design

Jeggings baby

So I mentioned that Jose's parents were coming into town this past week and today, sadly, they left.

In just these past few days we have: gone swimming, deboned a chicken (Err.. Mama Nels did most, but I paid attention), traveled down the Apache trail IN THE CRAZY rain, ate ice cream that contained some cactus plant, went to farmer's market, drank veggie juice that tasted like "The Earth" (i.e. dirt) from the market, watched lots of TV, ate LOTS of homemade salsa, made Jose's dad taste tofu (and might consider dis-owning me as part of the family since Mama Nels is going to try it out in Russellville now), AND... discovered Jeggings.

Have you heard of such things?

Jeggings are LEGGINGS styled to look like
denim jeans. I had seen them at Dillards one time and put them down after I saw they were $30. I figured I might as well get REAL jeans for that price. Then last week I saw my salsa instructor wearing them, and since I've been wearing leggings a lot here (FORGET about jeans in the desert!), I was really craving some.

As we're spending quality time watching TV (didn't you know that's the best way to bond?), Jose's mom asks me if I've "heard of those things called jeggings?" I tell her how I've been wanting some and she proceeds to say: "Well, they just showed a commercial that Wal-Mart has them for 6 bucks."

Wait. 6 bucks?! Okay, I'm a huge fan of Ross, but I have to admit I don't ever look at clothes when I'm at Walmart. But... SIX DOLLARS... I had to investigate. Plus, can you REALLY mess up leggings?!

Fast forward to us driving to the Apache trail when Mama Nels announces: "Hey! I need to go by Walmart." My eyes light up because I immediately remember the jeggings. However, we decide to first go through the 3-hour Apache trail that ends up being SIX hours due to a sudden MONSOON attack. But you know my big mouth STILL brings up Walmart when we're on the highway. Ridiculous! The rain is literally lunging itself at the cars, making it hard to see, but y'all don't know how sweet Jose's mom is. She says "Oh yeah! Walmart -how do I get there?" and I re-route us to Walmart on the gps, while Jose's dad says "Um... we don't need to go to Walmart right now in this weather." Mama Nels waves her hand and says "Naaaah, we're fine" -- she is also the one driving so she gets more say :)

Where was Jose in all of this? ASLEEP! YES!! Cause you know if he was awake he'd convince his mom that this was not a good idea. I silently prayed that the rain would calm down near our exit, and it DID! Since it was still pouring, they decided to drop Jose and I off while they waited in the car. We went to pick up what we actually needed for that night's dinner and I stopped Jose right as we walked by the clothes. "Don't hate me, but I HAVE to see these jeggings your mom was talking about." Jose rolls his eyes and because he loves me agrees to let me try some on quickly. Unfortunately I had my bathing suit under, so the bulging knots on the side of my bottoms was not giving me the best image.

Turns out they are actually
FIVE dollars. I go ahead and buy them and guys.. I LOVE THEM!!! On the rack they don't look that cute, but it's completely different ON. The weird thing is that I can't pull off skinny jeans (make my legs look even skinnier), but I THINK these look good on me. You can lie to me :P

I am such a bargain hunter that I had to show you my outfit for today.

The jeggings with my highlighter yellow nail polish (also bought at Walmart).
Disclaimer: I'm not saying my nail polish is cute... that's an experiment lol.

No fancy photos. Just my iphone. This was so hard to take without distorting my legs using the camera phone. Jose's not home so it's just me!

My Ross shirt that I got for $12!! Love the back!!



My Lola Red belt from Goodwill for $3


The awkward cell phone photo of my outfit ;)


And that's my $20 outfit!

Pathetic. I was so excited about these jeggings I made a whole post about it, haha. Remember to wear these like leggings and not skinny jeans. Leggings are similar to panty hose -- they hug your curves and you probably want to wear the waist band ON your waist (and not hips like skinny jeans). Otherwise you might have curves in unwanted places.

Feel free to share any amazing finds you've had :) Happy Friday!!

Living Room Decor on a Budget

Okay, I don't know if it's the fact that he's married to me... or something in the Arizona air, but I am featuring yet another decor piece created by Jose. Yes!

Also, I want to give you some tips on finding some unique furniture pieces on none other than: Craigslist!

During our 'decor' shopping the first few weeks in Arizona, I mentioned to Jose that we needed to find a lamp shade for the light fixture in the dining room area. The standard one in our condo looked like this:


Ugly, right? I mean, it looked uglier when it was hanging down from the ceiling (which Jose ended up hitting his head on about 5 times).

Unfortunately, I never realized a freakin' light fixture could be so expensive! While I'd love to create an accent piece, I'm not willing to spend over $50 on a light fixture in the dining room. Maybe the living room. Well, while we were at World Market, we found these cute bamboo parasols for...
ten bucks!


(from World Market website)

This is where the Arizona air hits Jose and he says "what if we used THIS for our light fixture?" And, you know, after that fruit basket idea, I was actually considering his suggestions now. While I had my hesitations, I LOVED the thought of the parasol hanging upside down to serve as a light fixture. How would this work?! You know... ten bucks... it's worth the try!

First, Jose took off the ugly fixture, which left a metal pole hanging down with exposed bulbs. Jose chopped all but 4 inches of the wooden handle on the parasol. He then took a left over metal bracket from our IKEA furniture and used it to connect the parasol to the metal pole. Like this:






And this was the result!



Don't mind the missing chair from our dining room table -- I currently don't have an office chair, so I'm stealing one of those in the mean time :)

SO, how can you find some cool accent pieces if you're decorating? Well, it's all about the WORDS you use when you search. This goes for Craigslist, Ebay, Etsy, or any other place you look online. Let me show you.

I'm a huge fan of vintage furniture, with that kind of chic look (though currently I'm leaning more on the modern look). Let's take this inspirational photo from vnbonsai.com:




UGH, I love this so much. So feminine... if I was living by myself I'd be all over this! Anyway, some of you are familiar with Craigslist "furniture searches" (or Etsy even!) know that if you simply search "vintage" you come up with SOOO many things. You really have to sit there and filter through hundreds of finds. "Vintage" is so vaguely used that you end up with old, garage sale items that people classify as "vintage."

The word that instantly came to mind with this furniture for me was: French.

Guess what items I found on Craigslist when I searched ONLY "French" under furniture? THESE beauties!


Accent chair -- hello! $150


Bedside table $60


Dresser $250


Desk $295


Bookshelf $120 (Imagine painting it a solid red?)


And last.... Okay, some of you may think I'm crazy and just can't understand my vision. That's okay. For those of you who get it, I'll let you come over and sit on this beauty:



Aaaah!! Okay, we haven't "bought" this... yet. But I'm in love!! To me it's the perfect accent chair for our living room. It's a reasonable price (well, the one in my HEAD that I have to convince the seller is reasonable... ;) and it looks comfy!! Jose said it has to pass the "comfort" test in person. Lord, I hope this chair is super comfortable.

Anyway, while these prices were between $50-$200 -- they are absolutely reasonable in comparison to furniture store prices. My advice is to pick an inspirational photo (like the one I posted), and draw ideas from that. I'm no interior design expert, but there are people online who are that I can get visions from. After you have your "vision" search words like: french, feminine, ruffle, shabby, chic, modern, etc. You will find uglies, but that's because people are just trying to sell stuff.

Last, remember you can PAINT!! Pay attention to the -design- of the piece -- it's curves and accents. If you find a coffee table with a really unique shape, or beautifully carved legs, but it's a tacky wood color -- paint it! This is where consignment stores can be your best friend.
Warning: be picky! It's easy to fill your place with junk. Ask yourself if it's a piece people will notice AND does it match the style of your furniture. Be in love with it :)

Happy Friday!


p.s. I'm trying out bigger font because I started noticing how small my default "normal" font is... See? Don't I look small?

DIY Fruit Basket

I shouldn't necessarily call this "DIY" because you don't actually do anything. But since it's not meant to hold fruit per say, I figured throwing DIY in there isn't completely false ;)

Anyway, I want to share with y'all Jose's little Martha Stewart moment.

This here..



... turned out to be one of my favorite pieces in our kitchen. While shopping in Pier 1, Jose pointed out these wooden boxes with fruits and vegetables painted on them. Of course, being the platano addict that I am, my eyes lit up at the plantain box. If I had painting skills, I would be inspired by this to paint more wooden boxes -- but that, my friends, I am not.



He suggested making it a fruit basket and I knew God made this man for me!! Haha, jk. Anyway, all you do is add a beautiful decor napkin (mine is from Anthropologie because it's about the only thing we can afford there!), and voila!



You've got yourself a colorful, Spanish, vintage fruit holder. So clearly my wedding theme is more of a "Alejandra's Life" theme. I can't help it... my love of Spanish design + vintage runs deep! (and NO those plantains were not planned for the shoot! I promise. I really am an addict ;)

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