Top 10 Under $10

For the last 2 years, I've hosted a "best of" party for our book club.  What is a "best of" party you ask?
Each person who attends the party brings 3 of her (sorry, no men in this book club) favorite items.  The rules are as follows:
  1. Each item must be under $10
  2. Each item must be a staple in your home, something you love and use all the time.
  3. Everyone brings 3 different wrapped items.
  4. We draw numbers from a hat and whoever gets #1 gets to pick from the pile and so on.
  5. At the end, everyone ends up with 3 items to take home.
It can be anything, a food item, beauty product, garden accessory...the possibilities are endless.  I love this event so much because we get to learn about products first hand from our friends.  And since they are our friends, the things they bring are going to be cool.

So I thought I would share with you my favorite top 10 items from our last 2 years:

1. Eucalyptus Mint Candle from Bath and Body Works (I wait until it goes on sale to get it under $10)

2. Tea Tree Tingle Body Wash from Trader Joes
3.  Coconut Oil from Trader Joes

4. Rao's Spaghetti Sauce
5.  Burt's Bees Res Q Ointment (I found this at Safeway)
6.  Dish Drying Mat (we bought ours from Bed, Bath and Beyond)

7.  Cookie Scoop (also found this at Bed, Bath and Beyond with 20% off coupon, you can get it for $10)
8.  Cetaphil Face Cleanser (this didn't make it to party, but I love it)
9.  Dark Chocolate Covered Espresso Beans from Trader Joes
10.  Wickles Pickles

So there you have it, my top 10 products under $10.  I already have some ideas for next year, but I'd love for you to to share a few of your favorite products.  And NO, I did not get paid for this advertisement, although I probably should!  

If you MUST buy ready made curtains

Let me start out by stating the obvious...I believe in custom made window treatments.  For many reasons:
  • Custom means the window treatment will fit YOUR window. This example is an obvious reason for custom:
  • Custom means the design is tailored to your decorating style.
  • Custom means you select the exact fabric and trim for your window.
  • Custom means paying attention to detail.  
  • Custom means you will have quality lining in your window treatments to protect your investment.
  • Custom means the job isn't finished until you are completely satisfied.

Now I realize that custom window treatments can be pricey.  However you are making an investment in your home when you purchase custom.  If you MUST buy ready made curtains, I have a few tips for you to help them look like custom.  

 Most ready made drapes are too short.  I like to see drapes hung as close to the ceiling as possible and touching the floor.  In order to get the additional length, you can sew a complimentary fabric to the bottom of the ready made panels as I've done with these sheers.

Here is another example of how to make your ready made drapes look custom:

These ready-made grommet panels were too short so the client and I decided to add some trim and a contrast fabric to the bottom to help them look custom and fit the window.

To make them really look custom, we measured the existing panels to the bottom of her window sill.  We had 12" from the floor to the sill so we needed to add 12" of contrast fabric to the bottom of the panels.  You can see the decorative cording and contrast fabric is this photo.

These are the completed panels pleated up and hanging in my workroom before installation.  (The bands of fabric holding the pleats together is just temporary to help the folds stay in place)
You can also add some banding or other decorative element to the lead edge (inside edge) of the drapery panel to get a custom look.  These panels are NOT ready-made, but I wanted to show you an some examples.