Monday, November 25, 2013

Black Friday Shopping Tips!

Saving is sexy….going broke isn’t!

Spending my entire career in retail I have seen more than a few Black Friday's! It is the unofficial start to holiday shopping and for so many....a family ritual. (I know some folks don't like the early openings or the excessive commercialism....but for's in the blood!) What deal, what line, what many questions so little time. Contrary to some social media memes it is a day most retail folks much prep for the big show and then! Whatever deal you may seek or approach you may are 10 tips to keep it focused, fun, and most! 
Happy shopping! Saving is sexy!
  1. Make a list! What do you have to have? What brand? Stick to the list. I know this seems obvious but getting something that won’t be used because it is a good deal is really a bad deal! Grrr
  2. SAFETY 1st! Some store open in the middle of the night or while it’s dark. Watch where you park. Put your bags in trunk where they can’t be seen. Carry a purse that straps over your body with the actual purse in front. Do not put your cell phone down. BE AWARE
  3. Use the envelope system. No credit cards! (unless you are planning on an extra discount from a certain card……use cash. If you don’t bring it….you can’t spend it! So, I put the list on the outside of the envelope and the cash inside with any added coupons, giftcards, etc.
  4. Dress appropriately! Layer up! It’s cold outside but inside stores and malls full of people….it’s gonna get hot!
  5. Bring a bag with handles! Those recycle bags for groceries are great! The last thing you need is for your handle to snap and all your goodies go rolling away!
  6. Bring your ad! It’s the holidays and cashiers may be new. Doing a price check with 50 people behind you can be dangerous! If you know what I mean!
  7. Leave kids at home. This is a no brainer but I still see people dragging little ones around. Ummm…..where is the surprise? Not to mention it’s not kid friendly shopping.
  8. Pick your route and set meeting times for connecting with shopping buddies. Cell phone service is sometimes sketchy in stores so having a set time works perfect.
  9. Divide and conquer! Use your buddy system to stand in line and get the most from different deals. You can grab something for them while they wait on line, etc.
  10. Have fun………part of shopping on such a busy day is the excitement factor! Grab some Starbucks! Buy a cup for the person in line behind you! Be NICE! Smile! Try not to make a mess and remember………no deal is worth your safety! Shop fun….shop smart! 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Bangin' Bangin' Baby gift! Sushi Take Out takes the prize!

Ok so this is short and sweet.....and it's SUSHI BABY!!! Well, really, sushi for baby! OMG! I had to share this cute and easy gift idea. It's one of those things where you see it and you can't believe you have gone so long without thinking of this yourself!

This genius in a box is brought to you by Courtney Breuel! 

She is such a cutie! Actually, her whole family is just a bundle of fun and great ideas! You can find her clever Pinterest boards here:

She has no idea I am sharing this, but can I keep this cuteness to myself?

Her sister and I work together and when I saw the pic I had to share on the blog. Because it is so stinkin cute! Ready?

OK, seriously! Step away from the diaper cakes and up to the sushi bar! You can use wash cloths or onesies and wrap with receiving blankets. Boy or girl, choose your colors and wrap up tight. A small ziti pan with lid from the $1 store and some chopsticks from the junk drawer and you are 'ret to go! 

If you are the hostess of the shower this can be your theme and you can pack your door prizes and favors in take out boxes. ENDLESS possibilities! And always...the goal of the the event is to gift the recipient with as much love and as many much needed items as possible so she is sure to be ready for the new little at the invite and tuck in this ditti........this is GAME CHANGING!! Trust me! Ready? Here ya go!:

OK....hmmmmm. who do I know that's expecting? LOL. Nothing like giving, and if you are giving.....
make if FABULOUS! Real talk! 
Follow me @realtalknic

Friday, November 1, 2013

realtalknic: Meet Kate the Kitchen Table! and Why I love to pai...

realtalknic: Meet Kate the Kitchen Table! and Why I love to pai...: Before I show you the newest addition to the family.............I wanted to take a minute and share why I love to paint furniture. I come f...

Meet Kate the Kitchen Table! and Why I love to paint furniture!

Before I show you the newest addition to the family.............I wanted to take a minute and share why I love to paint furniture.
I come from a pretty basic decorating background (all of which I promptly relinquished upon my moving out of my mother's house!) We had what we could afford, bought from the local chain retailer, possibly with a tax return......did I just write that? Yep! And tons of knickknacks. China mostly. And if you had a green thumb there may be a plant tacked to the wall somewhere near a window. Dusting was a bitch and well, it wasn't embarrassing when we had guests but I wouldn't call it inspiring either. Frankly, just thinking of something inspiring was reaching too far. All of my friends had very similar things bought in very similar places and that's just how it was.

Years, and a bit more disposable income later, I go for quality pieces and I use my furniture. If there is something you shouldn't sit on it shouldn't be in my house. I love my big ticket items, still seems to be a pain to get it all right at the same time. It's just too expensive. Even a "freshen up" of a few pillows and a seasonal item can cost a buck fifty ($150) and that's at friggin Target! Ugh.

So I started looking at a few blogs of perfect looking people in perfect looking spaces and I was so envious. How do they do it? They must be loaded I told myself. Unlimited funds, to be sure. I made up perfect stories about them. And then one day I read the details box.......holy frigging sugar honey iced tea! She MADE that? She PAINTED that? Then there was the kicker......the really, and I mean really perfect girl with the AH MAZE ZING house....yeah, her husband was in JAIL and a recovering addict! And they live on one small income. I know. I know!! Shut your mouth though, because you are gonna need to breath to see my big reveal!!

So then I started thinking about why I buy furniture or anything else for that matter in the 1st's for me! For us! The folks that live here. It doesn't have to be perfect! Look may see a little trick or two.....but that's what makes it great! That buffet, the one that is identical to the one on OneKingsLane for $1000.....yup....snagged that as a left over from my neighbor's yard sale. Fa Ree!! The bottom right drawer sticks a bit but.....FA Ree! Yep Yep.

Anyhoo.......that is the spirit in which I began searching for a new kitchen table. I knew what I wanted: classic with a sexy leg, 6 chairs, a leaf, and no more than $100! Heehee! I am replacing the Bernhardt set I purchased 9 years ago and has seen some wear. And, uuum, she wasn't $100. (You live and  I checked Craigslist regularly, then not so regularly, and then I spotted her! She had to be mine. I texted a pic to my co-worker for back up! She piped me on! BUY HER!! (yes, after a while, everyone in my circle uses people pronouns when referring to furniture that may become mine)

So....I waited a week. The lady at the storage unit (I cannot make this up) wants $250. No thanks! A buck twenty and I will take it right now...I say over my shoulder walking away. 5, 4, 3, 2................"Wait! Let me call the owner." (Nicole, get yourself together.....doing the running man now will be a dead give away!) "She will take it!"  Woop, there it is......shakalaka shakalaka......yeah, I did. Right there in the parking lot of the storage unit with at least 40 people milling around. I broke our my game dance. It was not pretty. Alas,
ladies and gentleman..................Meet Kate, the Kitchen table. I will give all the details on how to make something you find in the concrete jungle (better known as the storage unit sale) this beautiful in another post but for now.......feast your eyes on her! Love you Kate!!! Welcome home! And that is some real talk!!

Kate the Kitchen Table! She is enjoying my favorite room for her 20 day curing period.
Can't wait til she is in her permanent spot!

And.....because I can't is a tease of the more before and after because, well....I can't friggin believe the difference. Let me know what you think..........N.
Stop playing! Love it!

This is gonna be a problem!