As a self-confessed “mildly spoiled gal” raised by parents who, oddly enough, were insane bargain hunters, I’ve become an interesting and contradictive mix of frugal and fancy as an adult. I was cursed with an insatiable appetite for the finest things in life. Give me a blind taste test, and I will most certainly choose the chateaubriand over the local sirloin special. Show me home furnishings and I’ll undoubtedly fall in love with the item that fetches $15,000. Every. Single. Time. That was awesome when dad was paying the bills…but then I grew up. Whoops! Real life and real problems have forced me to dial it down a notch (or two or two hundred) which has given me a new challenge with each project to which I subject myself.

I love to decorate, however I’m not the gal who wants to redo the living room every year. I’m the one who wants to do it right the first time, and love living in it until something major bites the dust. Like a sofa. I rarely succumb to the occasional trend (but yes, the chevrons roped me in with the rest of the world!) and find solace in my classic preferences knowing they’ll save me money in the long run. When done properly, I know I’ll enjoy the timeless beauty of my efforts.

I’m also a bit of a Martha Stewart junkie. I have her books because I was obsessed before there was real internet. (I have books. Hard core history there. ‘Nuff said.) I have grandiose ideas on a daily basis but up until a few years ago, had the skills of a bumbling fool and was constantly begging for help from my talented mom, a few crafty friends and my step-dad who could build a house with both hands tied behind his back. This left me with years of built-up appreciation and GUILT for asking one too many favors! So I’m learning to be crafty on my own and to lean on others a teeny bit less (baby steps, people).

I also love to entertain. I love to cook, but really only because I LOVE to eat. Making insanely good food at home certainly saves me (or at least my husband) from having to work 12 jobs. I love to serve people amazing food that they might not otherwise try, and I love to throw fancy parties. I’ve been politely asked to dial down my over-the-top, three-ring circus (literally, my oldest daughter’s 7th birthday party had a circus theme) extravaganzas by my very patient husband. Having acquiesced, I’ve found that smaller-scale get-togethers with a pretty little tablescape and mouthwatering food are equally enjoyable. Food is awesome. Pretty things are awesome. But inhaling awesome food while surrounded by pretty things? Pure awesome sauce.

I will show you my own creations as well as inspirational discoveries I find online. I also have friends with drastically different tastes. Now, when I say different, I mean, whoa. “WTH did you say you want on your walls?” And while sometimes I am far from a fan of their theme or their style, I love their completed rooms and want to brag on their behalf, so be prepared. I will do my best to provide details of others’ projects, but sometimes I’m simply posting to inspire your inner frugal fanciness.

My way of shopping and living isn’t for everyone. It does take time and patience (although, sadly, I’m pretty short on the latter). I’m neither here to preach about doing everything crazy cheap nor will I condemn you for buying a $6,000 chandelier…I’m simply here to show you how my brain works. Be smart, and you can super save on everything, or be practical and you can save on a variety of things to free up ‘splurge’ money for your pièce de résistance. I still struggle with having to choose the bargain rug over the $15,000 one I truly loved, but real life reminds me that I’m beyond lucky to get the bargain one…to put in my house…that has a roof. We should all be able to love the home and experiences we create. We should be proud of them but we should also be able to afford them. I invite you to join me on this journey of prudent fabulosity, and you too can be a Frugal Fancy Pants.