I’m Back with a New Hobby!

Oh hey there, it has been a bit! A lot has happened since my last posting in, ummm… April…but that is in the past so let’s keep it there, k? I have been extremely busy with work and fun and summer. It’s what happens, we all go through it. But the good news is that I started a new job a few months ago, which I love, and it really is part of the direction I want to go. I BACK baby, in agency world, and could not be happier. I get to be around creative people so often, use my management talents, and have some awesome coworkers.

Speaking of creative, I wanted to open back up my blogging with a new hobby I have started along with my mom who owns a local faux finishing and decorative painting business. With her help, we’ve started flipping and upcycling and getting our paint on some old wood.

I’m very excited about this first creation we have done together.

Here is what I purchased from someone in the area. Dated, lacking personality, and definitely needing an update!

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We worked pretty hard on these pieces. It was my first time using Annie Sloan’s Chalk Paint, and boy was it cool! My mom really had some great teacher tips, too! I cannot wait to own my own place and paint EVERYTHING!

Here is the lovely final product!

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Thanks mom for all of the continued teachings! I can’t wait to see what we create next. We have a whole basement full of finds to create! And if you just so happen to be in Atlanta, these are for sale! Just comment below if you are interested, or email wherethepeachesgrowblog@gmail.com

The 10 Do’s of April

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Festival season is in full swing. Just looking at my calendar, I cannot believe all that is going on in four short weeks around this town. Let’s see if I can make it through prior to pool-side sipping coming up in the next few months!

  1. Enjoy a weekend away
  2. Determine how to tweak my workout for better summer results
  3. Do some gardening – March didn’t allow some dirt diggin’ time
  4. Get creative – an art project is still hung up in my queue
  5. Attend Summer Sunsets in the Park – one of the best Sunday rituals in the city!
  6. Dedicate more time to girlfriends
  7. Begin another photo class
  8. Perfect the festival wardrobe
  9. Attend ALL the festivals – Hogs and Hops, Dogwood, Spring Festival on Ponce, Sweetwater 420 Fest, and Inman Park Festival
  10. Infuse some vodka with jalapenos or other peppers for a great addition to Bloody Mary’s

Christine

Oakhurst Wine Crawl 2015

After the cold, rain and snow flurries that Georgia experienced the prior week, I was hoping that the weekend would shape up to be a bit more spring like and allow some activities besides sitting inside to escape the cold all day. Finally, the weather broke, and the plans to enjoy the day outside were shaping up.

With all of the oyster-fests going on, a few friends and I decided to change it up and discover a local community in Decatur, Georgia, Oakhurst with their annual Wine Crawl. I’ve never been to the Oakhurst area, but it was fun to explore a new area and have the local businesses open up their doors for exploration.

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We got there a bit late, but we made our time there worth it. We quickly hopped from doctor’s offices, to real estate offices, to restaurants, bakeries, a market and even a dog bakery! There were even some girl scouts outside taking advantage and offering cookie and wine pairings. I know they did not know what they were talking about as they were around 12 years old, but their ambition and marketing strategies were funny to hear.

There were some memorable places to visit as well:

Oakhurst Market: They have a selection of breads and wines, as well as an on-site butcher for fresh cuts!

Taj Ma Hound: I was hoping they may have had a few free doggie treats, which they didn’t offer at the crawl, but I was happy to pay a few dollars for their adorable dog treats! Their guiness and lucky dog clovers were especially adorable. Louie, my dog, also has bad allergies, so I was especially happy to hear that chicken is not used in their treats unless noted. They also sell their treats in my 2 favorite all-natural pet stores in the Virginia Highlands!

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Decatur Eye Care: They seemed to have an extensive in-office selection of glasses, the people were all so nice, and they had two chocolate fondue fountains. We were told to back-track and head here for those fountains!

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Halo Oakhurst: This place was such a cute hair and skin salon. They offered some great deals to wine crawlers, but their normal prices seemed very reasonable as well! They also offered some yummy brownies from the bakery down the street and M&M’s like candies, but better.

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Sugar Moon Bake Shop: My friend and I walked into this cute little bakery and immediately knew we had to get our wine and go or we would buy dozens of their cupcakes and cookies. This place smelled so good and I would love to do a custom order here in the future!

I didn’t actually discover any new wines to try, but the event wasn’t really a tasting. It was to promote the community and local business in the area. I would highly recommend this event to discover the charm and small-town feel that Oakhurst provides.

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Christine

Workplace Style Trials

Wake up call is at 6am. I hop out of bed, start getting ready, my teenager (aka dog) finally decides he wants to wake up. I take him out in a big baggy hoodie, then quickly eat breakfast. 5 minutes left to get dressed before 7:30 and more traffic hits. Yes, makeup is done in the car.

When I get dressed half-asleep, I think I have a great idea for an outfit, something that comes off as trendy and professional.

WRONG.

I feel uncomfortable in what I am wearing. My skirt is too tight (a side effect of not working out and eating properly for the past few months) and the booties I am wearing do not go with the length of the skirt. Also, the top I’m wearing, a bright turquoise, seems out of place for the season and the rest of my all-black outfit. Yes, I feel uncomfortable and just want to hide behind my desk. Can I go back to the baggy hoodie from this morning please?

I think it’s getting to a point where I need to start planning outfits, and not just throwing things together in the dark because they seem like they’d match in my head. It isn’t working. I’ve pulled a few pieces of style inspiration for the next month to try to re-create with my closet. Keep in mind, I work in corporate. Jeans are a Friday thing and the office is comprised of mostly men my dad’s age. It definitely affects how I present myself. Below are a few outfits that are completely work appropriate. Southern Curls and Pearls also did a great post about work attire – definitely worth a look if you are interested in what is and is not appropriate for the workplace.
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What is your office attire like? Do you know the feeling I am talking about? What key pieces or outfits do you always seem to wear to the office?

Christine

26

I’ve never had a bad birthday, thankfully, and I’m glad to say this one did not break the streak. I had an amazing time with lots of activities with friends, time with family, my best friend visiting from out of town, and a boyfriend who literally did everything possible to make sure I had an amazing day. I couldn’t be more grateful. My introvert self is learning more and more that having and spending time with people who care is everything.

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Christine

How to Score Deep Discounts

There is something that I want to let you all know – I rarely EVER pay full price for something.

With the whole credit card debt, wanting to save, etc… I’ve found some great ways to either earn rewards back, get great discounts, or layer coupons for a double deal! Just to be nice, I’m sharing a few of my tricks that are super easy to put into practice. This post isn’t sponsored or gimmicky, but rather just sharing some ways to get around the actual sticker price!

Know what you want to buy, and where it is being sold

The first thing I do, is know! I’ve actually been basing some of my purchases off my pinterest boards for wants, and for needs it is a little more intuitive (I know there will always be a need for toilet paper, dog food, soap, etc…). I then search around a bit, basically on google, determining where items can be purchased. Doing this, you may already find a great deal!

For example, I saw a bootie featured on another blog, and one of their links directed to Nordstrom, where they were selling for $69.95. Well, type in “Mia Esperanza” in google, and the same shoe appears at Off Broadway Shoe Warehouse for $34.99. Total savings: $34.96/ 49.97%

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Determine if your debit or credit cards offers discounts or a percentage of cash back

I carry a Bank of America debit card and a Discover credit card. My debit card offers special promotional discounts on items. Some regulars that I see include Starbucks, Sports Authority and even local restaurants. You just sign up for using them by clicking a button, and when you use that debit card you receive cash back!

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With my credit card, it is 1% cash back on everything, and 5% on select items and stores each quarter. This quarter it includes all gas stations, so I’m using my credit card to purchase gas and then I immediately pay that amount off from my checking account to avoid any interest, but still receive a percent back.

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Ebates

If you ever shop online, or are about to checkout, head to ebates before clicking that submit button. Chances are, the site you are on is listed on ebates, where you earn cash back. I’ve received about $20 worth of what they call big fat checks, and will definitely be utilizing them more for Christmas and upcoming birthdays. Simply sign up for an account, and shop through their store link.

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Coupons, birthdays and promo codes

This is where you will see the biggest discounts! Hold onto those mailed percentage off flyers, create a folder in your email for shopping discounts, check online for codes floating around, and take advantage of the birthday discounts and birthday money coming in from family! These coupons can be layered on top of the cash back you’ll receive from using specific cards and ebates, which can mean a 3-layered coupon if you play it right!

Doing your research – knowing the biggest discounts stores offer

There are some stores that I KNOW will have specific discount points. For example, LOFT offers up to 50% off full price items and 60% off sale items throughout the year. If you can wait until these bigger discounts, do so!

If you’re unsure about the discounts provided by a store, google the store name followed by the word “coupon”. Usually, you can click on images and see what the historical big discount amounts were.

For example, I really want the Kate Spade agenda I mentioned in my previous post, but I want to wait until I get the best deal possible. At the time, I had a 15% coupon. This would have saved me $4.50. BUT, I saw on google that Kate Spade offers a 30% off discount as well. I’m waiting until this comes around, and savings $9! Plus, I can stack this with ebates, who offers 3.5% cash back on Kate Spade, discounting this item almost $10!

Check the shipping and return policies

This is often a deal breaker for me. I rarely ever pay for shipping, or return shipping. Companies that offer great policies regarding this include Zappos and Nordstrom. Some companies do not offer free shipping, or return shipping, and sometimes you can’t return items to the store that you purchased online! If you returned an item from that order, you would have paid for shipping two ways by the time you get part of your money back.

Steps in making a purchase 

So when you have your eye on something, here are the basic steps you will want to take:

1. Identify sites the item is selling on

2. Determine if your debit or credit card offers any discounts or cash back at the stores where that item is located.

3. Check ebates.

4. Check for the biggest discount the store offers online

5. Assess your shopping options – look for the most layers of coupons you can use, and NEVER pay for shipping! Assess the return policy as well.

6. Pull the trigger, and get what you want for cheaper than you expected!

Here’s my most recent example of how I did this! 

This Ann Taylor purse and earrings.

Earrings and Bag

I had the following:

  • $20 credit from using my LOFT card
  • $30 off $60 purchase as a birthday gift from Ann Taylor
  • Store promotion of 50% off all shoes and accessories

I did not purchase online as I would have paid for shipping costs, and with the 50% off, the bag would not have qualified for the $30 off $60, so I purchased the earrings that I wanted as well!

Initial Total: 147.50

Half off Store Promo: $73.75

$30 off $60: 43.75

$20 rewards: $23.75

Total for $118 Bag: $19

Total for $29.50 earrings: $4.75

Savings: 84%, or $123.75 !!

Hope these tips help y’all score some great deals! I’d love to know the new items you pick up and any additional tips you may have discovered in your shopping journeys!

Christine

Labor Day 2014

Labor Day in Atlanta is definitely full of many activities – ours started Thursday. Apparently it was National Bowtie day, and unknowingly, I had purchased bowties from Target for Louie during my lunch break. I guess he was set for the holiday without even trying! We headed out with the pup to Sweetwater, and I have to say, those beers creep up quick! Wooden Cactus is a new, tequila infused brew – delicious, and dangerous.

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Friday began the true festivities. I went to UGA, Dave went to EVU, and if you keep up with college football you know that Saturday’s Chick-fil-A kickoff was WVU vs. Bama. A few of Dave’s friends from all different areas came into town to come back to watch their alma mater. It was a big event in Atlanta, and the WVU alumni group hosted a few parties around the city – including one at Park Tavern on Friday night. It’s funny seeing the differences between schools, as UGA is definitely a true southern school (polos, khakis, dresses…), and WVU is all about the T-shirts, beer and their Mountaineers! Raccoon hats were abundant, which made for a fun and definitely interesting atmosphere.

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Saturday involved a little recovery, a lot of football, and snuggles with my puppy! I ended up not attending the game, but everyone else from the crew did. Somehow they all ended up with 50 yard line tickets not too far back! After a great first start, WVU unfortunately lost. I’m glad I can’t say the same for the Dawgs – who crushed Clemson thanks to Gurley’s stats alone!

After the game we just hung out, ending up in the Virginia Highlands with those other warriors who made it through the day.

Sunday and Monday both turned into days of rest. We did head out to Park Tavern again Sunday night for their Unplugged in the Park. It ends September 14th, so if you haven’t made it to one yet, I would suggest going! The band was Connor Christian & Southern Gothic, and in light of Dragoncon which was also in Atlanta this weekend, they covered the Game of Thrones theme song! Besides that, their southern rock was the perfect end to a great weekend.

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I’ve never had so much food in a weekend though – between Mexican, Zaxby’s, Krispy Kreme, Sweetwater beer, a family grill-out and who knows what else, my watch started to not fit because I was so bloated! I cannot wait to detox a bit this upcoming week. I plan on doing a lot of nothing and eating a big green salad at least once a day.

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What did you do for Labor Day? Anyone get to experience Dragoncon? I still have it on my to-do list! Maybe next year…

Christine