favorite thrifty find!

in my search for new local places for secondhand furniture, i discovered the cutest little mom n' pop thrift store with some good stuff & great prices. i saw this little blue mirror & liked it, but wasn't sure if it was a necessity yet- i'm trying to smartly buy the bigger pieces for our living room first & then fill in with the accessories so as not to blow the whole budget on little stuff.

well, several days later & after one trip back when they were closed, i dragged both my kids out in the rain to go back for it. that's how much i like it! she was marked $25 but i got her for $20 because i also got a pair of lamps [more on those soon!] & the very nice lady took $40 for the whole shebang!
she [yes, the delicate but substantial mirror in the perfect shade of sky blue with the subtle but lovely detail is definitely a she] found a happy new home in our entry where she fits perfectly & is big enough to basically serve as a full-length mirror right before we walk out the door:
except that now i think i need some sort of half circle little entry table our shoe basket can tuck up under!

i think i'm starting to really get the whole thrifting thing.... the thrill of the hunt & of finding a bargain... it's hard for me to justify paying full price at target & i really like the more eclectic look a unique find gives!

what is your favorite goodwill/craigslist/thrift store score? either recent or of all time. i want to hear!

p.s. if you can't find a mirror at goodwill/craigslist/thrift that you really like, try looking at lowes with these coupons!


a funny story about end tables.

do funny things happen to me because i have a blog to share them on? or do i write a blog because funny things happen to me & i want to write them down? i was thinking about that the other day as a simple exercise in picking up some end tables turned into an epic misadventure.

ok, not epic. but really, i just had to laugh.

so, we needed end tables for beside the couch. we set up a new configuration of living room/cozy movie watching den & had no place to set a lamp, a drink, etc. and since we are very much the movie-watching sort, this had to be corrected immediately.

well, these end tables were about 4th on my list of top 4 that i liked on craigslist. however, they were solid wood, supremely paintable/distressable, & the price was right... $30 for BOTH. win! & if the price weren't enough to put me over the edge about them, i somehow bumbled my way onto a cute thrifty/home design blog where the gal had almost the exact same tables painted white & i thought they were awesome. i almost couldn't find her blog again because i have googled/pinned/linked around to about a zillion living room inspiration photos in the past few weeks, but here it is:
cute right? i'm such a visual person, it really helped me to be able to see something so similar to what i had in mind already done.

one of the things i like the most about 2 matching end tables is how much more flexible they are than one big coffee table. you can pair them on either side of the couch as expected, push them together to function as a more traditional coffee table, or even push them together under a window as a bench or window seat, like above. i plan on putting big pretty baskets for storage underneath... probably one for extra toys or blankets, and one for living room stuff we want to keep the kids out of.

so i emailed the guy & we set up a time to meet at his storage unit to pick them up.

i was convinced i could fit them in our camry, despite the 2 kids + carseats in the back. hubs[wisely] was not. so i drove the camry plus kids, and he drove his big blue truck. we had to drive to the other side of raleigh, missed one of our exits [darn you googlemaps directions] & accidentally drove 15 minutes out of our way... into another county. had to pull a u-turn & just as we were back on track with me following behind the truck, i got distracted by a very old unique possibly-closed little store by the side of the road with a huge sign that said 'sewing machines.' when i turned my head to look back at the road, the truck was about 4 inches in front of me, and hubs had turned it into the oncoming lane to keep me from hitting him. i swerved the opposite direction onto the shoulder of the road & despite screeching, smoking tires & a nasty feeling in the pit of my stomach, were no worse for the wear [both kids in the car with me, remember?].

thankfully, it was a quiet little neighborhood-like street with no oncoming traffic & no crazy ditch on the side of the road to fall into or anything. thank you, LORD!

what felt like forEVER later, we turned up at the storage place 30 minutes late, by which time the college-age guy had left. the super nice storage unit manager lady was able to call him, & he showed up & we loaded up the tables. yay! guy was cool about us being late, & even offered to sell me a cool mirror when i mentioned the other things i was looking for, although he was asking $60 & i was looking for more like $20.

i forgot to mention that all during this time in 2 separate cars, following first-time directions to a new place, neither of us had our cellphones. so any communication we could do was by either pulling over, yelling from the windows, or gesturing wildly & insanely.

it was the wild/insane gesturing [by M] that led to someone taking a random incorrect off-ramp on the highway [me] & thankfully knowing where i was after taking 2 more random incorrect off-ramps to try to turn around.

but all is well, & i'm calling 2 end tables for just $30 a win. i know they don't look like much, but i'm excited to get to work on them!
& look what a close call perfect fit they are! we shall now have a place to place drinks again. & some lamps [working on those]. & my laptop.
i had some creamy white paint left over from another project [a great valspar spray but so glossy] which was not ideal, but i'm trying to use what i've got, you know? & the weather was finally nice enough to spray outside this weekend, so they'll be done soon...
these bad boys are way too functional in our home to languish half-finished for months in our basement. yay!

p.s. you can always find some new end tables or polish up those old ones with help from these coupons from home depot!


first things first.

so, a living room/den update. first things first: a new [to us] couch that initiated the whole re-setup. what i wanted to purchase was this amazing green leather chesterfield from anthropologie.
but the price tag? $5,998.00 [don't you like how they so strategically make it $2 less than $6000? like that's in any way a less terrifying price?] literally, a couch that costs more than the hospitals charged us for our 2 children combined. insanity.

sooooo. what i purchased was this, for $200 bucks on craigslist. not necessarily awe-inspiring in her beauty, but real leather... a tiny bit worn, but cozy & relaxed, with a story to tell.
she'll fit right in with us.
& look at those lovely rolled arms & that big fat nailhead trim! my favorite.
& the perfect size for the wall in what is now our new den!
yikes, what a 'before' pic. i'm working on it!

p.s. if you're trying to re-decorate a room too, check out these coupons for overstock! i have found some really nice deals on furniture.


to work, to work.

i mentioned we have embarked on a bit of a re-do here in the house. when we moved into our lovely town home we thought it was a temporary stop on the way to possibly buying a new house when my husband found a new job or even moving overseas. either way, we knew it was a time to regroup & enjoy the space we have while we have it [like a full basement, for example] in case eventually we don't have it anymore. at the time, we really had no way of knowing how temporary or not it living here might be.

well, that was 3 years ago.

and through the moves, the changes, the kids & the years, our hodge podge of furnishings just never felt quite right, never quite finished. we lived in the trap of renting & not wanting to buy for or decorate this place 'just in case' a move to the next place came up suddenly. that possibility is still there, but we want to live here while we're here, know what i mean? so we set aside a little money to truly decorate.

enter my complete & utter excitement. time to decorate! time to finish projects! time to make it all look pulled together & time to maybe even... buy furniture.

of course, we are still on a budget. don't you hate when those diy and home magazines decorate a space on a 'budget' & that ends up being the total bargain of like $5000? for like one room? yeah, that's not us at all. but i did want to use the money wisely, get as much as possible done with it as i could, & keep track of it all so that i didn't wake up one morning & wonder what on earth i spent it all on, so...

i made a mood board. my first!

what used to be the dining room in the official house layout is now going to be our den, a cozy spot for movie watching and snuggling & probably some card playing & hopefully friends visiting. here's what it looks like now, stripped to bare bones:
honestly, these 'before' shots are so terrible, the room is sure to look better even with only a slight change of some sort! isn't it strange how you can really see a space for what it is when you take a picture?

and here's my visual for what i'd like it to look like:
our 'living room' is really just a sitting area on one wall kind-of down the hallway on the way to the den. because it's a town home, there's few windows which means lots of wall space to fill! here's how it looks now:
& here's what i'm working towards, a tiny bit more formal, but still home-y & welcoming:
[the site that i used for the mood boards, olioboard.com, while super fun and helpful, only provided rather pricey options to pick from, so these are just a visual inspiration, not the things i plan to actually buy.]

i only have 2 rules for myself:
1. think big [large scale & not small & trinket-y]
& 2. go with my gut, even if it's a bit different or 'out there' for me.

even looking at them now, & clicking through old pictures on my laptop of our other 'layouts' i'm never quite sure what the best furniture arrangement is for this space. sometimes i think it feels like a little too much crammed into one area, but this truly is our living room. it somehow manages to encompass our family room where we watch movies & occasionally eat in front of the tv, our kids' main toy/playroom area, our living room & even our desk/office type area. that's probably too much to ask 1 large room semi-sectioned into 2 rooms to do!

so my work is cut out for me, & i can't wait to start seeing it come together! i'm on a deadline to finish in the next 2 weeks before everyone comes over for little man's 1st birthday!

p.s. if you're looking to redecorate in any part of your house, i found these wallet-friendly coupon options for bed, bath & beyond.


catching up with life.

do you ever feel like life is running away with you?

i had a lot of fun blogging through christmas... some handmade gifts, posting the first ever tour of my home on the internets, & even did a full-on blog series of no-budget christmas decor! then a bunch of life happened. we all took turns getting sick off an on [seemingly] without end. hubs started a second job. we're praying through tons of major life changes. i'm having to carve my crafting time carefully out of my day & am finding lots of inspiration wasting way too much time on pinterest. potty training. sleep training. exclusively nursing an almost-toddler.

it's stressful season of life right now, & i'm tired. too tired most days even for my relaxing, fun crafty hobbies to be very, very honest. usually i'm crashing on the couch with pinterest & a diet coke after i put the kids to bed & barely moving again until [my] bedtime.

but enough complaining.

on the upside, i have a suddenly very mobile almost-one-year-old who occasionally decides naps are for wussies... so i'm back in the world of tiny little hands grabbing my shin from out of nowhere, only to look down & see a little adoring face staring back up at me.
which is truthfully pretty great. i love, love, love the little faces in my home so much.

i'm also excited because we've set aside a little money to finally finish furnishing/decorganizing our house a little bit. & i'm SO excited about that because that means lots of diy projects, and even some really fun thrifting/junking in order to make it all happen on a budget!

more on that coming soon... i've been obsessively pinning, craigslisting, & even mood boarding... so excited!


valentine bomb!

yes, our valentine's was a bomb... but probably not in the way you're thinking....

once again, pinterest came through in a pinch for valentine's day & led me directly to this adorable "bomb" idea that K & i made for M [he loved his "dynamite stick- rolos wrapped in red paper]:
add in some heart shaped doughnuts from krispy kreme for breakfast,
and a special treat waiting for us from M on the porch door window:
& a fun new wreath on the front door:
all in all, a happy little valentine's!
happy valentine's day!


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