Sconces Up in Here

Y’all – remember when I showed you the progress on our Dining Room, errrr, a while ago? And I made note of the electrical boxes affixing the top of our newly minted bookcases?

A refresher:

Built_In_Bookcase_Dining_Room

Well a finally got around to ordering some new lights for the space from amazon and our space be looking pretty fly, yo!

Unbeknownst to me, amazon has an option where you can (if available) select to buy a re-boxed version of your item at a discount. They’re in varying states of condition (ie fair, good, like new) and have a corresponding discounted price. Well in the name of saving $15 on the pair, I got ones that were reboxed, but in perfect condition otherwise – ummm ok! Sign me up, right?

Library_Sconce_Amazon

The both looked peachy keen when they arrived. One of them looked like it had a slight scuff on one of the shades, but we just made sure to position that out when we mounted it. I took a photo so you can see how *hard* it is to actually see.

Brass_Sconce

The arm on these guys is a bit long, and it’s the one thing I’m still adjusting too. We have the option of removing the arm completely as well (this model had two mounting options) so I may opt to remove the arm on this later on down the road.

I love this photo secretly (below) since it kind sums up a Saturday for Jay. 22 cups of coffee and a harbor freight magazine is like his version of pure bliss. He was trying to pump H up about the harbor freight magazine while they sat eating eggs – lolol.

Library_Sconce_Affordable

He said a few choice words while mounting this (perhaps not enough coffee) since he was having trouble getting all the wires to fit inside the box.

Installing_Sconce_Lighting

Eventually we had this though!

What do y’all think, do you think that arm is too big? I’m still on the fence about it.

Brass_Library_Sconce


Here is a few from straight on. It hangs down a bit into the bookcase, but it’s supposed to do that to a certain extent.

Overall, it definitely feels like an upgrade from the fuse boxes we had chilling up there for the better part of a year. Ha! Baby steps you guys!!
ย  ย 

Affordable_Library_Sconce

Composting Our Food Waste

Maybe it’s nesting for baby #2 over here, but I’m like feeling this urge to turn our house into like a self contained oasis where we can get everything we need from our home sweet home – food, love, little bit of this, little bit of that. I feel like there’s some type of symbolic mama bear thing going on – maybe the world seems a bit different of foreign to me, and I think my way of dealing with the chaos around me is trying to create knowns here at home. And y’all – for so, SO, long, I’ve wanted to have a yard that produces food for us. I mean – I’m realistic, I get that I’ll still go to the grocery store and buy tyson chicken more than I should, but I want to start pushing us toward as healthy a lifestyle as possible, and I think knowing precisely where you’re food is coming from (and what it took to get it there) is a good step in that direction.

So some of y’all that follow me on insta and facebook probably saw my initial inspired rant about the steps we’d be taking to get this rodeo happening. This book was a super fun read for me (it’s like 99% pictures, and explanatory text) and it had a few nuggets of info that inspired me to get started on this little self sustaining journey.ย  Modern_Homesteading_Book_Review

Now it’s a bit of country snobbery IMHO, where they kinda imply that the only way to live sustainably is to like go all out and homestead the heck out of it, and I’m all about finding middle ground guys and empowering people to make small, incremental steps where they’re at. I mean, would it be nice to have a peach tree orchard – sure! But if someone can do something small, and build from that, I’m kinda more on that train.

So our first small step was snagging this compost bin off craigslist for $20.

First_Steps_To_Composting_At_Home

Y’all I love this thing. Like it’s taking the place of the cat in my hierarchy for love for household people/pets in Sell Casa. I feel like wonder woman saving all our food scraps (what, what) and 1) avoiding the landfill and 2) creating some sweet sweet soil for all my crops I be tilling come spring (obvi).

It’s pretty easy concept – just pop open the top and add in your goods. Nothing with dairy or meat can be added, or weeds that go to seed (then you just have compost that’s going to be full of weeds). In fact, I’m so afraid of the whole weeds taking over the compost bin thing, that I’ve decided to avoid all types, not just those (like dandelions) that go to seed. (If anyone knows more about this than me, would love to hear insights)

Compost_Bin_In_City

It’s also super fun to see H get pumped about bringing the compost out and I hope it helps him, in small ways, as he grows up, think about wasting less and wanting less and making things stretch further, faster – vs. this very wasteful society we’re currently all marinating in.

It’s also an added bonus that this little nook of the garden used to look like this.

Hose_Storage_Ideas

And I convinved the hubster to drop six dolla billz at our favorite local hardware shop for this new handy dandy house house thing I’ve been eyeing for a few weeks.

Organizing_Yard_Ideas

Better, right? Not perfect, but definitely better! H always wants to swim in his pool, so it’s nice to have the hose more accessible and less likely to get all tangled up like it did before.

The rest of that row along the house currently looks like this (#dontjudge)ย but I’m hoping my food I plan to grow just grows as quickly as all those weeds ๐Ÿ˜€

Overgrown_Sidepath

 

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

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