Monday, November 16, 2015

Who Knew Driveways Required So Much Thought

You may have noticed from last week's post that my driveway is in rough shape. You may have also noticed that my front yard is primarily concrete.

As our focus turned to the exterior appearance, it became obvious that we need a new driveway. We also need an irrigation system in order to grow grass instead of weeds. Efficiency dictates that we tackle both projects at once so that the irrigation crew has as little concrete to go under as possible. Here are a few inspiration pictures for my new driveway, keeping in mind that it will go from the street to the carport. Instead of having extra parking in front of the house, I am extending the driveway to the left (according to this picture) into the side yard so that we can have something more attractive than a parking lot for a front yard.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Curb Appeal, Stage 1

Now that we are relatively settled inside the house, I have turned my attentions outward. Here is the facade of my house, or at least it was until recently. Many of the old houses in my neighborhood have front porches that were closed in with awning windows a few decades after being built. I prefer a more original look, so J and I did a bit of demo.

Much better, right? There is still a lot of work that needs to be done, but I am saving that for my carpenter. I wasn't interested in watching J take a sledgehammer any closer to the columns than he already did. And in the pursuit of efficiency and good timing, we did all the work the day after Halloween. Why remove the Halloween construction paper bats when you can just yank out all the windows?

Monday, November 2, 2015

Halloween 2015

Here are a few pictures of my Halloween decorations this year. It was my first Halloween decorating my own house and I was super excited.  The branches were pilfered from the side of the road and the signs were made from old pallet wood behind my paint store. Side note: paint is typically delivered on pallets, so paint stores should have some should you ever need a pallet. The bats are just construction paper and I borrowed the monster from my mom. 

Monday, February 23, 2015

I Own a House!

Good news! J and I finally closed on our house and the renovations have begun. I will be sharing more along the way, but for now here is a picture of my fireplace. We are in need of a mantle, but I love it!

Thursday, February 19, 2015

The Perfect Lightweight Moisturizer: Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion

Finding a lightweight moisturizer that does the job, but doesn't make your face feel ick or break you out can be a difficult task.  I've been looking for one to wear underneath my makeup that does it's job to moisturize.

I consult Paula's Choice before making any beauty purchase these days and I found a great review breaking down on all the beneficial ingredients of Clinque's Even Better Essence Lotion for Combination to Oily Skin.
Clinique Even Better Essence Lotion
Combination Oily to Oily
$32 for 3.4 oz.
Image Source: Sephora
Paula's Choice says that this product is really more of a toner, but I'm getting the moisturizing benefits too!  I've been using the product for about 3 months now and I'm loving the results!  I still use my nighttime moisturizer, but this gets me through the day!  This moisturizer may not be the best product for those of you with extremely dry skin, but if you just need a little boost and you have combination to oily skin - I highly recommend this product.

The oddest feature of this product is that it is a straight up liquid.  Despite the name, this is not a lotion and it actually looks more like water.  I put a small amount in the palm of my hand and rub it all over my face and neck.  A little goes a long way!  I still have about 15% left of the bottle after 3 months of daily use...which also makes this product a great value in my book!

***We were not compensated in anyway by Clinique, Sephora, or Paula's Choice.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.***

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Future Projects

Before I head off to sewing class, I wanted to share a few things on my to do list. I spent most of last fall making Christmas gifts so now it is time to make some things for myself.

This pom pom blanket would be perfect to toss onto my couch. However, it is really expensive. I hope to find a way to replicate the look for less. 

I can't find a source for this image besides pins and tumblr, but isn't it fun! Love the shape but I probably won't go with a crazy print. My sewing instructor will have to help me recreate the look from scratch since there is no pattern available.

Fortunately, this picture is from a McCall pattern. My sewing instructor found it on sale and thought of me. Now I just need to get to the fabric store!

And for my overly ambitious dreams...


Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Console Sinks

A quick update on my house before I get into comparison sink shopping: we were supposed to close last Thursday, but the bank and title company still have some paperwork to finish. The delay is entirely ridiculous, considering our offer was accepted Christmas Eve, but I am hopeful that we will officially own the house this week.

Since we have have been waiting weeks to get started on my 1930s house, I have had plenty of time to start shopping around for my bathroom project. One of my first projects is to renovate the main bathroom of the house. I have already purchased stained glass and an old metal cabinet, but am holding off on other purchases until I officially own the house. Here are a three sinks (and three price ranges) that I have considered, in order of when I discovered them.

Fitzgerald by DXV
I first saw this sink when I was in St. Petersburg with my mom. We went into Ferguson to see what higher end options are available. I liked the sink, especially when the sales lady said I could order it in a wider size. We have about eight feet of wall space to work with for the sink, storage, and toilet. I want to occupy a bit more of the horizontal space so that the bathroom doesn't look barren.

Good news is that Ferguson can deliver most products in about one week. The bad news is that this sink is 28 inches wide and it turns out that we can't actually get it wider. For those who are interested, the DXV website says the list price is $1260, but Ferguson had a lower price in their show room. I believe it was around $1000.

Gramercy by Restoration Hardware
I began a google and pin marathon for console sinks after getting home from our shopping trip. I came across this beautiful sink which is 36 inches wide. It is a bit more contemporary and less traditional than the DXV sink. It is also quite a bit more expensive at $2395. I didn't love the price, and I especially didn't love the longer lead time. Restoration Hardware doesn't guarantee quick shipping! Also, I didn't want to worry about the marble top being etched by toothpaste or cleaning chemicals.

One more note about Restoration Hardware in general. Don't buy anything full price! You can usually catch a sale for various departments and get 10-40% off or wait until Friends and Family for 20% off everything.

Luciana by Signature Hardware
I came across Signature Hardware by searching for console sinks similar to Restoration Hardware. All of the console sinks I liked would be delivered about a week after placing the order, putting it in the same time frame as purchasing from Ferguson. Most of those sinks are also priced at $700, including the one above. This one happens to be the overall front runner, although there is a more angular sink from Signature Hardware that I might prefer. I like that this sink has more surface area for storing soap and tooth brushes; it is 30 inches wide and the vertical pieces will keep our stuff from falling off the side.

Keep in mind that for most console sinks, you have to purchase the faucet and plumbing separately. And since your plumbing will be exposed under the sink, you can't just get the normal cheap stuff (sorry J).

Monday, February 16, 2015

Finding a Church

Mr. 3 and I went to a wonderful church in Northern Virginia.  I found them about 6 years ago and I loved everything about the church - the people, the preaching, and my wonderful small group.  Our previous Pastor was so so gifted and he married us two and a half years ago so we had a personal connection to him.  I've often sent Briana recordings for her to listen to in Florida, especially when the topics covered relationships and marriage.

Mr. 3 and I were really concerned about finding a church in Richmond that we could feel connected to the congregation and find a gifted Preacher.  We weren't interested in a mega church or a church with huge mortgage payment.  In our experience, the larger the congregation, the harder it is to make a meaningful connection.  The larger the mortgage payment, the less good works the church is able to do in the community and abroad.

We tried out a few churches in the Richmond area (one even met in a old movie theater with a great chandelier from the 1920s!).  I haven't "shopped" for churches in quite sometime and I was surprised to find that I had very strong feelings about what I did and did not want in a church.   Besides the mega church and mortgage payments, we went to one church where no one sang.  There was a band, but it seemed like not a single person was singing in the congregation.  To each his own, but I just felt weird about it.

I've been asking God to guide me to a place we could feel at home with the congregation and the Pastor.  After a fairly quick search, I think we've found one we want to stick with and start attending regularly.  Besides the above qualifications I've already mentioned which this church does meet, the music is wonderful, the people are so friendly, and I think the Pastor is gifted.   I'm so so thankful that we did not spend months and months looking for a church.

This isn't our usual Posh Purpose type of material, but I wanted to share with our readers (some of whom are my Bible study group members who have been praying for us to find a new church home!) that sometimes its not all home decor, parties, and the latest mascara.  Sometimes, it's about finding a place you can focus your faith and your life on God's plan which is greater than anything you could ever imagine for yourself.

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Gift that Keeps on Giving

Do y'all remember those wooden spoons I painted as Christmas gifts back in 2014? Well the paint is still holding up well (at least on my sister's set) even after being run through the dishwasher plenty of times. The spoons have been commandeered, however, by my toddler niece.

Happy Friday! And happy long weekend for those of you who have Monday off (I do not).

Thursday, February 12, 2015

First Richmond Craigslist Purchase

As I lurked around the internet, stalking all things craigslist, I found these beautiful things:

Gorgeous, no?  I love the shape and this is probably the first time I haven't hated beige fabric.  The seller wanted $200 for 4 chairs.  I wanted to pay no more than $40 each.  I took Mr. 3 with me, because...hello?  stranger danger!  Don't ever craigslist alone!

The seller lived in a gorgeous row house in the Fan part of Richmond.  I had to refrain from asking if some of his other furniture was for sale as well!

The chairs were pretty, but had a fair amount of staining/water spots.  There wasn't any horribly dark staining, but there was a few red marks (probably from markers based on the rugrats I saw walking around) and stray pen marks.   The seller told me that the other stains were dog slobber....charming.  After a thorough inspection, I found the chairs to be comfortable and firm enough.  The springs were fine and the webbing on the bottom was still intact.  The wood bits had a bit of scuffing, but no major issues.

He wanted them to go to a "good home" and get a few dollars for them.   I talked the guy down to $25 each! I plan on trying to clean them up (future post to come!).  If they clean up pretty well, I will use them, as is, for kitchen chairs.  If they don't, I will look into having them reupholstered sometime next year...either keeping them as kitchen chairs and using the same fabric orrrrr recovering them in different fabrics and stashing them in different places around a future house.

I'm super excited to have found such a great deal on craigslist for such pretty chairs!  Even if I wind up recovering them, they are still quite the steal!

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Sewing Projects Christmas Gifts

I sewed a lot of Christmas gifts this past year, thanks to my wonderful sewing instructor. She suggested ideas, found patterns, and obviously helped me learn how to make pretty gifts. I want to share a few of the things that I made, not because I want to turn Posh Purpose into a DIY blog, but because these gift ideas are super easy for a beginner. 

pillows for J's mom

pillows for my mom
 I love making pillows! If you buy the piping, making pillows is super easy and fast. Of course, I had to make my own piping to get the exact look I had imagined. I purchased the pillow forms, the fabric for both the body and the piping, and piping cord. I used a thinner cord for the bird pillows and an extra fat cord for my mom's pillows.

 I made three table runners this year. One for each of my sisters-in-law on J's side and one for my sister. Table runners are another easy project, but they do require more fabric. You need a top fabric (shown above) and a lining fabric to go underneath. Some people use the same fabric, but I went with a plain brown for the floral and a subtle green print for the wintery runner. Table runners are one of those home good items that can be a lot cheaper to make than it is to purchase.

I made way too many aprons last year. Sorry for the horrible photo editing above - I have no desire to share my somewhat messy kitchen on the blog today. I did not intend for the picture to end up on the blog, but I just realized I didn't take any other pictures! Anyway, I made two like the one above plus two others. Aprons can be easy or complicated, depending on what look you want. The one above had a lot of circle hems, so take that into consideration. You can probably find a lot of online patterns for aprons, or just wing it if you are so inclined.

Another project I made is this giant laundry bag for my dad's sailboat. I bought the canvas fabrics at Habitat for about $2 and totally made it up from there. Somehow the bag ended up far larger than expected. This is a case of the aforementioned 'winging it.' I put a draw string in the top and reinforced the horizontal seams quite a bit.

Unfortunately, I forgot to photograph the rest of my projects before wrapping and giving them away. Maybe my sister will take a picture of herself in the apron she received (hint, hint). I really enjoyed sewing Christmas gifts and hope to do it again next year, but I may be otherwise occupied with sewing projects for my own home! 

Monday, February 9, 2015

The Barn Antiques

If you ever find yourself near Lake Alfred, Florida, you must check out the Barn antique store. Even if you don't normally visit central Florida, this store is so wonderful that you might as well make a special trip. After you look through rooms up on rooms of antiques, you can take a lunch break at the Back Porch Tea Room located on site. There are a few gift shops on site as well. I visited in October and the gift shops were decorated for Thanksgiving and Christmas (so many trees!). My more recent visit (when I bought stained glass) was a few weeks back, and the gift shops were decorated for spring.

Here are some of the items that caught my eye. You may notice that I got a little caught up in all the pink art deco mirrors. I managed to escape the store twice without buying one, but I doubt my strength for a third visit.