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Best of Atlanta Craigslist

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Beautiful set of Fine China, ( service for 8 with serving peices) - $125 (Decatur)  
You can never have enough china.
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1960's rotating globe - $100 (Vinings)
Maps are a little snapshot of how the world was.  
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Solid Brass Chairs - $199 (Atlanta)
I am in love with brass right now.  
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** Beautify English Armoire - Sturdy! * - $275 (Cumming, GA)
Like a big sturdy lady wearing tiny heels.
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Empire Dresser with Mirror - $175 (Roswell)
So pretty.
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2 Antiques Chairs - $120
I love this shape & they are fairly easy to upholster DIY.



I am doing it, so can you.

For the past few years my family has been making most of our Christmas presents for each other.  Last year I did a ton of food - caramels, bread, cookies, dog biscuits, infused cranberry vodka, truffles.  But after most of my family also did food - granola, canned goods, candies... then it was a little overboard with sweets.  This year I tried to keep food to a minimum and am so thankful for it because I have already finished the non-perishables.  I wanted to share some of the items that will be in my gift bags - click on the links for further information and how-tos.  All of these things are insanely inexpensive to make - less than $10 per person for everything and will probably take less time than shopping.

These are so cute and fun.

I have not met a dog that doesn't go crazy over these, the most time consuming part is rolling out the dough and using the cookie cutter.  You could skip the cookie cutter and just cut into squares.  

Handmade bath scrub
This link from Sunset magazine also has other great homemade gift ideas.  I added eucalyptus essential oil to the scrub (also using the essential oil in the pinecone fire starters below).

These really are the easiest to make, melt chocolate, dip, sprinkle, let dry.  I used multicolored sprinkles, pecans, peanuts, coconut, and clear crystal sprinkles on either white or dark chocolate - really the possibilities are endless.  

For those that have and use a wood-burning fireplace (none of our relatives in Florida will be getting these!).

Using fresh cranberries and pumpkin this bread smells like the holidays.  You mix all ingredients in the bowl, put it in the loaf pan and bake (recipe says 50 minutes, but every time it has taken 85 minutes).  Easy-peasy.  



Free... time & stuff

Pablo Picasso (1881-1973). Seated Woman with Wrist Watch, 1932. Oil on canvas 51 3/16 x 38 3/16 in. (130 x 97 cm). Collection of Emily Fisher Landau © 2006 Estate of Pablo Picasso/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York. Photograph by Jerry L. Thompson
So obviously I have been on a bit of a blogging hiatus.  With the Showhouse, clients, the holidays, and everything else I feel like the Picasso art above (disjointed and all over the place).  My goal before the new year is to develop a better plan for A Curated Lifestyle.  Maybe introduce some new series, work on content, and nail down my "voice" as I learned from Lavish.  Until then posts will most likely be scarce as I am travelling and trying to catch up for a fresh start January 1st.

But if you want a chance to win an awesome pillow that I made, head over to From The Right Bank.  Ally was so kind to include me in her "8 Days of Giveaways" there is also a little something-something for those that don't want to wait or don't win.

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Best of Atlanta Craigslist

Love this shape.   

They are remaking these now.  

I love anything inlay.  I love inlay.  
while not usually a fan of a standing mirror, the carving and detail on this make it. 



Best Etsy Holiday Finds

Etsy is one of my favorite sources for unique gifts and one of a kind items.  Because lets be frank, one of a kind is so much better than mass produced and at a great price!  So here are my finds for the best holiday decorations on Etsy.

And if you are looking for gifts, check out my Etsy shop, A Curated Shop for one of a kind pillows now with free holiday gift wrap.  

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Guest Post: Group Buying Fatigue

Today's Guest Post is from Jill Levenson of Flourish Marketing.  You can also find Jill on Twitter @jill5455.  Thanks Jill!

Suffering from group-buying fatigue?
A curated approach may be the cure.
Shopping Frenzy!
Photo by John Crosley 
I don’t know about you, but I am tired of clipping e-coupons. I get enough emails, tweets and Facebook posts each day from various vendors of “exclusive” deals to choke a goat. The offers are for all kinds of things from GAP jeans to discounted dinner at the hot restaurant of the week.

But it can be a lot of work staying on top of all those promos and glorified coupons! Remembering to purchase this one within 24 hours to get the deal or to show the special screen on my iPhone before paying the bill requires some special attention to detail. And for those of us who pinch our pennies while still leading a slightly beyond-our-means aspirational lifestyle, it can border on obsession.

The Top 5 Group-Buying Services:
1.    GroupOn
2.    EverSave
3.    Living Social 
4.    BuyWithMe 
5.    Tippr 

To boot, AOL has plans to put to use as their group-buying platform and go-to restaurant reservation desk OpenTable has plans to get into group-buying offers as well. Group-buying is bringing in sales by the billion, but I have to wonder whether it’s really adding value to the consumer experience.

Just today, for example, I went to my AM appointment at Stability Pilates here in Sandy Springs. Of course, only as I walked in did I remember that the previous morning, I had an email offer from Stability via Living Social. It came in buried amidst 30 or so other (slightly more vital) messages.  Because I didn’t buy that day, I lost the opportunity to get 4 classes for $26 — a substantial savings — from my very own Stability Pilates. I can’t help but feel a little bitter that I, a loyal client, missed out. Where’s the love?

Despite my issues with how the “you snooze, you lose” approach can burn a loyal customer base, I’ll admit Stability made a strong move. I have info from an inside source who says they sold almost 400 units through the one day offer. That’s big bucks and a lot of new clients for a small business like Stability.

But here’s the real rub for group-buying consumers, according to Kevin Ryan of Advertising Age: What I find particularly fascinating about the burgeoning social buying space is that people actually think they are getting a good deal—rather than unwanted inventory—or a simple margin thinning volume moving sale. But that's the magic of marketing, isn't it? Take the rubes for as much as you can, as often as you can. (Complete article)

I’m sure you have at least one sale sweater. One that, at the time, you didn’t know you always needed. But now it sits in your closet unused and you don’t even know why you bought it. I think it’s that same impulse that’s propelling the group-buying phenomenon.

Like Kevin Ryan, I believe “social buying isn't about bargain shopping, it's about connected audience enabling.” Hence, instead of these (forgive my expression) bullshit “exclusive get it while it lasts” daily e-blasts that are, in fact, not exclusive at all, I prefer what I like to call “curated” group-buying.

There are a few “group-on” like missives I receive that manage to rise above this fray of frenzied couponing. These communications prove that, done right, group-buying can actually elevate the consumer experience and thereby enhance the value of a brand’s goods or services.

Back to Ryan: true exclusivity comes from the ability to successfully connect with and enable your target audience. In order to connect, it has to be relevant to my interests, and to enable me to purchase it has to be accessible - whether local or not. In several cases, it’s a blend of editorial and marketing some call advertorial that resonates well. 

Here are two that I think do this well: the Atlanta-based Scoutmob and HauteLook.  Swirl by Daily Candy is brand new, but promises great things - especially if they can figure out how to go local.  

And there are a few more that, while technically not into group-buying (yet!), belong in a well-curated Inbox: UrbanDaddy and Thrillist.  At the moment, these are more like super secret hints about the "next big thing," and both have Atlanta editions.

I know there are more that I’ve missed, so feel free to clue me in! My cup of group-buying offers runneth over already. Another two or two thousand couldn’t hurt.

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Free Showhouse Tickets

I am giving away two tickets to the Atlanta Homes & Lifestyles Christmas House today.  That means you will only have until 6pm ET to visit my Facebook page and "Like" me to enter and then write on my wall that you entered- simple as that!  

And for all you Lavish attendees - the Showhouse will be open the 10th, 11th, & 12th at The Mansion.
Showhouse is open at the same time in the same place! 

The Showhouse is open Thursdays & Fridays 10-6, Saturdays 10-5, and Sunday 1-5, for more information visit

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Best of Atlanta Craigslist

DIY anyone?  I see royal blue velvet & white paint

twin beds aren't just for kids anymore - check out these grown up ideas from BluLabel Bungalow

My latest obsession - oversized mirrors.  Have you seen the one in Amy Morris's room at The Christmas Showhouse?

With the holidays people are selling things at great deals, it's a good time to shop and find an unusual gift for someone or for yourself.  



You're Invited: Jackson Pollock Cocktail Party

Wanted to let you know that my monthly post is up at Design Refuge and this month You're Invited to a Jackson Pollock-inspired Cocktail Party.  Be sure to check it out and while you are there look at all of our members, amazing bloggers from all over the world are on Design Refuge.  If you are ever in need of inspiration, looking for a new blog to read, or just want to get lost in the blogosphere for a few hours, click on over to Design Refuge.

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