Thursday, July 31, 2014


Love lavishly, give extravagantly.  That is Lovishly's motto.  Lovishly sells beautifully handcrafted necklaces with inspirational words on them.  Throughout the year, they choose different charities to donate 15% of their sales to.  Sole Hope is their current featured charity.  There is a limited edition be Courageous necklace only available during this time (through August 12).

If you have a daughter, niece or special young lady to buy for, their girls necklaces make a great gift.  Add an initial, birthstone or charm that shows their interests.  My daughter picked the love necklace, a basketball charm, the world charm and her birthstone.  A perfect expression of who she is.  I can't wait until it arrives!

Shipping was $5.95 for our order.  They've arrived.  So pretty!

Friday, June 27, 2014

Sole Hope Sandals

Sole Hope is a SUPER organization that provides relief from foot related diseases through education, medical care and shoes to children in Uganda and jobs for native Ugandans who sew the shoes.  All this equals HOPE!  So I am very excited that Sole Hope now has a sandal available for retail purchase for us here in the States!  Introducing the Nyabo sandal.
They come in black or brown (as you can see, I ordered the brown).  They are handmade with real leather right on the Sole Hope compound in Uganda.  There is one continuous strap that can be adjusted to your particular foot, making them extremely comfortable.  I was a little worried when I first received mine that my foot was too "fat" to make them work, but once I realized I could pull the straps, I was able to adjust them for the perfect fit.

There is a buckle toward the outside back but once I adjusted them the first time I have been able to just slip them on from that point forward.

Sizing is European but the conversion chart on the product page is very accurate.  I wear an 8.5-9 typically and was a little leary about ordering a size 39 but they fit perfectly.

The sandals are priced at $59.00 plus shipping (which for leather sandals is very comparable).  Those other sandals don't change lives though!  Head over to the Sole Hope store and order a pair.

Scooby loves them too!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Thrift Store Table Makeover

I have a rectangular shaped eating area off my kitchen.  My round table looked fine in it but I knew a rectangular table would just look so much better.  I love the rustic farmhouse tables that are popular now but they are so expensive and I don't know how practical they are when cleaning up and wiping them down.  So for awhile now I've just been keeping my eye open for something inexpensive that might fit the bill - either a project or something completed.  Out of the blue, on the way back from chaperoning a field trip to Boston, my good friend Lauren texts me this table she discovered at Savers and I said, "buy it!"  So for $10, this beauty was delivered to my door.

I contemplated and pinterested and then just dove into the project.  First step I always take is CLEAN it really well.  These second hand items always have a thick layer of grime and just this easy step makes a big improvement (and I think is what scares most people away from purchasing things like this to begin with).

Next, too eager to wait for a trip to the store and too cheap to buy real paint, I gave it a shot painting a leg with cheap craft paint in aqua.  It looked good, so I continued.

Another visit to pinterest for where to go from there and I decided to brush on a coat of walnut stain, which I then used paper towels to wipe off.  This changed the color to a darker green and gave the table just the aged look I was hoping for.  For this I used Minwax Wood Finish in Dark Walnut (8 oz jar was plenty).

And finally, to finish it off I brushed on polyurethane.  I used a small (8 oz) jar of Minwax Fast-Drying Polyurethane in Clear Satin.  I put on at least 3 coats (patience here), letting it dry well in between coats and letting the final coat dry about 48 hours before using the table.  

Now after spending under $30 (paint, stain, poly, brushes & table) for the entire project, I was not about to blow the budget on chairs and let's face it, chairs are usually the priciest part of any dining set.  I've been collecting the chairs slowly from Goodwill, making sure they are sturdy (look for 1/2 off days for an extra good bargain).  I've spent $3, $2.50 and (splurge) $6 on the chairs.  I would like to find a small bench for my remaining seat.

I think it looks great in the space.  

Monday, March 24, 2014

My dear blog, it's been too long.  WAY TOO LONG!  Despite my lack of posts, the blog gets a good amount of traffic and I still feel very passionate about purposeful spending.  Time for me to put some effort in with new posts.  Going to start with a favorite cause of mine, Sole Hope.  Sole Hope is growing in wonderful ways.  They need a storage facility to store supplies, shoes, cut shoes waiting to be sewn, all those good things.  They have the opportunity to purchase a used shipping container for much cheaper than they could build or rent a storage facility but they need the funds to purchase this shipping container.  Here's where the purposeful spending opportunity comes in.  A fundraiser has been set up with Yankee Candle to benefit Sole Hope.  40% of your entire purchase goes right to Sole Hope!  Shop by clicking HERE.  Your order will be shipped directly to you.  Super easy!  Order some super smelling candles for the Spring! I'll keep the total raised updated below.


$61.20 of $6000 needed for the container has been raised so far through the Yankee Candle sale.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013


Time and again, many of the causes I feature on my blog prove that one person can make a difference.   I am excited to have found another one of those in Chelsea with RagsToRiches4Haiti.

You can read her whole story on her website, but in short, a trip to Haiti in July 2011 captured her heart for the country and the people.  She prayed for ways that she could support some of the ministries in Haiti.  Shortly after, she connected with one of the Haitian translators, Rony, from her trip. He shared with her about 16 children that he had taken off the streets after the earthquake and had been caring for as his own ever since. She kept in touch with Rony and after time and prayer, it became clear that this was the ministry she hoped to partner with. 

At about the same time, a friend sent Chelsea a pattern for a t-shirt scarf and she knew that this was an answer to her prayer.  It was what she would do for Rony's kids (whom you can read more about on her website), and RagsToRiches4Haiti was born. 

You can purchase a scarf from Chelsea's shop on Etsy.  I love that they are made from recycled t-shirts.  They are SUPER reasonably priced, even with shipping.  I chose this white string scarf with pink flower. So what is your part in this story?  When you purchase a scarf from RagsToRiches4Haiti, though you are just one, you will make a difference, just like Chelsea has. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Flipping Furniture

This is a different type of post from my typical entries, but still in the line of being a Conscientious Consumer.  Flipping furniture; it's not a euphemism for me cursing at a dresser, it refers to taking an older piece of furniture and turning it into exactly what you want.  I recently did this with a dresser for my daughter.  We thought it wouldn't be difficult to find her a new dresser at any furniture store.  I was wrong, at least if we didn't want to spend a lot of money. Well made dressers were super expensive and less expensive dressers were cheaply made and still around $500.  But we kept on looking. 

Then I started looking on craigslist.  Nothing older was exactly what we were looking for.  I toyed with the idea of refinishing something.  My criteria though would be that the dresser had to be a super deal for me to put that much work into it and then if I failed it wouldn't be a huge loss.  I found a local listing for a few dressers that might fit the bill and my daughter got on board with the idea, super excited that she could pick a color for the dresser.  The dresser we ended up with was listed for $75 and we paid $50 for it.  It wasn't super high quality but it wasn't junk either.
The dresser in it's original state.
Don't get me wrong, there was A LOT of labor involved, all pretty easy and simple steps, but a lot of steps.   But I love a deal so much and creating something special for my daughter felt good. 

  • First I removed all the old handles and cleaned the dresser.  It was very dirty. 
  • I filled in the old drawer handle holes with wood filler because we were switching to knobs. Then I sanded it lightly to rough up the surface to accept paint.  Tip - if you are doing this a power palm sander comes in handy and saves a lot of time.  There was an area on top that had to really be sanded because of a think layer of grime.  But I knew good preparation would pay off in the end. 
  • Then I wiped it down again to make sure all the fine dust was off.  It was finally ready for paint.  I used Behr premium plus ultra paint plus primer in one in a semi-gloss.  My daughter decided on coral for the color.  I wasn't too sure about such a bright color, but I thought if we put some paint on it and totally hated it we could always go with a different color for the second coat. 
  • Another light sanding in between coats of paint and then a final second coat. 
  • Once it was all dry, I finished it off with a coat of wax and then my husband installed the new knobs. 
This is the final product what do you think?

The finished (or refinished) dresser.
My daughter LOVES it, even though she wasn't sure about the paint color after the first coat.  But it looked a lot different with the second coat and then the drawers put back in. 

How much did I spend?  About $150 in all.  $50 for the dresser then another $100 for the new knobs (about $3 each), paint, wood filler, wax, paint brushes and sand paper.  The cheapest dresser was about $500 so we can safely say I saved about $350, plus sales tax.  That feels really good.  I was exhausted when I finished, but warning it is highly addictive.  I can't wait to start another project like this!

Any questions I can answer about this?  Please comment below and I would be happy to answer!

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Sole Hope Happenings

There are some great new opportunities to support Sole Hope.  I've already blogged about some of those ways and they are listed here.  Here are two new LIMITED time opportunities.

The first thing is there are only a few more days to take advantage of a SUPER sale over at the Sole Hope Store.  It's Sole Hope's 3rd birthday you see, and to celebrate they are offering 33% off everything in their store with discount code HAPPYBDAY through the end of March.  They have some adorable baby shoes - which makes a great and purposeful gift.  

Second, here is any easy and fun way to donate $10 to Sole Hope. Basically, order a bottle of Cultivate Wine at Macaroni Grill or Ruby Tuesday now through April 7th.  Snap a pic of you with your bottle, then tweet it to  @CultivateWines at @MacaroniGrill / @RubyTuesday to support @SoleHope.

Sole Hope and I say thank you for all your support!