Friday, May 30, 2014

Zonked

Katie over at Bower Power has started hosting a monthly photo sharing link-up with monthly THEMES. Who doesn't love a good theme? I missed the first month's link-up but had really great intentions of participating in this month's theme of SLEEP. I had ideas, I did. But the day after Katie announced this month's theme I had a quick chance to snag a just-in-case-nothing-else-comes-to-fruition shot and I took it. And whattya know - nothing else ever came to fruition so this is gonna have to be it.

Charley naps really well for my sister during the week. Three, four hour naps sometimes. For us on the weekend we can get a solid two hours IF we 1) tire her out, 2) put Mickey Mouse on the TV, and 3) arrange the couch pillows just so in case she starts to wobble over into slumber. This Saturday afternoon we achieved the weekend nap and the light was so good in my living room that I took this just-in-case shot. She's totally zonked - TV on, shoes on, hair a mess and sleeping so good she couldn't even hear the camera shutter.

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The stats are as follows: ISO 500, f/ 2.8, 1/50, Nikon D5000 50mm lens

Can't wait to check out all of the other sleep picture party participants!

Monday, May 26, 2014

One Year Houseiversary

We've been in our new house for one year now and on one hand I think we've gotten a lot done, but on the other hand we've completely neglected a few areas. You would think we would have had time at some point during the last year. But oh well. I don't like to rush into things apparently.

So I thought I'd do a quick bulleted list type run down on each area at this point. Might be fun to update this annually and see what plans get accomplished versus what plans get scrapped. This is what I've done and what I'm planning to do at the 1 year point.

(Two things I'll apologize for: 1, the crappy quality picture. I need a wider angle lens for my camera so instead I just used my phone, and 2, that I obviously made no effort to take before/after pictures from the same angle. You'll get the general idea though.)

Outside

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Obviously a slightly different angle - the tree didn't split into two over the course of a year.
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Done:

  • Added shrubbery we scored for free on Craigslist.
  • Planted grass.
  • Installed irrigation system in the front and then the back.
  • Added a few flower beds around the house. 
  • Built the deck.
  • Added Charley's play area underneath the deck.
  • Created a garden.
  • Added a stepping stone sidewalk. (not pictured because it got done in the middle of typing up this post/taking pictures)
To do:
  • Move Charley's play area to the bottom of the yard next to the garden.
  • Build a lower deck with swings. Just trust me - I want some swings.
  • Build Charley a play house.
  • Clean up the woods/natural area by the road.
  • Build an arbor around the garage doors.
  • Make some sort of wall to hide the garbage can.
  • Add some more flower/shrubbery beds around the house.
  • Refinish our current patio table and furnish the rest of the deck.
  • On the front porch, replace the church pew with a few more rocking chairs and repaint them all.
  • Finally decide on a paint color for the front door.
  • And maybe one day, replace the whole front door/sidelights with something more attractive. 
Office

2012-04-29

Done: 
  • Painted the walls.
  • Bought a light fixture to replace the boob light.
  • Added Charley's desk.
  • Started the travel collage.
To do:
  • Find an office chair since the one from Craigslist never panned out.
  • Finish travel collage and fix a few of the items already in it (map, mat on framed picture of Paris, etc).
  • Restyle the bookshelves.
Dining Room

2013-04-29

Done: 
  • Found a table and mismatched chairs. 
  • Refinished a thrifted chandelier for the room.
  • Started a collection of pieces for the china cabinet display.
To do:
  • Decide on a wall color/paint the walls.
  • Find window treatments.
  • Build a buffet.
  • Make silverware art piece for over the buffet.
  • Make a backboard for China hutch and style the dishes inside.
  • Refinish table and all chairs.
  • Find and purchase a rug.
Kitchen

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Done: 
  • Painted.
  • Added shelving to the pantry.
  • Replaced and moved the light fixture over the table.
  • Added plate collage.
To Do:
  • New counter tops.
  • Back splash of some sort.
  • Possible cabinet refinishing.
  • Get some bar stools already.
  • Replace the builder's basic sink/faucet.
  • Decorate.
  • Maybe build an enclosure for the fridge - it sticks out a bit since it's not a counter depth fridge.
  • Wallpaper or paint the pantry walls.
  • Replace the spaceship looking light fixture with recessed lighting, and add pendant lights over bar.
Living Room

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Done:
  • Faux fireplace installed and decorated.
  • Shelving system designed, built and decorated.
  • Furniture, curtains and rugs purchased.
  • Made a floor lamp.
To Do:
  • Find an accent chair or something for the corner by the window.
Charley's Room

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Done: 
  • Painted, decorated, and hung curtains.
  • Found a big girl bed and purchased mattress.
  • Added shelving in the closet and purchased bins and baskets for organization.
  • Purchased some will-work-for-now bedding.
  • Replaced the boob light with her nursery's light fixture from the last house.
  • Added blinds.

To Do: 
  • Refinish the headboard.
  • Find bedding that coordinates a little more.
Spare Bedroom

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Done: 
  • Added shelving in the closet.
  • Got rid of, used or stored the decor that used to clutter up this room.
To Do: 
  • Paint.
  • And the rest is a mystery. Maybe a nursery one day, or if that doesn't happen then make it a more permanent play room for Charley.
Charley/Guest Bathroom

2013-04-295

Done:
  • Nada.
To Do:
  • Add shelving in the closet.
  • Paint.
  • Decorate. (won't be kid decorated because 1) I'm not really a fan of that and 2) it doubles as a guest bath.)
  • Do something with the mirror - either frame it in or replace it.
  • Replace faucet and Hollywood light fixture.
  • Replace towel bar with hooks.
  • Window treatment of some sort.
  • Replace the linoleum with tile.
Master Bedroom

2014-05-25

Done:
  • Put shelving in the closet.
  • Added blinds to windows.

To Do:
  • Paint.
  • Decorate and find/purchase curtains.
  • Find a chaise or accent chair for the corner.
  • Refinish our nightstands or get/make new ones.
  • Change out the lamps & get new lampshades.
  • Get new sheets and pillows to match the "new" duvet.
  • Attach the mantel surround to the wall and decorate it.
  • Paint the dresser and mirrors (which are still in primer) something other than white and replace the hardware.
  • Replace the french doors with pocket doors.
  • Replace the door to the bathroom with a pocket door.
Master Bathroom

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Obviously these two angles are from opposite ends of the room, but either way you can tell nothing has been done.

Done:
  • Not a darn thing.
To Do:
  • Replace the linoleum with tile.
  • And this MAY never happen, but I would really love if it did - switch the placement of the toilet and the shower. We have a shower stall and a whole room for the toilet. It really should be the other way around and I hate I never thought of that until the house was built and we were living in it.
  • Paint.
  • Decorate.
  • Update the giant builder's basic mirror by framing it in or replacing it. 
  • Maybe finally hang the full-length mirror on the wall instead of letting it lean against the wall.
  • Replace faucets and Hollywood light fixtures.
  • Replace towel bars.
  • And in the meantime in case we never switch the placement of the toilet and shower, add some chunky shelving over the toilet and decorate the tiny room.
Laundry Room

2013-04-294

Done:
  • Added cabinets, shelf and drying rack over the washer and dryer.
To Do:
  • Get one of those fancy fold-up ironing boards or figure out some other solution for where to put our ironing board.
  • Build or buy a counter top over washer and dryer.
  • Paint. Something fun in here. Stripes or something. Maybe wainscoting.
  • Replace linoleum floor with tile.
Basement

2013-04-293

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Done:
  • Added flooring in the gym.
To Do:
  • Walls, floors, lights, etc.
  • Add a bathroom to the roughed-in plumbing.
  • HVAC and all that jazz.
  • Organize our crap down there. Shelving or something would help.
  • Build a bar.
  • Figure out what to do with the rest of the space.
  • On the stairs coming out of the basement, add (removable) wallpaper to the stair risers.
  • Stain the treads and paint the handrail.
So yeah. We are basically done with this house, right? Heh. Heh. Looks a little daunting all listed out like this. Any ideas, suggestions, remarks or otherwise? Please share!

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Mr. Life of Lacey

My friend Heather recently did this with her husband and I loved it so much I stole the idea for myself. I wasn't sure if John would participate or how long it'd take him to get back to me if he even was going to do it, but I am impressed. I copy and pasted the questions into an email and 11 minutes later I received the answers. They are short and sweet answers but I'm still just impressed that he did them at all.

So anyways, this is Mr. Life of Lacey, also known as John.

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Here are the questions and answers. I'll add my own commentary to a few of them in parentheses and italics because I can't NOT add commentary. It's against my very nature.

Q: What is the name of my blog?
A: Life of Lacey

Q: What do I typically write about?
A: Whatever is on your mind

Q: How would you describe my style? 
A: Open

(No idea what this one means. Maybe he thought the style of my blog? Like I'm open to write about anything?)

Q: Where's my favorite place to shop? 
A: Pottery Barn – but it’s too expensive.

(And I agree. It's definitely my favorite place to window shop.)

Q: What do you know about Pinterest?
A: Nothing

Q: What do you and I like to do together? 
A: Movies (not mine though), yard stuff, camping, going to the beach, anything involving Charley.

(He did watch Frozen with me a couple weeks ago so I guess I do owe it to him to watch one of his movies.)

Q: Am I good at staying on a budget?
A: Sometimes

Q: What do women keep in their purse?
A: Junk

Q: What do I do in my free time? 
A: Facebook

(It seriously is NOT that much. Sheesh.)

Q: And what do you do in your free time? 
A: wash dishes, clean the house, yard work, fix stuff, whatever other project you have in mind (you call it “Tinkering”)

(Oh sureeee. I just sit around with my feet up playing on Facebook and he does all the rest. Poor, poor husband.)

Q: What is your favorite thing about me? 
A: Your Family

Q: Least favorite?
A: Facebook

(eyes are officially rolling now. John really hates Facebook if you couldn't tell.)

Q: What's my favorite accessory? 
A: Not sure…maybe purse??

Q: What's an acceptable amount to spend on a beauty item? 
A: You don’t need beauty items…Natural beauty is the best beauty

Q: What are my hobbies?
A: Facebook, picture taking/editing, craft stuff

(I'd add blogging, decorating and flower gardening to the list but yep he's got the gist of me.)

Q: What's your favorite memory of us together? 
A: Probably not suitable for whatever you’re using this for…

(Ok this one SHOCKED me and I clutched my pearls and wondered what in the world his answer to this was! So I asked him and he told me 'ham and cheese'. Ohhh ok. So his favorite memory of us was from a drunken night really early on in our relationship where I was sitting in the bathroom floor, drunk, asking for a ham and cheese sandwich while he filmed the whole thing. (On a camcorder, because there were no video phones then!) At one point the top piece of bread falls off my sandwich as I'm eating it and I toss it back to him and tell him to 'go feed the ducks'. It was actually really funny, I was just surprised this was his favorite memory of us. When I told him that his response was "I’m not very sentimental. Don't care for mushy stuff, I remember funny stuff." Fair enough.)

Q: What jewelry do I wear every day? 
A: Rings

Q: What's my favorite TV show? 
A: None currently

(True story. Amazing Race finale was Sunday and Survivor finale was last night. I'm TVless for the summer.)

Q: What's your favorite thing about being a dad? 
A: Seeing Charley Happy

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Now if you'll excuse me I've got something in my eye... sniff, sniff.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Craigslisting

It should come as no surprise that I really like Craigslist since I'm such a big fan of garage sales. Although Craigslist rarely can compete with garage sale prices you can still come away with some great deals if you have enough patience. So I thought I'd write a post about how I find my Craigslist deals since I get asked about that pretty often. (I also get asked about garage sale tips but I'll save that for another day. ) Although I've had great luck buying and selling on Craigslist, this is mainly tips about buying things.

So rule #1: Don't get killed. Ha. Okay. Honestly though, try to talk to the buyer/seller on the phone prior to going. You can always tell a killer by their voice. Obviously, joking again, but really try and be as safe as possible. Meet in a public place, take husbands (err, just one husband will do), fathers, big burly men with you, whatever. Be smart.

Rule #2: PATIENCE. Look, you are going to get a great deal WHEN you do find what you want. The trade-off for that great price is that it may take you a while to find it. If it was easy to find and cheap everybody would be doing it. Some things may take you months of perusing to find, some you may find the first time you type it in that pretty little search box. I have had instances on both ends of the luck spectrum. So if it's something you don't necessarily need right away, try and have patience if a good deal is important to you. If money's no thing and/or you are opposed to second-hand items - well maybe this whole post is pointless and gross to you.

Rule #3: Be quick! Craigslist will tell you how long a post has been posted, and they sort from newest to oldest posts. If it's something that you've really been wanting and it was just posted - snatch it up quickly! Things go fast because you likely are not the only person patiently waiting for that item to be posted.

Rule #4: Listen to the seller. If they say they only want to be called, call them. Don't text or send emails even if you are like me and loathe talking to people on the phone. It may even put you in their good graces by doing as they asked and they may sell something to you even though you weren't the first person to contact them about it. True story - it's happened to me!

And this one isn't a rule but maybe just a fun little way to get sucked even further into the Craigslist wormhole - check out the map feature.

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Sometimes when I'm really feeling the itch to find a great deal I'll go to the entire For Sale/Wanted section of Craigslist. This section contains everything for sale from car parts to tanning beds. But if you flip over from the 'list' view to 'map' view...

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...you can zoom in to your particular neighborhood and see what's available around you right now. Or you can type in what you are searching for and use the item's location to determine if the drive is worth it or not. I like this method very much!

& because what fun is a post talking about Craigslist if you can't actually see any of my successes, here are some of my favorite Craigslist purchases ever.

Just today I found something using the map method. I have been looking for a nicer chair for our office for a while but not actively looking. I was hoping I'd just come across something that I could refinish at some point or another. We have a chair in there already so not a need but a want. So when I saw this pop up for only $25, it's solid wood, AND it was something I could just pick up in my normal daily driving - sold. (well - I hope it will be sold to me. The lady hasn't actually replied to me yet and it was posted 5 days ago so she may not have it anymore. Bah!)

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But the whole reason I was on Craigslist in the first place today was because I was searching for the umpteenth time for a patio set for our deck which has been completely empty of furniture since it was built last year. Most are overpriced or rusted or falling apart wicker or something else not desirable or fixable.

Finally though my patience paid off. Saw this listing about 2 hours after it was posted for a 7 piece set for only $60. SIXTY dollars total. Crazy right?

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It of course needs a good cleaning and refinishing but it's solid wood and sturdy and totally doable. The man wasn't going to hold it for us until this evening once we were off of work because so many people had inquired about it and he knows how flaky Craigslist people can be. Luckily though John was able to take a longer lunch and go out (to the middle of nowhere) and get it immediately. I'm so, so happy with it and I haven't even seen it with my own two eyes yet!

I've shared this one before, but it is still one of my favorite finds. It's one of those Sunsetter awnings in the exact size we needed only a few miles from our house for $600, which is 75% off of what they cost new.

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Another favorite find that I also shared with you before was the glider armchair in Charley's nursery. I searched daily for that glider and snatched it up so quick once I found it.

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Other things I've found: the dresser and bookshelf currently in our master bedroom, a Beco baby carrier, the fireplace surround I used in our living room, and probably my best find of all - the giant shrubs we got for free, which all but a couple are still living and thriving.

2013-09-22

Are you a Craigslister? I know a couple of you are skeeved out by the whole website (probably due to the sections of it related to missed connections or personal ads) so maybe it's not as great in smaller towns or cities but it's pretty great here.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Carowinds

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Riding the Vortex in  1998 - Dad, Mom, my brother Colt & me.

It's always so fun to repeat things from your own childhood with your children. Carowinds is definitely one of those things for me. Carowinds is an amusement park that I live really close to. Growing up we always had a season pass and would definitely get our money's worth out of them. It's so easy to go spend a few hours at an amusement park when you live so close. When my  brother and I were pre-teens/teenagers, my parents would drop us off for the day and we'd spend all day riding roller coasters over and over and over. (Of course once I finally started riding them - I think I was at least 12 or 13 when I finally got over my fear of them and started loving them.)

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Me and my brother  riding the Hurler - 1995, and hahaaha at the poor man riding behind us!
So naturally, once Charley grew to be over 36" tall and was tall enough for enough rides to make it worth it we purchased season passes for our own family since we still live in the same area. She's actually free until she's 3 years old so even better!

We went for our inaugural visit as a family last weekend for just a couple hours to see how Charley would do. She went a couple of times last year with my sister but didn't get to do too much other than the carousel, a couple other little boring rides, and the pool. We went just a couple hours before closing and just did all we could do in those two hours. She's only tall enough for 12 rides in the entire park and even with the lines being short that evening we weren't even able to ride them all. Which is good - I'm glad she'll get to do different things next time we go!

Long story short - she loved it so much. There were a couple little melt downs - like on this boat ride where the mean ol' ride attendant said to keep your hands inside the boat and Charley didn't understand why she couldn't touch the water.

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But the rest of the evening was all smiles, even when she didn't get the horsey of her choice.

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It just makes me all mushy inside when I am starting to see some of my fond childhood memories come back to life before my eyes.

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Well, let's just say we're getting there at least. That roller coaster may have started with her arms in the air, but by the end she was definitely tucked as far as she could go into her daddy's arms.



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We've got time though, baby. We'll get you loving roller coasters in no time. 

Friday, May 9, 2014

I'm Buying A Lottery Ticket NEXT Week

It's been a week of bad luck over here. Which means a week of insanely good luck is to follow hence why I'm purchasing a lottery ticket. Next week just has to be better.

Starting over the weekend Charley got a fever. I didn't think too much of it because she was still quite happy and playing as normal, albeit a little less energetic. She needed more rest and actually took her naps and I felt pretty proud of myself for actually getting her to nap on a weekend for all of 2.8 seconds before I realized the reason she was napping was due to her fever. Oh well. Better luck next weekend!

So Monday came around and whaddya know? She's still sick and it's time for both John and I head back to work. For me, Monday was the SECOND busiest day of the month at my work so I really didn't think it was a great idea for me to stay home Monday. But I knew that an unexplained fever on it's third day deserved a doctor visit and I do like taking her to the doctor myself. (If John takes her, it's obviously fine, but you know how men are with relaying information and remembering details. I like to know ALL the details. "Did the doctor say anything about how long her hair was getting?" "Did Charley get a lollipop?" "What color?" ALL THE DETAILS.) So anyways, I decided to take Monday off and if she was still feverish Tuesday John volunteered to take that day. So don't know if work was thrilled with me, but whaddya gonna do, ya know?

So doctor thinks Charley has Hand, Foot, Mouth as she saw 1 blister in her mouth and a possible one developing on her foot. Strep was negative, ears were good. Tells me it last 7ish days and sends us on our way. Ugh. Week is not starting out so well.

Monday evening Charley's fever drops to 99 and she's back to herself. I think it must not have been HFM and tomorrow we'll be back to normal.

1:00 a.m. Tuesday morning Charley cries from her room and I go check on her. Temperature went back up to 103 and I let John know he'll be staying home with her.

Tuesday evening Charley is feeling better again, no more blisters showed up and I really think we are out of the woods now with the sickness. Charley and I are playing and I'm chasing Charley around the house before bed - around the couch specifically - and the couch sticks it's leg out in my way. My toe gets the brunt of the impact and I fall down to survey the damage.

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My toe!! It's for sure broken or dislocated or fractured or SOMEthing. Toes aren't supposed to stick out like that I'm sure of it. I get lots of differing opinions from friends, family, and Dr. Google on whether the doctor can do anything so I decide to wait a bit before rushing off to the doctor. John does go buy me some medical tape that evening so I can at least buddy tape it. But, the very next day is THE busiest day of the month at work so I am sure that played a little bit into my decision to wait. What can I say? I'm a good employee.

Thursday comes along and I am leaving for work. I pull up my Waze app to see which route to take into work today. It's usually pretty reliable as far as traffic goes so many times I absentmindedly just take it's advice on which way will get me there the quickest. Today it suggests the normally very trafficy interstate and I follow it's instructions. It predicts me arriving at my destination at 8:02 a.m. Awesome. On time(ish) for a change.

An hour and a half later...
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It was predicting an 8:57 a.m. arrival at work. Worst traffic day ever. I cut through business parks, did u-turns, whatever I could do to find a way to work with no traffic. It was hopeless. Finally got to my desk at 9:10 a.m. And had to leave on time because I had to get Charley by 5:00 (I got there at 5:05 - MORE TRAFFIC). Sorry work! 

So since I obviously needed to make up my time to work today (we don't clock in or anything - I just feel guilty about it) I schedule a doctor's appointment for 8:15 this morning for my poor toe. Sorry again, work. Gonna be late again but a valid excuse at least! I don't wanna lose a toe!

Go to the doctor (it's just my primary care doctor) and they x-ray it and show me the x-ray of the break. It's broken all the way across and has sort of set itself back where it needs to go, but not quite enough. It's still sticking out to the side some. So he then refers me to an orthopedic doctor which I'll have to go to next week sometime. (Had I known my primary doctor couldn't do much more than x-ray I would have gone there in the first place.) So yay. Says I might be in pain for MONTHS. Bahhhhhhh.

But my luck seems to be turning around already. Got to work where there were bagels for us, and then a friend happened to be working really close to my building today so I snuck away with her for a quick lunch. Give me another good garage sale day tomorrow and I won't feel like my luck is kicking me while I'm down. Careful, luck. Kick me just right and you may get a broken toe out of the deal.

Saturday, May 3, 2014

Garage Sales: Best. Day. Ever.

I know I've shared my garage sale finds with you in the past, but each of those times I ended up sharing the best things I got in an entire season of garage sales. Today though, I got enough awesome stuff in ONE DAY in ONE NEIGHBORHOOD to justify an entire post of it's own. I am still on such a good-deal-finding high which is great on one hand because when you are a garage saler like myself, you'll have good days and bad days - the good days for sure are what make you keep coming back. Therefore on the other hand, it's not such a good thing when we have awesome days like this because you are inevitably let down when the next weekend is not quite as good. But anyways, enough with the chatter - let me show you my stuff!



First, this triptych was only $5.

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The hat box was $1

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The pillows were $3 each, and the duvet & shams were $10.

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Close-up of the duvet: 

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The frames were $1 each, and each sprig of leaves was $1 also.

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Close-up of the frames:

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We all three (me, mom, sister) got some shutters. I have big plans for the yellow one, and I'm sure the brown one will find a nice home also. These were $3 & $2.

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Another rusty stool for our eventual basement bar - $10

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Set of tables - $10

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Wire basket was $5, the Pottery Barn tray was $.50 and the picture $1.

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Some holiday decor - Santa was $2 and the ceramic snowman $5

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Wood bowl - $.50, white/blue wood box - $2,  wood birchy looking box - $.50

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Nest - $.50, frame - $1, and the basket - let me tell you what the lady selling it told me. She said she watched a lady in the Bahamas gather the materials off of the beach and weave that basket right in front of her. So I expected her to tell me the price was higher than I'd want to pay because of the memory attached to it. Nope, she wanted $.50. 

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Copper pot - $1 or $2, can't remember

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Metallic vases - $1 each

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IKEA drawer dividers - $1 for all

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Really cute SMALL purse for amusement parks or other little day trips (which I've actually been looking for lately) - $2. White watch was $1 and the tiny frame also $1.

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We needed a new ironing board as our old one fit over a door and that doesn't work in this house. This one just needs a new cover so $3 was a great price for me! Those two rolls of wallpaper were free!

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Two pairs of shoes for Charley - TOMS and Merrell's - $7 for them both

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And finally, remember how badly Charley's wanted a bike lately? Found this one with the training wheels for just $3. She is THRILLED with it. 

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There were also a few books for Charley and a couple of cute toys for her too that I didn't take a picture of. I spent over $80 today which is insane for garage sales but I couldn't stop myself! Someone needs to report me to A&E or TLC or something. I don't know if I belong on My Strange Addiction or Hoarders or what.

Add that to all the stuff my mom and my sister got and it was one FULL car this morning. I am a little ashamed to show you this picture as some of you really might seek out help for us.

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But the stuff was just too good to pass up! Honest! We made sure Charley had a little hole to breathe out of. She was totally fine. ;)

One more thing: I haven't really done anything with our master bedroom and the only notion of idea I had for the room was a general color scheme of coastal blues or greens. Hadn't narrowed it down at all. But after today's finds I'm ready to start on that room. So many of the things I got I'm using in the master bedroom - and the crazy part is each thing was found at a different garage sale. I couldn't believe how everything I found came together so well. Can't wait to start playing around with it all. 

Are you a garage saler? Have I convinced anyone to give them a try yet or do you all value Saturday morning sleep too much?