Thursday, December 18, 2014

Bargains & Buyouts: Cincinnati's Best Kept Secret

Have you heard of Bargains & Buyouts on the west side of Cincinnati? I've read numerous posts by local bloggers raving about this store.
I finally visited this store and the bloggers weren't kidding. This store is amazing! If you're in need of furniture or accents, now's the time to ask Santa for a little cash to save for a Bargains & Buyouts trip over holiday break! 

Since we've moved into a new house, I have plenty of furniture needs, so I decided it was time to make the trip to Bargains & Buyouts. I plugged the address into my phone and my mom and I headed out on Black Friday.

First of all, this store is huge. It has a warehouse feel, but a nice wooden floor. The heat was lacking, but I was able to forget about that when I saw the amazing prices.

Right away, I noticed the price tags. Each price tag featured the retail price and the Bargains & Buyouts price. I was blown away by how reasonable their prices were - cheaper than TJ Maxx, Home Goods and Target! And, these products were on point with the latest trends! They weren't outdated pieces.

Within the first ten minutes, I spotted an outdoor chair (marked $20) and two ottomans (one for $99 and one for $189) that I wanted to take home. I quickly grabbed a sales associate and asked him what to do. 

The sales guys response: "You want both ottomans. I'll do both for $200." My jaw dropped. What???? You can bargain the already rock bottom prices???? I was shocked, and delighted! I said, "Deal!" and with that, he told me to drag my pieces to the "hold" area in the front of the store. He also wrote me a little receipt outlining the price he quoted. He told me to hold onto the quote until I was ready to check out.

Knowing that prices were so cheap, I was so excited to see what the rest of the warehouse had in store for me.

In all, I ended up purchasing more pieces than I could fit into my car:
  • Two ottomans ($200 total)
  • Two small side/accent tables (one for $30, one for $40)
  • An outdoor chair ($20) 
  • A ghost chair ($30)
  • A floor lamp ($65) 
  • A massive area rug ($120) 
  • A rug for my sister-in-law ($75)
  • An upholstered chair for my sister-in-law ($75)
I purchased every item in this photo, minus the ladder, bed frame and Christmas inflatable, plus a few more things not photographed.

I loved the detail and shape in the upholstered chair I picked up for my sister-in-law. This chair was marked $120, but I negotiated a price of $75. A total win!

I also scored this rug for $75. We'll be using it for my sister-in-law's bedroom redesign. Catch a sneak peak of her room design project here.

I was totally in love with this chair. If they had two, I would have scooped them up for our master bedroom. It was marked $100, but I bet you could have negotiated down to $75.

I also loved this ottoman. So gorgeous!

A couple things to keep in mind when shopping at Bargains & Buyouts...
  • Dress warm, but comfy (you'll have to move some of the objects yourself) 
  • Negotiate with a sales rep before getting to the checkout counter. They have no patience for questions regarding your final price at the cashier's stand.
  • Consider your driving arrangements. Bring the biggest vehicle you can find. Also, pack blankets, tarp, bubble wrap, etc...whatever you need to project your furniture when transporting it.
Here's a quick look at one of the ottomans and one of the side tables.

If you're in need of furniture or home accents, I highly recommend you head over to Bargains & Buyouts to experience this for yourself! You definitely won't regret it. In fact, you'll feel like you've landed in furniture heaven. Happy shopping, my friends!

Monday, December 8, 2014

A Tour Through Blogland

Nicole from Probably Polka Dots, a lifestyle blog based in Atlanta, GA, invited me to participate in A Tour Through Blogland. I actually learned about Nicole's blog a while ago from Sarah of Social Sara. It was so long ago that I can barely remember the context. Anyway, I've always admired Nicole's style. She has a knack for curating all things pretty! Nicole does a great job at highlighting small businesses. In fact, I have discovered many lovely Etsy shops just by reading her blog.

This Tour Through Blogland consists of two parts, so without further ado, onto Part I...

Part I: About Me

Q. What am I working on?

I'm very excited to be working on a brand new Simply Sarah Style initiative that will launch in January. I'm not ready to reveal the full details just yet, but can say it has to do with decorating and home styling, a pastime I thoroughly enjoy, and something people often ask me about.

Q. How does my work differ from others in it's genre?

One aspect of Simply Sarah Style I really take pride in is the fact that the items I talk about, the parties I plan and the spaces I decorate all can be accomplished on a very reasonable budget, which means it is obtainable for a broad range of readers. I love creating a space or event that looks like it could be found in a magazine using items a person already owns or finding inexpensive ways to create WOW factor. This is the same with fashion. I love creating the high/low cocktail as Hilary from Dean Street Society would say. The challenge of putting together something inspiring that doesn't cost a million bucks, or even a hundred bucks, makes me very happy.

I hope Simply Sarah Style readers enjoy the affordable (and obtainable) inspiration.

Q. Why do I write/create what I do?

Simply Sarah Style started a little over four years ago as an avenue for sharing inspiration and the projects I completed. This was before the days of Pinterest, so blog-reading was the best way to gather ideas. Since I loved reading others' blogs so much, I thought I would start one of my own.

Through the years, I've gone through ups and downs. When I first started, I would write several posts a week because I had so much to share, but then my schedule filled up and I found it difficult to make time to blog so often, so I set a new standard for myself. I would blog once a week - every Wednesday - and that would be that. I felt good with that commitment.

Sometimes, even making time to write once a week is hard with my schedule. When it gets difficult to fit in a post and I find myself wondering what to write, I wonder does anyone even read my blog.

Then, I meet someone new who is a friend of a friend and she tells me she reads my blog, and just like that, I am re-engergized, and flattered. I'm happy that people feel inspired when they browse the pages of Simply Sarah Style.

Heck, Simply Sarah Style, the blog, has led to great opportunities. Not only do I do parties, decorating, wardrobe styling and gift-purchasing for people, I also get to work with great brands, small and large. All the of those things make writing and creating worth it!

Q. How does my writing process work?

I publish a post every Wednesday. Sometimes they are planned. Sometimes they are spontaneous. On Wednesday nights, you'll find me snuggled up on the couch with my laptop finishing my post and watching the latest episode of Nashville.

My biggest challenge when making a decision on content is typically the quality of visuals. I'm excited to share that I finally broke down and bought a nice camera after years of debating. Hopefully, you'll see the snapshots of my projects improve with this new piece of hardware! Any beginner photography tips are greatly appreciated! ;)

Part II: Meet Some of My Favorite Bloggers

Now, let me introduce you to three blogs I love.

Oak Ridge Revival

Andrea is one home design blogger I just adore. What's better is that she lives in town, so I have the honor of running into her occasionally. I first formally met Andrea when I did a feature on her for Fort Thomas Matters. It received such a great response that it was selected to run in Fort Thomas Living as well. Andrea is crazy talented when it comes to decorating. Her home is stunning, especially her kitchen! You can check out her home tour here.

Sarah blogs about updating her historical home, which has quite the family history. I enjoy browsing her blog for inspiration. I was also inspired to make my own "30 before 30" bucket list after reading hers (although, I need to rename mine "30 for 30"). Head over to check out her latest home projects, plus she has some interesting gift guides. Sarah has already completed her blogger questions. You can find them here.

PS-I automatically love other bloggers named Sarah!

I first discovered Summer from Simple Stylings when I came across her back deck makeover. Everything about this space was perfect. It was so colorful, so inviting and ideal for entertaining. You'll find plenty of inspiration on her blog and Instagram accountSummer has already completed her blogger questions. You can find them here.
Please head over and show these ladies a little love!

Thanks for joining me for A Tour Through Blogland!

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Gift Guide for the Kentuckian

I am a Kentucky girl through and through. Born and raised and a real wildcat. Are you a fellow Kentuckian or do you know one? If so, this gift guide is for you! I've curated a collection of unique Kentucky finds. This guide could go on forever - think bourbon, Kentucky Derby or Keeneland items, other Kentucky-made products, etc. - but I've limited this collection to a couple of my favorite items.

Kentuckians unite! Which is your favorite? 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Black Friday Deals (You Can Shop Now)

It seems like the deals are better than ever before, with every retailer competing for your holiday budget. In fact, you can access most Black Friday deals now!

Since we're in the process of decorating our new home, I've had my eye out for great accents. Here are a handful of stellar deals for the home. Think 40% to 50% off normal prices!

C. Wonder Cookie Jar & Glassware (40% off)  

Let me tell you...the blanket I included is LIFE-CHANGING. I received the brown and white zebra print version of this blanket as a gift two years ago and it is absolutely amazing. It's huge and so soft. Forget the stupid throws that don't cover your entire body. Get this one now! And, it's on sale for only $8.99 (normally $39.99). What a deal! I want to buy one of these for every single person I know. It's that amazing. Earlier this week, I saw they had a navy and white polka dot one that was adorable, but it isn't showing online tonight (total bummer).

What's the best Black Friday deal you have found?