Category Archives: Goodwill

Thrifted or Grifted–Apricot tops + Skinnies + Neutral Wedges

So, I had to do a search on my own blog to find the last time I indulged in a round of Thrifted or Grifted, and even though I knew it had been a while, I was honestly surprised it had been THAT long. 2 years and 4 months, folks.


So, why the lapse?

Well, a couple of reasons, really. 1) I don’t do a whole lot of traditional thrifting anymore. Even when I had 5 kids, and the twins were tiny, it was still worth it to me to hit up Goodwill on the regular, but…well, they closed down my favorite hole-in-the-wall-with-all-the-best-stuff Goodwill, and the local thrifting grounds just haven’t been the same since.

Thank goodness for ThredUP, though. (Use that link to get $10 off your first order if you’re so inclined).

And 2) I just don’t do a lot of fashiony posts here anymore. Not sure why that changed exactly (and feel free to weigh in if you’d like to see more), but it’s just sort of fallen by the wayside since I stopped having a “wardrobe” theme for Wednesday.


I was going through my closet the other day and noticed that I had several items that were similar enough to throw together a good ol’ round of T+G, and–what can I say?–I guess I was feeling nostalgic because here we are.

thrifted or grifted collage

So, for those of you uninitiated, what IS Thrifted or Grifted?

Thrifted or Grifted is a silly little fashion game I came up with in which I wear two similar ensembles, and you test your thrifting savvy by deciding whether an outfit is:

A) 100% Thrifted: (adj.)—previously loved and therefore ridiculously cheap…aka Secondhand



…and then you vote and leave me comments telling why you chose the one you did!

(Disclaimer: No, I don’t actually think you’re getting ripped off every time you pay retail, but I do believe that if you can’t tell the difference, you shouldn’t have to pay for it).

If you’re a Thrifted or Grifted pro, then you know the drill—get out that magnifying glass you’ve got in some drawer somewhere and procrastinate on those dishes a bit longer as you scrutinize the minutiae of each outfit (WRINKLES DON’T COUNT!) and then comment away telling me why you chose which one you did.

The commenter I find most entertaining (there’s nothing fair or random about it! ; )) will get 5 free entries into our next giveaway (coming soon!).

Alrighty, enough explanation…here we goooooo!

Is it…

option a



{Because I know y’all hardcore T+G-ers appreciate the profile angle so you can scrutinize for shoe-size gaps}


option b


P.S. Ezra is now my photographer. He does a great job. Except for when he cuts off part of my shoe. I promise I’m not trying to obscure your view here.

Oh! And just because Miss Evy-Lou was rather poorly/clingy and wobbled all the way down our gravel driveway in those plastic “princess flipper shoes” (aka: death to all toes with which they come in contact), I’ll include this oh-so-attractive picture of the both of us.


So, what do you think? Have you made your decision?

Well, then vote away! And don’t forget to comment telling me why you chose the one you did!

This poll is closed! Poll activity:
start_date 01/05/2016 06:57:28
end_date 03/05/2016 23:59:59
Poll Results:
Which outfit is 100% THRIFTED?

P.S. “Other” is not an option. I just couldn’t figure out how to make it disappear.

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The 30 Minute Goodwill Challenge {Round 6}

In case you’re not familiar with this challenge, the basic gist is that I race through my local Goodwill—usually with multiple children in tow—attempting to find as many complete outfits (the goal is 3) as possible in only 1/2 an hour.  The trying on process is always longer than 30 minutes because I spend as much time changing diapers and doling out snacks as I do putting clothes on.

Still, the entire process is fairly quick, and I usually bring home some really cute looks (feel free to catch up with Rounds 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 if you’d like).

Sadly, I’ve got rather depressing news to report: my local Goodwill—the teeny-tiny, had-no-business-being-as-fabulous-as-it-was location that I seemed to be the only one who shopped at—has been discovered. Or at least that’s what I’m assuming based on the decrease in selection and quality (not to mention the rise in prices). The shoe section—which used to be so amazing that I always brought home 4 pairs of adorable shoes for $3 each (and had to resist buying 2 more)—has dwindled down to the usual nose-wrinkle-worthy cluster of hunter green pumps from 1984 and a dirty, broken-down flip flop or two. Major sad face for that one.

Which, of course, means that what I have to show you today may not be as impressive as my usual hauls.

But first, here’s what I was wearing while I shopped:



Contrary to my usual M.O., I don’t think I’m wearing a single Goodwill item here. The sweater, jeans, and belt are all GAP or GAP outlet (all old), and the boots are my Nine West  leather $60 Marshall’s “splurge.”

And now for outfit #1:


Notice the relative cleanliness of Nola’s face at this point. It will get dirtier as the trying-on session progresses.

Those jeans were a fun find. I spotted them on the mannequin as soon as I walked in and could tell they were a nice brand, even from across the room. Sure enough, they turned out to be Joe’s, which sell for an average of $160 new.

The sweater was a nice blue/gray/green that sort of matched my eyes and was super comfy.  I bought both (although I’ll probably sell the jeans).


These were literally the only shoes I could find that I was even willing to try on. They were cute and a nice brand (Nina), but they were a tad tight, and the sole on one was starting to peel off, so I passed.

Next up, I tried on a flowy top with trouser jeans from Banana Republic.


Hello, cute baby.

I liked them both, but I only came home with the top (you’ll get  better shot of it in a minute) because the pants were a little big and not super-flattering in the hip area.


I don’t own (or wear) a lot of light-rinse jeans, but I knew my husband would like these Vigoss jeans (I was right; he made several appreciative comments when I wore them), so I bought them for only $4.

I bought this cute Forever 21 “top” (is it a dress? please say no) too.


Notice the stains on Nola’s face? I had resorted to feeding her and her sister leftover chocolate cupcakes from Della’s birthday party.

I actually came home with several other fun finds like a sea foam green silk skirt, an emerald faux patent leather hobo bag, and a pink GAP wool scarf, but the babies were done by this point. Even chocolate cupcakes were only buying their cooperation for mere seconds at a time, so I captured no pictorial evidence of my other finds.

I’ve worn almost all of my haul already, but I only took pics of one outfit.  I paired that flowy top from above with my red (orange?) corduroy J. Crew outlet pants to wear to Thanksgiving because I needed at least one loose item (the pants are not stretchy at all) to accommodate my culinary indulgence.

IMG_8851 Check out my majorly lazy eye (left); not sure what’s up with that.

Several of Shaun’s family commented on my “interesting” and “creative” color choices for this outfit (they weren’t being rude at all; they’re just not quite used to such loud color palettes), and I had to laugh a little. What can I say? I love color!

So there you have it: not nearly as successful as my other outings but still a decent haul for an hour at Goodwill.

Unfortunately, I feel like thrifting has gotten so popular lately that it’s getting harder and harder to score really great deals. Do you find this true too?

My advice: whatever you do, don’t reveal your secret thrifting treasure trove, or pretty soon it’ll be over-run and overpriced. BOO!

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The 30 Minute Goodwill Challenge {Round 5}

You all know I love me some Goodwill. I’ve proven my devotion in multiple Thrifted or Grifted posts as well as the first four 30 Minute Goodwill Challenges (in which I try to find 3 complete outfits that I would actually wear in only 30 minutes of shopping, the trying-on process not included).

But I haven’t been able to go nearly as often since the twins came along. Which, honestly, is a good thing—both for my wallet (Goodwill may be cheap, but they don’t let me pay them in graham crackers like the twins do) and my closet, which was overflowing with all my thrifted finds (I have an entire room with piles of clothes just waiting for me to get my act together for another round of Shop My Closet).

But a few months back, the twins and I braved Goodwill for yet another 30 Minute Challenge (if you haven’t already, you can check out Rounds 1, 2, 3, and 4), and I’ve been hanging onto the pictures since then. You’ve actually seen several of my finds here on the blog already, but I still thought I’d take you along for a little virtual thrifting since, even after the fact, shopping is so much more fun with friends.

Here are Evy and I before we started the timer. Doesn’t she look thrilled?gwchallenge7

{It’s crazy to me how different she looks just a few short months later}

And here are some of my finds:


I posted this one to Instagram and Facebook and got a resounding YES! from you guys. So I bought it. I haven’t worn it yet, but I’m hoping for a date night soon.


Not sure why I look so stoic here (although this is probably right about the point that the twins started hollering something or other about being hungry and bored). I ended up going with the skirt, which is super-comfy and a fun color, but not the shirt, which was a little too ruffl-y, floral-y, and all around floof-y for my tastes.


This J. Crew maxi is made of soft jersey knit and is in perfect condition. It’s ridiculously comfy. But the thing is…it’s backless (and somewhat frontless too, as you can see). Whoa. I should have taken a picture of the back, but I forgot.


It was nothing my trusty neutral tube-top (also from Goodwill) couldn’t fix, though. I threw it on for a date night when I wanted to feel pretty (dresses always do that for me) but not think about my outfit too much. While my husband and I were eating dinner, I recognized a boy I’d gone to middle school with one table over sitting with his family. I said hi, and he clearly had no clue who I was until I told him my name. He even said: “I never would have recognized you if you hadn’t introduced yourself.”

Let’s just say I remember my perm and glorious mall bangs in middle school, and I’m going to assume that was a compliment.


I bought both of these (along with those teal Wet Seal shoes, which ended up being too tight for long wear, thus forcing me to choose between selling them or trimming my toes a bit; it was a hard decision, but I sold them), and then wore the skirt in a round of Thrifted or Grifted.


I don’t recommend holding a car seat while taking dressing room pics. I’m pretty sure Nola does, though.


I bought both the top and the shorts in this pic and have since so thoroughly stained the shorts that I’m doubtful of their ever returning to even their thrifted state of whiteness. The shirt is a bit of a conundrum because of the flutter sleeves. I probably should have let it go, but I’m determined to make it work somehow. And the shoes? Well, they were cute, but I didn’t need them.

I didn’t take any more dressing room shots, but I did come home with the black and white Old Navy dress (with tags still on) that you can see sticking out of the right side of the shot above and got lots of compliments on it when I wore it to church (and showed you on the blog).

black and white dress 

So, did I accomplish my goal of 3 complete outfits? Eh. Not exactly, but close. I only came home with one pair of shoes, although the other two pair I tried on were cute. And dresses, while complete, as outfits go, are only one item of clothing.

I’ll let you be the judge. Did I complete my challenge? Did you have a favorite look?

Have you scored a great deal on anything (thrifted or not) lately? Do tell!

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5 Things Thursday: Goodwill Loot

While we’re on the topic of Goodwill

I thought I might show you 5 scores I made this week while shopping…ALONE…thanks to my sweet in-laws’ offering to take my kiddos this past Monday.


A fun and funky tote that can hold sooooo much and will definitely be accompanying me when Shaun and I take our next trip…in 2019.


{Perfect condition and only $6? I’ll take it!}


A quirky owl-etching for the boys’ room, which is undergoing a MAJOR overhaul (yeah, I can’t leave well-enough alone).


{I’m soooooo on trend…for only $0.59}


A bright, happy pillow for…somewhere in my house. I just don’t pass up mint-condition embroidered pillows, y’all.


{It would cost a fortune in thread and years off my life if I stitched that flower, but this baby only cost me $4}


The perfect ho-cho mug in my signature color (imagine a super-thick Southern accent as you read those last two words).


{It pairs quite nicely with my saucers, and it was only $0.89}


Last, but certainly not least, this fantastic clock (hard to tell from this pic, but it’s a full two feet high) for the boys’ room.


{It keeps perfect time and cost me $25; not too shabby}

Scored any good loot lately?

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Feature Friday: The Entryway—Part 2

Good morning, everybody! It’s clear and cool here in E. Texas! 55 degrees. Brrrrr.

Of course…the weather report says it’s going to get up to almost 90 degrees later on (and yes, today is October 14th), but I’m pretending I didn’t read that part.

Today, I thought I’d show you, as Paul Harvey used to say, the rest of the entryway (close enough?).

Not that you necessarily knew there was a rest to show you, but the truth is that when I revealed our entryway a while back, I was kind of holding out of on you. And not because I don’t love ya because I do.

I just wasn’t completely happy with the look of my hallway setup and hadn’t taken the time to figure out what was bothering me.

But then, before I ever even worried about what was missing, I discovered the perfect fix at—where else?—Goodwill. So what was this magic purchase?

Well, how about I just show you?


See them yet?

That’s right, you’re looking at matching turquoise, gold-flecked funky vintage lamps from some undetermined point in the 20th century (I’m thinking 1950’s). Yes, they did come with the ugliest shades in creation (I scored those fab linen shades with the script at Walmart for about $13 each), but they were marked at $4.99 a piece, and I got the nice, nice lady to knock that down to $6 for both.

The second I saw them, I knew they were the answer to the aimless feeling I’d had about this little vignette, so I perched them precariously on my basket and even defended them at least once from a overzealous basket-browser that got a little too close to my stash. My Goodwill shopping method tends to be: stuff anything and everything that might possibly work into every nook and cranny of the tiny, wobbly-wheeled Home Depot cast-off buggy (that’s Southern for basket) that I inevitably end up with—children hanging onto all sides, of course—and then sift through it in the dressing room where there’s no chance of anyone snatching it up while my back is turned.

And, yes, I realize after reading that last sentence that I sound like an absolute loon.

But hey, if I have to be a bit nuts to score some cute, uber-cheap lamps that gave me the inspiration I needed to finish a space that’s been bugging me, well I’m just fine with that.


Here’s a wider shot so you get a context for where this little spot is in relation to my front door and Entryway Part 1 that I’ve already shown you.


A quick shot of the stained glass chandy, which has quite a story behind it. Let’s just say that it was my dream chandelier but too big for the space I had in mind (which wasn’t the entryway originally), but I only discovered that after the space was already done. Rather than give it up, I visited a spot called Bruce’s Bargain Barn (yep, you read that right), did some haggling, some creative chandelier swapping, and ended up turning a nine-light chandelier into the six-lighter you see there (and then used the extra three glass shades to transform the garage sale chandy in the big master closet makeover). All of this shade/chandy finagling took place on the very same day I had to fight with my dad’s beast of stick-shift truck all the way through an hour-long torrential downpour (with all of our house’s carpet + the 66% off Hobby Lobby bench I showed you in the living room reveal in the back). Whew! It was a job just to write that sentence! Imagine how much more “fun” it was to experience it.



That gorgeous buffet was a pretty sweet find at an antique store that was going out of business. He originally wanted $400 for it, which, honestly, considering that it is in pristine condition and made of solid wood, was already much lower than other antique prices I’d seen, but I got him to come down to…wait for it…$125!! If you’re wondering how, you can read my post on retail haggling, in which I reveal my (often successful) methods for paying only what an item is worth to me.

The rest of the items you see there are either from Hobby Lobby’s 90% off aisle (pumpkin, jade balls, candle/saucer, decorative metal scroll wall-hangers), Goodwill (ivory candlestick, vintage Heygill and H.F.P. Macau plate—this brand sells for anywhere between $15-$50/piece on ebay, and I got the plate for $1—copper candle pedestal), Walmart (small glass flower vase), and garage sales (books).


My aperture settings were off when I took this pic, and I didn’t realize it ‘til afterwards, but I still wanted to show you the colors and pretty pattern of my vintage $1 plate.

Total for the entire display (minus the lamps and the painting, which was $40 @ Ross): approx. $20.


A few more detail shots of my buffet (I love, love, love the carved flowers).


The table runner is actually just a strip of fabric from Hancock’s remnant bin. I’ve been meaning to finish the edges for ages but just haven’t gotten around to it (hmm…feed children or hem random piece of fabric? conundrum), and at this point, I think I’m totally fine with the raw edges. We’ll just say they add “character” and call it good, shall we?


This is a shot from the opposite direction, taken from the craft room (which you can see glimpses of in the first couple of shots). The rug runner is from Overstock, a Safavieh outdoor version that’s woven, kind of like jute, but not as hard on the feet. We also used it as a stair-runner by splicing pieces of it together to make one continuous piece all the way up the stairs.

The chair in the foreground was made in 1893, which makes it 118-years-old, and belonged to my husband’s grandmother. It’s still in pristine condition, and while it’s not really the right scale for the space it’s in, I couldn’t resist at least temporarily putting it here until I figure out what I want to do with it because the rich, warm colors of the embroidery and the wood tones perfectly match everything else in this space. (There’s a better shot of the chair in the first two pics as well).


And what would a “reveal” post be without a collage of a few of my favorite details. I’m digging all the saturated colors and contrasting textures. I don’t know that I would have ever gone with fuchsia and teal before, but after stumbling across the combo when I redid the master closet, I find myself gravitating towards it now.

All in all, I’m really pleased with the results. It’s a bit more formal than my usual style, but it still has enough of the funky touches I love to satisfy the eclectic in me, and those lamps provide enough symmetry to pacify the (very closeted) OCD in me.

What do you think? Am I done? Is there something you would add or change? I’d love to hear your thoughts!

I hope you have a blessed, relaxing, and fulfilling weekend!

P.S. I had a bit of a downer blog-day yesterday, and then I had worship team practice last night, and you’ll never guess what song we were singing (which I hadn’t even realized was on the set list until we started singing it)—yep, the very same one that put everything in perspective the last time I got all gloomy and self-deprecating. If you haven’t read that post, please do. I’ve never written truer words (especially since most of the words in that post aren’t even mine). I can almost imagine God shaking his head and wondering when I will ever get what really matters through my thick head. : )

Linking up with:

Monday ~ The DIY Showoff Project Parade ~ Made by You Mondays ~ Embellishing Life Everyday ~ Just Something I whipped up Monday ~ The CSI project ~ Menu Plan Monday ~ C.R.A.F.T. ~ The Southern Institute ~ Making the World Cuter ~ Thrify Décor Chick ~ Metamorphosis Monday ~ Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Gunny Sack ~ Singing Three Little Birds ~DIY Homes Sweet Home ~ Dittle Dattle ~ 1929 Charmer ~ Everything Under the Moon ~ ModMix Monday ~ Sew Stylish ~ Coastal Charm ~ Under the Table and Dreaming

Tuesday ~ Get Your Craft ~ Tip Junkie ~ Blackberry Vine ~ Crafty Confessions ~ Me & my Boys ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Home Stories A-Z ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suberbia ~ Carolyn’s Homework ~ Sugar Bee Crafts ~ House of Grace ~ Passionately Artisitc ~ My World Made by Hand ~ Uncommon Designs ~ Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday ~ Blue Cricket Design ~ Somedays Crafts ~ Sew Much Ado ~ Sew Woodsy ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Savvy Southern Style ~ {Primp} ~ Midweek Fiesta ~ Rae Gun Ramblings ~ Polkadots On Parade ~ Lollipop Cards ~ JAQS Studio ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ My Girlish Whims

Thursday ~ Transformation Thursdays ~ Somewhat simple ~ Show off your stuff ~ House of Hepworths ~ Delightful Order ~ My Simple Home Life ~ The Frugal Girls ~ Thrifty Thursday ~ DIY Diva Thursday ~ Tablescape Thursday ~ No Minimalists Here ~ Crafty, Scrappy, Happy ~ Thrifty Decorating ~ Between U and Me ~ 36th Avenue

Friday ~ The Shabby nest ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Finding Fabulous ~ I’m Loving it ~ Simply Sweet Home ~ Whipper Berry ~ Chic on a Shoestring decorating ~ Spunky Junky ~ Delicate Construction ~ Homemaker in Heels ~ Family Ever After~ French Country Cottage ~ Common Ground ~ Young And Crafty ~ At the Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge ~ Miss Mustard Seed ~ Addicted to Decorating ~Bacon Time with The Hungry Hypo ~ Making Lemonade ~ I Can’t Stop Crafting ~ Over the Big Moon ~ Shabby Art ~ Answer is Chocolate

Saturday ~ I heart nap time- Sundae Scoop ~ Tatertots and Jello ~ Be different Act Normal ~ Funky Junk ~ 2805 ~ Making Lemonade Blog ~I am Along for the Ride ~ Lolly Jane

Sundays ~ Homemaker on a Dime ~ Sunday’s Best

House of Hepworths

The Shabby Nest

MIss Mustard Seed’s Furniture Friday

Funky Junk Interiors

French Country Cottage

Tatertots and Jello

At the Picket Fence

Stuff and Nonsense

The Girl Creative

Add a Pinch


Sew Chatty

Homemaker on a Dime

DIY Showoff

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Feature Friday: Entryway Reveal + Guest post for House of Hepworths

Okay, so in case you haven’t noticed, this has been the week of the guest post around here at 5D5W. Not that I’m complaining, mind you!

This afternoon, I’ll be guest-posting at Allison’s:


Allison’s site is awesome for quite a few reasons, not the least of which is that she likes creating thrifty DIY projects like I (and so many of the rest of you) do. Throw in the fact that she hosts one heckuva link-up party (crafts, projects, food…you name it) every Thursday AND she’s a seriously funny lady, and you’ve got one fantastic blog. I am so honored to get to introduce myself to her readers. Hop on over and check out my post, but make sure you stay a while and have a look around. Lots of eye-candy, great ideas, AND a huge Dremel Multimax giveaway in progress (which reminds me…I haven’t entered yet!).

In other exciting news, Roeshel of The DIY Show-off is featuring a few of my projects after already making a big deal of my closet makeover a few weeks back. I am seriously feeling the love today! Stop by and check out the awesome DIY projects that she creates and highlights on her helpful blog! (She also hosts quite the link-up on Mondays in case you’ve got something you’d like to show off!)

And now for that little reveal I promised yesterday when I also unveiled the results of the Thrifted or Grifted poll (if you haven’t seen it yet, you might be surprised).

Today, I’m showing you the first thing you would encounter if you came over to my house for a visit. Since most of you can’t actually do that, just imagine knocking on my front door and my opening it to greet you with a smile, releasing the mouth-watering aroma of fresh-baked banana bread as I do so.

Now, imagine my looking a bit frazzled and holding a pair of mismatched socks, the rest of which are strewn about the living room floor, and you’ll be much closer to reality. I am making banana bread tomorrow morning, but only because I let the bananas get too mushy and will have to chunk them otherwise (please, please, please never assume that, because the pictures I am showing you are pretty/neat, that the rest of my house/life looks anything like that because, 95% of the time, it doesn’t).

But I digress.

And before I get the urge to hop off on another tangent, let me show you some pictures of my entryway (nothing like visual aids to keep me focused);


The wall color is Sherwin Williams Quietude (which I used the leftovers of to paint my French doors). I bought the hall tree at the local barn sale I also mentioned here and here (I find the best stuff there!) for less than $100.


The vintage phone booth was bought from another local spot (I think I talked him down to $15), and I used a sample-sized can of that pretty turquoise (whose name I do not remember) to spruce it up (definitely one of those don’t-look-too-closely pieces which took a boatload of paint-scraping to make look half-way decent…I was just a sucker for the lines). That phone you see there was a $7 Goodwill find and would be so much more practical if it were actually hooked up (we were assured it worked). 18 months isn’t a long time to have something just sitting around uselessly, is it? (Please say no). I painted the cream-colored section and used the last few dabs of the same turquoise that is on the phone booth to highlight the scroll-detail.


I bought the tin doorknob hangers as a set from JcPenney on a major sale (Maybe $30 for all 5) after stalking them for a while online. The clock is a church garage sale find (complete with the original tags from World Market) for $2.


The big urn was a $10 purchase from a curio shop in my hometown, and the hydrangeas were 90% off at Michael’s.


I would love to say that I took all of those pictures and that they mean something specific to me, but the truth is that I bought them from a stand at an open-air market in Sydney, Australia (someday I’ll post about it), and, although the lady who ran the stand did take them in various locations throughout Australia, I have no idea about any specifics or significance. They are special to me, though, because they remind me of the mind-blowingly amazing trip that my husband and I got to take (while our respective parents took turns watching our two boys…Della wasn’t in the picture yet) over New Year’s 2010.


The boys were taking turns “helping” me press the button for the pictures. Of course, then Simon decided the shot would look so much better with him in it and popped up out of nowhere for a cameo. Hey there, Doodle-bug.


He’s pretty cute, but I figured I’d leave you with one last uninterrupted entryway shot. Hope you enjoyed this little come-on-in tour, and I wish that I really could have you all over for banana bread tomorrow because a) I like you and b) we’ve got lots of mushy bananas around these parts!

As I mentioned yesterday, I will be spending my weekend exercising my fanny off with my fellow Les Mills-junkie instructors. 2 whole days of nothing but sweat and adrenaline. I know that sounds like medieval torture to some of you, but I’m crazy excited.

If you think of it, though, would you say a prayer for this little girl?


Notice the maniacal, “I’m on the stairs, and I have Mama’s shoes” gleam in her eyes.

She’s never been away from me for more than 6 hours, and she’s a ridiculously huge Mama’s girl. This could be tough on her and her sweet daddy (oh, okay, and me too). I’m kind of nervous.

I’ll be back for Move-it Monday with loads of fun (sweaty) pictures to show you. Just be glad there’s no such thing as scratch-and-sniff blogs.

P.S. If you haven’t already, get yourself on over to that cute little giveaway button on the sidebar, and win yourself $25 to The Pleated Poppy!

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Move-it Monday: The Living Room Reveal—the Monster Edition

Okay, first of all, I would like you to know that I very carefully read the blogging by-laws before proceeding with a living room reveal on Move-it Monday. But no matter how closely I read, all I found was, “It’s your blog! Post whatever you darn well please on whichever day you like!”

So, while I will usually stick to my themes, today is about whipping my living room into shape, not my body. Although I must say that, with an average of 170 calories burned/hr. of cleaning/straightening up and 400 calories burned/hr. of furniture-moving, I burned a considerable amount of extra calories working on the living room this weekend (see? I can make it work if I do enough mental back-bends…I wonder how many calories those burn?).

Let’s start with a few before shots, shall we?


The reason there are no “workers” in these shots is that we were the workers! We built our entire house from the ground up (and by “we,” I mostly mean my amazing husband).


This is a shot from right before we moved in…or maybe we already had. Either way, finishing up a house (ha! as if it’s finished now) with two (at that time) toddlers running around was quite the pain in the tushy adventure!


I nabbed these pics from a before/after email I sent someone, so you can just ignore the text (or, if you want, you can make a game out of trying to decipher it by holding your hands around your eyes like binoculars and squinting…maybe a magnifying glass will work…just don’t burn a hole in your screen).

The last shot is the closest to what our living room looked like for about a year out of the two that we’ve lived in our house. The one difference (and it’s big) is that, right before I took these shots, we had two full-sized couches—one where the loveseat is and one where the open space in the foreground is—in the living room. But we sold them on craigslist within 6 hours of posting them (they were either really great couches or I priced them too low…oh well), and I was in such a tizzy that I forgot to take pictures of the before (the color on the walls was Benjamin Moore’s Sunrise, in case you were wondering).

And now for the after:


The paint color is Sherwin Williams Sea Salt. I made the tufted ottoman from a $40 craigslist coffee table (tutorial included in that link). The TV console is a vintage find from a local barn sale.

I’ll also go ahead and answer the most commonly asked question I’ve gotten since first posting any pics of my living room before you even get it out of your fingers and into the comment box: I got the rug two years ago on Ebay. It’s the Pottery Barn Moorish Tile rug (color: Clementine), and it was pretty much sold out when I bought it.

Yeah, I know. It doesn’t do much good for me to tell you where I got something if they don’t have it anymore. I did find this alternative, though. Not exactly the same, but similar. And I’m pretty sure Overstock has some similar options as well.


This is a view from the opposite direction. I got that bench at Hobby Lobby a couple of years back because I loved it with a passion true and deep and it was 66% off. I remember that I brought it home on the same day as all our carpet (we don’t have much carpet in our house, so it all fit in the back of my dad’s big truck).

The day started out sunny and fine, but pretty much as soon as I got the carpet/bench loaded, a torrential downpour started and lasted the en-tire 45 minute, gear-stick grinding drive home. At the time, it was miserable. After months of hardly a drop of rain, I’d do the whole white-knuckled ordeal all over again if it would guarantee another gully-washer like that. Too bad we don’t need any more carpet.


I found the mirror at Goodwill for $10, then primed and painted it black.


I cut and stacked 2” foam to make the bench cushion and then covered it with some polka-dot fabric I found at Walmart. The pillows are from Walmart (they still have the gathered button pillow) and Target (the cream pom-pom pillow, which they currently carry).


I’m a huge fan of Moravian star pendants but I just about choke on my own saliva every time I look up the prices. So when I found that Pier 1 alternative on sale for $10, I did a happy dance all the way to store (which burned a lot of calories considering that the closest Pier 1 is 30 miles away—see? Move-it Monday references all over the place, I tell ya) and waltzed away with my very own knockoff star…tealight holder (there’s a reason it’s 1/17 of the cost, folks).


It’s really pretty at night.


I got the Mitchell chairs from Target for $99 on sale (it’s still on) + free shipping—not too shabby considering that they are well-made, comfy, and cute as a polka-dotted baby bug’s ear.


Oh! And meet Geoffrey, the giraffe. My mom bought him for me, and I love him!


In case you didn’t read Friday’s wall feature, the chubby bird is from Hobby Lobby (4 months ago or so), and the teensy birdcage which only wishes it could house a bird that substantial was free from Goodwill (the lady held it up and said, “I’ll just throw it in with the rest since you’re such a good customer.” : )).


This is a view of the shelf that wraps around from our kitchen cabinets (which are the same deep teal color). The books are from Barnes and Noble’s leather-bound classics collection, and I bought all ten of them together (including the complete works of Jane Austen, Shakespeare, Sherlock Holmes, and The Chronicles of Narnia, among others) here. Almost everything else, including the Van Gogh print, is from Goodwill.


The sofa table vignette, complete with yet another Jones Design print.


The sofa table holds some of my favorite pictures of Shaun and me. That’s a picture of our first kiss (which took place at our wedding…no, I’m not making that up…have I mentioned he’s ah-mazing?).


This one is at my 22nd birthday party, a few days after Shaun proposed (on my actual birthday…I’ll have to tell that story someday. He did gooooooood). It was a swing-dance complete with lessons, dancing, and costumes!


A funky little storage box from Goodwill ($2) with some snapshots of Simon, my easygoing, snuggly middle child. He has dimples so deep you could happily get lost in them (and I have a feeling many girls will someday…oh dear).

The lamp is another vintage Goodwill find ($7). It’s ginormous (at least three feet tall)! The shade is from Target from a couple of months back.


I saw a room once on Houzz (if you haven’t checked it out, I suggest you do!) that had a built-in shelf on the wall much like this one, and Shaun replicated it for me.


I love this little chair from Goodwill. Fortunately, none of my children has tried to sit on it yet.


More Goodwill (Amazing Grace letters), some Walmart (the silver mirror), and the star mirror is a find from the same barn sale I mentioned earlier.


I bought these beautiful books for a $1 each at a garage sale. I tried to get the lady to come down on the price, but she almost cried, and I felt terrible for asking. : \ I also covered some paperbacks with pretty scrapbook paper.


More Goodwill (goose, candle), Marshall’s (vase, which isn’t actually pink but turned that way from the fuchsia flowers…weird). The black and glass hurricane vase is a gift, and I think I stole the lantern from my mom (Hi, Mom!).


A view of the “other couch” (which is how I actually think of it since it doesn’t have the pretty Target flower pillow or the sofa table). The pillows are a collection of ones that came with the couches (the brand is Corinthian), Marhall’s, Goodwill, and made-by-moi.


I spent about 8 hours painting my French doors using Jones Design’s painted wallpaper method. I just shrank my template to scale for a door instead of an entire wall (the color on the door is Sherwin Williams Quietude, and the stenciling is done in blend of white/ivory craft paints that I mixed up).


The dish is a Goodwill find that you can see up close on last weeks 5 Things Thursday. The bowl is from Anthro, and I bought the side table from my bestie and then added a Hobby Lobby flower knob. The mat is from Hobby Lobby.


Another shot toward the backyard (sorry about the low light, it was getting late).

Finally, I have a question for you. It’s super-important. Are you ready?

If you read about my undecoratable wall (and elves!), you know that I had a Dickens of a time figuring out what to do with the space behind the TV (options considered included an eclectic gallery wall, my Love Letters banner, which, as you can see, did get incorporated when I decided to frame the letters instead, and anything else involving art, picture frames, and other decorative doodads that possibly could be considered in an 8 hour time-frame). I finally had a brainstorm when I dug those matching white shelves out of a forgotten pile in a closet, but what I really want to know is…

Do you prefer this version:


or this one:


And did you even notice the difference (other than picture quality; I know, the first one’s better)?

Here’s a close-up of what I added:


So…whaddya think?

Okay, I’m starving, my children are really tired of Mama being on the computer (they need me to build a hill in their car-track), and the baby has discovered the stairs in a major way, so I’d better head back to real life now.

I hope you enjoyed this Feature Friday on a Move-it Monday (you can blame me if you have trouble remembering what day it is for the rest of the week). If you ate too much cake last weekend and were counting on me to help you work it off, I apologize. I have a HUGE Move-it Monday post planned for next week to make up for it!

See you tomorrow for Try-it Tuesday!

Monday ~ The DIY Showoff Project Parade ~ Made by You Mondays ~ Embellishing Life Everyday ~ Just Something I whipped up Monday ~ The CSI project ~ Menu Plan Monday ~ C.R.A.F.T. ~ The Southern Institute ~ Making the World Cuter ~ Thrify Décor Chick ~ Metamorphosis Monday ~ Sumo Sweet Stuff ~ Gunny Sack ~ Singing Three Little Birds ~DIY Homes Sweet Home ~ Dittle Dattle ~ 1929 Charmer ~ Everything Under the Moon ~ ModMix Monday ~ Sew Stylish ~ Coastal Charm ~ Under the Table and Dreaming

Tuesday ~ Get Your Craft ~ Tip Junkie ~ Blackberry Vine ~ Crafty Confessions ~ Me & my Boys ~ A Bowl Full of Lemons ~ Home Stories A-Z ~ My Uncommon Slice of Suberbia ~ Carolyn’s Homework ~ Sugar Bee Crafts ~ House of Grace ~ Passionately Artisitc ~ My World Made by Hand ~ Uncommon Designs ~ Trendy Treehouse

Wednesday ~ Blue Cricket Design ~ Somedays Crafts ~ Sew Much Ado ~ Sew Woodsy ~ Handy Man, Crafty Woman ~ Savvy Southern Style ~ {Primp} ~ Midweek Fiesta ~ Rae Gun Ramblings ~ Polkadots On Parade ~ Lollipop Cards ~ AQS Studio ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ Let Birdz Fly ~ My Girlish Whims

Thursday ~ Transformation Thursdays ~ Somewhat simple ~ Show off your stuff ~ House of Hepworths ~ Delightful Order ~ My Simple Home Life ~ The Frugal Girls ~ Thrifty Thursday ~ DIY Diva Thursday ~ Tablescape Thursday ~ No Minimalists Here ~ Crafty, Scrappy, Happy ~ Thrifty Decorating ~ Between U and Me ~ 36th Avenue

Friday ~ The Shabby nest ~ Show and Tell Friday ~ Finding Fabulous ~ I’m Loving it ~ Simply Sweet Home ~ Whipper Berry ~ Chic on a Shoestring decorating ~ Spunky Junky ~ Delicate Construction ~ Homemaker in Heels ~ Family Ever After~ French Country Cottage ~ Common Ground ~ Young And Crafty ~ At the Picket Fence ~ Fingerprints on the Fridge ~ Miss Mustard Seed ~ Addicted to Decorating ~Bacon Time with The Hungry Hypo ~ Making Lemonade ~ I Can’t Stop Crafting ~ Over the Big Moon ~ Shabby Art ~ Answer is Chocolate

Saturday ~ I heart nap time- Sundae Scoop ~ Tatertots and Jello ~ Be different Act Normal ~ Funky Junk ~ 2805 ~ Making Lemonade Blog ~I am Along for the Ride ~ Lolly Jane

Sundays ~ Homemaker on a Dime ~ Sunday’s

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Five Things

…in black and white

1. Baby girls who are so impressed with themselves for learning to stand up “on their own.”


2. “Just because” flowers from the sweetest man God ever placed on this earth (my husband…just to avoid any confusion. check, check…)


3. Five-year-olds who have the cutest smiles and still think that the Bible Memory Card game with Mama is cool.


4. Gorgeous platters for $2 at Goodwill that sell for $40 everywhere else.


5. Brothers who love each other, their long-johns (even though it’s 105 outside), and critters (so much so that they watched the interesting but very sloooooow March of the Penguins from start to finish and loved it!).


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Wardrobe Wednesday: A Confession

1) If you haven’t checked out this week’s Try-it Tuesday yet, please do. It represents a good portion of my life day yesterday, and I’m loving how my Reversible “Love Letters” Bunting Banner turned out. You might just want one yourself!

2) I’ve got two cheat outfits for you this week, and one of them is almost entirely Goodwill-free!  At one time, it might have been hard for me to put together 100% thrifted outfits.  Now, it’s actually kind of tricky to put together the cheat ones without its being 90% Goodwill (and yes, the thought of calling GW up and demanding an endorsement deal has already occurred to me, but thanks for the suggestion).







Okay, so obviously—from the (over)abundance of pics—I loved a) this outfit and b) how these shots turned out (the subtle grays, purples, and sage greens in the field behind me in that last pic make me feel like I belong in an Anthropologie shoot…or might if I were 10 pounds lighter, 4 inches taller, and a lot angrier-looking. Darn my inability to look like a ticked-off giraffe, I could have been rich!).

Top: Ann Taylor Loft/clothes-swap ($0), Shorts: Beall’s ($8), Shoes: Beall’s ($11), Scarf: Goodwill ($1), Jewelry: GW ($3)

TOTAL: $23





Top: GW ($3), Skirt: Forever 21 ($20), Sandals: Marshall’s ($20), Belt: Gap ($2), Earrings: Macy’s ($4)

TOTAL: $49 (I think this is the highest total for an outfit that I have ever posted. See what happens when you stray from the Goodwill code?)

Oh, and for the polish junkies…I’m wearing Ulta’s The Jungle Look.

Here’s what’s been happening over at Secondhand or Bare Bottom (I have an almost irresistible urge to say “in your neck of the woods” like Al Roker when I write this). Be sure to follow along for your daily dose of 100% thrifted goodness!



Did I peak your interest with my “confession” title? Yeah, cheap, I know.  But you kept reading, now didn’t you? So, who’s cheap now?

Okay, I’ll stop taunting people who can’t respond in real-time and fess up:

I’m not very good at looking at all of those this-is-in-style, here’s-what-hot-right-now, trend-alert type of blogs/articles (I just got my Pinterest account activated and am feeling a lot of pressure because all of these people are following me…whatever that means…and I haven’t pinned a single darn thing, by the way).

In fact, my style-sense consists of putting on what I think looks good on me/makes me feel attractive (interesting note, instead of “attractive,” I originally wrote “compassion;” exactly what is my subconscious telling me?) and going with it (that wasn’t the confession, just in case you’re feeling disappointed).

So, I’m no good at the “wear this-es,” but there is one “DON’T wear this” guilty pleasure that I have, and I’m wondering if any of you out there read it.

Kat Giantis’ Undressed on MSN…anyone, anyone? Hello? Ferris?

It’s a snarky series that she updates every couple of weeks or so in which she rounds up some of the rattiest celeb looks slinking around cyberspace and proceeds to rip them to shreds with nothing more than her keyboard and her rapier wit. 

I can’t have anything liquid near me when I’m reading her because I’m likely to either spill it or snort it up my nose, I’m laughing so hard. 

There was once a post about Kirsten Dunst that gave me laugh-induced hiccups.  No lie.  It was from several years back, and I tried to find it for you but finally gave up when I kept getting rather unsavory search results (it didn’t occur to me at first that searching for Kirsten Dunst “Undressed” probably wasn’t the smartest).

ANYhoo…It’s not much of a confession in the grand scheme of things, especially as Kat Giantis keeps things mercifully clean—even if she does quite often live up to her name—but I’m just wondering whether I’m alone here because I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone else who reads this, and I’m curious to know what you think. 

Aaaaand…that does it for me for today, folks!

See you tomorrow for 5 Things Thursday

Linking up with:

pleated poppy


Momma Go Round

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Feature Friday: Welcome to Della’s Room

Last week, I introduced you to my daughter, Adelaide (whom we call Della), and this week, it’s time to get acquainted with her room.

Because we built our house (and by “we,” I mean my hubby, my father-in-law, and I…someday I may write a post about the things we didn’t do ourselves because that post will be short and easy to write), I don’t have any truly horrendous before pictures to show you. No moldy carpet, dingy water-spotted ceilings, or dated wallpaper. I can practically hear the collective groan of disappointment echoing through cyberspace.

In fact, no matter how hard I searched, all I found in our expansive array of home-building pictures were these two measly shots (keep in mind we built well before I even thought about blogging; unforgivable, I know).

Here’s a shot of what we had to work with:



Plywood and primer and painter’s tape, oh my!

…and now the serenity of:


*Sigh* That’s better.

Oddly enough, even though she is my only girl, Della’s room is blue—a creamy aqua called Winter Frost (can’t remember the company; I need to do a paint-can hunt). That’s partly because I’m not the color pink’s biggest fan, but it’s mostly because I am a bit of a crazy-obsessed stalker fan of anything blue/green: teal, turquoise, aqua, ocean-blue…you name it, I love it. Besides, it ended up being a pretty-darn girly color.

My inspiration for the entire room was Alexander Henry’s beautiful and whimsical fabric, Starling (I found mine on Etsy under the “supplies” tab for a very reasonable $6/yd), which comes in several different color schemes. I chose Natural, which had everything I wanted: bright, but not overwhelming, colors, pops of black and white, fat little birds, and a retro feel.

After I chose my fabric, the rest fell into place as all of my decorating does: I see something that’s a bazillion percent off of the original price and think, “Hey, I bet if I spray-painted/recovered/altered that in some way, that would be perfect!”

Yeah…it’s a gift…and a curse.

Aaaaanyhoo, I’ve tried to be as thorough as possible with my sourcing, but if I miss something, and you have a question, please don’t hesitate to ask!


Della’s bedding is a hodgepodge of 1) a Simply Shabby Chic Target full-sized bedding set that I bought at Goodwill, then cut up and made into a comforter and pillows (the blue/white ruffled one in the center). The bed ruffle came from that, and I just bunched it up strategically to make it fit Della’s crib, 2) a fun bolster pillow I found at Walmart, 3) a bumper I recovered with the Starling fabric (also used to make her curtains), and 4) a piece of polka-dot fabric I used as a crib-sheet (an idea I got from the very talented Emily of Jones Design Company).

IMG_2934The flower hangers were an old Hobby Lobby purchase, and I decided to repurpose them for Della’s room with a coat of red spray paint. In fact, you really couldn’t get too near me without ending up looking like a candy cane, since practically everything in the room got sprayed either white or Banner Red (Krylon).

I found the square decorative mdf pieces at Goodwill for $0.59 each—man, I love me some Goodwill—and mounted Della’s initials (the unpainted letters came from Walmart for under $2 each) onto the front. I’m really pleased with the three-dimensional feel they lend the back wall.


I made the butterfly mobile by wrapping a foam wreath base in pretty ribbon from Walmart and then using a Martha Stewart butterfly punch (bought with a 40% off coupon from Hobby Lobby) on a stack of scrapbook sheets/magazines and hanging them from fishing line.


A fun, vintage glass shelf I got at a fabulous local “barn sale” flea market. It provides a place for the blue wooden mouse brought to her from Germany by her Softa (my mom), a mini-birdhouse I found at Hobby Lobby, two red/white polka-dot dessert plates I scored at Goodwill for a $1 (for both), a pair of “ruby slippers,” and a pair of shoes I made her from the Starling fabric.


The bassinet and Hello Kitty in the corner are gifts from my mother-in-law and work perfectly with all the other white and red in the room. I found the little-girl-praying silhouette at Hobby Lobby and added it to the to-be-sprayed-red pile. I also framed more of the butterfly cutouts in vintage gold frames (an idea I swiped from a guest post at Stefanie of Brooklyn Limestone fame’s fantastic blog). I matted mine with a sample of textured white wallpaper I already had.

IMG_2685-1I changed out the wooden knobs that came with Adelaide’s dresser for ones with more flower-power (from Marshall’s), which I also spray-painted red (yes, all while I was pregnant; don’t worry, I worked outside in the sunshine, and Della has all her fingers and toes and only a minor facial tic—JOKE!—I’m going to prove to you how perfect she is at the end of this post).

I found her bed and dresser as a matching set on craigslist, by the way.


I found this sweet sign at Marshall’s. I hope she’ll do just what it says for Jesus some day.


I bought her chandelier (which started out copper/bronze) from my best friend, Mandy, then proceeded to spray-paint every inch of it red and white (see? candy cane; stay away). It’s really a fun piece that adds just the right touch of girly glamour.


My favorite corner of her room.

I got the chair for a steal ($25!) on craigslist—it rocks and swivels and is super-comfy—and then bought the fabric from a local quilting store and the covered buttons (which match the curtains and bumper) from Etsy. A local lady recovered it for me and did a fabulous job for a shockingly low price.


I made the blue/white pillow and found the pink/black one @ Goodwill for $3. The polka-dot rug is actually a bath mat—$5—from Walmart (it coordinates with the bolster pillow—$8—in her crib), and I found the ottoman at Hobby Lobby for $8. A can of spray paint and aqua and white polka-dot fabric transformed it from a dark, manly-looking piece into the perfect little girl footstool. The red mini-chair was a random find from a roadside flea market (maybe wooden piece in the room that came red) – $4.


The trio of mirrors came in a pack for $6 from Ross. The butterfly print is from the Etsy shop of a really great Australian blogger, ishandchi. The “Adelaide” print is from the online shop of the amazing Jones Design Company.


I painted this little jewelry chest white and the knobs red, and it now houses Della’s barrettes, pacifiers, and socks. A good friend made me the small butterfly canvas (the background is the text of Psalm 139; so cool!), and the little lamp is a Goodwill find for maybe $1. I recovered the lamp shade in white fabric, trimmed it in polka-dot grosgrain ribbon, then spray-painted the base and made a cover for the ugly cord out of some fabulous red/white striped fabric I found at—uh-huh, that’s right—Goodwill.


Last, but certainly not least, this is the adorable pouf Mandy made and hung from her chandelier at my baby shower. I tied it to the the curtain rod for an extra jolt of whimsy and color.

And there you have it!

I hope you love Della’s room as much as I do. It is my sanctuary of beauty and calm, and even before she was born, both my husband and I would go and sit in her white rocker (one at a time, of course; we’re not hobbits) and pretend we were holding her.

Now, that she’s here, it tends not to be quite as pristine as before (can we say laundry and diapers?), but it’s made infinitely better by her sunshiney presence!

In fact, I’m going to go take a turn in the rocker now. With this cuteness for company:


See you tomorrow for Flicky Friday!

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