14 Aug GMC’s Hidden Treasure Adventure – Part 1
Home is what you make it.
You don’t have to fill your house with luxury brands to make it a home. You don’t have to buy the latest technology. You don’t have to hire a fancy designer if you don’t want to.
All you need to do is surround yourself with people you love.
Everything else is extra.
But for some, the home itself can be a distant dream. Having a roof and four walls to protect your family can be a challenge in itself. Every year the U.S. invites some 40,000 – 75,000 refugees to start a new life free of war and persecution on American soil. However, the struggle isn’t over once they set foot in our country. Families must formally become citizens and find work which, when you think about it, can be incredibly terrifying in a foreign country.
Meet the Yaro Family:
(How cute is baby Elias?! That face!)
Moumini and Mireille are African refugees from the Ivory Coast. While Mrs. Yaro stays home to care for 1 year old Elias and 10 year old Yassine, Mr. Yaro is preparing for his citizenship test in two months. He is currently enrolled in night classes at a local university with aspirations to become a teacher. In order to support his family, he works at a Macy’s warehouse during the day. And just like everyone else, obtaining the American Dream is a goal for the Yaros.
While there are many families that can benefit from the help of Habitat for Humanity, the Yaro family stood out. Habitat wanted to give the extra help this family needed to get on their feet. A team of community members set out to rehab an adorable brick home in the suburbs of Atlanta for the Yaro family to call home.
But that’s not all.
For the past few years GMC has decided to hand select a small team of enthusiastic and passionate DIY bloggers and fly them to one location to embark upon an unforgettable 5 day adventure affectionally called the Hidden Treasure Adventure, #GMCHTA, in an effort to outfit a Habitat for Humanity home in Atlanta, GA and surprise its new owners. The Yaros were in for the surprise of their lives!
Back in 1987, a County Executive started the 127 Corridor Yard Sale to encourage drivers to bypass major highways in favor of more scenic routes that would take them through small towns and cities, supporting local businesses and outdoor activities. The yard sale is now referred to as The World’s Longest Yard Sale (because it is!) and spans 690 miles and passes through 6 states! It always begins on the first Thursday in August. GMC saw this as a perfect opportunity to get their incredible fleet of vehicles on the road for a good cause.
This year, GMC flew 8 bloggers from all over the country to Detroit, MI. I was surrounded by the best of the best: Rhoda of Southern Hospitality, Michael of Inspired by Charm, Brooke of All Things Thrifty, Dusty of All Things G&D, Allison of Two Thirty-Five Designs, Ashley of Simply Designing, and my new bestie Lucy of Lucy Inspired. Can we say blogger royalty? Rounding out our team were three of GMC’s finest, Megan Soule, Jenn Shafer, and De’Andra Roberts.
We had one mission: get behind the the wheel of our souped up GMC vehicle, drive along the 127 yard sale, and search high and low for diamonds in the rough to furnish the Yaro’s home. Each of us were responsible for a part of the house—I had the master bedroom and bathroom. Our budgets were modest but my creativity knows no bounds. We were armed with rough layouts of the home and a small list of favorite colors and past times of each member of the family. All I knew was that Mr. and Mrs. Yaro liked blue, green, gray, black&white, and orange. Mr. Yaro is also a huge soccer fan!
A local Atlanta GMC dealership, John Miles Chevrolet, was kind enough to donate a sofa set and beds for the family. Everything else was up to us.
There were 3 2015 Yukon XL Denalis between the 8 bloggers.
I shared a ride with Lucy and Rhoda, A.K.A Team LuSaRho (get it? LUcySArahRHOda! Are we cute or what?!) and we had the best time together! These Denalis were fully loaded with eight-speed automatic transmission, wireless phone charging, and of course On-Star with 4G LTE connectivity and standard built in Wi-Fi hotspot! I was composing blogs from the comfort of the back seat! Rhoda had the best time jamming out to 60’s music on XM radio while Lucy was contemplating how to convince her hubby to upgrade their Yukon to the 2015 model.
Anyway, after we left our homes and landed in Detroit, we all piled in our fancy SUVs and headed for Holiday City, Ohio. We got to know each other a bit more over dinner and even helped Michael celebrate his birthday!
The next morning it was early to rise as we officially started hitting up the yard sales! Rhoda was responsible for the dining room and Lucy had the kitchen. Their spaces were connected so they started to work together looking for the perfect dining room table. I knew Mr. and Mrs. Yaro’s bed didn’t have a headboard, and I immediately spotted this rustic beauty! It was priced at $15 and I got it for $10.
It needed minimal love and would fit perfectly over their queen sized bed!
We continued on south through Ohio and spotted some of the most beautiful barns I have ever seen.
and my personal favorite…
Not only did we have some serious yard sale-ing to do, we also had a few hundred miles to cover before we reached our next hotel stop in Frankfort, KY. Time management was key…in addition to self-control….all I wanted to do was shop these amazing sales!
Along our 900+ trip from Detroit, MI to Atlanta, GA we started to get in to a groove and found the most amazing treasures!
Somewhere along the way I spotted this really cool chair for $25. The seller told me it was a sword chair, or a chair made to accommodate men with swords! Regardless, I snagged this cool chair for $15! I was on a roll.
As the trip went on, the back of our Denali started to look like this:
On the third night, our overnight stay was in Chattanooga, TN. GMC made us a reservation at a farm to table type restaurant downtown and the eight of us couldn’t stop chit chatting about what we had found! We were all so excited to travel to Atlanta the next day, see the home, and get started putting everything together!
Lucy, Rhoda, and I decided that next morning that we didn’t need to stop by any more yard sales and, instead, decided to stop by Rhoda’s home since she lives in Atlanta and her exit was on our way to the Habitat for Humanity home! When we arrived, I was in awe of how beautiful her home was. You MUST check out her home tour.
After exploring every crevice, and asking her a million questions, we made it to her basement where she housed all her tools, spray paint, stencils, tape, you name it! We loaded up the SUV and got back on the road—excited for the long day ahead!
Once we arrived, I could hardly wait for the Denali to park. I had to get inside and see what the master bedroom space looked like! Lucy literally had to tell me to “stop dancing around”. I love when it’s finally time to put a space together!
And now that I have you on the edge of your seat, you’ll have to check back soon for the space reveal!