DIY Table Remodel!

Happy Friday y’all! We finally made it to the weekend!

If you have talked to me at all within the last two weeks then you probably know that I have been redoing some tables for an apartment (that I’m sharing with 5 other roommates) at school. I’m sure some of y’all wished I would shut up about it and now that I’m finished, I will (who am I kidding I’ll probably be talking about these tables for as long as I have them.)

I have had the idea to redo some tables ever since I found out we got into the lodge. But I didn’t just want them for the apartment. I wanted to be able to use them in my future home as well.

I’ve always been crafty, but I had never done anything like this before. However, I was ready to take on the challenge!

The first thing I needed to do to kick-start my project was to find my tables, obviously. I knew I wanted a coffee table and two end tables, so like any great DIYer I did a little Pinteresting to get some ideas of farmhouse styles and paint/stain colors. I found some inspiration pictures which you can see below:

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I wanted the coffee table stain to be a little darker than the picture, but I definitely loved the decorative white legs
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I LOVE this crate bookshelf/table (functional and pretty!) I wanted to replicate this exactly.

With my vision in mind, I took to Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace. This was the hardest part of the whole process for me. I wanted to find the tables now, but finding exactly what you want on sites like those take time. I had to keep reminding myself to be patient and that I had the whole summer to get this project done.

I found my first table, which was located in Indy, on Craigslist near the end of the semester so my dad picked it up on the way to come move me out for the summer. This table was pink y’all. Pink as can be. I affectionately nicknamed it the pink monster. The main reason I was drawn to it was because of its unique shape: hexagonal. For some people the pink might be a major turn-off, especially since I was planning on completely transforming it. But, I knew that a little TLC could make it beautifully my own. And the best part? It was only $20!!! What a deal!

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The second table I found was a coffee table in Georgetown on Facebook Marketplace. It was originally listed at $80, but I negotiated down to $60 (it never hurts to ask!) This was a beautiful table on its own and I was a little nervous about remodeling it, but I rolled up my sleeves and got to it.

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I bought the two crates from Michaels for $10 each. I was slightly disappointed because I had seen them for $8.99 a few weeks earlier when I didn’t have the money for it (lol story of my life) and they weren’t eligible for coupons (how tragic!) But at $10, it was still a fair price.

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When I had all of my tables, the next step was to buy the materials for the transformation. On my list was:

  • Rust-oleum white chalk paint
  • Minwax Pre-stain
  • Minwax Jacobean Stain
  • Minwax Polycrylic
  • Paint Brushes
  • Elmer’s Wood glue
  • 60-grit sandpaper

So I took a trip to Home Depot one Wednesday night after work and dropped $80. Yup, you heard right: $80 for 7 things. I knew it wasn’t going to be cheap, but I had prepared myself for that before. When you think about it though, it really is worth it because you would basically spend the same amount of money if you were to buy the tables that were already done the way you wanted. I do wish Home Depot did coupons like Michaels—I would have saved so much money.

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All of the materials needed for a transformation

I now had everything I needed to make my vision become reality. Finding the time to do it all was my next task.

I made a check list of exactly what I needed to do on a Friday night and went to bed because I had to be up at 5:15 the next morning for work!

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Note: I did not distress any of my tables. I wanted them to have a clean look. They will distress over time.

I planned to start on them after I got off of work on that Saturday. As soon as I got off at 1 I raced home, put on some work clothes, put an Ale-8 in the fridge for later, got all my materials laid out and went to work.

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My work station
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Make sure you have the proper safety equipment when sanding!

I started with the coffee table first. This table gave me a run for my money y’all. I started by sanding off the clear top coat with 100-grit sandpaper using a palm sander. I had never used a palm sander before and had literally no direction other than reading the instruction manual. The edges were difficult to sand evenly since they were curved. The biggest problem I faced was not changing the sandpaper often enough so I had a few spots that got a little damaged, but now you can’t even tell.

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You can see the damage here from not changing the sandpaper often enough

Next I applied the pre-stain with a paint brush, which took about 10-15 minutes to dry.

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While I waited for the pre-stain to dry, I got my Ale8 out of the fridge and took a break and cranked up the music.

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I then applied the first coat of stain with an old rag (I didn’t want to mess up my new paint brushes.) IMG_1937

The stain needed to dry a minimum of 8 hours before applying a second coat. The longer the stain stays on, the darker it gets so I wasn’t sure if it was going to need a second coat so I let it dry overnight.

I then took my sander to the pink monster. This thing took forever to sand because it had at least 3 layers on it. It took me over an hour to completely sand the whole thing, but when it was finished, it sure looked pretty!

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Before

 

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After!

I called it a day, took a shower because I was covered in saw dust and spent the rest of my evening relaxing.

The next day the coffee table was looking lighter than I wanted so I applied the second coat of stain. This time I reluctantly used my paintbrush because the rag I used was trash-worthy. Cleaning the paint brush was the biggest pain in my rear end. I eventually gave up and it stained the bristles, but it wasn’t oily anymore, which was what I was the most worried about. While I was putting the stain on I thought it looked very dark, but I figured I would just wait until the next day to see what it would look like.

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Next on my check list was to stain the pink monster.

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After the stain had been applied

I then started on my crate bookshelf/table. The crates were actually pretty rough in some places so I had to sand it down a little bit before I glued them together I put some of my textbooks on it to add some weight and took another Ale8 break. The glue needed to sit overnight to ensure the best hold so I called it a day again.

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The next day I checked on my coffee table and I was not happy at all with how it looked. It was literally black. You couldn’t even see the wood grain. I was very frustrated with it so I just left it alone and worked on the other tables with the idea of resanding the whole thing again when I was finished with the others in mind. I think it actually would have looked fine after the first coat if I had taken the table indoors and seen what it looked like inside because that’s where it’s going to be anyway. However, because it was outside, it was much brighter so it actually looked lighter than it probably was.

After the disappointment with the coffee table, I started painting the crates. It took me two coats, but it dries within 30 minutes so it was super easy!! Table number one=done!!

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During
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The finished product!

Next I started on the polycrylic coats for the hexagonal table. The label says it recommends 3 coats with 2 hours of drying time between each coat. With work I didn’t have time to do it all at once, it took me about two days to get all of the coats done.

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During the polycrylic application

After the polycrylic had dried, I began painting the legs. I put painters tape around the edges where I had stained to make sure I got a clean line. I used a bigger paint brush for the longer, flat parts and a smaller paint brush for the intricate details of the legs. Again, it took me two coats. Table number two=done!

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Before
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During
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After
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The finished product!

With the other two tables finished, it was finally time to tackle the coffee table again. I took my sander to it and it was taking forever! I thought it was just because the layers were super thick, but I finally realized when I was almost done I was using the wrong sandpaper! I had the 100-grit on instead of the 60-grit (face palm.) I switched to the 60-grit and things when a lot faster.

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The table was literally black. I was so mad.
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See how thick the layers were?
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The white sandpaper was what I was using (100-grit) and the red is what I was supposed to be using (60-grit)
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After it was FINALLY all sanded!
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The final time staining

The only things left to do were to apply the coats of polycrylic and paint the legs. The underneath had this really ugly green paint on it so I painted that too.

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The paint says that it is “one-coat coverage” however, this is what it looked like after one coat. If you were going for a very distressed look (which is common when using chalk paint) I would say this is fine, but I wanted mine to look clean and fresh so I did a second coat.

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After just one coat of paint
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Legs are done!
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Finished product!

This meant I was officially done! D-O-N-E! I still can’t believe it. It only took me a week and a half from start to finish (if I hadn’t had the trouble with the coffee table it would have taken me less than a week.)

I’m obsessed with how they turned out and am so excited to put my decor items on them. They give the perfect farmhouse look. I can’t wait to see how they look in our lodge when we move in in the fall!

I loved doing this project and was so proud of myself for how they turned out considering I had never done anything like this before, even if I did have a few bumps along the way.

I hope this inspires you to start your own DIY project! If you have any questions or need advice on your own project, feel free to message me or comment below!

XOXO,

Alyssa

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Falling Rock Park: The Day of L’s

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Taken from the Falling Rock website

If you just read the title and aren’t 30 years or younger you may not know what taking an “L” is, so let me explain. The L stands for loss, so taking an L is like having something bad or embarrassing happen to you. Now, with that out of the way, let’s begin this whale of a tale.

So my best friends Sabrina and Betsy and Betsy’s boyfriend, Dakota, were going to Falling Rock Park in La Grange, KY to celebrate Sabrina’s birthday early. If you’re unfamiliar with FRP, it used to be an old rock quarry that filled up with rain water and they turned it into a park where people can go swimming. There are a few rules which include:

  • Must fill out a waiver
  • Must be 18 years or older
  • Must bring a photo ID
  • $10 per person
  • No drugs/alcohol
  • No pets
  • Must have a flotation device at all times
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Taken from Falling Rock website

We had been planning for this trip for quite a while and we were very excited. We made packing lists and even made/bought some food and drinks to have while we were there. You could say we were prepared.

Well even if you’re prepared, you can’t always expect everything to go perfectly.

After we had breakfast at Chick-fil-A (gotta hook up the friends, amirite?) and got some ice for the cooler at the gas station we piled in the truck and hit the road. It wasn’t too long after we left that I just so happened to look back and notice that the tailgate of the truck was down. I told Dakota and he pulled over to put it back up. Well it wasn’t just that the tailgate was down…several of our bags and the cooler were missing. Yikes!

So we retraced our steps and found where everything had fallen out (literally the intersection where the gas station is.) All of our food and drinks were strewn out along the side of Harrodsburg Rd but the cooler and our bags were nowhere to be found. We picked up what was in the road and the only salvageable things were a container of guacamole that I had made (praise God!) and some strawberry lemonade that Betsy had made. All of our bottled water, Ale8, and apples were destroyed. It was pretty sad.

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Please excuse the terrible quality of this photo, but this was what we saw when we found where our stuff had fallen out

Anyway, we went in to some of the nearby stores and asked if anyone had turned in a cooler and two bags and everybody said no. We even called the Lexington Police Department because we had seen at least two or three cops in the area, but they said no one picked them up or turned them in. So someone had to have taken them within the 10-15 minutes it took us to realize they were gone and get back to where it fell out. Kinda sad.

Fortunately, there was nothing very important in the bags, just some extra clothes, towels and sunscreen (thank goodness my friends brought some too!) The only thing I was upset about losing was my favorite IWU hoodie and the bag that everything was in was Vera Bradley. But oh well, life happens and you move on. I just can’t believe no one honked or anything to try to tell us that the stuff had fallen out.

After we realized that we weren’t going to be getting our bags back, we hit the road for the second time. A little under an hour and a half later, we finally arrived at FRP. We filled out the waiver, gave them our money, got our wristbands, and had the truck searched (standard procedure to check for alcohol/drugs.)

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View when you first enter the park

It was so beautiful! The water is pretty clear compared to most lakes and there were hardly any clouds in the sky (foreshadowing for the sunburns that were about to come.)

There was hardly anybody there when we arrived, which was around 11 o’clock. So we pretty much had the whole place to ourselves. We walked over to get our floats blown up by the air compressor when L number two happened. I popped my float with the air compressor (face palm.) Luckily, Sabrina had brought both a float and a life jacket! Thank goodness for friends who pack extra just in case!

That was really the last big L that we took, we had a few other scares throughout the day when Sabrina thought she lost her ring and ID at one point, but they were fine.

The people who parked next to us came in clutch when they asked us if we wanted some extra ice that they had and we all thought “you have no idea, haha.” We were mainly concerned about the guacamole and some strawberries so we just put them inside the bag and covered it up to try to keep it cool.

Like I mentioned previously, the park used to be a rock quarry so it’s literally all rocks. The parking lot is rocks, the walkway to the water is rocks, and the places where you jump from are rocks. I have really sensitive feet (I can barely handle a pedicure because my feet are so ticklish) so walking on the rocks to get to the water was very hard for me. Both Betsy and Dakota wore Chacos so they just kept them on while they were in the water so after the first time of killing our feet, Sabrina and I just had them bring us our Rainbows so we didn’t have to hurt our feet getting in and out.

After floating for a while, we decided it was time for lunch. We had packed PB&J sandwiches, chips and guac, and Oreos. Most of the food items were in a different bag that was inside the cab of the truck, thank goodness.

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The strawberry lemonade survived!
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The guac!

After our bellies were full, we had a mini photo shoot (gotta get a good pic for Instagram), reapplied our sunscreen and headed back out on the water.

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Still smiles after losing half of our stuff earlier that morning!
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Candids are the best!

There were three places that you could jump from. Two of them were just a stack of rocks and the other was a platform where you jumped onto a blob that launched people into the water. Betsy, Dakota and I did the blob and it was fun, but very painful. You can’t see when the person launching you is going to jump so you literally have no idea when to expect it and all of a sudden the breath gets knocked out of you and you’re being launched into the air and then belly flop into the water. Betsy went twice as high as me because Dakota launched her haha.

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One of the places you could jump from, taken from Falling Rock Park website
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The blob, taken from the Falling Rock website

When we had finally had enough and were thoroughly fried, we left and went to this place called Traderbaker’s Flea Market that was nearby that I wanted to visit (gotta get my home decor fix somehow.) This place was similar to a peddlers mall where people can rent out booths to sell their items. There were quite a few booths that had the farmhouse style decor that I’m interested in which was exciting, because the Lexington Peddlers Mall did not have very much in that style at all when I visited.

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This is where I got my wooden stool
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I love the mirror on the right, but it’s more of a home item, not an apartment item (sigh)
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Where I got my napkin holder

I ended up getting this cute wooden stool and adorable picket fence napkin holder (how precious is this?!) Sabrina got a red apple shaped wire basket for her future classroom and Betsy got a mug and a trivet made from wine and champagne corks for her mom. So overall, it was a good shopping trip for everyone.

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Our haul. Sabrina didn’t end up getting the piece of wood (she was going to attach wire and hang pictures from it, but it was too heavy to hang safely in the dorm)

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After checking out with our new treasures, we finally headed home. We made one more stop on the way to get some aloe vera at Walmart because we were burnt y’all. Even Sabrina who usually tans got burnt (but only the front half of her legs did 😂 She literally had a line down her leg.) Poor Dakota’s back was literally purple, he was in a lot of pain.

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Sabrina’s leg
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My arm (line from the wristband we got)

Betsy and Dakota had made a lasagna the night before for all of us to eat for dinner when we got back so we went to Betsy’s house to eat. It was really good (I think it was like 80% beef and 20% noodles and sauce, haha.) Dakota just laid on the couch because he could hardly move haha.

We were all worn out so we called it a day and finally went home and went to bed.

Even after the mishaps we experienced, overall it was a great day! I’m glad I got to take a break from work to spend time with friends and to celebrate Sabrina’s birthday (happy 20th girl!🎈🎉)

I would definitely recommend going to Falling Rock Park, but would suggest going earlier rather than later in the day because there was a long line to get in after noon!

We can’t always plan for everything except to expect the unexpected. When something does happen that doesn’t go as planned, it’s better to not take it too seriously and just roll with it. We laughed so hard about it we were in tears the entire way there.

Much love,

Alyssa

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Be You!

Hey y’all! Hope the start to your summers are treating you right.

I just wanted to make a quick little post before I head to work for the day about being yourself when it comes to beauty.

It’s no secret that girls are under a ton of pressure from the media to look a certain way. Slim super models on the cover of almost every magazine in the grocery store check out line seem to look at me disapprovingly with my armful of chocolate and ingredients to make guacamole (my fave!)

From perfume commercials to TV shows like America’s Next Top Model to songs that talk about beautiful women, the pressure to conform to America’s standard of “beauty” is immense. These forms of media have a significant impact on young girls especially.

I’ve never been very comfortable with the way my body looks, but recently I’ve tried not to compare myself to others, because they’re not me. God made me exactly how He intended me to be, which is beautiful in His eyes. Therefore, I should see myself in the same way.

I’ll admit I could hold off on the chocolate and guac a little, but as long as I’m confident in myself, others will see the confidence and maybe use it for themselves.

When it comes to makeup, I’ve never worn a lot, but if I do, it’s all natural looking. A couple months back though, I became interested in makeup more, so I bought a few things I didn’t have and even considered buying the Naked3 palette.

However, now, I have been going practically barefaced almost everyday. I’m not sure if it’s just because it’s summer and I have work every day or I’ve just gotten lazy, but if I do wear makeup, it’s literally just mascara and eyebrow powder (gotta love my ginger eyelashes/brows.) And you know what?? I don’t care what other people think about how I look. If a cute boy comes through the drive thru, I don’t think “Oh, I wish I would have put more makeup on today.” I’ve been single for over two years now, so its allowed me to rethink my view on the way guys view me. If they don’t like me with hardly any makeup on, they don’t deserve me when I do wear it. I want someone to like me for me, especially when I first wake up in the morning and am not coherent (lol when I tried to take an order that I thought was mine at North Lime Donuts this morning, but wasn’t.) One thing I do really like about myself is my freckles and they really show during the summer. If I wear foundation, they get covered up, and why would I cover up something that compliments me? (By the way, I never bought that Naked3 palette because who wants to spend over $50 on that?)

Also, if y’all don’t know, I go to private Christian school in Indiana where my class’ ratio of girls to guys is 5:1. That’s not a joke. The overall ratio is 4:1 so there are obviously more girls on campus and the majority of them dress nicely or curl their hair almost every day. And here I am in Nike shorts and a sweatshirt with my hair in a messy bun because I woke up late (funny story, I slept through a presentation I was supposed to give at 7:50AM at the end of last semester and one of my friends in the class (shoutout Abby Manwell) had to come bang on my door to wake me up. I threw some business professional clothes on and ran out the door. Didn’t do my hair, didn’t do my makeup. Showed up to class, presented with my group like a boss and went back to bed.) Anyway, a majority of the girls look so good everyday and I’m like “who has the time or energy to do that?” Them, that’s who! Some people are early birds and can get up on time to look nice and feel confident about themselves, don’t judge them for that.

So, all that to say, when it comes to makeup or fashion or whatever the latest trend is, be you! This means if you like to wear a full face of makeup every day, then do it girl! I’m not shaming anyone who likes makeup by any means. Do whatever makes you feel comfortable in your own skin and do it for yourself and nobody else.

Love,

Alyssa

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My every day look for the past few weeks. Only wearing mascara and eyebrow powder (peep the pimple on my forehead, show it girl.) Haven’t touched my hair at all.

Our Gatlinburg Vacation

Last week my family went on vacation to Gatlinburg, TN. I had never been before so I was very excited. I have heard many great things about it before, so I was interested to see it for myself!

We hit the road Monday morning and arrived in Sevierville, which is just outside of Gatlinburg, around lunch time. And I’ll bet you $5 you won’t guess where we ate (unless you follow me on snap, that doesn’t count.) CICI’S PIZZA!!!! That’s right the wonderful pizza buffet of my childhood or anybody who went to Clays Mill Elementary for that matter. Our school had fundraising nights at CiCi’s, so we were there quite a bit. But sadly, they closed their doors in Lex and there aren’t any other locations nearby, so finding this gem was enough to make anyone’s day. And it was just as wonderful as I had remembered.

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We then drove to the cabin where we were staying, which was really nice!! It had a full kitchen so we cooked several of our meals there to save money. We also each had our own king sized bed on separate floors with our own bathrooms. I had never slept in a bed that big and it was v magical. Oh, and there was a hot tub! The only “bad” thing about it was that it was literally on the mountain so you basically had to drive up a 60 degree incline (I know, I’m exaggerating) with lots of twists and turns, so that gave me a minor heart attack every time we went back to the cabin.

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We cooked spaghetti for dinner and spent some time in the hot tub. It was a nice way to unwind after a long day of being on the road.

On Tuesday we drove through the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. The route we took was an 11-mile loop with little tons of inlets you could pullover and take pictures if you wanted. It was so beautiful and green. However, you actually could still see the effects from the wildfire they experienced last summer. There were spots where trees were charred or completely bare. The city is still rebuilding, but there are plenty of things to do! Most of the “touristy” places are up and running but you could definitely tell that a lot of what used to be cabin rentals were still completely burned to the ground. I think ours was one of the few ones that were untouched. Seeing the effects of the wildfire reminded me of the regrowth we experience after we have “wildfires” in our life. God doesn’t give us anything we can’t handle. “This too shall pass.” – King Solomon. Here are some of the pictures we took from the park.

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My brother took the photos below with his camera.

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We even saw both a deer and black bear! Unfortunately though, my brother accidentally deleted the bear picture of the camera (sad face), but we have the one of the deer! There were actually two of them that ran right beside our van, it was really cool!

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Later that evening, we explored some of the stores along the strip. (By the way, I forgot to mention it was raining the entire time. Even with ponchos and umbrellas we were thoroughly soaked by the end of our escapade.) There was a really cute store called Thistle Dew Nicely, which had lots of farmhouse style and Christian decor items. I didn’t buy anything from there though because I was saving my money for the Vintage Market that was on Saturday! If you missed my post about that, you can find it here.

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Taken from Adventure Rider

I ended up buying this cute mug (which was the last one I needed to complete my DIY mug holder!) and an adorable UK shirt (of all things I could buy in Gatlinburg.)

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We didn’t get to see everything on the strip because it was dinner time, so we went back to the cabin, cooked BBQ sandwiches and retired for the night.

On Wednesday, we went on another driving tour through the mountains, it was much shorter than the one we went on the day before and there wasn’t much to see that we hadn’t already seen, so we took to the strip one more time. We went to a place where you could do six different activities for one price. We did an indoor blacklight mini golf (because it was raining) and a laser maze (like in those spy movies where they have to avoid the laser field.) That was fun, but challenging. During this time it was literally down pouring. Rain was coming down in sheets off of the mountain and at one point you could not even see the mountain. (See picture below) The power even went out for a split second when my mom was doing the laser maze, so all the lasers disappeared, haha.

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There are supposed to be mountains here

Apparently only the laser maze was not working, so we did another activity called Atomic Rush, which is like Waca-mole but with colors. We then went to an indoor mall that had a sign for “Peddlers World” on the front, which I was interested in. However, we went to the level that the directory said it was located on and it was nowhere to be found, which was slightly disappointing. But we continued exploring and took a quick lunch break at Zaxby’s. By the time we were finished with lunch, it had stopped raining (yay!)

There was an arts and crafts village that I was interested in going to and on the map that we had, it didn’t look too far away. So we decided to walk there. However, we went the wrong way and so we just said forget it, we’ll drive there tomorrow.

We then stopped at Ben and Jerry’s to get some sugar in our system, because that walk wore us out. I got the mint chocolate chip, which I had never seen not green before, but apparently it’s because they don’t put artificial coloring in their ice cream. It tasted the exact same, but to be honest I like my mint chocolate chip to be green, haha.

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Since it had stopped raining, we did the outdoor putt putt at the game place. I’ll tell you what, I’m no good at mini golf. I still had a lot of fun though because I wasn’t at work and I was with my family. I’ve learned to enjoy the moment and I encourage you to do the same. It will make you appreciate the little things in life more.

By this time, we were all pretty pooped. We decided to go back to the cabin and rest for a little bit and then go back out for dinner. We had heard that Gatlinburg had a lot of really good pancake places so we set out to find one. We had thought we saw one that was down near the end of strip so we walked all the way down and it was nowhere to be found. We eventually google mapped in and it was on the complete other end (🙄) So we chuckled a little bit and walked back the way we came. We FINALLY found it and guess what? IT WAS CLOSED. That’s right, we went through all that trouble to find out it was closed. At this point we were getting a little hangry so we just walked to the nearest food place and parked it.

This happened to be a place called The Best Italian. They were a little short staffed and our waitress was new and very apologetic, but she did a great job. Ever since I started working in the food industry, it gave me a new appreciate for others who do too. Especially when things that can’t be helped like being short staffed happen. The meals were a little overpriced in my opinion, but the food was still good (on par with Olive Garden.)

We then set out back to the game place and did one more round of outdoor mini golf. We also played laser tag (I thought I was doing really well and when it was finished I only had 100 points, um what lol.) My brother and I did the laser maze again (since the power went out earlier, they gave us two more free tokens) and the whole family played the atomic rush game for our last activity. We did the “hard” level which was completely random and you had to run all over the room to find your color and it was so fun.

Apparently we hadn’t had our fill of games because we went back to the cabin and had a game night with some board games we had brought from home. We played Sequence, Banagrams and Ticket to Ride. I think I played my worst game of Ticket to Ride, but I did much better at Banagrams. Overall, it was a great day full of fun and family.

Thursday was our last day so we packed up the van, stopped at Starbucks to get our caffeine fill (funny story, my dad gave my brother and I his phone to use the Starbucks app to pay with, but their power was out so they could only accept cash, so we had to call him to drive back around to get cash) and drove out to the arts and crafts village that we had tried to walk to the day before. I’ll tell you something that map we were looking at before was not accurate at all. It literally took us a solid 15 minutes to drive there. There was no way we could have walked to it.

Once we arrived I got a map that listed all of the stores and circled the ones I was interested in. So we drove around to find them and literally all of them but one were not even in business anymore. We asked the one store owner why that was the case and he said that after the wildfires last summer, a lot of stored went out of business, which was unfortunate, but understandable.

We were determined to get our pancake fill before we left so we found a pancake restaurant for lunch. I got the mixed berry pancakes and chocolate milk, yummy.

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Our last event before we hit the road was go karting! It was very chilly and windy so we found a place that had an indoor track, but as luck would have it, they were only running the outdoor one. Great, right. So we braved the chilly wind and my brother and I did 3 different races. It was pretty fun, but boy, was I sore the next day.

After we had our fill of thrill and pancakes for the day, we set out for home.

Overall, we had a great vacation and I would definitely recommend Gatlinburg as a fun vacation spot! It would be beautiful to go during the fall to see the leaves changing on the mountain. I can’t wait to go back!

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Vintage Market Days of Lexington

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to all those who put their life on the line for this country. Your service and bravery don’t go unnoticed. (Special shoutout to my awesome roomie, Rachel Baker who is in Army ROTC, you rock.)

As I’m sure most of y’all know by now, I love anything farmhouse/vintage home decor, so when I saw on Facebook that an event called “Vintage Market Days of Lexington” was coming to the Kentucky Horse Park, I was beyond excited.

Imagine a crazy redhead running out the door, sporting a messy bun, purse in tote and coffee in hand: that was me on Saturday. I literally could not sleep the night before because I was so excited. I know that sounds lame, but I live for this kind of stuff.

This is the first time this event has come to Lexington, but I know they will be back because of the great turnout. A portion of the proceeds went to Old Friends Farm in Georgetown, KY where they rescue old racehorses and give them a home. Each event has it’s own theme and this one was “Home Sweet Home.”

 

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Taken from the VMD Instagram page

The event was this past weekend and boy, was it fun. Friday was the first day and was the “early buying event” as customers got the first pick of everything. Customers were given blue wristbands which allowed them re-entry for the rest of the weekend, including free parking.

I actually got to experience both sides of this event as a worker and a customer. I wanted to go to the Friday show, but my friend, Sabrina, who was going with me had work that day, so we went on Saturday instead. So on Friday and Sunday I worked the event. They even gave us these cute little aprons to wear. I loved those. Eric and Mimi Griffith are the owners of the Lexington VMD franchise. They put so much work into this event and I’m sure were “running on E” the whole weekend, but they were so kind and welcoming to both the workers and the customers.

 

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Taken from the VMD Facebook page

I won’t bore you with the “behind the scenes” things that I did as a worker, but I will tell you about Sabrina’s and my customer experience Saturday!

Let me tell you, this event is so awesome. There are over 80 vendors from 18 different states and they all have amazing items for sale.

I should probably mention, my school friends and I got an on-campus apartment next year, so I have been searching for decor items for that. This was the perfect place to find rustic, farmhouse style decor for any space!

I went in knowing that I wanted to buy some cotton stems, but other than that I didn’t have anything else in particular in mind, just whatever spoke to me!

The doors officially opened at 10 and the first 25 customers in line got a special VMD bag that they could use to put their treasures in and there were also some goodies in there as well. Unfortunately, Sabrina and I weren’t the first 25 in line, but we were okay with that.

 

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Taken from the VMD Facebook page

We actually purchased our tickets ahead of time, which I HIGHLY recommend. This speeds up the process so much, you just hand them your ticket, they slap a wristband on you, and off you go to find your vintage treasures!

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Taken from the VMD Facebook page

When you first walk in, there are a few vendors on the upper level and a plethora of others on the lower level. Sabrina and I noticed that the flow of traffic seemed to be to the right on the upper level and it was extremely congested, so we said “I don’t know about y’all but we’re going to the lower level!” There were hardly any customers on the lower level because they were still on the upper level so we basically had the whole place to ourselves!

These pictures are just a glimpse at the types of items vendors were selling:

 

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Taken from the VMD Facebook page
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Taken from the VMD Facebook page
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Taken from the VMD Facebook page
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Taken from the VMD Facebook page

I found a few vendors that had cotton stems, but they weren’t long enough for what I was needing. I was planning to put them on a dollar store vase I bought and painted white (thrifty!) which was 9 inches tall, so the stem needed to be at least that long. I finally found some at the Rosewood booth (their main store is located in Harrodsburg, KY) which were 29 inches tall and were $8 a piece when you bought 2 or more (score!) I’m telling y’all and Sabrina can attest to this, when I saw these cotton stems I literally made a beeline towards them and didn’t look back! I was so excited I found some that were long enough. So I bought 3 and went on my merry way to find more vintage goodies.

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Taken from Rosewood LLC Facebook page

 

I also found a glass dome that I was wanting in the back of my mind. I wanted to do something similar to this picture (with the wood circle on the bottom, but with the bark still on.)

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I knew Home Depot had some on their website for $11, but I got this sucker for $6 at VMD. I was beyond hype, but I think Sabrina was even more hype than me, because when we were looking around more a little later, we saw similar ones for literally over $40, so I got a steal (insert emoji wearing sunglasses here).

The last thing I bought was a wooden tray for my coffee table, which I still need to repaint and retain (find that post here) It’s beautiful, sturdy, and at $25, a great price for the quality.

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As soon as I got home I went to work styling my coffee table vignette (ok, I lied, I took a nap first because I was exhausted), but after that I played around a little with the vignette, moving pieces around and seeing what I liked where. I think I settled on this design, but who knows, I will probably change it 15 times before I actually move in. (If you’d like to know where I got the other pieces, feel free to comment below!) I’m planning to put a bright pink flower in that mint julep cup to add a pop of color.

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There were also a TON of blanket ladders (these are literally wooden ladders that you put blankets on, decorative and functional!) I had actually already bought one at a garage sale for $10 (another steal), but if I hadn’t, I for sure would have bought one here. Most of them were $22-$25 (such great prices!) Below is the one I have:

 

 

Sabrina had a few things catch her eye as well. She bought an adorable wooden piece (pictured below) that you could put a multitude of things in (silverware, plants, makeup brushes, etc.), but since she is an education major, she plans to put crayons or colored pencils in it and maybe paint the front to say “Teacher” or “Ms. Spillman” (or whatever her new married name will be ;)).

She also bought a cute little vintage tin cup that she plans to put a flower or succulent in. Who would have thought of that? I’ll tell you who: vintage market people.

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Sabrina is also obsessed with cacti (I’ve taken a liking to succulents, hence my header on my page!) So she also bought a cute little succulent decal that she wants to put on a piece of cardstock, write a cute quote on it, and frame it.

Overall, we came away with some great pieces and had a wonderful experience! The Kentucky Horse Park is having another VMD event October 20-22 (my birthday weekend, so you know I’ll be in there like swimwear). I debated on whether or not I should tell y’all because I want to keep this amazing event on the DL (more goodies for me!), but I also can’t help sharing my great experience and wish you the same.

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Hope to see you there in October!

Much Love,

Alyssa

P.S. If there is something y’all would like me to write about, just comment and let me know!

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My First Blog Post!

Welcome to my blog!

You may be asking yourself, “Why did you decide to start a blog?” I follow a couple different blogs and my friend and I were talking about the idea of starting our own, so we said, “let’s do it!” Please bear with me as this is new to me. I’ll be figuring it out along the way.

I am intending this space to be for two main things: to talk about home decor and my faith in Christ. That may seem like a weird combination but if you know me at all, you know that I am literally obsessed with everything farmhouse/vintage decor. I’m also a follower of Christ and try to serve others in my major of athletic training and in my role as an advocate for a wonderful organization called Destiny Rescue. If you’re unfamiliar with what they do check out their website! (https://www.destinyrescue.org/us/)

Well here goes nothing! I’m looking forward to this journey and hope that you enjoy it as much as I do.

Cheers,

Alyssa

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