Monday, March 24, 2014

Spring cleaning

Last Monday I took a day off work. I was so excited for a three-day weekend and at the possibility of accomplishing so many things around the house. I had plans (the most important one was to not go to work).

Clean the kitchen. Take out the trash. Get a colorful rug for our entryway. Pick up, vacuum and rearrange the living room. Do laundry AND put it all away (lofty goal). Work in a run. Replace the Winter Wonderland mantle décor with something springy and colorful. Enjoy a beer on the deck at some point during the supposed 50-degree day. Write a blog. Yes, all in one day. It would be equally restful and productive. I threw in a load of laundry, folded some towels and did some time on the treadmill. After cleaning up, I was ready to cross something bigger off the list. And, wow, it was already 10 a.m.

Channeling a new season sounded like the way to go. I mean, the first day of spring was right around the corner, and after the late-season frigid temps and snow, it was time to officially kick winter to the curb.

I bubble-wrapped and boxed up my fragile white woodland creatures, penguins and glittery trees, then rummaged through still unpacked boxes of décor in the basement to determine whether I could incorporate any items into the plan. There were a few possibilities. I had my color inspiration and some general ideas from previous online and in-store shopping adventures at Pier 1 and Target, so off I went to make things happen.

Scoring a gorgeous teal vase on sale at Target was the beginning of something great. I thought I would want a larger, rounded cerulean blue version, but when I saw the bold color and the teardrop shape, it just had to be mine. And then the vision in my head began to fall into place.

My next hunt was for some budding branches and colorful blooms. A logical pairing with the teal vase was yellow, and I knew I wanted anywhere from three to five billy balls loosely arranged in the vase. After traveling to three different craft stores, I came up empty handed. Seriously? I didn't think artificial billy balls would be such a rarity, and at this point I was too frustrated and entirely unmotivated to look for the components to DIY them. On top of that, I didn't find any branch options that I liked, except for maybe one at Hobby Lobby.

I took some time to think it over in the clearance home accent corner of the store. It's usually hit or miss, but over the years I've scored a few great finds among the damaged-yet-overpriced merchandise. In the third aisle, I saw it. It would be perfect for our office. It certainly wasn't at all what I had set out to find this day (although it fit the color scheme I was seeking), but I wanted it.

As far as wall art goes, the $50 price tag was looking pretty good, but I was on the fence. I looked it over pretty carefully and noticed no significant damage. That made the price look even more reasonable. I've been know to impulse buy when it comes to home decor, so I snapped a photo and texted it to my husband, awaiting a positive response and the green light to whisk it away.

Several minutes passed. I finished my rounds through all the other clearance aisles and returned to find another lady eying my canvas. I glared at her as I casually slipped by and waited for her to leave.

Devin! Look at your phone!

I felt so awkward patrolling the aisle while I waited for my phone to chime. There was one more place down the street to check for flowers, so I walked out the door and left it up to fate. I would maybe return the next day after work to see if it was still there, if Dev thought we could make it work.

Michaels was my last hope for billy balls, but there was nothing to be found. I was frustrated and hungry (because it was almost 2 and I had overlooked a lunch break), so I settled on a strange little yellow cluster of styrofoam there for about $1. It was a good deal--one of the more promising things I had come across all day--and I was pretty much out of options otherwise.

Then I got a text from Devin. He loved the art, so I scooted on back to Hobby Lobby to commit to the purchase. It was still there! I proudly snatched it up and marched it to the registers. The store employee raved over it, further confirming my fabulous taste and how great of a find it was. Despite that win, I got back in my car feeling less than successful and pretty unhappy that I had wasted my whole day trying to achieve an impossible vision for my mantle. I still had Pier 1 though.

I had pinned a sweet lovebird figurine, which I thought was the perfect spring decor item, and a silver heart sculpture, which I noticed was no longer available online. I searched everywhere in the store, through every inch of spring decor. No lovebirds to be found. Seriously?

Then I spotted my heart sculpture on a shelf--the only one left! I couldn't believe it. I had passed this up for weeks! I snatched it up without question, not caring that it was still full price. It was mine. Finally after several more minutes I saw small boxes of little white figurines, one of which was my lovebirds. They were so tiny! Not at all what I was anticipating. I failed to notice the roughly 2"x1" dimensions online. What a disappointment!

Right next to them though was a slightly larger figurine of love bunnies! The ultimate spring creature! I somehow convinced myself that it was more worth the money, and made my purchase. Who could pass up this cuteness?

When I walked in the door at home, I poured myself a beer--one of the many I failed to drink on my day off. The temperature wasn't warm enough to actually enjoy it outside like I wanted, but I didn't have time for that anyway. It was close enough to cross off my list. I began removing price tags and stickers from my finds and planning out how I would fill the space above the fireplace.

Although it's incomplete, since I have yet to commit to seasonal branches to add some height, I think it's a good start to a simple pop of color against our cookie-cutter beige walls. I can't wait until we paint those.

I also can't wait to see how we incorporate our new-found typewriter wall art. I think when we really set up our office, it will be a great addition.

Here's to nesting and great finds when you least expect them. *Cheers*


  1. Love the bunnies, especially since my nickname for my wife is "Love Bunny"

    1. Sweet and adorable! :)

      I seriously couldn't resist them. They've become my favorite find of the day, even though they weren't what I was searching for.