Sunday, August 28, 2011

My Thrifting Adventure

Hi readers! I wanted to share another project I recently fixed up. I found this little treasure at Goodwill one day for $8.

Nice and dusty. 

First, I filled in some holes with wood filler and then sanded it down. Next, I painted it with a gray primer and finished it off with a black topcoat. I probably wouldn't have painted it boring black if was for me, but it was another piece for Andrew's apartment. I had to make it look a little bit manly. 

I decided I wanted it to look scuffed up, so I sanded it again so the gray would show through.  I promise I don't usually wear pink dresses while sanding. 

Nice and scuffed up. Just the way I like it. I think I actually ended up scuffing it up more after this picture. It will make a great little end table.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Flea Market Facelift

Last week I was able to go to the Pickens flea market for the first time all summer. If you have never been to the Pickens flea market (which you probably haven't), let me tell you, it is an experience in itself. Just be prepared for anything. Even if you don't buy anything, the people watching experience makes it a worthwhile trip. Also, it is only open on Wednesday mornings, and make sure you get there early. Everyone is basically gone by noon. It opens at 5:30 a.m., but we didn't get there until about 7:30 a.m. and we were fine.

It was a very special day because it was Andrew's first time at the flea market! I've have always wanted him to experience this wonderful redneck place. We were on the hunt for a dresser for his new apartment at school. Here's what we found...
Isn't it ugly? I know, it's pretty bad. But I saw potential, and it was only $20! My mom and I were deciding whether to buy it or not while Andrew was taking some junk another great flea market find to the car. I knew we had to decide while he was gone because I was 100% positive he would not be for us buying it. He just wouldn't see the potential in this little treasure. Sure enough, he walked up and tentatively said "uh, that's not for me is it?" I smiled sweetly and told him yes, yes it was for him. I then assured him I was going to give it a complete makeover and he would never know it was the same dresser. Here is the process I went through of giving this little thing a makeover...
First, I decided the drawer pulls from the 80's needed to go. 

Next, I sanded the whole thing and filled in the holes from the drawer pulls with wood filler

Then I painted the dresser with one coat of light gray primer. Originally, I wanted to paint gray primer followed by a coat of black paint so that I could give it the shabby chic look by "scuffing it up." I thought it would look neat if the gray showed through. However, after painting the black, I decided not to scuff it up. 

The finished product! Not necessarily what I would have painted if it had been for me, but I tried to make it look somewhat masculine. I knew Andrew wouldn't want anything over-the-top. I wish I had gotten a close-up of the drawer pulls, but hopefully you can see them. It ended up being much more masculine and modern than I planned, but I was happy with how it turned out and really enjoyed this little project!

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My Time in the Wild West

Hello blog world! Sorry I haven't posted in a while, but I was out of town last week and have been running around this week trying to get everything ready for school. This isn't going to be a long post, but I thought I would share some pictures from my trip last week. I got to go to Colorado with my boyfriend's family to visit his grandparents and cousins. It's beautiful out there! However, the best part about Colorado is the dry heat - no humidity! It was amazing! Here are a few pictures to show you what I did...
 Learned how to do this...
 And then hit 4 out of 5 shots on my first try! Don't worry, I just got lucky. 
 Got to see this beautiful sunset...
Saw a few of these...
 And then learned how to shoot some bow and arrows.

I got to do lots of new things on the trip. I also went horseback riding and climbed a mountain. Yes, I climbed a mountain.  I would normally call it hiking, but it wasn't like hiking here in SC. We literally climbed up rocks, no trail, no nothing. This little girly girl turned into outdoors girl last week.

Photo credit for these pictures goes to my boyfriend's dad!

I have some fun ideas for upcoming posts so check back soon! 

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Good Eats in Greenville

I love the town I live in. No, not Clemson, although I do love Clemson too. I grew up in a town called Greenville, SC. Although I have always loved Greenville, my love for it grew when I went to college and everyone else seemed to always talk about how much they love Greenville, particularly our downtown area.

Downtown Greenville has grown exponentially over the past 10 years. The renovation of Falls Park and the addition of the Liberty Bridge in 2004 opened the door for growth, and downtown quickly became the city's center of business, culture and entertainment. I could spend a whole day (and have) walking around the park, browsing through the stores and eating at the wonderful restaurants downtown. Greenville has become quite the culinary community.

I had the opportunity to work downtown this summer, and it has made me love the city even more. I recently walked to The Chocolate Moose to grab a cupcake and was stopped by a couple visiting the area. They asked if I was from Greenville and were hoping to get some restaurant suggestions for lunch. I was a little caught off guard and gave them a few options, but of course thought of 10 other places I could have told them after I left.

Although I didn't try as many new restaurants as I would have liked to this summer, I did have the chance to try a few and thought I would share a few with you.

  • Soby's New South Cuisine. Soby's infuses food and Southern traditions, with a particular focus on coastal Carolina. The atmosphere is rustic and very warm and inviting, with exposed wooden beams and wooden floors and walls. If you sit upstairs, you can watch the chef prepare the food below in Soby's open kitchen. I had the pork tenderloin and the bf had their famous Gullah Shrimp and Grits. Both dishes were delish.
  • The Lazy Goat. The Lazy Goat is a Mediterranean-themed restaurant that sits along the banks of the Reedy River. We chose to sit outside on the patio, and I am so glad we did. Unlike some restaurants downtown, their patio does not sit along Main Street where passerby's squeeze by your table and nosily glance what you're eating as they walk by. Instead, their patio is very peaceful and private. The Lazy Goat has an impressive tapas menu, but I was with the bf and tapas plates are never an option when I'm with him, as the thought of smaller portions scares him to death. So I had the Risotto Primavera pasta and he had the Steak Frites. We both loved our meals and the homemade ketchup is to die for (and I'm usually not a ketchup fan). 
Both of these restaurants are owned and operated by Table 301, which is an establishment that owns a group of restaurants downtown including Soby's, Soby's on the Side, The Lazy Goat, Devereaux's and Nose Dive. I recently ate at Soby's on the Side and Nose Dive too, but will share those in another post. So far, I have been extremely impressed with the Table 301 restaurants I have eaten at and would recommend them to anyone wanting to try something new. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dorm Room Decorating 101

Since it's almost time for school to start, I thought I would do a post about my freshman year dorm room. It seems like yesterday that I was going shopping for all the dorm room essentials, and now I am going into my senior year of college!

Because you typically don't have much to work with, decorating a dorm room is an ultimate makeover project. I remember walking into my room for the first time thinking "I thought it was bigger than this..." or "how in the world are we going to make this look good?" It was possible. But here is what I started with:

I wish I had taken pictures of the space before I moved anything in. These pictures have a few of my things in them, but as you can see, everything looks pretty bare and yucky- notice the water stains coming from the ceiling. There was a flood the year before I moved in because of a water pipe breaking. Girls were running around the hall in their rainboots - so glad that didn't happen when I lived there. 

Here is what we transformed the room to look like:

I loved my desk area. We covered up the wall here with simple curtains made from two tension rods and fun fabric. The curtains made a huge difference in the room and really made our room stand out. In fact, we were finalists for the "Best Room on Campus" competition. 

Another shot with the curtains. The middle curtain is another simple curtain made from a tension rod and fun fabric. The fabric is literally just sewed around the rod and we then draped ribbons over the curtain and tied them to create the "balloon" effect. 

The space under my bed is my least favorite part of the room, but I know you have to have somewhere to store a TV, micro-fridge, etc. 

Another shot. The patterned rug also made a big difference in the room. Trust me, you want a big rug so you will feel somewhat sanitary when you sit on your floor. Also, the two small brown ottomans not only acted as footrests, but also came in handy as a storage space since they open up. These are $17 at Target and come in lots of fun colors. 

I loved my futon! The throw pillows were so fun to pick out and added a personal touch to the room. They also added comfort and came in handy when people ended up sitting on the floor for movie night. 

Of course I had to have some pillows on my bed too :)

Hope you have enjoyed looking at my former dorm room! We had a lot of fun decorating it and you will find that the little details go a long way in a tiny space. Make sure you like how the room looks because you will be spending a whole lot of time in it. This doesn't mean you have to go spend a ton of money - get creative! I got a ton of my stuff at places like Marshall's and TJ Maxx. Target also has a huge selection of dorm room decor to choose from. 

Good luck! Would love to see other ideas!