Thursday, February 11, 2016

Ebay Children's Clothing Haul

Do you shop on Ebay? Do you shop on Ebay for your children? There are so many amazing deals to be found, especially for younger children. I haven't been on the bay for a while but decided to do some spring/summer shopping for Baby Rural (foster care update soon). I think I scored some great deals but you be the judge!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

January mega thrifting haul- Ventura CA

For those that want to see what Saturday's adventure yielded. Tons of great clothes for baby Rural's next size, a couple house finds, clothes for me... just so many fun things!

Saturday, January 16, 2016

Creative vintage purse storage.....

     This weekend it's all about cleaning, organizing and purging. Purging items we don't need is the theme of 2016. With the purchase of our new travel trailer which is teeny tiny I have a new appreciation for small spaces. The things we do choose to keep in our home need to be things we love and also things we use.

     Our master closet is small. It's what most houses would have as a child's closet. My husband and I share this space which gives each of us about 4'. I'll have to show you the inside one day so you can fully appreciate how we've paired down our things to fit in this small space. One of the things that wasn't fitting well were my purses.

     Like many women I do have a few purses. I do use them and change them out often depending on my plans for the day. I wanted to find a solution to store them out of the closet but without adding to the visual chaos that can easily take over. I had long been on the hunt for something great to hang on the wall behind my bedroom door. Ikea hooks? No, too modern and too boring! Over the door purse hanger? No, too dorm room.

     I had settled on an antique bottle drying rack I'd seen in a shop locally. However, the price tag was $400. That was out of my budget, especially for an out of sight storage solution. I scoured Ebay, antique shops and a couple flea markets. Then one day I was checking out a favorite local shop and voila.... reproduction! It was in my budget and looked just like the original. This was going to be purse storage.

   I'm a genius! I'm a creative, original, repurposing genius. I should have my own show on HGTV! I will be famous. Then I found my idea illustrated on the pages of January's edition of Country Living magazine (page 39). Ugh, has everything already been done? Oh well, I love my new purse storage even if I won't be famous......yet.....

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Why I broke up with Stitch Fix.....

     Today I wrote a letter to Stitch Fix. I have debated back and forth whether to keep this service. I love the idea of a subscription box. I don't particularly like shopping for clothes and thought they'd have some unique things I couldn't get anywhere else. It was fun to receive a box of surprises each month. However, like I've found with other subscription boxes, I ended up with items that weren't things I needed or wanted AND I ended up overpaying for the quality of items I received.

     I have kept just a few items from my Stitch Fix boxes. The average item price is about $50 which is a lot when you consider the quality. I found tee shirts with no finished hems, frays, simple cottons and overall just disappointment. I think the reason Stitch Fix uses only in-house brands is so we can't compare the prices elsewhere.

     When I wrote to Stitch Fix I expected more than their response which was "we understand" and then a cancellation. They didn't offer to refund any of the defective items I'd told them in detail about. This tells me the company is probably receiving a lot of cancellations these days. It's sad because there was some real potential there.

     For me I'm heading back to the thrift stores, the independent boutiques and my own closet. Check back for more thrifting adventures coming soon.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Target Dollar Spot and clearance

     Happy New Year rural readers. It's the time for all things to begin again, a fresh start, new plans and grand adventures. Today we had to run an errand to town and so a Target stop was a must. The seasonal items are all on clearance and it was a bit of a madhouse. I was happy to find a few great bargains. I had hoped to find a candle and I found two. 
The first candle, a pumpkin spice, was $5, usually $10. This is  one of my favorite scents and perfect for our still cold, winter days. Next up I spotted this cashmere candle, kind of a musky scent, also for $5, regularly $10. Score! I'm a crazy candle lady and have candles burning all day long. 

Next up I just had to check out the Dollar Spot where I found these darling woven baskets. They come in grey and white and two different styles. I picked up this one for only $3 and think if will be perfect for.....something. Okay, I'm trying not to purchase without intention this year but this one was just too cute to pass up. Wait, don't I have another one I haven't found a use for yet.... ugh. 

Last up was this adorable sign. It's got a nice weight to it and a sweet rope for hanging. I have special plans for this little sign which I hope to share soon. Again, just $3 and one I couldn't pass up. 

So, those are my Target deals on this trip. I went in for coffee, a candle and filters and came out with a few extra (but not nearly as much as normal) items. I think I did pretty well containing my excitement. 

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Embrace the small space- shared boy's bedroom

     My boy's room is SMALL. It's a 8x10 room with three doors, two windows and a weird corner closet. The room needs to serve as a reading zone, studying zone and play area. My older son didn't want to sacrifice his display cabinet which brings him a lot of joy. That presented some challenges. 

     Living in a small house means you have two options. You can live minimally or you can embrace your space. We have chosen to just go with it. If the room seems a little crowded... well, it is! However, there is storage for all the toys and things our sons love and there is a place to sleep that is neat and tidy.

     We recently added bunk beds to the boy's room (Ikea) and then added a reading light by each of their beds. This is a cozy spot for them to curl up with a book but they spend a fair amount of time playing with toys on their beds too. 
     My son's desk is vintage and he uses it for drawing. The HUGE metal storage rack is an old store display that I picked up for $10. I just love it, though it is rather big. It gives the boys open storage where they can see everything they have to play with. The little dresser for my younger son's clothes was a necessity as closet space is at a premium. 
     In a 1500 square foot house with two adults, three children, three dogs and a busy life I'm sure I can't be alone in giving up on the idea that space will ever be plentiful. Still, it's cozy. I recently came across a quote that is going on my mantel for the new year... "Love grows best in little houses." How can I argue with that! 

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Homemade Silver Polish- the verdict.....

I bought a pretty amazing vintage tray at Goodwill over the weekend. This little 8" tray is from about 1908 and was heavily, heavily blackened when I found it. It was priced at $7, which is high for this type of tray, but I could see the signature for the pattern.

I was a bit leary of something homemade but since I had the products on hand I went for it. This recipe calls for tinfoil along with two tablespoons of baking soda and one tablespoon of salt.

Overall I found the results to be so so at best. It's a time consuming process and the tarnish does not come off on it's own, rather I had to scrub. I think I'll stick to something commercial. What have been your favorite silver polishes?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Handmade chalkboard sign

I am already dreaming of 2016 and lots of positive changes. We have garden plans and travel plans, adoption plans and house projects. With the bright new year I knew I wanted a new sign for our mantel. I had a quote in mind but the signs I saw either weren't right or weren't right for my budget. Since I like to change things around often I didn't want to spend more than $20 on a sign.

After contemplating different DIY ideas I had a light bulb moment. I could use chalk pens, create a chalkboard sign, and then change it up as often as I wanted. GENIUS! So, off to Hobby Lobby I went. However, they didn't have a great size chalk board. Since it was pretty late in the evening I gave up. It was going to have to wait for another night.

     My friend and I ran into the teacher supply store. She is a teacher and I am homeschooling and wanted to pick up a few things. What should I happen to find but a chalkboard AND a red chalkboard pen. It was meant to be. At just $12 for a large wood framed chalkboard I was ready to knock out a quick, easy project.

     I started by using a real piece of chalk and rubbing the side all over the board both vertically and horizontally to prep the board. Then I erase. I drew a simple horseshoe and added laurel leaves for a fun design. You can check out sign idea on Pinterest to get some ideas for borders. I'm not quite expert enough to draw any real looking flowers.

     Next I added my quote in red, lowercase cursive. This serves two purposes; it is informal and kind of casual in the lower case, almost whimsical. Also, the cursive is great for my nine year old who is reading and writing cursive. A sign was born.

     The greatest part is that I don't have to live with it if I get bored with it. There was no great monetary investment and it didn't take a lot of time. I'd simply use a sponge, wash it off and I'll be ready to make a brand new sign. I'll show you guys the completed, staged, mantel post Christmas. I can't wait!

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A tour of Jane's Room

     Very exciting news.... we are adopting our precious baby girl. I'll tell you more about our foster care experience with her in a couple months when things are all finished. However, I can tell you that she has blessed our lives immensely as our 11th foster placement and we are so ecstatic that we are in adoptions with her. 

     As Jane is nearing six months and sleeping very well, mostly through the night since two months, we thought it was time for her to be in her own room. Also, the boys wanted bunk beds so it all worked out. Jane's room was already grey from the gender neutral room redo and I love the color a lot. We merely switched some things around and added a few more feminine/interesting pieces. Now it's the perfect space for Ms. Jane! 

I got Jane's crib at Ikea. I loved how low it was. I got her grey sheet at Target and her rug at Home Goods. The grey chairs is Pottery Barn and though it's quite large it's the perfect spot for a parent and child to snuggle with a great book. Her nightstand/dresser is also from Ikea and I have plans to paint the exterior of it white and the knobs gold in keeping with her gold polka dot wall. I'll post updates when I do. The sling book rack is by Kid Kraft. 

Jane needed a focal wall and something fun. I chose gold polka dots. Rather than paint them on I had a friend of mine cut these in vinyl for me. They are the perfect metallic color. Her little canvas (extremely light weight and secured to the wall like crazy) is from Home Goods. I believe it was about $12 on sale. I love it. The mobile is portable and comes to head out on the go with us. 

This metal industrial rack is still navy blue from when this was a shared room. However, I'm not sure I want to chance the color. I think of navy as a great gender neutral color. The gold house metal rack on the wall is from Pottery Barn Outlet. I stalked this item until the price dropped below $20. It's adorable. The artwork above the toy storage rack is a mixture of Etsy, Hobby Lobby, an artist friend and more. 

The corner holds a large basket of age appropriate toys. The spice racks above, from Ikea, give us more display space for books. The little grey sign was a Hobby Lobby find. The original owl photograph was purchased from Etsy. I love the sling book rack because baby's and toddler can easily access the books. I've filled it with board books for durability.