Dollar Tree & DIY

DIY Mirror Box

It’s time for another post about Dollar Tree! If you don’t know by now, I love this store! I recently finished another DIY project using items from Dollar Tree. I was inspired by Do It on a Dime first to create a mirror box and then I found a great tutorial by Bargain Bethany on YouTube. I wanted to create this mirror box to use as a decoration in my bedroom. Now here is the thing, if you think this is a craft that you want to make, then head to every Dollar Tree in your area and beginning buying these mirrors because they are hard to come by! I wanted to do this project in early June, but I couldn’t find enough mirrors to complete the project, until 2 weeks ago when I finally found a stocked shelf of these mirrors! The problem is that most Dollar Tree’s do not stock a lot of these mirrors, only one box that maybe has 10 in them, so I had to keep searching to finally find enough to do this project!

So to start out, you will need 4 square mirrors, a box, and a glue gun. The mirrors and box are from Dollar Tree and glue gun from Hobby Lobby. The box makes it very easy to line up the mirrors and to decorate the inside later on. So first you need to glue 2 mirrors onto opposite sides of the box. Then because the box is a little smaller than the mirrors, the 2 other mirrors get glued onto the sides of the first 2 mirrors, not the box. Be sure to firmly press the mirrors together when the glue is drying to ensure that they hold.

I love the variety and colors of the succulents!

Now you can decorate the inside of the box however you would like. I really love these succulents from the Dollar Tree, again these are an item to keep an eye out for on every Dollar Tree trip to stock up on. I also got a bag of green moss from Dollar Tree. So I put the moss into the box and took my succulents out of their pots and arranged them in the box. If succulents aren’t for you or don’t match your decor, you could find a variety of flowers from Dollar Tree that would look lovely in this box.

I am pretty happy with the finished product and how easy it was to create! I would like to get some rocks from Dollar Tree to add into this box as well, but I didn’t have any on hand. Either way, I still think it is an easy and affordable decoration for any home. I am even thinking about making these for gifts for a few people!

 

Happy crafting,

-Ashley Steinacher

Adventures

A Sunday Hike

Last Sunday my dad and I took an afternoon adventure to Pere Marquette State Park. We used to go camping at Pere Marquette often when I was younger, but it has been close to 5 years since I have been to the park. I have been wanting to go on the walking trails since the beginning of summer, but it just never seemed to work out. But on Sunday my dad and I decided we needed to go.

When we arrived we went into the Visitor’s Center and got a map to look over the various trails. My dad and brother used to go on the walking trails when we would camp, so my dad is familiar with the area, but having a map is always a good idea. We decided to take the ½ mile Ravine trail up to McAdams Peak lookout. This trail was labeled moderate and I will say that it had both of us breathing heavily and taking a few breaks, but we also aren’t avid hikers/trail walkers. The view from McAdams Peak was breathtaking! Even with the day being cloudy and rainy, the view was still beautiful.

From McAdams Peak, we took Hickory trail to Twin Mounds lookout. The two lookouts are a short distance from one another but each offers beautiful views. I enjoyed learning about what I was viewing from my dad, he knows where everything is! He would point out an area and tell me what town that was and if he had had any adventures there in the past. Both lookouts overlook the Illinois River and Calhoun county. On a clear day you can see Missouri on the horizon. I enjoyed watching flocks of bird’s fly over the river and watching the clouds pass by.

From Twin Mounds we took the ¼ mile Oak trail to Hickory South that led us back to the parking lot. I found walking the trails to be a workout but also relaxing as I listened to all the bird’s chirping around me. The trails are lined with varieties of trees, wildflowers, rocks, and many other wonderful things that nature has to offer. We went back into the Visitor’s Center for a few minutes to look at the displays they have about wildlife and local area. I remember going to the Visitor’s Center when I was younger because I loved the big eagle that they have and to explore the displays. I still enjoyed it when we were there Sunday. We decided that before heading home we would take Scenic drive up to the lookout points, Eagle’s Nest and Flagpole to take in even more beautiful views.  Overall, we had a great afternoon at the park and I can’t wait to plan my next visit! Check out all of what Pere Marquette has to offer on their website!

 

Happy hiking!

-Ashley Steinacher

 

Dollar Tree & DIY

A Shelf Above the Rest

There is something about creating and building something myself that I just love! I enjoy every aspect of a DIY project, from dreaming up the idea to gathering all the materials, and finally seeing the finished project. For a while now I have been wanting a shelf for my living room, but something in my head told me it would be hard to do myself. Craft projects I can handle, but building a shelf, I was not so sure of. So I went to no one other than my dad to pitch my idea. I told him I wanted to make a shelf and needed a 1×6 board, so he heads to the garage and pulls out a scrap 1×6 that is the perfect length for my shelf idea. Seriously he has anything and everything in that garage and somehow what I’m looking for always appears! He then hooked me up with a drill, level, and all the fixings needed (thanks dad). I left garage with a 5-gallon bucket full of the shelf building necessities.

First I needed to stain my board, and you guessed it dad had some stain I could use! I got some gloves, paper towels, and a foam brush to apply the stain. I found an easy video on YouTube showing you how to stain. I laid out a piece of cardboard for my work table and placed the board on top. I added the stain to the board, following the instructions from the Youtube video, and was happy with one coat. I let the stained board dry in my garage for the rest of the day.

The next step was finding some shelf brackets to hold my shelf up. Since my living room decor is the farmhouse style and my board was a darker stain, I wanted brackets that were black. Walmart had these black decorative brackets and I think they go great with the look I want. My dad did help me with getting the shelf put together and hung up on the wall. I took wood-shop my freshman year of high school, but I still felt lost on what exactly I needed to do, so my dad’s guidance helped. I first had to attach my brackets to my board and learned about drill 101 from my dad. Next, we had to place the shelf on the wall and work on attaching it, I’m glad my dad was there because this was a two person job! We had to make sure that the shelf was level before completely securing it the wall. But after all that, my shelf was up on the wall begging for some decorations!

I love the way that this project turned out and that I was able to create it myself, with help from dad. I really love the way that the stain turned out too. And of course I love adding the decorations and making the vision in my head become reality. I found this adorable cow picture at Dollar Tree, along with this wire basket that I spray painted, and the mini mason jar. I made the topiary myself using products from the Dollar Tree. The crate came from the Litchfield Pickers Market earlier this month. The milk bottle and flowers are from Dollar Tree and the bird is from Real Deals. I still have a few more items I want to add, but overall I love the way it turned out!

-Ashley Steinacher

Dollar Tree & DIY

Farmhouse Decor on a Budget

The decor in my living room is farmhouse style, with rustic and antique pieces. Being a college student who has to pay for school on her own, I try to stick to a budget, especially with decorations. The farmhouse style is very popular right now but can be very expensive depending on where you shop. I prefer to go to flea markets, yard sales, my parent’s garage (there are always goodies there), or to do DIY projects to achieve my farmhouse look. The Dollar Tree is a great place to go to find some great items that can be transformed into beautiful farmhouse decor items.

One night after I had just moved into a house with my cousin, I went down a rabbit hole on Pinterest that was filled with DIY farmhouse projects that could be done cheap. I believe I sat in my bed for a few hours going through pin after pin finding some great projects that could make my living room farmhouse chic. The next day I made a list and headed to Dollar Tree. Now popular items at the Dollar Tree can be hard to come by, so going to multiple Dollar Tree’s was the way I was able to find all of the pieces I needed for my projects. I ended up going to three different Dollar Tree’s within my area (you may think that sounds crazy, but it was a wonderful day for this Dollar Tree lover).

A few of my favorite items from the Dollar Tree that I decorate with are:

  1. Pictures- Dollar Tree has a great selection of framed art with everything from beach themed, inspirational sayings, to cows and chickens! 

    I found this great picture to go with my farmhouse decor!
  2. Twine- Twine is a necessity for achieving a farmhouse chic look. I try to pick up a package of twine every time I’m at the Dollar Tree to stock up for future projects.
  3. Milk bottles- It has taken me a long time to be able to finally find these at my local Dollar Tree, but when I saw them, I grabbed several to stock up for the future. There are endless possibilities with these milk bottles, you can paint these, add twine, or leave them as they are.
  4. Books- I found a video on Youtube of a woman taking Dollar Tree books, removing the covers and painting the books in farmhouse colors to use as decorations! I ended up doing this myself and I love the result. Check out the video here by Jamie Bittinger

    I love the way these turned out!
  5. Twine balls- These twine balls come in a few different colors and are an effortless way to decorate your home.  
  6. Candles & Candle holders- Dollar Tree’s glass vases and candle holders are a great deal. They carry a variety of different vases and holders, all for a dollar! They also have a great selection of candles that I use as decorations.
    Candle holders that I made using all Dollar Tree products. Also pictured are the twine balls.

    Happy trails to Dollar Tree!

    -Ashley Steinacher

Life

I’m a Cat Mom!

I recently adopted a three-month-old kitten, Colby. It is safe to say that he has my whole heart, even after only a couple weeks together. I have wanted to adopt a cat for a while, but I wasn’t sure when would be the best time. One morning I was scrolling through Facebook and there was a post from the Metro East Humane Society (MEHS) showing the “cheese” kittens that were available for adoption. My heart melted as I looked at each of the adorable kitten’s pictures. I sent the Facebook post to my mom and she confirmed exactly what I was thinking, it was meant to be. These kittens combined two of my favorite things, cheese and kittens. Each of the kittens in the litter are named after cheese to go along with their orange fur. I saw Colby’s picture and knew he was the one.

The next day I filled out the adoption application for MEHS to review and waited to hear if I could meet Colby. I got a message that I was approved and could come out to meet my possible future kitten. My mom voiced her concerns to me about going to the humane society, only bring home one. The thought hadn’t occurred to me yet that I would be walking into a place full of animals waiting to find a forever home, and that crushed me. How could I leave with just one? I braced myself and headed to the humane society. I walked in and immediately eyed Colby sleeping in his cage with his brother and sisters, he was just as precious in person. Then I looked around, so many sweet cats meowing for attention, but I wouldn’t be able to give that to them all. I was able to hold Colby and take him into a room to play, just him and me, to see if we fit. He was and is perfect!Colby is a ball of energy. Some of his favorite activities include playing with his mouse in his cube, chasing the laser, and sleeping right on my face. He also enjoys licking my feet while I work at my desk or taking a nap on my lap. Another of his favorite activities is climbing to the top of the scratching post and pretending he is king of the world. My room has completely been transformed into his kitten palace, and that is fine by me. You might be getting the impression that Colby is spoiled, and I would have to say that is true. My Amazon wish list is now full of countless cat toys, cubes and condos, and many other goodies I feel he would enjoy. But I want to give Colby more than toys; I want to give him a forever home.

My experience adopting from the Metro East Humane Society was great! I would definitely recommend to anyone who is interested in adopting a cat or dog to check them out. Head over to their Facebook page or website to see all of the adorable fur babies available for adoption. From now until the end of July, MEHS is having $25 kitten adoptions! Colby’s brother and sister, Parmesan and Cheddar, are still available at the time of this posting, in case you have a love for kittens and cheese!  

-Ashley Steinacher

 

 

Flea Market

A Day in Junk Heaven

This past weekend I did one of my favorite activities, I went to a flea market. On Sunday I went to the outdoor Litchfield Pickers Market with my favorite flea market bargain finding partner, my dad. The Litchfield Pickers Market is held on the second Sunday of every month from April until October from nine in the morning until three in the afternoon. To beat the heat, my dad and I like to arrive early, right as the picking fun begins. Also, the early arrival allows us to find those great picks that go first and to secure a close parking spot. The pickers market is held on the square in Litchfield and spans down several side streets. The pickers market has more than doubled in size since my dad and I first went in 2015 when it all started.

There is just something about old, rusty, and beat up items that get my adrenaline and mind racing! I get this from my dad, hence why he is my flea market partner. The two of us with a bunch of old “junk” is a recipe for some great father-daughter projects. The nickname that my family has given my dad, David, is Dumpster Dive Dave. He does not believe that many thrown away items actually need to be and he can still see life in many pieces that others deem “trash”.

Our plan for any flea market adventure is to let each other know of any particular items we should keep an eye out for. With our wagon in tow (this is a must to be able to place all of our goodies in) we head out in search of new treasures.  My dad is great about finding something and giving me some ideas of what could be done with that particular piece. I, in turn, might throw out some other ideas as the wheels begin turning in each of our heads. Then before we know it we have a wagon full of some great bargains and lots of projects to start on.  

One of my favorite pieces that I bought while at the pickers market is a vanity bench. I am a sucker for older furniture pieces and this one spoke right to my heart when I saw it. This piece is broken which instantly makes it a piece many would turn away from. They deem it broken but my dad looks at it and says “we can easily fix this”. That is music to my ears and I am already envisioning fabric patterns and paint colors to bring this vanity bench back to life. The best part is that we scored this piece for only ten dollars! Along with the bench, I was able to find a few boxes and a basket to use in decorating my living room. My dad found some old rusty tools and a couple saws he will proudly display in his man cave patio.

But the best part of this day was spending time with my dad. I wouldn’t want to spend a weekend day in the heat looking through “junk” with anyone else.

Here is the link to Litchfield’s Pickers Market Facebook page for post about future markets!  I highly recommend taking your own adventure to the picker s market!

-Ashley Steinacher