Bargain Hunted: Authentic Persian Rug

I love hunting a good bargain, but this one may go down in history as one of the greatest!

According to Wikipedia, Heriz rugs are Persian rugs from the area of Heris, East Azerbaijan in northwest Iran, northeast of Tabriz. Persian Heriz rugs are typically crimson red and Persian blue, combined with varied neutrals. It’s featured pattern include a central medallion motif surrounded by rectilinear vine-scrolls (as cited by Nazmiyal Antique Rugs).

Here’s a side-by-side of my thrifted Persian heriz rug and a similar one found online.

Finding an authentic, vintage Persian rug is beyond exciting. I can only imagine it’s journey and whether it had been passed down for generations. I certainly plan to do so. The history of this rug was only the part of this amazing find. The other part was the price! Brace yourselves…

As soon as I eyed this magnificent piece I drifted towards it. I had to blink several times to make sure I was reading the price right! I immediacy dragged the entire rug stand over to the cashier to make sure it wasn’t a mistake. Priced for $24.99!! * Nearly faints* but not before I paid so no one else could grab it.

My thrifted Persian Heriz rug in my home.

5 Year Housiversary

I can’t believe it’s been 5 years since I took a leap of faith and became a homeowner! At that time, the only thing at the forefront of my mind was to put down roots so my son could have a neighborhood to grow up in just like every classic tv show. I remember after closing going into a deep depression wondering if I had taken on too much. We went from a 600 sq ft one-bedroom apartment to a 1600 sq ft three-bedroom home of our own in what felt like overnight. Even though I sacrificed and saved in a small apartment for nearly 3 years, nothing prepared me for the anxiety felt on closing day. Is it really over after months of searching through dozens and dozens of houses? Signing the huge stacks of mortgage documents definitely made it all real, but nothing felt better than knowing I was DOING it despite my fears. Let me change that, nothing felt better than knowing I DID it!

5 years later I have zero regrets. My home has hosted countless house parties, backyard cookouts, and Sunday dinners. Our extra bedroom has turned from a game room to an office to a welcoming spot for our exchange student turned Moroccan daughter, and now a place for my kid brother who’s permanently visiting. The joy I have felt in my home has been immeasurable. The best and most rewarding decision ever! With that, here’s to 5 years that went by in a blink of an eye and to many years to come creating unforgettable memories in a home filled with peace, love, laughter, and lots of friends and family!

Bwoom Masks

Knowledge is FREE!

Thrifting is more than a discount price, it’s the LEARNING and DISCOVERY for me! This mask grabbed my attention not only bc the bids were reaching $500 but just how beautifully crafted and unique it is! Did quick research and landed on the Brooklyn Museum site, among others. Bwoom Masks are royal masks from the DR of the Congo made by the Kuba people. Used in ceremonies, the masks represent different characters or masqueraders, hence its bearded human face. They are made of wood, copper alloy, skin, fur, plant fiber, textile, glass beads, cowrie shell, seedpods, pigments. I did not purchase this particular one but enjoyed researching and getting to know the rich history and beautiful artistry from Mama Africa.

Decor Tip: Framed Greeting Cards

A quick and easy way to store and display your fav or most precious greeting cards is to FRAME them!

I received this Blue Mountain card, titled Don’t Ever Lose Sight of the Wonderful Person You Are, in 2014 from my former supervisor/mentor. I now keep this card framed with a photo of me in primary school. These are the words I needed to hear as a little girl. These are the words I need to read every day to continue to become a better me.

Turn to your fav magazine for more quick, easy and FREE art! This beautiful African model rocking jumbo gold metal earrings was ripped from the pages of a Harper’s Bazaar magazine. High fashion turned high quality framed art!

DIY Kitchen Table & Rug

A kitchen island has been at the top of my Gotta-Wanna-Needa list since hosting Thanksgiving for the first time. With three cooks in the kitchen, you can imagine the chaos and lack of counter space. My host daughter literally sat on the floor to prep her Moroccan cookies. Although it made for fun memories, more space was needed pronto. When it comes to kitchen carts/tables/islands, there are many possibilities. I felt like Goldilocks while searching for the perfect piece. This one is too bulky. This one is too short. That one is too expensive. While watching two of my favs, Chip and Joanna Gaines, I spotted the perfect kitchen island cart. This one is just right.

Finally, I knew what I wanted existed but the price tag was a big no no. Determined to save $300 and create the desired look on a budget, my son and I set off on a new DIY project. Not sure where to start, I originally attempted to find a counter top from local home improvement stores but many were way too heavy and needed to be supported by cabinets-too bulky. I then thought to use a pub table in place of the island-too short. In the meantime, I searched high and low online for kitchen carts with a wood or granite top-too expensive.

While shopping in Ikea one day, my son (yes, he gets all the credit) noticed a table top that was a perfect size for our kitchen. Turns out to be a Linnmon desk table top for only $4 on clearance. We grabbed it! The table top was originally for a desk, so the IKEA legs available in-store weren’t tall enough to match counter height. A quick trip back to our local home improvement store resulted in us combining the table top with pine table legs ($19 each). We opted not to paint the legs and show it’s natural beauty!

After a fun afternoon of trials and errors, the table leg plate didn’t work as planned and had to use gorilla wood glue, our kitchen table was done!

No need to add wheels (not sure how it would’ve worked anyway) because the table is very lightweight and so easy to move around, yet sturdy enough to stand up to daily use. After nearly a year, it has held up against spilled coffee, spaghetti sauce and everything you can think of! It wipes off clean time after time. I couldn’t be happier with this mother and son Do-It-Ourselves.


I loved the kitchen table so much I decided to do a quick and easy DIY rug to go with it! Using an old roman shade from a local thrift store, shelf liner and a hot glue gun-voila! Can’t take full credit for idea-stole it from Pinterest but it works. Certified Do Try This At Home!

Nobody’s Gonna Know

For years I stared at my bland staircase and dreamed of it looking…well anyway other than the way it did. If only I could knock out the wall and expose the staircase, but that takes money and finding someone that knows what they are doing. I didn’t have the funds or patience for either. Right when I thought my options were nonexistent, hope appeared.

One quick, budget friendly way to update a staircase is to paint the handrail. I scrounged up two cans of paint from the garage and somehow a masterpiece was done. Because I literally had this paint for over 5 years, it’s safe to say this was a zero dollar project! Here’s a look at the before.

I originally wanted to paint the entire handrail (split level) black, but the can was mostly empty. I did have, however, an unopened Behr paint and primer in Rich Mahogany that was going to have to do!

Here’s what it looked like after one coat. I was starting to get nervous, but knew I had to trust the process.

After a few coats of Rich Mahogany, I then applied a thin layer of black paint. The results were a beautiful stained wood effect. Nobody’s gonna know that this was a DIY! How would they know?

DIY Kid Furniture Makeover

My son, Art Effect Kid, decided to take matters into his own hands and update his favorite bookcase he’s had since first grade. That typically would spell disaster… but even I was impressed with the final reveal.

Check out Art Effect Kid’s DIY LED bookcase using supplies around the house!

Furniture: Cube Storage Bookcase (found around 5 years ago at a local thrift store for $10)

Supplies: Black Spray Paint (already on hand from previous projects) and White Motion Activated LED Strip Light ($12.99) from Hobby Lobby


The original bookcase was a natural, light wood color. It took approximately 6 spray cans to cover the entire bookcase. Not sure if that sounds excessive, but some spray cans weren’t full because they were previously used in other projects. He didn’t do any sanding or other prep work other than wiping away any obvious dust.

After a few hours, the bookcase was dry and ready to move inside. I recommend leaving the furniture outdoors overnight to make sure the spray paint smell is gone. The Kid was a bit impatient and didn’t want to wait til morning!

The led strips were placed around the top edge on the back of the bookcase. This allowed the light to reflect off the back of the wall. Took 5 minutes top-the back was self adhesive so it was quick and easy to apply!

One pack of LED lights was an exact fit!

One proud tween and his dog! I give this makeover 5 stars!

New Year Do’s and Don’ts

Last year around this time, I had never felt lonelier, as financially frustrated or emotionally fragile. So when 2020 emerged, I was ready to leave 2019 for a fresh new start. Not even Miss Cleo could predict what was to come. Technically the CDC and supposedly Bill Gates did, but I digress. The point is, like millions of others I started the new year with a long list of things I wanted to change. 2020 had its own plans. It came in like a ball of acid wrecking everything in its sight. Day to day plans disintegrated and life stood still as the calendar days painstakingly ticked away. Time was no longer measured by how much was done, but how many survived. Welcome to a new reality.

I’ve decided to take a few things I’ve learned from 2020 into 2021 with me. Here’s my list of New Year Do’s and Don’ts.

Don’t Create New Year Resolutions. If you want to do something you’ve never done or have put off-then just do it! You don’t have to wait until the beginning of the year to be a better you. One thing that 2020 has taught us is time waits for no one. We might not get the opportunity to do it later. Start now!

Do Create a Vision Board. Grab a stack of old magazines or photos, a pair of scissors, glue or tape and a poster board and get to visioning! A vision board captures the things you love and desire through photos and fun graphics, leaving you feeling inspired to explore, dream and crush your goals. Love to travel? Find images of all the places you’ve been and would like to go. Wanna lose weight? Rather than staring at “Go to Gym” and feeling instant anxiety, a water bottle image or photo of a mountain/hiking trail map can calmly communicate the need to practice a healthy lifestyle . Ultimately, a vision board gives life to your goals. Seeing an image of what you want to accomplish allows yourself to see the finish line even if you haven’t started yet.

Do Put Family First. 2020 taught us that some things can wait. Spending time with your loved ones isn’t one of them. Distance learning and remote work has created its own challenges, but the biggest plus has been more quality time together in the home. As the world returns back to long office hours and no days off, remember to keep family first. Whether it’s family dinner at the table or a quick meal together on the couch, it’s the effort that counts. Don’t forget a check-in call to friends and family afar goes a long way.

Don’t Stop Safe Practices. Listen, going into 2021 is not going to magically erase the pandemic. Even if the fairy god scientists eradicate COVID from the face of earth when the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve, let’s continue to give random strangers 6 feet of personal space and follow precautions. Too many times I’ve encountered that person that stands way too close for comfort in line at the bank or grocery store. We all deserve to have our own little bubble. My motto all 2021 is please don’t stand in my bubble! Oh, and it should go without saying that we should all continue to stay at home if you’re sick. Parents, stop dropping your sick kids off at school and if you’re sick yourself, don’t go into work! This also goes for businesses, please keep your hand sanitizer dispensers filled and carts wiped clean year round! May we all continue to be safe and healthy in 2021.

Do Have A Back Up Plan. Life can go astray and jobs can be lost in a blink of an eye. Having a second source of income is essential. Side gigs can range from a hobby that pays to charging for a service. My son created his business, Art Effect Kid, in the middle of the pandemic. He drew a picture representing the Black Lives Matter protest, in which I shared on social media. Almost immediately I began receiving requests for t-shirts of his art. After a bit of research, we soon began selling Art Effect Kid shirts…lots of them! I then purchased a LLC, obtained a seller’s permit and opened a bank account. The earnings aren’t enough to send him off to college, but it’s a start to generating extra income. Like my son, many adults have talents that they never thought could be lucrative. I challenge everyone in the new year to push themselves creatively and financially.