Let me start by saying I loooove fashion but I am too frugal. So, I may have a problem with Thrift stores. I try to go to the YWCA or DAV Thrift. Stores that support local causes and are direct about where their funds are going. I also take my donations there. One in one out is what I shoot for.

In the following pics are some of my finds for all Season’s. Please be aware I did not include cost of shoes or all accessories in my equation on every outfit. I will try to do that next time 🙂

I hope this inspires others to mix in thrifty goods with new. Saving money and the planet are just a couple of the benefits! Send me pics of your steals in email below I would love to see them you can also send to FB here!



  • sweater $6
  • dress H&M new $7
  • legging target clearance $6
  • booties $6
  • clutch $1
  • necklace $1
  • = $27


$20 version


  • sweater Dressbarn clearance $10
  • tank Target clearance $4
  • skirt $3
  • shoes $3
  • necklace and belt were my grandma’s!
  • = $20



  • tank $1
  • skirt $3
  • wallet $4
  • sunglasses $3
  • = $11
  • necklaces and belt were granny’s!
  • Gladiator sandals discount RUE 21 $19.99




One of the best tips is to be sure to shop after Season sales. Here you see some business outfits I’ve selected at 70-90% off. I purchased these shortly after the Holidays.





Messenger Bag for Guys and Gals

540583_270597526362137_1103560705_n477416_270587189696504_65012312_o556285_270599863028570_1911407241_nThe Unisex Messenger Bag inspired by early 1900’s newsies newsboys  For both Men and women, it is modernized with a herringbone pattern, interior side panel cellphone pockets and 3 compartments. The center panel has a zipper closure for tablet or notebook water-proof lining, in my case spilled coffee protection!

460600_267555476666342_779999302_o460600_267555473333009_1567627786_o Extra strong adjustable strap takes the bag from shoulder to hip for best comfort. The Nylon and D rings have proven to very strong I often carry around 30lbs.

The final result was very clean and so versatile! 460600_267555469999676_514581646_o




Garage Sale Steals


Garage Sale steals add a punch and bring this guest bedroom together. I was feeling a rustic Carolina coastline vibe. Craving these trendy blues with vintage whites here is the result.

I purchased this very 70’s lamp/ table at a sale for $5, $6 spray paint and a lamp shade on clearance from target to bring it totally up to date. After 2 coats of paint and some sanding to antique I was smitten. All total I would say around $15 for my “new” bedside table and a perfect reading lamp I might add!


I found a wicker dresser with awesome bones! This item came with two other tables which I resold to help pay for the dresser; making it $7 which was great because I decided to coat it completely inside and out with Kilz. If you ever have a problem with mild mold, mildew, stains or odors just use this as a primer.

After scrubbing it throughout with bleach, Dawn and H2O mix. I gave it two coats and some extra on the top. It had been kept in a garage there was moisture and maybe mouse potential hence the overkill. But, after adding that Kilz it was a whole new world. I decided to punch it up with another Sea foam blue and copper footings.




What a lucky lady I am to have a bud that was willing to kick this down for free. I love that it was ornate with spindles and it happened to be the right size for our guest bed. I wanted this white washed and extremely wear worn so as to look like it was near the sea for years. I bought a bed frame from an online resale group for $10.

What I had remaining from my can of Kilz from the dresser I just added water to extend. You will be surprised I got 4 projects out of this 1 can!!! Which is great because it’s around $25. I used this washed out version on a free dining set redo to tie the beach theme to other rooms in the home. And even on a bench outside.





Cake Re- Mixes

All ingredients shown for Pumpkin Crumb Coffee Cake. Just add a 1/2 to a whole can off pumpkin. I also like to sub applesauce for oil. Don’t forget your Pumpkin Pie spice it changes everything! I like a full tsp. Strudel topping with 1 c whole oats and 1/2 c almonds offers extra protein and filling whole oat nutrition for cold mornings!



Same 1/2 to 1 whole can pumpkin with a marble cake mix. You can sub applesauce for oil again if you like! You will love the Pumpkin spice or at least Cinnamon with this dense, delicious loaf. Great at night (I love chocolate before bed.) or as a go breakfast with PB.

Mini Muffins are the perfect thing to take anywhere! Potluck, someone sick, or to welcome the neighbors. So easy! Just Use cake mix add fresh or frozen berries. Tada!!



I separated the same yellow cake mix above into 2 different bowls. In the first I added 1/2 tsp lemon extract, 1/4 tsp lemon zest and 1/4 c frozen blueberries.In the second, I was so in the mood for coconut!, in went 1/2 tsp vanilla extract, pinch of salt and 1/4 c sweetened shredded coconut.



Next level Lemon and blueberry action! This is a lemon cake mix sub applesauce for oil. Add 1/2 zest (save the rest for the cheesecake filling) and juice from 1 whole lemon.

I often cut the filling in half. Place the following ingredients in a bowl. Add 1 pk cream cheese softened and add other 1/2 lemon zest. Also 1 tbsp vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and 1 tsp lemon extract. Finally a half softened stick of butter and 1 egg. Blend until smooth. You will now add up to 2 c white powdered sugar until it’s desired sweetness. Now you see why I cut this in half! Even with half pk of cream cheese and 1 c powdered sugar you will want that extra egg.

I usually use a paper towel to smear vegetable oil over pan and then flour that surface when baking. This makes for easy removal! After pouring your cake batter into a deep 9*13 like usual, just layer the cheesecake mixture right on top. I sprinkled with fresh blueberries ( I just love blueberries and lemon and cheesecake? Well….. anything! I know this last one is really rich but I hope one of these saves you time and makes you look like you spent allll day baking at your next function! Enjoy!!


Just in case you were in the mood for more! Don’t forget these oldies but goodies.







Complete Crock Pot meal with tender Pork Loin Entree. Two sides include hash brown casserole and loaded mac ‘n’ cheese. So convenient and complete with Farmer’s Market veggies!

20140524_124615 20140524_12494620140524_125308

1) Chopped Turnip, potato and 1 apple. Chop and lay in the bottom as a delicious bed of aromatic root veggies.

2) Place pork loin on top. I used a peppered loin, they were buy one get one plus coupon.

3) I like to add a full can of any carbonated beverage. I believe dark is best to tenderize meet. I used the vanilla because I wanted to do sweet spicy with the apple bits. It was to die for!

4) I set the big Crock Pot on High for two hours, then on Low for four hours when I left.




1)  For smaller crock pot sides precook about 2 cups of pasta. I used shells cooked only until chewy. Dice ham for loaded mac. I also added pre- diced green peppers and frozen peas. I hide veggies in everything shhh…

2) Once all goodies are loaded add your fave Alfredo or cheese sauce. This extra moisture will finish cooking your pasta and meld all the flavors Yum!. Stir and set on low for 4 hours.

3) For hash brown casserole add two cups thawed shredded potatoes. 1/2 to a whole cup of sour cream. One cup shredded cheese and one egg as binder. Stir ingredients. ( You can also use half can condensed soup and 1/2 cup sour cream)

4) Season to taste and set on low for four hours. When you get back everything should be ready! Hope you enjoy this one I’d love to see/ post your Crock Pot ideas and feedback.


I saved extra diced ham for later.





Faux Flower Design Tips


Had a lot of requests and curiosity lately involving my true love, floral. If you are timid about floral this is a great place to start!

Faux flowers can be easily manipulated, bent, cut and made in advance.  You can select blooms in the same color family or with contrasting to pop. Try experimenting with texture.

In general you will want your blooms to be up to two times the height of your vase. Using Odd numbers or diamond  groupings will help to fully display and fill out the blooms. You can also do an asymmetrical or one-sided display.

Try bending blooms towards you and other directions. Begin with a focal flower in the center. Use odd numbers of blooms. Use darker colors and largest blooms toward the bottom. Allow the flowers to blend into lighter tones if you’re using multiple colors.

You can use greenery to help hold your stems or you can create the bouquet in your hand then drop into the vase. You can hold it next to vase then trim stems before placing in vase. This is also true of fresh flowers!

Get crazy with stones, shells or sand in the bottom. These can also help you stabilize when building in a vase and will help keep the flowers from shifting if you move them around or transport for an event.

Also try wiring or hot gluing on wreaths or hair clips. They are so versatile! Make amazing gifts like a wreath for Mother’s Day.

Check out more pics of handmade silk ideas below. You can jump on links to my Facebook site and take a peek at the fresh ones too!

LIKE and comment right on HAUTE INGENUE on Facebook!


Create seasonal wreaths 20140409_075819cropped-content___media_external_images_media_169-3.jpg


DIY Wall Art


Using leftover paint colors from around the house I painted each mini canvas allowing it to dry completely. Then using a stamp I used other coordinating wall colors on top to contrast. After each canvas dries completely you can attach to burlap strip. I recommend the wired for stability, it also created the best bow! Measure length and spacing for custom art piece, then secure to burlap with hot glue on back side. Any latex or water based paint works well also.