How on earth is it already June? As crazy as our lives have been lately, this spring has been flying by so fast. Since I have been quarantined and working from home, I have been doing all the projects on our new home that were on our project list for 2020. I have also been decorating, and filling our home with cozy things that truly are starting to make it feel like an actual home.
My approach to decorating and furnishing our house is more of an affordable approach for sure. There are so many pieces of furniture (large and small) to buy, hardware, home improvement things, and decor to purchase… it all adds up quick! I have had some time to do tons of research and find great deals on pieces that I love. I hope all of my recent findings are a help to your home too! And no worries, if something is out of stock, just turn on your email notifications for that certain retailer to let you know when it is available again!
First things first – LAMPS! I found the cutest lamp to add some cozy light in different locations of the house, and I am loving it. I definitely want to purchase again to add to our master, the vintage lightbulb completely makes the corner of the space. This lamp is already pretty much assembled, I just had to screw a few pieces in and of course put the glass shade on. I LOVE what it gives to this corner of the living room. With the navy loveseat and natural wood side table, one little corner has so much personality. I have picked out a few things to add to the side table and will also link them below.
WALL DECOR GALORE! I found this “what a wonderful world” piece and it took me back to my childhood so I had to have it. I stuck a few command strips on it and hung it on the wall in my dining room!
AFFORDABLE FURNITURE PIECES! I have looked for a loveseat to go in our living room for literally forever it feels like. I knew I wanted a staple piece to add some color to the room, but also something not too busy. I ended up going with a velvet navy blue loveseat that fits perfectly. It is definitely on the smaller side, but great for extra guest seating. The one I purchased will restock in August, but I also linked a similar loveseat here.
HOME DECOR PIECES! This first piece is Taylor’s nightstand for his side of the bed. His only request was that it not be girly, ha. I found this pretty modern and trendy nightstand that even has a charging block built in, for less than $100.
ALLL the side tables! I am obsessing over side tables and ottomans right now. They add so much to a space! I snagged this wooden one for my living room on sale, I think it is out of stock right now but keep checking back! I also love to use side tables as a nightstand or plant stand. My side table decor is linked here: She Made Herself a Home, Hardcover. Vintage Phone.
I also found a small ottoman to use for Taylor’s x-box. We are working on getting all the cords hidden, but instead of the x-box being on the floor, I felt it would look better on a little stool/ottoman. This one is an amazon find around $50. It also comes in seven colors!
During my last work from home week, I redid our guest bathroom and it turned out adorable. The walls are the same grey throughout the entire house, and I used some left over front door paint for the cabinets. The light fixture was a $30 find (holla!) and the shower curtain was less than $20. Talk about an affordable redo!
Happy Shopping! I would love to see your home improvement projects if you guys are doing any! We are still adding and improving different spaces throughout the house just about every weekend. I can’t wait to share a home tour when it is finally all finished!
Since we bought our new house in December, I have been doing alllll the projects. We painted the entire house ourselves (lawd) and since I have had some time at home during the quarantine, I have been organizing and painting some hand-me-down furniture to get the house more in order. I honestly love doing projects and seeing before and after progress on things that save me so much money.
We painted the house Gray Owl by Benjamin Moore – it turned out GORG and is the perfect gray for us. It matches everything! Between Taylor and I, it probably took us around 2 months to finish everything besides our upstairs, which we have totally put off. Mom and I also painted the ceilings in the bedrooms and all trim. I finally finished the trim throughout the main part of the house and am still working on the ceilings. Ceilings are probably my least favorite, I can’t tell y’all how many times paint has splattered into my eyes, ha! The fresh white trim and ceilings make a huge difference though, and we saved at least a few thousand dollars painting everything ourselves.
Some family members have given us a few pieces of furniture that I have had the time to redo during my quarantine time. I started with this adorable rounded accent table that was distressed before. I sanded it and gave it a fresh bright look with the color White Wisp by Benjamin Moore. I painted the doors Aspen Leaf by Joanna Gaines (the same color as my front door) and stained the top with a dark walnut wood stain. I plan to put this table in the corner of my living area by the fireplace, so Taylor can hide his xbox inside of it. The front door opens up holla! Here is a before and after.
The dining room table that was given to us just needed a fresh coat of paint and stain. I painted the legs White Wisp and stained the top with a dark walnut wood stain. It looks SO much better and I adore the blue bench and chairs I picked out. Shop them here: Blue Linen Bench, Beige Linen Chairs.
This console table was also given to me, I gave it a few fresh coats if white wisp paint and painted the top Southern Gray by Benjamin Moore (also the color of my cabinets) and it looks so much better! I put it against the wall when you walk in our front door and it definitely adds coziness to the space. The lamp is super pretty, modern, and adds a pop of color. Shop the lamp (also comes in other colors) here: Blue Color Block Lamp. I had to put the pups’ toy basket on top of the table, I tried the fire place but they ripped into it every five minutes, ha!
My front door project has been my favorite so far. I went with Aspen Leaf by Joanna Gaines and I am totally in love with how it turned out! It definitely gives the front of my house a pop of color. I made the wreath out of some supplies I picked up from Hobby Lobby last month before COVID-19 started spreading throughout AL. It was inexpensive to make and turned out adorable! The striped door mat is also from Hobby Lobby, and the “cheers” mat is from Target. Watch me redo the entire door here: Front Door Facelift. Here is a before and after!
My largest project during my quarantine has been my cabinets. I used the color Southern Gray by Benjamin Moore and I love the way they turned out! It took me a little over a week to finish the entire kitchen. Now if I wasn’t off work, it would’ve taken me a month probably. The only hard part about it was how time consuming it was. I took all the doors off, sanded both sides, wiped them clean, and painted both sides with two coats. I also got new hardware for the cabinets and drawers and love how they look. The quality of them is amazing and they definitely add a modern touch to my kitchen. I did about drive myself nuts with the hardware, it is SO hard to get them on perfectly straight. Like, these cabinets kept me up at night, lol. I used a semi-gloss paint so they will be protected from splatters and easy to wipe clean. Shop my hardware here: Cabinet Pull, Drawer Pull. Next is new countertops, flooring, new appliances, and backsplash. I can’t WAIT for you guys to see all of my ideas for backsplash etc. Here are a few before, during, and after photos. Not pictured is the other side of the kitchen, there are cabinets around the stove area!
I have had this mirror for years, and I think it has been just about every color! I decided my bedroom needed a little edge added to it. So I painted it black and I love how it looks on our dresser!
I hope this post gives you guys some inspiration to do something fun, at home, and creative with your quarantine time! It has been so rewarding and I love that my first home is coming together. Something about creating spaces in my first home myself is so rewarding and makes me so happy! I am currently working on finishing painting the ceilings through the hallway and living room, and painting our upstairs. Show me your quarantine projects, I would love to see them!
I am so excited to finally share our complete Ireland itinerary! Get ready to dive in, because this is a long one… A whole week of living the Irish culture, drinking lots of Guiness and Irish coffee, and seeing the most beautiful views in the whole world! Ireland is so special to me, my family, and now Taylor as well. We spent about a year planning our trip to Ireland, the meaning of the trip was to celebrate my college graduation but it turned into so much more than I could have ever asked for or imagined!
Day 1: Dublin, Ireland
We flew into Dublin after a 10 hour flight, Taylor slept about five hours and I slept about zero, ha. Thank the Lord for Delta’s movie screens and our Amazon neck pillows. After shuttling across the airport to pick up our car from Hertz, we arrived to find that our car was the size of a smart car, so we upgraded to an SUV because our luggage would not even fit in the tiny one. Spend the extra money for am SUV, trust me! I was so nervous about the driving that I made myself nauseous, Taylor immediately proved me wrong and drove like a pro. Opposite steering wheel side and opposite side of the road did not phase him after a few minutes of adjusting to it. We stayed one night in Dublin, at the Academy Plaza, it was so nice! The Plaza was super close to downtown and in walking distance to tons of restaurants. We did not have time to see much in Dublin, and left the next morning to head to County Cork, Ireland. Next time I definitely want to see a little more of Dublin, although it is commercialized, there are still some great tourist spots to visit. Also, Irish coffee is one of the best things I have ever tasted.
Day 2: County Cork, Ireland
On day two we drove about three hours south-west of Dublin to County Cork, where we first stopped in Cork City to go sight seeing. Cork City is close to the water with lots to do and see. We toured Saint Fin Barre’s Cathedral and it was beautiful. We walked around The English Market, which was filled with tons of fresh meats and vegetables, the fish made me turn green, but the experience was cool. Locals have been shopping at the market since 1788, it has changed and been rebuilt a few times since then! We left Cork City and headed to see Blarney Castle, only about twenty minutes outside of Cork’s City Center. Blarney Castle is one of my favorite spots in Ireland, the castle is completely open for touring and climbing to the top. My grandfather climbed to the top and kissed the Blarney Stone over 10 years ago, after almost chickening out from what I hear, but then he even bought the picture of him kissing it! I kissed the stone and Taylor took some photos, don’t worry, they sanitize the stone often. We walked around the grounds, which are breathtaking, and took some of the best pictures. We spent the night in Kinsale, County Cork. Kinsale is a cute little seaside town, with tiny roads, lol. We stayed in The White House, B&B. It was a charming Bed and Breakfast with a delicious restaurant downstairs. We had dinner in the restaurant downstairs from the B&B. I tried fresh muscles that were DELISH and some local wine. The drive out of Kinsale that next morning was a little rough… the roads were super curvy and tiny, I ended up getting car sick an hour out of our drive, so Taylor pulled over into someone’s driveway and I puked my guts up in the pouring rain. I will never forget that, ha! When I was done being sick, I looked up and a little Irish man was standing in his front window watching me, poor guy. It was raining, so I don’t think he was worried about his driveway as much as he was me, by the look on his face! I would probably spend the night in Cork City next time we go to County Cork, although, Kinsale is very authentic and a must see when visiting Co Cork!
The English Market
Day 3: Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland
On day three we headed to Killarney, which ended up being my absolute favorite city in Ireland. There is SO much to do in Killarney, we stayed two nights, next time I want to stay a week there. Our hotel in Killarney was absolutely amazing. We stayed at The Fairview Hotel and it could not have been better. James, the manager, is our bestie for life and recommends the most amazing restaurants. He is fun to hang out with too, if you ever get the chance to visit, tell James we sent you! We can’t wait to go back and visit him. The room looked over the busy and colorful street, had a jacuzzi tub, and the best hospitality and staff. We visited Ross Castle when we got settled in, there is a giant lake surrounding the castle, carriage rides, and boat tours as well. We ate at Cronin’s Restaurant our first night in Killarney, recommended by James of course.
Day 4: Killarney, County Kerry, Ireland
Our second day in Killarney was nothing short of amazing. We visited the Muckross House (hello beautiful) and hiked six miles around Muckross Lake. I forgot my hiking boots, so I will definitely be taking those next time. Muckross lake has the most breathtaking views, and there is a tea cottage across the lake, half way through the hike. Killarney is the best city to walk around, visit local pubs, buy all the Irish goodies, and eat Irish coffee ice cream. We spent a few hours just walking around, hopping into pubs, and hanging out with the locals. For dinner, James recommended Bricin Restaurant. In walking distance from our hotel, the restaurant was a little fancy and so delicious. Let’s talk about the food in Ireland! Prepare to eat tons of seafood, fish and chips, and lots of potatoes of course. The country serves potatoes on everything, and I mean everything! I ordered a side salad and their version of croutons were tiny potato wedges, if that tells you anything! I did eat my first authentic fish and chips meal, a few times actually. One of the most amazing things about restaurants in Ireland is that everything is fresh and from local farms. I was so sad to leave Killarney, we can’t wait to go back and stay at The Fairview again.
Day 5: County Clare, Ireland
On day five, we made it to Doolin after crossing with our car on a ferry. Doolin is a little authentic seaside village just ten minutes away from the Cliffs of Moher. The weather was rainy so we decided to see Doolin to let the weather ease up before visiting the Cliffs. Doolin turned out to be one of my favorite spots in Ireland, the people were so nice, welcoming, and truly live out the Irish culture. There are only a few shops in Doolin, which mostly carried Irish wool sweaters, and one restaurant where we ate lunch. The Doonagore Castle is off the road on the drive in and out of Doolin going towards the Cliffs, so we parked the car and walked to the castle. This was THE most beautiful view I have ever seen, it was breathtaking. The roads in Doolin are very very small, we even had to stop and wait on a farmer to herd his cows down the road but it was entertaining for sure. Taylor was a champ at driving, so I eventually stopped worrying completely! I only got car sick once…. and if you know me, you know that is shocking. We left Doolin after the sun started to peep through the clouds and headed back to the Cliffs of Moher. It was only 8 euro per person and tickets are 24 hours. There are two sides for tourists at the Cliffs that you can walk on, one is a bit safer than the other and holds O’Briens Tower. We went there first to take a few pictures, the other side of the Cliffs is where the speechless views are. There is a concrete walkway on both sides of the Cliffs, and it eventually ends where you can walk literally out on to the Cliffs. There are many danger signs up throughout the grass and dirt areas on the free range parts of the Cliffs, but many people lose their lives each year there. It gets super windy so I would never get too close to the edge. We did take the time to walk the entire Cliff as far as we could go, and it was so worth it. We met another young couple that was from Los Angeles and took turns taking pictures of each other, I think we took a hundred pictures at the Cliffs. It was so amazing and looked 3D, not even real. Taylor said I kept taking pictures of the same thing, but it was so pretty that I did not want to miss an inch, ha! Of course I came home with the best photos and all. The Welcome Center at the Cliffs of Moher is probably the most amazing Welcome Center I have ever seen. Most of it was underground, they had café’s and coffee shops through the center, a huge gift shop for all of us souvenir junkies, and a path of facts and photos of the history of the Cliffs. We spent some time in the Welcome Center and then headed to Bunratty to spend the night at a Bed and Breakfast. Taylor did so amazing driving during the day, but driving at night was a little scary because there are basically no street lights.
Day 6: County Galway, Ireland
We spent the night in Bunratty on day five at a beautiful Bed and Breakfast that the sweetest family owned. On the morning of day six we visited Bunratty Castle before heading to County Galway. Bunratty Castle is a must see in Ireland. The grounds are beautiful with live animals walking about. The Castle is available to tour completely to the top, and there are even little cottages on the grounds that hold classes that teach pottery and serve tea. We made our way to the roof of the castle and stood just looking out at the landscape, it was breathtaking! We left Bunratty and headed to Galway City. Galway is definitely a college town with more of a younger crowd. We explored downtown, ate at a local café, shopped a little, and then traveled to our next town.
Day 6 Continued: Clifden, County Galway, Ireland
After leaving Galway City, we headed to our next destination in County Galway, which was a little town called Clifden. We booked a night in the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel in Clifden, which was almost out in the middle of nowhere, but so beautiful and the drive through the mountains was absolutely amazing. We planned on staying in that night because the castle holds a royal dinner for its’ guests. Once we were checked in we went down to the bar, got a few drinks and went out to the terrace to relax for a bit. The grounds at the Abbeyglen are stunning, the landscaping is beautiful and they even have helicopter pads. We hung out outside before it started to get dark and Taylor PROPOSED to me! It was a complete dream, check out all of our engagement details on my Engaged Blog Post! After all of the excitement was over, we went into the lobby for a champagne toast. The owner of the Abbeyglen told us a little about it’s history, it truly is amazing! The Castle was owned by a large family, and when the woman of the house was eventually alone, she turned it into a girl’s orphanage. After she died, the bank took over and now it is owned and operated as a hotel by the sweetest man and his family. We love the Abbeyglen Castle Hotel and can’t wait to visit again soon, it was truly one of the best experiences!
Day 7: Donegal Town, County Donegal, Ireland
Donegal was an adorable town with tons of history and things to see. We walked around town, hopped in a few pubs for a drink, and visited the Donegal Castle. We stayed in the Rossmore Estate, owned by the sweetest family. Our room was very private and on the side of the house. The view was GORGEOUS, overlooking a large lake with tons of greenery and acreage. Donegal is surrounded by water, so the wind was insane! At this point in the trip, we just wanted to relax. We ate at a local restaurant, and then went back to Rossmore.
Day 8: Enfield, County Meath, Ireland
When we arrived in Enfield, which was just 30 minutes outside of Dublin, we checked into the nicest estate. We stayed at The Johnstown Estate and it was beyond beautiful. The rooms are luxurious, there are two restaurants inside the estate, a private courtyard, bars, spas, a salon, pools, and gyms. We ate at a local café for lunch in downtown Enfield, and ate at a restaurant at the estate for dinner. By this night, we were exhausted, needed hours of sleep, and had to figure out how to pack all of my souvenirs to fly home safely… lol. Our room at the Johnstown Estate was super comfortable, we spent time walking around the hotel, talking to the staff, exploring the grounds, and I took the longest bubble bath before bed.
Day 9: Dublin Airport
We left early for the airport because checking in and turning in the rental car is a whole process. Turning in the Hertz rental car was super easy, and the airport staff was helpful as well. I will say that the flight to Ireland was much better than the flight home. We flew red-eye on the way there so it was quiet and we were able to get a little rest,
I did not really sleep on the way there but it was peaceful. The flight home was bright, allllll day long, and seemed never ending. By the time we landed in ATL, I was ready to sprint off the plane. The plane food is not the best, but it’s not terrible either. We flew comfort + so we got free drinks at least. The only thing I really do not like is how the plane smells after meals, which no one can really help. The smell just sticks to me or something. Delta movies were a life saver for the long flights, for sure.
That week FLEW by. I truly miss Ireland so much. We plan to visit often in the future, see Northern Ireland, and stay a lot longer in Killarney. Killarney was by far our favorite town and hotel of the trip. It was fun, energetic, adventurous, and we never ran out of things to do. I would 100% recommend honeymooning in Ireland if you are like us and don’t like to sit around all week on vacation! We are more outdoor exploring type of people, so Ireland was the perfect vacation for us! Our Ireland trip would not have been possible without Claire from Love Irish Tours. Her contact is firstname.lastname@example.org! She was so amazing, made the process very easy for us, helped us plan out every detail, and even tweaked our itinerary a few times before our trip to meet our wishes.
“May your troubles be less, your blessings be more, and nothing but happiness come through your door.” – An Irish Blessing
It is officially my favorite month of the year! A short story as to why I love this month – parts of my family and ancestors are from Ireland, and it has been a country that my grandparents and aunts, uncles, and cousins have always visited while growing up. My poppy (grandfather) loved Ireland, he always told me when I was younger that he couldn’t wait until I got to see the country, he knew I would love the cheery spirit of the Irish, and boy was he right! My sweet Poppy went to be with Jesus on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, of 2010. I miss him every day, and every year gets harder. This year is especially tough without him since I am getting married this year, he would have loved Taylor so much and probably would have made him play golf with him way too often! I got the chance to visit Ireland in fall of 2019 and it was nothing short of amazing. Ireland was everything that I dreamed it would be, or better. Getting engaged in Ireland made me love the country even more. Thanks, Tay!
I like to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day all month long, it is my favorite holiday for many reasons! I gathered up a bunch of adorable St. Patty’s Day clothing and accessories, because we have the whole month to celebrate… we need all the St. Patty’s Day style! There are so many positive things I could say about Ireland. One of the things I loved is how every local treated us, they were cheerful, caring, and so helpful along our travels.
One thing that I am doing this month is running a St. Patrick’s Day themed 5k so I am totally dressing up for that. Give me all the tops and all the green! I am not against wearing my St. Patty’s Day attire all year around either, I mean why not?! I found Taylor a cool shirt to wear this month, and it’s only $10! I linked everything pictured below, happy shopping!
We spent a day in Birmingham last weekend with my sister and brother in law and I wore this adorable tie-dyed sweatshirt. Tye-dye AND shamrocks? Nothing better! It is super comfy and only $22.
My girlfriend has an online boutique and makes the cutest tops! Search the group Madi Lou’s Boos on facebook to order – her designs are all so unique and you can’t beat the quality of her tees! You can also shop at her booth in Apple Barrel Antique’s in Oxford!
The only thing I have not gotten around to is picking out a few recipes to cook on St. Patrick’s Day. Cooking is definitely not my strong point, lol. I did pick up a few goodies in the Target dollar section to decorate with though.
I am praying for a healthy household for each of you during this wild time! Also praying for bank accounts during the quarantine and online shopping addiction, ha!
I wanted to write a quick post and share some of the Valentine’s outfits and goodies I found for a steal. Pink is my go-to color all year, so I love styling for Valentine’s Day! I found some of the cutest sweaters, dresses, and heels that will be perfect for a night out with your girls, or a hot date with your person! There are some things that I do like to splurge on – but living on a budget and not spending a ton on materialistic items that we can find so much cheaper is just a great habit to have. All of the sweaters, pumps, and accessories are linked here in my blog post! Happy shopping, and happy Valentine’s Day 💗
First is this adorable silk hot pink dress! I wore it to an event recently and got so many compliments on how fun it was. It was flattering, comfortable, and appropriate, while a little sexy at the same time 💕 This dress is $24 (I am so serious) and I paired with a leopard and clear pump that are less than $20. I LOVE this outfit, and for less than $50 – you can’t beat it!
All the pink sweaters are next! I love a good pink sweater – and honestly, you can never have too many! I put an effort to make sure every pink swearer I shared with you all are budget friendly as well. I have 2 of these and I wear them all the time! Some days, I pair a pink sweater with a pair of pixie work pants and booties for a day in the office, and on other days I throw one on with a pair of high waisted jeans, sneakers, and a cute belt. All of the sweaters I have linked below are less than $30!
I found 2 more adorable accessories that are a must have for Valentine’s Day! Both are very affordable and will add a pop of color to your Valentine’s style 💕
Looking for a gift for your best gal? I have heard nothing but amazing things about these makeup removers! I plan to snag one myself this weekend.
Whether you are spending the night in with your boo, or having a fun night out with your girlfriends, make the most of this fun holiday! We will be spending the night in, moving things and working on our new house. It’s a work in progress for sure! Happy Shopping, friends!