IKEA – Cheap, but Worth It?

When I was in college, a lot of my friends would buy cheap furniture for the dorms for extra storage or to try to make their rooms look a little less “dorm” and a little more sleek. They were always so excited about the cheap deals that they found at IKEA and soon our suite was full of furniture from the Swedish shop.

But as I listened to their furniture tales and even checked out the store myself, I began to wonder – is IKEA really worth the hype?

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IKEA offers low-priced furniture in modern styles, appealing to the younger crowd looking to furnish their first apartment. The affordability of their pieces are great for someone on a tight budget.

However, one thing that I’ve learned in my year in the real world so far is that affordability does not equate quality. Sure, IKEA furniture is cheap. But it’s also not always well made. The fabrics are usually itchy, at least in my opinion, and the “wood” furniture isn’t actually made from wood like you would think.

In addition, IKEA does not offer delivery or assembly. Picking up the furniture can be difficult, especially if you don’t have a large car. Nearly every one of my friends that has bought large furniture at IKEA has run into major difficulties trying to out their pieces together, due in large part to unclear directions.

I’m not saying IKEA is all bad. I actually love their little accessories, which are found in the “marketplace”. I have a great scarf organizer and small decorative items that I got at great prices.

But it is important to weigh out all of the pros and cons before making such a big purchase as furniture. I would suggest shopping around at other stores as well to see where you can get the best deal. Some stores offer free delivery and assembly, which to a girl like me who barely can work a hammer is a huge bonus.

Keep in mind that most stores have sales around holidays, so plan your shopping accordingly if possible! And if you have a friend or relative who is moving, see if they have any furniture they’re looking to get rid of – this could lead to big savings!

The Polish Series – Perfect Purples

I’ve always found purple to be a great nail polish shade. It’s different enough to stand out but it’s still appropriate for professional settings, like in the office.

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Purple is great because there are a wide variety of shades, so you can find something suitable for any occasion. Some of my favorite shades are:

1. Purple Yourself Together, Nicole by OPI. This light purple has a hint of gold shimmer in it to brighten things up. It might take a few coats to get full coverage, but you’ll be pleased with the final result.

2. Play Date, Essie. I always refer to this as my “Easter egg” color. It’s a great pastel shade when you want something unique but not too out of the box.

3. Fiji, Sinful Colors. This brand is among my favorites, because it’s inexpensive (usually around $2) but it applies well and lasts as long as pricier brands. This shade has some shimmer to it, so it’s not dull but also not overpoweringly shiny.

Do you have a favorite shade of purple polish? I’d love some new suggestions!

Recommended Reading: Orange is the New Black

I recently joined a book club hosted by the alumnae chapter of my sorority. The selected book for my first time was Orange is the New Black by Piper Kerman. While this isn’t a book I would have chosen to read on my own, in the end I’m glad that I did.

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(Source)

Most of you have probably heard of Orange is the New Black, the Netflix original series that began last year. But I’m sure many of you, myself included, didn’t realize that it was based on a memoir by the same name.

I’ll start off by saying, it wasn’t the most well written book I’ve ever read. It was clearly written by Piper Kerman herself. This is good in that you truly get her perspective. But it was difficult at times because the story would seem disjointed. It was essentially a series of anecdotes in a semi-consecutive order.

But despite any issues with the structure of the book, I truly enjoyed reading it. This is a topic I’ve never really explored before – what life in prison is really like, especially for women. Piper’s story is fascinating and it opened my eyes to a lot of new and different things.

I haven’t yet watched the show, but from talking in book club, it seems the show is very different from the book. There are some show characters you can recognize from the book. I would say that the book served more as an inspiration for the show than as an exact basis for it.

Have you read Orange is the New Black? What did you think of it?

Scarves: A Simple Accessory

When it comes to fashion, I usually like to keep things pretty simple. I’m not one for crazy patterns or lots of mixing colors. I also have never been very big into jewelry. While I’ll throw on a necklace or bracelets occasionally, I usually just don’t think to find jewelry to match my outfit.

But despite my plain tendencies and lack of motivation when it comes to jewelry, I quickly get sick of having a plain and boring outfit. This is why my new favorite accessory has become scarves.

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(Check out the collage details here on Polyvore)

Scarves are a great way to change up an outfit an add a pop of color or fun print without it being overwhelming. There are lots of different styles and ways to wear them, so you have even more options of how to Incorporate them into your outfit. Plus they’re often a lot cheaper than jewelry, which is great for a budget conscious new grad like me!

Fun story: My favorite two scarves are actually from Camden Market in London. I got them for £2 each (less than $4!) and I love being reminded of my trip each time I wear them.

You can find scarves at most of your favorite clothing stores, but here are my favorite places to buy them:
• Target
• Francesca’s Collections
• The Paper Store
• Kohl’s
• Dress Barn
• Charming Charlie

Each of these stores has unique scarves to choose from, and all for an affordable price!

Where did you get your favorite scarf?