Category Archives: Shopping

The Red Sticker Rule

Do you like tips for shopping on a budget?  Pull up a chair, friend, cause I have one for you today.

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

If you’re anything like me, and maybe a fafillion other people, you might have a weakness when it comes to Target.

Target (who has no clue who I am, and definitely did not sponsor this post) can be really dangerous for folks on a budget.  They continually step up their home decor game, making a clear effort to provide curated, eclectic assortments with an affordable price tag.  So to keep myself from overspending at my beloved bullseye, I created the Red Sticker Rule.

The concept is simple but the execution is a challenge.  Essentially, when I go to Target, I only allow myself to purchase clearanced items, which all don a red sticker.  Sometimes I transgress, but mostly I have a pretty high success rate.  Here are some of the items I’ve gotten on clearance for jaw-dropping prices.

Grey ceramic catch-all bowl – $8.94 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Large fabric bin – $4.48 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Nate Berkus navy faux snakeskin 5 x 7 frame – $4.98 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Plain wood woven basket (I bought two!) – $4.94 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Pewter textured square Threshold frame – $9.98 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Melamine faux bois candle plates – large $7.94 and small $3.94 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Nate Berkus desk drawer organizer – $4.98 on clearance at Target

shopping tip - jamie's home blog red sticker rule - target bargain shopping

Great finds, right?  And those are just the ones I kept track of for this post!  So next time you’re at Target (or any other store you love that your budget hates) challenge yourself to follow my Red Sticker Rule… And do let me know how it turns out!

What tactics do you employ to keep from blowing your budget?  Do tell…


An Outing: Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

This past Saturday, my mom and I attended Fort Worth Vintage Market Days, which is actually about 45 min south of Fort Worth in Alvarado.  Neither of us had been before so we weren’t sure what to expect.  It was at the Diamond W Arena, which is basically a rodeo complex.  When we walked in, there were two booths selling clothing and jewelry in front of some cattle roping event going on.  Cue nervous laughter and glances between Mom and me.  I think my exact quote was “Uhm, what did we get ourselves into?”.

Cattle Roping Diamond W Arena

It’s a good thing we decided to walk around the complex because tucked back behind the cattle roping arena was a maze of booths filled with tchotchkes, edibles, furniture and vintage finds.  To be honest, it was a bit overloaded with “shabby chic” goods.  Definitely not my favorite look, but it’s wildly popular these days and is to be expected in a rural area at a rodeo complex, right?  In any case, there were lots of oddities and awesome finds, and I snapped some phone pics to prove it to ya!

There were lots of vintage books:

Land Of Oz Book

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

A bunch of strange and fun kitsch…

Like this group of wedding cake toppers:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

And this rusted trike:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

We saw hand made decor, toys and household items…

Like this sign:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

Raggedy Ann (a childhood favorite of mine):

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

Teacup pincushions:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

Letter stamped cheese knives:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

And an old stamp set:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

Lots of pendant lights…

Like this leafy one:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

And this slice of fried gold.  Look at how sexy he is:

Geometric Pendant

It took every ounce of self control I possess not to take that guy home with me, but since I don’t have my landlord’s permission to change out any of our light fixtures, I just couldn’t justify the purchase.  So depressing.

Of course there was tons of vintage decor…

Like these wicker bowls with brass rims:

Brass and Wicker Bowls

A box of old light bulbs:


Antique keyhole covers:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

Trinket trays:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

And this precious little brass clock:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

There were lots of interesting pieces of furniture.

I was particularly taken by this punched tin pie safe:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

And this sewing chair:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

Which doubled as sewing storage:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

My mom fell in love with a wine table.  It has a cubby to store 9 wine bottles, a drawer and a removable serving tray.  After a bit of negotiation it was hers, and she was happy to pose for me with her new piece.

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

My favorite part of going to events like this is seeing old and sometimes obscure objects…

Like this typewriter:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

This salon hairdryer:

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

These guys (they looked like three foot long orange whisks?):

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

And possibly my favorite little corner of the whole market was this antique egg incubator, on top of which sat an old Poloroid camera and a butter churn.  Such an odd and interesting grouping.

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

All in all it was loads of fun, and totally worth the two hour round trip.  I ended up purchasing three things.

Number One.  This Foreigner Record for $1. Because duh.

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

Number two.  An 8oz sample of chalk paint from Oh Lola Vintage Paint Co in Antique Egg Blue.  Which I am super excited to try.  I’ve never used chalk paint and have always been curious about it.  I think I know what I’m going to paint with it, so stay tuned for my review!

Fort Worth Vintage Market Days

Number three is a secret for now, but I’ll be back really soon with a post about it.  I’ll give you a hint, I mentioned it in this post!  Any guesses as to what it is?  Did anyone else out there visit Fort Worth Vintage Market Days or a similar event recently?  Do tell…

Craigslist Catch: Mid-Century Dining Set

So I’ve been really busy the last couple of weeks between my 9-5 and home projects… I’ve got a really fun DIY to share with y’all soon!  In the interim, I thought I’d show off another of my Craigslist Catches.

I’ve posted about a couple of my gems from Mr Craig’s list, like my mid-century style dresser

Mid Century Modern Dresser

…and the file cabinet that I painted.

File Cabinet Redo After

This find, I am particularly obsessed with proud of. Check out our dining set:

Mid Century Dining Table and Chairs Found on Craigslist

In reality, it’s those sexy cantilever chairs that tugged my heart strings.  Note: we have clearly added a jute rug and rearranged the living area since I snapped the above iPhone pic.

Mid Century Wooden Cantilever Chair Found on Craigslist

The table itself is your standard rectangular dining table. The supports for the leaf somehow became damaged so the previous owner bolted it together underneath, meaning it doesn’t expand any more. But I doubt it would fit in our dining area if it were any longer than it is.

Back to the chairs. These things are in about as good of condition as secondhand furniture comes. There is a bit of paint on one of the chairs but methinks it will be easily removed.  Here is an obligatory detail shot.

Mid Century Wooden Cantilever Chair Found on Craigslist

I’ve spent hours (seriously like 12 total) trying to find information on these chairs online. There isn’t a maker’s mark on any of them. I have only ever found one set exactly like them online, and what I found was an outdated sales listing.  And it only listed them as “mid century style cantilever chairs” which, sadly, was not new information to me.  So these chairs are either extremely rare, or so irrelevant that no one has put anything online about them.

Mid Century Wooden Cantilever Chair Found on Craigslist

But even if that is the case, that’s ok, because I didn’t buy them for the value or their relevance in the design world.  I bought them because the instant I saw them I was in lurrrve.  Are you ready to hear the price?

(drumroll…) $40.  Yep, that’s $8 per piece, folks.  I actually paid $50 for them in the end.  I saw the listing last October (yeah I’m a bit behind sharing this…) when we were in New Mexico on vacation. I offered the seller $10 extra to hold the set for me until we got back to town. Worth. Every. Penny.

The new dining set replaced our old one, a World Market set that we got at a garage sale. It was scraped up, a bit wobbly, and even missing some of the seat slats, so I’m glad to have this sturdy, classy new set in its place!

World Market Folding Table and Chairs

World Market Folding Table and Chairs

I am thinking I’ll refinish the chairs in a slightly darker stain (something in the walnut family), and possibly even paint the table a punchy color, a la this, this and this.  Either way, what we’ve got right now is definitely an upgrade to what we had if you ask me!

Mid Century Dining Table and Chairs Found on Craigslist

Craigslist can really be a great source for secondhand treasures, but it really takes some dedication.  It’s true that I’ve had some great successes with Mr Craig but there have been countless times where my searches have been fruitless.  The key is patience and low expectations, kids!

So, what do you think about this Craigslist Catch?  Love it?  Hate it? Votes on what color I should paint the table?  Do tell…

That Thing Really Tied The Room Together

If you’re not a Big Lebowski fan, you may not realize that what I’m talking about here is a rug.  But that’s ok.  You don’t need to have seen the movie to understand this post.  I just wanted to drop in and show you guys the new rug I recently bought.

Disclaimer: I was unable to distract the dog or send him elsewhere while taking pics, he makes an appearance several times in this post!

I was on a (fruitless) quest for rain boots the other day when I ran across this baby at – of all places – Ross.

Clearance Rug

Let me tell you, when Ross puts things on clearance, they don’t play around!  The rug cost me a cool $14.99 plus tax!

What is hard to tell until I show you this close up, is that it’s made of denim strips!

Denim Rug

It’s barely noticeable in person, in fact, the fella hasn’t even commented on the fact that it’s denim, so I’m not sure he even knows!  Either way, I absolutely love it!  It really plays well with all of the other blue hues in our living room (i.e. the toss pillows and the media stand).

I’m so glad I found this.  I’ve been eyeing all kinds of rugs online for months but the purchase just hasn’t been in my budget.  Please excuse my coffee table, he’s begging to be sanded and re-stained!

The Rug That Tied the Room Together

Moral of the story: always keep your eyes peeled and an open mind when you’re out and about because you just never know when the decor gods are going to shine upon you!  Here is a little before and after so you can see the difference.  Doesn’t it really tie the room together?

Before and After Rug

I’ll be back soon with more updates to the living room.  Spoiler alert: one of them is that tray on the coffee table!  In the meantime, anyone else out there finding a great deal on something they’ve been price-shopping? Do tell…

Fancy File Cabinet

Folks, just about everything at our place gets a paint job if it holds still long enough.  And that includes a dinged up old metal file cabinet!  The fella and I found this baby on Craigslist for a cool $25.  MUCH cheaper than buying brand new.  And of course I gave it a little style and sass with color-blocking!

File Cabinet Before Makeover

The seller actually has a huge warehouse full of school and office surplus in used condition.  There were tons of neat items that filled me with nostalgia and memories, but the only item that was a practical purchase was the file cabinet. We could have used it as is, but I couldn’t stand to look at its sad, drab face. So I gave it a face lift!  Before I started, I put the cabinet on risers, which are actually just leftover table legs from my LACK Hack project…  This way the cabinet wont stick to the trash bag plastic drop cloth once its painted.


Before painting, I took the hardware off. I’m not an expert in file cabinet assembly, only organizing the files in it. So before I removed the handles, latches and label holders, I used the highly scientific method of taking a picture of the latch mechanism, so I’d know how to put it back on when the time came. I’m a genius.

HON File Cabinet Latch Mechanism

I applied a couple of small strips of Frog Tape over the holes from the hardware to protect the inside of the cabinet from paint drips.  I also covered the lock with Frog Tape to prevent rogue paint swipes from messing it up.  I didn’t want to remove it, for fear I’d mess it up and render it useless.

File Cabinet Painting Precautions

If you’ve read any of my other posts (thanks!) you’ll know that Zinsser B-I-N is my go-to primer. For Pete’s sake, that stuff sticks to air. No kidding. So this file cabinet got a coat of the ol’ B-I-N.

Priming a File Cabinet

And then there was the boring wait for the primer to dry. I have this habit of adding more dry time to whatever the manufacturer’s instructions state. I live in North Texas and the humidity here is pretty much a year-round thing. Better safe than sorry I say.

After the longer than usual wait is the fun part… Painting! This file cabinet sits in our guest room / office. It lives with a gold shelf (can’t wait to share that project on here) a white writing desk and a guest bed with green and white bedding. The room is no where near where I want it to be. Baby steps. But I am a tiny bit closer with this little project!  I’ll pause while you enjoy the schematic I sent to the fella to give him an idea of what I wanted the cabinet to look like.

Schematic for File Cabinet Makeover

To achieve the diagonal line, I used a yardstick and pencil to trace a line from the top right-hand corner to the bottom left-hand corner.


The paint I used was some that I actually already had on hand. It was part of the Lowe’s Color Studio 2013 Spring Palette.

Valspar Polar White and Sweet Mint

Polar White / Sweet Mint

I just happened to be at Lowe’s shortly after they were released and bought samples of a few of the colors. Same thing happened when the 2013 Summer Palette came out… I can’t help it! The samples are inexpensive and go such a long way!

So the “bottom half” got two coats of Polar White, then I taped over my pencil line, and the “top half” got two coats of Sweet Mint.  There were about 24 hours worth of dry time between each coat, since this was done on weeknights after work.

Progress on Painting a File Cabinet

And what about the hardware? Well they got the gold spray paint treatment!  No progress pics of that but the gist is that I cleaned ’em, spray primed ’em and gave ’em several light coats of gold spray paint.  I gave the whole thing two coats of polyurethane (I use Minwax) and let it dry for… You guessed it… a couple of days longer than the manufacturer’s instructions suggested. Then I popped the hardware back in (thanks to my handy photo that showed me how to reconnect the drawer latches).

Voila! A pretty, pretty color-blocked file cabinet!!

File Cabinet Redo After

I thought the fella would hate it, I mean it is a bit feminine, but I think he’s just happy to have a place to organize his paperwork (those Air Force guys, they have a LOT of paperwork).  I love how pretty it turned out.  And I still have about half of each paint sample left over for future projects!  I’m tellin’ ya, those things go a LONG WAY.  Here’s a side by side so you can see how glorious it looks after a little TLC.

Before and After File Cabinet

I’ll admit, I’m a bit nervous about the paint chipping, since the metal surface of the cabinet is zero percent porous, but I have faith that my trusty B-I-N is up to the challenge of keeping the paint in place. I’ll definitely post an update if the paint starts to come up.

In the meantime – anyone else taking steps to a more organized life or visiting giant warehouses full of cafeteria tables and science lab equipment? Do tell…