Monday, November 16, 2015

Flat file coffee table update

I've had this pretty awesome flat file coffee table for a couple years. I purchased this on a Facebook selling group for $75. I added wheels and that was that.

After listening to two boys and their friends play trucks and pirates and and and on the LOUD metal coffee table surface I began to dream of wood. I don't know why I waited so long to do this simple update! 

Two coats of stain and one coat of matte spray varnish and this was finished. I affixed this to the table with industrial Velcro. This will allow me to remove the top or replace it if the kids destroy the top.

I love the results! What do you think. $30 well spent!

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Thrift Store Scores Saturday

We took a family trip to Pasadena Saturday to visit Desconso Gardens and try out a fun restaurant. It wouldn't be a perfect trip without checking Yelp for a good local thrift!

Though I didn't get to really dig around (bored kids) I did manage to find a couple great scores. 

First find were these brand new workout pants. Super comfy and good for lounging! Second was an LL Bean flannel shirt for Mr. Rural! He loves these thing outdoor shirts. He also found a shotgun shell box. 

Last, and my favorite find... A Frog bath toy holder by Boon. These retal for $20. My cost? $4. Can't beat that! 

Overall a small trip but at just $20 we got four great, gently used items!! What have you found lately? 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Hands down best Crock Pot Tortilla Soup EVER

This is a combination of two different recipes. What you get is amazing tortilla soup. We garnish ours with avocado and a little mozzarella cheese. Our kids love this recipe too!

This is best cooked on low for 7 hours......

4-5 chicken breasts, thawed and then cut into cubes
6 cups prepared chicken bullion broth
1 can or corn drained or 1 bag of frozen corn thawed
1 can of diced chiles and green peppers
1 bag of frozen bell peppers, thawed
1 can of tomato paste
2 teaspoons of onion powder
2 teaspoons of garlic powder
1 teaspoon of cumin
1 teaspoon of chili powder
4 tablespoons of minced garlic
1 cup of water

Throw it all in the slow cooker and let it go....perfection!

I apologize there is no photo. I had grand intentions but we were too busy devouring every last drop!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Upcoming projects.....

The coolest friends call you when they have "junk" they want out of their yards! Recently my friend called me about an old child's ride on tractor and a couple patio chairs. Both needed rehab. Both made me excited!

The tractor might not get much of a makeover. Maybe a clear coat to protect it from rusting away and it will be added to the back 40 (feet) of our yard as decor in the pumpkin/squash patch. 

The two chairs need some work! I'll be busting out the wire wheel and some cans of spray paint.

I love that they don't match. I have two more I've been meaning to redo so I'll do all four soon. Although, with recent temperature drops this project may have to wait for spring. 

Sunday, November 1, 2015

IKEA high chair review- Antilop

Could a highchair from Ikea be any good? A $20 highchair? When I started looking for baby rural I wanted something each to clean, able to be used with no tray but scooted to our table, and small enough for Jane who is just four months (but who has great trunk control).

I first thought of our Stokke but I don't like the tray. Then I looked at the Sprout but its $250 and water gets stuck in the tray. The Boon was nice and a little less pricey at $200 but did I really want to pay that much for plastic. 

I figured I couldn't g wrong trying out a $20 highchair. Heck, I even bought the wazoo inflatable cushion for $6. Why not! So, my thoughts?

This highchair lacks all bells and whistles but what is a highchair really for? Eating. With the wide, easy to clean, removable tray and the sleek design this highchair does everything it needs to do for a fraction of the cost. Plus, it looks pretty darn good while doing it!

Another great deal from ikea! 

Farm Girls Vintage Finds

This weekend I was able to get past th mud slides and closed freeways to check out the monthly opening of Farm Girls. This was previously a shop with regular hours and is now open one weekend a month.

There were so many fun things to see at this month's market from rusty treasures to refinished furniture. The pictures might inspire you to take a road trip to Bakersfield next month..... 

I came home with a couple finds of my own. One was this handmade wood and wire piece. I picked up some "s" hooks and plan to hang some things from it. It's shabby and rusty and awesome. The second find was a cute silver metal star perfect for just about anywhere. 

***This post didn't publish for some reason so I'm adding it now. Farm Girls will be open again in November!***

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Studio makeover.....again

Slowly my studio became a catch all of storage and cast offs. The building was just loaded. We've been working hard to redo things in an effort to make this space useable again. Today was a bit more progress. Here is where we started...

Yep, pretty horrible! However it's coming along now that I've sold a ton and moved things where they needed to go. A little at a time but its progress! 

To keep up the motivation I went ahead and added a gallery wall... 

All things I already had except the "e" I got for $4 on clearance today. 

Friday, October 16, 2015

Dia&Co October Review

     You might have read my review last week on Stitch Fix, a subscription box service for clothing. Today I'm going to tell you about Dia&Co which has a similar design but caters to sizes 10 and up. I received my first box yesterday, on time, but with a few bumps along the way.

     Dia&Co has a very basic website that is still underdeveloped. The site does not store your information correctly and pages often appear as if you haven't completed setting them up. The site still reads "beta" at the top which is a sign that the site is not finished. I was really turned off by this as simple web development seems like a minor skill when building an online business. However, I had heard good things about the site's offerings so I wanted to give them a try with the conclusion being to choose between this service and stitch fix.

     I am currently a size 16 bottom and a XL top. This definitely falls into the plus size category which now starts at size 10. My body does fluctuate as I'm back to running and some of the stress of being a foster mom is started to melt away. I knew I wanted a service that would be able to quickly change directions as my body changes and my size does too. Dia&Co's website worries me in this area.

     Today I opened my box and it was nicely branded. The box was labeled on two sides as well as the paper inside. I was happily surprised to have a hand written note waiting for me inside the box. That's a very nice touch, very personal. My note was written by my stylist and gave me a preview of what I'd find inside and why she chose what she did....

      Pulling the items out of the box I can tell you I was disappointed and here is why.... I extensively read other blogs and watch Youtube unboxing videos. I know what my fellow bloggers and vloggers receive in their subscription boxes. Five of the people I follow, FIVE, received two of the same shirts. This leads me to believe that this is inventory they are very much trying to get rid of. The first shirt, by DKNY, was a split back (which I love) with a brightly colored front. It retails for $69.50 which, while not over my budget, was not worth it to me...

The colors wash me out, they look dated an I was just not a fan. I didn't have anyone home to photograph the whole top but the grey split back was the best part but I didn't feel went well with the front of the shirt. Overall, not a fan and sending it back. The next shirt was a black lace detailed shirt with a gathered waist in black. 

I really needed a cameraman to show how awful this shirt really is. While the top looks okay it shows my bra and is cut so low even a strapless bra would probably show. The gathered waist looks like a 1980's prom dress. The material was not very nice and the skirt screams "fat girl." This looks like something an overweight girl would wear to try an look cute but it's about as cute as a skirt on a swimsuit. The retail on this shirt was $68. Again, not too much for A shirt but way too much for this shirt. Sending it back. 

     Next up was a turquoise elephant scarf (not pictured) which my stylist thought was cute. Nope, she thought she'd attempt to get rid of one of them. It's a cheap material, ugly colored scarf that most of the people I follow have also received. This is probably a big money maker for the company as i found them online for $1.98. They had the retail listed as $25. Nope, not this girl. Sending it back. 

     Lastly are the two items I kept. I debated keeping anything but I knew I wanted to use my styling fee toward something if possible...... 

First up are these Maison Jules Super Slim Jeggings in navy. Not normally something I would chose for myself as they are tight fighting pants. However, they fit my legs well and will be super cute with boots or flats. They had a higher waist which was actually very comfy. I do have long legs and though they aren't as thin as I'd like they do look fairly good in pants. These pants had a really fun center seam detail down the back of the legs.... 

With the right shirt, longer, and some boots I can see these being a favorite. They have a great feel to them somewhere between a wetsuit material and leggings. They were priced at $49.50 which isn't bad for a great pair of pants. Then I also kept....

The Naked Zebra Open Front Cardigan in Black, though it's not black at all, it's actually grey fits well and has a great drape to it. Though this is something a little similar to what many of us probably already own I loved the material and loved how this looked with the pants. Also, I love grey! This was priced at $60 which I thought was one of the better price points in the box. 

     Overall I felt like Dia&Co missed the mark. Though the note in the box was personal the items chosen were NOT. Most of the people I follow received similar, if not the exact same, items. That is a pretty big disappointment. None of the items were things I couldn't have found with a trip to the mall. If I'm comparing this to Stitch Fix, which I inevitably did, it just doesn't compare. From the cruddy website to the items in the box, to the minimal brand marketing. The prices of both boxes, if I purchased all items, and with the style fee credit, would have been about the same. So, ultimately when Dia&Co asked when I'd like my next box I checked the "I'll let you know," option as in... probably never! 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Thrift store scores....

Okay, so this was actually a secondhand children store score but we'll stick with my usual title. I LOVE secondhand! Things that are gently used and more than half off the price make my heart (and Mr. Rural's wallet) happy.

I visited a favorite shop called Small Change in Bakersfield for some pajamas. I also found two great pairs of pants including a leopard pair for Gap! The total? $17 for everything!

The pajama are Carters and DKNY. The ball is a favorite and I buy them when I see them since our three year old and even our nine year old love them too! 


Monday, October 12, 2015

Stitch Fix October

     This past weekend I received my first Stitch Fix. If you aren't familiar with the service it's very cool. You fill out a profile and style ideas and then link to your Pinterest Stule board if you have one. A personal stylist picks out five items for you and you get to try them on at home.

     Being that this was my first fix I wasn't sure how personal it would be. However, my stylist referenced my Pinterest board as well as my notes and all five items were pretty great. 

     Ultimately I chose the two items I loved and that fit me best. I made a style notes about things I didn't like or did and mailed back the rest of the items in the prepaid mailer. Simple and fun! 

     Stitch Fix is great for those that hate shopping OR that tend to get stuck in a rut. I tend to be the latter. If you have ever wanted to try a subscription box this one is a lot of fun. You get style cards (seen above) with ideas on styling your outfits. You also get a personal note from your stylist. If you stick with the same stylist she'll inevitably get to know you more and more. I'm attaching a referral link if you'd like to give it a go. For just $20 you can get started. If you purchase any of the items your $20 will be applied.