Our Front Entrance: The After

If you missed last week’s post, Our Front Entrance: The Before, now is your chance to go back and read it. There are some links to some awfully cute groundhog videos, but also some photos of how terrible our front entrance looked as of Tuesday morning.

Here’s one shot:

We hired a concrete contractor to dig out the mess of our sad front sidewalk/stones/weeds area and put in a brand spanking new stamped concrete walkway. I had a couple contractors come out to give me quotes, but we ended up going with Astlin Concrete Contractors. Rich, the owner, came out and gave us a super competitive quote, so I was happy to hire him.

The bulk of the work was done on Tuesday. I was at the office, but Travis was home and took a few ‘in progress’ photos for me. It was like HGTV porn all up in here.

Progress photos:

When I came home on Tuesday, it looked pretty great already. However, the driveway was a mess from all the concrete dust. Rich came back on Wednesday afternoon to do some hardcore power washing of the whole area. They let that dry and then on Thursday, one of his crew came back to blow everything off with a leaf blower and then apply two coats of sealer.

It needed another 24 hours to fully dry, so we took the caution tape down from the project on Friday night.

And now. NOW. We can finally see The After!

I mean… COME ON!? Look at that sexy new walkway?! Here’s a close up of the stamped design:

And here’s a little slider thingie so you can slide from the before to the after and be even more impressed with the update:

I’d say the project is about 95% done — we still need to pick up another load of the little brown rocks to refresh the area around the bushes. I also just ordered these solar pathway lights (12 pack for $18.99) from Amazon.

I am SO GLAD we finally decided to get this project done. I am super happy with Rich and Astlin Concrete Contractors and could not have asked for a smoother experience with having them come out and do the work for us.

Disclaimer: This post contains an Amazon affiliate link. This means that clicking on a link may help me earn a small commission at no cost to you.

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AR Workshop: Fall Harvest Box

A few weeks ago, AR Workshop announced on their Instagram account that they had a limited-edition Harvest Box coming out. I was intrigued, so when the boxes went on sale, I took a closer look.

The contents of the box were a surprise, but here are the hints they gave:

  • It’s the perfect way to kick off the Fall Season
  • Retail price is $89 and it has a value of over $160
  • The box will contain a mix of handmade and retail seasonal goodies. “Think exclusive DIY kit, unique project type and fall themed items”
  • We even included season items from a few local makers!

Fall + Handmade + Local Makers…. SOLD!

I wasn’t able to stop by the store on box pick-up day, but Lindsey grabbed it up for me and brought it to me this past weekend. And OH. MY. GOSH. This box couldn’t be more perfect!

I’m not even exaggerating when I say I was squealing over every single item and my husband almost hurt himself by rolling his eyes so much.

Let’s take a look…

Pumpkin succulent by Eclectic Blooms

Fall Candle, hand-poured from Farmer & The Belle

16” x 9” Centerpiece box with Happy Harvest design

Okay, let’s start with the Happy Harvest Centerpiece box. It’s dang adorable and has a little oil-rubbed-bronze handle on each side. The design is on just one side, so you can totally turn it around and use it the other way throughout the year. I can see this on an entrance table, on our dining table, or even outside with some pumpkins in it by the front door. The pumpkin succulent is freaking incredible and I assumed the pumpkin was ceramic, so I was shocked when I realized it was a real hollowed-out pumpkin with succulents planted inside. It’s perfect for the season! As for the candle, it is “harvest” scented which has a bit of spice to it and I love the jar too.

I paired the three items together and added them to the middle of our dining table for a pretty fall display.

Layering Rug buffalo check pattern

The layering rug is super cute and will be a fun addition to underneath my ‘welcome’ rug at our front entrance. We are actually about to have some work done on our walkway this week, so I’m holding off until that dust settles to put the rug outside.

8” x 8” Framed Mini sign with Give Thanks design

This little sign was totally hiding behind something in the box. When I pulled it out, I just thought it was the cutest thing. Someone from the AR workshop made it (it’s stamped on the back) and it’s the perfect size to fit in some of our book shelves in the living room.

DIY Tea Towel Kit with Hello Fall design

I love that they included a project for me to do in this box! The tea towel project includes the towel, the Hello Fall stencil, paint, and a little sponge to dab the color on. I did the project over the weekend and it turned out super cute (you can see it here — click the arrow to see each step).

Apple Pie Caramel Apple by Oh My Chocolate

Yeah, it was eaten within probably 30 minutes of seeing it. The apple was dipped in white chocolate and then rolled in this sugary apple spice stuff. It was SO GOOD and I’m not even ashamed a bit that I ate it all without offering it to anyone else…

I could not be happier with the AR Workshop Harvest box and I will absolutely be ordering a winter version if they release one!

Disclaimer: This post is not sponsored.

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September Thrift Haul

Over the weekend, my friend Lindsey and I spent a day visiting some of our favorite secondhand shops and I found lots of awesome treasures!

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

First up, the clothes. Apparently, I was in quite a mood, because everything I bought was black. Oops.

Eileen Fisher dolman tunic top, $18

Yes, I’m quite aware that this top looks like a big blob on the hanger. In person though, this is super soft and stretchy and when you put it on it drapes in some kind of magical way. I didn’t find this exact tunic online, but it’s very similar to other Eileen Fisher tops on her website for around $120ish. I’m thinking I’ll wear this with leggings for telework days, as it’s a perfect stretchy sort of house dress.

Loft open cardigan, $11

On my ‘thrift list’ was a lightweight black open cardigan, so when I saw this super soft and lightweight one in perfect condition, I scooped it right up. It was from a consignment shop, so I did pay up a little bit. However, for a like-new cardigan $11 is still a perfectly reasonable price. I actually wore this yesterday and realized that there is a little hole in the fabric on the back of the neckband (you can actually see it in the photo), so that’s a bit disappointing. And a lesson… even experienced thrifters like me accidentally overlook flaws, so make sure to look over your items closely before buying them!

J.Crew Embroidered Jackie cardigan sweater, $8

As soon as I saw the copper metallic embroidery on this sweater, I basically grabbed it up and yelled MINE. This sweater is in absolutely perfect condition and it looks like it’s never even been worn. I did some google sleuthing and it was from J. Crew’s 2017 collection and it is everything I love about a cardigan. I’m so excited to add this one to my snazzy cardigan collection and it will go with so many of my work outfits!

Soma cardigan, $4

Yes, I know… another black cardigan. This one is from my favorite pajamas brand, Soma. The cardigan is super soft and perfect for layering when it’s a little chilly at bedtime. Of course, then I end up stripping it off while dead asleep and throwing it across the room when I get hot. Another addition to my wardrobe that will get lots of wear!

Constantino Roma Scarf, $7.50

Look, it’s not black! I love the bright pattern on this silky scarf and it was so inexpensive that I couldn’t resist it. I did some googling and I think it is from the 1980’s, but I’m not totally sure. I’m thinking I’ll wear this like a bandana around my neck for a little color, or maybe tie it onto the strap of a purse.

I also had some great luck with the home goods sections of various secondhand stores:

Handmade Quilt, $40

I’ve been low-key wanting a handmade quilt for quite a while. And then last weekend, while we were traveling through Northern Virginia, I saw one I LOVED… but it was $250. So, I added it to my ‘thrift list’ so I could keep an eye out for one as I’m out and about. And I found THIS ONE! We visited one of our favorite shops that has an artist studio on one side and antiques on the other… and this quilt was hanging over a ladder.

I immediately started fondling it and the owner of the artist studio gave me it’s history. Apparently, it was used by her daughter from childhood (she’s now 42), but she had two sons and no daughters, so it was no longer getting used. But, before that, it was made by hand by a grandmother in West Virginia who gave it to her granddaughter…who also used it for many years. So, this is a third-generation handmade quilt and it’s perfectly soft and a little wrinkly and I love it so, so, so much. I couldn’t believe it when I saw it was marked at just $40 and it was basically a ‘start the car’ moment, because I felt like I totally got away with an absolute steal! I washed the quilt as soon as I got home and have already wrapped myself up in it while reading a book in my sun room multiple evenings. So, you could say that this quilt is totally living its best life.

Blanket with tassels, $24.50

I didn’t need another blanket. At all. Nope. I have PLENTY of blankets in my house. However, I like the subtle stripes on this blanket and the totally-not-subtle gigantic tassels and darn if I didn’t buy it anyways. No regrets here.

Cow canvas, $12

Okay… this was another accidental purchase. I had thought that the color tag on this canvas was for 60% off and I just couldn’t say not to it at that price. But then, I realized that it wasn’t on sale… and by then I was already emotionally attached. Not totally sure where this guy is going to live, but it’s adorable. We have a llama with glasses canvas hanging in Jack’s room, so I might add this cow with glasses to his wall too.

Holland Green Enameled Cast-Iron pot, $10.50

While secondhand shopping, both Lindsey and I were looking for something cute that we could use to make candles. I found this pretty cast-iron pot from Holland, and it is crazy heavy. I love the look of it though and that I could give it a new life as a candle. Later that night, we added in a wooden wick and filled our secondhand jars with wax, scented oils, and a few dried flowers.

I love how it turned out!

You can click through the instagram post with that little arrow on the right side to see each step from our candle making project!

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