Sunday, October 4, 2015

Church Pew Repurposed

     My friend recently relocated to the beach and downsized. When she asked if I'd like to purchase her antique church pew it was a definite yes!

     The whole family went to go pick this up and made a day of it with lunch, thrifting and antiquing and some family fun. The pew was icing on the cake to a great family day. 

     When I originally said yes to the pew purchase I wasn't sure where I would put it. I'm trying hard to only purchase things I'll use and not throw any more out in the studio since I'm trying to clear that space. So, I looked through a few magazines for inspiration and voila...dining room! 

     Our dining room table pulls extra duty as a craft table, game table and study spot so the pew would keep things war and inviting. Perfect! I'm pretty happy with it but you be the judge!

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Saturday Thrifting Haul

Today we ventured to one of my all time favorite thrift stores. Since it's in Ventura we don't get to go there too often anymore. Mr. Rural even stayed in the car with the kids so I could really look for a little bit.

I am so excited to show off my finds. It started with two children's books. Both are like new, with dust jackets. However, they've really gone up in resale price. I paid $1.99 and $3.49 for these.

Next up, some clothes for me since I found nothing for the kiddos other than a $.50 hat. First, a pair of like new Anne Taylor Loft jeans for $2.99...

Then a Coldwater Creek gently used shirt with cute details for $2.99

Next an ombré tee shirt by Anna, new with tags for $1.99

A really amazing sweater, brand new with tags for $12. Originally $50 at Macy's.

Last up a new with tags tank for $6.99 that has the cutest neckline in nice beadwork and a sweater with a fun draped look for $4.99 gently used. 

With daily discounts and sales all came to under $40. Score!! This thrift shop has no fitting room so the key is being able to recognize quality pieces, prepare to scrounge and know your body. You can do some minimal try on and there is one mirror. Maybe not for everyone but I love thrifting! 

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Have you heard of a she shed?

     I hadn't. It's not a new concept to turn an unused space, especially a shed or outbuilding, into something more functional. However, this term makes the whole project sound much more me!

     We have a cute studio on our property. It has good bones. It's framed out on the inside, there is a tongue and groove ceiling, there are new windows and a cement floor. 

     The studio has served a few purposes  from storage to sewing room and then back to storage. However, with our growing family we could really use a more functional space! What are we storing anyway? 

     Sure, there is the mound of Christmas decorations and other Holliday items. That's not all though. This studio has become the dumping ground for half finished projects, cast off furniture and so so much more. It's time to purge! 

     So, if you are a DIY enthusiast or considering your own she shed/playroom/gathering space stay tuned. This will be a budget project!
     One of the first items on the to do list is adding a second door right where this window is now. In true salvage and budget fashion I've already found a solid wood door for free! 

Thursday, September 24, 2015

New chickens and antics

Oops, I did it again. Chicken math has reared its ugly head. A friend of mine offered to raise up a couple chickens for me so I could grow my flock without having to brood chicks. Then, as soon as I'd said yes a local chicken raiser was selling chickens and two came home.

So, this Girl Rural's flock is growing by four. We'll now have ten hens a laying! This only becomes more humorous when you realize I'm adding chickens in their off season when they are basically useless, eggless, lazy little feathered butts. 

Well, it's the way of the chicken world. It's too late to save me!

P.S. Purchased this amazing pew and can't wait to get it home. This has, in typical Girl Rural fashio, led to a potting shed makeover! 

Monday, August 31, 2015

More subscription boxes are on their way.... and a couple cancellations...

     You win some, you lose some. At least that's what I'm finding with monthly subscription boxes. After a ho hum box the second round with Bluum I decided to cancel. If you remember my first box was HORRIBLE! Bluum makes it very difficult to cancel a subscription. I had to email several times and after no response I had to get the BBB involved. That's not great customer service on top of a not so great subscription box. However, I'm now all cancelled.

    I've also had to say goodbye to Abundant Harvest which was harder to do. I absolutely love the concept of this box. I love supporting local farmers. However, the pick up time on this box is 3:00pm on a Saturday. That means our family are literally trapped up here in the mountains, unable to go anywhere for a day trip. That simply doesn't fit our family's lifestyle. Also, the amount of food in the box isn't really enough to make a meal. It's pretty, mostly fresh, but a lot was just blah. We can get heads of organic lettuce at our grocery store. We can get the rest from our own garden. Yep, just not worth the almost $90 a month we were paying. Another one down!

     Now for the exciting new news! I will be reviewing boxes for both Stitch Fix and Dia&Co in the coming months. I'm very excited to get both my style profiles and see which box will suit my lifestyle a little better. I hope to add a youtube channel for reviews of these boxes (among other things) as well. I hope you'll follow me once it's all set up.


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...