Recession Chic

a down economy does not = ugly shoes

Renting Fashion? February 24, 2009

Filed under: Fashion — karakrautter @ 10:30 AM
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So, most of us have heard of, but how many really use the service? I considered joining almost a year ago when I had my eye on a Fendi Spy Handbag but could not make the commitment. Now, with the recession in full swing, maybe I should reconsider. “Rented lifestyles” seem to be an emerging trend, what do you think?


Dining In: Olive, Apricot and Pistachio Couscous with Tuna February 23, 2009

Filed under: Food & Drink — karakrautter @ 8:39 PM
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In February’s issue of Martha Stewart Living, I was drawn in initially by the colorful, heart-shaped arrangement of cupcakes on the cover. But, the really great thing I discovered was a very simple-sounding recipe for couscous.  As I had to hurry home from work this evening – to be able to eat and get on an evening conference call – this was the perfect quick solution to my growling stomach.

couscous ingredients

The ingrediants were cheap and easy to find at HEB and my fridge. Since this wouldn’t be a side dish, I needed to add a reasonable protein. With olives and citrus, I knew some albacore tuna would do just fine. Within 15 min. of getting home, I had my dinner (and drink) ready to go for a long meeting over the phone.

Here’s a link to the recipe on I altered it just a bit with the tuna and vegetable stock instead of water, to add some flavor. Yum!

Couscous Meal


Recession the final blow to fashion excess? February 18, 2009

Filed under: Fashion — karakrautter @ 6:01 PM
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Great read from Recessionwire on why fashion is cycling back to the Depression era.

Redux: Fashion Takes a Turn


Tax Rebate = Home Improvement Loan

Filed under: Fashion,Home Decor — karakrautter @ 9:56 AM
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I would really like to hug my accountant. There have been times over the past few months in which I thought buying a condo in this economy was not the best move. Well, thankfully, I now have no regrets – hello first-time home buyer tax credit 🙂

There is nothing more recession-esque than being excited about getting money from the government, and there is nothing more chic than spending money on fabulous things. Recession-chic is treating that government issued chunk of change like a home improvement loan.

Although my tax refeund is 8-10 weeks away, I’m already brainstorming on the improvements I want to make:

  • New flooring for the master and guest bathroom — thinking recycled glass tiles
  • New flooring for downstairs and upstairs — hardwood, light yellowish or bamboo
  • Replace all lingering brassy doorknobs and hinges — brushed nickel all the way
  • New sink and shower fixtures — brushed nickel, modern and simple
  • New lighting for all bathrooms — I still haven’t seen anything I like

Any thoughts or suggestions would be great!


Dining In: Orange Salmon February 15, 2009

Filed under: Food & Drink — karakrautter @ 6:35 PM
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This week was a very impromptu potluck girl’s night. The main goal wasn’t really the cuisine but catching up with some of my favorite ladies. I chose to do a fairly straightforward main dish of orange salmon. The recipe came from my favorite online recipe destination, via a new name, A few weeks ago I got an email from the site manager letting me know that they were purchased by a larger site group. So, congrats to them! It’s great to make some money doing something you love, especially in today’s economy.

The sides, dessert and wine were complements of my dear friends. A fine selection of light white wines from Rachel, fabulous fresh asparagus from Ashley (a simple broil with salt, pepper and finished with the squeeze of a whole lemon) and the most sinfully indulgent chocolate torte from Kristy with fresh whipped cream and strawberries. The torte was a slight varriation of a recipe from our new, favorite blog Design*Sponge.

Orange Salmon



You may note that the plates look quite different from all other Dining In posts. Well, I decided it was finally time to move the china passed down from my grandmother out of my parents house and into the condo. I only have four place-settings in my other dishes, which works out quite well for someone living on their own. But, as I begin to entertain more, I will need as many plates as the number of chairs that can fit at my table. Instead of going and buying more plates, bowls, etc., I’m incorporating a pinch of vintage chic and several helpings of my heritage into what I already have. We may be in a recession, but why not pull out the fine china?

For anyone that’s curious, my china is classic Lenox Olympia Gold X303


New cheap, chic lighting – thanks IKEA February 11, 2009

Filed under: Home Decor — karakrautter @ 1:04 PM
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After moving several times over the past few years, I’ve come to expect the ‘welcome packet’ from USPS. Changing your permanent address can be a bit of a pain, but at least the post office tries to make it better by sending you a bunch of useless coupons and information that will just end up in the shredder. 🙂

Interesting enough, this time around I decided to actually look through the coupons (really in search of another 10% off for Lowe’s) and found a coupon for IKEA – $25 off a purchase of $250+. I have a love/hate relationship with IKEA. Love the great prices and modern style. Hate when there are missing parts and confusing instructions. IKEA has really changed the DIY format for my generation. It’s a lot more yuppie than Home Depot, since we feel like we’ve actually created something in the end.

At IKEA, $250 solved almost all my new lighting needs. The fixtures in the condo were not awful, just a bit dated and don’t go with the industrial chic aesthetic I’m going for. Starting with one floor lamp as my inspiration, I found all the lighting to complete the look downstairs. Below is the new look of my dining room to the entry (you can also see my circle mirrors from my post last week). Check out my Flickr page for all the other before and afters.


Feeling a bit Purple today February 10, 2009

Filed under: Purple — karakrautter @ 2:15 PM
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It’s been a while since I posted about my favorite color. But today, I put on my purple shoes and decided to share some new purple things that made my Tuesday.

And, just pretty purple things…