Thursday, October 25, 2012

ugly duckling

So this might be the ugliest piece of furniture I have ever bought. There is a chair I recovered that runs a close second to this armoire. But this definitely takes the title. It was so unattractive that is was hidden between 2 rows of armoires at Shelton's. So ugly I scored it for $50. 

But I saw this ugly duckling and knew she had great potential.

I love the bones of this piece. It has some great detail but some unfortunate wood patterns. Here is what a couple coats of paint can do for a sad little piece of furniture.

Extreme Makeover! I chose the color Stilettos from the Alan and Roth for Vaspar paint colors at Lowes. I love the deep green with hints of blue. It adds the perfect pop of color to my room. I only needed a quart to cover everything. The paint and primer combo made this so quick and easy!

To prep- I thoroughly cleaned, sanded, and repaired several holes with wood filler. Then to paint, I reused my small roller from the china cabinet project and a small brush to get in all the little nooks and crannies. I even found several magazines, notebooks, and cat pictures (no joke!) from the 70's underneath the bottom drawer so this unit has some character.

Here's a peek inside.

I searched online for some new hardware. I found the 3 inch ring pulls from Look in the Attic. These were pricey, but I searched and wanted something big and substantial for the doors. The the bottom crystal knobs I found at Lee Valley for a reasonable price.

Isn't she lovely?!

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

anthro aroma

So I live 5 minutes from one of my favorite stores. A store that sells mostly things I can't afford. Anthropologie. So beautiful, so creative, and so crazy expensive! 

I have become a pro at shopping their sale room (I'll share my strategy later). But the other day I found a $15 jewel hidden amongst their full price goodies. 

This sweet mini bottle of Tocca Florence perfume. I've spritzed myself with this scent on my numerous visits to Anthro, but never taken the plunge to buy the $45 bottle.

Isn't it so little & cute?! I've gotten other $15 samples, and this one is a good value for the size.

The packaging is so elegant and even includes a sweet little message
 (of encouragement not narcissism, ha! ).

**Also, for those of you that share the love for Anthropologie, this week they are having an additional 25% off their sale clothing. I haven't been by to see if there are any good finds!**

50% off @ Loft

Too bad I am trapped in the mountains for a work conference. From 12-7 today, Loft has a promotion for half off everything in the store. You all go enjoy it for me!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Milo Greene

I love good live music.

My birthday gift to my like-minded music friend Danielle was tickets to see Milo Greene this past Friday. She had been raving about them for months, and I'll be honest- I had barely sat down to listen to their album.

So I went with blind trust in our like-mindedness that this would be a show I would love. And she was right!

You should listen to Milo Greene here & buy their album!

Monday, October 22, 2012

stylish storage

This summer one of my goals was to find more storage for our kitchen. We have a small amount of cabinet space in a house of three girls with a love for cooking. I died over all of the painted china cabinet tutorials Pinterest, so I sought out to find a reasonably priced unit to update.

I looked on Craigslist for awhile, but nothing was cheap enough to justify painting it! And the dread of figuring out how to transport a glass cabinet made me decide to look elsewhere.

Shelton's Furniture in Raleigh is a great place to find furniture that is in need of some love & care. They also have a lot of furniture in excellent shape if you want to keep the wood look and not paint. You can bargain with them on a lot of their pieces.

I bought a mirror, headboard, and armoire for my bedroom the same day I found this china cabinet and got a great deal on everything. I think the China cabinet ended up being $150 when it was originally over $300, but I was bargaining for 4 pieces to get such a good rate. They even sweetened the deal by delivering everything to my house in Durham for a small fee- totally worth it! If you live near by, you should definitely check out Shelton's.

Here is the cabinet I chose. I loved all the curves. They delivered it the next morning, and I went on the search for paint!

I removed the hardware, cleaned, and sanded to prep everything. Then painted coat of Kilz Primer. In hindsight, I wish I had just purchased the paint/primer combo to save time, but this worked just fine.

Little Green Notebook is one of my favorite bloggers. Jenny suggested Benjamin Moore's White Dove one time for a creamy white with gray undertones, and I took her advice!

I used a small roller to ensure the paint went on smooth. Then used a 1 1/2 brush for the edges. I didn't really tape off anything because a little known secret is that Windex will wipe dried paint right of the glass!

I have a lot of white, teal, and clear dishes so I knew I wanted to paint the back wall to add a pop of color. I decided on yellow because, well, I'm obsessed with the color yellow. But I thought with the beige walls and muted dishes it would help brighten everything up a bit.

Here is the finished product! I love the way everything turned out. And in the future I can always paint the back wall to change the look if needed. Well worth the small price and time!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

DIY dotted jeans

I love these jeans. Here they are again. And again. But they are way too EXPENSIVE for my tiny budget.

So, I searched for a less expensive pair for awhile and either I didn't like the pattern or I didn't like the fit. Old Navy has a pair with smaller dots and Loft has a colored pair, but they weren't quite what I was looking for. Target had similar pair of grey jeans, but I never tried them on and they were gone before I knew it! All these options weren't quite like my original love. 

I saw a DIY on pinterest a while back and decided to try to make some from a pair of old Loft jeggings shoved in the bottom of my closet. The original technique uses an eraser of a pencil as a stamp, but I thought the outcome looked messy. So I came up with a stencil idea.

For this project, you will need an old pair of jeggings and some fabric paint. 

I used this $2 bottle of Tulip white matte from Michael's. 

$2 instead of $200 is so worth the time this DIY takes!

First, put in a movie, sit down to watch a night of football, Parenthood (tears), Thursday night shows, whatever you need to keep you entertained.

Next, grab a piece of card stock paper and draw a grid of dots spaced 1 1/2 inches apart. 

I drew them in straight lines to keep it simple, but you will want the dots to be in a diamond pattern when you paint your jeans.

If I had an individual hole punch I would have punched out the entire page as a stencil, but I only had a 3 hole punch so I used a separate little square which you will see later.

I ended up punching small holes in the paper so I could mark the grid out on my jeans to fill in later.

When you stencil, turn the page diagonally to have the dots in a diamond pattern verses straight lines. This is very important!

Once the page is in place, carefully mark through the grid to show where to place each dot.
You might have to brighten up a spot or two if it doesn't transfer every once in a while.

Next use your hole punch stencil to paint your dots!

Squeeze a little paint in the stencil and blot until it covers the dot. You just need a little paint to keep it from smearing. 
(Also, I held the stencil tightly. I just couldn't for the picture.) 
It might be easier to use a sponge brush, but I didn't have one at the house. 

I did 2 coats on each dot to give the pattern an even look. One coat made each dot vary in color. The paint dries fairly quickly, so after I stenciled the whole page I went pack and painted the second coat.

If you mess up and smudge a dot (or several at a time like me), immediately take a wet cloth and wipe the area clean while the paint is still wet.

See how even the color looks? Trust me, the second coat is worth it.

This project took some time. I worked on them when I had a night at home. In total it took me about 3 nights. 

So after a week of off and on tedious painting, I tried them on and fell in love!


$2 & some time, but they are exactly what I envisioned! 
A DIY version of some pricey Paige jeans!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

the perfect pillow

This summer I redecorated my room. I did a lot of DIY projects from Pinterest. A LOT! And I love how every little detail came together.

I'll share some of the tutorials on here. I didn't take pictures of the process for any of them, but I will share the link to the blogs that were helpful!

Here is a quick, easy DIY for a flower pillow. All you have to do is cut and glue. Seriously, this was the easiest project I did this summer.

Visit addsomepaint for her tutorial.

I had some left over linen fabric from upholstering my headboard to sew a quick pillow. Then found the perfect mustard fleece fabric for the petals. I think I just got a 1/4 a yard, but I can't remember. I have lots of left over fabric though! You could use felt or fleece for the petals.

I cut the circles while watching a movie one night, and then glued it all together. So easy! The only challenge was not cursing when I would hot glue my finger. 

I'm thinking of making a red flower pillow for our Christmas decorations this year. Join me! If you live near by, my dream is to have a Christmas Craft Night next month.

Saturday, October 13, 2012


The other day I ran into Target to pick up some shampoo and of course stepped into the clothing section, but this time I went with a plan.

The #1 reason why I stopped grocery shopping at Target is because I can't resist the rest of the store.  I have to say Target is so smart to put in a pharmacy because it's an automatic "hey Sarah, why don't you look around for 20+ minutes while you wait." It is a trap...a trap I can't resist! I always find myself returning items I shouldn't have purchased time and time again. So now I limit the amount of trips that take me to le target. A weekly grocery trip can do some damage!

However, this week I saw this dress online and loved the style. So I knew what I was looking for as I ventured into the clothing section. I love the leopard spots. It reminds me of this one that I cannot afford!

To my excitement, it was in stock and it fit perfectly. Love the fit! The fabric is soft and can translate from a casual look to dressy depending on how you style it. I envision green tights, my brown boots, and a fun belt for styling or a fun blazer and booties for a dinner out.

The price is decent. $28 for a dress that can stay awhile in my closet. So much better than the $188 tag on the JCrew version.

So if you are in the market for a spotted dress, venture to Target (with focus and self control) and try this one on!

Friday, October 12, 2012


Simple truth. I love jewerly. Therefore, I have a lot of it. Over the years I have collected unique pieces from cities and countries I have visited. It is sort of my small way of remembering where I been. 

For a while I stored everything in boxes and compartmentalized drawers, but I found myself just wearing the same pieces over and over again because I would forget what was tucked away. 

I decided to display everything in order to see all my options while I was getting ready for the day. My closet had a blank wall which made for the perfect location. 

I know. A little ridiculous, but pretty! I couldn't just make it functional. I wanted it to be a stylish little corner that encouraged creativity and not an eyesore of clutter.

First, I found a $15 dresser on Craiglist and sprayed painted it to add hidden storage and a surface to keep things I couldn't hang up. Eventually, I want to change out the knobs and redo the surface, but it was a quick fix for the time being.

A while back, I found different sized silver trays at thrift shops. They were elsewhere in the house, so I repurposed them to hold stud earrings and bangles. These two trays were $2 and $5 I think. Not bad!

Next, I made an earring holder out of a screen and molding from Home Depot. 
I could do a step by step process of how to make this, but it was a lot of me improvising as I went along (which wasn't very pretty). I love the peach color turned out. 

The last addition were these hanging racks from Target. I think there were just above $20 combined and I love the wood detail. When I stored my necklaces in drawers, they would end up tangled and bent. These racks keep everything in good shape.

A quick update goes a long way! In reality, all of this was over a series of months. I love how everything came together.

a glimpse

Earlier this summer our lawnmower broke. Which put my roommates and I in a bind and caused us to not care for the yard for a month and a half. Yikes! The embarrassment of our "jungle" resulted in us running into the house before neighbors could make eye contact. If you visit our house, the inside is sweetly decorated and kept clean most of the time. And on a personal level, my roommates and I are kind, loving, and life-giving to others.

But if you saw our yard, we looked negligent. The outside of our house was just as important as the inside including the people in it, but it was in poor shape.

Just the same if our yard was deemed Yard of the Month (yes they do that in our neighborhood, and no we have not won), yet looked disheveled behind closed doors, that's not a healthy way to live either. Nor is it healthy to always be concerned with what my neighbors or others think of me. But there is health in taking care of what I have been given.

I think in someways that directly relates to the whole inner beauty/outer beauty thing. In my opinion the inner and outer should connect. They should reflect. They should say the same thing when it comes to who I am.

When I was younger, I thought the way someone dressed showed what they valued most (which could be true at times). Meaning: minimal effort=quality heart and well groomed=shallow and vain. How wrong was that?!

Long ago, I graduated college with a MAT degree. MAT meaning Merchandising, Apparel, and Textiles. In simpler terms, a fashion degree. When I graduated I did what any normal fashionista would do...I went into full-time ministry. Drastically different.

If you know me well, you know still I love clothes. The way I creatively express myself the most is through the way I dress. Of course there is much more depth to who I am, but to me it's a fun, small way to take risks in life. To enjoy and try new things. To challenge myself to be creative. To show a little glimpse of who I am.

I love helping friends figure out how to pair things and take risks. The use of a belt, scarf, or statement necklace can add excitement and confidence to a woman's life. A sassy dress can bring out the qualities I love the most in a good friend.

Part of this blog will be introducing you to my closet and all that it contains. My hope is to share a little more of who I am. Welcome to my wardrobe and a little glimpse of me!

Monday, October 8, 2012


Do you ever feel stuck in life? Not that there is anything distinctly wrong, just feelings of boredom. I've worked for the same organization since college. I've moved, moved, and moved again, and I'm blessed to have found some stability in an eclectic little city. I'm starting into my 4th year in the same house, same job, same city, same stage in life, but my heart longs for adventure... for something new. Yet I don't feel the pull to move, just the pull to seek out adventure where I am now.

So this blog is a little outlet to inspire adventure & creativity in my everyday life. I am praying that from it's humble beginnings, I would see the adventure that is near, that is for right now, that is just for me.