Another door…

doorsindublin 498x500 Another door...

When one door closes another one opens.

Yeah, yeah – it’s cliche I know, but it’s true. I’ve dreaded writing this blog post for quite some time now, but I feel like it’s an absolute must. While I’ve loved writing and sharing my journey of fashion, DIY, house hunting and marriage – I have to part ways with Mag’s Rags to Riches for awhile. Because the truth is… doing DIY projects, chipping away at my mortgage and decorating my house is not cheap and working in PR, keeping up with my personal brand and buying clothes (used & new) is time consuming.

Keeping Up With The Joneses.

When I started this blog in June of 2011, I was renting a tiny apartment in Tampa, living off student loans and my less than sufficient paychecks from working at a Japanese steakhouse. When I wasn’t in class, working or interning my butt off so I could secure a job in PR after graduation (or in my case before, but that’s a different story!), I was shopping, a lot, planning my next OOTD and begging my boyfriend (now husband) to take pics of me during the golden hour. I felt like I was Keeping Up with the Joneses more than I was keeping up with my finances.

Blogging isn’t cheap and I don’t think a lot of bloggers (or readers) know how much cash and time you have to dedicate to it. Not only are there hard costs associated with blogging and shopping, but there is also time spent in engaging on social media, developing editorial calendars and launching your brand.

Gone are the days of smelling like Asian noodles.

As time progressed and my priorities shifted, so did my passion for blogging about clothes, DIY and home decor. As a full-time PR executive, one of the last things I want to do after working 8-10 hours a day on branding, PR and social media for clients was to come home and do it all over again for me. And as Adg and I continue on our mission to pay off student loan debt and tuck away a little money for our every-6-months vacation, parting ways with my blog made more sense.

I plan to keep the site up for the time being because it serves as sweet reminder of my waitressing, dressing in feathers and crafting up projects to make our first house a home days. I also admire how my writing has matured, ebbed and flowed just as much as my mood and outlook on life has.

Doors in Dublin. 

So that’s where the next door opens. No, not really in Dublin, though that is where I took this picture. The next door is blogging about my other passions… millennials, money, life and work. I’ve been secretly writing and planning my editorial calendar for months and when the site is launch ready, I’ll be sure to share it on social media and make an update to this blog post. Thanks for joining me on this journey and I hope you’ll be there when I open more doors. XX, Mag’s Rags


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Entryway Idea

photo Entryway Idea

Decorating our entryway has been at the top of my priority list. Since it’s not a formal entrance, [it's more like a hallway] it’s been difficult to visualize how to make it work.

When I visualized adding furniture, my mind couldn’t go beyond the fact that the space is tight and it would only get tighter when guests entered through the front door. So in an effort to not spend a ton of money on something I wasn’t confident about, I relocated this black table [from Target and gifted to me from my sister-in-law] and put it in the entryway.

I scored a white mirror on clearance from HomeGoods for $29, added an orchid plant, gold thrifted lamp ($5), gold umbrella stand from a yard sale ($1) and a book from a yard sale ($2).  Overall, I’m in love and can’t wait to have friends over tomorrow and have them walk through it!

photo 1 Entryway Idea

photo 2 Entryway Idea

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DIY Dining Room Table

diningroomtabledoor7 DIY Dining Room Table
My old dining room table was literally driving me mad. While it was pretty, it just wasn’t my style and was an impulse purchase when Adg & I were trying to furnish our old townhouse a couple years ago. So a few Sundays ago I put the table and chairs on Craigslist and it sold within hours. I took that cash and purchased…

  • (1) 30×80 hardwood door from Home Depot $24
  • (2) Lerberg legs from Ikea $10 each
  • (1) Minway Wood Finish in class gray, clear finish glaze & brush $12
  • (6) lucite chairs $60 each (now $89 each ugh!)

I lightly sanded the door with a 220 grit piece of sandpaper and then did three coats of gray stain over the course of three days. Once dry, I did two layers of clear glaze to finish it off. I thought the ikea legs would come with instructions about how to secure the table top to the legs, but it didn’t. So we haven’t secured them yet, but it’s surprisingly working just fine. However, I think we will use construction adhesive to secure the two together, just in case someone flips the table around the holidays – ha! Overall, this was a pretty simple project and I’m super happy with the results.

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diningroomtabledoor31 500x375 DIY Dining Room Table


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Filed under DIY, Fashion & trends, Home & work decor

Dining Room Hutch Makeover

diningroomhutchwhite Dining Room Hutch Makeover

At long last… I’m blogging and back to doing DIY projects! This weekend I tackled transforming our black/brown dining room hutch and made a new dining room table [blog post to follow in a few days as I'm still waiting for the stain on the table to dry]. It was no small feat though. I spent much of Saturday night painting and all of Sunday morning chipping off paint from the glass doors [that's what I get for not using painter's tape].

Before painting, I lightly sanded the wood with 200 grit sand paper and removed the doors from the upper part of the hutch. After painting, I lined the back of the hutch with gold wrapping paper. I was really wanting kelly green wrapping paper, but couldn’t find it anywhere so in the meantime gold it is!

Here’s a look at the before + after.

roomstogodiningroom Dining Room Hutch Makeover

whitediningroomhutch Dining Room Hutch Makeover

diningroomhutch Dining Room Hutch Makeover

diyhutch Dining Room Hutch Makeover

diyhutchwhite Dining Room Hutch Makeover

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Bridal Garden Bliss

1395272 10152282987864112 995246621 n 500x332 Bridal Garden Bliss

At long last, I can finally share my wedding dress shopping story & photos on my blog! Like most of the items in my closest, I found my dress at a discount price at a non-for-profit bridal boutique in NYC.

It all started when I had this fabulous [and wildly crazy] idea that I would wear a dress made of ostrich feathers. I hadn’t seen it anywhere, but I just assumed it existed [because who wouldn't make or want to wear feathers to their wedding?!]. As soon as Adg popped the question in February, I started to look. Everywhere. And came up with nothing, except a very beautiful look-a-like dress at Demetrios in South Tampa. It was a fit and flare, with delicate pieces of organza silk shaped like feathers. I tried it on once by myself, and loved it. It was very close to the dress I had in my mind, so I dragged my best friend, mom and sister to look at it. They loved it just as much as me, but I obviously hated the price tag… Just under $3,000! And while I know that $3,000 is a ‘fair’ price for a dress, I couldn’t imagine spending that much on a dress that lacked feathers. So I left, empty handed but with the intention of visiting my best friend in NYC and finding my very fabulous ostrich feather wedding dress there!

I scheduled a short trip to NYC for March and I booked several appointments at little boutiques and made a list of places I wanted to shop at. My first two days in the city were a bust. But the whole time I kept thinking, just wait until Sunday, wait until Sunday. Sunday’s appointment was at the Bridal Garden, a not-for-profit bridal boutique with donated designer wedding gowns discounted up to 75% off the original retail price. They have samples, overstocks and even once-worn dresses that are donated by designers, stores and brides. And the best part is, proceeds benefit education for disadvantaged children. 

Screen Shot 2013 11 10 at 6.45.23 PM Bridal Garden Bliss

On Sunday morning, my best friend Jenna and I arrived at the Bridal Garden, a tiny boutique on the third or fourth floor of a brick building off 21st street. It was neatly packed with designer dresses [Vera Wang was everywhere for less than $5,000!]. The dress coordinator asked my size, I said six. She went on to tell me to look for dresses that were at least an eight or greater, and they could always alter them down. I agreed, threw my coat and scarf on the chairs and looked straight ahead, and then I saw it…. feathers. Ostrich feathers. I gasped and grabbed Jenna’s hand. The dress coordinator kindly told us that before we went over there, those were size six and below, and they would not fit. I wasn’t offended, by any means. Trust me, I was more relieved to be finally in a wedding dress room that had feathers!

Jenna proceeded to grab it, as I went to the other sections and sorted through all the dresses, looking for feathers. I didn’t find any, but I did find some pretty fabulous designer dresses at a steal of a price. I tried on at least 10 of them – some were beautiful, but not my style, some were gorgeous, but wouldn’t even zipper!

Lastly, I tried on the size six ostrich feather dress – and not only was it the most beautiful dress [partly because of the feathers], but it was the only one that zipped easily, fit comfortably and required NO alterations [other than hemming because I decided to wear flats, not heels on the day of the wedding!]. It was stunning, and exactly what I wanted and at a fraction of the price. Originally $8,000 – I scored it for less than $1,600! The dress [and price!] couldn’t have been more perfect for me.

And as much as I like to think that I surprised my handsome groom when I walked down the aisle in my gown, it was probably no real surprise at all that I would be wearing feathers…

1385911 10152282987689112 471070214 n 500x332 Bridal Garden Bliss

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