Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Bluum Box Review-August

     My baby is now two months old (nearly) and I received my month two Bluum box today. I had decided to cancel my subscription after a disastrous first month and so had low expectations for this month's box.

     On top, as always, was a card with a quote and my baby's age.

     After my initial peek I was already feeling better about this box. 

     First out of the box are a set of milestone stickers. What I like about these is they aren't the average monthly stickers but actually different milestones. While I can't see using these on Baby Rural as intended, I could see using them in her scrapbook. Or, might be a good regift. Retail on these is $10. 

     Next out of the box we have a rattle by Lamaze. It's cute, it has a nice sound. I like the different textures fabric on the back. Not super exciting but Baby Rural will probably enjoy this. Retail for Mr. Panda is $6. 

     Next out of the box is a book. We received the mate to this book, "Climb," I. Out last box so it was a bit disappointing to get another very basic book. However, the colorful illustrations are sweet. Not overly exciting. Retail value is $4. 

     Last out of the box is a swaddle blanket. It's a generous size of 47" square. It's very soft. Not quite the quality of an Aden and Anais but honestly a very nice item. Not a huge fan of hearts but it's girly and I can see using this. Retail on this is $16 (but I did find many priced lower). Also Angel Dear, the swaddle company, including a 20% off coupon. Oddly this was our only coupon in this box. 

     So, overall retail on this Bluum box was $36. I paid $29 for the monthly subscription. Since most of the items, except maybe the rattle, are things I would t have purchased myself I'm not sure Bluum is going to be a keeper. Overall I'm dissatisfied that Bluum promises $40 worth of merchandise and seems to skimp. Also, last month's box was a total flop and this month's box had two repeat items (similar book, rattle). I think my $29 is better left saved. 

What are your thoughts about Bluum? 


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Bluum July 2015 Box Review

I wanted to try a subscription service for the longest time. After checking out a few different services I chose Bluum for our baby girl. Her first box was sent to us for her age of one month.

Here is what we recieved.

The box was nicely packaged and arrived intact. On top is a card with a quote. 
Okay, we were off to a good start..... 

I'll add right here that the cute girly doll rattle was an add on that I paid extra for... Not included in the subscription. 

First item is a brown and tan bib. Organic cotton but kind of....boyish. A little small and plain. On to the next item....
Hmm, a boring brown hat. This would be cute for a boy but for a girl its so brown and boring. I might be able to embellish it but not too exciting. 
Next up is this frog plush rattle. It's really masculine. I feel like they made my box for a boy and I have a girl, a girl I've waited years to have. Last item...

A board book. I live books. I read daily as do my children. This book is a nice size but it's a little cheaper than some books I've seen Bluum send in other reviewers boxes. Feels like Target Dollar Days to me. 

Overall I was hugely disappointed with my box. I have an August box coming soon and this will decide if I stay or go. I've debated Citrus Lane so we'll see. What have your experiences with Bluum been? 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Abundant Harvest Delivery

     Abundant Harvest is a pretty neat concept. You can subscribe and you get a weekly or bi-weekly delivery of locally grown, certified organic, produce. Since we live so far from a farmer's market this seemed like a great idea for our family.

      Saturday we received our first, small (there are too sizes) delivery. Our box contained Asian pears, carrots, potatoes, onions, kale, red leaf lettuce, tarragon, cauliflower and tomatoes. Everyhing looked fantastic and fresh. 
      This week our meal planning centers around the produce that was delivered. Our family has always loved preparing seasonally as we grow a lot as well. This will push us toward new recipes and planning ahead! We have already cut the carrots and cauliflower for snacking. 

     I can't wait to see what is waiting for us next week! 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Rehabbed desk

Little Rural who is now Big Rural is starting fourth grade. Having two younger siblings in the home meant he would need a quiet place for homework.

Big Rural's room isn't huge so I was on the hunt for a vintage desk with some industrial appeal. I wanted clean lines and something that would compliment his military feel. 

It didn't take long to find the look I wanted in an old mid century modern school desk. However, whereas they were once easily found, the challenge of finding one when I wanted it proved arduous. 

Finally Craigslist came through with a beauty in great condition. I made an offer and went to pick it up as fast as possible. Right when I got the desk home I taped off the top and the legs and gave the metal base a dark grey finish. Perfecto! 

The grey gave the desk a much more modern look. 

The little metal chair is from the 40's and has tons of charm. It had been sitting in the studio waiting for it's own makeover. I went with a matching grey finish. 

I love the new workspace and the minimal amount of room it required. Big Rural is excited too! Wishing everyone a fantastic start to the new school year! 

Monday, August 10, 2015

Gender Neutral shared room

Our younger son is 5.5 younger than his older brother. With a new baby in the house we were realizing it's more convenient and makes more sense for them to share for a year or two. So, a gender neutral makeover was in order...

I started with a clean new color. Tinman is a lovely darker gray with maybe a tiny bit of blue in it....
Next I needed to divide the space a bit and give our new baby J a feminine touch since this deeper grey could quickly turn masculine.... 
Gold polka dots to the rescue. I also added a sweet white canvas from Hobby Lobby that reads "I'll eat you up I love you so." Baby J is only five weeks old so she's still in a bassinet in our room for now but this space is ready for her. Add in a rug, a smaller bed for middle rural and a book caddy (not shown)...

Oh, and did you see the chair?? The chair is from Pottery Barn and was a gift from my mother in law! All together a tranquil space. Here is the front wall...

Monday, June 29, 2015

Weekend Road Trip- Fresno/Clovis

     This weekend we wanted to take our oldest son to the Museum of Valor in Fresno. We had read online they had a really good collection of war memorabilia and the museum is run by Veteran volunteers. The museum did not disappoint. We had such a good time looking at all of the artifacts, letters and stories about soldiers who have served our country. Our son was able to relate that these were people, many of whom were from our own state.

     While we were in Fresno we checked out Yoshi Now. It's a huge warehouse full of vintage clothing and treasures. The owner was nice enough to steer us to a little Mexican restaurant and we were off to our next adventure. YUM!

     Then it was on to Old Town Clovis to visit an antique mall. I had no idea what a cute little town this was. It's full of antique shops and boutiques. We enjoyed browsing and treasure hunting. I highly recommend The Foundry Collective for their cute clothing, inexpensive jewelry and super fun housewares.
Yoshi Now

Yoshi Now

Clovis Antique Mall
Overall a very nice, educational and fun weekend!

Monday, June 22, 2015

A summer dining room update.....

     Saturday my older son, Little Rural, wanted to go to an antique store. So, we headed to downtown Bakersfield to look for a store we hadn't been in recently. We walked in the door of Timeless Furniture and Antiques. This used to be a furniture store with an attic antique store but now the entire first and second floor are an antique mall. Score! Though Little Rural didn't find lead soldiers for his collection I stumbled on a set of old school chairs.

     I have a love affair with chairs. I have often fantasized about opening a store devoted to vintage chairs and reupholstery. These school chairs with their pea soup green color were not only comfy but priced well too. I showed my husband who was less enthusiastic. I pleaded my case. Wouldn't these look great with my farmhouse table? He rolled his eyes. So, I left without them, but continued to show him Pinterest and internet posts of farmhouse tables paired with vintage modern chairs. Clearly I was on to something.... I think.

     Sunday I ran back to the store and got the chairs as soon as they opened. The dealer gave me a great discount on all six (I'll store two) and I gleefully piled them in my car. The store owner asked if we could go have lunch sometime soon. I love making new vintage collector friends. The day was great and a makeover was born......

Another view

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Add a little artwork.....

     I was very excited to pick up Little Rural's artwork today. I found this set of four military prints in an antique shop. They had really ornate silver frames, grey matting which was perfect and had plexiglass. Though they were pricey for a child's room makeover they are very mature and will hopefully be enjoyed for many years. I wanted to pull my hair out  easily hung them in a grouping and I'm really happy I caved and purchased them.

     Today was a long, hot day with no internet. I was in a bummer mood. However, a lovely friend and neighbor came by with a surprise. She was cleaning out her brother's house and came across a rusty wagon she thought I'd love. What a sweet friend. I can't decide if I want to leave this as is or do a little DIY. Should it be book storage or for outdoor use? I'll have to stare at it on my porch for a few days while I figure things out.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Little Rural's room continues.....

     Another keeper in Little Rural's room (can I still call him that at 8) is his antique bed. I purchased a set of these beds on Craigslist a year or so ago and, as they were in two different states, I decided to paint and distress them. The beds are about 100 years old and very strong. Little Rural's room will still have some navy blue so the bed is perfect.

     Now that we have the foundation pieces in place (bed, bookcase, book racks, cabinet) we are shopping for artwork and bedding. I want layers and textures. I want patterns! I want sophisticated but still youthful. I have been searching PB Teen, Restoration Hardware Kids and many other websites. However, as I like a bargain, I think we'll head to Ikea today to see what they have that might work. I did spot a fabulous grey pinstripe duvet cover... hmm....

     Recently a friend messaged me and asked if I'd be interested in some crown moulding. It was leftover from her own home and sitting in the barn. Free crown moulding? Yes please. Her husband kindly dropped it off. After measuring this weekend we have enough of the 6" moulding to do ALL THREE bedrooms. We'll also have enough of the 3" to do at least one, but possibly all three of our bathrooms. Wow, free crown moulding. I can't believe it. So excited to have Mr. Rural install this!

The crown moulding will really cover up my painting flaws add a special touch to the bedrooms. I'll have more on that installation later.... and now on to Ikea!

Friday, June 12, 2015

Little Rural's Room Makeover

     Our older son has been in our back bedroom for many years, since probably his first birthday. He has also been sharing with his three year old brother since he came home to us at 15 months. Needless to say he was ready for a change and, well, I don't mind decorating.

     The first thing we decided to do was switch his room to the front. This will allow him to go to bed later and get up earlier without his brother waking up. Bonus! I chose a grey color for the walls. I wanted sophisticated and something that will suit him for quite some time. I chose Ominious Cloud by Clark and Kensington. Two coats of this primer plus paint were perfect....

     Next up, we chose furniture from his old room, and from our "fostering" room that he wanted to use in his new space. He kept his bookshelf which we purchased earlier this year at an antique store. It's solid oak and painted in a distressed grey. We also kept the Ikea spice rack book shelves and we are repurposing the vintage china cabinet to house his WWII and lead soldier collection......

     His antique bed will also be staying but there will be many fun additions. I'll show you my mood board. I think the room has the same feel....

Now it's time to shop for some new bedding, a rug, and some artwork and decorative pieces. In other words.... the fun part. We'll be hitting up some salvage yards and antique stores this weekend in search of a few great pieces.....