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ASOS Round Up

ASOS Round Up

I've been really obsessed with ASOS lately!  I've been posting about them a lot over the past 2 months on Facebook and Instagram.  But I thought it was about time that I wrote something for my readers!  So, my friends... Let me introduce you to my new retailer crush!!

Shoes, Shoes, SHOES!!

It's no secret that I buy A LOT of clothes!  But really, shoes and other accessories just slip my mind most of the time...  Before this most recent shoe haul, I hadn't purchased new shoes in almost a year!!!  So... I decided that I would up my shoe game in 2018!!  Is it a New Year's resolution?  Not really... Just a great new style goal!! Because I seriously feel like a great shoe could truly MAKE an outfit!!  And likewise, if you don't have the right shoe for a certain look, then you might not be able to pull it off at all...  And I certainly don't want you to be in that situation, because, if you're anything like me, your outfit totally sets your mood for the day!  And I definitely want to feel FABULOUS!!! Don't you!?

Now that I've had a couples weeks to wear all my new shoe finds, I really wanted to review them for you!!!  I've listed them from least to most expensive... But nothing over $90!!  

Black Mules

These super classy black mules are the least expensive of the new shoes I've gotten.  The black makes them highly versatile and super classy.  They were a great first pair of mules for me because they stay on a lot easier than, I came to find out, most other slides do...  They also come up a lot higher on the foot, so I love that they hide my super pale feet LOL!!!!  They are only $22.99 and are a must have in my opinion!!  In fact, they are the most shopped item that I have on my blog!!  They fit true to size AND also come in a light pink/blush color!

Nude Mules

These mules are also perfect for the new slip-on trend!  If you've never owned mules before, you definitely need to have a pair this year because they are wildly popular right now!!  The nude color allows them to go with ANYTHING, so they are highly versatile and very much worth their $39.99 price tag!!  I think these are the best buy of the 3 mules I have reviewed here!!  The leather is a little rigid at first, so I got a blister on my pinky toes the first time I wore them, but I waited a week before wearing them again and then they were fine!!  They fit true to size.  

FuchsiaFlats

These beauties are only $49.99 and are my favorite of my new shoe purchases because a *super bright* pop-of-color is so much fun!!  Its also absolutely on trend!!  I love to wear them with almost any neutral outfit to add a little wow-factor to the look!  They don't come in half sizes for the 6, 7, and 8 range (but do for smaller and larger sizes), so I went up to the 8 and they are perfectly fine for me.  The suede is so soft that I didn't have any "break-in" period!!

Blush Bow Mules

These are a little more expensive, with a price tag of $69.95, but Nordstrom does free shipping so there's no added cost!!  The quality is amazing, the leather is so soft, and they are just so cute and feminine!  They aren't really a "must have," but if you like to have super cutesy shoes in your closet to add a little something to your everyday looks, these will fill that roll perfectly!!  They fit true to size.

Blush Sneaker

I've been calling these my "gangster pink shoes" to Blake since I ordered them on Friday!  LOL, I think its the high tongue that brings that name to mind... I don't have them yet, but they are due to arrive today!!!  I'm so excited to have them here for my new workout schedule (A.K.A. I just joined a gym again after a year and a half long hiatus).  Cute workout gear is SO MOTIVATING!!!  I will update this review once I've worn them a couple time... So just come back here in a few days if you're really interested in them!!  They are $69.95 and I ordered my regular size :) **Update 2/24/18** I've worn these babies twice now!  The first time was out to a casual dinner and the second was to the gym!  And I have no complaints!!  They are so comfy - they feel like they are hugging my feet without being too tight, LOL!  I wore them with socks & they fit great!  There was no break-in period!!  I love them because they worked exceptionally well for athleticism, but also for looking cute at the same time!  Two thumbs up for these tennis shoes!

Navy/ Rose Gold

Ivory/ Gold

And last, but not least... The best tennis shoes I've ever owned: These are the exact same shoe, just in different color options!  I've purchased them both and they also come in a gray combo.  These are a little older than my most recent shoe finding frenzy, but they are still available, so I wanted you to know about them!!  They fit true to size and I am still able to always wear socks with them!  They are my favorite workout companions & I have really enjoyed owning them!!  They are a little more pricey, but quality tennis shoes always are... In fact, they may be my most expensive shoes LOL!  They are $85 each, but I'll have them forever... I mean, seriously, my feet haven't changed size in a decade LOL!  Just watch for a good sale, and snatch them up!!!

That concludes my "New Shoe Review"... I will add to this post each time I find some more great foot accessories!!  And if you'd like the updated list sent straight to your inbox, make sure you subscribe to my email list HERE.  Happy Shoe Shopping!!  P.S. Each image is clickable to purchase its shoe, or you can scroll down to find all of these (and a few other pair that I own) at the bottom of this post!

XOXO 

- Rachel

Gift Guide for Him

Happy holiday season ladies,

As I finally finished up my Christmas shopping, I found myself wondering if the items I had hand-picked for everyone were, in fact, the right gifts for them...  People very easily turn this season of GIVING into a super greedy season, and I don't like it!  I like the giving part, the choosing of the most perfect gifts for everyone!  It brings me such joy to watch my loved ones receive, and love, the items I chose specifically for them! 

Last year, Blake and I had a $20 budget for each other...  And it was so great now that I'm looking back on it.  The effort we each had to put in to come up with the right gifts for each other was so sweet!  But it was so great to be able to buy him "real gifts" this year!  He had items on his wishlist, but I picked out a few things for him myself as well!  And because I can't keep surprises and he already knows everything he's getting, I am able to share them all with you just in case you need some gift ideas for some of the men in your lives!

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OMG y'all, this watch!!  If you've been following along with my blog since at least April, you've gotten to see the JORD watch that I'm absolutely in love with!  Blake was a little jealous of its real wood band and large, simplistic face.  So, I got him one too!  They don't match [unfortunately ;)], but I'm so glad he has one now too!  And as you can tell, I couldn't even wait until Christmas to give it to him...  Find this exact JORD watch <----- 

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JORD has even given me a 25% off instant coupon code for any of my readers that might want to give one as a gift this Christmas!  Or for themselves...

JORD COUPON

Now, I'm sure most of y'all know about mine and Blake's sick obsession with fixing up older homes!  But crazily enough, even though we are on our 3rd house in 4 years, Blake and I [well, mainly Blake] doesn't have any tools.  We've had to rely on the generosity of other people allowing us to borrow tools for far too long, LOL!  Blake asked for tools this year, and that's one wish I had to fulfill!

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I decided on this tool kit from Home Depot.  Blake already has a Ryobi weed-eater that he got 3 years ago.  It has never given us a bit of trouble, so I went with the same brand!!  This particular set was on super sale for Black Friday... But, even better, its STILL ON SALE!!  Home Depot is still currently doing the same sale from Black Friday!!  On top of the fact that these tool "kits" are great deals anyway!  So, if there's a guy in your life that could use some tools, check this, or one of the other tool kits, out!  No guy likes to ask to use other people's tools, trust me LOL!!

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Third, Blake's new job has him walking 15 minutes from his parking spot into the actual building... Which is insane to me!!  But also requires some foot protection on rainy, or God-willing, *SNOWY* days.  And unlike for women, its not really fashionable for men to wear shiny, knee-high boots with their jeans/leggings tucked in... LOL, so I found these matte, ankle-high Hunter boots for a more appropriate option!  Most guys would probably never ask for rain boots, but they would be so useful for any man that has to weather the elements!  And I'm sure, very appreciated after the first time they're used as well!!

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As a nurse, Blake CONSTANTLY washes his hands, making them super dry and chapped!!  And this time of year, the weather makes it all-the-more-worse!  O'Keeffe's working hands is the best lotion we have ever come across!!  It isn't oily or slimy, it soaks completely into his skin so that it doesn't leave a residue on his hands.  It is completely scent-free, and it lasts for hours!  When he makes up in the morning after putting it on the night before, his hands still feel moisturized and healthy, without them feeling typically lotiony and gross.  And truthfully, I love it for myself just as much!  Its the perfect stocking stuffer for any man that does a lot of work with his hands!!

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And how about some beard oil!?  The new beard trend has gotten all the men excited over such a small grooming product LOL!  Blake has yet to try any because it seems like a frivolous expense to him, but I'd like to give him some this year!  This one is 100% all natural and is relatively inexpensive!  Its also another perfect little stocking stuffer splurge for yo man!!

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And Slippers!!  Who doesn't love to have some cozy clouds to walk around in while they're at home at night and on the weekends!?  These babies are cute, trendy, comfy, come in 2 different colors, and are under $22!!  Every man could use some slippers: your dad, brother, grandfather, brother-in-law, cousin, uncle, and hubby!!  These were my favorite find of all because they are dups of $50 men's slippers from J Crew... And you know how much I ADORE J Crew :)  These babies are a steal - GET SOME!!

Leather Jacket and Scarf.jpg

Or how about a leather jacket?  Or a fashionable accessory!?  Every guy should have an edgy leather jacket!!  I think ASOS has some really great options!  They are a European company, but they ship quickly enough to get it to you by Christmas!!  You know your man's style better than I do, so I didn't know which one to pick for y'all, but clicking HERE will at least get you to the right page! From there you can chose a Moto style, collared or un-collared, lots a zippers of fewer zippers, real leather or faux leather.  But any way you go, a leather jacket is a thoughtful option!!  And I still have a few Men's scarves for sale over at Demure :)  There is 1 left of this red & black plaid, and I have 2 grey left - each for only $7!!!

And last, but not least...

Yeti Lowball.PNG

I don't think there's a man out there that wouldn't appreciate a YETI lowball glass for his bourbon or mixed drink (or even for his water LOL!  Its an easy $20, and even if they already have one, its a gift that would be great to have 2 or more of!!  So this gift would work well for those men you don't know too super well.  Its just a gift that really works in 2017!!  When in doubt, buy him a Yeti!!!

I hope any of this helps you this Christmas season!!  Happy Shopping Babes!!

And look for my "Gift Guide for Her" coming to you Saturday night!!

XOXO

- Rachel

Loving Life & Leather

Try saying that 5 times fast LOL

Hey friends,

I wanted to use today's blog post slot to give you all a little update on our lives!

Blake has been at his new job for 2 weeks now!  He's loving it so much!  The new doctors are great, his new co-workers are so nice and very welcoming, he is learning new things there A.K.A. the nurses stitch people up in this Cath Lab (something he's never had [I mean, gotten] to do before LOL!  The only negative thing he's said so far is that they keep the temperature at 60 degrees in the lab!!  LOL, he does not like to be cold!!  But he's taken some jackets and long sleeve tees to wear under his scrubs, so he will be just fine :)  He's still liking his truck, though he does miss his mustang, but the truck allows for us to experience a different kind of independence that we haven't before!  Not having to ask to borrow a truck all the time has been so nice!  Especially during this renovation!!

Speaking of renovation, this home reno has been a bit more challenging than the others... We've never done the kitchen before, and living without a kitchen for a month really sucks, and is getting kind of expensive!  So not only is it expensive because "time is money," but without a kitchen, we've had to eat out this whole time, OMG!!  But, on the bright side it should be completed by Tuesday!!  I'm super ready to finally have a house not under construction (well, until we decide it's time to tackle that pink bathroom LOL)!!

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As for me, I've quit my full-time job at the City... And as much as I've enjoyed being full-time blogger, boutiquer, and renovation manager these past 2 weeks, I've decided to go back to "school" and get my Real Estate and Property Management licenses!  I will start classes on Monday October 9th back in Columbia!  Unfortunately, I'm more nervous than excited at this point... I know that's so sad to say, but I really never wanted to be a student again LOL!  In college I obsessed over school...  And I just definitely don't want to be that person again!!!  But nevertheless, in 9 days, I'm going to kick Real Estate school's butt!!  And now that today marks the start of October, I will finally be ordering Fall apparel for Demure - something that I wait all year long to do!!  I can't wait for y'all to see what I've picked out!!!  And also, since today is October 1st, Demure Styled earrings are going out today, but I also need to tell y'all (for those that subscribe), that I have too many subscribers now to ship them all out in one day.... I get so embarrassed walking into the Post Office and putting 21 packages on the counter, while everyone that was in line behind me gets frustrated that I've basically just tied up the one representative for at least 20 minutes... So, until I find an economic way to ship from home, I will be separating y'all's earring-of-the-month shipments into 3 separate days... I'm sorry!

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We are doing the backsplash in the kitchen ourselves this weekend, but after that, we are finally trying out new churches next Sunday!!  I'm very excited about that!!  We are starting at the church that our friends here attend!!  I'm really itching to get into a new church family and to be involved again!!  Pray for us that we find the right one and that we will have something to offer to whatever church we end up at!!  We worked with the Middle Schoolers at our church home in Lexington, and though I'd probably like to try something different this time around, I pray that my heart is willing to be placed wherever there is a need!!

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So, this photoshoot was the first one that Blake and I have had in our new hometown!  And really, I think its the most fun we've ever had doing photography together!!  

I was looking so forward to shooting this particular outfit!!  Its the type of outfit I've wanted to rock for years!!  But up until 3 weeks ago, I never owned a leather jacket!!  I've wanted one for as long as I could remember... And thanks to Tobi.com I now have one!!  This Leather Moto Jacket is the most perfect accessory for anything Fall!  Literally, you could wear it with anything!  You could pair this, or any leather jacket, with a purposefully edgy look with ripped jeans and boots, a pencil skirt and heels for work, or a lace dress and pearls for date night... They are truly so versatile, and give a little extra personality to any look!!  Y'all know how girly I am, and having a leather jacket has been a dream of mine for a while!!  So, that should be testimony enough to tell you that you need one too!!  Thank you Tobi, for making this girl's dreams come true!!!  P.S. it runs a little small... I'm wearing a medium here.

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And y'all, this DRESS!!  I purchased it 2 weeks ago once I found out Tobi sent me the leather jacket!  One of my favorite blogger/boutique owners Amelia Styles had it in her shop, and I knew I had to have it to pair with this jacket and booties!!  The shade of pink is perfect, and the flirty peplum provides the right balance to the edgy leather moto!  I'm always impressed by Amelia's style on her blog, and everything she has in her SHOP is fantastic... She's definitely someone I look up to and want to be as successful as!!  Please check her out, you won't regret it!!  P.S. This dress was not part of a collaboration with Amelia Styles, so I don't have a promo code for her shop, but all of her prices are very reasonable anyway!  I just wanted y'all to know about her and her shop!!

I hope y'all rock an edgy/feminine outfit this week ;)  Until next time friends...

XOXO

- Rachel

This leather jacket was provided to me by Tobi.com, but all thoughts and opinions are my own!

How to Wear Camo

Hey Babes,

I've missed writing for y'all so much!!  I can't even believe its been 3 weeks since I've written a blog post!!  I hope getting my email in your inbox made you subscribers smile.... Because I know it will make me smile when MailChimp tells me it has officially SENT!!!  I still get a rush of adrenaline and butterflies every time one goes out :)

I'm sorry that I've been so absent!  Especially because last month brought on such a HUGE amount of growth for A Demure Life!!  I wish I had been able to write more for all of my loyal and new readers and followers during this move, but as pure as my intentions to do so were, no one prepared us for how hard the move, the renovation, and the transition were going to be...  I wanted to write, but when EVERYTHING in your new house ends up requiring a minimum of 3 coats of paint, your plans sort of change...  A side note of explanation: the house was previously owned by smokers, and the nicotine and smoke had imbed themselves into every surface and just bled through each new coat of paint... So every surface had to be KILTZed and then painted several times... In the living room, the ceiling had to have a total of 6 coats of various amounts of KILTZ and paint on it before it actually looked white...  And since usually 2 coats would suffice, it literally took us an entire week longer to paint this house than we anticipated!!!  Which then set everything else back 7 days... Its been a total headache, but its coming along...  And that's the main reason I've been away from my computer for so long...  I get up every morning, and I PAINT!

But now that the painting is almost done, I have more time to spend working on blogging things!! There aren't even enough positive words in the English language to explain how happy it makes me to be able to spend the days until my Real Estate classes begin blogging and boutiquing!!  Needless to say, my heart is content!!!  And this "full-time fashionista" status was bestowed upon me in the nick-of-time too... For the FIRST DAY OF FALL - the #1 season for Fashion!!!  Plus, I've gotten the opportunity to step out of my comfort zone a little, and am sharing something with y'all that I've never done before!!

WORN. CAMO.  The camo trend for Fall has been blowing up all of my fashion newsletters that I get, and I've been seeing so many beautiful blogger ladies rocking it so well in their own lives, that I was inspired to talk about it as my FIRST topic of discussion back from my moving hiatus!!  

I must be honest... Not only have I never worn camo before, but I've never really even been a fan of camo at all...  Growing up in a "red-neck" town, Lexington, SC (literally, our sports rivals call us "Red-nexington"), where the majority of people owned at least one item of camo, and we had camo themed days at school, I was never into it.  I was actually completely opposed to it because of the stereotype associated with it... There I was in high school, with this hidden fashionista inside of an awkward, teacher's pet personality, in this small town where people stereotyped us as red-necks, hating camo because I didn't want to be placed into that stereotype, but didn't even know that's why I hated it until just now, typing this out....

And up until this Summer I would have still told you that I HATED CAMO!!  But, by a happy surprise, the fashion powers-at-be decided that camo was going to make a world-wide statement this Fall, and finally gave us fashion-lovers some camo options that we could be proud of!!!  And that my friends, deserves a 1000+ word blog post covering how you too can wear, and actually love, camo this Fall season!!  

JCrew Camo Sweater.jpg

Back in July, I had a long, back-and-forth discussion with a J Crew sales associate about how I could never rock camo...  I was SO on the fence about it, and tried it on 3 different times before committing, but I ending up purchasing this camo sweater from J Crew... Its a very thin sweater for our slow, Southern transition into Fall temperatures, but could also be layered with a fantastic leather jacket further on into the year!!  I really wanted to try camo and give it the chance to work for myself, and for all of you ladies that don't currently love it!  And even for those of you that do already have a piece or two in your closet, I wanted the opportunity to help you find the right ways to incorporate them into your day-to-day wardrobe!!  In the end, I was so pleased that I decided I wasn't going to let the whole world get in on this new trend without me...  I'm learning that camo is no longer something that places you into a certain stereotype!!  It's actually a very popular style right now, and luckily for us, there are going to be more and more feminine, fashionable options to come!!  I'm surprised to say it, but everyone is going to need at least one item this year!  So here are some options:

1. A Top

Like my J Crew Camo Sweater, wearing your camo piece as the top portion of your outfit provides these style benefits: 1. You can add a white buttondown under it to make it more preppy (maybe my favorite option, and probably something I would have done if I hadn't shot this outfit in July)!  2. You can add a layering piece on top of it to subdue the boldness of the print if you're still not completely comfortable with it (a cardigan, or a leather jacket as I mentioned before)!  And 3. You can change up the bottom half of the outfit to give you the look you're going for... Leggings for a less put together look, ripped jeans (as I did) for a little more personality, or even white denim for a look that's not so dark, or heck, for those of you that like a bold feminine look, tuck it into a skirt (to mimic the aesthetic of a leather and lace combo... pair the more "masculine" camo pattern with a very feminine tulle skirt... LOVE LOVE LOVE)!!

J Crew Camo Sweater.jpg

2. A Dress

I've been working with a company called Tobi for a little while now, putting together a little collaboration for you all, and they have the cutest Camo Dress that I've been dreaming about for a while!!  It isn't an item that they ended up sending me, but I still can't stop thinking about it:

Camo t-shirt Dress

The more I see it, the more I'm dying to have it... Your style options with a camo print dress may be more limited because its your entire outfit, but I love the idea of this casual camo t-shirt dress with a leather moto jacket and converse for later in Fall!!  Oh my goodness, YES!!  Or with a white denim jacket and everyone's favorite wedges from Summer, now!  Or what about with a peacoat and over-the-knee boots farther into Winter!?  (Heart Eyes for sure)  Thinking about these outfits is giving me all the FEELS!!  Because you can't beat all these dreamy Fall look options for only $32!!

3. A Jacket

Another blogger, who's outfits I love, has recently styled a Camo Utility Jacket so well that I had to ask her permission to use her photo for this post!!  Bailey, with Sequins & Seams, mixed the camo pattern with a subtle black and white stripe!  I'm never good at mixing patterns because its a little outside of my type-A comfortzone, but this is a look that I'd like to remake for myself in the future!  

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The benefits of wearing your camo piece as an outer layer are ENDLESS!!  Not to mention, the popularity of the "utility jacket" greatly surpasses that of camo print anyway!  So to put both trends in one piece is the most brilliant idea ever!!!  I LOVE IT!!  Wearing camo this way allows you to: 1. Remove it if you need to... You aren't committed to the piece all day!  2. Mix and match it with items already in your closet with ease!  3. It's just flat out more wearable as a layering piece!  4. Camo is more of a colder- month pattern anyway, so I think its just so fitting to have the pattern be on a cold month clothing article!

I'd like to add to the end of these 3 DOs for Camo styling, a DON'T...  I'm trying to channel my inner Stacey London when I say: please be careful wearing camo on your bottom half... Having such a bold pattern on your leggings, joggers, or jeans will not work for all body types...  If you are toothpick thin, then go for it, but its something that will draw people's attention, and isn't necessarily something you would want to wear on your bottom... At least I know I wouldn't!!  My thighs and tush are the widest part of my body and I know that wearing a bold pattern on them would accentuate that... So, if you're like me, I would advise that stepping into the camo trend should be kept to tops, dresses, and jackets :)

So, now that you know that camo is a MUST-HAVE for this Fall, I hope that my 3 DOs of styling the camo trend are helpful to you!!  Please, if you have camo pieces that you love, please style them and send me pics...  At this early stage in my new found acceptance of camo, I really could use just as much inspiration as you could!!  And as I acquire more pieces or find inspiration, I promise to share them with you as well!!!  I've even created a Pinterest Board specifically for this purpose: How to Wear the New CAMO Trend so follow along there :)

For those of you that are A Demure Life subscribers, I have "before" pictures of our new house up on the "Subscribers Only" section of the blog!!  And I hope to have some good "after" pictures once all the painting, kitchen construction, and unpacking is complete!!!  But go check them out in the mean-time, or subscribe now to get the password with Wednesday night's email :)

Let me know your camo thoughts in the comments!

XOXO

- Rachel

 

Welcome to My Home

So, I took some pictures of our home this week, and I thought it would be cool to share them with you all!!  This is a topic I could talk about for hours, so its a pretty lengthy post... Grab yourself a glass of wine, find a comfy seat on the couch, and get ready to read all about mine and Blake's adventures renovating houses, and my love for decorating them!!

Some of you may know that Blake and I are really into buying fixer-uppers, and "flipping" them!  Although, our current house wasn't quite the disaster you think of when you hear the term "fixer-upper," it still needed a little bit of a Demure upgrade ;)  Our first fixer-upper was an absolute GUT!!  We replaced EVERYTHING and made it AMAZING (if I do say so myself)!  Luckily, our current house wasn't that bad off to start with... but I still did my *thang*!!  As soon as I walked in, I immediately knew what I needed to change to make it not only more aesthetically pleasing, but to make it more functional as well!

I'm actually going to share both homes with you today! Even though I like our current house the most, I am still so stinking proud of what we did with the first one!!  It was a foreclosure that my parents bought for $35K and then put $20K more into it to fix it up... All while planning and paying for our wedding, OMG!!  And even though we did still purchase it back from them a few months later, it was still THE BEST gift Blake and I have ever received!!  They gifted us with a home that had $25K in equity the moment we stepped foot in it after we returned from our honeymoon!!!  What an amazing blessing it was to have that in our names at 22 years old!!!  Check it out below:

First House:

So now Blake and I see the value in taking a neglected house, putting in a little effort, and making it into a home that someone could love!!  In fact, we love that home so much that even when we outgrew it and wanted to move on, we couldn't let it go!!  We kept it as a rental after we bought our new house!  

Our current house doesn't have NEARLY the same story... We actually paid more than list price for it because we ended up getting into a little bit of a bidding war with three other couples... And then we still proceeded to put $10K into it to update it a bit!  Most investors would have considered that unwise, but for us, it was ok.  We live in each of our properties before they become investment properties, and also we don't plan to sell it for a profit in the future... When we move on, we will keep this house as a rental too!  

Checkout what we've done so far:

Current House:

First, we scraped all of the popcorn off of the ceilings!  IT WAS AWFUL!!!  I don't think Blake will ever purchase another home with popcorn ceilings again!!  But the final result is so refreshing!!!

Next, we had that VERY LARGE yellow wall, separating the formal living room from the den, removed.  During the process, we also had the encased opening forming a dinning room removed as well.  The main purpose for all of that was to create ONE LARGE living space!!  Coming from a 900 sq/ft house, no amount of extra space would have been enough... So we created as large of a space as possible - open floor plan living is the millennial's dream, right!? 

Some mid-reno pictures to help explain (all of these pictures were taken just inside the front door, and are in cronological orger):

Third, we completely renovated the 1970's guest bathroom!  Although the white tile is SO much better than the pink or green you usually find in homes build right around or before this time, they still had to go!!  We removed the tiles, replaced them with sheetrock, painted, and replaced the vanity, toilet, mirror, and light fixtures!!  

This part was such a satisfying transformation for me!!  I'm not sure why, but this was my favorite part for the renovation!!!  

That mostly completed our projects as far as changing the physical structure of the house... I mean, we had plans to renovate the master bathroom, but we got a $9K quote for that one :(  So, needless-to-say, that "little" project had to wait!!!  As we were finishing up the bathroom, our furniture started to arrive... And that's when the work ended and the fun began... Getting to decorate a newly remodeled home is that absolute BEST part!!!

Coming from a 900 sq/ft house that was completely decked out with IKEA furniture, I was absolutely ignorant of the fact that when you order NICE furniture, it usually takes about 8-10 weeks to be delivered... Ouch... So we were without furniture for the entirety of the construction process (insert about 12 crying emojis here)!  It ended up being a good thing in retrospect, because the couch I wanted wouldn't even have fit in the house with the wall still up, but it was hard for sure!!!  

So, here's what I've done with the place so far:

This gallery wall was the very first thing I did!!  I hung those pictures just a couple hours after that wall had been painted (and just a couple hours before we hosted small group at our house)...  We had nothing else in the house other than our dining room rug, and somehow I convinced myself that adding some pictures to the wall would make it all better LOL!!!!

Please excuse the missing piece in the gallery... It is an "F" that happens to be painted the exact same color as the wall, so I took it down to paint it gray, but never ended up doing it because just a few days later we started rehabbing a piece of furniture (which I will talk about later).  So, the gap will remain... And I'm taking bets on how long :)  P.S. The walls in the majority of the house are painted "Alabaster" by Sherwin Williams (its in the white family, but has gold added to it in its recipe, so its not stark white)!

That dining room table was the first piece of furniture to be delivered... It was made by a friend locally!  Its a farmhouse style table that I stained pretty dark to match the chairs I was dying to have!!  They are from Ashley Furniture... And although its hard to tell from this picture, the grommets are what make them so fantastic!!  You can find the standard chairs HERE and the captain's chairs HERE.

This was the "lookbook" I sent to friends to help me decide what pieces I should get... They were too expensive to change my mind later down the road!!

This was the "lookbook" I sent to friends to help me decide what pieces I should get... They were too expensive to change my mind later down the road!!

The next thing to be delivered was our couch!!  We only had a love-seat sized couch at the "little house," so I went a little overboard with the whole sectional thing to give us more space to lounge around... It's 11' x 9' and Blake and I still ONLY USE ONE CUSHION on that whole thing... What a waste LOL!  But I'm still so in love with it!!  Its from Westelm - A.K.A the absolute best place on the face of the plant!!  And its actually still available!!  You can check it out HERE!

We got 2 of those cute mid-mod accent chairs from Target, actually!  And they, too, are still available!!  You can find them HERE!!  There is some assembly required, but coming from someone who has put together a ton of furniture from IKEA, World Market, and Target... Target furniture is the easiest to put together and feels/looks the nicest once it is!!

That side table is from Pottery Barn, but I ended up not getting it once the living room finally came together...  I loved it, and still do, but its a little more dressy than I ended up styling the house.

Our bedroom furniture was delivered next... The bed and dresser are both from Pottery Barn!  I stalked these pieces for weeks because they were so expensive!!  From the tiny corner of the dresser you can see in this picture, it is completely mirrored, and was originally $999 because of it!  I worked with a fantastic interior designer at the South Park Mall location who kept me updated on sales, and I was able to get both pieces 25% off at their Friends & Family event thanks to her!!  This bed is called the "Big Daddy's Antiques Reclaimed Wood" bed LOL!!!!  Its a platform bed so we did 't have to get a box spring, which I liked!!  And I'm still just so in love with it now as I was the day I bought it!!!  You can find it HERE, and the dresser HERE!  Both are still full price, even after a year, so definitely wait until August/September for their Friends & Family event to come back around if you're interested in them!!!

We added our bedside tables to the mix 6 months later!  They are from Target, but are not longer available...  Blake made our curtain rods from metal pipe, our curtains are from Bed Bath & Beyond HERE (I got them a little long so they pool on the floor a little), and so is my comforter!  My exact one is sold out in all sizes except Twin, but Kate Spade has a lot of other super cute choices HERE!

This is our guest room!  It is painted my favorite light gray color by Sherwin Williams - Stone Isle!!  As you can see from the photos from our first house, this isn't the first time I've used this color, and it won't be the last - it truly is my favorite!!  

The guest bed is from Crate & Barrel!  I searched long and hard for the PERFECT wrought iron bed... And believe it or not, this one was the best looking AND THE CHEAPEST!!  Those two qualities rarely go hand-in-hand, so I am SO PROUD of this find!!  And OMG its still available too!!!  You can find this beauty HERE!!  This bed also has my favorite mattress on it!  If you like a really firm memory foam mattress, crazily enough, you have to get THIS ONE from IKEA!  This is the second time I've purchased this mattress from them and I would still buy another one!!  The nightstand that you can't see in this pic, is from World Market, but you should check it out HERE - its real marble people!!  The trunk at the foot of the bed is my favorite piece in this room - its Blake's grandmother's traveling trunk from when she was young... Such a gorgeous antique piece that I'm so grateful Blake's mom let me have!!!

The last "big furniture" item we've added to our decor is this awesome dinning room buffet that we're really using as a bar LOL!!  This is the piece that we rehabbed just recently... We found it at a local thrift store, and I think it might have been the bottom or top half of one of those larger-than-life china cabinets that the generation before me liked to have... But we only bought the one half, removed the fancy molding, painted it with chalk paint, distressed it, changed the cabinet pulls, and added a piece of granite to the top!!  If ANYONE (even one person) would like to know the finer details of how we did it, just comment below and I will do a full tutorial!

Just a few of my other random favorite house details:

I bought this picture to go on our mantle over a year before we even had a mantle... Its my all time favorite picture of Blake and I!!  A wedding picture that was actually taken for our 2 year wedding anniversary!

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This little corner of the house... Its my favorite little nook... But just to look at though, I mean, I've never actually used it LOL!  That lamp came from the "little house" and it was the piece that this house's decor was designed around... A little rustic, a little industrial - my favorite combo...  The tree came from my work, I mentioned the chair before, and that accent table is from World Market - HERE - and we also got the coffee table and sofa table (used as our entertainment center) to match!

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And then this towel rack is another item I purchased before even moving into this house because I knew I wanted it so badly... So the rest of the decor in this bathroom was purchased to complement this piece!!  It is handmade with tons of love by a Christian couple who love God so much...  I have enjoyed having their piece in my home and think of them often when I see it!!  And I will definitely purchase from them again!!!  Please check them out HERE

This is the 3rd and last color in our house - its called "Mark Twain."  It is not a Sherwin Williams color, so we had them color match it... But if you would like me to find out the original manufacturer, I totally will, just let me know!!  

So, I guess that's all for now... I don't know what else y'all are interested in seeing or knowing... But if I didn't cover something that you'd like to know, please just let me know in a comment below and I can definitely do a follow up post!!  I really enjoy fixing up a house - painting, and decorating it!!  Seeing the transformation just brings me such joy!!  This house is much bigger than the first, so the work is taking a lot longer this time around... So many of our walls are still bare (paint but no artwork), so even a few months from now I would have so much more to show you!!  I'm happy with what we've accomplished so far, but making a house a home is never really finished is it!?  I hope you like what you've seen (although I know the photography didn't do it much justice... LOL Blake is the better photographer)!

Y'all have a great rest of your weekend!!

XOXO - Rachel