Autumn Details

Welcome back readers!!!! We’re now entering the season of fall as the first leaf falls to the ground –indicating it’s fall (autumn if you may). If you’ve been following me on IG, you’ve probably noticed I’ve already started pushing out my fall decorations. If not, please do follow on IG! There, you can see what’s currently going on, and usually a good indicator on what’s to come on an upcoming post. Sometimes, I get inspired by you guys! Yes YOU!! I get a few followers who comment, and always ask, “where did you I get that piece?” “How much?” “You made that?!” Yes! All those questions, come to me, and make me want to create a blog post covering all your questions!!

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If you’ve been following me for a while, autumn decorating is one of my favorites throughout the entire year! The orange spices, colorful hues, mustard yellows, and warm glow to decorative pieces give such cool and calm energy to the home. Also, my favorite feeling…Warm and cozy. Currently, in Sacramento, the temperature is still hot and toasty, but that wont stop me from decorating!!!! As some people love to easily jump into Halloween decor, I like to ease in autumn. Pumpkins, toasty faux leaves, cool metals, and yarn tapestries are what I have. This year, I’ve incorporated many of my gold accents as well.

You can check out my post on decorating with Gold Accents HERE.

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Last year, I wrote a post on being Frugal in Fall. This post, is quite similar, but just an updated version on how I’ve been styling my new home here in Sunny Sacramento. (If you’re new to my blog, welcome! You can catch up with my move to Sac HERE.)

Now, I’m a huge thrift store shopper, garage sale extraordinaire, an avid Craigslist shopper, and flea market goer. Antiques, vintage, secondhand, sold-as-is, and clearance are my main shopping goals before I go full retail. You can call me fabulously frugal. If you walk into my house, I promise you every since piece, item, furniture, picture frame, shelf, all once came with an awesome price, and pretty cool story at finding it. It’s literally my hobby, and job as the head of the home decorating team of my household.

Let’s start off my goals at approaching to shop for the fall season.

  • Walk Into Target
    Yes, you read it. Check out Target. Or World Market. Wherever a festive display of home decorating pieces are neatly and specifically arranged to make you buy. CAUTION: You may have to hold yourself back from purchasing all the cute items. BUT you don’t want to. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be reading my blog post at this moment.
    Walking into Target or Cost Plus World Market, is to gather inspiration. See items, up front, how they styled it (Props to all the visual merchandisers out there!!! I was once one, looong ago…) See the small vignette styled pieces. Also, take a close look at the prices. Those prices are what we’re trying to avoid.
  • Price Check
    Once you’ve gathered inspiration, go directly to the clearance/sale section. It’s usually at the back end of the store, or at the end of every aisle. See if there are any pieces from last year’s collection, or inventory they may be trying to get rid of.

Above picture:

Here are a list of items int he picture above – on where I purchased my autumn accessories.

(TOP Picture) Bronze metal pumpkin candle holder, Savers Thrift Store $2.99, faux pumpkin, Flea Market $0.99

(BOTTOM Left Photo) Leaf Candy Dish, Savers Thrift Store, $1.99, Outdoor Glass Gold Lantern, Target, Clearance $9.99 (Originally $19.99), Gold Tray, Target $11.99 (Originally $17.99)  

(BOTTOM Right Photo) Pumpkin candy jar, Savers $3.99, faux pumpkin, Flea Market $0.99

Folks, total everything up, that’s about $30 dollars! Minus, my gold Threshold trey, which I’ve had the past 4 years. Strictly, all fall decorations were a total of $20!! Cover 3 different areas in my home.

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This photo above is a vignette I’ve created on the top of an IKEA china cabinet I have near my dining area. I styled 2 wooden crates stacked on top of each other, paired with 3 birchwood branches. Both the crates, and birch wood branches were purchased on Craigslist!!!!! YES!! Craigslist! A common source where I purchase a lot of my best finds. Even the IKEA china cabinet it sits on was from Craigslist!!

  • What To Search 
    A fews years back I was into event styling. I’d help style, and assists a wedding planning in San Francisco over the weekends as well as being hired independently through close family and friends for their parties. With not much of huge budget, I’d source out to Craigslist and search for what I was looking for in particular. (i.e: Wedding Decor, Rustic pieces, crates, escort card holder you name it!!!!) From there I’d find countless brides, getting rid of their wedding stuff!! After that, the rest is history, and over the years, I’ve collected many,many pieces, which have become my festive/seasonal decorating.
  • Strangers Trash
    Oh honey, that’s where you’re wrong. It all depends on what you’re looking for. How is it that I’ve managed to collect so much through all these years? All secondhand, from people who no longed needed it, and just styled in new ways!!

So before you end up buying the entire home decor collection at Target, check your local thrift stores, garage sales, or Craigslist. You’ll never know what you’ll find! Happy hunting, and happy decorating!! Stay tuned for more decorating tips, and ideas this month all about fall!!!

 

Also be sure to check out more posts on my IG feed!!

Follow me @TiffanysTidings

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Autumn decor is back!!!

Gold Accents

I’ve been all about gold accents around my house!! They just bring a a simple modern clean look to the home. Gold accents also go great against color!! Sometimes when color is missing, hints and sprinkles of gold items help tie in the room together. Now, I know decorating with gold can get intimidating. It may be too bold for you…Hey, I was the same way.. So I started off with gold stapler from Target. (Yeah, you know that Nate Berkus Limited Edition Stapler that everyone has. Especially the gold scissors.)

Yes. I started off with something as small as a simple gold office accessory. And honestly guys, it doesn’t take that much to get the love of gold to get going. The obsession kept growing as I stepped into every retailer, and always saw gold accents, decor, accessories everywhere.

 

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During my last Craigslist flip of my bamboo desk, I styled the blue lagoon desk with some Target Threshold gold accents.

 

You can read more about my Craigslist Bamboo Desk HERE!

Click on the pic for a closer look and see the detailed step by step process of transforming this Craigslist find!

Decorating with gold accents don’t have to expensive too. Of course there are amazing decorative items at West Elm, Z Gallerie, and Restoration Hardware, but let me tell you. There will never be a time I shop at those retailers. Clearly because there is no way in hell I can justify any of their prices. So let me start off with some ideas on gold items you can DIY, or look out for when on a budget. Just remember, gold decor doesn’t have to be expensive.

DIY Gold

If you haven’t picked up yet on my blog, I’m in love with DIY projects, and being budget friendly as well. If I can make it vs buying it full price, I will. With that said, a good DIY project is so much full filling. If you like being creative, and enjoy the process of making something awesome– DIY it! Incorporating gold accessories don’t have to be items that sit on the shelf to be pretty and sterile. Make something, and place it in your home, being proud of your work. Try making a piece of art work using gold acrylic paint or spray paint or a functional piece too! Some ideas could be like these fantastic Pinterest finds:

  1. Geometric DIY Art (By: Sum Of Their Stories)
  2. Gold Painted Elephant (By: Build-Basic)
  3. Gold Dipped Bar Stools (By: HoneyBearLane)
  4. DIY Mirror Frame (By: Pretty Providence)
  5. DIY Abstract Art With A Golden Touch (By: LollyJane)
  6. Himmeli Geometric Sculpture (By: Ash And Crafts)

 

Street Cheap Gold Decor:

When I say street cheap, I mean free to less than $10 to basically nothing! It’s also goes with the Gold themed DIY. When you’re on the hunt for secondhand keep a special eye out for things you love. From gold textiles, figurines, and if you’re lucky, and vintage find! All these items and also be flipped, or they just need a good cleaning. Here are places to search if you’re looking for a “canvas” for a GOLD diy project.

  1. Thrift Stores
  2. Flea Markets
  3. Garage Sales
  4. Craigslist
  5. DollarTree/99 Cent Store
  6. Target DollarSpot

 

Affordable Gold | Retailers: 

I understand not everyone is into the hunt through secondhand. It’s just not you to search through thrift stores or flea markets. Here’s a list of my favorite go to budget friendly retail shops. (They’re also my favorite spots to go shopping at during the holidays!) —-Psssst, when gold decor comes out REAL hard.

  1. Marshalls/ TJ Maxx/ HomeGoods
  2. Ross
  3. IKEA
  4. Target
  5. Cost Plus World Market

What are your favorite gold items to decorate with? Are you a gold DIYer? Or do you just buy from your favorite store who has a wide selection of gold accented pieces? Comment below!

Craigslist Bamboo Desk

Everyone, my craigslist game is on! The family and I just got back from a week long vacation visiting the San Francisco Bay Area. After day 5, I was already craving to go home back to Sac just to settle down and gain back a normal routine. And guys, when we arrived..I made no plans to waste time and let my creative itch rest. The Sunday evening we arrived home, I hit Craigslist, and searched my tail off to something to transform.

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Photo from my Instagram account @tiffanystidings

Is it me? Or am I on fire on Craigslist?! Vintage Bamboo desk, that is screaming for a new paint job!!! ($30)

#Craigslist #Sacramento #FrugalFind#Thrifty #Secondhand #Used #Desk#BambooDesk #DIY

I’d like to present to you my latest Craigslist transformation. A vintage wooden bamboo desk purchased for $30 (Originally $40, but the lady spotted some cracks, and knocked off $10 bucks!)

So it all started with the intent to browse through Craigslist for a desk for my oldest son. The school year is about to begin, and with entering 4th grade, I wanted him to have a solid big boy desk. Well, my search derailed, as I spotted this fantastic vintage bamboo desk for $40. With a few knicks and chips, it was not bothered by the imperfections. I jumped to contacting the seller and arranged a pick-up for Monday morning.

The boys and I traveled about 20-25 minutes north from Sacramento to a town called Orangevale. A neighboring city to Citrus Heights. My 9 year old son helped me carry the desk into the car, and we went straight to the closest home improvement store for paint and supplies.

As we got home, I just used some wall spackle to fill in the imperfections of the desk, which was the reason the seller took off $10 of the original price. The wall spackle is something I had already after using it to fill in holes at our previous residence. Simply, using a joint putty knife (flat surface tool –basically the handyman version of a kitchen spatula) spread your spackle using the putty knife to the surface of your project. If you look closely at the above picture, I filled in the holes of the top desk surface, and also on the right corner side of the desk.

Spackling Process:

  1. Spead spackle.
  2. Set to dry. I waited 30 minutes since they were small areas.
  3. Scrape away excess compound from surface with your putty knife.
  4. With the blade at a 90-degree angle to the surface. Take care that you don’t remove the spackle from the hole or crack when you remove the excess.
  5. Use a damp cloth to remove any compound adjacent to the patch that you didn’t remove by scraping.

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After evening out our imperfections using the spackle, my son and I gently sanded down the desk, and also gave it a good cleaning with a wet cloth. After that, the painting process began. The color palette I decided to go for was a navy blue, and blue lagoon by Valspar.

The color selection was chosen upon my family room IKEA area rug.  (MARSLEV High Pile, Tuquoise, Beige Rug) Also, the main reason I was searching up desks on Craigslist was because my son needed a desk. This bamboo may or may not be his, but will be placed within our common living area, which can be used as a pop-up desk area for anyone to use besides mommy. Hehehe.

We painted the exterior of the desk in the Blue Lagoon, and interior (drawers), and dark mid-night blue. I also kept the bamboo hardware the original color, but gave it a fresh look with Krylon Satin Ivory spray paint I already had.

Paint Colors:

Exterior: Valspar Blue Lagoon (CI 189)

Interior Drawers: Valspar Dark Night (4003-4C)

Hardware: Krylon Color Max Spray Paint in Satin Ivory

Photo Aug 05, 12 01 00 PM

Before purchasing this desk, I had already knew how I wanted to style it! Gold, gold, gold!! If you’ve been shopping at Target lately,  I’m pretty sure you’ve noticed the College/Dorm Room decor and essentials. Over the summer, I’ve been slowly collecting the gold items at Target. From outdoor patio gold glass terrariums, gold candle holders, to the DollarSpot file and mail holders!

Speaking of dorm room essentials, please be sure to check out my latest YouTube video!!! Yes!! I’m back!!! Seriously, it’s been like a year! But I’m hitting it hard on all social media platforms that I’m able to handle! Check it out!

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If you know of anyone entering college and moving into a dorm, first apartment,or on their own for the first time, please be sure to check out the video! (Like & subscribe!)
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Target has tons and tons and tons of gold embellished items. From the dorm room accessories and decor, to Nate Berkus office supplies and decor. After walking throughout Target I got exactly what I needed, with still a little more wiggle room to get more elsewhere (like my favorite discount retails: Marshalls/TJMaxx/Ross and also the thrift stores!)

I purchased this awesome desk lamp, and paired it with a Target glass terrarium I purchased a few months back. I love pairing surface items in three, or 2. “Grouping” items with different heights compliment each other quite well, especially when on a desk, table, or night stand.

Target Gold Buys

Desk Lamp: James Collection LED Task Lamp -Threshold ($29.99) 

Lantern/Terrarium: Lantern Gold Metal – Small Threshold ($12.99)

Geometric Candle/Pencil Holder:
Threshold ($4.99)
Magazine Holder:
DollarSpot ($3.00)

Photo Aug 05, 12 24 04 PM

I’m so happy with the way the bamboo desk turned out! Stay tuned for more Craigslist furniture flips and transformations, as I continue to furnish my house here in Sac! Happy August!

Frugal In Fall

It doesn’t make much to style a home for fall. Honestly, decorating for fall is easier than decorating for Christmas, in my opinion. Here’s a quick example of a style coffee table that isn’t so Pinterest Perfect, but fabulously frugal. Everything currently on my coffee table was all less than $10 each. All you need is time, and willingness to check out for local thrift stores, weekend flea markets, Dollar Trees, and clearance sale days at your favorite retailers (My Fav Spots: Target, Bed Bath & Beyond, and also Bath And Body Works!)

Here I’ll list a few items I purchased at my local favorite shops, that didn’t cost me an arm and a leg. These items can be styled so easily with any style you have that suites the personality of any home, willing to add in the touch of fall!!!

(Above photo, leaf candy dish, Thrifted @Savers)

 

What’s on my coffee table:

(My current living room coffee table)

  • -Pumpkin Candle Holder
  • -Leaf Candy Dish
  • -Faux Pumpkin
  • -One Wick Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Candle
  • -Decorative Skeleton

 

Pumpkin Candle Holder

Purchased a thrift store last year for $4. Every fall I go on a seasonal decorative hunt strictly for pumpkins. Last year, I collected quite a few, but a great beginning to a tradition I plan to continue every year for fall decorating. The metal bronze like pumpkin candle holder had enough space to fit in a decorate pumpkin which I added.

Leaf Candy Dish

Also thrifted, purchased at a Savers for $2. A Better Homes and Gardens brand (Originally sold at WalMart) this candy dish sit’s perfectly next to my pumpkin display. It usually contains bobby pins I take off at the end of the night, car keys, sunglasses, or misc. tiny toys I find on the carpet through the day. OCD Me usually clears out the leaf dish, and placing the random items back to it’s proper place.

Faux Pumpkin

I purchased a bunch of these faux pumpkin’s during a visit to a flea market last year. Faux pumpkin’s are usually scattered in different corners of my home. Bookshelves, night stands, coffee end tables, they add that simple decorative harvest touch to the home. Easy to style. Easy to decorate.

One Wick Sweet Cinnamon Pumpkin Candle

A one wick candle purchased at Bath And Body Works. Stay alert with those coupons, and special clearance days. These babies usually cost $12! So expensive, but when you can buy these candles on those special days when its a buy 2 get one free, or 50% off days, it’s nice to capitalize on those sale dates! Candle buyers know. Sale dates are IMPORTANT!

Decorative Skeleton

(A simple Halloween touch!)

This is one of the easiest ways to decorate for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Pumpkins throughout October and November are a no brainer. Adding a simple Halloween spooky skeleton takes literally no effort. I purchased a garland of skeletons from the DollarTree, and took them apart. Easily adding them wherever it seemed right. The skeleton man, sits aside from the faux pumpkin. Easy styling made simple, and simply remove it the day after Halloween, and there your styled pumpkin arrangement is still presentable for Thanksgiving!

I hope these simple festive fall decor tips helped!! Thrift stores, flea markets, and DollarTree spots are my home. My holy grail spots to shop before settling with Target! If you are frugal budget friendly stylist like me, comment below, and let me know how you style for the fall harvest season on a dime!

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Why I Thrift For My Kids

Discover awesome apparel for your little guys at thrift stores!! It is ingrained in me to thrift for my children and myself. With non-stop growing children, and myself going through a weight loss journey buying new clothes all the time is no option. As long as they are in good condition, they fit well, and are stylish and trendy. This post and video was inspired by Stephanie from Six Figures Under! She had written a post about 6 Reasons to Get Kids Clothes Secondhand, and I couldn’t agree anymore than her! When I came across the blog, everything she had listed was already things I was actively doing! (Read more HERE)

Here are the 6 Reasons to get kids (and yourself!) clothes secondhand:

  1. It’s WAY Cheaper!

    Thrift stores, garage sales, consignment shops, Craigslist, and one of my favorites Facebook Buy/ Sell/ Trade Mommy Groups are many ways to get clothes for cheap or even free! For a brand new pair of jeans sold at Kohls, you could get three or four (or many more!) used ones! Saving money is the number one reason for buying pre-worn/pre-used clothes.

  2. Sufficient Selection

    You don’t have to worry about your child wearing that same shirt from Target (We’ve all seen it happen!) Select classic patterns and styles that are trendy. Inventory at thrift stores is always changing. Hit the racks, and search for those outstandingly good finds.

  3. Stains? No Problem!

    Kids clothes are a magnet for disaster. It hurts when I’ve spent money on a brand new outfit only to have it be ruined the first time my kid wears it. Buying used clothes won’t make your kids less messy, but it will save some frustration.

  4. Make Money

    I found a DVF Diane Von Furstenberg wrap dress at my local Savers for $24. Those dresses cost $368 at Bloomingdales! When you find excellent clothes at great prices, go ahead and grab them, even if they won’t fit you or your kids! You can sell them on ebay or turn them in for credit at your local consignment store!

  5. It’s Green!

    Buying used is a away to recycle. It keeps good items out of landfills and decreases the demand for new manufacturing. By making “buying used,” your standard, you are being more environmentally friendly.

  6. Kids Grow
    Buying used kids clothes also allows you to buy a season and size ahead without over-spending. Even when seasons and sizes don’t match up, it’s nice that you didn’t pay full price for those items they’ll never wear. If some pieces manage to survive #3, I pass them on to your youngest son. Replacing an entire wardrobe of outgrown clothes (or for me, clothes that are now too large for me) by shopping at thrift stores and garage sales won’t ruin your budget. You can pass on the clothes that don’t fit to another family member, or turn them around and sell them on a Facebook Group.

How about you….

  • Do you regularly buy secondhand children’s clothes?
  • How about for yourself?
  • What are the biggest reasons you do or don’t buy used clothes?youtube


Check out my latest Thrift Store Haul video on YouTube!!

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Love Your Home Challenge

I love our home. I love how we’re located in a cute quaint quite cul-de-sac right off the main street and we can hear the sirens of the paramedics going up and down giving us a city feel. I love how we have a large tree in front of our home to give us cool shade all throughout the day. I love our front porch that holds our Craigslist rocking chairs, and found off the curb Pottery Barn Kids picnic table. And I love how we’re exactly a mile away from sons school.

I love our home. To be able to have a roof over our head, I feel very blessed. And yet, sometimes I struggle with taking my blessings for granted! For me, I am so fortunate to have a safe and warm place to not only raise my family, but to nurture my family. We are blesses even further to have a space to decorate and enjoy, and to have land for our boys to roam and play.

We are blessed. This I know.

But I’m only human….And sometimes I want more. I would be lying if I told you I never wished for more funds to decorate or renovate or improve.

Truth is, I’m a little unsatisfied.

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Thankfully, I don’t have to settle with the cards I was dealt with, dealing with my dissatisfactions or disappointments.

Right now, you could be asking, what in the heck could you hate or be dissatisfied with your home Tiffany? Honestly, I’m really unhappy with my backyard. This has be a neglected area for quite some time. I never really knew how to take care of if, besides a good old fashioned daily raking of the leaves. BUT! I told myself (with a go-getter attitude) I can own up to the challenge of sprucing up the backyard with what little budget, and things I can make on my own.

Focused Area: Backyard

Backyard

Problem Area: Backyard Wall

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So, this summer – in the fabulous month of July, I’ve made it my project to bring the love, energy, attention and focus to my backyard. I’m going to give myself the Love Your Home Challenge. Just like any trending home decor challenge given over the internet, these challenges are usually given as a focus and commitment to a certain task. Very similar to the Zero Dollar Decorating, and $5 GoodWill Challenge.

I really look forward to tacking this backyard challenge this summer, as I intend to trim, tidy, declutter, and upgrade our current backyard living area, into a whimsical simple garden terrace with play area. I can’t wait!! Here’s what I’m working with so far…..

Pallets, succulents, and Craigslist!  

Follow me here on the blog for more on my summer Love Your Home Challenge!

Also, follow me on Twitter for hour by hour updates on what I’m up too!

Smiles

DIY Farmgirl Bouquet

The school year has finally came to an end!! (Insert dancing mom gif here) I’m happy enough to have been the class mom for my son’s second grade class, and attend just about every field trip, and to come in most Friday’s of the school year for a crafternoon. There are so many benefits of volunteering as a class mom. And as my birthday landed on the last Friday of the school year, it was one of the most precious gifts that I could ever have, by volunteering  in that same day!! You seriously cannot buy experiences of sharing good times with children doing arts & crafts!

Parent Fact:

Whether the kids are just starting kindergarten or entering the final year of high school, there are many good reasons for parents to volunteer at school. It’s a great way to show your kids that you take an interest in their education, and it sends a positive message that you consider school a valuable cause.

By interacting with teachers, administrators, and other parents on a regular basis, you’ll be able to gain a firsthand understanding of your child’s daily activities. You’ll also tap into trends and fads of school life that can help you communicate with your kids as they grow and change (all without intruding on their privacy or personal space).

Even if you haven’t been involved in the past, it’s never too late to start. In fact, it may be more important than ever to get involved when kids reach secondary school. Some parents may experience “volunteer burnout” by the time their kids enter high school or decide that the schools don’t need them as much then. Many parents who volunteered a lot of time during their kids’ elementary years return to full-time careers by the time their kids are teens, so there’s often a shortage in the secondary schools.

(Info From KidsHealth.org)

End Of School Year Teacher Gift

This can also be applied to a Class Mom, volunteer, Team Mom gift.

(Check my last post on the Berry Basket! It compliments the bouquet!!)

Teacher Gift 2With the school year done as well as little league, there are tons of important people to thank. From the classroom teacher, class mom volunteer, little league managers, and team moms. All these people put in the extra hard work for your children. They go above and beyond to make the year or season run smoothly. Here is a great DIY End Of School Year/End Of Season gift to those important ladies. Let’s get started with my DIY inspired FarmGirl bouquet.

As mentioned, my birthday was just last week and I received a beautiful FarmGirl bouquet from my brother. The idea of a carefully wrapped burlap bouquet of fresh blooms is quite brilliant. After unwrapping the beauty I was able to figure out how to create my own rendition and take the idea for a small simple bouquet for gift to others.

Farmgirl

(Checkout my blog post HERE recapping my 29th Birthday)

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Here’s what you’ll need for the DIY Inspired FarmGirl Flower Bouquet.

Materials:

– Scissors

-Twine/ Ribbon/ Yarn

-Burlap

-Foam

– Gift Tag

-Flowers (I purchased my tall Larkspur bunch from Traders Joes for $3.99) 

Directions:

1.) First cut your flowers at a decent size. weather you prefer tall or short, I like to pre-size them up against a standard size mason jar or small desk vase.

2.) Simply, cut and snip, and clean the stem with loose leaves or thorns.

3.) Take your foam and soak in water (and squeeze!) Make sure the foam isn’t soaking wet, but just enough not to dry up by delivery time. This will add moisture to the stems of the flowers to hydrate them, during travel time and delivery.

FlowerCut

4.) Take your foam and cut a large size triangle. Have the size of the foam compliment the size of the bottom half of the stems of the bouquet.

5.) Fold your foam triangle, making sure the bottom of the stems are completely covered. 

6.) Using your twine, tighten the foam around the bottom part of your bouquet.

BottomBouquet

7.) Once the foam piece is secured and tied, place your bouquet on top of the burlap.

This is when I seriously had to play around with my burlap. Note, I was using scraps of burlap I had. Just about the size of a table runner.

8.) I wrapped by bouquet and tightened it with more twine, leaving enough of the flower to poke over at the top.

Burlap WrappedAfter following the above steps your bouquet it almost finished, and should look like this. From here, we’ll style the burlap to there’s more florals showing through.

9.) Take the opening of the burlap and fold it back. If your burlap is stiff, try pining it back with a safety pin, or sewing needle pin.

Final

And viola! There is your DIY inspired FarmGirl Flower Bouquet! I only spend $3.99 for the flowers! Everything else, I had here at home, scraps of foam, burlap, and twine are staples I always have in my craft supplies! Check out my next post, on the berry basket gift that compliments this bouquet of flowers!

What I love most about this bouquet, is its easy to make, simple, and can be given at any occasion. Mother’s Day, visiting a friend and her newborn, and like I’ve mentioned, can be a perfect gift for teachers and team moms alike! Enjoy!!

Smiles

5K To Wedding Day: PLUS Surprises

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Today was my first 5K run of the year! The drive from my home to the regional park in Livermore was amazing. I had my morning dutch chocolate nutrimeal, received my morning before-run motivational texts from friends and family, and enjoyed the 50 Shades Of Grey Soundtrack on Spotify driving through beautiful vineyards.

Before the run, I did have a little bit of the butterflies from the park gate, to finding a parking spot, to walking up to the start line. I’ve been training for this, and know I can mentally and physically I can do this. My goal was to complete the 3mile race under 40mins. The last time I did a 5K, I was able to complete it within 34mins. So giving myself the extra 5-6mins was a great safety. Before start time, I took myself to a nearby picnic table and did some core warm-ups. 2 minute step-ups, lateral step-ups (both sides), then step-to balance and lateral step-to balance. Those are just a few warm up drills I do with my trainer, and on my own to keep my knees and ankles strong. All to prevent me from knee injury.

Since I’ve started back with my trainer, one of my biggest fears is getting injured, ESPECIALLY a knee injury. “If,” (knock on wood) I did go through a knee injury, that would put me months on sitting down, that leads to gaining weight, which leads me to the fear of not being loosing weight (again), and scared from another knee injury. And that is a complete no, no in my book. Having to “loose weight” again is a CLEAR-CUT no in my journey. Going through this entire fresh knew look on life, and staying fit, healthy and strong is a must, that I want to carry through my late 30s and on. In my head I’m like “I’m Asian, I get mistaken as a youngin’ all the time. Let’s keep it that way!!!!”  I know that sounds crazy, but growing old, sucks. And I don’t want it to be. I want to stay healthy and be healthy. For myself and for my family.

BrazenRacing2

(Photos By BrazenRacing)

Fast forward to the race, the race was amazing! While running I got to enjoy the green hills of De Valle Regional park in Livermore. Livermore is the eastern edge of the San Francisco Bay Area, with a fantastic regional park, filled with green hills, great hiking trials, and a beautiful lake view. The weather was perfect during the race, cold, and brisk of the early morning, easy breathing weather, with warm sun shining down! Above, is a photo of the 5K start. Can you spot me? I’m wearing all black, which I always wear because while working out I like to celebrate my fats funeral. Heh, I know, but really though.

As I reached the tail end of my 5K, I charged towards the finish line, and headed straight to the water table. I was given my medal and huffed and puffed towards my car. Yes. My car. I didn’t stop to enjoy watching others cross the finish line, I drank up my water, and walked directly towards my car. Today was such a jammed packed day, of not only my 5K, but each of my boys had baseball games, and later on in the evening my friends wedding! Once returning home, and texting my family, I was able to see the very last part of my youngest son’s game. The team huddle where the coach announces who receives the game ball. And guess who got it?! My son did!!!! What an amazing morning!!! If I hadn’t gone straight to my car after my race, I wouldn’t be able to catch that moment of my son receiving the game ball! So proud of my little guy. Really.

Shortly after seeing my son experience his first game ball, he enjoyed his after game meal at the snack shack. While talking to my mom as she recapped the tball game, an older gentleman interrupted us saying that my son was on the front cover of the local bulletin paper. Shocked, I wasn’t sure if it was true, I told him I wasn’t aware that my son’s picture was on the paper. The older gentleman was certain, and kept saying he’s on it, “a great straight shot of him.” I’ll have to look into this later..

MonicaWedding (Photo By David Rosario, The Photoriot)

 

After an afternoon of rest and celebrating a morning of milestones with my family, it was time to attend my dear friends wedding Monica & James. To let you know a little bit about this couple; Derrick and I were introduced to M&J by a mutual friend, David (who also did photography for their wedding day.) David introduced us in 2012 and we first met them as a couple at Derrick’s 26th birthday which we had hosted a house party at our old home. Beer pong tables under patio string lights, sangria, and a chocolate fondue is all I remember from that party. Good times. Time passed, and over the course of parties, hiking Half Dome, double date nights with J&M, antique fair shopping, and farmers market meet-ups this couple hit a home run with Derrick and myself. They are such an incredible couple to be around. They compliment Derrick and I as a couple, which similar – wait, like almost identical interests!! The balance and dynamics of the four of us together is simply amazing. So being invited to their wedding day truly meant something to me. I love James & Monica so very much, and I cannot say that about many people.

The evening wedding was hosted at an art collective outdoor patio warehouse in Berkeley, totally James & Monica. The details were cool and funky, and vintage. I actually provided the bridal party sign, all DIY, painted and thrifted my moi. I’ll post a tutorial on that soon. The wedding was so emotional. And I mean emotional. Take a look at the photo above captured by my friend David, The Photoriot. Simply amazing.

To Monica & James, you two have defined what true love really is. I send many positive thoughts with love and care to you two everyday. I love you guys! Cheers to the next chapter of your relationship.

Smiles

Sweet Kimonos

Last fall, I went on a thrifting shopping-spree of searching for only kimonos. A lot of the times I walk into a thrift store I walk in with one main focus. This keeps me to concentrate on purchasing on one main product. I dig through the racks only in search of one kind of garment. Fall Kimonos.

When you think of a kimono, I’m sure the first thing you think of is the traditional Japanese garment. All last year, social media and fashion blogs turned this spring summer cover up into a uniform. After last fall’s shopping kimono hunt, I honestly never got around to wearing it due to weather conditions, and change of season. Now, mid-February here in California it’s been finally warming up into Spring! I’ve taken out my collection of thrifted and gifted secondhand kimonos in preparation for my Spring uniform!

Kimonos

From left to right:

Forever21 Cherry Blossom Kimono ($7, Savers), H&M Black Kimono ($7, Savers), Target Butterfly (Old purchase), Red Velvet Kimono ($10, Cotton On)

Kimonos

 (Left) Secondhand Cotton On Kimono, (Right) Secondhand Anthropologie Floral Fringe Kimono

If you type in ‘kimono,’ on Pinterest, you’ll see loads of fashionista boho inspired outfits. From cutoffs, Selena bustier, to floral print kimono. With spring now approaching, I honestly cannot wait to wear this long, sheer, light-weight cardigan-type pieces of clothing! They may be last year’s spring/summer trend, but IDGAF!! I thrifted these babies!!!

These kimonos are perfect for the warmer weather because they’re light and airy, but still cover up if you’re chilly or you just want to cover up your shoulders. They come in all sorts of beautiful patterns, and can be worn with everything! As a mommy, when I only have five minutes to get dressed in the morning, that means I’ll be reaching for the kimonos!! Simply throw a kimono layer over any outfit and you’ll be out the door in a flash!!

My go-to outfit:

Simple oversize cami, and roughed up boyfriend jeans. Add the kimono, and viola!

I’ll be thrifting later on this week, hopefully I’ll be able to add more to my collection! Keep it cool, kimono lovers!

Smiles

Transitioning Into Baseball Season (Pt.1)

Having a family of two boys can be very tiring. This is the first year both my boys will be registered in little league together. Meaning, double the cleats, gloves, 3/4 colored undershirts/baseball long sleeves, snack days, and the overlapping practices and games. While signing my youngest son up, I knew somewhere in the back of my mind I was shooting myself in the foot. Overlapping practices and games. What was wrong with me? Why did I fall into the trap? I saw all the red flags over the past few years speaking to other baseball moms, and also overhearing moms at the gym locker room.

“Morning Jan, how are you?”

“Oh, it’s Tuesday. Dinner in the car, karate after school then straight to football.”

Is this the phase of motherhood I have now entered? One one ever tell’s you about this when you’re pregnant! You just have to figure it out all out. So today marks the first day of little league. I’ve already been contacted by both of my son’s coaches, and they’ve provided the practice schedules. And low and behold, both the boy’s practice’s overlap. Two different parks? Yes.

I’ve been mentally preparing myself for this moment. With a few Pinterest inspirations, and speaking to other moms of boys, I’ve gathered enough information to help me survive the baseball season with two boys. From discounted baseball attire, scheduling system, to ready to go/easy prep dinner meals for the car. If you’re a mother of more than one child trying to multitask and survive any sports season, I’m sure you’ll be able to find this guide quite helpful.

BaseballMom

(Baseball Mom Organization Photo By OneDollarCottage.com)

Baseball Equipment

In preparation to the baseball season, the boys are required a uniform that have many accessories. The league typically provides the jersey and hat, but everything else is provided by the player. That includes: cleats, cup, 3/4 colored baseball undershirt, team color socks and belt. Over the past years I’ve come to realize not all sporting good stores around my town will have everything I need. Often, one sporting goods store will run out of a certain team color I need, then I’m stuck Yelping  and driving around the next retail store. Sometimes a few cities away.

To avoid any trouble this year, and in attempt to save money on baseball equipment I’ve utilized a couple of my favorite spots:

  1. Thriftstores
    Although this could be a hit or miss, there is always that chance of scoring a pair of baseball cleats, helmet and baseball bat bag all for under $10!
  2. Secondhand Consignment Shop
    Usually, my local children’s consignment shop sends out periodic emails to sellers or email subscribers on their current sales. Since it’s baseball season, they’ll generally keep the public notified with secondhand sports attire.
  3. Craigslist
    My favorite go to shopping platform. Just like Amazon, I search up exactly what I’m looking for, with the chance of negotiating.
  4. Local Facebook Mommy Groups
    Take advantage of FB Mommy groups!! Post a comment stating ISO (meaning, In Search Of: __whatever item you’re looking for_) Local mom’s in your area have joined this group to get rid of their children’s stuff! Think of it, like a Craigslist platform, hosted on Facebook.
  5. Sports Warehouse Shops
    My holy grail this year!! A mother on my sons basketball team referred me to our local sports warehouse. I searched it up on Yelp, and went straight to the place! These sports warehouse have a huge selection of gear, with good sales and prices that are slightly below your average ball shop.

Blue Wagon

Blue Folding Wagon – Sams Club

One handy tool for any sports mom, is this folding/collapsible wagon. My cousin purchased it for me at her local Sams Club for $60. It’s undoubtedly one of the most useful things I’ve ever had, after a stroller!!  It’s durable polyester fabric and steel frame can hold up to 150lbs. Great for holding sports gear, cooler, camping gear, and beach gear! I’ve used it a couple of times at Costco too! If you don’t have one. Get one!!

Practice Clothes

Practice Attire

Below are some boys Hanes sweats I found on clearance at WalMart for $3 each! I purchases 2 pairs for each of my boys. What’s great about them are they’re full cotton, warm inside, have the elastic on the hips and ankles, and not only that, they provide pockets. (Which is a really important feature for my kids.) A total of $12 for 4 pairs!

I also purchased a crewneck long sleeve for $5 for those chilly evening practices!

Scheduling

If it weren’t for Google Calendar, and a whiteboard my life would be completely upside down. Not only do I have our family schedule logged digitally, and also in sync with daddy – I also need it written on a white board for me to see. In addition, I also have two notebook journal calendars. Soo hmm, counting my fingers, I have my weekly schedule kept in 4 different places. To some, it may be a little obsessive, but it whats keeps me sharp! Putting in the extra time jotting it down in multiple places helps set the plan/activity in stone. Not only that – I have my iPhone alerts.

Now as for dinner meal prep, and homework; I’ll continue with that later on as the season settles. All of  this may be a lot to take in! It certainly was a lot for me! I’m still currently shopping for more baseball equipment! Good luck sports mommies! Breathe in, breathe out! Oh! And if you’re a Team Mom, God bless you! You do a lot for the team, and the team won’t be able to function without you and the coach!

Smiles