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Friday, May 31, 2013

My First Yard Sale Experience

Yard sales. Love going to them. I love seeing other people's trash-slash-potential treasures, and finding some good deals. I have lots of good memories from helping with yard sales and also going to them with my grandma. We sold our old toys and clothes every summer and my sister and I would work at the cash table. My grandma was always the lady who circled all of the good sales in the paper and went out at 7:00 am Friday morning to hit all the sales in town. Believe me, I would do that if I could. In fact, I just might when I retire :) Anyway, since it's yard sale season now, I thought I would finally share my first experience having one! Last year, I hosted the first yard sale at our house. This is the only photo I have of the experience, unfortunately:

It was the end of September when I finally got around to having it, so it was a little chilly but still nice out, which was good. I had it on one day (Saturday) only, although I would have liked to have it Friday as well, but due to my regular 9 to 5, that was kind of impossible.

I also would have liked to have Trent helping me, but he had to work that day, so I enlisted my sister Haley, who also put some items in the yard sale as well. (Tip #1 I have for you: Multi-family sales are always good to provide a little more variety, more stuff to sell, and will probably draw more people in!)

Like most people, I chose to have a yard sale because I had tons of stuff sitting around and taking up space! I also had a lot name brand clothing I wore in high school and college that were still in really good condition, so I figured, why not try and make money from first them instead of just giving them away?

It's hard to believe so much work goes into having a yard sale, but it really does. I think I was preparing for maybe a month! Preparation included the following steps:

1) Gathering up everything I wanted to sell
2) Marking prices on everything with tape and a marker
3) Placing an ad in the local paper
4) Snapping a few photos of some items, then posting them in a Craigslist ad
5) Making a sign advertising the sale and posting it at the post office
6) Making signs for the street and putting them out the night before yard sale day (Pictured above are the signs that I made and put out on the street corners - Tip #2: Make them bright and bold so you can see them from a distance!)
7) Setting up tables outside (the day before)
8) Setting out all of the items (the day/ night before)
9) Getting everything ready for the cash table - spare cash and change, a calculator, notebook and pen, chairs, and Tip #3: I put out free donuts and hot chocolate for anyone who wanted them. I don't know if that's really a tip, but I just thought it would be fun, and you can always snack on them, too. :)

See all those steps?? Talk about a lot of work. I told Trent I think I was doing nothing but yard sale prep after I got home from work the entire week of the sale. You couldn't even talk to me - I was too busy going through clothes, marking, taking photos, making signs, etc! Haha.

In the end, I made about $80 after one day of selling. I considered that pretty good, since a lot of my clothes sold that were priced at .10-.50 each, so I didn't have a whole lot left over in comparison. We live in a small town so the traffic wasn't constant throughout the day - It was really busy in the first couple of hours, then really spaced out after that. My last tip - Price things low if you want to get rid of them! And if it's later in the day and people keep passing them up, price them down lower. That $80 was extra spending cash for me, so I was happy. I ended up taking most of my things that didn't sell to Goodwill afterward.

Overall, I don't know if all of the hard work that you put into having a yard sale is completely worth it, unless you live in a more populated area (unlike I do). It's just hard to get the traffic and people that like to spend money around here in Small town USA. Moral of the story is, I think it will be a while before I have another one. Maybe next year, but I think I'll pass this summer!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Shades of Gray

I keep thinking about the hallway. I want it done. And I can't wait to paint it. I'm tired of staring at drywall and mud! I've been looking at paint colors. I want to paint the hallway a pretty gray color. We have a really light gray that we originally got for the bathroom, but it's very light and there's not a lot of contrast with the white trim. I think we're going to try it out on one wall, and if we think it's too light then get a gray color that's a shade or so darker. Grays and beiges can be hard sometimes, because they pick up different tints in different lighting - some have more of a bluer tint, some have a green tint, etc. 

I feel like I want the hallway to look really bright and maybe have a cooler tone? Here are some grays that I really like at the moment:

1. Benjamin Moore Stonington Gray:
(from here and here)

2. Benjamin Moore Revere Pewter:
(from here and here)

3. Valspar Urban Sunrise:
(both from here)

I'm leaning toward either #1 or #3 - I like the second color, but I think it might be a bit too warm and dark for our tiny hallway space. We'll see if the color we already have works or not first I guess (I can't even remember the name of it).

Now can we just finish the dang hallway already so I can paint?? :)

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Haley!

Happy Birthday to my sister Haley today. How are you 23 years old? Seems like just yesterday we were playing Barbies in the basement...
...I was teaching you how to spell big words like Mississippi and hippopotamus...
...and we were making up our own dances to Jessica Simpson songs... Where has the time gone??

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nail Polish Storage

A few weeks ago, I went on a little spring cleaning purge and got rid of a bunch of stuff I didn't use or need anymore. My drawers in the bathroom were full of a bunch of old make-up and nail polish, and I ended up throwing out all the old stuff to make more room for the new.

In the process, I ended up with a handful of nail polishes that I actually use, and just kept them scattered in my top drawer without a real efficient storage solution for them. My solution to this? I went to Hobby Lobby this weekend and they had glass apothecary jars and vases on sale. So, behold:

I have seen this done before and decided this would be the best solution (and easiest) to find and grab the one I need. I didn't need a huge one, so I just decided on this little guy, and it's pretty much the perfect fit. It was on sale for $10 at Hobby Lobby (50% off). I also saw cheaper versions of these at Marshall's, but the glass didn't look at durable - this seemed a little thicker.

I had seen this idea on Pinterest before, too:

I think it will work pretty well, plus it looks pretty, so not bad right?

As you can see, I had it on my nightstand. I have since moved it to the top of my dresser for practicality reasons, which is in our bedroom closet. It's more out of the way and not on view anymore, but maybe someday we'll finally redo our closet, and it will look gorgeous in there!

You can also see I've been making use of my hand-painted antique dish I picked up in a little shop in Ohio. It holds my jewelry that I toss in there before I go to bed, or when I get home.

Usually, my ring from Trent goes in here when I get home from work, and all my long dangly earrings and such when I get home from a night out - then when I get time, I move them back to their appropriate place - either in my jewelry box, or hanging on my earring holder in my closet.

I don't know about you, but I love these little touches and homemade storage solutions. I think maybe because they're practical, organized and girly, just like me. :) And I always like for everything to have a place of its own. Just makes life a little easier.

Update: Linked up to House of HepworthsThe Pin JunkieTatertots & Jello, Natasha in Oz, and Suburbs Mama!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Memorial Day Weekend

Happy Memorial Day! This weekend is usually supposed to be full of cookouts, bonfires, camping, family, friends, and spending time in the sunshine. Well, we've been able to spend time with family and friends, but it's been anything but sunny around here. We had to actually turn the heat on yesterday, and it's been raining almost nonstop all weekend. Yesterday we had flash flooding, and the roof was leaking again! Not cool!

On the plus side, I've been feeling better (finally getting over that cold), and we did get to go to a River Bandits baseball game Friday night with our friends Sean and Nicole, which was fun!
 It was a gorgeous night!

 The one day this weekend that it hasn't rained. And it was a little chilly, but not too bad.

There were fireworks after the game. First fireworks of the year for us.

And we went out to eat Saturday night with my family to celebrate three birthdays all within a week or two of each other. My dad's, Haley's, and her boyfriend Dan's.

It was a good time. Yummy food, and who can pass up free gelato??

After that we shopped a little then hung out with some of Trent's family at a local small-town bar....where a very Country band was playing and dedicated a slow song to Trent and I (Not awkward at all...) We've been taking it easy the rest of the weekend. Rented a movie yesterday (Guilt Trip) and made a little trip to Galesburg. We're staying in today... And expecting more rain. How has everyone else's holiday been?

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Think Happy Thoughts

My office just became a happier place. I found this awesome print on Pinterest:
I love it. It's by Stephanie Ryan - Here's her website. She has lots of colorful, happy floral prints! So last night, I picked up a white $5 frame at Marshall's, then printed the art off on my printer today in a 5X7 size...

Then just cut it out and stuck it in the frame!
And now it's sitting happily on my bookshelf.

Isn't it pretty?

Oh, but I have more to show you....

 I also got this guy last night at Marshall's.
I LOVE him. He's a pig with wings. A glossy white pig. Another animal to add to my collection :)

And the basket in the background I also picked up at Marshall's - 10 bucks! I had to get it since I've been obsessed with dipped baskets for the past couple of months or so. No big deal.
I think it's going to live in my office or the guest bedroom if we ever get it done. I figure I can always store things in here. Whether it's extra notebooks, canvases, whatever...or all the extra blankets we have in the spare bedroom.

But anyway, I love the new accessories I picked up for my office. And the happy art to go with them!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Birthday, Seeds, and Clean Up Day

This post might be a little random. I've had a cold as you know, and this is the first afternoon that I've felt a little better! As in, I can somewhat breathe through my nose now. (Yay for breathing!) But anyway, first things first - Happy birthday to my dad today! If you haven't seen my facebook post yet, well, here it is:

And it is very true :)

I also have a couple of other little things to share. We finally picked up some more seeds for the vegetable garden last night. After planting our veggie plants (along with some carrot and watermelon seeds), we still had the other half of the garden to fill up. 

We ended up getting some cabbage (Trent likes cabbage, I don't really), broccoli, lettuce, and sweet corn. We haven't planted them yet, since Trent's been busy mowing and trimming yards around town. But hopefully we'll get them planted within the next couple of days and have a good harvest this year!

Also - Tomorrow is our Village Clean Up Day, which I am kind of excited about. Basically, the whole town throws out a bunch of junk they don't want anymore - old furniture, broken toys, whatever, and sets it out on the curb for the garbage trucks to pick up the next day.

So tonight after Trent gets home, we're throwing out some junk! An awesome way to get rid of things. You throw it out, they take care of it. It's funny because some people drive around with their trucks and trailers the night before and pick up people's junk to take home as their own. Hey, it's free. One person's trash is another person's treasure, right? Haha.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013


I have a cold and am not feeling the greatest today. This weekend was fun though - Trent's family came down and we celebrated his nephew Luke's graduation! Good times! I went to work today but am looking forward to going to bed. As a sidenote, I just have to say...I love this soup:

It's my new favorite! It tastes really natural and yummy. And it's what I had for dinner tonight. It might be a little more expensive because it's organic, but it's definitely worth it! 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Strawberry Patch

Yesterday we spent a large part of the afternoon replanting our strawberry patch. I must say...I'm pretty proud of the result. :) Yep, I love our cute little strawberry patch.

See, before we cleaned it up and replanted it, we had strawberry plants growing amid tons of weeds. Trent's dad used to keep it up, but then the weeds kinda took control, and it hasn't been taken care of in a while. Birds and other small critters get to the fruit, so we've never had a strawberry crop of any kind. Yesterday, we decided to revive this little strawberry patch. 

Here it was Before....
Can you tell there are strawberry plants within these weeds? Ha. We cleaned it up a little, then dug out all of the plants we could find. We counted around 20 strawberry plants! Then Trent tilled the rest of it all up with the mower and tiller and sprayed the perimeter with insect killer.
Then we put wire fencing around the area. There were already railroad ties surrounding it on 3 sides - we just had to take one out temporarily for the mower to get through.

By the way -  we also have rhubarb and a blackberry bush growing right next to the strawberry patch. All in addition to our vegetable garden we have about halfway planted. I hope we have lots of yummy crops this year. :)

The next step was my favorite - replanting the strawberry plants! By this time, I wasn't feeling too well (I've felt like I'm coming down with another cold lately. Boo!), so I watched Trent plant them.

He left a little room for walking space inside the patch. It's fenced in on all sides to help keep creatures out, but we also need to get some netting to put over the plants to keep the birds from eating the fruit.

The last step was bringing the hose and sprinkler out to water them!
I love how our little strawberry patch turned out. It definitely came a long way in the few hours we worked on it. 

Here's the Before and After again:
I told Trent I need to make a sign that says "Welcome to our Strawberry Patch"....or something like that. I think it would finish it off perfectly. Maybe I will...Stay tuned! Haha.

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