Tag Archives: Shopping

The $50 Chevron Nursery Rug

I’ve been on the lookout for a rug for the nursery. The room isn’t very big so I just wanted a 5×7 or 5×8 in some sort of bold pattern. I thought about getting this one from Dwell Studio. It sells for $275 but over Memorial Day weekend they were having a 20% off sale so I could have purchased it for about $225.

nursery rug idea

I also thought about this cheaper one from Urban Outfitters. The Zig Zag rug is only $79 for a 5×7.

nursery rugBut then I came across another option while shopping at Home Goods. It’s a golden yellow and off-white chevron rug. I thought the color may have been a little off, but I knew I could have returned it if necessary and the price couldn’t be beat: $50! When I got it home I was pleasantly surprised. It’s perfect!

Nursery Rug

I think the color looks great with the crib sheet and the wood floors. It would also work in other rooms of our home which is always a selling point for me since I seem to constantly be shaking things up and moving stuff around.

Nursery Rug 2

And you just can’t beat the price– $50! I did spend $16 on a rug pad to add some extra cushion and help the rug stay in place. I’m so glad I didn’t spend $225 on the Dwell Studio rug a few weeks ago. I have plenty of other ways I can use the $175 I saved.

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My New Business

Nearly ten years ago I started a tradition. I took a blank, boring journal and filled the first few pages with bad poetry, dorky photos and a heartfelt note. Then I sent it away to a friend. The pages of that journal eventually got filled with memories and what was once a cheaply made book became one of my most priceless possessions. For my four friends and I, The Traveling Journal became an illustration of our friendship that no amount of emails, text messages or Facebook status updates could ever match.

This year it occurred to me that more and more friendships are long distance. Spouses, jobs, and promises of warmer weather are pushing people to pick up and move away from the people that mean the most to them. So I, along with a few founding friends, decided to launch TheTravelingJournal.com. It’s a place where people can get their own journals (much better quality than ours was) and accessories to enhance the experience of The Traveling Journal. Just about everything is custom-made, mostly by hand.

I realize that in an iPad world, The Traveling Journal may have a hard time finding its place. There’s no technology involved. There’s no immediate gratification. And you actually have to hold a pen in your hand to make it work. But I can tell you from experience there’s no better feeling than being able to flip through the pages of a friendship, to hold the same book in your hands that those closest to you have held, and to be reminded every once in a while that you are deeply loved.

My friends and I all agree, we would not be as close as we are today if it weren’t for our Traveling Journal. And when it comes down to it, life is about the people you love. So as a writer, I hope to encourage others to write in the pages of their own Traveling Journal. And I trust that one day, The Traveling Journal will become just about the most precious thing you own.

Feel free to “like” The Traveling Journal on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter. And, of course, visit our shop.

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Model for a Day: A Magazine Photo Shoot

My four best buddies came into town for a whirlwind trip that included a photo shoot for a magazine. More details will come, but for now I’ll just show you what we wore.

Our Five Outfits

All of the clothes came from local boutiques including Hampden Clothing, Augusta Twenty and The Runway. We were so pressed for time that I had to borrow the clothes from the stores so that my friends could select their outfits at my house on Sunday, the day before the shoot. These stores let me walk out with over $10,000 worth of merchandise so we would have exactly the right thing to wear. Many of the photos were taken at my home, but we also hit downtown Greenville for a different look.

In Falls Park for Our Photo Shoot

If all goes well one of the 1200 shots that the photographer captured will be hitting newsstands in a May issue. I’ll keep you posted!

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Making the Light Choice for the Closet

I realize that picking a light for the walk-in closet should probably be an easy choice, but it’s not. I want something that puts out a lot of light (duh!) and is the right scale for the space. The ceilings are angled and the light will come down from the point where the walls meet which means it must be a pendant of some sort. Here are five that I like. Which one is your favorite?

The 3-Light Pendant from Overstock.com ($118)

Mini 3-Light Antique White Chandelier from Overstock.com ($29.99)

Chrome Crystal Chandelier from Overstock.com ($86.99)

Paper Cloud Vines Pendant from 2Modern.com ($154)

The Sonneman Bubbles Globe Pendant ($104)

I know they are all very different but I am drawn to them all! Fortunately the rest of the master suite is recessed lighting which means there are no choices to make.

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New Sinks and Faucets for Our Master Suite

Tony, our contractor, says the drywall should be complete by the middle of the week which means we can begin the fun part of picking out fixtures and colors. This weekend we ordered two sinks and two faucets which will go on the vanity that Tim is building. The sinks and faucets came as a set from Overstock.com.

The Kraus Rectangular Sink and the Bruno Faucet

Since the faucet shares the same name as our min pin we took that as a good sign. While other sites sell this set for $400, we picked it up at Overstock.com for less than half that. They sell them for $219.95 with free shipping, but we bought them in two separate transactions and used a coupon code to take $15 off each. We also bought them through Ebates.com which means we’ll get an extra 4% cash back. (If you’re not signed up for ebates.com, do it now and never shop online without heading their first!) In the end, we paid about $197 for each set which I think is a great deal for some really nice looking fixtures. These will really give our custom vanity a high-end look.

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Sharing the Knowledge: My First Coupon Class

Last night I held my first coupon class at my church, LifePoint. About 20 people turned out to learn how to save more and give more than they’ve ever done before. My main goal was to encourage and inspire people to turn something as seemingly routine as grocery shopping into a task that can bless others and serve God. I’ve been thinking about teaching a class for a while now. But it wasn’t until my church recently brought in two big bins for us to fill up with food to give Miracle Hill Ministries that I realized that now would be a great time to teach others about couponing. Our local food banks are dangerously low so my desire would be that even in this tough economic time people would use couponing as a way to continue to give– and give big!

To explain the concept of finding “moneymakers” I showed them how last week I made more than $80 by “buying” four diabetes monitors from Walgreens. That got a big round of applause which just thrilled me. 🙂 That must be how Taylor Swift feels after performing in front of a packed auditorium.

I heard from three women who told me they had been praying for God to put someone in their path that could teach them about couponing and they said that person was me! It gave me goosebumps to hear how God’s plan was working out. One lady told me that she wanted to learn how to use coupons so she could give food to a friend that was struggling to make ends meet. I had brought in a bunch of food I bought this week to illustrate what $1 can buy so I ended up just giving her all of that food to get her started. I was going to donate it anyway so this worked out perfectly! I feel really good knowing that maybe I inspired some others to think about how they can use couponing to give more.

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Awesome Deals for Our House

This was THE weekend for good deals! On Sunday I saved over $100 on my grocery bill at Publix. That was a record for me as far as amount saved. It equaled out to about a 63% discount because I got about $160 worth of groceries for $59. My receipt is about three feet long! Saturday we spent pretty much all day shopping in Charlotte. After months of searching, we found two things we had been looking for. First of all, we got two new chairs for our front porch at the Pottery Barn Outlet in Gaffney. They sell West Elm furniture and we got two of these cute wood-slat chairs, with a cushion for just $60 each!

Our Cushions are Gray, Matching our Front Door

Our Cushions are Gray, Matching our Front Door

You can still get the chairs on the West Elm website for $169, plus another $24 for the cushion. The other exciting deal we found were curtain rods for our dining room and living room. For the past year we have been living in a fish bowl with just a sheer blind from Ikea shielding us from the world. I bought fabric to make curtains back in April, but haven’t been able to find decent, affordable curtain rods. I need six of them, so I was dreading how expensive it might be. Thankfully I found these cute little guys at Crate and Barrel.

The Long-Awaited Curtain Rod

The Long-Awaited Curtain Rod

They are regularly $49 but we picked them up for $14 a piece, which made the entire purchase less than $100. That’s about what you would spend on curtain rods at Wal-mart or Target, and I’m sure these are better quality. Plus they are different which was important to me. That means we spent $276 on items that would have cost us $840! That’s an overall savings of 68%! Can you tell I get excited by a good deal?

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