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Father’s Day is this Sunday — are you armed with a gift for dad? No? Well then, we’ve got you covered — from his favorite recipes (hot beer cheese and homemade pretzels — yum!) to fun, free printables and handmade gift ideas like this easier-than-it-looks dresser-top leather valet; whip up a surprise for your dad just in time for Father’s Day celebrations.

Handmade Men's Leather Valet for Father's DayReady to make your own? Get the complete step-by-step instructions>>

Not only is this monogrammed leather valet easy to craft, you probably have most of the materials on hand like an old frame, some batting or foam and a spare bit of leather – this is a great project for upcycling a past-its-prime jacket or purse. The steps are simple, just disassemble the frame then use the backing as a template to cut out a small piece of leather and batting. Place the leather, suede side up, on top of the batting and secure it in the frame with strong tape.Step by Step images for making a leather dresser-top valet for Father's Day

I used an old trick from college printmaking classes to create removable registration marks on painter’s tape that would help me find the tray’s center before placing the adhesive stencils (these things are awesome, btw, you can find them with the glass-etching supplies at your local craft store). Fill in the stencils with a permanent marker and voila — a handy catch-all for dad to keep his keys, change, watch and anything else he needs to grab on his way out the door.Using a Sharpie to Monogram Leather

Crafting this handy DIY gift for dad is easy — but be sure to check out my complete step-by-step instructions for a materials list and lots of helpful tips first>>

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Last week, the HGTV editors got this goodie basket from Chalk Paint® decorative paint by Annie Sloan. We were very excited to get our hands on this paint, to say the least. Why, you ask? Because this paint can go on virtually any surface. Wood, ceramic, metal, outdoor furniture, canvas — you name it, you can paint on it without any paint prep. The chalky texture allows you to get any finish you like, whether it’s smooth or distressed. It’s low VOC, non-toxic and dries within minutes — seriously, it dries faster than my nail polish does.

Annie Sloan Chalk Paint

Check Out Our Paint Projects

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What would you do if you had an empty room, a blank canvas, that needed to be designed and decorated from the ground up? It sounds like a daunting task, but if you have all the elements to build your perfect room, then there’s no reason to not begin right away. HGTV has partnered with home and lifestyle shopping site One Kings Lane to provide all the right pieces and expert tips so you can create your very own in-home getaway. Starting today, May 22 at 11 a.m. EST, you can shop this exclusive sale. Ready to build your perfect room? Let’s get started!

First, start with a solid foundation. Pick out a stylish area rug, statement chair or lucite table lamp that catches eyes from the doorway. Then, began layering on pieces that represent your personality; hang a piece of modern artwork, add texture with soft bedding, throw in patterned pillows for a punch of color or simply add a few charming accents to your side table. Follow tips from HGTV experts and designers to help create a space that represents you.

Check out some of the gorgeous pieces you can purchase today on One Kings Lane. Plus, follow these tips from HGTV experts on using them in your own home.

Build Your Perfect Room With One Kings Lane and HGTVLayer With Accents

Tip: “A decorative object can inspire an entire room. I like to look at it and highlight what I like. Is it the shape? The finish? The color? Hone in on these elements and use them in your design.” — Danielle Colding

Build Your Perfect Room With One Kings Lane and HGTVWake Up Your Wall

Tip: “Choosing art is like committing to a partner. Ask yourself: Would I like to wake up to this piece every morning? Does it make me think? Does it bring me joy? If your answer is yes, then buy it!” — Genevieve Gorder

Build Your Perfect Room With One Kings Lane and HGTVWarm Up Your Floors

Tip: “When choosing a rug, don’t let bold pattern and color intimidate you. When covered with furniture at home, it will look much more toned down.” — Genevieve Gorder

Build Your Perfect Room With One Kings Lane and HGTVBring In History

Tip: “When everything is new, a home tends to fall flat. When you sprinkle in vintage pieces, their character and history immediately sparks conversation.” — Brian Patrick Flynn

Build Your Perfect Room With One Kings Lane and HGTVLayer With Accent Pillows

Tip: “When mixing patterns, one should be large scale, one can be a busy print and one can be colorful. They’ll get along better if they’re not fighting to do the same thing.” — Jillian St. Charles, Vice President of Programming

Let’s talk. What’s a must-have item in your perfect room? A sofa you can sink into? An area rug to warm up cold feet?

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This time of year is my favorite for so many reasons: warm weather, spring flowers, longer days…but the thing I love most is spending sunny weekends outdoors hitting the local antique fairs. Thanks to the favorable weather, most fairs take place in the spring and fall — check this list to discover one near you.

The closest antique fair to HGTV’s Knoxville HQ is less than 20 minutes away in the Mayberry-esque hamlet of Clinton, TN. Each year in early May and October, this sleepy Southern town draws antique and collectible dealers from throughout the Southeast for their Clinch River Antiques Fair. Best of all, mixed in with the professional vendors are lots of locals who’ve cleaned out Grandma’s attic, barn or basement — so, although the prices and quality of antiques vary dramatically from booth to booth, there’s so much to choose from that I never leave empty handed.

Here are a few of the goodies I spied:

A coat of bright green paint and a liberal sanding give this 60-year-old dresser a kicky update — $150: Distressed Green Dresser

Mixed in with the antiques were a few crafts. How clever are these?! Old Reader’s Digest books cut into initials — such a great idea for a kids’ room or nursery – $15 .   Books Cut Into Initials

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Mother’s Day is sneaking up fast (it’s this Sunday!) but you still have time to craft a handmade gift — especially one as simple as this sweet little jewelry box. Best of all, the materials for this project cost less than $20 and you’ll be ready to surprise her with your thoughtfulness in no time flat!

Make a Handmade Gift or Jewelry Box for Mother's Day

Get the step-by-step instructions>>

All you need is paint or stain, a decorative knob and a pair of fence post caps (1 flat and 1 raised). Yep, just plain old fence post caps. You can find them in the fencing department of your local hardware store and they look like this:  Wooden Fence Post Caps

Thanks to the flat cap’s stepped design, it fits nicely inside the raised cap to create a lid – like so:
Easy Jewelry Box Made From a Pair of Wooden Fence Post Caps

Finish your jewelry box with the paint or stain color of your choice, add a knob and surprise Mom with a charming personalized box filled with a small trinket or sweet surprise. Stain Fence Post Caps and Add a Knob to Create a Wooden Gift Box

Ready to get crafting? Get the step-by-step instructions>>

MORE MOTHER’S DAY CRAFTS TO TRY:
Block-Print Napkins With Simple DIY Stamps
Make a Simple, Floral Mother’s Day Centerpiece
Hand-Painted Wooden Bracelets for Mother’s Day
Make a Fingerprint Table Runner for Mother’s Day
Make an Easy-to-Sew Lined Tote Bag

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Curtains can make a room. They can add color, pattern, or texture instantly, and create an airy inviting space. They can also cost a pretty penny, but don’t have to. HGTV Magazine put together a go-to guide for fancy curtains on a budget. Check out these DIY and store-bought window treatments, and read on for all the rods and ends you’ll need to finish your new look.

5 Frugal Buys
Good-looking curtain rods and finials can be as costly as the curtains themselves. Here are some budget-minded sets.

inexpensive curtain rods

1. Umbra 28″–48″ staff drapery rod in black, $20, casa.com 2. Lincoln 28″–48″ rod in champagne silver, $27, kwikhang.com 3. Versailles Home Fashions 48″ torch rod in antique gold, $40, casa.com 4. Style Selections 28″–48″ acrylic ball rod in bronze, $20, lowes.com 5. Studio Tribeca 28″–48″ rod in Tuscan bronze, $25, jcp.com

1 Cheap Rod, 3 Ways
Spray paint the same 99-cent IKEA Räcka 28″ curtain rod three different colors, then add fun finials for a sneaky way to save!

diy curtain rods

Blue: Satin Periwinkle paint by Krylon, Skulptur finial, $5 for a set of 2, ikea.com Gold: Brown paint by Rust-Oleum Universal Hammered, Rope Ball finial, $20 for a set of 2, landofnod.com Floral: Aged Brass paint by Rust-Oleum American Accents Designer Metallic, Hand-painted amaryllis finial, $38 for a set of 2, anthropologie.com

Excerpt originally appeared in the May 2013 issue of HGTV Magazine.

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Festival season is upon us! My Bonnaroo countdown for this year started the day I left Bonnaroo last year. Needless to say, I’m a bit excited. It’s hot; it’s crowded; you get zero hours of sleep, but boy, is it worth it. Before, it was all about being as comfortable and cool as possible during the festival, but now it’s just as important to look stylish and fashion-forward, thanks to festivals like Coachella. Festival fashion has become its own genre, and stores like Forever 21, Urban Outfitters and American Eagle Outfitters have created pieces specifically targeted to festival-goers. So, look like a rock star in your shades and fringe while listening to the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Yeah Yeah Yeahs.

Summer Music Festival Fashion

Music Festival Fashion Essentials at HGTV's Design Happens Blog

1. Floppy Hat / Target
2. Cotton Maxi Dress / H&M
3. Backpack / Topman
4. Necklace / Urban Outfitters (similar)
5. Sunglasses / Ray-Ban
6. Infinity Scarf / Etsy, Necklush
7. Denim Vest / H&M
8. Floral Shorts / H&M
9. Stud Boots / Topshop
10. Chevron Cuff / gorjana

Music Festival Fashion Essentials at HGTV's Design Happens Blog

7 Ways to Look Stylish at Shows:

1. Load up on arm candy.
2. Add color and layers with a light summer scarf.
3. Keep your hair back and get ready to rock with a long-lasting fishtail braid.
4. Stay cool during the music with a free-flowing boho skirt and tank like fashionista Olivia Palermo.
5. Accessorize your hair with tassels and headwraps.
6. Or, add in some freshly-picked flowers to a loose braid.
7. Block those UV rays and look stylish at the same time with a banded sun hat.

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HGTV fans, we have a big surprise for you. One Kings Lane has paired up with HGTV to bring you all the outdoor furniture, accessories and gardening supplies you need to hop right into spring. HGTV has inspired each and every item featured in this month’s sale, so you know you’re getting our seal of approval when you purchase that polka dot pillow. The sale starts today, April 3, at 11 a.m. and ends on April 8 at 11 a.m. And listen to this: The folks at One Kings Lane are offering 30 percent off all first-time purchases (for the first 24 hours of the sale)! So, you have no reason to not buy that rug or bistro set you’ve been coveting. I mean, it’s 30 percent off! Go ahead, add it to the shopping cart.

Check out some of the incredible items you’ll find in this HGTV-curated sale at One Kings Lane. From outdoor dining and grilling supplies to lighting and gardening accessories, your outdoor space will be set for the upcoming seasons.

One Kings Lane and HGTV Spring Promotional SaleOutdoor Dining

One Kings Lane and HGTV Spring Promotional SaleBistro Set & Accessories

See More HGTV-Curated Sale Items

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For me, the best Valentine’s Day gift will arrive tomorrow — clearance chocolate.

Retailers will be in a rush to clear shelves for Easter candy so it is hands-down the best time to buy chocolate, especially the expensive brands. Discounts range from 40% to 80% off the retail price.

You can freeze chocolate for up to six months and serve it at parties or create gifts. Refined chocolate can be used in recipes for a decadent dessert. You can also melt it to make chocolate-covered strawberries when they’re at peak season this spring.

How to Freeze Chocolate: Take advantage of post-Valentine's Day  sales, then use it for parties and gifts! See how at HGTV Design Happens blog -->

There is a science to freezing chocolate. You have to adjust the temperatures slowly. The trick is to wrap it as tightly as you can (vacuum sealing works best), then place the chocolate in the fridge for several hours before putting it in the freezer. When you’re ready to use it, thaw it in the fridge first, then set it out at room temperature.

Whether you love to observe Valentine’s Day or not, have a Happy Chocolate Clearance Day tomorrow!

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For me, shopping is a year-round sport.

Stores drop prices and offer promotions throughout the year but knowing when and why retailers are highly motivated to clear their stock is a critical part of my buying strategy. Often stores keep old inventory when new models hit the floor but once the new year hits, retailers get aggressive about discounting and moving last year’s stock.

To that end, major appliances are typically at the lowest price point in January, with the exception of refrigerators because most new fridge models roll out in the summer.

Sub-Zero Refrigerator

The majority of furniture companies release new products twice a year — in February and August so January and July are great times to buy floor models.

I’m a big believer in shopping for off season items. For instance, now is the best time to buy air conditioners and grills. The only downside is that the selection is usually limited.

Electronics that weren’t purchased during the holidays are also deeply discounted. In fact, retailers will be running promotions for HDTVs and home theater systems for the Super Bowl.

Home Theater Room, Designed by Christopher J. Grubb

One way to take advantage of increased competition during these promotional seasons is to scour ads for deals and ask for a price match from a store that offers free delivery and installation.

I’m a pretty tough negotiator and follow the old adage that ‘it never hurts to ask.’

I don’t consider it a win unless I get at least 50% off the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP).

Having such high bargain standards requires a great deal of research and patience but waiting for the right time to buy is always worth it.

What’s the best deal you ever scored?

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Aside from buying fresh, natural foods, there are other reasons you should check out your local farmers’ market. Visiting Knoxville’s outdoor farmers’ market is one of my favorite fall pastimes. I can purchase items I don’t normally find at the store, and I’m helping out the local farming community. Plus, it’s fun! Some of my favorite finds include: challah bread, cage-free eggs and an assortment of jams.

Farmer's Market Bread

The smell of bread and sweets always draws me to the market. Many of the vendors even offer recipes.

Cruze Farm Stand

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First, let me start you off with two quotes:

  • “Men I may not know, but shoes, shoes I know.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City
  • “The best way to a woman’s heart is through her sole.” – Anonymous

So true, so true. I love shoes in every style, shape and color. (My desktop background is even an image of vintage shoes from Designlovefest.) And each week or two when I add a new pair to my tiny closet, I imagine I’ll one day have my dream Carrie Bradshaw closet to display each and every one. With the DIY trend spreading into the fashion world, I may need that extra-large closet sooner than I thought.

DIY Designer Shoes - BurberryBurberry-Inspired Embellished Heels

Recently, fashionistas on a budget started buying regular heels and giving them a handmade touch with paint or embellishments to turn them into designer favorites for much, much less. Check out some of the best DIY designer-inspired heels we’ve found on the web.

More DIY Designer-Inspired Heels

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One of the really great things about my job is the chance to preview new products before they make it to stores. Usually it’s a candle or pillow but every now and again it’s something unexpected but totally fun — like these pet costumes from Target!

While I don’t exactly plan on taking my pups trick-or-treating, I couldn’t resist dressing them up for fun. Target’s expanded their already (super!) adorable selection for 2012 so if you haven’t considered decking out your dog before – this may be the year.

Here’s my little girl, Sophie, modeling one of the new costumes that just hit the shelves. She’s a 3-year old Schnoodle (Schnauzer/Poodle) and, as you can tell, she’s pretty jazzed to be mommy’s little piggy:Sophie in her pig Halloween costume

 Not to be outdone, Madeline, my 9-year-old Bichon Frise, strutted her stuff as a cheerleader: Madeline in cheerleader costume

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Have $20,000 laying around? If so, this Hammacher Schlemmer tree house would make for a great back-to-school gift for your kids. Since it’s such a large purchase, maybe you could just save it for Christmas?

Log Cabin Tree Lodge

Do I have you yelling, “Yeah, right!” yet?

OK OK, calm down. Perhaps this is a fantasy purchase for most parents, but still — it’s pretty amazing. Can you even imagine how your little tykes would react to something like this?

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I discovered DwellStudio bedding a decade ago by stumbling into one of those perks of living in New York City: the sample sale. At the time I’d never spent more than $30 on a set of sheets (thank you Ikea!), but I immediately knew that this bedding, with its not-your-mom’s patterns and material quality, would be an investment I wouldn’t regret.

dwellstudio entrance christiane lemieux

Look at those ram door pulls! And right: Christiane Lemieux

Now, more than ten years later, the company is opening its first flagship store in SoHo. Founder and Creative Director Christiane Lemieux has expanded the DwellStudio line to include furniture, home accessories, baby and children’s furnishings, along with their bedding staples. I got a chance to preview their new space and see their line of furniture in person for the first time. Such a treat!

dwellstudio bedding and textiles

Bedding display on shelves painted the perfect shade of slate gray.

The store feels as if you’ve stepped into someone’s very well curated home with vintage finds mixed in among the company’s line of modern products. I am still gaga for the bedding and can attest to its resilience over time. That first set I invested in still looks as fresh today as it did in 2001. It would even work well with any of the newer patterns. The sofas are luxurious and classically neutral enough to play well with pieces you already own.  The baby and children’s line is darling without being saccharine. But most impressive to me was the wall of DwellStudio fabrics which seem to have been designed to let you mix patterns like a pro despite not actually being one.

dwellstudio furniture

I couldn't fit this sofa in my bag, but I tried.

If you’re in New York, or plan to be, you can check out the store yourself starting today. Tell me in the comments if you have any designers that you still love after all these years.

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I’m a self-confessed Justin Timberlake fan and have been since the 90s – you know, the ‘N Sync days? So, when I heard that Justin was teaming with celebrity stylist and interior designer Estee Stanley to launch HomeMint, a collection of home goods and art, I kind of freaked out, naturally.

Justin is an international artist, style icon and entrepreneur, and now, he’s officially marching into the design world as HomeMint’s designer and curator. It may seem like unlikely territory, but to him it feels natural. “HomeMint combines my love of architecture and interior design with my passion for technology and social media to create a brand that offers aspirational designs for the home at accessible prices,” he says.

homemint justin timberlake estee stanleyJustin Timberlake, designer/curator of HomeMint

Justin and Estee designed some of the pieces in the collection and curated others, seeking inspiration from European design and blends of different styles of architecture. The collection, that officially launched today, features everything from bohemian throw pillows and ceramic storage jars to Thonet dining chairs and Indian Ikat hand-tufted rugs. The exclusivity and uniqueness of many of these products are where Justin and Estee’s expertise is evident.

At today’s launch event at The Mercer Hotel in New York City, the two discussed the line’s look and feel, having both male and female curators. Justin certainly brings a level of masculinity to the collection, although feminine elements still remain intact. While Estee finds the masculinity apparent through the dinnerware and throws, Justin thinks the collection’s layering presents his strongest influence but adds: “There’s nothing like a woman’s touch to a home.”

So, I’ve already picked out a few of my favorite HomeMint items. (Well done, JT. Well done.) What I love most is how unique each item feels, along with the European flair. They’re all right on trend, but still feel like they could last in your home for ages.

homemint justin timberlake home goods pillowsSpeckled silk pillow in orange and pink (top); Jacobean print pillow in orange (bottom)

homemint justin timberlake estee stanley artwork sage vaughnArtwork: New Wave by Sage Vaughn

homemint justin timberlake estee stanley antique rugsAntique Russian hand-woven rug (top); Antique Moroccan hand-tufted rug (middle); Turkish hand-knotted rug (bottom)

homemint justin timberlake estee stanley decorative skullsDecorative brass (left) and silver (right) skulls

homemint justin timberlake estee stanley celadon vase ironwood snake accessoriesCeladon carved vase with cover; Large and small ironwood snakes

homemint justin timberlake estee stanley tarascon dishwareHand-woven Moroccan basket; Tarascon cereal bowl and mug; Blonde hickory cutting board

HomeMint shoppers can purchase these products at non-member pricing or pay a monthly membership fee of $9.99. Members receive exclusive pricing, early-bird access to limited edition items and a personalized showroom of products each month, matched to their particular style.

Check out the brand-new collection and let us know what you think. Are you surprised by Justin’s taste? Were you expecting the pieces to be different? Let us know in the comments below.

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It’s that time of year again — when you show your mom how much you appreciate her. Since Mother’s Day is approaching (and since I’m in a good mood), I thought I would share more than one delight today to help you pick the right gift.

For the mom with a green thumb: Your mom won’t need much of a green thumb to keep this tillandsia plant by Terrain alive. The kit includes everything you need from the actual plant to the tear drop glass.

Tillandsia Plant

For the culinary mom: If your mom loves to cook and appreciates a nice bouquet of flowers, then this kitchen utensil bouquet by AlwaysFits.com would be a great gift to give. The set comes with all the essential utensils a cook needs, and you can display it as a bouquet on the counter when it isn’t in use. So clever.

Kitchen Utensil Bouquet

 

For the eco-friendly mom: This patterned compact tote bag by Blue Avocado is an eco-friendly way for your mom to carry her lunch. It comes in different colors and is made with recycled materials. I may have to add this to my own wish list.

Eco-Friendly Tote Bag

For the tea-loving mom: If your mom loves iced tea, then this cafe-style iced tea brewer by Olive and Cocoa is the ultimate gift. You make the hot tea in the top pitcher and pour it over ice into the bottom pitcher for freshly made iced tea. Tea never looked or tasted so good!

Iced Tea Brewer

And to really top off your mom’s special day, throw her a memorable, elegant brunch. Do you have any special plans for your mother this year? Tell us in the comments below.

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When Blu Dot was first starting out, they got their logo design in exchange for building a custom treehouse. So you might say that the company was founded on an ethos of swapping. Which is lucky for the rest of us, because BluDot is having another virtual Swap Meet, starting today!

swap meet logo

The poster states “All reasonable trades considered,” and they’re not kidding. They’re seeking talents, devices, oddities, tasks, taxidermy, collections, crafts and whatnot in exchange for their gorgeous modern chairs, sofas, lamps and more. Last year there were tons of artistic and eccentric bids accepted, like a spork collection and a secret handshake. It’s got me wondering if I can parlay something like my grandmother’s treasured green chili recipe into that Lily Pad Coffee Table I had my eye on!

five swaps on bludot swap meet

How about you? What would you trade for some Blu Dot goodies?

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Everything’s coming up Seuss! Today is the 108th birthday anniversary of Theodor Seuss Geisel (aka Dr. Seuss), and also marks Read Across America Day and the opening of the 3D-CG Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax movie in theaters. Do you like Seuss in a book? Would you like it as a look?* Check out this sweet Seuss suite from the Loews Portofino Bay hotel in Orlando.

Though my Internet research hints that these rooms may have been converted to other family-fun themes recently, you can carry Seuss style into your own kids’ room with a few simple elements. Start with a color scheme of crisp white accented by bold primary colors, as in these Seuss-like designs. Feeling artsy? You can try painting the classic characters on the walls, but no one would blame you if you went with these easy Dr. Seuss decals instead. Whimsical furniture that’s just a little off-balance is a must. Top it all off with super-cute Seuss bedding and accessories, and your kids will feel as though they’ve stepped into the pages of their favorite book.

*(I’m sorry, but it’s mandatory that all references to Dr. Seuss contain some Green Eggs and Ham rhyming.)

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A good thrift store becomes a great thrift store when you can maximize your spending power. Discount days are perfect for getting more bang for your buck.

Some stores run daily or weekly sales. Often times, sale items are identified by color tags. I find it difficult to keep up with the ever changing sale days and colors, so I have a notebook to write down which days have which colors and what percentage off I can expect.
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