Never, Ever, Buy Things New

Y’all, I mentioned a few months ago our new found journey to becoming frugal masters. We’ve always been sorta inclined toward this path and there are *definitely* those that do this much better than me. Case and point, kiddo clothes. So sometimes, I like imagine a life where I would bust my bootie into Carter’s and Old Navy and just sorta crackle with pure glee as I load up my cart with the bargains around me. $5, FIVE DOLLARS?! Why, I really should grab two! I mean, the marketing you guys, they got that down and the clothes are so. darn. CUTE. Feeling me parents of the internet world?

Well you’ve got to use your imagination a bit more when you shop second hand, because the clothes are not marketed and laid out for you so nicely, but y’all, I guarantee you that there are so many other humans out there that paid full price for kids clothes that got underused, that you’ve got a prime opportunity to swoop in there and get your hands on the goods for a steal of a deal.

I’m {personally} totally hooked though. I just got H’s entire 5T wardrobe for $61 and since a toddler jacket at the Gap runs you around $40, I consider this a win.

Kids Consignment Sales Raleigh

Disclaimer – I’ll probably add a shirt or pair of pants here and there, but overall – this kid is going to be looking j-crew posh when he hits the streets.

A few points really quick – notice I said my kids 5T wardrobe? Y’all he’s in 3T right now, but truly, the only way to successfully keep yourself from having to buy things full price down the road, is to start stashing clothes for them early and then add a few small, key pieces as they get older. Like an extra pair of pants, more jammies, or water shoes. Every one of the items above cost less than $3 and they’re all name brand, really nice stuff! (more here on how I keep each size organized)

Consignment Sales Raleigh

I mean, that sweater y’all. It makes me wish for a nice cup of coco and weather that was not 100. NC in summatime, it’s great! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Where_To_Consign_Raleigh

I’m loving this Gap windbreaker, $2. Yeaaaasss. So cute, and barely worn!

Best_Consignment_Sales_In_Raleigh

One thing you do need to be ok with is having other children’s names scribed inside the goods (especially things like jackets, I’ve noticed).

Meh – for $2, if people call my kid Jack, I’m ok with that! If he lands up with a Jack in his class we may have to cross it out to say Henry, just so the coat stays in the Sell Casa ๐Ÿ˜‰

Why_Buy_Used_Kids_Clothing

My mom is super amazing and chipped in to help buy the kiddo some shoes, too. These are all in great condition and are brands like Stride Rite and Keen (hello $50 per pair of shoes – no thanks!). More like $5 when you buy them used you guys.

Another thing I’ve personally taken a liking to – is at consignment sales only shopping the 1/2 off days. I’m sure there are better selections on full price days but there is still really, really nice/cute stuff on the 1/2 off day – so I typically wait and see what I can find! When you start early, it’s not dire that you get everything you need in 1-shot, too. Consignment stores will often have dollar days, etc, so you can find good deals no matter the locale.

Kids_Shoes_For_Sale

One of the blogs I read, Frugalwoods is all about clothes bans. Like never buy clothes and I’m all – nope. Not happening! 1) Buying clothes is fun, it’s fun to have the kiddo dressed up and dapper. I like doing it, it brings me joy (she would roll over and die hearing me saying buying stuff is fun BUT my other point is 2) Frugal living is all about the ROI y’all – IMO. I’m confident that all the clothes I buy for H will be sold for nearly what I bought them for, giving the dirt cheap prices I paid. Following me, grasshopper? Sure, some clothes will get trashed, etc, but most of them I will sell for what I paid, which is like a $1 or $2. So, I call that a win – it’s like borrowing a cute wardrobe, right? Either way – I think the path to frugal living is all about carving out what it is that you value and minimizing the rest.

Don’t let friends buy new. That’s your PSA for the day.

Here are some of my favorite Raleigh consignment sale locales, for anyone local!

 

 

Another Beut

Sorry, not sorry guys. I know y’all know I’m afflicted by the need to obsess over every little listing that hits the Raleigh real estate scene. Call it market research ๐Ÿ˜‰ I found this gorgeous home (in one of my favorite neighborhoods, to boot) and had to share.

It’s so, so cute!! Right?!

Craftsmen Bungalow in Raleigh

I love how this homeowner stayed true to their style with leopard print in the foyer. ๐Ÿ™‚

Foyer Leopard Print

The house opens right up to the dining room and a cozy little sun room.

Ghost_Chairs_Dining_Room

Those bamboo shades got me glaring at our cellular shade blinds that are energy efficient but y’all – they be ugly.

Tufted_Leather_Sofa

The focal point of the living space downstairs is the lovely seafoam (mint?) colored kitchen. Again, so original to the homeowner – I love how their style shines through!

Custom_Seafoam_Kitchen

Here’s another beauty spot of this space.

Seafoam_Kitchen_Cabinets

The other side of the house has a great Living space.

Eclectic_Living_Room

With drool worthy built-ins (makes me want to get the husband shakin on some projects kids!)

Built_In_Bookcases

And this styled corner by the fireplace. I mean – I’m starting to judge these people their house is so nice!

Living_Room_Slate_Fireplace

The bedrooms have a similar feel, but love it all the same!

Classic_Bedroom_Design Upholstered_Bed_Master

Ok, I judge these people a little more when I see they have not one but TWO infants, lol!

Nursery_Design_Boy Nursery_Design_Girl

I love how the spaces are not overly feminine or masculine, but still have little touches that personalize it for each kiddo.

Master_Suite_Marble Guest_Bath_Marble

The bathrooms carry the same cabinetry (I think) as the kitchen – but if it is the same it reads much grayer here.

Laundry_Room_Drop_Zone

The mudroom we all have pinned on pinterest.

Back_Deck_Raleigh

And a backyard that’s just missing my margarita and some BBQ.

Anyone want to buy it and move to Raleigh so I can come visit you and swoon at your casa?

Radiant Barrier in Attic

I love NC. I love that winter lasts for 2-weeks and that people freak out when there is a chance of snow. I love that the flowers start blooming in February and we can enjoy living outside and being outside a lot more often than when we lived in Michigan, because y’all – it gets COLD up there. But here is the thing, July in NC, it’s like January in Michigan. There might be like 1-nice day and the rest are a bit of a doozy. Like multiple days above 100 – yikes.

We’re always trying to find ways to cute down on our energy costs and summer heat is obviously a bear for our AC bill, so in addition to our insulation we already have in our attic, we thought it would be a good idea to add in a radiant barrier for some extra heat repealing goodness. Ever installed one of these? Ever heard of them?

This is what it looks like – a massive roll of tin foil.

Radiant Barrier Attic

And this is what your husband looks like after installing said radiant barrier. Does that smile look forced? I feel like he didn’t want to be cheesin at this moment in time. Not transmitted via photo – stank. Lots of it. DIY_Attic_Insulation

Our attic is actually pretty well suited for this install since 1) our hvac runs up there and 2) we have a pretty accessible peak where Jay can easily stand up and get to all of the nooks and crannies without bumping his head or having to stretch up too much.

Side note – all of my life I just hand things to husband and send him up the attic ladder and say – Jay – can you put this up there. Coming UP to the attic, I see that once things cool off in the temp zones that I may need to ahem – organize said things vs just landing them at the nearest locale at that precise moment in time ๐Ÿ˜‰

Adding_Radiant_Barrier_To_Attic_South

So here you can see our HVAC running through the ceiling, and before, when it was getting hot as hell up here, all of our system equipment was prone to the same temperature fluctuations as this very warm, unconditioned space. Not ideal.

Radiant_Barrier_In_Attic

The DOE recommends hiring someone out for this, since they say proper installation = success, but Jay’s been meticulous about following the guidelines they outline to ensure you have a working product. Here is the website page we read, and we found it pretty helpful for our install process.

Adding_Radiant_Barrier_To_Attic

Overall, this should reduce cooling costs by 5-10% in warm, sunny climates (which NC definitely qualifies as!), so at $160, I’d say we’re looking at about a 4 year ROI – but I still need to go through and crunch the numbers and track them over time to see where we’ll land.

Has anyone else tried this in the past? I’m hoping it’s a relatively low cost way to make our house a bit cooler over these very hot NC summers.

 

Serena and Lily Duvet

This post is sponsored by Serena and Lily.

Y’all, I’m irrationally excited about a life development that goes something like this. Serena and Lily sends the nicest, softest, chicestย duvet cover you’ve ever laid eyes on and asks you to pop it on your bed and share what you think of it. Y’all, our last duvet was, well, not nice – and it was pilling already so I think that’s a sign that it’s kind of done for, right?

Serena_And_Lily_Bedding_Review

I was so dang pumped about busting this beauty out of it’s shipping box that I snapped these photos at dawn (basically), right before I carted the kiddo off to school for the day and hit the road for work. Multi-tasking, it’s what parenting is all about! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Serena_&_Lily_Duvet

The duvet has some buttons along the bottom portion that keep the insert in there nice and snug. Plus, it adds a little pop cute factor in my book, compared to the zipper we had on our old duvet. The fabric on this duvet is incredibly soft as well – I absolutely love how it feels after a long day y’all. Like hotel luxury ๐Ÿ™‚
Serena_And_Lily_Duvet_Cover

It’s also got a beautiful satin trim along the sides that make the bedding look extremely tailored and practically custom made. Especially compared to what we had before, you can tell this bedding is significantly nicer and made of much higher quality materials.

Serena_And_Lily_White_Duvet

I’ve always been a fan of a neutral base for the bedding, and then some little accents with blankets and throw pillows. I know this will last us for a long time given it’s super high quality, and the white will go with anything we decide to do if we change things up. Duvet covers in general are a staple for me as a Mom especially since I know we can always just stain treat them and easily throw them in the wash if H comes up with gross hands, or I decide to eat ice cream in bed. Both equally plausible scenarios in the Sell Casa.

Best_White_Duvets

For now, I’m pretty stuck on our current configuration though, and love how this crisp, bright white duvet helps the little accents we already have to pop too. One thing for sure, Serena and Lily hasย luxury duvet coversย like my eyes have never seen you guys. I feel like Kim Kardashian and Queen B. In fact I think I’ll start going by Queen M as I fade into my beauty sleep – I wonder if I can get Jay on board with that?

Serena_and_Lily

Also – for all y’all that may also have a strong desire to get your hands on some decked out bedding, valid for one week only Serena and Lily is offering 15% with blogger code:ย DUVETLOVE-LEMON. Treat yo’ self!!

Round Two – Nursery Design!

Oh you guys. This pregnancy has been rough so far. I’ve been feeling so sick every day and the last few weeks have just started to feel really depressed about it – it literally starts to feel like you will never, ever, feel normal again. I know we’re getting so close to better days ahead though y’all and one thing that helps calm my nerves and make me forget about all my nausea is – designing a nursery! ๐Ÿ˜‰ Haha. It’s THAT fun ๐Ÿ˜€

Silver lining with this room is that other than paint and 4-5 fill in items, I’m going to reuse staples like the glider and the crib from H’s room. Henry is actually still *using* the crib (hey, I like having a baby jail, don’t judge me!) so we’ll uhhh, have to address that as well. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Here is what H’s never quite complete nursery looked like.

Dark Blue Baby Room

I’ll use this glider and the crib, and maybe the bookcase in the new baby’s room. Dark Blue Boys Room Y’all this is what I’m thinking for the new babes space. A botanical themed space with some paneling on charcoal walls!

Botanical Nursery Design

Different than what we’ve done in the past, but I’m just really into dark colors right now! I think with the lighter details, it helps to balance it out and ground the darker base.

Notice those new doors … I sorta told Jay I want to replace all the doors and hardware in the house (our current style looks like this)

Laundry Room Closet

I don’t know – pinterest has pretty much ruined me. Jay thinks I’m off my rocker.

If you’re extra blog savvy, you’ll also recognize that the room we’ll be using as our nursery for baby #2, is also our office. I know I totally was dreaming and scheming of turning this room into a crazy awesome library esq space (not all dreams come true guys), but I’m actually going to try and recreate that look in a little nook in our house downstairs. Stay tuned, it’s on the honey do list this month so I’m hoping to have progress to share on our new office locale sooner rather than later! (not all is lost!)

I’ve always thought this was a boy, but the past few weeks, as I’m still feeling pretty sick every day, I’m like – crap – maybe this is a girl… Not going to lie, I actually want another boy (same clothes, same everything – easy) but the more I think about it, the more I’ve come around to the idea of a potential girl.

More than anything our only hope is for a healthy baby. Cliche, but especially with these first few uncertain months for us, we’re just hoping we continue to hear good news about the prospects of this little ones health. I’ll keep y’all updated, but we’ll have an amnio in the next few weeks along with an ultrasound, which will provide more information. Please continue to send us good vibes!

Capturing my Child

Y’all – my boy is 2. He’s actually like 2 and 1/2, not that I’m counting. I’m counting actually because there’s something so, so sweet about the present life we live. It’s tiring and it’s trying and it’s completely too much (in every way possible), but it’s perfect you guys. They tell you all sorts of cliche things when you’re about to pop your first one out and it’s all true, but it’s all largely insufficient to describe the love you feel and the desire, deep in your gut, to create the best round of life possible for this additional human that springs into your life and suddenly completely redefines it.

So when I was at Target the other day I spotted this journal – and the fact that the cover – in gold letters reads “Don’t Let Them Tame You” with a leopard print on the side, completely sealed the deal. I’ve been wanting to get a journal for a quick second now because I’ve seriously got to capture this time in our life and the words that come out of this child’s mouth.

Journaling_With_Children

Because I never want to forget how we can hear him officiating basketball games from his crib as he falls asleep (foul, up high, basketball!!), or how the first thing we can hear him say as he’s mumbling to himself in bed in the early morning is basketball with a question in his tone (can we go play basketball?), or how he’ll randomly come up to us and give us a big squeeze and say I love you before he walks away, or how he imitates Mickey Mouse saying “Oh Boy!”, or how he can talk about airplanes for hours, how he laughs and loves to be in on the jokes, and how he wants so badly to be able to do everything the grown ups do.

Because I can’t believe that this boy…

Baby_Seat

Let alone THIS boy.

North Carolina Baby Photography

Has overnight turned into this boy…

Thrifty_Living_Blog

Never let them tame you, my sweet, smart boy! You’re perfect just the way you are.

What do y’all do to keep the memories for your kiddos? I’m new to this whole parenthood thing … would love ideas on capturing the essence of their little whipper snapper of a toddler soul!

 

Tiny Dark Bathrooms

I’ve always had a thing for tiny rooms that are super dark. It’s hard to take a chance on a dark color in a larger space, but for our little downstairs bathroom, I’ve found the color is something I really love.

Dark_Bathroom_Small_Design
It’s actually the same color we used up in H’s room – so that worked out really well for saving some simoleons ๐Ÿ˜€

Dark Blue Baby Room

Another thing I love about this color is that it grabs from some of the rug colors out in the hallway, so it compliments the look of the other rooms downstairs while still maintaining an independent vibe.

Dark_Navy_Bathroom

It’s actually nominally difficult to get any good shots of this room being that it’s small and dark and awkward to shoot at all angles, butย I figured if I was showing the house as it stands one year in, this was a room to include as well ๐Ÿ˜‰

In complete honesty, I have no recollection of what this room was even painted before (maybe red?) but it was not my fav and so we just decided to take a jump and use the extra paint from Henry’s room to tie this space together more, too.

I see us switching this out over time in here (for some fun variety), but I got this oversized painting on craigslist for $20. Maybe you’ll see me on antiques roadshow someday?? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Oversized_Artwork_In_Bathroom

We also swapped out the light in here for something more updated and put in a new towel rack and toilet paper roll holder, they were both gold before.ย  Dark_Navy_Small_Bathroom

As in all our houses, I had to find a space for the Desiderata print and my friend Emily told me bathrooms are always best, and she’s a wise girl, so I trust what she says. Plus, we had a perfect nook for it right next to the loo, so there ya go. All of the bathrooms in our house have this bump out (bump in) and I’m seriously scratching my head on the builders initial intentions for these. Toilet paper? I don’t know.

Small_Dark_Bathroom

If I ever start to feel a bit crazy (and like spending $$) I’d love to wallpaper a bathroom someday. ๐Ÿ˜‰ For now, the paint is an upgrade from the original – good enough! ๐Ÿ˜€

Lemon Grove Interiors

Lemon Grove Interiors

Hey y’all! I get a few emails each week asking if I’m still doing design services so I thought I’dย get back in the game and offer up (5) slots per month where I can work with a design client. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you’re interested in using my design services, read on for details on how the process works!

For each client, I create:

– A custom design board (inspiration board)
– Specific product recommendations for furniture, art, decor, fabric, accessories, and drapes.
– Product source list (shopping list)
– A true to scale floor plan illustration (an accurate birds eye view of your new space)
– Paint color recommendations
– Tips for incorporating current pieces
– Specific furniture placement suggestions (as seen in your true to scale floor plan)

So a board like this:

Lemon Grove Interiors

And layout, like this!

Lemon Grove Interiors

All packages are $75 per room and include direct links to all products sourced.

Here is an example of someone I helped design a space for. This was the before:

Before Dining Room

And the after!

After Dining Room

I also will do a single source question, like asking for (1) light option for a room for $10 each. I had a client recently move into a new house, and I was able to help source light fixtures for each space to provide a cohesive and put together final look.

Lemon Grove Interiors

I’d love to work with you! Packages can be ordered directly here. Feel free to send me an email if you have any questions ๐Ÿ™‚

10% off to all new clients with code LEMONGROVE ๐Ÿ™‚

  • 2+ rooms (10% discount off all)
  • 3+ rooms (20% discount off all)
  • 4 or more rooms (30% discount off all)

Lemon Grove Interiors

e97c142cebfd842ea7460f8b26b439c57142ecfc07633d742e

Office Inspiration

Learning your husband is actually semi-equipped to build things (like this or this) is a double edge sword. All of a sudden, I’m looking at every nook and cranny in our house and wondering how/if he could build me up some custom bookshelves or a new window seat or another table. The answer is (mostly) yes, I’m finding, especially if I have enough patience to let him finish the project in peace without me nagging him and bugging him to the point he wants to just – well – not build things anymore. ๐Ÿ˜‰ What can I say, I’m just so excited for the final product ๐Ÿ˜€

Lemon_Grove_Interiors

So in our office, which currently looks like this, is a room I’ve been tossing around in my head for a dramatic redo/reno.

Benjamin_Moore_Moonlight

One day when I was at my mom and dad’s I was leafing through their newspaper and it had a write up on a local carpenter and one of his projects really caught my eye. It was a dark navy bookcase (pair of bookcases) flanking a window. And I started to drift off while looking at the picture – thinking of this window and this corner of our house.

Office_Moonlight_Benjamin_Moore

And I thought to myself – hey! We should build a bookcase with a desk in the middle. Jay built a table for our outside, and I was thinking a similar rusticy type of worn wood would look pretty sweet flanked by some dark and dreamy bookcases. Y’all picking up what I’m putting down? Now bookcases (and the wood required to build them) are not the cheapest DIY, so I think we’re in a holding pattern of saving up some dough for this project, but I’m thinking I’d love a final product that had a look and feel like some of the photos below.

Dark_Blue_Built_In_Bookcase

{source}

And I love the concept of this (with the built-in desk) but I think I want to go dark on these cabinets, vs white.

Built in Desk

{source}

And I love this one, but I think slightly darker cabinets? But that rug. I mean serrriiiously – that rug?! The other night, as I was lying awake in bed specing out this bookcase install in my head I told Jay that I thought we should put wood floors in this room and he only kinda mumbled no, so I think I can sway him on this very important detail.

Gray_Cabinets_Office

{source}

Our carpet is actually pretty worn out upstairs, with a lot of spots bubbling up from getting stretched out, so we’re kinda at the point where we need to decide to put new carpet down orrrr put in wood floors, and I’m sorta leaning toward the latter. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Carpet_Wearing_Out

It will mean refinishing our floors upstairs (like we did on this house), but I might just be ok with that! Here is a shot of our hallway when we moved in – prior to paint but still the same floor. Leaves a bit to be desired (too shiny and too orange for my taste!)

Hardwood on stair landing

I figure a few years down the road when H is getting toward double digits and wants his own space, then we could always pop a bed in between the two bookcases vs. a desk. Although, in complete honesty, I may wait until he getting on toward high school before I give up the office because I seriously don’t know what we’d do without this dedicated space for a computer – I love it.

Down the road if we ever convert the space to a bedroom. I’d pop something in that functioned/looked like this gorg photo below. I think the black is a bit too dark, but I do love it in this photo!

black walls in library

Our Office, Currently

Our office you guys – it’s just wanting for some love. I work from home one day a week and I find during those hours of sitting and staring at my (current) completely blank wall above me that this room just needs something y’all. I mean this is the current view, haha. We have not done much in here …

Benjamin_Moore_Moonlight

Leaves a bit to be desired… This room has become sort of an unprogrammed space and I’m just dying to give it some personality and definition. I’ve got some big plans in store for it (that I’ll share next week), but this week I thought I’d post some before shots. Well – truthfully – this is the before shot.

Upstairs Office Space

Which was the photo in the listing before we bought it. Green paint (like the rest of the upstairs) and the same carpet. We painted it Benjamin Moore Moonshine (when we had extra paint from this room), and it’s a definite update and makes the space much brighter and more cheery.

I think it still needs some serious work though as the space is largely just our desk and some random toys for H (like his teepee and dress up clothes) and I think the biggest issue we have in here is that it’s just a drop zone, vs. an intentional space.

This wall in particular, is one I’d like to see a lot of changes for. Maybe a built-in along the back wall (on either side of the windows) for extra storage.

Office_Moonlight_Benjamin_Moore

I tried adding in some artwork, but alas, I have still not put anything in the frames (just found some frames that had the right proportions, so I bought them). Maybe I’m the problem in this equation – I just can’t commit to a look I love in this space, so it’s been an under utilized room since we’ve moved in.

Functional Children's Storage

We do store Henry’s rotating out clothes (I keep a bin in here that I fill as he ages out of clothing), so this room is functional in a sense, but y’all, I think it’s just having little ones but the clutter and just extra “stuff” around the house all the time gives me a slight tick. Must. Put. Away. I just want bookcases and storage and locations I can store everything in a pretty way (vs. tupperware containers functioning as coffee tables…)

Storage_Childrens_Clothes