what are your 6 confessions?

{feature} today on stencilsearch.com

my burlap runners (& upcycled christmas stockings) are posted today on julie krefta's stencilsearch.com along w/ a couple other burlap table runner ideas.

{click above to read the full article}

w/ 27 table runners worth of burlap from our wedding reception - and my conviction to not waste - how much burlap in home decor is too much!?! i must confess ... i'm burlap addicted because i'm totally itching to recreate the "eat" runner.

ps - check out my friend ellen from black & white & loved all over's upcycled coffee bean burlap bag runner tutorial. LOVE!

weekend update: a visit from my parents

my parents stayed w/ us friday night through sunday afternoon. (the #1 reason i didn't blog this weekend.) i was a bit nervous about having house guests in our tiny 1 bedroom apt - but with 70 degree weather, we didn't spend much time at home. and in good mid-western fashion, the majority of the weekend revolved around food! :) yum.

saturday lunch: mas tacos por favor

mas tacos por favor began as a mobile vendor --- "the taco lady" and her winnebago. serving up a rotating menu of warm corn tortillas topped w/ pulled pork, fried tilapia marinated w/ lime, charred chicken w/ tomatillo salsa, and quinoa w/ roasted potatoes for the veggie lovers, her $3 treats are the best taco in town (and don't get me started on her tortilla soup!). you can always find out her latest winnebago location via twitter. or their new location (732 mcferrin avenue 37206).

saturday dinner: robert's western world

located on historic lower broadway, robert’s western world is nashville’s "undisputed home of traditional country music". enjoy the best hillbilly, rockabilly and traditional country music that nashville has to offer AND a cheeseburger and onion rings? game on! unfortunately we didn't stay out late enough (ahem ... we didn't make it to 10pm) to hear my favorite band "brazilbilly" - but robert's is one honky tonk in town we enjoy visiting even without out-of-town guests. (bonus - robert's western world is smoke-free. unfortunately that's not the case for all of nashville's cool bars.)

sunday breakfast/lunch: loveless cafe

the loveless cafe remains unchanged in its quaint country charm and home cooking that has made it a landmark in nashville since its doors opened over half a century ago. we decided to share a family-style lunch ... and took home enough leftovers for a week! call ahead of time to make a reservation (2 hour waits are the norm)! and then use the time you saved to drive down the natchez trace to leiper's fork! :)

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