Weekend Junk #20

Monday, September 26, 2016

Wow! Can you believe it’s been over a year and a half since my last Weekend Junk post?! I’ve still been thrift shopping during that time, but I’ve been trying to limit my purchases to pieces that I have a place for and not just hoarding things. Anyway, I have a few recent finds to share with you today so let’s get right into it!

This is probably one of my best finds ever! It’s an oil painting of New York City and I only paid $30 for it! I found it at Desert Thrift Shop (same place I found my EKTORP living room chair). Can you believe that I almost passed it up? I was feeling super cheap that day and didn’t want to spend $30 on thrift store art. Of course I came to my senses and bought it anyway. The frame is a little beat up, so I’ll probably paint it black or replace it someday, but it still looks perfect in the master bedroom as-is.



I also found this ironstone chamber pot at the same place on the same day. It was only $4 and right now I’m using it to hold a potted plant. 


This jewelry box is from the same thrift store too, but on a different day. I’d been looking for a simple jewelry box to hold a few of my favorite pieces, but nothing caught my eye until I saw this one. It doesn’t hurt that it was cheap too!


I’m on a handmade pottery kick right now, so I was really excited to find this vase at Goodwill for $1.99. I love the colors and it looks great in so many places around the house. It’ll probably end up on my bookcase though.


I also found this pottery piece at Savers for $3.99. I’m going to use it to replant the faux succulents that are currently in a plain terra cotta pot on my coffee table. 



Has anyone else been thrift shopping lately? Any good finds?


 

Friday Five

Friday, September 23, 2016

One – San Francisco


Last week my mom and I spent 5 fun-filled days in San Francisco, CA. We had a great time exploring and doing all of the touristy things in the area. I’ll write full travel posts soon, but I just had to mention our trip and share one of our pictures right away. We both agreed that our favorite stop was Alcatraz and the best meal we had was at Street Taco on Haight Street (although it was hard to pick a favorite).



Two – Blueberry Cheesecake Macarons


One of my ’30 for 30’ goals is to bake a batch of macarons. The French cookie is notoriously hard to make, so I’ve always been scared that it would end up being an epic fail. Well, I’m pleased to announce that they turned out pretty perfect. Although, I will admit that they took for-ev-er to make. I used a recipe from a Food Network magazine that I’d been saving for years (I think this is the same recipe). I was nervous because I don’t have a convection oven, but they turned out fine regardless. My boyfriend and I ate the whole batch in only a couple days!  I really want to make them again, but next time I think I’ll make chocolate with Nutella cream…yum!



Three – Presidential Podcast


I have a confession to make: I’d never listened to a podcast until a couple months ago. I know they are super popular, but I just never saw the appeal…until my boyfriend got me hooked on the Presidential podcast. Each podcast is about a different president starting with George Washington. The podcast is hosted by Lillian Cunningham from the Washington Post, but for each episode she brings on historians and experts to help explain the character and legacy of each president. We started listening to it while road tripping to Montana and at first I thought it sounded so boring, but I was hooked after the first episode. It is seriously so interesting! I’ve learned so much about each president and about the country throughout the various periods in time.



Four – America the Beautiful Annual Pass


While we were in San Francisco last week, we stopped at Muir Woods National Monument. Instead of paying the $10/person entry fee, I bought an America the Beautiful annual pass. They are $80 and cover the entry fees and day use fees at national parks, national wildlife refuges, and national forests for one vehicle of passengers or up to four adults. I used the pass for my mom and I at Muir Woods and I know my boyfriend and I will get a lot of use out of it too. One of my ’30 for 30’ goals is to visit five national parks, so this will be a great way to accomplish that.


The pass is free for current U.S. military members and for 4th graders. Seniors (over 62 years old) can get a lifetime pass for only $10. You can read more about the pass here.



Five – Laline Body Soufflé and Scrub


I’m currently obsessed with the Coconut Verbena body soufflé and scrub from Laline. We ran across the shop while we were exploring Pier 39 in San Francisco. My mom is loves fancy soaps, so we had to check it out. When we walked in the saleslady asked us our favorite type of scent (floral, fruity, or clean) and then she had us try the scrub and body soufflé on our hands. I like fruity scents so she recommended the coconut verbena and it smells ah-mazing! My mom likes floral scents so she tried the vanilla pink pepper and loved it. 


Anyway, my hands are usually really dry and pitiful looking, but they felt and looked amazing after the scrub and soufflé. They were having a buy 3 get 2 free sale, so we both ended up buying the scrubs and soufflé plus a men’s body wash for my boyfriend. I’ve used the scrub and soufflé on my hands every night since we’ve been back (I still need to try it on my body) and they look SO much better. I normally don’t like lotion on my palms, but the soufflé absorbs quickly so I don’t mind it. 


I hope you all have a great weekend! Anyone have anything fun planned? We’ll probably spend most of the weekend outside now that the weather is finally starting to cool down. Tomorrow morning we volunteered to help a nearby children’s home get their vegetable garden ready for fall planting. We’re trying to get our own garden ready too, so I see a lot of dirt in my near future! 


http://farmerbell.blogspot.com/     http://alizadventures.blogspot.com/     Cup



Travel Tuesday: Sorrento + Capri

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Today we’re heading down the Italian coast to beautiful Sorrento! This was the last stop of our Italy trip and it was such a great place to end the tour. After spending almost two weeks in the bustling cities (Venice/Florence/Rome), peaceful Sorrento was the perfect escape. 


We left Rome in the morning and made our way down the coast. We stopped in Naples for lunch at a pizza shop recommended by our driver. His family lives in the area and he said it was the best. Unfortunately, I don’t remember the name, but the pizza was delicious and the owners were so welcoming to our large group.



We made it to our hotel in the late afternoon and we were stunned by view from our hotel room. That’s the Bay of Naples and Mount Vesuvius! The rooftop pool deck also had a great view of the city.


 
 

We spent the afternoon and evening in Sorrento exploring the area and shops. The area is so beautiful and it was so nice to be near the water again.




The next day we met up for a trip to Capri. We took a ferry to the island and thankfully I didn’t get seasick. I got really seasick one time on the ferry to Catalina Island, so I was nervous about the ride, but I made it! Of course the seasick band and other remedies I brought along could have helped…



Anyway, we were supposed to take a boat tour around the island, but it was too windy, so we ended up having to take a bus around the island instead. The views from the bus were pretty amazing.


 

Capri is a beautiful place, but it was so crowded! I’m glad I got to visit, but would never need to go again. I wish we could have visited the Blue Grotto, but we did see some other very pretty places while we were on the island.



I think Capri would have been better experienced by boat. We were pretty sick of the crowds by this point in our trip, so we didn’t enjoy our time on the island as much as we would have thought. After a few hours of exploring, shopping, and eating lunch we rode the funicular down the mountain and took the ferry back to Sorrento.



We spent the rest of the day shopping and exploring more of Sorrento. We ended up calling it an early night because we had to be up early in the morning for our excursion to Pompeii, which I’ll share in another post soon.


So long story short, we loved peaceful Sorrento, but weren’t impressed with crowded Capri. Have you ever been to Capri? Were we just jaded from spending so much time around crowds for the past couple weeks and it’s not really that bad? Sometimes I wonder if we would have enjoyed it more had it been earlier on in our trip…



MummyTravels “Inspire
 
 
 

A New Shed

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

This is the story of a shed that was bought Memorial Day weekend, but wasn’t fully set up until Labor Day weekend…


Let’s jump back to mid-May – After years of planning and saving, I finally had the backyard professionally landscaped. I mentioned in the reveal post that I wanted to add a shed, but I was waiting for a deal. Well, I got that deal a couple weeks later during the Memorial Day sales. I ended up ordering this Craftsman resin storage shed from Sears.



It was on sale for almost $200 off, plus I had $10 in rewards points to use! I also saved $70 on shipping by borrowing a friend and her pickup truck for an hour. It was still a big purchase, but it had great reviews and it should last for a very long time (10 year warranty!).


But then the shed just sat in its box for two months…June and July are ridiculously hot in Phoenix and we really didn’t want to build a shed in 115 degree weather. Finally one weekend at the end of July the temps were just over 100 degrees so we decided to go for it. We did as much prep work as we could inside and then waited until the sun started to set to start assembling the set outside. 



It took HOURS to assemble and we did the last few steps in the dark by cellphone light. I’ll be completely honest, it was not fun…at all. We were sweating like crazy and we made it harder on ourselves by not building it on a completely level surface. It made most of the pieces harder to line up, especially the doors. That was definitely my fault…I wanted the shed put together and didn’t want to waste time building a level surface. So the shed was built, but not on a level surface so it really wasn’t usable…the doors didn’t work correctly. 



Luckily my boyfriend is amazing and over the past couple weeks he built a level surface for the shed. He used some leftover pavers to create a level border and then filled/compacted the space with dirt. He finished up over the long weekend and we moved the shed into place on Monday. We’re using it to hold all of the patio cushions, extra chairs, wheelbarrow, and yard tools.



I love how it turned out…it was definitely worth all of the sweat. We did things out of order, but sometimes you just have to do what you can in the summer heat. Plus the shed provided shade for my boyfriend while he was working on leveling the ground…so I guess it worked out in the end. 



Did you notice the dirt patch next to the shed? That’s where we are going to plant a vegetable garden! We still have to dig it out and add better soil (we bought a bunch while it was on sale over the weekend). We are also connecting lines to the existing drip system so we don’t have to worry about watering the garden. For our region, September is the best time to plant most of the leafy veggies (lettuces, kale, spinach) and plants like broccoli and cauliflower, so we’ll probably start with those. I’ll definitely post an update when I have more than a dirt patch to show.



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