Personal

We Didn’t Watch TV for a Month!

Yes, you read that correctly. If you’re new here, don’t quit reading on me. This blog is typically about my house and how I decorate on a budget, but this post is more personal. Bear with me.

For the month of January we decided not to watch TV at the house at all. It wasn’t really a new year’s fast thing, it was just something I thought would be fun to try. Sometimes I (and most Americans probably) can get sucked into sitting on the couch for hours on end. Which is totally fine. I work really hard during the week and sometimes I just need to do nothing.

The problem is that when I sit around doing nothing for multiple hours, I just feel unproductive and gross. So when I brought up the possibility of not watching anything for a whole month, Ethan was on board. He may have been a little bit reluctant, but if he was, he didn’t let on. I wanted to see what it would be like without it in the house. And let me tell you: it was awesome. Here’s what happened.

First, I just did more. More of everything. I worked on projects more frequently. I actually got off my butt and got into the garage to get stuff done. I painted more, finished a lot of things that had been in my garage for months, and got ahead on pieces for my upcoming spring shows. That alone would have been enough to call it a success, but there was so many other benefits.

I read more books. On a normal weeknight, when I would normally be watching my shows, I was reading books. I frequented the library much more often, and read four books this month. Which is a lot for me. I have always enjoyed reading, but I’m not what you might consider an avid reader. I have always used the excuse that I didn’t have time. Which wasn’t really true. I had the same amount of time, I just didn’t prioritize well.

I also felt more rested. Somehow even though I was getting more accomplished, I just felt better. I had more energy, and I wasn’t a total zombie when it came to the end of the day. Teaching can sometimes drain your energy, and so when you’re teaching all day you tend to be exhausted. And there were those days. But overall, I wasn’t super drained. I felt all around good. I cooked at home more and even baked some too! At first I thought that we would spend more money because we would be bored at home, but honestly I think we spent less money than we normally do because I was so much more productive and energetic.

There were things I thought I’d miss, and I’ll be honest, it was hard not tuning in to the newest episode of Fixer Upper each week when everyone else was posting and sharing photos of the great episodes, but there were other things I didn’t even miss (cough* The Bachelor *cough). As the month went on, it seemed like the feeling of missing out on things kind of passed.

Overall, it was a month of rest and rejuvenation. It was the perfect way to start the year off right, and it set the tone for what’s to come this year. I think it might be a good tradition to continue into the years to come, but we’ll see. Ethan may not quite agree. 🙂 Either way, I’d recommend it! I enjoyed this month, and I think if you gave it a try, you’d be surprised at how it turns out! That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

DIY Projects, Furniture Makeover

DIY Antique Farmhouse Dresser

Hello friends! Happy Monday! Today is good day for a good day, am I right? I’ve been super busy lately with projects and it is a wonderful feeling! Last weekend Ethan and I cleared out our garage, which gave me plenty of room to work. We organized all my materials, and made a place for everything.

It used to be super full and I barely had room to work on anything, but now that it’s all clean, I’ve been super inspired to work on projects in there. It feels like I can finally breathe!

One of the projects that I finished up this week was this little antique dresser. I snagged this dresser up from a friend who was selling it at her garage sale. I saw it and knew I had to have it! And because I am the worst at taking before pictures, you’ll just have to use your imagination. It was just plain brown and missing a few handles.

Well, I painted her up, and here she is in all her antique farmhouse style glory:

Okay, so with this project, I tried something new. I knew I wanted it to be super distressed, and rather than use my sander, I wanted to try the Vaseline trick that furniture painters everywhere have been talking about. So I applied Vaseline all on the edges of the dresser. (Basically where you see distressing is where I applied.) I found that it was easiest just to use my finger rather than messing with a paint brush.

After I applied my Vaseline, it was time for paint. I used Palais White by Behr in a flat finish. I painted everything evenly, including the areas that where I had used Vaseline. Now here’s where it gets tricky. My dresser needed two coats. Being the impatient person that I am, I could not wait to see the effects of the Vaseline after the first coat of paint. So, I began rubbing the areas with a rag. This was a dumb idea because I still had to paint a second coat.

The paint will not adhere to the Vaseline, and it basically makes a crackly looking paste in the areas where the Vaseline was applied. If you have to paint two coats, do not remove the Vaseline until finished with both coats. That was my biggest mistake. The technique worked well enough, but I had to reapply Vaseline so I could do my second coat.

Personally, I think I would rather just take my sander to the project afterward, but it’s good to try new things. Plus that’s mostly because of my own impatience.

After I finished the painting, I topped it with Annie Sloan clear wax to give it a protective finish. The wax is technically used for chalk paint, and I previously had only ever used it on chalk paint, but because flat paint is pretty porous, I figured I’d give it a try, and it worked pretty well!

I just love this cute little dresser, and it matches my light and bright farmhouse style perfectly! But alas, I won’t be keeping this one. She will be heading with me to my spring shows (which I will be keeping you posted about more soon, but the first one will be the Vintage Market Days in Glen Rose Texas in March. So that’s good news for you, because this cutie could be yours!

So, have you ever tried using Vaseline to distress painted furniture? I’d love to hear about your experience! Don’t forget you can find me on Instagram and Facebook for more behind the scenes fun of my day to day life! Well friends, that’s all for today. Have a fabulous day!

Home Decor

Clean and Wintry Tablescape

How is it January already?! This is crazy! I am heading into two years of blogging, and that is crazy to me as well! Every year when Christmas is over, and all my decor comes down, I crave simplicity. And, let’s be honest, I am pretty much ready for spring. I know that we will have winter weather yet, but so far the temperatures have been around sixty each day, which just feels wonderfully spring-like.

Anyway, I took down all my Christmas decor and I made my table simple and clean for the wintry months ahead. I know it might seem silly, but I really do always have my table made up. It brings me joy to have a pretty looking table, and no one should be able to steal your joy, so I say do what you want! I like to use a lot of blues in our house, and so I have one set of blue napkins that are my absolute favorite. I tend to mix these in with each season.

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I’ve been meaning to buy some napkin rings for a while now, but my cheap self never could pull the trigger. I found these the day after Christmas at Hobby Lobby. They were a metallic gold, which was a little too “holiday glitzy” for me, so I painted over them with a quick gray paint. The paint naturally wore off in a few areas (probably because of the slick texture), and it turned out to be perfectly chippy. I love it!

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The white pillar candle was also an after Christmas clearance special (my favorite time to shop). A simple jar with cinnamon and my DIY Boxwood Topiary  make my little cakestand look finished yet clean.

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And can we talk about this afternoon sunlight pouring in? For some reason late afternoon sun perfectly equates to winter for me. I’m not sure why, but this season really can be beautiful (even if it gets dark incredibly early and we don’t even have snow).

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For me, setting the table really can be a theraputic and meaningful time. I love the finished product of course, but the act of designing and putting together a table is incredibly rewarding to me. What about you? Do you have a table that’s typically set, or do you prefer a blank canvas?

A few sources for this design if you’re interested:

Napkins: Tuesday Morning

Napkin Rings: Hobby Lobby

Cake Stand: Magnolia

Plates: Target

Chargers: IKEA

That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

Personal

2017: My Word for the Year

Hello all! Can you believe that Christmas has already passed? It seems like the season moves more quickly with each passing year. I saw someone post on social media the other day about the time between Christmas and New Years being “a week of not knowing what day it is or what you’re doing with your life.” It’s funny, but it’s so true! Especially for me because I’m a teacher, I don’t have to work on the in between week, and so I’m at a total loss. Every day is leisurely and wonderful.

It is always a time for reflection though, and I love to use this time to reset before the new year. Last year I wrote a quick reflection on the year, and you can read that here . I was reading over it, and it is so awesome to see what this year has held for us, even when I didn’t know it. God is funny that way, isn’t He? Always knowing what’s ahead even when we’re doubting the plan.

This year rather than making any official resolutions, I am choosing one single word to represent my outlook for this upcoming year.

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I’ve never done this before, but it’s an alternative approach to resolutions. One with lower stakes. I’m not one for making make or break resolutions, but I can get on board with one single word. So for this next year, my word is:

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grow. 

It seems simple, but for me, it has so much meaning. This past year, we moved into a new rental house, I continued blogging, and we had our first successful show as a vendor at a vintage market.

This upcoming year, all I want is to grow. I want to continue to grow this blog, and grow more relationships with the people who read this blog or are in my so called “community.”

I want to grow my little business (it’s literally a family joke that I am technically a small business owner, because I had to get a tax license to be a vendor at a certain event). I want to grow my little side business into an actual side business. Something that is continually bringing in a side income while allowing me to be creatively fulfilled. I was able to get my feet wet a little bit this year, but I really want to dive in this next year.

I want to grow professionally as well. Teaching is no easy career, and there’s always areas of improvement. I want to continue to grow in that area.

And of course, there’s always room for spiritual growth. That’s something that almost seems silly to include, because it’s a no brainer for me, and it’s nothing new this year, but still an important facet to my word this year.

And that’s it! Do you make resolutions? Do you choose a word for yourself each year? I’d love to hear what you’ve chosen!

DIY Projects, Room Tours

DIY $15 Office Makeover

Hello friends! If you are here today because you clicked on a link that said I spent fifteen dollars on a room makeover and you’re wondering what in the world this is about, welcome. If you’re wondering how in the world that is possible, hold on. I’m about to tell you. But first, let’s rewind.

We moved into this rental house in July. And in July we had fabulous plans of quickly making each of the additional bedrooms into a purposeful, functional space. The guestroom quickly became usable (albeit with mismatched hand-me-downs from other rooms), but then there was this third room. It was like the junk drawer of rooms. No organization, no purpose. It housed all the things I hadn’t used in the months since moving in. You know, all the super important things. I’m going to show you some before pictures, but before I can do that, you have to promise that you’re actually going to scroll to the bottom and see what it looks like now. Don’t judge me based on my ugly junk drawer room and then leave. Promise? Okay cool. Here’s some pictures of what the room looked like four months after moving in:

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Now, don’t stare too long because you might get sucked into a vortex of clutter. You get the point. Moving on.

So my plan was to make this room into something usable pretty. The only problem being that I didn’t really want to spend any money on this room. So, I did what I always do and put my super cheap creative thinking hat on and got to work.

I shopped the house for items that I could re-use in this room. I dug things out of the garage from our previous house that we weren’t using and brought everything together. I slowly started piecing things together until a room started to form. The only problem was that I didn’t have a desk. Can’t really have an office without a desk, huh?

I had some scrap wood in the garage, enough to make part of a desk, but my rudimentary woodworking skills didn’t know how to fashion legs for a desk on my own. So I went to the architectural salvage shop in town and told the gentleman what I was looking for. Thankfully he makes all kinds of repurposed furniture and so he was super helpful.

He showed me an old child’s bedframe with decorative posts on the ends. He told me that he could cut the posts off for me in the shop, and they would work perfectly as legs to a table. The best part is that he would charge me fifteen dollars for the four legs. (Now is the title of this blog post coming together?)

So on my very own, with no help from Ethan (my choice, not his) I built this desk for the office for a grand total of fifteen dollars.

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I added a little frame and then the top, which was all made from scrap wood we found on the side of the road. Can you picture the legs as part of a bed frame? I turned them upside down and painted them white.

Literally every other thing in this room was something I already owned. Which is why this room isn’t quite the office of my dreams, but it’s something that’ll do for now.

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This crate was something I found at a yard sale this summer and it had been sitting in my garage for a while. It houses our record collection, and offers a place to sit or drop a bag by the door to the room.

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The dresser was a piece I made to sell (see the tag still on it?), but I decided to keep it rather that taking it to my next show. We needed a place for storage, and it’s a perfect spot to put the printer.

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In the top left of this photo you can see my calendar that I made from some old cupboard doors. We used them originally as decor at our wedding, and they’ve been useless since then. I used a chalkboard marker to add dates to it, and now we have a functional calendar that doubles as wall art. Plus it was free, so I’d call that a win.

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I placed this old door behind the desk as a focal point to the room, another thing I found at a yard sale this summer. It was an original door to a church in our town built in the 1890’s. I love that I know where exactly it came from.

Literally everything in this room had been sitting in a closet or in my garage until I brought it in here and cleaned out the space. I just love the fact that it’s possible to make do with what you have and still have a pretty home.

I could have spent hundreds of dollars in here, buying all kinds of things to fit here, but at the end of the day, I’d rather stretch myself creatively and do it on a budget anyway. I ended up making that desk on my own. It’s pretty rickety, but I’m super proud of it because I did it by myself. I wouldn’t have the same feeling if I had bought a desk from Target or wherever. My wallet wouldn’t be as happy either!

Well, that’s all for today, friends. I hope you’re inspired by my little office. Maybe it’ll inspire you to shop your house instead of buying something new. Have a fabulous day, friends!

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DIY Projects, Holidays

DIY Christmas Sign

Hello friends! Thanksgiving is over and I’m just here in my stretchy pants trying to recover from the delicious feast fest that was yesterday. Now that Thanksgiving is over though, I am super excited because I can officially without shame decorate for Christmas!

Not like I haven’t had my tree up for weeks. But now I’m going to share my Christmas posts without shame! Anyway, I want to show you guys this super simple sign that I made for outside our entryway. It’s totally something you can do yourself too!

I know this is a super popular look right now, and so I wanted to do my own version with some things I had laying around the house. Here’s what I came up with:

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The board was an old child’s headboard I had in the garage. As soon as I got it, I knew it would be perfect for making a sign with. I used acrylic paint from the craft store, and some stencils I’ve had for a long time. So long, in fact, that I don’t even remember where I got them.

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I used a pencil to free hand the arrow and the trees. It was so easy it’s not even funny.

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This sign along with my mini trees in galvanized buckets are the perfect simple entry way. Now I just have to get Ethan to climb up on the roof to hang the outdoor lights. 😉

It’s super simple and fresh, but I kind of love it. That’s how I like to describe my style, so I think this works perfectly.

If you wanted to recreate this look, you could easily use a canvas or a pre-made wooden sign from Hobby Lobby or Michael’s. It’s a perfect weekend for some DIY Christmas crafts, so get out there and make something you love for your home!

I still have more holiday decorating to do, but I’m happily doing it slowly. I’m taking my time and bringing in the season slowly and trying to savor each moment. I’ll be sharing more of my Christmas decor little by little, so make sure you check back for that!

That’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

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Home Decor

Comfy Bed Sheets

Hello friends! Happy Thanksgiving week! I’m excited to stop by and share with you another part of our ever-evolving home. We’ve been in this rental for four months now, and I’m still working on cozying up the space. The bedroom feels mostly finished, other than a large rug on (which I’m waiting on the budget for).

I’m all about repurposing and making things last as long as possible, but one thing I always want to feel new and fresh is our bed sheets.  I’ve had a difficult time finding good quality sheets that don’t wear out super quickly but also don’t break the bank. I recently discovered a new source for all things home where I ordered some new sheets, and I just couldn’t wait to share!

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I finally caved and bought white sheets because I can bleach the whole thing every time I wash them. My style is pretty light and bright, but I’ve always been hesitant with white bedding because of how quickly it can get dingy looking.

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I ordered these sheets from Hayneedle.com, and so far I absolutely love them! We’ve had a couple weeks to sleep on them, and they are super comfortable and I love that I finally have white sheets!

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They help to make our bedroom a little bit more cozy! I’ve washed them a few times, and they have just gotten more and more soft and cozy.

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I would absolutely recommend these sheets to anybody; they are so soft! Not to mention the price is awesome, and the quality is great. I’m super happy with them, and it’s another thing to check off the list in making this bedroom complete. Now I’m waiting on a rug and this room will be “finished.” I say that loosely because nothing is ever actually finished around here.

Now I’m off to work on some more projects today! Well, that’s all for today, friends! Have a fabulous day!

A few sources for this bedroom:

Comforter, lamps, and nightstands: Target

Blue Pillows: Pier One Imports

Gray and Linen Pillow: Homegoods

**Hayneedle was kind enough to send me this gorgeous bedding, but as always, opinions are my own.

DIY Projects

DIY Dog Crate

Hello all! Today I am sharing something I have been waiting to share for a while. Like a long while. Let me backtrack. We moved into this house in July, and when we first moved in, the only major issue I had with the house was Atlas’ dog crate. I don’t know how many of you are dog owners, specifically large dog owners. If you are, you know how massive and ugly dog crates are. Well in this new house, we don’t have a designated separate area for a crate.

In our previous rental home, we had an area off the kitchen that was out of the way and perfect to hide a huge gaping hole of ugly crate. In this new house however, we had no such luck. There was no other option for us (without allowing Atlas to have a spare bedroom, and we’re just not really into that) other than to put his crate into the living room. So for the past few months we have had a massive eyesore of a dog crate sitting in the corner of the living room and it’s been totally cramping my style.

I haven’t been able to decorate around it because it’s been driving me crazy. I had an idea for a crate that Ethan could build that might look a little less ugly than the typical black metal that I could decorate around. It took a while for this to actually come into fruition, but this is what we came up with:

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Ethan gets better with every building project he does, and this turned out perfectly! He pieced together the sides each made with chicken wire.

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The top is made from old fence boards, and Ethan sanded them down to make a nice smooth finish.

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The front has a door that swings open with a little hook to keep it locked.

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The best part is that I actually have actually been able to decorate around, without it looking too ugly. The plan is to eventually add curtains that we can close when we have company over, which is why we raised the top a bit off the sides.

It fits into our decor, and Atlas likes it pretty well too! He was even so kind as to pose for the camera while I was taking these photos! (Just kidding. You have no idea how hard it was to catch him not looking stupid.) Seriously though. This project is just what we needed to finish out this side of the living room, and I could not be more pleased with how it turned out.

In case you were curious, this whole project cost about $40. The most expensive part of it was the chicken wire which was about $30. (In order to get the height we wanted, we had to buy at least 50 feet.) The reclaimed wood was donated by a friend who had replaced a portion of their fence. The only thing we bought was the wood and the hardware, and of course the chicken wire.

The chicken wire isn’t super strong, but Atlas is pretty well behaved so we trust him not to try to bust out of his crate. Definitely a pretty and functional piece to add to our decor. Do you have an ugly dog crate at home? Would you ever do something like this instead? I’d love to hear about it!

Well, that’s all for today, friends. Have a fabulous day!

diy-dog-crate

DIY Projects, Furniture Makeover

Family Heirloom Dresser Refresh

Hello friends! Thanks for stopping by today! Has the fall weather hit where you are? It finally feels like fall around here, with the leaves finally falling and the hint of cool weather in the breeze. Texas falls are nothing like the falls in New York where I grew up, but I’ll take what I can get.

This season has brought a hint of change in the air, both literally and figuratively. I’ve been super inspired lately to create more, paint more, make more, etc. So what I’m showing you today is something I’m super excited about.

So this is the dresser in our bedroom.

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It has a beautiful shape that I have always loved. It’s a solid wood piece, and it’s something we’ll always have. It was Ethan’s growing up, and before that, was in my mother in law’s family when they moved from the northeast down to Texas. It’s such a gorgeous dresser, but it used to be an orange stained finish with large circular wooden handles. Not to mention the stickers that were put on the side by Ethan as a kid. So needless to say, I’ve wanted to give her a little facelift, but since it was a family piece, it just wasn’t a possibility. Until recently.

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My mother in law finally gave us the okay to paint, and I was super excited. I bought some new drawer pulls from Hobby Lobby, and knew exactly how I wanted to finish it.

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The outer part of the dresser got a coat of my favorite paint, Annie Sloan’s Old White, and the drawer fronts got sanded down and left bare. Guys. I am OBSESSED with this new look. I always knew there was a gorgeous dresser hiding behind that orange finish, but it’s even prettier than I thought.

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I’m so thankful to have gotten the okay to work on this piece. When there’s a family history you have to honor in a piece, it can be a little intimidating. Hopefully this little refresh honors my mother in law and her family. I know that it definitely finishes out our bedroom in a way that makes the dresser fit. This piece will definitely be with us forever.

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Good grief it’s just so pretty. Well y’all, that’s about it for today. Just wanted to pop in and share this fun project. Have you ever painted something that belonged in the family for a long time? How did it go?

That’s all for today friends, have a fabulous day!

Personal

Weekend Recap: Vintage Market Days

This weekend was nothing short of awesome. I could leave it at that and it would be enough. Seriously. This weekend I had a booth at Vintage Market Days in Waxahachie, TX. This was my first time with a booth at a reputable event. I did a local show once last year, but it was really not something that I wanted to pursue due to a few different factors. This weekend however, was different. I left this weekend feeling refreshed and inspired and ready to try something new.

So here’s the deal. I’ve known about Vintage Market Days for a long time. I have always kind of wondered if I could do something like that, but for whatever reason, never put myself out there. This summer, I was trying to focus on what I wanted to do with this little hobby I have of decorating/antiquing/painting furniture. I thought about getting a booth at a local store, and for several reasons that too fell through. So over the summer I thought, well, I might as well apply for VMD and just see what happens. The worst that can happen is I don’t get in. And if I do get in, it’s only a three day commitment. I can do this. So I hit this apply button and got on with my day. When I found out that I was accepted into the event, I was surprised more than anything. Me? I just have this little hobby that’s not even a big deal.

As the event got closer, I was busy in my garage painting, sanding, creating. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen some videos projects I’ve been working on in my garage. I staged a mock booth setup in my garage by taping a 10×10 square on the floor like I had any idea what the heck I was doing.

I set my booth up the night before the event, and realized I didn’t have enough stuff at all. So after I went home that evening I finished a few things in my garage and brought them to my booth the morning of the show. Now, let me tell you a little about my booth. I was clearly a newbie. The other vendors around me had tents and beautiful backdrops to stage their booths with. These weren’t even things that had been on my radar. I felt super nervous and inexperienced compared to everyone around me.

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But you know what? It didn’t even matter. I had the most amazing weekend. Everyone was so kind and accommodating, I sold some of my pieces, which felt awesome. I received a lot of affirmation from customers and other vendors about what I was doing, despite the fact that I felt totally inexperienced. I got so many complements on my booth, the styling, the furniture pieces. It was exactly what I needed to confirm the possibility of wanting to pursue this more frequently.

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People were constantly asking if I had a storefront, or if I had a card. Both of the answers to those were no. I kept telling people that this was the first thing I had done, and I was just getting started. The fact that people thought that about my few little projects though was incredibly humbling. At some point I realized, wow. I actually can do this.

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I learned so much this weekend. So much. I think the most important thing I realized was that number one, I am actually able to do this,  and number two, this is something I enjoy. As we were leaving after the weekend was over, I kept telling Ethan I just really like this. It feels so good to put yourself out there not knowing what the result is going to be, and then to feel so accomplished and humbled at the same time. Y’all, I have no idea what this weekend means for me. I teach full time, and I have this little hobby of making my house a home. Those are two very distinct parts of me, that I love. I have no idea what I’m going to do next, but I can assure you, I want to pursue whatever this is.

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So guys, I’ll let you know when my next event is. That’s all for today. Have a fabulous day, friends!