Thailand: Part 1

Sawadika! (Hello!)

I know some of you are going to be visiting Thailand in the near future (and if you’re not, you so¬†should!), so I figured I better lock-it-up and get this honeymoon post completed!

I had to break it into two parts, because there is just too much for one post and you will probably fall asleep reading if this gets much longer ūüôā

My amazing husband surprised me with a limo to the airport, so we decided to pop open this special bottle of champagne for the ride:

IMG_5942

It was given to us by our good friends Beth and Kalen as a housewarming gift when we first moved to Cali over a year ago. Talk about willpower! By the time we arrived at LAX we were ready for the 14(?) hour flight!

Let me preface this by saying the plane ride is excruciatingly long…so a bottle of champs and a ride to the airport is a must. I watched 7 movies and read two books cover-to-cover on the flight (btw, thanks to everyone who gave me book recommendations! Ya’ll are the BEST!). Make sure you bring along something to do in case you get sick of movies, and wear super comfy clothes. Maybe even bring some snacks. I will share with you my traveling essentials in a later post because I have recently discovered some great ones!

In typical Lauren fashion, I was panicking upon landing because the weather forecast predicted bad weather for our ENTIRE TRIP.

As you may remember from this post, we decided to book our honeymoon during September (Thailand’s rainy season) because the prices were appealing. I read tons of reviews reassuring the thrifty traveler that this would not be an issue because sporadic showers and an occasional 20 minute thunderstorm would be all we’d encounter.¬†

Everything was still beautiful, but boy did it downpour that first night!

Before I get started on all the fun things there are to do Phuket, let me give you a tour of our resort. We stayed at The Shore at Katathani Phuket. When you arrive, it looks like this:

IMG_6614

We checked in, and then since the resort is on a steep hillside, were¬†driven to our villa in a golf cart by one of the awesomely fun resort employees¬†(shout out to Palm and Beer if you are reading this!). We stayed in suite 8842. I would highly recommend this suite because it has an amazing view (which all the villas have), was high up on the hill, and very private. If you’re not one for climbing stairs I would suggest something near the bottom, but this was not really an issue for us. The villa was spectacular…these pictures just don’t do it justice!

IMG_5967

The whole wall facing the ocean is a sliding glass door.

IMG_6418

Everything is gorgeous…but this bathroom, though!

IMG_5983

IMG_5996

IMG_6011

IMG_5978

Off the bathroom is a patio with a private infinity pool and a little alcove for relaxing…heavenly.

IMG_6234

From the second we stepped in (pretty much) we started googling how much it would cost us to just rent one of these villas for the rest of our lives.

(Conclusion: we would both probably have to win the lottery. Twice.)

After the initial shock of landing in heaven, we ventured out for sustenance:

IMG_6095

IMG_6100

and then food ūüėČ

IMG_6282

Our favorite restaurant was one that I had read about online before planning the trip. It’s called Mom Tri’s Kitchen at Villa Royale, and you must go there. I demand you! It ended up being a short 5 minute walk from the grounds of our resort, which we did not even plan! Mom Tri’s is¬†a bit more pricey than most other restaurants in the area, but you get what you pay for and the views are spectacular. They also have Jazz night twice a week, and Parker loves him some jazz so of course we attended that.

IMG_6071

IMG_6072

To get there you have to trek up an ancient staircase that winds along the oceanside.

IMG_6313

I am not joking with this view.

IMG_6319

Just keeps gettin’ better…

IMG_6311

and then finally you’ll see this through the trees:

IMG_6298

and you’re there!

IMG_6273

You need to order the ahi tuna and salmon appetizer because you will never have anything better in your life. This was our view during lunch:

IMG_6287

We elected to dine outside for our first visit, but the inside of the restaurant isn’t too shabby either:

IMG_6294

Us at Jazz Night:

IMG_6571

About 90% of our trip was spent eating/lazing around. The other 10% we tried to be active and go on mini adventures. My favorite part of the entire trip had to be elephant trekking. There are several places to do this in Phuket, but the one you wanna go to is called Siam Safari. The staff here is amazing and they treat the animals very well, which was important to us when choosing a tour to go on.

IMG_6224

IMG_6184

IMG_6188

Another fun adventure, especially if you are a religion or history buff, is visiting Big Buddah and the Wat Chalong Temples.

IMG_6470

IMG_6467

The temples are truly incredible, and if we could do it again we would have spent more time exploring them.

IMG_6525

IMG_6496

We hired a tour guide but he didn’t know too much about the history of the temples so I would highly recommend researching legit temple-tour-guides if this is something that peaks your interest. We were sad that we didn’t get to learn much about them.

But they sure were mighty pretty!

IMG_6512

IMG_6485

IMG_6519

IMG_6481

IMG_6532

On your way to and from the temples there’s a breathtaking viewpoint, so we took an obligatory pic there:

IMG_6428

Somebody forgot to SMILE!!! He’s cute, so it’s fine.

One night, we grabbed a tuk tuk (taxi) and braved the night market. In all honesty, we hated it. But it was an experience, so no regrets! It was PACKED with people! The air in the market is so thick with smoke from all of the cooking oils and (goodness knows what else) that you can barely breath in there. We were super intrigued by all of the different types of food that they had on display, and it was cool to see but we were a bit cautious to try anything other than some potato french fry thingie on a stick (which I ate too fast to get a pic of…oops!).

IMG_6328

Pretty much everywhere you go, there are tiny¬†houses or temples that are mounted on pillars called¬†spirit houses, and they are placed in front of businesses and homes to¬†provide shelter for spirits. At first we assumed these were Buddhist shrines, or shrines to Buddah, but soon found out that this tradition is rooted in animism. This blog post I found does a great job of¬†explaining this tradition, and also answering our¬†question of “What’s with the Red Fanta?”

This large offering of Red Fanta was at the market:

IMG_6331

Out of alllllll the wonderful things to buy at the Thai market, I left with these mini French macarons ūüôā

 IMG_6343

Go figure.

To be continued…

Part 2 coming soon!

Advertisements

T Minus 3 Days

Our honeymoon week is finally here! Unlike the typical couple, Parker and I waited a year to go on our honeymoon because two days after our wedding we had to pack up and drive cross-country to Cali.¬†But….the wait is OVER!¬†

IT’S OFFICIALLY HONEYMOON TIMEEEE!

And frankly, I can’t wait! I have had my suitcase 95% packed for about two weeks now, which is not typical of me. Usually I wait until the night before a trip to pack. I think this just goes to show how excited I am for this adventure!

We will be spending about a week in Phuket, Thailand,

Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

and then heading to Hong Kong to explore for a few days.

Image from Pinterest

Image from Pinterest

So…even though this is our honeymoon and we are going to pamper ourselves, I couldn’t help but get a few little deals in. It’s currently rainy season in Thailand this month! Hopefully that doesn’t interfere with our trip¬†tooo¬†much, but being as thrifty as I am we just couldn’t pass up the rates¬†for the hotel we found (it. is. FABULOUS.)! I did a lot of research on when to travel and where, read countless blogs about visiting¬†this part of the world durning September, and concluded it would be totally fine. We may get caught in afternoon showers but oh well…YOLO! For Hong Kong, we had a ton of hotel points from our cross-country trip last year/ from living in a hotel for the first few months we were in Cali…so that was a definite bonus (honeymoons are $$$). I can’t wait to share pictures¬†with ya’ll when we return, but for now you can follow our journey on Instagram @thethriftymermaid ūüôā

Thanks for reading! xoxo

What Mermaids Eat for Breakfast

Parker has been trying to get me on the smoothie bandwagon for quite some time now. He has a Ninja and is obsessed with making smoothies before his workouts. He just throws random fruit in there (mostly bananas…he and Olive loveeeeee bananas), spinach, ice, and hits pulse. I was kinda leery of this, because if I’m going to drink veggies and fruit I want to make sure it’s going to do something for ME. I found this recipe for a stomach-slimming smoothie on Pinterest. I have tweaked it a bit to make it more user friendly, and because I hate measuring stuff if I don’t have to ūüôā

IMG_4951

What you’ll need:

Kale (barrrrf…but I promise, it’s not¬†so bad)

Frozen Pineapple (I just buy a whole one, cut, and freeze it myself. Saves $$$)

Frozen Blueberries (I do the same with these…even easier to freeze)

Almond butter (pricey…but cheaper than lipo!)

Greek Vanilla Yogurt (I just buy a big ole’ tub of it)

3/4 cup of water (this I usually measure, and sometimes add more)

I literally just take a handful or 2¬†of pineapples and blueberries (recipe says to use a cup, but I find that it makes way too much sometimes so I eye it), 2¬†handfuls of kale, 1¬†tablespoon of almond butter, 2¬†tablespoons of yogurt, and chuck ’em into the Ninja. Then I drizzle the water over top, click the top on, pulse for a few minutes…and wahlah! Breakfast fit for a mermaid….or at least, this mermaid ūüôā

image

If you despise kale, like I do, either give the concoction¬†some extra pulses in the blender, or do like Parker does and replace it with spinach. In my experience you can’t taste spinach as easily in a smoothie.

As for the stomach flattening promises…I may be seeing things, but at least I¬†feel like it’s working. I ran out of ingredients last week and skipped this for a few days in a row, and literally did not have as much energy…so I know for sure it’s helping with that!

Also…I really miss bacon ūüė•

Thrift on, mermaids!

What I’m Loving Now

This is quite a random collection of things I am currently obsessing over this summer:

IMG_5029I’ve been wanting to try a new skin routine for quite some time now, but everything out there seems either super expensive or irritates my skin. My mother-in-law recommended that I try First Aid Beauty (aka FAB) products because they are made for sensitive skin, so I did a bit of research on it and then took the plunge. I bought a few items from the line, including the Milk Oil Conditioning Cleanser, which gets mixed reviews. It’s a facial cleanser that you rub into your skin without water and it dissolves all of your makeup (including waterproof mascara). I used a damp¬†washcloth to gently wipe off my face afterwards, but the label says you can use a tissue or cotton pad (which, if that really works, would be perfect for traveling). So far, I am super impressed by this product. It does what it says, and it made my skin feel super soft. The Ultra Repair Cream feels amazing and I’m liking that so far. I wanted something really gentle to cleanse my face in the morning, so I purchased the Ultra Repair Wash. This is actually a body wash, but you can use it on your face as well. I read many reviews ¬†and testimonials before I put this on my face, don’t worry! FAB products are free of¬†harsh chemicals, and although I’m no expert on skin this sounded pretty good to me. Since I just started with these products this week¬†I’ll let y’all know how¬†they¬†work out in the long run. Lately, I’ve had pretty dry skin with breakouts along my chin here and there…and to be honest, it’s driving me CRAY! It’s about time I take action! Also, I plan on adding some type of eye cream and serum to this newfound beauty regimen (depending on how this works out) but I am going to wait a week or so because I need to continue my research. If you have any recommendations on that, let me know!

IMG_4993

Some of y’all are going to be VERY shocked by this, but I went to Trader Joe’s for one of the first times EVER yesterday. I had been to¬†one before but didn’t really look around. I was too busy comparing it to Publix and did not give it a fair chance. This being said, I am pretty impressed by their prices and the quality of the items they have to offer. For instance: the flowers. Oh, the flowers! I purchased two bouquets for $3 a piece and put together this arrangement (something I am by NO MEANS a profesh at…at ALL) that I would¬†NEVER be able to get at my go-to grocery store. All flowers aside, I found some other amazing deals. I tried cooking with coconut oil for the first time ever last night, found some great priced almond meal that will be perfect for my macaron baking fiascos, and also purchased a bottle of the $4 Trader Joe’s wine that I keep hearing about (btw I need some direction on this…there were several Trader Joe’s wines available and I wasn’t sure which one is the one that everyone always raves about?). All in all, I think it’s safe to say I love Trader Joe’s. Some people are just late to the party…but at least I finally showed up.

flops

Just a few other items that I’m love, love,¬†loving for the summer: Havaianas slim flip flops (many more styles to choose from in store). Who am I kidding, I’ve been loving these forever. They are just so comfy and cute. There are so many different styles to choose from that I’m sure anyone can find something.¬†Annnd, did I mention, are always on sale at Nordstrom Rack for like $12. No brainer. This next one is a little bit pricey, and I know that people will judge me for getting sucked into all the hype! But I DON’T CARE! Because it totally works, and is¬†sooooo¬†worth the price: Pureology shampoo and conditioner. I know, I know…I used to be among those who judged and laughed at the fact people spent this kinda money on shampoo.¬†But,¬†when I went lighter with my naturally curly locks this summer, I needed something that would not continue to make them feel like straw after washing. I decided to just give it a try, and I don’t think I will ever be able to go back to regular shampoo. It also helps that one little bottle has lasted me since February…and I’m still not finished with it! Since the formula is so concentrated, you just don’t need as much as regular shampoo to start up a good lather. I do not have to wash my hair as often which is also great, since I hate blow drying my mane. This stuff smells great and makes my hair feel¬†great, too. I’ve noticed it’s also more manageable, and actually growing faster and not breaking off at the ends as much as¬†it used to. My final summer must-have is Essie nail polish, particularly in “Knockout Pout.” I found this color online and looked for it in stores¬†everywhere,¬†and then to my surprise came upon it in TJMaxx…for $3.99. I also love Essie nail polish in “Urban Jungle” and “Turquoise & Caicos”….you can’t go wrong with these hues in the summer months. Thanks for reading this super long post! Any and all beauty/Trader Joe’s recommendations are welcome!

Thrift on!

How to Name Your Blog

Ok, I am by¬†no means a professional blog namer, but I would like to share with y’all my quick little blog-naming method. The Thrifty Mermaid is not my first rodeo, I used to have a travel blog called Lauren in Wanderland. I’m not in Wanderland anymore, I’ve settled down a bit, with this cutie:

IMG_4829

But that’s besides the point. When my bestie, Danielle, came to me and told me she wanted to start her own blog, I was super thrilled because 1. She’s hilarious and brilliant and 2. I really miss her and want to hear/read all about her life. She lives by the beach in North Carolina with her sweet, southern hubby and their two precious pups. The only thing was she needed help coming up with a name. I mean, even if you have 200 ideas for great posts, you can’t get started until you come up with the name! It can get pretty frustrating and it’s a lot of pressure because you’ll be stuck with this name FOREVER! Um, unless you change it, of course ūüôā

So this brings me to my totally fool-proof method of blog-naming. It’s super profesh, and trust-worthy. Here it is:

IMG_4804

You just grab a piece of paper, write down all words that come to mind that you want to express in your blog, and then you wait. I texted this pic to Danielle, sipped on some coffee, and stared at this and waited for words to pop out. We brainstormed back and forth, and finalllllllllllyyyy….within, like, 20 minutes…Coastal Corner Office was born! It’s that simple. I’ve tried using all of the name-your-blog generators and stuff out there, but they always spit out something cheesy and boring (I’m not saying The Thrifty Mermaid isn’t cheesy…it’s pretty cheesy but I like it ūüôā ) This method just works.

Danielle, her husband Chad, and their 2 pups Cannoli & Vita

Danielle, her husband Chad, and their 2 pups Cannoli & Vita

You can check out Danielle’s blog here. It’s all about beach life, working remotely, her 2 sweet pups, and life as a newlywed! I promise you won’t be disappointed!

Also, I know that a lot of people out there use Bloglovin’ to read their daily blog posts, so you can find The Thrifty Mermaid on Bloglovin’ here. They used to have a button for WordPress blogs, but it is no longer compatible with the WordPress.com site (or so I’m told by the email I received). If you do not already have Bloglovin’, I would highly suggest subscribing! It makes it a cinch to read all of your favorite blog posts, all on one feed! You can sign up here.¬†

Thanks for reading this silly little post!¬†If it helps at least one person out there name their blog, then it was worth it! I’d love to hear¬†in the comments below if you have any tips or tricks for blog-naming! Thrift on!

The Mermaid Desk

If you follow me on Instagram, a long while ago I posted a picture that looked like this:

desk

…and then never mentioned it again. It just totally slipped my mind to do a before and after of my desk, but I’m doin’ it now! I haven’t really had an actual desk in years. My previous one was super tiny and right now is being used in our bedroom as a small T.V. stand. It’s really cute, there’s just no place to put anything on it! So, I began my search for something a bit larger. I looked through about 3 million pictures on Pinterest to give me some ideas, and then of course fell in love with desks that were¬†way¬†beyond my meager budget. I turned to my trusty friend, Craigslist, and became obsessed with finding something on there. I had previously lucked out by finding these 4 barstools for $5 a piece and gave them this makeover:

stools

But the desk…it was a bit tougher to find, because every time I found one I loved, someone had already snagged it. Finally, I came across this plain ole’ Ikea model that was listed for $65:

desk

I talked the guy down to $40 (which was still $20 over what I wanted to pay, but by this point¬†I would have taken¬†anything)¬†and we went to pick it up in Parker’s truck. Rule #1 about Craigslist, folks! Don’t go pickin’ up stuff alone!!! Buddy system!¬†Rule #2: do not lose hope! You will find what you want, eventually ūüôā I always use¬†Live Love DIY‘s Craigslist tips and tricks to help me out when searching for what I want, and they never fail me!

Anyway, this is how my little desk started out. I love, love, LOVE this desk makeover¬†from Love Grows Wild¬†and chose to go with this light mint green color. I picked out the sample card, Olympic’s “Sweet Pea,” from Lowe’s, waited for more than 15 minutes without receiving any help or service, then took the sample to my local Home Depot where they mixed it and had me out the door in less than 5 minutes. Just sayin’.

I didn’t sand the desk or anything, I just gave it two coats of some leftover primer I had laying around and let that dry. Then I used a paint brush to do 3 coats of the mint green. I still have yet to seal it and probably never will, but it’s holding up fine for now.

*sorry for the photo quality (or lack thereof). I still don’t have a real camera!

IMG_4767

I then added a cute little knob from Hobby Lobby that reminds me of something Ariel (the mermaid) would find in her little cave of “whozits and whatzits galore.” ¬†Then I laid out all of my little “thIngamabobs,” crammed my computer in the center, and wahlah! Mermaid desk.

IMG_4783

IMG_4753

IMG_4770

IMG_4778

Im going through some major separation anxiety living this far from the ocean, so to make me a happy wife, Parker took me on a day-date to Laguna Beach this past Monday. No, I didn’t have any real housewives sightings, or run into ¬†Ste-Vennn (sorry Ali and Chelcie P!) , but we still had a grand ole’ time!

image

image

image

Hope y’all are having a lovely day/night…wherever in the world you are! Thrift on!

The Gym Diaries

I loathe the gym. Seriously, I hate walking into it. Once I’m on the treadmill running, I’m absolutely fine, though. Back when I lived near the ocean, I was able to avoid the gym because I had the whole entire beach in my backyard to run on. It was fab! Not a care in the world! I’d wake up and just throw on my old running shorts (some of which were¬†from high school, and the only reason they still fit me was¬†because the elastic was¬†snapped on all of them. Not a pretty image, eh?), an old raggedy tee, and hit the sand.

IMG_4588

I finally joined a gym with Parker (my husband) shortly before our wedding, because that’s what all my other engaged friends were doing and I felt the peer pressure. They called it “shedding for the wedding” or “the bridal Barbie diet.” Every time we would get ready to go, I would secretly freak out on the inside about being judged by everyone there who knew what they were doing. You know who I’m talking about…the ones who walk around and immediately know how to use every single machine, or are running uphill with the resistance all the way up and their makeup and hair still looking super perfect. If you don’t know who I’m talking about, it’s probably you.

Anyways, I would hold in my complaints until we got through about 10 minutes of working out every time. Ya know, just to give Parker time to warm up and brace himself for the “I look so gross” speech. And usually he would just listen and ignore it or tell me to go run on the treadmill. But one day, ONE DAYYYYY, he finally spoke up. He said something along the lines of, “Lauren! If you really feel like your workout clothes are that ugly, go buy new ones that match! You’ll feel a lot better and I won’t have to listen to your complaining anymore.” Okaaaaayyyy. Touche’.

Did I do that? No. We were planning a wedding and work out clothes are super $$$, plus, I had no time to search for that stuff! So instead, while he would go to¬†the gym, I’d just stay at my apartment and run a few miles on the beach in my gnarly gear. I let the old dirty clothes win.

Fast forward one year. We live in California now, but I have no beach in my backyard. So one day, Parker comes home with a free, year-long membership to a nearby gym. He already belongs to a CrossFit gym (which I kept saying I’d try with him, but the 6:00am class time along with all the scary people who look like they could throw me across the room turned me off to that), so he wasn’t going to use it.

This free pass sat on my desk for, oh, I’d say about 4 months. Then, one day, I was perusing the aisles of Nordstrom Rack and something really cute and bright caught my eye. It was a work out tank. AHHHH! Instead of running away immediately, I looked at the tag. I’m not kidding you, this thing was $13! Then I spotted some pants. Cute…and only $25, but I’m sure they will fit weird. So I tried the little outfit on, and my goodness, the pants were so flipping comfortable! The whole entire outfit together made me feel cute. I figured even if I don’t go to the gym, I can wear this around the house and stuff to make it¬†LOOK like I went to the gym. So, on the way back from the fitting rooms, I spotted some cute Nike’s, then I bought them because they were a pretty great deal too. Ugh, I gotta get outta this store!

affordable

I wore this outfit around for about 3 days. It’s the exact aqua tank, grey sports bra, grey leggings, and Nike’s shown above. I know that sounds super unsanitary, but it made me feel so great! Every night when Parker got home, he would say, “Oh you worked out today, huh? (winky face)” because he knows all my tricks and secrets. Finally, this got to me. So,¬†I reluctantly took the pass, and one day,¬†all by myself, went to sign up for the gym. Walking in there was still scary, but I’m not kidding you, I actually get up off my butt and go now! I know this whole entire thing is so silly, but if you’re like me and can’t get motivated to get off your rump and get goin’, maybe this will work for you, too!¬†

Since this revelation, I have found SO MANY cute and affordable things to work out in!

IMG_4579This one is Olive’s fave.

IMG_4582

Most of the items I’ve found are¬†from Nordstrom Rack, because they have really great prices but don’t compromise quality. I’ve seen some great stuff at T.J. Maxx and Marshall’s, too, but have not tried any of their brands on, and fit is everything when it comes to workout clothes. I have¬†a couple things from Forever21 that I don’t ever wear to the gym, because the pants get all stretched out while I’m running and the sports bras get all warped in the wash and are itchy.

gym bag

Ok, this post ended up being a lot longer and crazier than I thought it would. BUT, lastly, I cannot believe how many cutesy running shoes there are out there. They are way too expensive, so if y’all ever see any of them for a good price, let me know ASAP! Here are my faves!!!nikes

In addition to this, I need some gym music recommendations. If you’ve got ’em, leave ’em here please! Thrift on!

DIY Herb Garden

As promised, here’s my quick instructional for a diy herb garden:

First, find an old bucket, barrel, tub, planter, or something totally off the wall that you can put a plant in. I chose an ice bucket with a stand that was really cute but just did not fit in with our color scheme.

IMG_4106

If you don’t have anything, no worries! You can hit up a flea market or garage sale on the weekend and I guarantee you’ll find something interesting!

The first thing I did was drill some holes in the bottom (if it already has drainage, you’re one step ahead). I learned this important step from previous failures :/

Next, I chose my spray paint colors. I spray painted the stand with Rust-Oleum Oil Rubbed Bronze, and used Rust-Oleum Flat Metallic Antique Nickel for the bucket. When doing this, choose an area with good air circulation…or else you may pass out. I always spray paint in my backyard or if it’s windy in my garage with the garage door open. I try to cover the floor with cardboard or trash bags…but I’m still in big trouble from the hubby for the layer of gold paint film in my surrounding spray area.

IMG_4112

Next thing I did was use my handy dandy chalkboard paint to make¬†a little square in the middle of the bucket, like so. You can make any shape¬†you’d like, though! Get creative! I¬†used Rust-Oleum Specialty Flat Black Chalkboard Paint and an old, cheap, paint brush. I did 3 coats of the paint, letting each one dry for a few minutes before adding the next.

After this is COMPLETELY dry, you can start adding your dirt and herbs. I just went to my fave store, The Home Depot, and bought some Miracle Gro and 5 different herbs that I actually use in my cooking.

IMG_4208

I just happened to have these little chalkboard plant-markers, so I used a chalkboard pen to write on the front of the bucket and the markers to identify each herb (incase i lose my sense of smell, then I will know which is which! I know, so smart). I wouldn’t recommend using plain chalk, because when watering the herbs it will wash right off and you will have to keep writing down the names over, and over, and over…

Anyways, that’s it! Simple! Here’s the before and after:

IMG_4213

I’d love to see your own personal diy herb garden projects! You can tag me in them on Instagram @thethriftymermaid or share on here! Thrift on!

Outdoor Oasis

When my husband and I first moved into this house, we were already in love¬†with the backyard area. Of all 236 houses we looked at (just kidding, but it felt like that many), this backyard was top 3 hands down. Now, I know what y’all are thinking, “that little space?!” Um, ya, this little space¬†in California is like equivalent to 10¬†acres back home in Florida, thank you very much.

(Sorry for the quality of these photos…I use my iphone 4s and am a horrible photographer!!) IMG_9994IMG_9993¬†So upon moving in, I decided two things, 1: We have a patch of grass! We need to celebrate by getting a puppy. 2: We have to have a baller area to relax and chill with friends and family, and said puppy.

Here’s the little brat in the flesh:IMG_4225We call her Olive.

Anyways, I’m kinda frugal, thanks to my mom. (Side note: This is pretty terrible, but we even got a discount on little Olive)¬†She taught me how to thrift, find really great sales, and that if you can’t find exactly what you want, then you make it. Thanks, mom! So when I started perusing patio furniture, I just about fainted at the prices. It took me about 6 months to find the deal I was looking for, but I found it! The catch was that the slipcovers for the certain line I chose were discontinued, so after a few years of avoiding a sewing machine I realized the cold, hard truth: we would meet again. I used this tutorial to sew all TWELVE slipcovers…blah! I chose this one in particular because it seemed super simple and I am able to trick people into thinking I spent a long time on these when in reality it only took me a couple hours ūüôāIMG_4432After that was finished I added a rug, the fire pit we chose (which is a whole other story…we really saved some moolah on that!), two half barrels from Home Depot as side tables, some homemade pillows out of left over fabric, and a diy herb garden which is super simple (I’ll post how to do that soon). IMG_4298The finishing touch was an outdoor chandelier I found on super sale at Hobby Lobby, which I may hang lower but we shall see. We weeded and mulched the back area, and voila! The perfect start to our outdoor oasis!IMG_4474It’s comfy, perfect for sunny days or cold nights, and it makes me feel like I’m on a mini vacay! If y’all have any questions, feel free to ask in the comments! Thrift on!