Sunday, July 20, 2014

Furniture Matchmaker

I love surfing Craigslist. When you talk about dream job, I wish someone would pay me to search Craigslist for good furniture and decent home rentals. I could do that all day.

I've been seeing great furniture on CL lately and inspired by another blogger, I started posting pieces on Instagram. (Why keep them all to myself if I don't have the money to buy them, right?)

This was the first thing I posted about:
These great linen chairs were only $25 a piece/$150 for the set. Gorgeous. I really kept going back and forth about buying these. But, my friend Kathleen went and got these! Happy one of my friends gets to enjoy them.

Then, I found this great mid-century modern looking dresser. A great price at $150. (I'm sure I would have tried to talk them down in price)
 Then, I found my favorite chair of all time (albeit, this a reproduction) for sale in the middle of nowhere an hour and a half from here. They wanted too much for it ($500), but I love this piece!
 This was a neat bookshelf that I found on CL for $40 made out of old wooden crutches. My friend Melody loved it so much, she went and got it!
 Then, yesterday, I was at Odds and Ends (one of the best junk shops in my opinion) and stumbled upon these chairs when I was leaving. I had remembered my friends were looking for similar chairs, so I posted a photo for them. They bolted to the store and were so happy to get these for only $5 a pop. Love seeing people so happy about these finds!
Just call me matchmaker. Have you found any cool pieces lately?

Monday, July 14, 2014

ThredUp

Weekends are really precious time to me and there's one thing I really don't like doing any more - clothes shopping in stores. This is probably mixed with the fact that I want to save every dime to work on our house. That's where ThredUp came in.

I first saw it on another blog I read and my life was changed. Go with me here - think consignment store right to your door, but not the kind that takes ratty old clothing. 

If you only want to buy clothes, you can go on their site and purchase away! They've got great brands and lots to choose from.

You can also order a clean out bag for free. Put stuff in it you don't want anymore and see if they take it! They give you guidelines for what they want and don't want and also an estimator to see what they might give you for an item. At the end, whatever they don't take, they donate to charity.
 I got rid of things that I hadn't really worn and probably wouldn't wear again, some shoes and a handbag. Soon I should see what my payout will be.
 Before I my bag got here, I ordered a few things - two shirts and a pair of shoes - for only $18! Pretty excited about the fact that if for some reason I didn't like something, I didn't spend that much on it.
 Here's the shirt and the pair of shoes. I've already worn the top to work and love it! I've also already started to break in the leather flats. I still can't believe I got them for less than $10.
If anyone goes online and wants to purchase from ThredUp, I've got a 40% off purchase code for a friend!

[ThredUp has no idea who I am and didn't pay me to write this, I really just think they're cool!]

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Project: Guest Bathroom

I have to be honest, the bathrooms were never the selling point in our new house for me. Paul likes to remind me this is still just like "putting lipstick on a pig," and he's totally right. Call this Phase 1. Right now, this tub has the "shower" as a hose that screws into the faucet. With the tile only going half of the way up, I'd be nervous for there to be water on the sheetrock if anyone took a stand up shower. So, in Phase 2, we're definitely continuing the tile the rest of the way up. Here's what it looked like when we were first looking at the house:


One perk of moving is that companies buy lists of new homebuyers and send them coupons. We've gotten a huge free dinner at Whole Foods (that we got at least five meals for the both of us out of), yard mosquito spraying discounts, and a free gallon of paint. We're spoiled because my brother-in-law works for Sherwin Williams and we get a great discount. But, I'm not turning a free gallon of paint down!

Paul and I discussed what we wanted to do next and while at first I wanted to do our bedroom, we were having family over for dinner the next day and we didn't think we'd have enough time to finish. Plus, this is the bathroom that guests would probably be using.

I wish I had some better progress pictures because this bathroom really needed work. This whole house obviously used to be covered in wallpaper and it's never been fully removed. In the bathroom, sections were curling on the ends. Luckily though, there were a few places I was able to remove in sheets. We had a TON of patching to do, but I think over all it turned out great.
This mirror is my favorite thing in the bathroom. This had been over our hutch in the dining room, but I love it in the bathroom.
 The shower curtain is something a found on clearance at Target a year ago or so for $13. I'm not a huge chevron-all-over person, but I like it like this in small doses. Towels are some of my favorite from World Market (similar).
 I still have tons of art/prints to hang and I love this one from our friend Kate Whitley (you can see her stuff here).
All in all, we were able to re-do this bathroom for nothing more than some sweat equity and it already looks so much better. Here's to the next project!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Project: Office with Chalkboard Paint

Considering that Paul works from home, we really wanted to prioritize and get the office done pretty quickly after we moved in. We loved the dark color we had done in our previous office, so we picked something similar, though a little more brown/gray than green. We wanted to do something a little different, so we decided to try out one wall as a chalkboard wall.

First off, we built that white Ikea desk, which we ordered online. It's the exact same as Paul's so that we can both have our own workspace. Then, we pushed everything to the middle and got started.
 This is how the chalkboard paint looks in the can. It goes on black and it's the chalk at the end that gives it the color you want. Make sure you stir the paint very well!
 Wall in progress. We made sure to tape it off to not get the paint on the other walls.
 Here's an "in progress" shot of the other walls. It looks a little brown here, but it's a cool brown/gray.
 Here you can see the walls together. We had thought about painting a larger wall with the chalkboard paint, but being that the paint only comes in a quart, we opted for this wall. It turned out great, because it's the wall that Paul faces during the day. We've been writing story ideas for online and for the magazine on here and it's been good to keep a list going.
 After the paint has cured for at least 24 hours, the (not) fun part begins. Take a piece of chalk and turn it on it's side. From there you have to rub the chalk over the entire surface to "season" it. This was kind of a pain, but the small the piece of chalk, the easier it went for me.
 Here's how it looked after. We chose white chalk, but you could have chosen a color if you wanted. Whatever you rub on it will be the hazy color you'll see. Absolutely DON'T write on it before you season it - that writing will be permanent! This is why you season the paint.
 From there, the directions say to just wipe it off with a damp cloth or paper towel. The best advice I found was to use a Magic Eraser as the eraser. Being that it's fine, it gave it a good look and it took off a lot of the excess.
 Here's a little detail from one of the bookcases afterwards. I'm liking my milk glass in here (next to Papaw's old fan, of course)!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

The Great Outdoors

Oof, sorry guys, this one is a long one! When uploading, I realized, this is really all about being outside. The weather has been incredible (read: cool) the past few days and we've been loving it. Our meteorologist friend says that Hurricane Arthur is sucking all of the humidity towards the Outer Banks, which makes it a lot more comfortable here. While I hate the circumstances, I'm going to enjoy it!

Our garden has hit an all time high. Squash and zucchini is finally starting to produce after a rash of black mold and our tomato plants can hardly stand up there's so much hanging on it.
 Our mint and basil is also huge. I took bags of basil to work to hand out to co-workers who were looking for some herbs.
 Our yard was also a jungle after we came back from the beach. Look how high the grass was! Good thing we don't mind yard work.
 We've been taking advantage of the cool evenings on the patio. I think we've sat out there a few days in a row, which is a record, considering the bugs and the heat!
 I think the cool spell has gotten me itching to change things up in our house. When we moved in, I really just put things where they were in our house before. I'm feeling like I want things different this time, so I took all of my books from another bookcase and put them in the front room. Its nice to see our things in a different light.
 Last weekend we had a cookout at our parents house for my mom's birthday. Here's a shot we captured for a birthday present of mom's.
 Paul's mom gave us a "bag of memories" this past week, which included his letter jacket (band nerd!). Most impressive is that he's actually smaller than he was in high school!
 I've really enjoyed this holiday weekend to walk around the neighborhood. Paul and I have found some really great loops that are a mile so we don't get bored with our workouts. Paul's picked back up  with running and he's setting his sights on running the Mississippi Blues half marathon in January.
 Friday we went to Broadmeadow Neighborhood Association's annual 4th of July parade. It's always such a sweet parade and a great time to hang out with our neighbors across the street. Our old neighbor, Becky, brought Willow the miniature horse. She's always a big hit.
 I got a picture from Sital, who's in Brazil with her boyfriend, Kiger, and one of my other best friends Amanda. Here they are in Rio on the 4th!
They've been in Brazil for the World Cup. The way it works, you sign up for a lottery to get tickets. They were lucky enough to get four tickets. You don't know what games you'll actually see because of the way the brackets work out, but they were lucky to be there for the last USA game. Funny enough, Kiger became the poster child for the end of the game when they lost. Here he is on ESPN! They even showed his reaction here at home on our local station that night without knowing he's from Mississippi. Very funny!
 Friday night we went to Old House Depot for their annual Independence Day party, which is always so much fun! Our friend Nathan, who owns a restaurant in Fondren, made buns and grilled hamburgers that are out of this world.
 Southern Komfort Brass Band played the whole time. By the end, you couldn't move there was so much dancing going on in the front!
 We had a great time!
 I have to say, I wish 4th of July was always on a Friday! It was nice to have the holiday, but have the festivities out of the way so that you could have the rest of the weekend to relax. Saturday was such a nice day. We went to my parents neighborhood to the pool all morning, came home, took showers, then sat out on the patio at Sal and Mookie's. 
 The weather couldn't have been more perfect! That evening, we headed over to our friends', Chris and Rachel's, house for a fish fry. We played corn hole and had a great time!
 Someone brought over their French Bulldogs, which were hilarious. They stormed the backyards running around like pigs! Definitely the cutest dogs ever.
 The hosts, Chris and Rachel. They fried no less than okra, green beans, hushpuppies, banana peppers, catfish, tomatoes, and Oreos. I'm sure there was more!

I hope everyone else has had a great holiday weekend!

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Beach Week 2014

We just got back from beach week! Such a nice break from reality.

Of course, we started off the trip with drinks on the beach.
 Brody was a big part of beach week this year because it was his first time! We had a good time calling him Pharrell because he looked like him with this big hat.
 Lots of pictures were taken of these two cuties.
 Of course, the food was incredible food. On their night, MG and Ryan made Red Lobster-style biscuits, grilled squid and crab cakes.
 They followed all of that up with Bang Bang Shrimp. It was incredible!
 We ventured out one day and went to The Gulf for lunch. If you're ever in the area, you need to try it out. The food is good (the menu changes every day) and the atmosphere is very cool. 
 My mom had told us about a group of artists in Orange Beach near where we ate lunch, so we had to check it out. We got to watch one of the apprentices blow glass.
 Mom had me take pictures of her oyster stew. Here you go, mom.

 Here's our house for the week. It was the perfect size and arrangement for our family. We've already booked it for next year!
 Now, let's take a moment of silence for the outfit at McDonald's in Gulf Shores on our way home. Please tell me this isn't becoming a thing?
 When we got home, KT was all over us. I'm typing this blog this early because she howled all night long because she wanted to be with us. Needless to say, we weren't as appreciative. :-)

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