My Favorite Things of Summer #2: Farmer’s Market

July 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

This past weekend I went to the Farmer’s Market in Raleigh to see what goodies they might have.  First of all, the place was absolutely packed!  I love seeing all types of people, young and old, out at such an enjoyable place.

There are so many great things about the Farmer’s Market:

  1. So many vibrant colors
  2. Tons of different people from all over the world.  I love seeing the really old-timers out there with their deep southern accents.
  3. Buying local– we all know that this is a good thing, no explanation needed.
  4. Fresh fruit & veggies– oh. my. gosh. the. peaches.  [not to mention all the other fresh fruit and veggies they have to offer]
  5. Beautiful flowers– almost every vendor also has the most gorgeous sunflowers and other beautiful flowers to buy– for really cheap!
  6. It is such an enjoyable shopping experience.  It incorporates so many good things and there is so much to see that its not like shopping at all!
Ok, I guess I went a little overboard there.. but I really do love the Farmer’s Market– and not just during the summer time!    So I got a few peaches, squash, zucchini, and some corn for some good eatin’ this week!

Did I mention how much I love peaches?  If nothing else, peaches should make anyone proud they were raise in the South.  
It’s really a shame I’m not getting paid for all this endorsing– just writing this post makes me want to go back.  I mean look at all that food [excuse me while I drool on my keyboard]!!
And one last mouth-watering picture.  I don’t know about you guys but I am a bread-lurver.  I just want to get that [ginormous] loaf… toast it… spread some honey on it with a little bit of rosemary… mmmmm.
Happy Friday to you all!!!!!

Bethany

le tourre

July 21, 2011 § 2 Comments

I figured that I should probably let you guys in on where I live.  I am still a college student with a limited income… so I basically do what I can.  There are things that I already love about my new home.  Yet there are some things that I am still very unsatisfied with.  I view decorating as a process.  With my bank account it has to be.  Since I moved in May, I’ve taken a portion out of each check to dedicate to home improvements.  That portion may not cover everything I might need in order to get things done, but I’m okay with that.  Oh the things I could do with unlimited resources.
Lets consider these pictures not BEFORE or AFTER… maybe IN PROCESS for now. While there are some things in these pictures that will stay the same… I want you to know that I have a vision for this apartment.  Basically more stuff on the walls.. more knick knacks… better organization… RUGS… etc etc.  I’m excited that I can share the process on here and I hope you will enjoy watching the transformation.

So this is my building… I live up there at the top.  I’m lucky for a couple of reasons… A) I loooove this apartment complex.  It’s quiet.  It has character.  It is reasonably priced.  The grass is always cut… never any trash… etc etc.  B) I got a corner apartment meaning… every side of my apartment has windows… it’s absolutely lovely.  C) I am really close to everything… downtown… campus… and only a 30 minute drive to my parents’ house.

A lot of people here plant their own gardens… something I’m hoping I might be able to do a little bit of next Spring.

Here is the Great Hall.  These apartments were built in the 1950s which is very obvious by the style of the interior.  Every doorway has an actual door– some of them won’t even close [because the fridge is in the way].  The bareness of my entry way literally drives me insane, but I do like how you don’t walk straight into the living area, its nice to have it broken up a bit!  [very different from the student-style apartments I have been living in the past 3 years]

This is basically what my apartment looks like on a daily basis…  I took this after just walking in the door which means no styling no set up, this is just it.  There are a lot of things in my living room that I love… so many things I have had for a long time.  Like the trunk I am using as a side table.  You’re also looking at a lot of hand-me-downs like the other side table and coffee table.  I’ve tried to make them my own– but I’ll save that for a later post.  Another thing I love about this apartment– the hard wood floors! Gives it so much more pizzazz than nasty carpet that has been used by who knows who!  Oh yea, you may notice that really aesthetic A/C window unit there… one little thing… this apartment doesn’t have A/C!  But my window units work great– they just aren’t the most attractive things in the world!  There’s a lot more I would like to add to this space… just have to be patient!

A quick look into my kitchen— which is tiny!  The kitchen might be my least favorite spot in my apartment.  There is a lot of work that needs to be done in order to make this room “cute” or presentable.   You may be wondering how that magnet is working on those cabinets– well they’re made of metal.  One negative thing about renting a space is that there is little restoration that can be done.  If I could knock out all the cabinets in this kitchen I would in a heartbeat.  Plus add new fixtures… etc.  But that isn’t easy to do when you don’t own it, nor do I know how long I will be staying here.   I’ve already got some ideas– thanks to Pinterest— on how to make it look a lot better without knocking down anything!

Here is my craft area and where I am sitting currently.  Really big organizational plans for this little nook– very excited!  This is actually just an extension of the living room– its a pretty large space!

And here is my bedroom.  Its huge and wonderful with two closets and plenty of space.  Besides the kitchen I am least happy with this room.  I feel like it is very unfinished.  I don’t know if I feel that way because I’ve had some of the decorations for close to 4 years now or what.  Time will only tell where this room will go in the next few months.

Well that’s it folks.  I hope you enjoyed your little tour of my 1-bedroom.  And like I said this is just the beginning, so keep coming back to see how this place changes over time!

Bethany

P.S. Wanna share your apartment or home?  Send me pictures and I’ll post them!

Blood:Water Mission

July 21, 2011 § 2 Comments

I first want to start off by saying imagine living in a place without clean water… no water to drink, shower in, brush your teeth with… etc etc.  Think about how much we take for granted clean water on a daily basis.  Yet unsanitary water is a reality for so many people around the world… I am so excited to share with you an organization who is trying to eradicate the water crisis in Africa called Blood:Water Mission.

Today is going to be a great post because this organization inspires me on so many levels.  Like I said yesterday, Blood:Water Mission was the first international relief organization I ever really learned about.  At the time I thought it was like one of the most revolutionary and incredible things I had ever heard of.    It will always hold a special place in my heart and I will always think the work they do is absolutely amazing.

Blood:Water Mission began with a band you may have heard of [they have won a grammy and all], Jars of Clay.  The band was touched by the HIV/AIDS crisis in Africa and noted the connection between battling AIDS with the need for clean water.  In 2005 they started the 1000 Wells Project in the United States to raise awareness and funding to provide clean water and sanitation to 1000 communities in Sub-Saharan Africa.  They promoted the project through this equation:  $1 = 1 year of clean water for 1 African  Sounds simple & cheap enough right?  The project was completed in 2010 after raising millions of dollars through individuals, churches, clubs, and organizations.

Being a student of International Studies, I have been lucky enough to learn about International Development– what works, what doesn’t, what should be done, etc etc.  I am proud to say that Blood:Water Missions does it in a pretty incredible way, which is made obvious by their mission statement:  empower communities to work together against the HIV/AIDS and water crisis in Africa.  One thing I have learned in my studies is that development/relief needs to be localized.  If you are simply giving someone a handout there is no empowerment which in turn creates a cycle of dependency and poverty.   This is one thing that Blood:Water Mission understands.  In their fight against both the HIV/AIDS and water crises, BWM takes these steps of action:

  1. Empowerment: BWM hopes to work with communities to realize their potential, self-worth and capabilities to lead them on a path of improvement.
  2. Partnership:  BWM works with local organizations– building this partnership is one of the most crucial steps in the entire process.  
  3. Implement:  It is only through empowerment and partnerships that BWM is able to implement its water and HIV/AIDS programs.    
To learn more about how BWM works click here.
Another great thing about Blood:Water Missions is that they make it super easy for you to get involved… not only do they have events basically completely planned out for you [here] they also provide you with a ton of resources [here].  
They are also pretty easy to keep track of… check out what progress is being made and how incredible this organization is through their blog [here].
I encourage all of you to explore their website [which is extremely appealing to the eye, who knew web graphics could make you drool?] and learn more and more about Blood:Water Mission.
If you feel like they are an organization worthy of 30 seconds of your time… I want you to check out the Side Bar on your right… there should be an easy-to-see widget that makes it super super easy to help BWM.  Simply click on it do one activity [usually just a 3 question survey] and provide 37 days of clean water to an African!  Pretty easy right?!?
Happy Thursday to everyone!!
Bethany

Background: Humanitarian Spirit

July 20, 2011 § 3 Comments

Here at Project Rejuvenate, we not only want to rejuvenate your spaces with fun decorating ideas and DIY projects… we also want to inspire you to see the world and give back to the world! 

Ever since I was a little girl I’ve had an inner desire to help those around me.  I remember one year I gave all my birthday money to the Duke Children’s Hospital Drive.  I don’t say this to brag, I am just pointing out that God has deposited in me such a deep yearning to reach those less fortunate that even as an 8-year-old helping sick kids meant more to me than buying the latest toys.  Every desire in my heart comes from Him.  This desire grew when I was a teenager and pushed me to become involved in international relief.  I can’t pinpoint the exact moment that I knew helping people in developing countries was what I wanted to do with my life but I know it revolved around 4 events:

  1. I travelled to the Dominican Republic right after I turned 16 with a local church.  While we were there we worked with kids and traveled to many different villages ministering to people.  My eyes were opened to different cultures– I loved being immersed in a place that was so different from my own home.  This trip sparked my interest in travel, but it also showed me how people live, maybe survive is a better word, in the developing world.  I was so moved by it I started to try to find ways that I could get involved… which leads to #2
  2. I read this amazing book called Mountains Beyond Mountains which followed Dr. Paul Farmer’s journey helping impoverished Haitians by providing medical care.  What started as such a small [yet amazing] project turned into something much, much larger.  Now Dr. Farmer is recognized and respected on a global scale.  His impact has reached much further than Haiti and now practices in many countries.  This project turned into an amazing and inspiring organization called Partners in Health, check out more of what they do here.
  3. Also around that time I watched the DVD, Invisible Children.  The DVD followed children of Uganda, victims of civil war –Either forced into becoming soldiers at such young ages or orphaned and living on the streets with no supervision.   Watching the DVD completely broke my heart and it made me realize that there is so much going on in the world that we are not even aware of.  [Maybe it’s not a small world after all?]  Invisible Children as an organization has grown a lot since then… but I’ll probably talk about that more later.
  4. The fourth event was that I learned about Blood:Water Mission— perhaps the first international relief agency I ever knew.  This organization was so inspiring to me at that time I even did school projects based off the organization.  I loved what they did and how they did it.  Which leads me to my next post… look out for more information about Blood:Water Mission tomorrow.  I’m so excited to share with you about this amazing organization and perhaps the easiest way in the world that you can get involved.

I hope this helps explain where I’m coming from and gives some background to where I’m going.  It’s my deepest wish to be able to travel and see more places around the world– and to be able to learn about ways to help in a positive way.  When those days come you better believe I’ll inform you on my journey!   

Bethany

P.S. Do you remember those defining moments in your life– ones that would impact what you do for the rest of your life?  Do you believe God has deposited in you a deep desire to do / be / have something?  Share with me in the comments below!

DIY Ottoman Slip Cover

July 20, 2011 § 3 Comments

Like I said in my last post, my mom has some skills on the sewing machine.  After covering my old, nasty, ugly, gray furniture with pretty chocolate-brown slipcovers, my ottoman no longer flowed well with my other furniture– something had to be done.

Mom and I were on the look out for a table-cloth or curtain with a fabric we liked, hoping to make some kind of make-shift slip cover.  After a month of searching I was growing impatient [what a surprise]  and thats when Mom told me about the 50% off sale at Hancocks.  Always down for a good bargain I checked it out the following day and absolutely fell in love with the fabrics I showed you yesterday on my new pillows!

I bought about  2.5 yards of the flowery fabric in order to make my ottoman slip cover.  Originally Mom and I had planned on making a modern box-shaped slipcover.  Maybe something like this:

Alas, that was impossible with the curved corners of my ottoman.  So we came up with a new plan following these basic guidelines:

  • We wanted the slip cover to be easily removed for washing– because well you just never know!
  • We wanted it to be as easy as possible.  While we did want a tailored looking piece, we didn’t want to incorporate too much [complicated] sewing.
  • We also decided later that it would be nice if I decided later on to use a different fabric for the slipcover I could re-use this fabric for another project.
So the plan turned out to basically be this–  2 pieces of fabric both hemmed all the way around.  One piece would cover the top of the ottoman.  The second piece would  wrap around the body of the ottoman.  We bought industrial strength velcro– one side sticky, one side sew-on.  We then sewed velcro all the way around the top of the second piece of fabric and stuck velcro on the upper part of the body that was hidden by the top.  Like So:
So once we wrapped the bottom piece all the way around the body of the ottoman it was time to focus on the top.  In order to make the slip cover easily removable we simply centered the piece of fabric over the ottoman.  Then we tucked in all the sides.  The corners were the most tricky part… but we were able to make a nice pleat and tuck that in as well:
After tucking in all the way around the top part of the ottoman [in order to ensure it doesn’t start coming out] we stuck straight pins about 10 inches apart all the way around, with several at each corner.
And it came out something like this:To give it a more finished look Mom and I have discussed making a very thick cord  [about 1-2 inch in diameter] out of matching fabric– maybe the striped one you see in the pillows– to wrap around the ottoman between the top and bottom parts.  This will also hide any imperfections you might see in the tucking process [although you can’t really see them at all].   I’ll give an update when it happens!
But as it is I really love this piece of furniture in my living room now!  I had it hidden underneath my crafting table so no one could see it!  Now its right out in the open adding the perfect amount of color!!

Bethany

P.S. Have an ugly ottoman you need covering up but don’t like this piece or don’t have a sewing machine you can use?  I found this awesome & cute DIY slipcover [that requires no sewing!!] by Karen over at Strictly Simple Style!

DIY Pillows

July 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

I consider myself pretty lucky because both of my parents are pretty crafty people.  My mom and dad have taught me many different DIY tips along the way– from painting, to sewing, to just general craftiness.  I have already shown off some of my Dad’s skills in my recent post about the back porch swing.  Well I guess now its time to show off some of my Mom’s craftiness!

[Basically] each time I move my Mom makes me a new set of pillows.  We keep the same forms but just switch out the cases.  I love experimenting with different fabrics, designs, etc.  I think this go-around are my favorite pillows yet.  I found this fabric from Hancock’s for 50% off.  You can find it here & here.

Mom and I spent basically all day on July 4th making these guys and I am so pleased with the extra color they bring to my living room.  Here they are all lined up:

Here are the backs of themCheck out how the pocket-style pillow case makes it easy to remove in case I ever need to wash them!
This one is my favorite!

I am using them as a “platform” for the rest of my apartment.  Since I live in a relatively small space I think its important that it all ties together.  I can’t wait to show you the rest of my projects as I [try to] transform my place from drab to fab.

Speaking of which, check out my next DIY-er tomorrow taking an ugly piece of furniture and making it a focal point for my living room!

Bethany

Dog Days of Summer

July 19, 2011 § 2 Comments

Greenville, North Carolina: Home of the East Carolina Pirates! Arrgghh!!

One of my recent facebook statuses said “I have the travel bug. bad.”  My sister responds– “Come to Greenville”.  I’m thinking to myself, yea, Greenville, Europe, Africa… they’re all basically the same… so hey.. why not!

But on the real, my sister and her [new] husband live in Greenville.  Her husband is a professor at ECU where he teaches students how to fix athletes when they get hurt… or something like that.  They have just recently bought a new home, which is sooo neat, um…cool, er… AWESOME!  They found an absolute steal of a home in a great neighborhood in an awesome part of town.  Its perfect for them with a lot of room for their yellow lab, Scout, to run around and play!  

Since their wedding in mid-June, they have finally started getting their ‘estate in order’… putting up curtains, decorating the mantel, etc, etc!  They have really big plans for their new home and are saving up the mula [$$$] in order to do a lot of projects!  I will try to keep you updated on how their house transforms as they grow together as Newlyweds!  Next big purchase on the list: A Weedeater [how exciting!!!] and a sectional!!  I can’t wait to see their cute little house grow… especially with a few additions… maybe even a baby in the next few years!?!?!  [if I cross it out maybe they won’t see it?]

So I travelled the hour and a half on Friday afternoon to see the newlyweds.  We had an awesome time spending time together… as I’m getting used to having a new older brother!  Plus, it was my Mom’s birthday weekend so my parents also came down for the day on Saturday and we had a huuuge, delicious meal to celebrate Mom’s big day.

I don’t know where Greenville ranks in comparison to some of the most beautiful and enchanting cities in the world… it probably  settles somewhere in the top 10.  While it may not be the most exciting place, I’ll always love going to visit with my sister… and that certainly makes it worth the short little drive!

Check out more pics from the weekend below:

Oh yea, remember [yesterday] we were talking about how great porches are during the summer time?!

Have you visited family recently?  Or has anyone close to you recently bought a new home?  I’d love to hear about it!

Happy Tuesday!

Bethany