Frugal Friday and International Women’s Day.

Today marks International Women’s Day and that’s on my heart big time this year. This week, my UK-based godparents made a donation to the local shelter to mark the IWD. What a thoughtful thing to do. In a year marked by horrific acts of violence against women all around the globe, in some ways IWD does not seems particularly celebratory this year. But change is afoot. Our neighbours to the south re-authorized the Violence Against Women Act, and women and men took to the streets in India and South Africa to protest the epidemic gender-based violence. Leslie Morgan Steiner’s TED talk on her own experience with domestic violence went viral and allowed a number of women who’d been harbouring physical, emotional, sexual and financial abuse to start telling their stories. By turning a spotlight on an issue that people don’t like to talk about, laws will change, communities will no longer turn a blind eye, and shelters will receive more funding. I think that the church can play a huge role in this area and I can’t think of a better way to espouse family values than to stop domestic abuse. Kudos to Drew Marshall and his guest hosts Melinda Estabrooks and Kimberly MacLaren for focusing last weekend’s radio show on IWD and highlighting key issues facing women (and society) today.

Around these parts, it’s also Frugal Friday and so this week we are showcasing a little bit of this:

What else is there to discuss on the frugal front except for the opening of Target in Canada. Canadians are crazy about the Target whenever they visit the US. I headed up to the store in Milton to check out the stuff. I was amazed that there was hardly anyone there. Granted it was a soft opening, but still, the shelves looked about 70% stocked.

I’m not a big Target clothing person unless there is one of those designer collaborations going on – which there isn’t. If it were my store, I’d want to collaborate with some cool canucks like DSquared or Joeffer or Smythe or Pink Tartan (although I’m guessing that collaboration would go to Joe Fresh…) The only thing that stood out in the current collection was a black Mossimo jumpsuit that sort of channels one L’Agence and La Gwyneth are selling on Goop. It’s poly but you’d swear it was washed silk.

You, know, I’m not sure where I stand on the whole jumpsuit thing but at $29.99, I thought it was worth the risk. I think it will look super adorable with a blazer this spring.

Onto home decor. The usual suspects are there: Simply Shabby Chic, Nate Berkus, Circo. The Threshold line is cute. Lots of cute trendy pieces like Homesense or Pier 1 might have. I thought that the x-bench, the chinoiserie lacquer table and the mirrored side table were cute. They were $59.99 to $79.99, so totally reasonable.

I wasn’t really in the market for anything, but I’m always keeping an eye out for quatrefoil mirrors. I’ve been lusting after Horchow’s at $345.

So Target’s $24.99 version was a no-brainer. Into the cart it went.

Obviously the Horchow mirror is way nicer but the target one is pretty too. And less than 1/10th the price. I never know how to feel about lower-priced copies. In a way it’s good: design Reaganomics, allowing great design to trickle down to the broader population over time. I have had ghost chairs for over 10 years, purchased at Horsefeathers and made by Philippe Starck for Kartell. Now you can find copies at kitchen and bath stores for $100 per chair. Is this a good thing? I like to pay the people who created the idea (since I liked to get paid for ideas I create!) But who is the creator? Phillipe Stark? Or is it some guy from the time of Louis XVI who created the original chair shape? Ditto for the Quatrefoil mirror? Who is the creator? The first to market the quatrefoil mirror or the guy in 1260 who put a barbed quatrefoil on the buttresses at Notre Dame? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan writes, “If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” I think that design is a bit like that and it’s something with which decorators struggle. Then again, a limited budget should not force one to live with ugly stuff. Sigh. These are the things with which I wrestle. Clearly, I need to get more of a life.

I picked up two ceramic birds.

I’ve seen lots of these pieces in antiques shops as all the mid-century tchotchkes are in vogue. These bad boys set me back $16 for the pair. I want to use them in the little summer house I have in my garden. I’m building the look around these awesome rattan bar stools I scored curb-side.

(Yep, true reversal-of-fortune chic is loading curb finds into your Mercedes… You actually see this a lot in Oakville.) I plan to re-upholster these babies and spray them white. I’m still deciding what fabric to use but I see some Lyford Cay Club-inspired awesomeness happening and Pimm’s all round.

Anyhow, I ended up getting some groceries and drug store stuff, as well as a replacement lampshade for my lamp. The vehicle was pretty full coming home.

Enjoy your weekend, kids.

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