Farmhouse Decor on a Budget

*the following post contains affiliate links to Amazon – I may receive compensation if purchases are made*

FarmHouse Decor

If you have been following me for a while, or have been to my house, you know that I absolutely adore both modern and rustic decor.  I love clean lines, light colors and anything with a vintage flair.  One of my favorite things to do is to go to Vintage shops and find new decor for my house!   Things that are one of a kind.  Handmade. And Local.  But if traveling around to 100s of small towns with kids in tow isn’t your thing, I have put together a bunch of awesome finds on Amazon that would be great in any home! (Click on any of the pictures to shop!)

Galvanized Salt and Pepper Shaker Holder (and at those cute salt and pepper shakers!)  Super sleek and perfectly vintage/farmhouse/industrial with the galvanized metal. 2. Farm House Gather Sign.  Perfect for any room of your house! Display it on a mantle, hang it on the wall.

X

X

3.  Galvanized Mail Sorter.  I love anything that looks like it organizes!  Totally vintage with the metal, add labels and    you could use this for many different things in any room of your house (add flowers for decoration vs functional!).

X

4. Canisters.  Who didn’t have these growing up?  Every time I see canisters I’m brought back to baking as a child. These are so sweet and would look great on any counter!

5.  Milk Jug Vase.  This is a replica and smaller version of a Milk Jug. I’m going to say, don’t buy the big version online – go find one local!  A lot of these have history and character that I think you should have the real deal vs a replica!

x

X

6. Anything Mason Jar.  (You’ll see this again) – but how adorable is this tea towel?  Super easy and really no thought to actually having to find a place for it.

7. Bread Box.  This is on my list of must haves (Christmas gift anyone?)  I love the idea of a bread box! But not really for bread, my love of bread would never fit in this box. However, you could use it as a charging station (drill a hole in the back, pull the cords through) and you can use it for any type of storage. While I would love a true vintage bread box, they aren’t the easiest to find!

X

X

8. Wire baskets. Another favorite of mine! (See my right side bar as I have this one pinned!) Great for organizing and decorating.

9. Pillows. Pillows. Pillows.  An EASY update to any room/couch.  These are pillow covers (even cheaper!).  I’ve sewn pillow covers in the past, but for the time and cost of fabric the $6 you’d pay for these are SO worth it!!

X

X

10.  Wooden Pig Cutting Board.  This to me is perfectly vintage and perfectly farmhouse.  We had one of these growing up and I WISH we still had it.  You could also use this as a wall decoration in your kitchen (or other rooms) too!

X

X

11. Mason Jar Wall Sconces. I promised more Mason Jars 🙂 These are adorable and while you could make these yourself, do you really have the time?   That’s me. I always see stuff, think I will make it and it never happens.

X

X

12. Mason Jar Drink Dispenser.  I have one of these and when it’s filled up it looks fabulous!  Super handy for any type of get together or even decor.

X

X

13.  Chalkboard with Hooks.  Chalkboards are fairly inexpensive and are a great way to update a room.  Super fun for kids if you let them draw on it, or if you’re crafty you can update the wording each week or monthly.

X

These are some of my current finds that I’m loving on Amazon.  Again, I am definitely a local shopper but with winter coming, I know that I’ll be shopping mostly online!  You can find great little decor ideas and products right on Amazon and mostly those that will help you stay within budget.  What are your favorite farmhouse/vintage/industrial decor ideas??

XOXO

Kristen

 

Continue Reading

11 Online Shopping Hacks for Never Paying Full Price

I have been online shopping for a while and if you saw the number of packages that arrive at my house on any given day, you might even consider me an expert!  I know UPS seems to think I am.  I wrote two posts a few years back about ways to save and included different strategies both online and in stores.  I’d love to share some updated suggestions and new ways to score major deals while sitting at home, in your PJs, drinking wine.   Sounds perfect, right?   Just promise me you will never pay full retail!

OnlineShopping

*Some of the following links are affiliate links. If you click on them/buy something/sign up, I could make enough for a cup of coffee or two*

  1. Ebates – Always my first “go to” when online shopping.  You earn a % back on your purchase and get paid quarterly. You can also earn $ for referring your friends and family.  Full transparency, I have earned $743 to date.  (Please do not do the math on that one!)   New members get a $10 gift card just for signing up and making their first purchase! Don’t pass $10 up!
  2. Sign up for store emails.  I mentioned this one before.  Create a separate email account just for your store emails/coupons. That way you don’t have to delete them until the sale is over.  (My favorites: Gap, J-Crew, Loft, Carter’s, Kohl’s).  I have multiple email accounts that I use to get different coupons throughout the year.
  3. Stack your coupons.  You can do this in-store and online!  If you have a coupon that is $10 off $50 and 20% off your purchase, most stores will allow you to stack these coupons. Some will even allow you to add a free shipping code.
  4. Use your search engines for coupon codes if you don’t have one handy.  Some coupon sites will have them available for you to use (this is NOT my favorite method though).
  5. Follow other money saving blogs.  My two favorites are: Hip2Save and Pocket Your Dollars.  Hip2Save has been more on my radar lately and I love getting her daily emails with the savings roundups.
  6. Leave items in your cart.  I am SO guilty of doing this on a regular basis. I totally window shop online, then a day or two later get a friendly little reminder email that I have items in my cart. Some companies will send you a sweet little coupon to get you to come back and make that purchase.
  7. Ebay. Sometimes you can find brand new items on Ebay and not pay full retail.
  8. Amazon Prime.  Have I mentioned my love of Amazon before?  Prime baby!  You get your stuff in 2 days, free shipping on millions of items.  It’s totally worth the yearly fee.. and College students get a better deal as well!   You can try Prime for free for 30 days. Don’t use it? Don’t like it?  Cancel within the 30 days and you are not charged.
  9. Check your credit card or debit card’s website. Some credit card companies offer promotions when you make purchases through their site!  (You can’t stack this with Ebates).  I just checked mine and had a $10 credit to Stitch Fix!  Woo-hoo – Thanks Westconsin!
  10.  Price adjustments.  Some stores will honor the sale price online up to 14 days after your purchase.  I recently contacted an online store and they took care of it without any issue.  I was advised that not all stores will honor the price adjustment if you used a coupon.  (I did, of course, but they did it anyway). It never hurts to ask!
  11. Do your homework.  Different websites can offer the same item at different prices.  Google search that stuff and find your best deal. Then Ebates it, stack your coupons and come out ahead!

 

There are tons of other hacks out there for saving money, like shopping on the right day.  The list I provided above is what I currently use for shopping online.   I hope you are able to save a few bucks while online shopping.  Please don’t break my heart and pay full retail!  Honestly, don’t be afraid to try things like Ebates or simply calling customer service and asking.  Every dollar counts!

 

XOXO,

Kristen

 

Continue Reading

Baby Gifts with Parents in Mind

Baby

It is baby season my friends.  I tell ya.  I have 5 friends that have had babies within the last few months! Yes. 5 sweet babies that I get to snuggle and love on.  And with new babies comes gifts.  So what do you get for a new mama? A seasoned mama?

When Adam and I registered for George, I swore a domestic was going to happen in the baby aisle of Target.   It was supposed to be this happy bonding moment for us where we picked out all the wonderful things for our new baby that was set to arrive in just a few months.  And yet we were entirely clueless.   Which diapers do we buy?  Diaper Genie?  What kind of lotion?  Shampoo?  Shampoo and Body Wash in one?  Bottles?  I mean, we were going to breastfeed, but should we get bottles just in case?  Which bottles? Oh.My.Gosh.  I needed a cocktail.  And of course I was 6 months pregnant and hormonal so that was not going to happen.  By the end Adam was scanning golf balls and TVs and I was the one trying to navigate the baby aisle on my own.

After 2.5 years of being mom, I feel like I have a little experience under my belt and can offer some suggestions to new moms or seasoned vets.

George was born in the dead of winter. It was 22 below zero when we brought him home.  The idea of taking him outside was off the table. I ordered EVERYTHING off Amazon after he was born.  Prime is totally worth it.  I had everything I needed within 2 days. Running low on breast milk bags? Yep, Amazon.  Baby hangers? Yep, Amazon.  So while I realize all of these posts go to Amazon, it was truly my go to (and still is) for ordering essentials (that we either didn’t get during our showers or entirely forgot to stock up on)!  You can even make a baby registry on Amazon!

(This post contains affiliate links –  which means that if you click on a product link, I may receive compensation. This compensation comes at no additional cost to you, and as always I only recommend products I trust!  Up North Mama is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com)

Great Gifts and Must Haves for Baby

  1. Diaper Genie – This is our family’s #1 recommended, must have, go-to gift and registry item. We LOVE ours and absolutely cannot live out out it.  (Not everyone agrees, but we definitely find it very convenient!)
  2. Rock and Play – After we tried co-sleeping, crib sleeping, not sleeping, this was the biggest hero in our house.  The Rock and Play sits at an angle (which helps with reflux) and does just that, it rocks.  It’s small enough to fit bedside. So while you’re on 45 minutes of sleep you can roll over, and attempt to rock the baby back to sleep.  It was definitely a life saver in our house.
  3. Swaddles (Halo Sleep Sack was our favorite) – George was born in the winter and we swore by the swaddles that the hospital sent home with us.  They were made of thick fleece material that velcroed shut (swaddles for dummies).  That sweet boy was a perfect little burrito every single time.  Combined with the Rock and Play (see #2) this is what allowed us a few hours of sleep!  (They also make cotton ones for summer, I’d highly recommend these!).
  4. Bath Flower – Babies are squirmy and slippery little buggers.  When you try and give them their first few baths you are already terrified enough!  (This is after the “sponge bath” phase..)  This flower can get wet and fits right in the sink, or you can lay them on it in the bath tub.  Hang it up to dry and/or toss it in the washer.  Very easy!
  5. Grass.  We loved our grass drying rack for bottles.  (Note: water does collect in the bottom, don’t forget to clean your grass.)
  6. Anything that zips.  Think middle of the night/afternoon for the 10th time. Babies poop…. The LAST thing you want to change is anything that goes over their head (although onesies were made to be pulled down so they don’t have to go overhead!).  I also like these for bedtime: Sleep Sack
  7. Shampoo and body wash – I absolutely love the Just Hatched Brand.  It’s an all-natural product and budget friendly.
  8. Diapers and Wipes – Always a great gift!  I’m thrifty.  Amazon does subscriptions where you can get a discount and have these delivered monthly.  Target does that as well.  You can usually get gift cards in return with the purchase of 2 or 3 boxes add coupons, and cartwheel and you’re saving big!  Also, I LOVE Pampers, but know that every child is different and parents are different. These are simply my preferred brand.
  9. Baby Carrier – This is handy for any mom!  George used to fall asleep when I’d put him in it.  Everyone has their preference on which type they’d like. We used the Bjorn, some like the Ergo and others prefer a wrap type.
  10. Something for the Big Brother or Big Sister – I always try to think about the big brother or sister who basically just got evicted as the center of his/her parents universe.  And really everyone else’s for that matter as everyone is cooing over the new baby.  Depeding on the age of the child, something that just recognizes them will make them feel special!  (I like: Crayola Color Wonder – these only show up on the paper. Total win).

Gifts for a New Mom (Regardless if this is your 1st or 10th)

  1. Sleep.  Cut the woman a break by offering to snuggle baby for a few hours or if there are older children, take them and give mom time to simply relax.  Help her with laundry or by tidying the house. She WILL appreciate it!
  2. Amazon Prime – 3 kids in tow to Target or online shopping at 2 am while you’re feeding?  My package will arrive in 2 days please 🙂
  3. Flowers – Get a mason jar and some fresh cut flowers.  I personally love flowers and anything that is bright and cheery is totally welcomed!
  4. Meals – When we came home from the hospital, we came home to a counter full of snacks and a fridge stocked full of meals. Our neighbors were so kind and clearly knew what we needed.  Fresh fruit, breakfast foods, anything that can be eaten one handed is highly recommended!
  5. Epsom Salts and Essential Oils – I am NOT a bath person. But after having my sweet boy, I took more baths than he did. It was my respite, it was my way to de-stress. I am a huge fan of Young Living for essential oils. Lavender is an excellent oil and it’s wonderful with Epsom Salt in the bath. My sweet friend Steph sells Young Living and if you have any interest in oils – check out her site!  The Gentle Babies book by Debra Rayburn is an excellent reference guide for using oils during pregnancy, childbirth and for baby/young children as well.

13940991_10210391986256044_666049721_n13988689_10210391991056164_1735271045_n

 

This isn’t an entirely comprehensive list, but it is a good start if you aren’t sure what to buy for mom or baby (or if you are like me, what to register for!)  No one tells you what you might need and these are things we really liked and truly appreciated.  Do you have a favorite gift to give? Or are you a mom with a must-have?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

XOXO

Kristen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Continue Reading

Exploring: Afton, MN

One of my favorite small towns to visit is Afton, MN.  Just across the river (and a little ways down the road) from Hudson is another great little river town for exploring.

Most of my day trips are spent doing one of two things, eating or shopping.  My trip to Afton is no different.  What started as an innocent afternoon outing earlier this Spring, has turned into a complete crush on a small town.

My current go to shop in Hastings, Eye Candy (see Hastings Exploring), has a sister shop in Afton. I set out to photograph the crap out of it because I love the place and the owner is completely badass.   I think everyone I know should go support local businesses like Eye Candy.  EXCEPT, I found out after I photographed but before I posted, that Eye Candy is closing its doors in Afton.  So bittersweet!  While I’m super pumped that these awesome ladies are going to continue to do great things with their Hastings store, I’m so bummed they won’t be open in Afton anymore!!

Just across the street tucked behind Baglio’s (clothing/chocolate) is The Foundry.  We stumbled upon the Foundry on one of our many trips to Afton.   The porch outside of the shop is SO inviting!  I just adore this store.  Whenever you walk in, the lovely ladies are always so kind and helpful.  I am still trying to convince them to come to my house and stage it.  You will find industrial/modern/french/farmhouse style home goods in the store. Some things are new, some are home made, some are upcycled.  The store is so well put together!  Oneof my favorite items are their picture frames!  Their unique sizes make for a perfect addition to a gallery wall!.  Stop in and check them out.  You will love it!!

 

Just down the street from the Foundry is a little Red house.   When you first drive by (as you’ll see in the photos) you may simply think this is a residence.  Let me assure you, this is not a normal house!  Open the last weekend of the month and during special Vintage Crawl weekends, this house comes to life and is called Dwell!  Vendors take up on the front lawn, and turn this house into a gorgeous shop.  Inside you will find furniture, photos, lights, pictures, desks, knick-knacks, globes, maps, jewelry, candles and son on!  During the Vintage Crawl weekends there are food trucks. It’s quite the site to see and a great reason to travel to Afton!!

Dwell
Vintage Lights/Rake/Shelving
Handcrafted Table and Rehabbed chairs

If after shopping you are starving or simply need a cocktail, Afton also has several restaurants where you can sit down and relax.  What makes them even better is most of them have great little outdoor patios!  Nothing beats sitting outside on a great summer day here in the MN/WI area!

Restaurants in Afton:

Swirl
Lumberyard Pub
Current

And by FAR the best reason to come to Afton?  Selma’s.  Selma’s Ice Cream has been a staple in Afton for years (they were closed for a while, but reopened in 2012).

George and I took advantage of a little afternoon sunshine and stopped and picked up some ice cream and then headed over to the park.

I love getting to venture out to small towns close to home!  It has been so great exploring towns both new and old, meeting new people and finding some great little shops and restaurants along the way.  Where should we go next??

XOXO

Kristen

Save

Wander Mum

.blog-categories {
display:none;
}

Save

Save

Continue Reading