Thursday, June 25, 2015

Thrifted Joy

I tried my dainty hands at making bug spray for the first time - easy peasy and I can't believe all these years I have struggled with "I don't know what to put on my kids but I don't want them being chewed on." It really is a problem. Mosquitoes will always be there, and unfortunately most ways to keep them off involve a lovely concoction of chemicals that can seep right into the skin...then absorbed into the bloodstream ( just being real's something to think about.) Who knew that witch hazel and a few essential oils are such a deterrent to the insect world? I used lemon grass, cedar oil and citronella in mine....

Shake it all together and you've got something pretty special with a twist of satisfaction. It's kind of pretty isn't it?

Luckily it doesn't scare off the bugs we want to keep...
Ladybugs are my favorite even though I've been known to swoon over a grasshopper or two - and I can chase down an earthworm with the best of them. Don't get me started on roly polys ...

While I was doing something as complicated as mixing a few ingredients together - the handsome husband was taking on the minor chore of redoing our dining room. He had finished the table with the before mentioned clearance stain - the color turned out a little darker then we expected but we like it. I think over time it may lighten just a bit.
Here is a before picture with our mix matched chairs...

I wanted to find some metal farmhouse chairs to go with the table or some bright white wood ones - unfortunately the metal chairs that are so popular right now are ,like, 100 bucks a chair. I personally didn't feel right about spending that much - especially since we would need four of them. You could feed a small village in Africa for that much - bear with me, it's just the way my brain works.
 We went to Ikea and loved some of their sturdy white ones but the 50 dollar per chair still didn't really make our hearts sing. Then the thrifty man of mine goes thrift store hunting and comes back with these THREE dollar ,amazingly NON rickety chairs that could probably hold five people without feeling over burdened - they are strong people. A few cans of spray paint and our hearts were not only singing ,our feet were dancing, the money part of our brain cha-chinging - our index fingers cramping (have you ever spray painted that many things at one time?) 
The "reveal" is coming in a moment - but first, I have to show some of our other thrifty finds and craftiness. 

The man also found me this beautiful set of bowls for $2.48 - they still had the original stickers on them. I'm thinking they were an unappreciated gift to someone that doesn't know the VALUE and BEAUTY of the common wood bowl. It's okay Cherry (yes, I name most of my belongings...) - the Corley Family will love you for a very long time. I'm seeing lots of movie and popcorn nights with Cherry in the center of things. 

There's something special about eating out of wood - makes me feel a bit primal...and I love the way colors "pop." This little carved heart bowl has been my all time favorite summer purchase. 

Brady has been making himself his own jerseys...with matching facial hair. Hobby Lobby has plain t shirts for kids in the 2-3 dollar range - there's something about decorating a shirt that kids love. Brady prefers to make very specific designs with fabric markers while the other littles generally go the  90's puff paint  route. As they say in the south "whatever blows your dress up" - just be creative! That's what summers are for right? 

Here's my little 1 hour project from this morning - I'm trying to cheaply add a little bit of love to me and the man's room. I haven't been able to get a hold of the photographer from our wedding to order prints for our wall (I could only afford an album at the time of our wedding.) So, I'm...gasp...taking apart our album and framing some of those prints. I feel like it brings me a lot more joy to see us on the wall then hidden in a 15 pound BOXED album under our bed. 

Thank you for sticking with me...
Here is the reveal. 
Zac used some scrap wood in the shed and an idea of off Pinterest to build a bench for one side of the table. The kids LOVE sitting on the bench, and I enjoy being officially rustic chic.

I just love it - the man amazes me with what what he can do - self taught.

The dining room looks so bright and cheery now - I will credit my husband with the whole thing (except choosing the chair color...that was all yours truly.) So, all in all, here's the breakdown :
Found table and original chair set at the Goodwill Outlet for 40 dollars
We kept the table and sold the 6 chairs for 60 dollars
So that' the green 20 bucks.
Bought four chairs for 3 dollars each and a can of dark stain for 5 bucks.
Still in the green 3 dollars.
Bought 15 dollars worth of spray paint.

So, if we also add the original cost of the scrap wood and how much we used - we got our entire dining room set for 20 dollars. Moral of the story - used is awesome and a little elbow grease mixed with a pinch of patience pays off.  Thrift stores and craigslist have become dear to our hearts and lifelong friends. 
It's such a blessing that there are small things in this world that can bring us so much joy - from heart bowls and eyeliner beards, essential oils and crisp white. It's all a blessing isn't it? 
What's bring you joy today? 

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” 
― Oscar Wilde


  1. Love your living room! And yay for homemade bug spray :)

  2. We make our own bug spray as well and also use the NOW brand essential oils. So much better than spraying the chemicals all over yourself and your children!

  3. I will be interested to know if and how well the bug spray seems to work. Keep me posted, will ya?
    I love the dining set as love love thrifting and repurposing. They bring so much satisfaction! So much more than a brand new set would ever bring.

  4. Your dining room looks amazing and perfect for a young active family. Good job!

    Brady got some creativeness from his parents I think.

  5. Lovely, clean and fresh looking chairs, and fresh is a good thing. I've always loved white in most any setting. It's like starting over with a new page.