Friday, October 9, 2015

I shopped MARLEY LILLY ... Here Is My Review!

I don't shop online very often.  Firstly, I don't like to pay for shipping... ever.  LOL  Secondly, I just don't like the risk.  What if the item isn't what I hope it to be?  What if it doesn't fit?  What if the color is different in person than what was on the website?  What if the fabric isn't nice?  What if, what if, what if.

Enter MARLEY LILLY.  I first became aware of Marley Lilly when it appeared on Instagram feeds of friends of friends of friends, etc.  I admit it, I could not resist the adorable pictures of pretty items in bright colors monogrammed in even brighter colors.  So I clicked!  I followed!   In reality, I was well aware that I didn't have $50 to spend on a whale koozie with my initials on it.  But as I perused their site, so many of their items were lovely and dare I say it, sort of, kind of, almost reasonable!  And the selection from clothing to jewelry to footwear to housewares was impressive!

AMUSING DISCLAIMER:  I am not under the age of 22 and I am not in a sorority!  I am not a Southern belle, and I don't have monogrammed car mats.  (YET)  I live in Chicago and have always been a lover of all things preppy!  In fact,  I was the first LILLY LOVER crowned by the Lilly Pulitzer clothing line back in 2006!  I won a trip to the company headquarters in Pennsylvania and received a one of a kind couture dress designed and made just for me!  I KNOW, right?  Alas, that is a story for another day!  Back to Marley Lilly...

So in August, I saw an instagram post that Marley Lilly puffy vests were on sale for only $29.99!  WHAT?   I always wanted a monogrammed vest - you know to wear over fair isle sweaters and Bean boots to wear apple picking, to the pumpkin patch or just holiday shopping.  So I picked out a color, a font and thread color and put it in my cart.  And it just sat there.  A few days went by and as much as I wanted to actually order it, I didn't.

I mean I am not 22.  I am a little bit, well a LOTTA bit older.  Haha!  I hate to admit but I am quite   picky and have high expectations on most things.   Then I was thinking that I needed something for my niece for Christmas!  If I ordered TWO, shipping would be free AND I would get a free pair of earrings!  LOL - now it sounds way too good to be true.  But something came over me and I threw caution to the wind and actually placed the order!  I got to the LAST step in the ordering process I and guess what?  I clicked SEND!  I did it!

Now it just became a waiting game.  I had a bit of regret the next day - buyers remorse - cognitive dissonance.  We have all been there - The questions entered into my head... What if it is an ugly blue?  What if I don't like the font?  What if the embroidery isn't the nice heavy stuff that I am imagining it to be?  What if this?  What if that?   I'm on a pretty strict budget so I was really worried that I wasted the better part of $60.

Several days later, I arrived home and there was a package on my porch.  Sure enough, it was my order from Marley Lilly!  I was excited and nervous at the same time!  I went inside and opened the box.  I ordered a navy blue vest monogrammed in pink and a brown best stitched in ivory.  They were both neatly folded and individually packaged in signature Marley Lilly plastic bags

So as I opened the bag and removed the vest, the moment of truth had arrived!  All I can say was WOW!  I mean WOW!  I opened mine first, the navy with the pink!  It was PERFECT!  I loved the quality of the vest!  It is a very nice and it fit perfectly!  And the monogram - a big cup of GORGEOUSNESS!  It was so pretty and the stitching was heavy and the color quite wonderful.

I ordered the vest in a medium and it fit perfectly.  I am a pretty standard medium, size 8-10, and this fit pretty true to size.  It also has enough give for a heavy sweater underneath.

I was equally thrilled with the brown vest ordered with a slightly different font!  I can't wait for Christmas morning, my niece is going to love it just as much as I do.  And since I indicated it was a Christmas gift, they included a Marley Lilly Christmas card free of charge.  How great is that?

Oh and because I had signed up for a free bonus with my order, I received these awesome tortoise shell pineapple earrings and they are adorable!  They were packed in bubble wrap and on a Marley Lilly card.  They are about the size of a dime and I really like them.  

So overall, I would give my experience of ordering from Marley Lilly a 10/10!  And trust me, I am a very tough grader normally.  From the ordering experience to the quality of items received, I did not have one issue, not one thing that could have been improved upon.

If you have ever considered ordering from Marley Lilly or are looking for unique items for gifts or for yourself, do not hesitate ordering from this company.  Obviously, I only have this one experience, but it came off without a hitch and I would not think twice about ordering again.

So why did I write this review?  Why did I feel the need to post this?  Well, since so many things go awry in everyday situations, it always amazes me when things turn out well.  Like really fantabulously well.  So I simply wanted to put it out there.  To shout it from the rooftops that there is a company that does it right and does it well!  I am NOT sponsored by Marley Lilly.  Seriously, they don't even know I exist or that I even wrote this!    Its just when I get THAT excited about something, I feel the need to tell as many people as I can.  Thank you Marley Lilly for being a company that delivers on quality and reliability!  I cannot wait to order from you again!  And I absolutely cannot wait to wear my vest.  Even though I'm old and from the Midwest!  ;-)  Happy Autumn!

Monday, September 28, 2015

Thrift Stores + Spray Paint = Unique and Fun Halloween Decorations!

I love Halloween!  I love thrift shopping!  And I love spray paint!  Put them all together and you get this post!  LOL

I found this very pink princess castle at Savers for only $3.99!  But in my head I totally saw HOGWARTS!  The brick walls, the turrets, the large doors.  So to the horror of little girls everywhere, I pulled out the black spray paint!

I didn't use a plastic-specific spray paint.  I just went to the shelf in the garage and grabbed my favorite spray paint ACE Hardware premium enamel.  I love that fact that it covers very well and dries so quickly.

As soon as I was done I was SO excited!  My vision had become a reality and yes, it really did remind me of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry from Harry Potter.  Yes, I am a proud #potterhead.

I placed it behind my sink for now but once I decorate for Halloween in full,  I will post more pictures.  I am quite excited about how it turned out.

I have posted the following before but I thought they were worth a revisit for this Halloween spray paint specific post....

Everyone knows I'm a Disney addict.  And so when I saw this pretty white candle holder at GoodWill, in my head I thought HAUNTED MANSION!

I found these glitter Halloween clip ons at WALMART for only 97 cents each.  Oh the possibilities.

Here is the result!  I really like the way it turned out.  I also found the candle for .99 too at GoodWill.

I found this awesome candlestick at GoodWill and the candle for under $5!  I took it apart and painted it black and rubbed it silver.  I found glitter decals at Michaels and I really like the way it looks on my foyer table.  It is very regal like something found in an old Hollywood scary movie.

Last week I stopped in this random thrift store and found these lanterns.  Obviously, the previous owner used them outside and they were pretty beat up and rusted.  They were only $3 each!  So I cleaned them and spray painted them and they turned out like new.  I am so excited because nothing screams Halloween to me like a spooky lantern.

 I have also had these on the shelf in the garage and I have contemplated just donating them because I never knew how I would put them to use.  SO glad I let them sit there.  I spray painted them to match the lanterns and decided to put them to use in the foyer.  I have more work to do on them but they look very cool!  Very old school Halloween.

I found these rusted look candle sconces on clearance at Hobby Lobby in the summer department.  They were ridiculously cheap and of course they found their way into my cart.  I decided to spray them black for Halloween!  They work perfectly at my front door and I!  I placed some flameless candles that flicker - my candles must have that spooky flicker - and they look very inviting.

I hope to post more Halloween pictures in the coming weeks with decorations and ideas.  I would head to your local thrift stores and look for random things you can spray paint for fun and unusual spooky decor!  Good luck and Happy Haunting and Happy Hunting!

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ugly carpet gone ... I painted underlayment to look like tavern floors!

I'm going to share one of my favorite home improvement tricks on the cheap!  I'm on a limited budget so I can't exactly go out and pay thousands of dollars on hardwood flooring for every room in my house.  And yet the dirty and dated carpeting has got to go.  What is a girl to do?

I recently made over my cluttered guest room which was covered in Victorian wallpaper and green carpeting.  It all needed to go.   The rug found at Target was perfect - perfect color, price, and size.  But I didn't want to put it on top of the ugly green carpet in the room.  So I decided to removed the carpeting altogether.

Then I removed the padding below, the tack strips around the perimeter, all the staples and nails so the underlayment was nice and smooth.

The first thing I do is to paint the flooring with a brown porch and floor paint.

Once dry, I take a long straight edge and a Sharpie marker and make lines across the floor to simulate planks.

Next, I take basic black paint - even craft paint - and mix it with water in a bowl.  I then dip a rag into the paint and water in the bowl and wipe it on the floor.  I blot it and swirl it with a towel which I also use to towel to wipe the excess.

After the floor is covered, I simply let it dry.  Then I sweep it one more time in order to prepare it for the poly coating.

Then I simply add two coats of polyurethane.  To me, they look amazing.  I throw an area rug on top and I must say you really cannot the difference from actual hardwood floors and they actually cost me nothing other than one afternoon of work.

The icky, green carpeting is gone and the room feels updated and clean.  And if eventually I do have enough money for wood flooring,  the surface is ready to go.  But I must admit I like the painted underlayment so much, I don't feel the need to spend the money to get the same look.  :-)