Notebooks

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I love notebooks. The cute ones.

I’m old-school in the way that I love to write little notes. When writing an article [or blog post], I’d rather write it on paper first. The other day when browsing some of my favorite sites, I came across this adorable and motivating journal from Urban Behavior with the words “carpe diem” across the front. Carpe diem is a well-known Latin saying meaning “seize the day.” Something about having those “go-getter” words right there in front of me when writing gives me a little more of a boost to write my best.

My current journal is similar. It was a TJ Maxx purchase [for $4]! It’s in my bag everywhere I go.

follow your heart. live your dream. be passionate. happiness is yours to take. never give up. your energy is limitless. embrace possibility. love your life.

Happy weekend! Hope this gives a little Friday inspiration on this rainy day in Connecticut. Go on out and find yourself the perfect motivational notebook. I guarantee it will put a smile on your face.

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Flea Market Heaven

Jars galore.

Jars galore.

I’m on the hunt for a new piece of furniture to hold our television. Currently, it sits on an old peeling Walmart television stand that is slowly but surely bowing in the center. Not very pretty.

I love original pieces with a story behind them. The best part is that bargain deals are not just limited to cheap Walmart furniture that will fall apart within months [case in point with my current television stand]. The trick is patience in your search. Garage sales and flea markets are secretly treasure chests. I’m lucky to live not 20 minutes from one of the best flea markets on the East Coast: the Elephant’s Trunk. I would be there every Sunday morning if I could. Yesterday, that’s where our day began.

Unfortunately, the search for a television stand was not completed yesterday, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a successful day! We bought this handmade rustic “wine country” sign for our bar. We’re winos. Vineyard visits are some of our favorite excursions. All of our wine currently on our bar [and in our fridge] is from recent trips to local wineries, so this sign just screamed at us. The best part? Only $5. My guess is you’d pay anywhere from $10 to $20 for a machine made sign similar in any department store. I’ll take authenticity anyday.

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Flea markets are also great for buying local foods. This past weekend’s flea market outing was complete with fresh squeezed lemonade, egg sandwichs and a bag full of Italian goodies, including sharp provolone cheese and sausages.

I can’t wait to find the perfect stand for our television but for now, the hunt is so much fun!

HGTV's Flea Market Flip filming at the Elephant's Trunk.

HGTV’s Flea Market Flip filming at the Elephant’s Trunk.

Chalkboard Paint

I’d say I’m a pretty lucky girl. There’s a whole handful of reasons to back this statement up, but one in particular that I’ll emphasize right now.

My boyfriend is that guy who loves to be with me, no matter what I’m doing. With our recent move into our new apartment, I’m going decorating crazy, so much of my free time is spent sifting through boxes and rotating photographs, vases and mirrors in and out of rooms. The one necessity I’ve [actually we’ve] discovered for an easy and quick project that adds functionality to a space is chalkboard paint.

Now I’m jar obsessed… [I’ll elaborate on that in a later post]. We store many of our food items in various size mason jars: spices, ice cream toppings, and different grains from quinoa to farro to oats. Even though the jars are transparent, when looking at them from above, it can be difficult and time-consuming to figure out what is in each. So together, we painted the lids of the jars with chalkboard paint [which can be found at your local art supplies store for less than $10]. A few coats were needed before the paint was completely opaque. Another trick we discovered was covering the lid with masking tape prior to painting, just to have a more absorbant surface for the paint.

Chalkboard paint is awesome. I had two wood plaques adorned with a 70’s style flower painting that I wanted nothing to do with. They were leftover from a cheap apartment decorating Walmart shopping spree back when I was in college. Instead of throwing them out, I decided to “upcycle” them into chalkboards. They function awesome in our kitchen for notes and lists and double as aesthetically pleasing wall decor.

I challenge you to get creative and discover new ways to use chalkboard paint and let me know what you come up with!

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