One Man’s Trash…

Is sometimes another man’s nightmare.  Or wait, that’s not how it goes, is it? 

Let me tell you a litte story. I think we’re finally far enough past the week that this actually happened to me to let the rest of my lingering emotion from it out and onto the good ‘ole www.

A couple of months ago, I headed out early one Saturday morning to get some errands done sans kiddos.  As I drove down our street and past a house about ten down from ours, I couldn’t help but notice (what looked like) a really nice table and four-chair set just hanging out six inches from the curb.  Six inches from the curb as in the owners apparently didn’t want it anymore.  That’s what you would think, right?  Ok, me too.  Here’s a visual mock-up if you’re having a hard time picturing it:


Well, if you know me, you know my heart skipped a few beats and I wanted to stop right then and there to load it up.  But, I didn’t have the energy and I was on a mission to get my errands done asap.  I was so torn though.  I knew that someone would probably grab it later because I’m not the only one in the world who thinks about grabbing unwanted furniture off the side of the road.  I mean, there are memes about it!




So, I drove on and maybe said a little prayer that went something like “God, if you want me to have that table and chairs, you just make sure it’s still there when I get back and I’ll grab it”.  And then I laughed at myself because there was no way it was going to be there when I got back.

And guess what?  IT WAS!  A few hours later when I pulled into our neighborhood and drove down our street and past that house, I spotted it.  I couldn’t believe it!  I mean, it was a Saturday morning when countless people had probably driven past it.  It had to meant to be…because God cares about superficial things like furniture on the side of the road, I know.  ;)

Well, I couldn’t help myself.  I pulled over.  Being that it was six inches from the curb, I knew that it was probably considered trash but I just wanted to make sure because honestly, I didn’t know who in their right mind would toss such a set.  So, I mosyed on up to the front door of the house it was in front of and a nice guy answered my ring.  This is how the conversation went:
Me:  Hi!  Do you guys not want that table?
He:  Nope, take it!
Me:  Really?!
He:  Yes, please take it.
Me:  Ok!  Well, can I pay you for it?  It’s nice!
He:  No.
Me:  Not even $10?
He:  (laughs) No.
Me:  Well, I’m going to anyway.  I don’t have cash on me right now but I’ll stick it in your mailbox later.
He:  Ok.  Whatever.

I skipped as merrily away as I could being that I was pregnant and puzzle-pieced the chairs into the back of our little car.  The table wouldn’t fit so I scurried home and told Anthony we needed to walk down the street and “carry a table home” stat.  And we did.

But, here’s the thing.  We didn’t need a table.  However, I knew something that the money from selling it could go towards so I scrubbed her clean, set her up, and listed her for sale on a local resale site.


And whaddya know?  I had people lined up to buy it in just a few hours and it was out our door in a few days.

Meanwhile…and when I say meanwhile, what I really mean is MEANwhile

I get a comment on the listing from some lady I don’t even know who apparently knows the owner of the table and chairs letting me know that “It’s not right to take something that was given to you and then sell it.”  Ok.  She wasn’t there when I grabbed the table nor did she see it sitting that six inches from the curb and it was a little rude of her to speak her opinion being that she wasn’t there but whatever.  I went about my day.  As the day progressed a few people “liked” her comment on the listing and, I’ll be honest, it perturbed me a little.  First of all, people don’t ever “like” comments on listings because there’s usually nothing special about them so for these people to be liking this rude comment, what they were really doing is agreeing with this girl and, maybe I was still taking it too personal, but telling me I was wrong for selling a table I grabbed off the curb.  Whatever.  Deep breaths and eye rolls commenced and I moved on.

The day progressed, evening came, Anthony and I put the kids to bed and then sat down to relax together on the couch…and then I get this Facebook message…
vstablenchairs…from a completely different person than the earlier commenter.  Either I’m not as thick-skinned as I think or maybe this was just the end of my nerve, but I was livid.  I was so mad I was shaking.  As I sat there on our couch after laying the kids down for the night, I stewed.  So many things ran through my head.  This girl doesn’t even KNOW me!  The table was trash on their curb!  Get a job?  Need money?  Karma?  What the #$*%&#&??????  And then came rolling in all the things I wanted to write back to her.  Expletives and I’m not even really a user.  Needless to say, that anger gave me enough to fuel to stop me from going to sleep before 2 am that night.  The next day I found out that someone had tried to report me to get me removed from the resale site for “selling something I was given.”  Of course people do that all the time so thankfully, the administrators laughed at the reporter but still, it all made me crazy.  So many irrational thoughts ran through my head during those hours when I couldn’t sleep that night.  Am I wrong for taking the set?  Did I make all this up?  Am I crazy?  Is being a stay-at-home mom really a job?  Are people going to come after me?  Is taking unwanted furniture off someone’s curb stealing?  I even scoured the internet for articles about people who troll over curbs and trash bins for treasures to fix-up and sell or keep or whatever just to bring myself back down to Earth.  People do do this!  It’s real!  I’m not crazy!  I’m not wrong for taking this set!  I…zzzz…

Like I said earlier, the table went out our front door with its current owner a few days later and let me tell you, I’ve never been so excited to see something leave my house.

My whole point in writing out this little tale is to remind you as it reminded me:  Never assume.  Never.  Never.  Never.  Never assume you know everything about a certain situation, especially if you weren’t there in the moment.  The same goes about a person.  Never assume you know everything about a person or the reason why they do something.  I’ve always tried to place empathy before judgement and, as an imperfect human, it’s hard.  It’s hard for me.  It’s so much easier to place blame or to scoff at someone without knowing them and where they came from and why they are who they are.  In a sense, I’m glad that this whole crazy scenario happened because it really drove that into my head, once again.  I’m sure I’ll need to be reminded of it over and over again as I go through life but thank God for the opportunity to grow.  There is truth and there is love and, while we can’t always know the truth because of circumstance, we can always choose to love.  Seek the truth and choose to love.  Always remember that Sheena.

And also, never ever again grab trash off the curb in one’s own neighborhood because, like she said, karma will get you. 

*wink wink*

.           .           .

P.S.  Somewhere in the midst of all this, my neighbor lady who had curbed the table set and I talked via online message and she was soooo nice about the whole thing.  She apologized for her friends’ behavior over and over and even joked that they were crazy for messing with a pregnant lady.  Haha!  Dang right!  I don’t know how they really felt about the table being sold – maybe they didn’t realize they could sell it (she was actually on the resale site I sold it on) or maybe they just didn’t want to put the energy into selling it – but all she/they were to me was gracious and I was so appreciative of that. 

Hide Ja Wife…

hide ja kids, and hide ja modem. 

Back when we installed the shelving along one side of our fireplace, I had grand plans of keeping it functional on top of the form.  We needed another place to keep some of our books and so it does, but we also needed a place to keep our internet modem and wireless router.  The bottom shelf was were I wanted those to go.  But, as you can tell, modems and routers don’t really contribute much to aesthetics.

But thank goodness for Pinterest because a long time ago I pinned this idea from Sewing Barefoot and then much later, thrifted the books you see on the far right for the very purpose of that camoflage project.

When I took the pictures for the shelving project post, the modem and router were nestled ever so hastily behind a white basket to hide them from view.

But now, I’ll let you take a gander and guess as to where they might be.
modem (5)

Ok, so I might’ve made that easy for you since I gave away the books but hey!  Out of sight and so much better, right?!  :)

modem (10)

I started this project last weekend while I was visiting my sister and finished once I got home.  It really stinks that it took me so long to finally get it done.  I thought it would require more time and effort than it really did.  Twenty minutes all-in-all was all it cost me and every second of that was worth the better view.

So, want to make your very own modem hide-out?  It’s perfect for hiding just about anything you can fit behind a few books, even secret levers that open up a secret room…if you’re into that kind of thing.  ;)

Here’s how:

First, grab your supplies.  You’ll need a box of some sort to hold whatever it is you’re wanting to hide, several books that, when placed together, span the entire width of that box (you’ll be cutting them apart so don’t use anything you’re planning on reading anytime soon), a razor blade or scissors, a hot glue gun, and glue sticks.
IMG_3444I found all of these books at a local thrift store last year for 75 cents each and used a regular ‘ole cardboard box that I cut two sides off of to hold the modem and router.

Next, grab your razor blade and any pent up anger because it’s time to rip apart some books.

What you’ll want to do is open the front cover of each book and cut out the middle.  Be careful to only cut out the inside of the book and not to press so hard that you cut through the binding. 
IMG_3449Repeat the same step with the back cover of the book.

Funny story:  I noticed upon going in to cut apart one of my books that, not only was it gifted to someone but it was also signed by the author on the very first page.  #whoops
IMG_3450Must not’ve been that important if it was donated to a thrift store but still, I felt a little rebellious taking it apart.

After all the insides of the books are gone, decide how you want the books to be lined up.
Once you’ve got your layout (make sure all your books are right-side-up too!), it’s time to shorten all of the covers except for the two on each end.

To do this, I laid each book out flat and held a ruler up against the binding while I cut.
IMG_3453This gave me a straight line to run the razor along and helped ensure that each book would be shortened the same amount.  (PS, use a cutting board lest you want to cut into whatever solid surface you’re working on.  I used a book I had decided not to use…you can’t see it, but it’s there.)
Now it’s time to glue all of your (what were) books together in the order you had planned.  I just ran a small line of hot glue down the cover stubs and attached each book to its neighbor.
After all the books were glued together, I glued the front cover of the farthest book on the left to the left side of the box.  Then I glued all of the books to the box by running a line of glue horizontally along the middle of the side of the box that’d be up against the cover stubs and then placing each stub into the line of glue.  The important part here is to make sure that the stubs are straight when they hit the glue; make sure they are at a 90 degree angle with the box.

When I had the basic structure of my hideaway finished, I had a small gap between the back cover of the farthest book on the right and the box.  Not a huge deal and one that could’ve been left as-is, but just because, I made a little spacer by gluing together a few layers of cardboard and then glued that into my gap.
IMG_3458Nice and sturdy does it.

Up at at ‘em it went with our modem and router tucked nicely behind.
modem (11) 
I know I said originally that my plan was to house the hidden modem and router on the bottom shelf, but when I tried that, the cords coming out the back of each made the whole book hideaway stick too far off the end of the shelf.  Boo.  So, for now and maybe forever, it sits on top of our blu-ray player.  I’m still not sure if I’d rather just brainstorm another way to get it back on the shelf or not but for now, it’s hidden and that’s all that matters.  I did flank it with two other books on each end to further hide the wires that extended out the back though.  Had I a bigger space, I probably would’ve made this thing with some larger books.  Keep that in mind when you’re making your own.  The covers on the two books on each end should extend or be longer than whatever you’re trying to hide, wires included.

modem (12)
And speaking of hiding things, we finally got around to figuring out how to fanagle all the wires coming from the electronics over the fireplace into our mantel’s side panel.  Remember when Chelsea and I built our new mantel and how she helped me make happen the hidden panel I wanted for that sole purpose?

Well, here it is exposed with the lone two wires that need to run down it to reach the outlet below:
IMG_3460One of them is the main cable wire and the other goes to a power strip that sits right on top of the big bracket that holds the TV on the wall, to which everything is plugged in.  Every mantel ever should have a hidden panel, that’s what I say.

I’ve also been busy restyling/adding to those shelves and hanging up those three big frames to fill up the big expanse of wall.
modem (1)The picture doesn’t make it look as good as it does in person.  I’m still working on how to get this whole space into one photographic rectangle. 

Those frames are oldies and still filled with the same floral calendar prints I framed ages ago.  I’m hoping to get a family picture up into them that’s one big picture spread through and filling the three frames.  It’s gonna be sa-weet…whenever it happens.  The only new things on the shelves are the plants – the top right a thrift score (fake) and everything else clipped from out my front or back door.  The ampersand was a $2 thrift find that I had planned to spray paint gold.  It once looked like this:
IMG_3485This is right before I primed the entire thing white.  When I went out to give it the gold coat, I stopped after spraying from just one angle and loved how it looked so I just quit.  I kinda love it.

And that’s that…all starting with our new and improved living room shelves complete with a modem you’d never know was there if you didn’t know because I just told ya.  If you make your very own modem-hider, I’d love to see it and add it to this post!  Email a picture to me – or tag me on Instagram (@beaninlove). 

Peace and love and all that jazz.


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how to hide your modem

Spotted: My Favorite Ever Thrift

Last weekend I drove to see my sister in Florida…just me and the fetus girl.  It was a spontaneous trip and a little babymoon for me before we are, once again, in the throes of having a newborn and I loved every minute of it except those first few minutes right after I left home.  I’ve never been away from all three of our kids for more than a couple of hours and it was SO. HARD. to leave.  I wanted to go so bad and I knew it would be so revitalizing but the thought of being without my little leeches for a few days was hard.  So weird, right?  I mean, there are days I think “man, I love you guys to the moon and back but I need a break!” and then that break comes and I get cold-feet and all sappy and emotional and I rethink my decision a thousand times and force myself to keep on driving when really all I want to do is turn around and forget about it.  Human beings are so complicated.

On the bright side, I have two sisters I love dearly and so getting to spend the weekend with one of them was just the best.  Farrah and I are Irish Twins – born 10 months apart.  Yep, 10 months.  I was born three weeks past my due date in February and at my mom’s 6-week post-partum visit they told her all the usual stuff and dropped the bomb that she was pregnant again (I’m guessing the whole routine urine test gave it away?)  Surprise!  Farrah was born two weeks early in December and so now for two months of every year we are the same age.  It’s as awesome as it sounds.  :)

We had lots of fun this past weekend doing things Irish Twins do – sewing, crafting, eating, relaxing, going on a 5-mile bike ride along the beach, and thrifting.  I didn’t really have a list of things I wanted to do while I was in her neck of the woods because all I really cared about was taking advantage of that little “break” I was on and spending time with her and her cute little family but I did make it a point to hit up my (our?) favorite thrift store.  We have to go everytime we visit her because it is hands-down thee best thrift store I’ve ever been to.  I don’t even know the name of it but we’ll just call it ‘My Favorite Ever Thrift’. 

Here’s what I spotted on this trip:

There are always a bundle of light fixtures when I go in - light fixtures I don’t need and that I have to convince myself to walk away from.  There were a few that caught my eye (and I actually did buy one that will be going up on our front porch one of these days) that had those great geometic lines I love and would’ve made great fixtures in a grand entry, over a dining room table, in a master bedroom, or used as a terrarium or decorative bowl.
This minty-green couch was something like $20 (50% off $40) and I wanted it.  Bad.  It needed it’s skirt removed to expose it’s beautiful legs underneath and to be set in a little girls’ room or a light and airy living room.   IMG_3416
This piece of art was really cool looking.  The colors got me at first.  With a white mat and light wood frame it could be the life of a room.
IMG_3417However, it was marked at $60 so that turned me away.  I didn’t do any research on the artist but my guess is that, at that price, maybe it was someone semi-well-known?

I thought this bamboo wine rack was cool:
IMG_3418With a coat of some bright paint color, it be the most fun your bottles of wine ever saw before they hit the recycling bin.

This fireplace set was gorgeous and in pristine condition.  Not to mention that the gold color was the most perfect champagne-gold.  I think it was around $10.  I would’ve snatched it up if our fireplace wasn’t gas.
These glass bottle toppers were all gorgeous.  There were about 30 of them in two baskets and I wanted a few so bad but had no clue what to do with them.  Now I think they’d be great just piled high in a glass jar on display.  If you wanted to be a little more aggressive, they’d probably make great knobs after a little trip to a glass store for a snip and the addition of a threaded rod and nut on the back. 
Cute little bamboo chairs get me every time:
And this wood bar stool was really cool too.  Set in the corner of a room with a cute little lumbar pillow or sheep-skin throw, it could hold its own.
More bamboo…
IMG_3423The color on this one wasn’t the greatest so it’d could definitely use a coat of paint but I liked the shapes on it.

And I’m still not sure how I feel about the curvy top of this one but in my head, I thought it’d be fun to paint and style all those shelves.
This was a cool little miniature rocking chair that could’ve used a punch of geometric fabric instead of that boring green.  I really comtemplated getting it because it was so different than your normal rocking chair…and then I pictured the fight over it and it tumbling over with a twin and…nope.
The best score of this trip:
IMG_3426Seven princess dresses – Belle, Snow White, two Aurora’s, Rosetta (from Tinkerbell…my girls are obsessed), Rapunzel, the Brave girl – and one white flower girl dress.  They were ONE DOLLAR each!  I know…take a minute and let that soak in.  A few of them needed a little TLC in the form of some hem and seam fixing but my sister and I did that in ten minutes one night while watching a movie.  Needless to say, my girls haven’t worn normal clothes since I’ve gotten home and I don’t see an end to that in sight. 

This chair was stylish and simple:
IMG_3427It needed a little bit of cleaning but it was microfiber so that would’ve been fairly easy.  I liked the straight edges and it was something like $40.  A little bit of nailhead trim might do it some good too.

Oh my gosh, this table:
IMG_3428Had it not had a sold sign on it I would’ve hard a really hard time walking out without it.  I would’ve figured out a way to somehow take it apart to fit in our little Corolla and take home with me.  Painted white?  A dream it would be with that gorgeous fretwork and my dining room’s first love.

This solid piece of butcher block was incredible:
IMG_3466Again, if I’d had the room, it’d be waiting to be installed as our bathroom countertop or on an island in our next house.  It was in excellent shape, the color was oh-so-good, and it was huge.  I loved the thin strips of wood too.  It had no price on it but it was probably worth every penny they were asking.

Last but not least, we found this faux leather jacket:
IMG_3456I couldn’t tell if it fit me well with this big ‘ole belly in the way so I selflessly let Farrah get it.  ;)  (Being selfless is super easy when you know she’d let you borrow it anytime so don’t worry, no holy points were gained over in this direction.  Ha!)

They have the best prices on clothes out of any thrift store I’ve ever been to and speaking of clothes, they had lots of great stuff but since my current state is stamped “pregnant”, I didn’t spend too much time sifting through those treasures.  I did very much regret grabbing a faux suede shift dress that I hemmed and hawed over though.  :( 

Anyway, it’s back to the old grindstone that I love and will probably never leave again (I’ll just take them with) so Happy Tuesday to you and yours!

Maternity Pants Refashion - Khaki-Style

That’s what Jake, from State Farm, is wearing and that’s what I’m here today with.

Although, I can pretty much guarantee you his look way better than mine:
Or at least way better than mine looked.  Mine might have a fighting chance in the fit arena now.
I snagged these Gap maternity khakis from Goodwill ($4) when I was pregnant with Sebastian and never got around to fixing them to fit me…until yesterday.  I was motivated to pull them out and take them to my sewing machine asap after last weekend, when I really had the worst time finding something that fit to wear to church.  It was partly because my brain wasn’t quite awake when I was scouring my maternity wardrobe, partly because all of my other church-appropriate maternity pants were in the dirty laundry and partly because, hello, this might be my last pregnancy so, better get on that stat.

I didn’t take pictures during the process because I used the same process I’ve used to slim down every other pair of pants I own that needed it (see here and here) but I did play dress-up so that in the coming days, I’d have some idea about what to pair with these “new” pants during those moments when “I have nothing to wear with themmmm!”

Just humor me.

And then, answer me this…are pregnant women even allowed to wear belts?…because the idea looked great in my head not to mention, I love belts so I’ve been going through a little bit of a withdrawl.  I tried it way back when and I liked it but this time it kinda looks like I’m wearing a woven support belt.  Maybe it’s because my jean vest might be a little too short to pair with a belly therefore exposing the entire belt when just the front would suffice?  Either way, here we have something I can sport on the daily:

This one’s my fave and it would’ve been perfect to prance around in on an Easter egg hunt with the tots:
For all my grocery store/Target runs:
And I don’t even know what the scene would be for this but this beaded top is one of my favorite (non-maternity) tops and I’m millimeters away from not being able to wear it anymore so I might have to indulge before that happens.  Plus, a blazer sounded fun.
And this is when a humongous, monster bug went flying by and for a split (terrifying) second, I thought it was inside the screened-in patio with me.  Self-timer didn’t miss my reaction and I’d be remiss to not include a blooper so…
May all the bugs always, always stay on the other side of that screen and may the rest of your day be glorious.


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khaki trouser refashion