crave vs save.

It’s time for another Crave vs. Save post today!

I went to the Gold Rush Days flea market this past weekend (see my recap of last year’s market here) in which I was bombarded by an array of vintage goods and hard-to-pass-up antiques. The more I looked around, the more I realized I already had several of the treasures I was seeing on display; the only difference was that I [happily] paid a fraction of the price for most of those items compared to what they were being sold for (all thanks to shopping at estate sales, garage sales, and thrift shops). This reminded me that whether it’s a simple piece of milk glass or a large furniture item, it’s important to do your research, bargain hunt and price compare for particular items you want so you don’t end up paying more than you should, or have to!

These crave vs. save posts are a prime example of the money you can save when you do your homework and hold out to find the best deal…

crave vs save


   Schoolhouse Electric, $110              Ashley Anna Brown, $68

boxwood wreath

       West Elm, $79                                          DIY, approx. $24


           Lowes, $79                                           IKEA, $49.99

bar stools

West Elm, $199/ea                           Target, $79.99/ea

numbered cubby

Urban Outfitters, $98                                  Target, $49.99

What items have you saved big on lately?

See my other Crave vs. Save posts here & here.


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Filed under Interior Design, Money Saver

SimplyChic @ Dwell!

Dwell Localimage via

Hey guys! You might have noticed I’ve been going to town on a lot of DIY signs lately — it’s because I am now selling some of my pieces at Dwell Local, a storefront + design studio located here in Rochester, MN. Dwell offers interior design consultations and their storefront features fun vintage finds + a wide variety of unique & handmade items from local artists. If you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth checking out!

For an updated list of “SimplyChic” pieces that are available for sale at Dwell, head to my SHOP page! I am hoping to have new pieces available each week so check back regularly.


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DIY beach sign + summer mantel.

I realized last week that I hadn’t done much to our mantel since adding this window, so I decided it needed a little refresher. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen the beach sign I was working on last weekend, amongst a few other DIY wall art projects. The sign, combined with my desire to change up the mantel, resulted in a fun nautical design.

DIY beach sign

I made the sign with a piece of reclaimed wood, my go-to stencils & some sisal rope. (Note: After uploading these pictures, I decided the sign looked too clean and needed a little “roughing up” so I gave it a slightly more rustic feel by giving it a light sanding).

nautical mantel decor

nautical mantel

The nautical-themed mantel is comprised of my large antique window, a vintage fan, a sailboat picture, my beach sign & a rusted blue lantern. As much as I don’t want summer to end, I am already dreaming up some fun ideas for fall decor!


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Filed under *My House, DIY

loving lately.

loving lately

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5

Happy Friday! Welcome to another edition of ‘loving lately’!

1) Converse One Star lounge pants. You guys, I’ve practically been living in these pants since the day I brought them home. I picked them up on a whim recently (Target clearance rack — need I say more?) and now I’m wishing I would have bought a few more! (Update: I went back for another pair!) In addition to comfort, I’m a sucker for any lounge pants that sports pockets.

2) Nourish Organic Face Cleanser. Aside from the packaging being just as adorable as the face crème’s (reference this post), it also scores points for its gentle factor and that it can be used on any skin type. And it goes without saying how much I love that it boasts the USDA organic seal and doesn’t contain all of the harmful ingredients that so many standard face washes do these days, i.e. parabens, phthalates, petrochemicals and EDTA.

3) Essie nail polish in ‘Honey Bun.’ I think it’s easy to get caught up in the trends and opt for bold nail polish shades + designs, but at the end of the day I prefer classic colors like mauve, red, nude, etc. and this one fits the bill perfectly.

4) Eco Candle Co. candle in the scent ‘Lovely.’ This sweet soy candle is described as “a feminine blend of citrus, floral and woodsy notes that is both casual and glamorous.” — I couldn’t have said it better myself! Runner up from this company is the scent ‘Chamomile Sage.’

5) Floral scarf. Target clearance strikes again. This recent purchase has quickly become a new favorite. Scarfs are always associated with the colder months but the light fabric plus floral pattern of this one makes it suitable for wear spring through fall.

What products have you been loving lately?


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Filed under Loving Lately, Reviews

back entry + DIY key/coat rack

entry way

DIY key rack

DIY key rack

Hello friends! Today I thought I’d show an update of the back entry (really the eat-in kitchen) of our house as well as a new piece I made — a wooden key/coat rack inspired by 7th House on the Left and my DIY towel holder.

To make the rack, I simply cut a piece of scrap wood I had to the same size as the chalkboard window above it, gave it a coat of walnut stain leftover from this project, stenciled on some numbers, and lastly added four hooks I had picked up on sale at the craft store for $1.49/ea. a while back.

More projects to report on soon!


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Filed under *My House, DIY

DIY window boxes.

Last month I mentioned in my curb appeal post that if I only crossed *one* item off my curb appeal to-do/wish list, it would be to install window boxes. I am happy to report that the boxes are now built, installed and boasting pretty red blooms!

diy window box

You might remember I debated buying vs DIYing. I ultimately decided to make my own for the sake of saving some major cash, plus you simply can’t beat the satisfaction of being able to say, “Hey, I made that!” when it comes to the completion of any successful DIY project.

The materials (wood, primer + paint, screws & four L-brackets) ended up coming in at just around $60, as opposed to $150/each for the pre-made ones I had been eyeing at the home improvement store. You can probably do the math but that means I saved a total of $240 by making them myself — score!

diy window box suuplies

First I got all of my wood cut to size, followed by priming it all with an oil-based primer. From there I attached all of the pieces using a nail gun. Once assembled, I filled in the nail holes with spackle and caulked along the inner corners. I then gave the boxes two coats of glossy white paint made for indoor/outdoor use. Lastly, I drilled six drainage holes into the bottom of each box and lined the boxes with burlap so that water can get through the holes but the dirt can’t. The final step was to secure the boxes to the house which I did by using two 8″x8″ L-brackets per box and the help of this tutorial. Oh yeah, and the hubs helped out a lot, too.

DIY window box

To make the boxes look less plain and more “custom,” I added lattice strips to the front. I also figure that if I ever want to take the “custom” look a step further, there is always the option of attaching decorative corbels to the bottom as well.

DIY window box

As much as I wanted to do something bold and really eye-catching to fill the boxes, I kept it simple this time around by going with red impatients to complement our red front door. Next year I plan to get more creative and opt for a mix of plants like this, aka the “filler, thriller, spiller” method.

So there you have it — my DIY window boxes! I’m so glad to be able to check this project off my home improvement list. But of course there are many more boxes to be checked…

Until next time!


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Filed under *My House, DIY, Gardening

DIY garden sign.

Two posts in the same week from me? Crazy, I know. I’m trying to get back to regular blogging here people, “trying” being the keyword.

So I posted this photo on Instagram a few weeks back of a new garden sign I picked up on clearance for $8 at Hobby Lobby. I had been wanting to make one myself, but a mix of laziness and a tempting red clearance sign got the best of me so a store-bought sign it was. Despite this sign being located in the outdoor garden decor section, it only took 20 minutes of the sprinkler hitting it before all the letters just melted right off the day I hung it up. Wah, wah, wah. So I was left with a blank (yet pleasantly distressed-looking) piece of $8 wood. It was clear this was meant to be DIY from the start…

I decided to keep it simple by using my bold Arial font stencils and black paint. It doesn’t look as pretty as the store-bought one, but sometimes basic is best. This ended up being my easiest DIY sign, yet ironically the most expensive. Without further ado, my simple garden sign:

DIY garden sign

DIY garden sign

DIY garden sign

Click the links to check out my four other DIY signs — Dream | Fresh Eggs | Garden Tour | Market

And on the subject of gardens, I am about due for an updated “how does your garden grow” post to show you guys what we have sprouting up this year.

Until next time…



Filed under DIY, Gardening

loving lately.

loving lately1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6

Hey guys! I have some new [home] project posts in the works but in the meantime I thought I’d show you few products I’ve been loving lately…

1. Tera’s Protein Powder. I recently purchased two tubs of this protein powder when it was on sale at my local co-op (one dark chocolate whey & one honey vanilla goat) and have been very pleased with both. Previously I had been using vegan protein powders, but the taste + texture seemed off on all the one’s I tried. Tera’s, on the other hand, boasts great flavor + texture and a hearty amount of protein per serving (20 grams!). I also love that almost all of her products are organic and/or fair trade.

2. Mini alphabet stamp kit. Whether it’s for making custom cards or cute labels, this stamp kit of mine has gotten plenty of use in the past few months.

3. Born Paulette Flats. I bought these at a consignment shop in near-new condition last fall for $14 (they retail for $105) and I’ve definitely gotten my money’s worth. These flats are super comfortable and can pair with just about any outfit, aka my kinda shoe.

4. Ball Sip and Straw Lids. If you like drinking your juices and iced coffee in mason jars like me, these to-go lids are a must!

5. Fresh flowers. Either from the farmers market or my backyard, I can’t get enough fresh flowers lately and having small bouquets throughout my house (even if it’s just one bloom in a little vase!) Psst — interesting article on the benefits of having flowers in the home here.

6. Beeswax candles. I recently started purchasing pure beeswax candles from our farmers market and I’m smitten. Beeswax candles have long been known for their air purifying effects and can greatly reduce dust and other allergens in the home. They also burn clean and up to three times longer than paraffin candles. Awesome, right!? Find them at your local farmers market, co-op, or online.

What products have you been loving lately?


See my last ‘loving lately’ post here.

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Filed under Loving Lately, Reviews

a call for curb appeal.

Hey, guys! Long time no post, eh? With the warm weather we’ve been having here in Minnesota, I have been outside every chance I get. It’s finally raining today so I decided I’d finally sit down and reunite myself with the blog. On the subject of being outside, today’s post is all about curb appeal!

I’ve put a lot of effort into updating the interior of our house the past [almost] two years and now I’m looking to do the same outside. Last year you saw how I updated the facade of our house by painting the door red and the shutters black in place of the pine green color they were previously sporting… But that was about all I did in terms of boosting our curb appeal.

This summer I’m determined to step it up! So far I’ve replaced our house numbers for more modern ones, mulched the front garden (I went bold by using red mulch instead of traditional Cypress, see below), and added a few new plants. (As for the backyard, you can check out the mini flower garden I made and the vegetable garden we built HERE).

curb appeal

But there is still a lot I want to do yet this summer in the front…

curb appeal wish list1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 }

1 – First up is window boxes. If I only accomplish one more “curb appeal” item this summer, I want it to be window boxes. I love how such a simple feature can add so much charm to a house, like this, for example. Now it’s just a matter of deciding to DIY or buy… Keeping more $$$ in my wallet sounds appealing, but I’m drawn to the idea of saving my sanity time by skipping the DIY and going with a store-bought version that will more than likely last longer than my handmade one… What do you think?

2 & 3 – While #2 isn’t huge on the priority list, I’d really like to replace our front light with a more modern version that better fits our style. (For reference, this one is comparable to what we have now). We might not get around to tackling that this year, but we’re definitely planning to add pathway lighting which is an easy and relatively cost-effective way to spruce up the front of a house.

4 – Rain chains! Not only do they serve a practical purpose (help divert rainwater runoff and reduce soil erosion outside the home), they also look cool! Getting one of these isn’t a must-have by any means but if I come across one for a good price it will definitely be coming home with me!

5 – Last but not least, a new door mat. We bought a standard “Welcome” one when we first moved in which is now at the end of its life. This time around I’d like to go with one that is more fun & colorful like shown in the pic above.

So there you have it — my plans for boosting our curb appeal this summer. What things have you done (or plan to do) to make the outside of your house more appealing?


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Filed under *My House, Gardening

garage sale haul.

The arrival of spring gets me excited about a lot of things — retiring the snow blower, Saturday mornings spent at the farmers market, planting in the garden — but mostly it gets me excited for — wait for it — garage sale season! You guys know I love thrifting and turning other people’s trash into my own little treasures. This past weekend was the North side of Rochester’s annual city-wide garage sale and I’m already looking forward to the South side portion coming up this weekend! While I didn’t walk away with a whole lot at the end of the day, I was happy with the few items I found nonetheless (some of which you might have already seen on my Instagram)! Check it out:

garage sale haulthrow pillows – $1/ea, queen-sized knit blanket – $2, statue – $2, ceramic pie dish – $1, mini wall art – $o.25, elephant planter – $3… TOTAL = $10.25

I typically don’t buy pillows/blankets from thrift stores (unless new) because, well you just never know, but I don’t hesitate to do so at garage sales since I can meet the people who previously owned the items. The throw pillows are really sizable and being that they’re a neutral color they can work in just about any space. I bought the blanket from a sweet old couple that I know will come in handy during the winter months (it’s similar to this one from Target but was only a fraction of the price — score!) As for the rest of my finds…

garage sale items

I was oddly drawn to that little floral wall art piece. I like the tarnished frame and think it could look really nice among a gallery wall mixed in with some modern pieces. If it doesn’t work out, I figure it could just be a cool coaster.

I bought the pie dish for a day when I’m feeling domestic and want to make a pretty fruit tart like this. I’ll let you know when that happens…

The statue was a quirky piece I couldn’t pass up. I debated using it as book shelf decor but opted to put it with my jewelry and use it to a necklace display instead (see below).

And last but not least, my favorite find was the elephant planter. It just so happened that I recently saw Melissa from The Inspired Room blog bought an almost identical one from Anthropologie (actually a creamer, not a planter) which I was swooning over. I was happy to come across a similar piece but even happier that I was able to pay less than four times what Anthro is selling it for!

necklace holderThe statue made its way into my jewelry storage area. It’s a fun and unexpected piece that spruces up the dresser.

elephant planter

industrial workspaceThe elephant planter found a home at the desk in the basement guest bedroom.

That’s all this time around! Hopefully you will see more garage sale haul posts from me throughout the summer. In the meantime, check out my top five tip for being a savvy garage sale shopper here and do some treasure hunting of your own!



Filed under Thrift Hauls