Before & After

New Stone Patio

Monday, May 30th, 2011

Hello!  Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!  We shared a lot of food and great wine with a huge gathering of friends and family over the long holiday, it was so relaxing and such a great party!  We also had the opportunity to show off our new stone patio, wanna see?

Here’s a glimpse of a few weeks ago:

stone patio before

And now

patio after

Pretty fancy, right?   This has been a project we’ve been meaning to finish for many many moons.  This patio has been sitting empty since we regraded the yard and built the retaining walls over five years ago.  I mentioned it as one of my Home Goals for 2011, and I’m soooo proud to be checking this one off my list! 

Two weeks ago, I spied a natural stone at Home Depot that I thought would be just perfect for this space.  I redeemed some American Express Rewards points for a gift card at Home Depot, and we got to work!

Before we could bring in the new accessories for the adjacent patio (beyond), we had to address this longtime problem of our unfinished circular patio.  The first thing we had to do was fill in the small walkway that connects our two patios.  That was accomplished with some concrete as a base filled to one inch below where we intended to lay the stone. 

 

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Thrifting 101

Monday, May 23rd, 2011

Happy Monday everyone!  We spent the weekend working outdoors on our patio, more to come on that project later this week.   Meanwhile, I thought I’d offer up my very best tips for thrifting, plus a peek at my latest thrift store before and after. 

There are plenty of people who don’t care to shop thrift stores.  Perhaps they dislike or are afraid of used goods, or their local thrift stores carry nothing but useless junk.  I’ve seen my share of thrift stores that carried mostly unusable items, but I’ve also scored a few finds in thrift stores that could be resold for hundreds of dollars.  It all depends on the particular store, they’re all so very different.  I’m asked now and then for my best advice on thrifting, so I thought it time to put them all in one place!

Here are a few of my tips for shopping thrift stores:

Stay Focused.   When you find a great thrift store, it’s like shopping in any second hand forum.  Your visit can quickly turn into ”Hey that’s cute” or “Oooh, I like that too!” and before you know it, your tab has climbed higher than you planned, and you’ve brought home things you don’t really need.  Before you walk through the door, remember what you’re there for.  Stay focused on your needs and your budget.    

Know The Sales Days.  Find out when your local store has sales and show up early.  My local St. Vincent de Paul has furniture sales when they have too much in stock (typically after a big donation weekend) so I’m in the habit of stopping in every Monday or Tuesday to see what’s new.  My mom loves to shop at the Goodwill on Tuesdays when anyone over 55 gets a 25% discount.  She’s found so many designer labels and even items that are brand new and have never been worn, you just never know what you’ll find!  It pays to know when your local store offers discounts. 

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