Favorite Posts from 2018

This has been a huge year for me in so many ways! Compiling this list made me realize even more just how much has happened this year and how much I’ve grown both personally and professionally. Most of all, I am thankful for our daughter Sage making me a mama this year! These last six months with my little family of three have been so wonderful. As a creative and entrepreneur, I also feel a renewed sense of purpose and direction because of the changes this year has brought. I’m looking forward to sharing more about that journey in the New Year! Here are my favorite blog posts from 2018, starting in January…

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June: Meet Sage

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What a year it’s been! Whether you found your way to my blog in 2018 or you’ve been here since the beginning, I want to say a big THANK YOU! It means so much to have your support and I’ve met so many kind-hearted, encouraging friends through blogging! I love creating and sharing in this little corner of the internet for you guys. Have a very Happy New Year!

How to Thrift Housewares & Home Decor

It's pretty common knowledge at this point that I love shopping secondhand. Most items in our house were found at a thrift store, yard sale or online classifieds like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace. There are many reasons to love thrifting; whether it's the thrill of the hunt, trying to be mindful of consumption in regards to sustainability and the environment, or as an affordable way to outfit yourself and your home. My reason for thrifting is a combination of all three plus I love to decorate my home with unique items that no one else has. I've been a thrifter since high school and I am often asked how I find such good stuff secondhand. I wrote this post to share what I've learned over the years and my best tips for thrifting housewares and home decor items.

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Every item in this photo is a secondhand find with the exception of our dining chairs.

Where to Shop

For smaller home decor items and housewares, I find that thrift stores and yard sales are really the best place to shop. For bigger items, I'm a fan of Facebook Marketplace and Craiglist (I'll be sharing my tips for shopping on those sites soon!) but in my experience the best prices and selection on smaller home goods aren't going to be found online. Familiarize yourself with the secondhand shops in your area and go frequently. People have told me that they would love to thrift but just don't have the time. Thrifting doesn't have to be super time consuming! After you've been to all your local spots once, you'll know which ones are worth making return trips to. I try to squeeze in a little thrifting if I'm out running errands and I'm going to be nearby one of my favorite shops. I don't spend hours shopping or look through every section every time I go. I've decided on certain parameters for myself that help narrow down what I'm looking for to save me time and make it more manageable to find what I'm looking for. 

Read: How to Shop for Thrifted & Secondhand Furniture

Have a "Wishlist"

So you can't really go to a thrift store once with a list and expect to find exactly what you're looking for. But I do recommend having an idea of what you might need or want for your house ahead of time for the simple reason that thrift stores are crowded and you won't see what you aren't looking for. Every time I think of something I could use for the house, I put it on a note in my phone. Right now on my list are new cereal bowls and wooden peg racks for our kitchen and laundry room. In addition to making it more likely that I'll find what I'm looking for, this list also helps keep me focused on buying things I could actually use. When items are priced at $0.99 it's tempting to just throw everything in your cart, but I'm still trying to be intentional about what I bring into our house from a clutter standpoint. And also, you're not really saving money if you're buying something you weren't planning to already, you know? That being said, there are some items that I always keep my eye out for because they are versatile for decorating and/or have some practical or organizational use. Pin this list to refer to the next time you're out thrifting!

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Know Your Style

Another way I save time at the thrift store is by really knowing my style and the types of materials, patterns and colors I want to include in my home decor. I prefer natural materials like wood, wicker, ceramic, stone, leather, linen and cotton so I keep my eye out for those materials whenever I'm out thrifting. I like classic patterns, like stripes, plaids, gingham and vintage florals. I also have narrowed down the color palette I buy for my own house, sticking to mostly neutrals like white, cream, tan, brown and black with some blues and greens. For wood, wicker and leather I stick with medium red-brown finishes. For metals, I mostly buy brass and black. For you, it might be light/blonde wood finishes, warm colors, and copper metallics. Whatever your style is, coming up with a palette that you stick within for your home will make it easier to narrow down the selection while shopping secondhand and will also help your house feel more cohesive, and not like a thrift store itself! 

Thrift shopping has become a big hobby for me. In addition to being an affordable and environmentally friendly choice, shopping secondhand for home decor has helped me to refine my personal style and create a look for our home that's collected, eclectic and feels unique to us. If you've never tried thrifting before, I hope this post inspires you to hit up your local stores! And if you are into thrifting already, I hope my tips help you find more of what you're looking for. 

Do you have any thrifting tips to share? What's your favorite thing you found at the thrift store lately? Comment below or join the conversation on Instagram

10 Guest Bedroom Essentials

I remember when we lived in an apartment, I would dream about having a real guest bedroom to decorate someday. Then, when we bought our first home a few years ago, we ended up with three! One is being turned into a nursery very soon, but since we have ample room we find ourselves hosting overnight guests on a pretty regular basis. As such, I decided my 2014 post on 7 Guest Bedroom Essentials was in for a little update! Read on to see my new list of tips for how to put together a welcoming guest bedroom.

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1. Layered blankets

No matter what season it is, give your guests a variety of blankets to choose from. My go-to bed bedding combination is a duvet, a lightweight quilt and a throw blanket. Similarly, it's a good idea to have two sets of pillows to layer on a bed -- two on the softer side and two slightly firmer. I do the same thing on our bed because I like a soft pillow whereas my husband prefers something firmer. Give your guests some options to make them feel right at home!

2. Wifi password

One of the first things I want to do after spending long hours on the road is to plug my electronics in and check my email. Make it easy for your guests by sharing your home's wifi password with this cute printable I designed! It's kind of crazy, but this little printable has been repinned over 100K times on Pinterest. Can you believe it? Grab your copy below or shop my other printable designs here

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FREE WIFI PASSWORD PRINT!

Name *
Name

3. Cozy chair

If you have the space, it's always great to add some comfortable seating to your guest bedroom! We have a small settee across from the foot of the bed in ours, but an upholstered chair in a corner is a great option too. It gives guests a place to sit other than the bed and makes the whole room feel warmer and more inviting.

4. Spare set of house keys

We've hosted a lot of guests in the two and a half years we've owned our house. For guests staying for a longer visit or just crashing while they are in town for an event, we like to leave out a spare key. It gives our guests a little more autonomy with coming and going as they need to and just makes things easier! We have ours on a pretty leather tassel keychain I made so it's easy to spot!

5. Fresh towels

This one seems obvious, but there's nothing worse than realizing you forgot to do that load of laundry right when your guest wants to take a shower. Unfortunately, I know this from experience-- sorry, Ella! In the bustle of getting ready for houseguests, it's easy to forget something but make sure you have a couple nice, freshly laundered towels ready for when they arrive! I usually stack them in a pile on the foot of the bed or on the chair/settee.

6. Snacks

I always like to have some snack food at the ready when I have guests coming. My guests are always welcome to what's in the refrigerator, but guests feel more comfortable helping themselves to snacks that are already out and ready for munching. I keep a bowl of granola bars and crackers stocked in our kitchen but if you really want to make a good impression, a small tray with a carafe, drinking glass and a few snacks right in the guest bedroom is a really nice detail!

7. Reading material

I always have a supply of magazines like Southern Living and Better Homes and Gardens, and I will usually leave a few of the current issues out when I know guests are coming over. I use hardcover and vintage books all around our house for styling, but I recently started keeping my collection of paperbacks in our guest bedroom too. This gives guests something to do if you are busy milling about the house preparing for a family gathering or celebration!

8. Wastebasket

Confession, we don't currently have a waste basket in our guest room but it's something I keep meaning to add to my shopping list! There's a lot of small trash that can be created when you're traveling and it's always more convenient when your guests don't have to go looking for a spot to throw something away. I like decorative wastebaskets with removable liners, like this one

9. Mirror

We used to have a mirror in our guest room, but things in our house are always moving around and now I'm on the hunt for a nice, affordable floor mirror to put next to the closet. Yes, there's the bathroom but it's a nice touch to give guests a spot to check their outfit or touch up their makeup before they leave the room. Plus, a pretty mirror can add so much light and energy to a space! Hang a smaller one over a dresser or desk, or lean a tall mirror up against the wall like I plan to do. 

10. Scented linen spray

In addition to washing all the bedding before I'm expecting a house guest, I like to add an extra boost of freshness when I'm making the bed with a naturally scented linen spray. You can definitely buy a premade spray, but I've started incorporating essential oils into my wellness and housekeeping routines over the last year or so and room sprays are so easy to whip up! I keep one in our room too to add some extra freshness to our bedding in between washes. I'll be sharing the DIY later this week!

What do you do to prep for house guests?

Comment below or on Instagram to share your tips! I love hosting friends and family in our home and I'm always looking for new ways to make things special for their visit!