Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Redeem Their Ground - Jungle Edition

I've tried to write this post several times. I'll start typing something, look at what I've written, and then realize the words are inadequate. I erase the words and start all over. Mostly, I've been staring a blank screen.

You see, something amazing happened this past weekend (If you follow me on Instagram - you were bombarded with picture after picture). 

On Saturday a large group of our dear friends decided to sacrifice their precious weekend time - 
and overhaul our jungle of a yard.

Redeem Their Ground ... Barn Raising - Redeem Your Ground |

It was a long day, full of life and love. Everywhere I turned, there was another person - working along side of us - with a JOYFUL heart.

People generally believe weekends are for sleeping in, binge watching TV and football... ME TIME. So why would these friends do this selfless for me and the Hubs? 

Again, I find myself struggling to put it in to words (which we all know is pretty dang rare). 

Thankfully, our dear friends Doug and Brittany WERE able to write about the adventure (quite eloquently, I might add) over on their inspirational blog,

Hop on over to read the beautiful story behind our amazing day together - and see an awesome collection of before and after images from the transformation.

These dear friends understand what community truly is. They not only talk about it - they live it out. And it's truly awesome to see how these types of loving and selfless acts are overflowing to others. 

Redeem Their Ground ... Barn Raising - Redeem Your Ground |

After the manual labor, we all celebrated with Kev's famous BBQ - and lots of laughter. Our house was bursting at the seams with people... it felt like a home.

We are eternally grateful for a "new yard" - but more so for the growth that happened among friends. Our hearts are bursting over with gratitude... for these friends, and especially to the One that placed them in our life. There's no doubt about it, we are surely blessed.

Talk soon, friends!

** Side Note: Doug and Brittany have a family business - Redeem Your Ground.  They 'create outdoor spaces that reflect who you are and how you desire to live. Simply put, their aim is to bring life to you and your family in your own yard – extending your home beyond its walls in a way that inspires you to live more fully.' - RYG Website

They are truly gifted. If you need a visionary landscape designer and expert in the Atlanta area - they should be your first choice. They are also good for laughter, teasing, and the BEST hugs (Britt, I'm looking at you). They are my kind of people.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Second Hand Bran

If you have followed our blog (or my Instagram) for any period of time - you know I that am a BIG SECOND HAND furniture buyer. I have a soft spot for antiques. It's almost like a game to me now. Hmmmm... What unique piece can I find for an awesome price next?

As I have mentioned before, since moving to the new (older) house, we have needed three times the furniture. I'm sure Hubs (or our bank account) wouldn't appreciate it if I went out and bought all new stuff... so I keep buying new OLD stuff. You can just call me Second Hand Bran.
My rules for second hand shopping are simple:
  1.  Be specific about what you are looking for. Use keywords in Craigslist. If you like a designer or style use that in your keywords (Ballard, Restoration Hardware). Keep checking back every few days. 
  2. I sometimes key in words spelled incorrectly on purpose (Chester Drawers, Chest of Draws, Dinning Table). Trust me it works...
  3.  If you want something specific (I've been looking for an antique secretary for months), KEEP looking for it. It will eventually pop up for the right price. Don't give up or buy something else. Stay focused.
  4.  Don't be afraid to put a little elbow grease into something if you like the bones of it. Stain and/or paint will really transform a piece.
  5. Don't buy something JUST to buy something. Only buy something if you absolutely love it.
  6.  Have a plan for what you are buying... you can easily cross over into hoarder territory if you aren't careful.
  7. Don't be afraid to haggle. That's the fun part. 
  8. If on Craigslist, look at the date they posted the item. The longer it's been on the site, the more willing they are to bargain with you. 
  9. Visit thrift stores, craigslist, yard sales, and estate sales - And make sure to HAVE FUN!!

And just for fun, I finally did a round up of my favorite thrifty finds.

 Welcome to our family room. Almost everything you see here is second hand. 
We actually negotiated the sectional and this rug into the purchase of the house. The coffee table was cherry and I antiqued it with Annie Sloan's Old White.

 I've been wanting a Tobacco Basket for a while 
(after seeing them in a few of my fave ladies' houses).
 I found this beauty at an antique shop for a great price.

I found this side table on one of those Facebook yard sale sites. I'm still toying around with painting the body and staining the top. I just can't decide.

We scored this antique cabinet when a random Craigslist woman let us rummage through her storage barn. Yes, you read that correctly - this gorgeous girl was in a barn... a flippin' barn!!

We also found this amazing 1800's handmade French Bistro table (SWOON!) in that same barn. We've since seen some similar ones in online antique auctions. Let's just say we made a good decision at an awesome price. 


 This 1920s Art Deco armoire was left behind by the previous owner. Hubs shined it up and retrofitted the inside to accommodate our TV and more
 (I have a weird thing about wanting to hide electronics).

I decorated the mantel with antique books once owned by Kev's
 great aunt and uncle.
 I 've got a thing old books. 

Many of you have spotted this claw ball table in our foyer area. This is another piece that I HAD to have from the previous owner. It's definitely one of my favorite pieces in the house.

This dining table and chairs were a major find on another 
Facebook Yard Sale site. I love those legs.

This gorgeous midcentury modern styled sofa had me swooning from the moment I saw it on Craigslist. Hubs seriously loves the lines of it. It now lives in his man cave basement.
 I secretly think he likes to pretend he is on Mad Men while sitting on it.

This settee was also negotiated into the sale of the home. I just had to have it. 
She now lives in my sitting room

 This coffee table also lives in the sitting room. I found it at a thrift shop.

Side Note: We DID buy a brand spankin' new sofa for the sitting room. I'm looking forward to showing you this room as it comes together.

This awesome outdoor settee and chairs were a Craigslist find. I stained them gray as soon as we brought them home. I just need a coffee table out there to finish off the area.

You guys have seen the dresser in our bedroom we just overhauled.

We bought this armoire for our bedroom last weekend from a sweet family off of Craigslist. I'll be dedicating a whole post to it pretty soon. 
It was WITCH to get upstairs in our master.

This sweet little french provincial side table and it's twin sister were yet another 
Facebook Yard Sale find. Hubs cleaned them up and now they
 live in our guest bedroom.

There are a few more items that I forgot to photograph - and I'm sure you are tired of scrolling through pics... But you get the gist of it. We are slowly amassing the furniture we need to call this house a home. 

I really do enjoy the hunt of buying second hand. It's kind of a thrill when you find that perfect piece you have been looking for for so long. And the story behind the piece is so much more fun than "I found it at Rooms To Go."

Now, I need to get back to searching for that antique secretary. I know the perfect one is out there. :)

What's been your favorite second hand find?

Hope you guys are having a great week. Talk soon, friends!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Our New, Old Dresser!

I don't think it's any secret that I love to go furniture thrifting. I love scouring the Facebook yardsale sites and I may have a mild obsession with browsing all of Craigslist (okay - not the gross "encounters" parts). Hubs and I have found a couple of really good thrift and estate sale stores of which we have had some major success. I'll be blogging about many of our finds next week. Today, I'll be telling the story of Our New, Old Dresser.

A few weeks ago, we were at our favorite furniture thrift store when this beauty caught my eye.

I loved the structure of it. It had nice legs. You could tell that it used to have some design painted on the front of it (maybe flowers?). It was missing all of it's hardware - we had to pry it open with a screwdriver.

But we loved the amount of storage it had. It was just the right size. This was going to be the perfect dresser for our master bedroom.

We hadn't planned on buying such a large piece that day. Luckily, we were able to load it up (with the help of the nice guys at the store) awkwardly in the back of Hubs' Wrangler. 

You may also notice the smaller table... I'll be sharing that little beauty with y'all next week too.

Yes, we realize we looked like the Clampetts. 

After getting it home (and almost breaking our backs to get it out of the Jeep), we began studying to decide what we wanted to do it.

We removed the drawers and filled in the old hardware holes with 
some wood putty. 

I knew I wanted to keep the wood top unpainted. We lightly sanded the top and added some new gel stain. We applied two coats.

It turned out so beautiful. I love the warmth of the brown. I'm so glad we decided to leave the top unpainted. 

We decided to chalk paint the body with Annie Sloan Old White. Again, I can't stress how much I love this product. There is virtually no prep. It goes on very easily and only requires about 20 minutes between coats. 

(Please excuse the stain prints all over the can... ha!)

I like Old White better than Annie Sloan's Pure White. I find it much warmer than Pure White. This is pretty much my go to color for paint these days.

We gave the body two coats of Old White.

I am in LOVE the details on the legs.

Once the body was complete, we got to work painting the drawers.

Once the body and drawers were completed - we stepped back to look at it and decided it needed a bit more "age." We decided to mix our dark and clear waxes for just the right amount of "age."


We use a wax brush to "paint" on the soft wax. We then buff it off with a cloth.

This image shows how we literally just paint on the soft wax. 

We let that sit for literally five seconds and immediately rub it off.  The wax needs to cure for 24 hours.

Once the wax had cured, we moved this puppy upstairs and added hardware.

 All of the hardware came from Hobby Lobby! Love me some Hob Lob.


 Just a reminder of what it looked like before...

 And now...

I wish the lighting was better in these photos.

Best part? The dresser was only $75!! 
I had all of the paint and wax on hand.
The hardware was around $25

So we got this beauty for $100! 
I'd call that a good find. 

I also painted this cross with a layering effect with Duck Egg Blue and Old White. It was wood and brass before. It reminds me of lace now.

The "It Is Well" print is one of my new favorite things. My friend, Terri, from Ella Lou Boutique hand drew it for me. She does lots of beautiful, custom work. Be sure to check her out!

I'm hoping to find an old mirror to go on top of the dresser as well. I guess I'll have to add that to my thrift store hunting list. 

Hope you guys have a great rest of the week. WOO HOO! Football season begins! GO EAGLES!

Talk soon, friends!

*** This post is made up of my OWN opinions. It is not a sponsored post by Annie Sloan or Hobby Lobby. BUT - if they DO decide to read this - I would consider that to be kick awesome.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pretty Pantry

I've mentioned before that the kitchen layout is not my favorite. Truthfully, I don't really like anything about the kitchen except for the fridge. Well, I like the fridge, but I don't like where it currently sits.

The previous owner opted to widen the doorway between the kitchen and dining room. To do that she needed to move the fridge... so she removed the pantry door and put the fridge INSIDE of the old pantry. It looks odd. Really odd. But that's a post for another day.

I guess after she got rid of her real pantry, she discovered that she actually NEEDED the space a pantry provides, so she bought and installed this thing.

Ummmm.... It isn't exactly our style. I think this would be great in a closet or craft room, NOT in the kitchen. We knew we needed to get rid of it, but we also knew we needed something that could function as a pantry until we remodeled the kitchen and regained our actual pantry space back.

It especially bothered me because it sat directly across from the fun breakfast nook space we created. It was throwing everything off.

Then, last Saturday, Mom and I were thrifting and I spotted this little lady.

It was super ugly. It had seen better days. There were giant holes in the back panel. BUT it was solid wood and was the right size and shape. AND IT WAS ONLY $20!!!


Hubs thought I was crazy when he came to pick it up. He laughed and said it was super ugly, but we would only be wasting $20, so he was up for the challenge.

We decided to go with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint because I love the look and the ease of working with it. I wanted to do a gray color to play off of the breakfast table, so Paris Grey was a good choice.

The beauty of this chalk paint lies in the fact that you virtually do NO prep. There is no sanding, no priming... you just paint. Two coats later, and we had our base color.

I really wanted a tiny bit of an aged, distressed look, so once the base color was dry, we added a tiny bit of white paint over the gray. Quite simply, Hubs would lightly paint the white on, then immediately wipe it off.

Before moving the new pantry upstairs, we had to take down the old one. I sold it on Craigslist. WOO HOOO! The new owner said she was putting it in her closet... because that's where it belongs.

In the meantime, my kitchen looked like THIS. UGH. Don't worry, the Krispy Kremes didn't sit there for very long.

Finally, we hauled the thing into the house. I complained the whole time. I HATE moving giant things. Hubs then measured, cut, and nailed the new back panel into place. The old one was in really, really bad shape.


Once the back was in place, we added a layer of dark wax to further give it an aged look. I was so pumped about getting the wax in all the nooks and crevices of the carvings. You can see the difference wax makes here.

Once the waxing was done, we added a new knob for the drop down cabinet. And with that, this project was complete.

Knob was purchased at World Market.

 And I now have a place to proudly display my Grandmother's (Martha Nell) recipe tin.

Quite a difference, huh? I love my little $20 cabinet pantry. It fits the space so much better than the Ikea unit that was there before.

And honestly, let's just look at this before and after...

This ugly duckling has been redeemed! Revamping old furniture is one of our favorite things to do. We enjoy giving discarded items a new life. Have you taken on any furniture makeovers? I'd love to see them! Talk soon, Friends!

p.s. You will notice a great deal of pics from the last two posts have a higher quality (some are still iPhone photos). Not only did Hubs throw me a LATE birthday party, but he also gave me a late birthday present... a new DSLR camera. I'm still learning, but I'm having so much fun with it. Hoping to shoot better photos from here on out!