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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

S.A. Bummer

Picture this: It’s Saturday morning and I’m heading out to do my usual Saturday thrift shopping. I’m driving down Broadway (the street name sound much more glamorous that it really is) towards my usual first stop – the Salvation Army. I get into the turning lane and wait for a few cars to pass. Then I pull into the parking lot and see this:
NOOOOO! (Yes, I yelled that out loud to myself)
My favorite Salvation Army store is closed forever and I’m completely bummed! It was one of my favorite furniture stops and I was convinced I’d eventually find the most amazing piece of furniture ever there…and it’d be really cheap. The buffet I’ve been searching for forever – I thought for sure I’d find it there one day…
Remember this amazing thrift store find?

I bought it there…and for only $26!
Sigh. Now I need to revise my Saturday thrifting routine.

In other news, I’m crazy busy at work, so please excuse the blog slacking. By the time I get home I’m exhausted and just want to eat dinner/watch TV. However, I have made really good progress on my craft room over the past 2 weekends. I’m planning a post later this week to show you where I’m at with the project!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Puppy Videos

It’s puppy update day! And today I have videos!

Abby is almost as big as Ringo now, but still thinks she’s a little lap dog. As soon as I sit on the couch she jumps up and crawls into my lap. She’s the sweetest puppy ever, so I let her.
Ringo will be 1 on Thursday! I can’t believe how fast it’s gone by! I’m going to make doggie cupcakes to celebrate!

A couple Saturdays ago we had a massive storm that ended up flooding part of our backyard (and new patio). After the storm cleared we let the dogs outside and they both loved the puddles…especially Abby.  

See the patio under water?

I can’t just post an Abby video, so here’s my favorite video of Ringo. I shared this video on Facebook about 7 months ago, so some of you might have already seen it. But I never shared it here, so hopefully it’s new to most of you.

I don’t know why that squeaker made him howl like that, but he doesn’t do it anymore, so I’m glad I caught it on video while he did.

So, should I post puppy updates more often? I just realized my last official puppy update was almost 3 months ago! I definitely take enough pictures/videos to post updates more often! Once a month sound good?

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Summer Before – July Progress

Today is “Craft Room Update” day! As a reminder, this is what my craft room looked like at the beginning of the summer:

It was a MESS! Seriously, I’m embarrassed to even show that picture. It looks like an episode of Hoarders minus the cats and animal feces.
Anyway, last month you saw the room all cleaned up. You should have seen my trash/donate pile!

OK, now that everyone is caught up – let’s talk about my progress over the past month. I’ll warn you right now, nothing “pretty” has happened in the room yet.
Now that you’ve been warned, here’s what the craft room looks like now:

Everything has been cleared out, so I can start painting. Of course that means that my office now looks like this:

After I emptied everything from the room (including everything in the drawers), I took down the shelves and brackets.

I even made a little diagram and numbered all of the pieces so I’d be able to put everything back exactly as it was.

Moving the desk is next on my to-do list. Hopefully I can get that figured out this week, so I can paint over the weekend! I have the color narrowed down to 2 samples. It’s going to look SO much better painted! You can’t tell from the pictures, but the walls are filthy!
It doesn’t look like much right now, but I’m getting really excited for the “after”.  It looks great in my mind! I think I’ll put together a mood board next week to help organize my plans and share my plan with y’all.

Do you have a summer project? Are you making better progress than I am? I'm 2 months in and don't even have the walls painted yet...

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The Shops at Target

Have you seen ‘The Shops at Target’ in your local Target store? They debuted in May, so if you frequent Target like I do, you probably have seen some of the merchandise. I think it’s a fun idea and I love that Target is promoting and supporting small businesses around the country. 

Featured Shops:

The Webster in Miami 
Privet House in Connecticut
Cos Bar in Aspen 
The Candy Store in San Francisco

But we all know that I’m cheap love a good bargain, so I’ve been holding out on buying anything. Until everything went on clearance a couple weeks ago! Before I show you my loot I want you to know this was multiple shopping trips – I didn’t just roll out with a cart load of ‘Shops’ goodies – although that would have been a lot easier!

OK, here’s all of my ‘The Shops at Target’ finds:

This first item I bought was the Privet House at Target storage crate (on the left). I came SO close to buying it at full price, but I couldn’t justify $30 on a small crate. Luckily it was still there once everything was marked 50% off (yes, I even resisted when it was marked 30% off)! I’ll probably use it in the pantry or maybe in the office.

Then I held out until everything was marked 70% off. That’s when I bought:

Privet House at Target
Galvanized Lantern Candle Holder $10.48 (originally $34.99)

Polka Dog Bakery at Target
Chicken Dog Treats $1.34 (originally $4.49)

Cos Bar at Target
Blueberry White Tea Soap $1.20 (originally $4.00)
Orange Citrus Soap $1.20 (originally $4.00)
Tweezers $1.20 (originally $4.00)

Then I talked myself into a new set of dishes and went back an hour later to buy:

Privet House at Target
White Embossed Dinnerware Set $23.98 (originally $79.99)
1 extra White Embossed Salad Plate $1.78 (originally $5.99)
Coral Serving Tray $4.48 (originally $14.99)

But you need at least a set of 8 dishes (right?), so I went on a Target hunt for another box of dishes. It took 3 more Target stores to find another set, but I did! Good thing there are Targets all over Phoenix!

Privet House at Target
White Embossed Dinnerware Set $23.98 (originally $79.99)
1 extra White Embossed Salad Plate $1.78 (originally $5.99)

Polka Dog Bakery at Target
Beef Tendon Rawhide $0.84 (originally $2.81) x 2

Cos Bar at Target
Cucumber Melon Soap $1.20 (originally $4.00)

The soaps will be part of my mom’s Christmas present, so I’m glad I found 3 different scents. 2 bars of soap seem like a weird gift, but 3 is a nice set. My mom loves fun scented soaps, so hopefully she’ll like these. The Orange Citrus one smells ah-mazing! Oh, and don’t worry – I’m going to buy her something else too. I’m not just going to give my mom $3.60 worth of soap for Christmas!


Ringo and Abby ate the rawhides in about 30 seconds, so I’m glad I only paid 84 cents for them! And they love their chicken treats. That’s how I bribed them to get this picture!

Overall, I paid $87.50 for $272.05 worth of ‘The Shops at Target’ merchandise! And don’t worry, I have plans for everything. I didn’t just buy everything because it was on clearance. OK, maybe that coral tray was an impulse buy, but you can always use serving trays…

Lastly, if you follow me on facebook you might have seen my plea for someone to help me make a decision about a coral pouf.

Even though everyone said "buy it" , I didn't go back to get it. Although I’m still thinking about it…

OK, we’ve talked about my shopping spree and now I want to hear what you’ve bought lately! Any recent shopping sprees? Any ‘The Shops at Target’ finds? Any great clearance deals?

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Mini "Pallet" Sign

Once again I'm joining Katie from Bower Power, Sherry from Young House Love, Kate from Centsational Girl, and Michelle from Ten June for the Pinterest Challenge – Summer Edition! 

For this season's challenge I decided to hop on the ol' pallet art bandwagon. My two inspiration pieces were the DIY pallet sign from The Frugal Girls:

source via Pinterest (please pin this image from the source)

And the pallet headboard from House Tweaking...I'm sure everyone has seen this one before:

source via Pinterest (please pin this image from the source)

I don't have any real pallets hanging around so I used The Frugal Girls' suggestion of garden stakes.

I found these stakes at Ace Hardware for $1.29 each. They are 1" x 2" x 36".

I cut the point off and then cut the stakes into thirds. Each piece ended up being about 11". 

Then I stained all sides of the stakes with a Dark Walnut stain. 

Then I painted all sides with Valspar's Nautical (free sample from last year). Once the paint was dry I attached everything with a few nails. 

I used my mouse sander to do a little distressing. Seriously, it took me 30 seconds with my electric sander - best purchase ever! 

I used my Silhouette to create the "love" stencil. The font is called LD Charming Bold and it's available in the Silhouette online shop. I used transfer paper to keep everything together and level. 

Once everything was in place I used a foam brush to dab white craft paint into the letters. Remember - less paint is more if you want to keep the letters crisp.

I peeled the vinyl off after a few minutes. Don't let it dry completely, or it's going to suck to get off. Once the paint was dry I lightly sanded the letters by hand. 

And after all of that:

And in its new home on the mantle:

 (the white paint is still wet in this picture...shhhh! our little secret)

I only ended up using 3 of the stakes and I had everything else on hand, so this whole project was less than $4!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Interior Design Style Quiz

Jean from Flower Hill Design recently posted about HomeGoods’ StyleScope Quiz and how impressively accurate her results were. I decided to take the quiz myself and see how accurately it would define my interior design style.

My style results?

I couldn’t have said it better myself! Painted wood, distressed furniture, patterns, flowers, a breezy/relaxed feeling, thrifty-ness, happy/lively home – Love it all! Those are all the things I want my home to have and how I’d like it to feel.  Now I just need to keep working to get it that way!

Let me know if you take the quiz and what your results are!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Home Goals 2012 Revisited

We are officially halfway through the year, so I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to check on the status of the home goals I made back in January.

It’s almost been a year, time for my house to stop looking/feeling like I just moved in!
This means I will finish unpacking boxes and actually make some decorating decisions.  Instead of waiting for the perfect piece I need to start using what I have. I can always update/replace things, but for now, something would look better than nothing.
OK, I think I’m actually doing pretty well with this one. I’ve unpacked almost everything…except about half a box worth.  So, I’m officially (almost) moved in!
As for the house, I think it’s starting to feel homier and less embarrassing to show off. I think the new entertainment center, removing that stupid old mirror, and finally hanging curtains really helped give the main living area some style.  

Of course there’s still a huge empty wall in the living room that needs some attention…

Stop being a cheap ass and spend some of the money I’ve been hoarding!
I’ve been saving money for a couple big projects/furniture pieces, but I’ve yet to act on any of them. I’m planning to:
Extend the Back Patio
Buy a New Couch
Buy a New Entertainment Center
And I’m planning to use my yearly bonus (depending on the amount) to replace my stove and microwave to match the other kitchen appliances.
I’m doing pretty well with #2 too. We just had the back patio extended, so I can cross that one off the list.

I also bought (and decorated) a new entertainment center for the living room. I haven’t bought a new couch yet, but it’s still on the list.
As for the appliances, we’ve replaced the microwave, but not the stove.

The stove is definitely next on my to-buy list. The kitchen is going to look so nice once all the appliances finally match.

This one is going to be hard because I love stuff!
However, I don’t like dusting stuff. And I’m starting to feel like I’ve accumulated too much stuff! My boyfriend and I recently dropped off 2 boxes and 1 trash bag full of stuff to the Goodwill…it’s a good start, but I’m sure we have more.
I’ve been working really hard to keep up with this one. I recently cleaned out my closet and cleaned up the craft room. After all was said and done, my Goodwill load included: 3 boxes of stuff, 3 trash bags of clothes/shoes/purses, and 2 large mirrors.

The back of my little Rogue was loaded with stuff…and it felt so good. I definitely have more opportunities to simplify and will keep working at it for the rest of the year. 

Stop apologizing for my house!
We work full-time and have a puppy – our house isn’t going to be perfect. It will get messy and things will be out of order. I need to remember that.
And I think we all know DIY projects take time. I can’t expect everything to happen overnight. This year I want to stop being embarrassed about the things that need to be fixed and start enjoying the fact that I have my own house. I know I’m very lucky and I want to try and be more appreciative of that.
This needs to be re-written to say puppies!
I can’t imagine not having Ringo and Abby in my life, but they are messy little critters! The floor always needs to be mopped, everything is covered in dog hair, and some of my furniture is chewed up, but that’s life. Things don’t always look magazine-worthy in real life and I’m trying really hard to accept that fact.

Overall, I’d say I’m doing pretty well keeping to my goals. We’ll check back at the end of the year and see how things turned out…
Did you make any 2012 Home Goals? Are you making progress on any of them? Hit any road blocks?