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Reviewing the HGTV DIY Across America Workshop at the AR Workshop

29 Jul

I love me some HGTV, so when my friend told me about an upcoming HGTV DIY Across America workshop I immediately signed up. The workshop was part of a partnership with AR Workshop Annapolis and Lindsey and I signed up to create our own plank wood signs.

We had tons of options to choose from, so I want for a “Welcome to the Firepit” sign which would incorporate my last name as well as the year that our family moved into our home. The cost for the event was $65.50 for the 17.5 x 24” plank sign and it covered all of the materials we would need for the day.

My thoughts were that the sign would be perfect for our new redesigned sunroom – we have a blank wall in need of decoration AND it even has a view of our outdoor firepit! Lindsey’s project was a personalized sign for her grandparent’s anniversary party.

Since it was a HGTV event, we also were gifted the opportunity to do a second project! I picked one with a map of the US and Lindsey picked a “Happiness is Homemade” sign. We also received gift bags which contained the latest copy of HGTV magazine, a tape measure and painters tape.

Oh… and there were cupcakes! And it was BYOB, so we both had bottles of wine!

Each station was all set up for us with wood, tools and the personalized stencils of our designs. There were four people total in this particular workshop and one workshop leader.

I’m not going to do a whole boring step-by-step tutorial, so here’s the short version: we picked our paint colors, sanded the boards, used a nail gun to make our pallet, stained them, did a dry brush treatment on top of the stain, cut out and attached the stencils, painted the letters, took the stencils off and did any touch-ups needed.

Since we were doing two projects, we would let one dry while working on the other and then switch back and forth until they were both done.

We had SO MUCH FUN with this workshop and I already started eyeing other projects that we can go back and make. We are both so happy with how our projects turned out… here are some close up pics:

There are lots of AR Workshops across the US, so check to see if there is a location near you here: I highly recommend grabbing a bottle of wine and checking them out!

Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I paid for my workshop cost and the HGTV perks of the goodie bag and extra project were available for anyone who signed up!

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Summer Consignment Store Haul

17 Jul

I have another fun consignment store haul to share with you all! After running a 10k in early June, my friend Lindsey and I enjoyed a huge, delicious breakfast and then stopped by a nearby consignment store to poke around a bit. Just as our last visit (see it here) we both walked away with some fun bargains!

{Pssst, you can read about my previous thrifting adventures here}

Grace Karin Lemon Dress, size large, $17.75

Yes, I know that the running shoes totally make the outfit! I was immediately drawn to this fun dress when I saw it hanging on the rack, and still loved it when I tried it on. But then, after I was out of the dressing room I started having second thoughts on how much I’d actually wear it. I mean, it’s cute as all heck, but I’m not sure if it’s too girly for everyday work wear. My friend Lindsey convinced me to JUST BUY IT ALREADY, so I am now the proud owner of this adorable lemon dress.

I posted it on Instagram and after seeing a comment that it looked “very D&G” I did a little internet searching and found that it DOES look strikingly similar to the Dolce & Gabbana Summer 2016 Italian Summer collection. Here’s a little comparison:

My dress was $17.75 and theirs retailed for over $3,000!

Boden Wrap sweater, size large, $16.75 on clearance for $4.19

I received a wrap sweater in my Spring Trunk Club box (find it here) and while I really liked it, I felt like it was too expensive to invest in a style I may not end up wearing much. Well, this one is by Boden (retail value $98) and it’s very similar to the one I tried and loved. However, there is one big difference… this one was on clearance for $4.19! That’s the PERFECT price to try it out. I think this will look great over a blouse and skirt for work. I can also see me trying it over a few different dresses to mix it up a bit.

Bunny canvas and Flower canvas, $14.50 each

I initially really didn’t have a reason to buy these canvases, but I really liked them. That’s pretty much how I collect anything to add to my house… so I figured I’d go ahead and buy them anyways. As it is, I ended up bringing them to my new job and hanging them in my office.

Fox and Bunny Embroidered Tea Towels, $10.50 each

Once again, I was totally just drawn to these adorable tea towels. They still have the original tags for $21.99 (each) on them and after doing some googling it looks like they were sold at Nordstrom and Modcloth, as well as some boutique-type stores. I was going to pick just one, but couldn’t leave the other behind, so they both came home with me. These will look adorable hanging on my stove!

Do you have a favorite from my consignment store finds?

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My Living Room Update: Switching Old with Older

3 Apr

After doing a bit of an update to my Den in mid-February (read it here), I got the urge to attack another room in our house. The urge intensified when I noticed that our gigantic ottoman in our living room was starting to look super worn in the corners.

Here’s the before of the space, complete with Jack relaxing:

We love our super soft couch and had bought the faux leather ottoman when we moved into our home about 7 years ago. Over the years, the ‘faux’ part started wearing off on the corners because Jack likes to sit on the ottoman to watch TV.

It’s also kind of huge.

When Jack was learning how to stand and walk it was perfect, but now it just kind of takes up a bunch of space.

I did some online window shopping on Amazon, Wayfair and World Market. My initial thoughts were to switch the oversized square fake leather ottoman out with a smaller rectangle actual leather version. However, everything I found that I liked was super expensive.

Also, the carpet was kind of a mess once I moved the ottoman out of the way.

So, my first step was to go rent a carpet cleaner at the local Home Depot. For the 4 hour rental and a bottle of carpet cleaner (I already owned spot cleaner) it cost less than $60. I vacuumed the carpet and then went over the entire thing with the carpet cleaner.

It did a fantastic job and everything looked almost brand new, except a spot right in front of the couch where Jack had spilled an icy pop. That spot was stained a light orange color and no cleaning or spot cleaner would get it out. Sigh.

Good thing that was where I wanted to put the ottoman!

One of my complaints about our square ottoman was that it was so huge and I really wanted to open that space up. However, I do like having a little something-something so I can stick my feet up. I also like somewhere to put our remotes tray.

It turns out the answer was sitting in our den.

See that ottoman in the corner? It was from my grandparent’s house. I love it (and the memories associated with it), so when we cleaned out their house I took it home with me.

I decided to try the small circular ottoman in the space to see if it looked way to small and silly….

But, I love it!

It absolutely opens up the space, while still giving us a place to set the remote tray. After living with it for a few weeks, I’m still loving the change. Also, it was FREE. And it was a hand-me-down from family, which makes me love it even more!

Now I just need to decide which room is next to be improved…

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My Den Update: The AFTER

19 Feb

A couple weeks ago I shared my den with you (read it here). While it was one of my favorite rooms in the house, it needed some work with an undersized rug that I no longer liked, too much clutter, and a weird corner area.

To remind you, here was the before:

I was hoping to solve all my den issues with three “problem solvers” from Wayfair:

  • Susan Blue Area Rug (size 6 x 9), on sale for $83.99. (find it here)
  • Hillis Curtain of Fairy String Lights, on sale for $26.99. (find it here)
  • Tall Water Hyacinth Wicker Basket, on sale for $38.99. (find it here)

In addition to spending $150 at Wayfair, I also brought in a fake plant from another room and removed a bunch of clutter. I also finally put away my Christmas tree… in February.

Here is the after:

I couldn’t get Ollie to leave this photo…
A better look at the fabulous rug!

The rug is exactly what I was hoping for! It is a couple feet wider than the previous version and a foot longer too. The classic style makes such a difference in the room. I moved the rug a bit closer to the back wall so that it filled the space better, but still left a walkway from the laundry room/garage/bathroom. The other rug got rather dirty from all the foot traffic, so with a larger walkway we can avoid dirtying up the rug with our shoes. 

As for all that clutter, I moved Ollie’s crate into the sun room since he only uses it when he stays at someone else’s house. I relocated all the games that previously lived in the side table and also added a fake plant from another room. I also removed the pillow and blanket from the massage chair.

When it comes to that corner area, I removed the photo that was on the wall, the chalkboard, the random mirror, etc. Instead of a bunch of random crap, I hung the fairy lights on the inside of the overhang and moved our hand-me-down ottoman (a favorite from my grandparent’s house) into that area. When we have a bunch of people over, the ottoman rolls out and makes for some easy extra seating. For now, I stacked my new basket on top and it is used for snuggle blanket storage when we aren’t snuggling.

I am so happy with how everything turned out for a relatively low cost. I was also really impressed with the quality of what I ordered from Wayfair. In fact, I’m already eying the kitchen/dining tables for a replacement that won’t break the bank…

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