Monday, March 31, 2014

Great Weekend!

I had a wonderful weekend. This Saturday was the Ladies Tea at my church. The theme this year was decades, so volunteers teamed up to put on a fashion show demonstrating styles of the past. Mrs. Loveless, a family friend and wonderful seamstress, asked me to be her model for the 1960s. Of course I said yes - I can't resist playing dress up!

Mrs. Loveless made a minidress for me in the style of what she wore in high school during the 60s. She made all her own clothes during that time and also did updos for all her girlfriends. I was totally up for having my hair styled huge and I was not disappointed by her talents. Shockingly enough, the updo only took her 15-20 minutes! I wonder if she would do my hair on a weekly basis..

during my model walk for the tea

hair aftermath - J takes blurry pictures

Yesterday, I met up with two of my sisters and their kids (plus a brother-in-law) for a lake day. I am so sorry for those of y'all still suffering through winter; spring is happening here in Florida! The younger kids played in the water while we sunned ourselves. I eventually had to move into the shade to avoid burning (pretty sure my back still got burnt), but I am definitely less pale than before!

my nephew playing water chauffeur for his sister and cousin

baby J is still figuring out hills but managed to not drop her cracker

bunch of monkeys in the tree, poor baby J couldn't figure out how to join in

"Let's take an awkward selfie!" - Caroline, after snatching her sister's phone

J and I also had fun visiting Lowes. We had been discussing future appliances (read more about our house hunting list) and he thought a 2.2 cubic foot washing machine would be plenty. I disagreed because our bath sheets take up quite a bit of space. We solved the issue by looking into a floor model of that size and guess who was right? Me, of course. I prefer to do small loads of laundry, but the washing machine needs to be at least 3 cubic feet for our larger things. While I typically support locally owned stores, I think only our chain stores sell appliances in town. Regardless, J and I have no reason to purchase those sorts of things now, but it is always fun to discuss!

I also tried a new recipe today, totally made up by me (with help from J). I thought we had chicken defrosted, but it turned out to be small strips of pork tenderloin. J normally cooks pork in this household, but since he was working late I had to figure it out. I ended up coating it in a flour mixture (garlic powder, salt, cumin, black pepper), cooking it in olive oil and my cast iron on the stove top, and serving it with rice, greek yogurt, vinegar soaked cucumber, and black olives. Odd to some, but I loved it! J said I did not dry the pork out, which makes this my first successful pork meal - only took over a year of marriage.

Melinda and I have decided to make an effort to include more personal updates on Posh Purpose. We really enjoy reading these types of posts on our favorite blogs, and we hope you enjoy ours too! Did y'all have great weekends? I know Melinda's was busy but in a good way.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thrift Store Finds: Melinda's Spring Break Haul

As promised, I'm finally writing a Thrift Store Finds post.  Wahoo!  I had so much fun "Habitat-ing" and shopping other thrift stores like Boys and Girls Club and it really made me wish D.C. had more to offer on this front.  D.C. thrift stores are really, really picked over and have mostly Ikea items that were rejected from Craigslist or clothing, which I'm not into.  They also have a bad habit of marking anything decent to beyond what I would ever consider paying for second hand items.  For example, when I was shopping for china for my wedding my mom and I compared prices at our Goodwills.  Mine was double or triple the amount she paid.  D.C. folk with great stuff also often have estate sales instead of donating and many of the local shops pick up their pieces at these sales and mark them WAY up.  I am going to make a dedicated effort to get around to some of the thrift stores and consignment shops that are a bit further away just to check things out...but until's my haul from Spring Break:

Cocktail Set - 6 matching glasses (only one with a bit of missing paint), one cocktail pitcher, and glass stirrer.  Habitat had the set priced at $12, but Briana's Habitat friend took pity on me and gave the set to me for $8.  This was a lucky find because usually thrift stores don't have an even number of glasses and the glass stirrer sealed the deal on this purchase.

Appetizer Plates - 6 tid bit plates made in France all in excellent condition for $13.  This was a bit of a splurge in the thrifting world, but they had just arrived at Habitat and they were in mint condition so I knew I had to snatch them up!  They were also adorable and have a different design on each plate.  Briana kindly pointed out to me that it would cost a lot more to buy something similar outside of Habitat.  I immediately remembered how much my Kate Spade tid bit plates cost and felt much better about the purchase. (Um, yes, I know that some of you may be thinking... If she already has Kate Spade plates, why does she need more?  All I can tell you is I love a party and I have a china addiction/weakness/illness; therefore, I'm fully willing to rationalize china purchases.  Aaaaaand, I always have Briana to aid, abet, and otherwise support my addiction.)  Also, as I was photographing everything I noticed that the cocktail set actually pairs quite nicely with the appetizer plates, which I didn't realize at the extra bonus!

Candlesticks - 2 brass candlesticks for 50 cents each.  LOVE the shape.  They are a bit distressed, but I even like that about them.

Linens - 6 peach cocktail napkins for $2 and 1 damask blue table throw/card tablecloth with 4 matching napkins for $4.  I loved the fringe on the cocktail napkins and the blue table throw is beautiful.

Square Dish - Handpainted square dish circa 1958 for $19.  I bought this dish at a local antique store which is why the price is much higher.  The dish is signed, stamped, and in perfect condition.  I looked up the background on the china company and it is a Bavarian company called Hutchenreuther which was set up as a rival to Haviland back in the day.  It was eventually bought out by Rosenthal in 2000.  Right now, I've put it on top of my dresser and it makes me happy every time I get out my socks.

Retro Buffet Warmers - 2 faux wood grain buffet warmers for $1 each!  My aunt talked me into buying them after telling me she still has hers from the 70s and still gets them out when she needs to keep food warm.  Rather than buying one of those chafing dishes, which I think are expensive and not that attractive, I can throw a pretty cloth napkin over each warmer and put out my regular servingware.  They also don't take up too much storage space since they are flat.  This is one of my favorite finds as I'm always having trouble keeping food warm at parties or when I've got multiple dishes being cooked and coming out at different times. This was a great purchase - I did a bit of Ebay sleuthing and found them being sold for $15 each!  Until I get my dream kitchen complete with a warming drawer, I'm excited to have these!

The tape marks came off easily with a bit of Goo Gone

Ta Da!  All covered up and presentable for company.

And there you have it!  Those are all my Spring Break Thrift Store finds which total $49 plus tax and bring me tons of happiness.  Shockingly, TSA only inspected Mr. 3's backpack and our large suitcase transporting our clothes and several boxes of cake mix (Mr. 3 said they probably looked like cocaine bricks on the x-ray machine).  I was sort of convinced they would have lots of questions about my retro warmers and Briana thought that certain TSA inspectors might consider the brass candlesticks instruments for rampant bludgeoning.  Luckily, everything made it safely back to D.C.!  Anyone else had any great finds lately?  Anybody know of any great thrift stores in the D.C. area?  Share below!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Our Cousin Bucket List

During one of our many gchat convos, Melinda suggested we form a cousin bucket list full of things we want to do. She had already started a bucket list to share with Mr. 3, so it was only natural we also have a list together.We have traveled together before and we obviously have compatible tastes and habits. Melinda actually chaperoned my high school choir trip to Europe many years ago! That was before I developed any interests beyond myself (now I have about three), so I expect our future travels to be far more entertaining for the both of us.

Argentina couples trip
While I had never considered visiting South America, J's maternal family is from Argentina which put it on our list of places to visit. Melinda, on the other hand, loves all things Latin America so she jumped on the idea of coming along. We have lots of grand plans filled with museums, shopping for leather goods, and steak for everyone but me (not a fan). I have wanted to buy a cow hide rugs ever since reading that they are super durable and impervious to stains, and what better place to buy one than Argentina?

Melinda and I also discussed less urban excursions as well. No decisions have been made, but Patagonia, Iguazu Falls, and Argentine wine country are all contenders. We won't be traveling during high season, either. Most Americans visiting Argentina go during our winter (their summer) to lounge beach-side. If this Florida girl wants to go to the beach, she drive drives two hours instead of taking a multiple hour flight. Besides, Melinda and I burn pretty quickly so we would rather spend our money on more leather goods than high season prices plus umbrella rentals.

Source: Wikipedia

Champagne region, France
Melinda had a great time on wine tours during her California honeymoon but I don't like wine. We thought the perfect compromise would be a tour of France's Champagne region! For once, I actually looked at a map and realized that we could fly into Paris, stay a few days, then head on to our next destination. And then I realized we would practically be in Belgium, so why not end our trip after spending a few days there? We have yet to decide of Mr. 3 and J will be joining us, but having them drive us around the French countryside and carry our bags to and fro are definitely reasons to include them.

Nile River cruise
I have been planning on taking a Nile River cruise with J for quite some time now. I have always wanted to visit Egypt since focusing quite a bit of my homeschooled reading on the ancient history. J had never thought to travel to Egypt (we are swapping Argentina for Egypt, basically) but once I explained the river cruise concept and how the chefs were highly rated, he was on board. I just told Melinda about my plans yesterday and she said we had to put it on our bucket list. Since we have to wait for the Egyptian people to find a government they are satisfied with enough to stop revolting, Melinda and I will just plan for the TBA future.

The cruise ships are actually quite small and there are no interior cabins, which means windows for everyone! It also means you can admire the Egyptian coastline while "tanning" under a poolside cabana.The Sun Boat IV is a great example of what Nile River cruises have to offer. Most of Egypt's ancient sites run along the Nile so we would have the opportunity to see more of those sites while traveling by boat than we would having to drive ourselves around.

Source: Sanctuary Retreats

Once Melinda and I have houses (and disposable incomes), we will need to make a trip to this awesome flea market during our hunt for great house necessities. Melinda commented on how close it is to Atlanta and we immediately had the same idea: rest up after our huge shopping trip with a stay in the Ritz Carlton Buckhead. It is by far my favorite US hotel and Melinda fell in love with it during our stay for my bachelorette party weekend.

Spa Vacation
Along with having the brilliant idea above, Melinda suggested we do a spa vacation with just the two of us. I would love to go to a spa in the desert. The Amangiri in Utah looks like a perfect relaxing getaway. The spa has all sorts of treatments, the pool deck is surrounded by mountains (plus has shade), and we could even do some yoga or hike if it struck our fancy. The price is high, but maybe one day the Posh Purpose team will be comped a stay so we can review. One can always hope!

How could you say no to this?
Source: Amangiri

Juliska Factory Sale
Melinda read a blog post today about how Kris of Driven by Decor saved over 90% off retail by purchasing her Juliska products during the Juliska outlet store sale. The outlet is in Connecticut, which is a bit of a trek for me, but totally worth it. I already received Juliska purple juice glasses and matching cake plates as wedding gifts, but I would also love to grab a few pitchers and vases. Melinda and I both have a debilitating illness that causes us to obsess and pine over gorgeous glassware. Maybe some of y'all can relate?

Love it
Source: Juliska

Alt Summit
Yet another Melinda suggestion: she thinks it would be great fun (and great for Posh Purpose) if we could attend the Alt Summit one year. I am totally on board to visit Salt Lake City (where the conference is held) and also to tag along with Melinda anywhere. Maybe we could jump over to our Spa Vacation while out west? I'm always one for multitasking. I just wish Benjamin Moore or PPG (brands my paint store carries) would sponsor this great event rather than our competitor Sherwin Williams!

I love dreaming up future escapades with Melinda, even if we are limited to spring breaking in rural Florida for the time being. We tossed around a few more ideas, such as glamping, but the ones above are our current favorites. Melinda and I would love to hear about your bucket list!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

World Market's New Custom Furniture Line

I got an email this week saying that World Market has a new custom furniture collection.  I immediately got excited, because (1) World Market has great prices and (2) who doesn't love custom furniture?  I hopped on over to the World Market website to check it out and found a ton of cute prints and designs.  Here are a few of my favorites:

Prasana Elsie Headboard
$429.99 - $579.99
Image Source: World Market

Linen Kellerman Bed
$1,099.99 - $1,299.99
Image Source: World Market

Velvet Caiden Bed 
$699.99 - $899.99
Image Source: World Market

Millie McKenzie Ottoman
Image Source: World Market
I was really excited about a lot of the features described in each product listing - twin to California king sizing, made in the USA, constructed of solid pine, as well as, the designs themselves until I's not actually custom furniture.

Custom furniture means you get choices for EVERYTHING - those legs on the ottoman, the studs on the bed, the covers used on each tuft, but World Market isn't offering that...from what I can tell, World Market isn't even offering fabric swatches and you can only order online, which means that there probably aren't any swatches or displays in store either.  The fabric selection is also a bit misleading.  In true custom fashion, you should be able to put almost any fabric that the store carried on any of the furniture designs, but World Market designs have limitations.  For example, the tufted pieces and the storage bench ottomans only come in solids.  There is also no ability to adjust the dimensions of the ottomans or headboards.  If you were getting a piece made from scratch to adjust for high or low ceilings in a room or to accommodate a large piece of artwork hanging over the bed, you might want to adjust the scale of your furniture...which happens all the time on HGTV shows, but isn't offered by World Market.

I don't necessarily have a problem with the furniture World Market is producing and they have a variety of great fabric choices and shapes, but I do think it is misleading to call it "custom furniture" since so many elements are missing.  In reality, I think World Market just got a better selection of bedroom furniture. However, I think that the price points on the furniture are spot on, the options they do have available are very pretty, and I love that they are constructed from solid wood and there are actual CHOICES for California king beds, which can be really difficult to find.  Plus, the fact the pieces are USA-made is definitely awesome!

Anyone else checked out World Market's new line?  What do you think?  Would you consider this "custom" furniture?

We're Lovin: Lilly Pulitzer Palazzo Pants

Mr. 3 and I go to the Kentucky Derby every year and it is always so hard to figure out what to wear.  I've been there when it has been blazin' hot, perfect weather, or cold and rainy.  Last year, I was smart enough to take a pair of white dress pants, closed toed flats, and a spring coat, so when the high hit 55 for the day, I didn't freeze my lady parts standing around in a tight strapless cocktail dress and huddling in the heated betting window area all day (goosebumps = not cute).  Unfortunately, the track turns into a hot mess when it rains and my pants were ruined (the dry cleaner left me a nice note attached telling me they had done all they could).  Soooooo, I'm considering my options and while on the hunt, I came across these super fun Lilly Pulitzer Palazzo Pants:

Lilly Pulitzer Middleton Palazzo Pant in Chic Pink Sway
Image Source: Zappos

Lilly Pulitzer Middleton Palazzo Pants in Iris Blue Mai Tai
Image Source: Saks Fifth Avenue

I love these pants...I'm a total Lilly lover and prints don't scare me...usually.  Although I wear Lilly shorts, skirts, and dresses throughout the summer, I'm a bit intimidated by that large amount of print on my lower half given that it's ahem,...a bit more generously gifted than the rest of me.  Also, I'm short, so I have concerns about looking like a bolt of flapping fabric coming down the walkway.  What I DO like about these pants, is that I already have hats that will work with either print and I can dress them up with the pretty spring coats I already own.  I also have a number of tops hanging in the closet that I can try with them and I may not need to purchase anything else to have a complete outfit. Also, if the Derby was to get REALLY cold like it was last year, I've decided that I will be wearing footless tights up under whatever pants I go with, but it would still be nice to have something on that says "fun and Southern." 

If they look great, I should also be able to wear them to the office (I might get a few stares from the loudness of the print, but my office is waaaay laid back on dress code.  Seriously, people have worn bedroom slippers and wandered around outside of their individual offices or just taken off their shoes altogether.)...which will be great for summer when my skin cells are all turning over at once and my spray tan gets patchy (can I get an AMEN from my spray tanning sisters!).  Finally, these pants are machine washable and should pack pretty well (we are flying to Nashville for a couple of days before we drive to Louisville, so I need clothing that won't get smushed).  I going to try to find them at one of the D.C. stores that carry them so I can get a feel for the material and try them on before I do my usual coupon sleuthing and ebates round up, because I definitely do not want to pay full price!

What do you think?  Have any other suggestions for fun spring attire?

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Thrift Store Finds

Melinda and I found so many great things during our spring break thrifting excursions. I took pictures of so many things that I have to post them in installments to avoid a mile long blog post. As Melinda mentioned yesterday, we visited Habitat no less than three times that week and also sifted through tons of other stores. Good times were had by all.

We spotted this super cute set of metal canisters in decent shape at the beginning of the week. They would be adorable in a vintage kitchen or kid's room/bathroom. The price of $2.50 for the set was good, so I was surprised to still see them at the end of the week.

This antique bed was not priced, so we suspect the Habitat people sourced it out to a legitimate antique store. It was moved out of the building between our first and third trips, so someone must have been pretty interested in it. It would be a really awesome find if you are cool with having a custom sized mattress made, as the bed is not a standard size - not atypical of antiques.

This dresser has awesome hardware which immediately caught my attention. However, the drawers are not dovetailed which made the $80 price tag ridiculous. This item was still on the floor at the end of the week, probably because no legit central Florida thrifter would pay that much for a piece that isn't well made.

I loved this vintage toaster, which apparently works. And good luck finding a brand new toaster for $13! I was so tempted to buy it, but my current toaster works just fine. This isn't the sort of appliance I leave sitting out so I didn't feel justified in switching it out for a more stylish version.

This Haviland china set was in good condition and pretty close to complete. The price was $150, which included serving for 8 (minus one soup bowl and two cups and saucers) along with a coffe pot, sugar (missing lid) and creamer, a gravy boat with saucer, and a serving platter and bowl. Again, somebody swiped this set between our first and third visits. Lucky them!

I kept obsessing over this orangey bowl. I don't know why it kept drawing me in, especially considering I don't like orange. I think it was the shiny iridescent finish. The bowl was still hanging around, priced at $8, when we made our third trip.

Some lucky Habitater snatched up this chair. It had been priced at $40 and the velvety fabric was in great condition, as was the caning. Mom and I both considered it and our friend even offered it up for a discounted $30, but we passed. I couldn't imagine where it would possibly fit it into the teeny tiny apartment and Mother didn't want to take on that in depth reupholstering job - while the condition of the fabric was great, the color was not to our personal styles.

I think 7 or so items is a good number to show off our awesome thrift store finds without overwhelming y'all (and myself!) so I will stop for now. Catch up on my other thrift store finds and check back for our next few installments! Melinda will be writing her very first post in this series very soon!

Monday, March 24, 2014

The Rest of Spring Break - A Brief Summary

Briana and I had a bit of trouble keeping up with our posts once Mr. 3 rolled into town.  We were all having far too much fun to get ourselves in front of the computer for even quick posting!  To give you the highlights of the rest of our Spring Break:

1. We made two more trips to Habitat.  Yes, that's right, we hit up Habitat three times in less than a week.  All successful and by successful, I mean lots of thrifty finds for us and lots of oggling over great finds that we would love to have.  I should mention that there was so much turnover and new items coming in, that we saw lots of new merchandise every time we went, but a lot of the items we looked at were gone...which just goes to show you have to check often and buy when you can!  I think I spent a total of $55 on my goodies. I'll post a round up this week (how exciting that I actually have a thrift store finds post to type up!).  However, my search for vintage Pyrex continues...luckily I have lots of other finds to comfort me.

2.  We oggled cute Florida 1920s houses with the hopes of finding a Briana and J a future home.

3.  We had a BLT double date complete with pineapple upside down cake in Briana's cute new pan she got for Christmas.  Briana also broke out all of her entertaining servingware that she got as wedding presents in our honor.  For a BLT party, it was very fancy pants.

4. We found a great antique store that had decently priced beautiful items that Briana will hopefully get to use as a resource once she has a permanent home and a place to put lots of lovely furniture.

5. Briana's mom and dad (aka my aunt and uncle) treated Mr. 3 and me to lunch a beautiful historical hotel with hands down the best fried chicken I've ever had.  Yum!  Thanks to my aunt and uncle for being wonderful hosts!

6. I spent loads of time playing with the baby (she just turned 1!) and visitin' with all my other cousins which was tons of fun and lots of laughs.

7.  Mr. 3 and I had a great time in Orlando, even though we had rain on our last full day and couldn't get out to the pool.  Whomp whomp.  I also got to see my best friend and we hit up the outlets for some retail therapy and lunch (shout out to Katie!  thanks for being a great friend and loyal Posh Purpose reader!).

All in all, it was a successful Spring Break 2014!  I keep trying to talk Briana into Fall Break....a year is far far too long to go without seeing one another!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Spring Break Day 4

Before we get started on today's fun filled activities, we need to publish a retraction from our Sunday post.  I believe we wrote that "Melinda and I slaved over the stove" to make biscuits and gravy.  We want to give full disclosure and say that we were not slaving alone, my mom (aka Melinda's aunt) supervised our efforts and did a whole bunch of quality control and stirring of her own...also slaving over the oven.  Biscuits and gravy wouldn't have happened that night without her skills.  Sorry mom!

Today was great. The weather was beautiful and we actually made it to more than one store. Our thrifting adventures took us to the ARC and to the Boys and Girls Club where we discovered the 25 cent each glassware. Melinda picked up four old fashioned sized glasses and I found some adorable coffee cups. I also grabbed four small plates that coordinated really well. Overall, tons of fun.

They cleaned up really well

We ate supper at the Thai House, followed up with Dairy Queen, and spent the night chatting with my mom. Mr. 3 arrives tomorrow afternoon, but we are going to sneak a Habitat run in before he gets into town. Mom did some recon today and spotted two new trucks unloading at the store. We also have a dire need of angel food cake mix. Melinda can't find it in DC grocery stores, so I will be taking her to Publix so she can stock up.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Break Day 3

Today was an extremely successful thrifting day. Mom and I took Melinda to Habitat and we all left with lots of goodies. I will be writing a separate thrift store finds post of the great things we saw, but didn't buy, so for now we will just stick to what came home with us.

5 glass demitasse cups, $1 
2 pairs of cups and appetizer tray/saucer combo, $3
1 antique chair, $20

1 set of 6 glasses plus pitcher and stirrer, $8
6 French appetizer plates, $13

1 foot stool, $5
1 picture frame, $1
1 pair of salt and pepper mills, $5

Total amount spent: $56

Best purchase of the day was definitely Melinda's glassware set. It is unusual to find a set of six matching glasses, let alone the matching pitcher and stirrer. Even better, they were all in great condition. And because we apparently were not lucky enough, my Habitat friend lowered the price from $12 to $8 because Melinda was unsure at first. But at that price, how could you say no?

We also spent the afternoon working very hard on two projects. Yes, that is right. I worked on a project. Melinda was so wonderful for cleaning up my $5 foot stool that I even fed her supper. Although, I would have fed her either way because a hungry Melinda is a cranky Melinda. The other project will be revealed later, but if you follow our twitter account you already know it involves the joys of rust removal.

We will be heading to another thrift store tomorrow because Melinda is still on the hunt for a refrigerator dish. Usually this one has great frames, so I will probably pick up another one. We may also head back to yesterday's store to pick up a pair of lamps. 

Monday, March 10, 2014

Spring Break Days 1 & 2


Melinda flew in Sunday afternoon and got here in time to celebrate J's birthday with a delicious meal of biscuits and homemade sausage gravy, scrambled eggs, and fresh strawberries (I was in a breakfast for dinner making mood).  Melinda and I spent about an hour slaving over a hot stove stirring gravy and cooking eggs, but we had a great time catching up before we sat down for dinner.  J's brother and his wife were in town for a visit and my parents also joined in on the birthday dinner.  We spent the next 3 hours "visitin'" and generally, cracking ourselves up.


Melinda usually stays at my mom's house when she comes for a visit (as there is no room in this inn for her unless she would like to park it for a week on the couch), so I went over in the morning to visit before whisking her away to Alligator Alley, a local antique warehouse, for a bit of vintage Pyrex shopping (Melinda is determined to find a vintage refrigerator dish for keeping her bacon grease).  We found lots of pretty Pyrex but no refrigerator dishes.  We also found some not so pretty things (check out our instagram and twitter feeds on our right sidebar for the crazy stuff we ran across).  Melinda has her eye on quite a few things at the antique store but is holding out on making any purchases until she makes the rounds at the local thrift stores.  I spotted two really pretty lamps for $  But they are missing lampshades and we couldn't plug them in to test them.  We also ran across this really pretty pitcher and have added it to our list of things to keep an eye on:

And as a bonus, here are some lovely hollowed out lady heads. I suppose they are for those who dream of having flowers grow out the top of their head. Unless you are a nun, in which case you get to keep your skull but not your neck or spinal cord.

Next up - Habitat run tomorrow and probably massive amounts of strawberry eating.  I bought 8 lbs. of them in honor of Melinda's arrival (she can't control herself around berries).

Spring Break Schedule

Melinda is currently defrosting in Florida and we are loving every minute of it. We will be spending this week thrifting, antique'ing, shopping at the local farm, and working on some blog ideas we have been discussing for a while. Instead of our normal post schedule, we will be giving updates on our daily activities on the blog while tweeting and instagramming all kinds of good stuff like creepy kitty art and terrifying doll lamps.

Friday, March 7, 2014

House Hunting: I'm Just Looking Edition

Since J's company has shown significant growth since the beginning of 2014, we have started talking about what we might want in a house. We aren't at a point where we are ready to call up a real estate agent, but I like to get an idea of what his expectations are and also what my hometown has to offer. I love to pull up websites like trulia and zillow just to see what the insides of houses look like (Melinda shares this hobby). I also like looking at all the available houses to gauge J's opinions. He isn't the best at describing what he likes and dislikes, but he can usually form an opinion when given a picture.

Of course, J and I have totally different opinions on the ideal first house. My family is in the construction industry so remodeling is just part of normal life. J, on the other hand, would much rather just be able to move into a house without having to tear down any walls. No fun, I tell you. However, after much discussion and showing him what our small area has to offer, he is warming up to the concept of fixing up.

One of the reasons why I know we will end up with a house that needs work is because I despise 1990s and early 2000s houses. They lack character and I need a home with character. Good news is that my town used to be a big deal back in the 1920s and so we have a TON of houses from that era. J loves the idea of a 20's house now because the ceilings are almost always high, and at 6'4" that is important to him. The houses tend to be smaller, as well, because they were typically vacation homes. Less square footage means less air conditioning in the summer, which means lower electricity bills - also valued by J.

Right now we are living in a tiny apartment, which has taught me the importance of storage space. I have lots of stuff and keep accumulating more. Basically, I need a whole room just for my wardrobe. That room could also contain my many thrift store purchases if necessary, but storing my clothes, shoes, purses, and accessories is a huge deal. And J would love to have space for a workshop.

J and I put together a list of things that our first house needs to have, qualities that would be nice to have and a few things that are not necessary. Once we officially start looking at houses, we will reference back to our list and probably modify a bit. Until then, we will just admire while we take walks or drive around town.

Need to have

- 3 bedrooms - The master bedroom does not have to be huge as long as it has space for our california king size bed and two night stands without feeling cramped. We need a guest room for when family and friends come to visit. And the third room would be for my closet. J is tired of looking at all my stuff.

- 2 full bathrooms - We currently have one bathroom which is only accessible through our bedroom. Two full bathrooms would be ideal without adding too much to the household chores. J insists that we don't have a pedestal sink in the master bathroom.

- High ceilings - J and I love the 10 foot ceilings in our apartment and would hate to go back to 8 feet. Also, my bed has a canopy and I would hate to not be able to use it. Right now we don't have it up because there is a ceiling fan in the way, but I don't have a problem removing those in my own home.

- Good kitchen - My current kitchen can hold a lot. It is too small for both J and I to cook comfortably together but it is perfect for just one person cooking. While we would love more space, we really just need the next kitchen to be at least as good as this one. That means having enough storage space for all my dishes and other kitchen things along with a pantry.

- Parking for two - Right now we only have one car, but J will be getting a car eventually. This means we need to have easy access parking for two vehicles.

- Storage space - I hate living with my vacuum. My tiny apartment does not have a closet to store it so the thing just hangs out wherever I leave it. You don't really think about vacuum space until you don't have it, but it is really important! I need my home to have somewhere to keep those things that are necessary for every day life, but still not something you want to stare at.

- Contemporary wiring - Since we have so many old houses around the area, you have to be careful about the wiring before purchasing. My parents house had the original silk covered electrical wires when they bought the house. It is an expensive fix, so I would only make an exception to this requirement if we were getting a ridiculously good deal on the house. 

- Air conditioning - We need it in Florida, but some houses still rely on window units. No thanks. But as for the wiring, I would make an exception if the price was really really good.

- Windows - Windows are very important to J and I agree. We don't want a dark home.

- Grill space - J loves grilling and I love not cooking, so we need space in the yard for a grill.

Nice to have

- Butler's pantry - After I explained the concept to J, he decided he needs a butler's pantry in his life. However, it is not necessary but would be a fun perk.

- Gas stove with six burners - I love cooking on gas stoves. My mom has one and our Las Vegas apartment did too. J wants six burners. At the very least, we would be excited to have the gas hook up already installed.

- Parking for more - I have a big family that comes over for lunch almost every third Sunday. While street parking is legal in my town, it would be great to have extra space in the driveway for all those vehicles.

- Formal dining space - J cares nothing about this, but I love tables. I could buy another table if I had a formal dining space.

Not needed

- Big yard - J isn't thrilled about mowing and I'm not a gardener. We don't really want a large yard at this point. 

- Second story - We don't care one way or the other if we have a second story

- Formal living room - I don't need a formal living room. It is more important that I can host my giant family in the space without being too split up.

- Good paint choices - It is so silly when people on House Hunters complain about the paint colors. Paint is such an easy fix!

I know we will be adding to this list and altering it, but it is a great start. Once Melinda gets into town (this weekend!) we will drive around and admire some more. Can't wait!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Posh Purpose Review: SJP Collection at Nordstrom

I have been a fan of Sex and the City and Sarah Jessica Parker's style (both on screen and off screen) for a long time!  That's why I was super excited to see her new collection debut at Nordstrom this past week.  I was expecting to see lots of beautiful shoes with a few pairs that were completely over the top.  I also thought the shoes would be mid-range in price and probably not the best materials or country of origin (i.e. made in China).  I was pretty much wrong about everything except the price, so I have a mixed bag of feelings.

I found the collection to be mostly boring basics of shoes I've seen before and with nothing coming close to being over the top.  Shoe prices ranged from $200-$425 and the collection also offers one clutch handbag in five colors for $245 and one trench coat in two colors for $495.  The leather shoes are made in Italy, so score 1 for nice materials and country of origin.  However, the handbag and coat are listed as "imported" which usually means a country other than Italy, Brazil, Spain, or Portugal.  There are plenty of nice clothes from other countries, but my bigger problem with this collection is that it is so...lackluster.  I was expecting a little more Manolo Blahnik and a little less Man This is Blah.  I'm sure that SJP would wear any of the shoes she has in her collection, but I was expecting to see shoes as equally fab as the ones she wears on the red carpet...and we just didn't get it.  There is only one pair in the collection I truly do not like, but there is also only one shoe I would consider buying unless I just needed to replace a basic black pump or something similar.

'Bobbie' Sandal
SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker
Source: Nordstrom

The one handbag in the collection isn't anything special, but I do love the trench coat.  It has a great shape and nice trim.

SJP by Sarah Jessica Parker
Source: Nordstrom

BUT for the price, it is quite the investment and I think there are either less expensive options out there at places like Banana Republic orrr if you do want to make an investment, I would keep saving those pennies and put them towards a Burberry trench which lasts forever (seriously, the English make specific bequests in their wills to pass them on to the next generation).

Maybe the next season will have better choices, but for now I'm just a bit disappointed.  Anyone else checked out the collection?  What do you think?

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Collect App and Scrapbooking

I am terrible about taking pictures. J and I spent a whole weekend in San Francisco last year and I think I took four pictures total. My sister Bekah loves pictures; she is the one who took pictures of me and made scrapbooks of my childhood. She also introduced me to this awesome new app called Collect. It is apparently only available for iPhones right now, but hopefully they will expand to android soon.

Basically, the app reminds you to take a picture every day. It also formats the pictures into a square and prompts you to add a caption. The app also keeps track of the date the picture was taken, which prints out below the image and above the caption. The best part is that you can fit two picture/date/caption sets onto a regular 4x6 print - be sure to use Ebates to get 4% cash back from your Walgreens photo purchase AND wait until they have specials on 4x6 prints! The size of these pictures work really well with the Project Life pages.

Here are a few screen shots of the app on my phone. I started using the app February 27 and have only missed one day (March 3) so far. Of course, that is only 83% at this point but the app has encouraged me to take far more pictures than I otherwise would have. You can also upload previously taken pictures that are in your phone's photo gallery. The app pulls the date they were taken from the photo data and places them on the calendar accordingly. Collect also stores any new pictures taken through the app to your phone's photo gallery, which you should upload to Dropbox or another free cloud storage service for safe keeping.

Overview of February
Overview of March

The picture below is a screen shot of when you tap on a picture on the calendar above. I had taken the picture of J grilling before downloading the app, and using an iPhone filter. By the way, those are a ton of fun so play around with them if you have an iPhone. The picture will not have the blue buttons at the bottom when printed out, or the T- Mobile, wifi, time, and other phone status icons at the top.

Bekah is using Project Life and Collect app to do a 2014 picture of the day album for her family. I am trying to put together an album for J and myself using what pictures we have taken since getting married. I still have to upload a ton of pictures to the app so I can have the dates and any captions I may think of, but I am slowly making progress. At some point, I am sure I will print them out and put them into a scrapbook so that we can enjoy looking at these pictures away from the iPhone screen.

This post contains affiliate links and brand suggestions based on our Posh Purpose experiences. We are only compensated if a purchase is made through our links. However, we always encourage our readers to find the best deals in their area even if that means not using our affiliate links. Happy shopping!

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Guest Bedroom Update: Ikea Karlaby Purchase

Mr. 3 and I have been dragging our feet on getting the second bedroom ready.  It's supposed to be a home office/guest bedroom combo.  We bought a desk and a floor lamp to accomplish the home office part, but we haven't had the "bed" portion of the room figured out until this past weekend.  I had done a lot of research, shopping, and testing on sofa beds, futons, and daybeds which I will share in some upcoming posts, but I ultimately decided to go the Ikea route on this one mainly due to cost.  I decided I didn't want to invest tons of money on a bedroom solution that we may only use for a year or so, but I figured we could Craig's List the futon for a third of what we paid for it.  After some online perusing and testing this futon out in the Ikea Charlotte store at Christmas, we decided to purchase the Karlaby futon with the Killeberg mattress in the Ransta dark grey color.

Karlaby Sofa Bed
Image Source: Ikea
I went with the dark grey because it wouldn't show dirt like the cream option and it was the second cheapest cover option.  Since we aren't planning to have this piece of furniture long term like we would a real sofa or a legit bed, I decided I didn't want to spend an extra $70 for the grey tweed fabric, which was actually my favorite. 

We chose this futon over some of the other models because: (1) we could get the plush mattress option which felt waaaay better than Ikea's firm options which were horrible to sit on, let alone lay on, (2) the depth of the seat when set up as a couch was a super comfortable 41 inches, which means Mr. 3 and I can both lay on it to watch movies (which is excellent for snuggling), (3) the length of the couch at 78 inches means Mr. 3 can actually fit on it to have a nap (he is 6'2), and (4) you can unzip the futon cover from the top so that it folds down and converts to a mattress pad (which saved us the cost of purchasing a mattress pad and also storing one when not in use).

Now for the bad.  In typical annoying Ikea fashion, the futon size is somewhere between a full and a queen, but not exactly sure what size sheets will wind up fitting because the mattress is much thinner than your normal bed.  The frame was full of misdrilled holes that caused Mr. 3 and our friend Max, who came to help haul the bed from the car to the apartment, to proclaim I could not purchase anything from Ikea ever again (I told Max that there was a special place in heaven for a good friend like him and I would pray to make sure he got there.  Then, I rewarded both of them with a steak dinner, homemade mashed potatoes, and apple pie.).  I should also mention that Ikea is a horrible place to shop.  Much to our misfortune, the children's daycare area was closed which meant that all the children in the D.C. metro area were bouncing around the showroom, generally screaming at the top of their lungs, and spreading their germs around the store.  Finally, we had the worst customer service.  I wanted to ask a few questions to make sure I wrote down the location of the correct mattress we wanted to purchase.  It was like pulling teeth to get a sales associate to help us and when we finally got one to come over he was completely distracted....that may have been because he rammed a twin sized futon into the front of my shins.  He hit me pretty hard and now I have bruises.

Despite all the mishaps, I'm happy to finally have something in place for anyone who comes to visit and Mr. 3 is excited to have a place to nap!  Here's the finished result:

Please ignore the boxes on the left.  The room is still a work in progress.
I decided I didn't want to have to store anything besides the sheets for the futon, so I used two standard sized pillows and one small toss pillow to fill up the couch and tossed a quilt on the back.  The queen sized quilt and and standard shams are Kate Spade that I picked up at the end of last summer for a super steal at Bed Bath and Beyond.  Each sham was $8 and the quilt was $40.  I bought the pillow inserts for $15 each and the green toss pillow for $25 (it's Cynthia Rowley) at Home Goods.  We also bought sheets from Bloomingdale's for $40.

The mattress looks a bit thin in the picture because it is rolled and vacuum sealed for shipping and storage.  Other friends who have bought Ikea mattresses say that eventually it will fluff up.

Besides my horrible shopping experience and shin injuries, I'm pretty happy with the overall result and the fact that we only spent $350 on the futon itself plus about $136 for the bedding.  By shopping throughout the year, I was able to spread out the cost of the bedding so I didn't have to purchase everything all at once.  The futon can be sold for about $100-$125 and the bedding can be re-used in future homes.

Anyone else purchased the Karlaby or another futon from Ikea?  How did it work out for you?     

Monday, March 3, 2014

2014 Goals Update

Since March just started, it is time for me to update how February went for my 2014 goals.

Beauty: I have been not been doing much with my hair, but I have been shading in my eyebrows with dark eyeshadow! It is my new favorite makeup habit. I just tried using corn starch as dry shampoo this morning (more on that later), but since it is March I suppose that technically doesn't count for this update.

Health: Still going to zumba and enjoying Florida produce. J grilled onions the other night that were grown in the strawberry fields. They were sweet like a vidalia, but the flavor was a bit different. I don't know how to describe it, but you should take an opportunity to try the onions if you can.

Finance: J and I had enough income to cover both February's living expenses and the expenses in January that we did not yet cover - very exciting! His company now has two long term projects along with a few short term prospects. This is great news for growing the company, but it also means J is a lot busier with work. We will still continue budgeting carefully but we are very optimistic.

Spiritual: I'm pretty sure we didn't attend a Sunday church service once in February. Oops. And we are already off to a bad start for March since we skipped yesterday as well.

Creative: I bought a lamp from Habitat for a new project, but I am actually making progress on this one! I have purchased some supplies and the lamp has been dismantled. My gallery wall is still coming along slowly; I keep adding to my frame collection almost every time I go thrifting. I have also recruited my niece to help out with the chairs, but we are notoriously late about everything so I won't count that as progress at all.

Intellectual: I posted about my February reading already, but since then I finished another Sherlock Holmes book. I haven't started the next one yet, but I will this week. I also am learning accounting and how to use Quickbooks for the companies J and I have. Accounting is not much fun, but it is important for running a successful business. My dad has been a ton of help in getting our system set up and answering all my questions. Google is also an awesome resource for both accounting and Quickbooks itself. Yay internet.

Blog: I am still keeping up with sharing my thrift store finds. I also reorganized our post categories to be more concise and appropriate for the direction we are taking Posh Purpose. You can find them on the right hand side, under Popular Posts. Melinda and I have a few very important topics we want to blog about in the future. We hope to get a lot accomplished during our spring break!

Want to read about other months? Here is the January update!

Oscar Loves

I'm a huge fan of anything involving sparkles and diamonds, who isn't?  The Oscars combine all the glamour and glitz that a girl could ask for...I can't imagine being an actress (especially a talented one worthy of the Oscar recognition), but I wouldn't mind putting on (or being sewn into) one of those fab dresses!  Here are a few of my fav looks from the Oscar red carpet...even if these movie stars didn't win they look amazing!

First up are my picks for the ladies who looked as glitzy and golden as the statue itself!  Love love love Cate Blanchett's look with all those petals (which I bet were hand sewn on)...but I feel like this petaled look has been done before and it also reminds me a bit of a wedding dress.  HOWEVER, she looks fab and her earrings are gorgeous.

Cate Blanchett
Image Source: Harpers Bazaar
Kristin Chenoweth's dress is so well fitted and she looks so glam.  I love the detail on her dress.

Kristin Chenoweth
Image Source: Oscars Website
OMG.  Goldie Hawn looks beautiful.  Usually, I want to rip the little shoulder sleeves off on dresses like this, but the beads are great way to give a bit more coverage (not that she needs it in my personal opinion).

Goldie Hawn
Image Source: E! Online
Next up, are my favorite dresses from the Red Carpet.  Kate Hudson - like mother, like daughter right?  Gorgeous!  Even though she has a neckline to her navel, the rest of her is all covered up.  I saw her present an award and you can tell much better close up, but the dress is covered in a beautiful beaded pattern.

Kate Hudson
Image Source: E! Online
Sandra Bullock is hands down one of my favorite actresses and looks so amazing in this dress.  The dress itself is on the plainer side, but the draping, quality of fabric, and fit make the dress (something we should all keep in mind when shopping!).  I also thought she had the best hair and makeup!

Sandra Bullock
Image Source: E! Online
Finally, I looooooooooooooved this dress on Lupita.  This was by far the most "fresh" look I saw on the red carpet.  The style is something we have seen before, but the color looks so good on her!  The only thing I would have changed would be to give her a pink lip rather red.

Lupita Nyong'o
Image Source: E! Online
On to the sparkles....hands down my favorite jewelry was on Naomi Watts.  That DIE for!  I have no idea how many carats are hanging around her neck and frankly, I zoned out when she was on the Red Carpet when she was giving out the details...I was too busy drooling.  I looked it up later and found out it's by Bulgari.

Naomi Watts
Image Source: E! Online
Finally, even though women's fashion is waaaay more interesting than the men on the Red Carpet, I have to say Matthew McConaughey was the most handsome hunkiest hunk of a man at the Red Carpet (and that was even before he won Best Actor!).  Even cuter...he brought not only his pretty wife, but his mom as well...awwwwwwwww!

Matthew McConaughey
Image Source: E! Online
Who else was watching last night?  Did I miss anyone fab?  Give us your picks in the comments section below!