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.