GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure: The Journey

I am back from the GMC Hidden Treasure Adventure and it was nothing short of just that. The whole experience was a cross between The Amazing Race and HGTV Design Star packed into 5 short days and the best part,  it was all for a great cause. It was mentally and physically exhausting, challenging, exciting, thrilling, and hands down one of the best experiences of my life. I kid you not, I was on a total adrenaline rush for 6 days.

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Before I show you the full reveal of the home we decorated for Habitat For Humanity, I want to take you behind the scenes and tell you a little more about the adventure.

So here is how the adventure worked. We were each given a budget of $250 from GMC to decorate a room in the home (in my case, I had two rooms to do on the budget). Our challenge was to spend the money along the World’s Longest Yard Sale and stretch it as far as we could in order to provide a fully furnished and decorated home for the family. The Cincinnati and Atlanta Habitat For Humanity ReStore locations also generously donating a few more items to help us complete our rooms and a big thanks to Rustoleum for providing us with $50 to Home Depot to help with supplies. 


I flew into Atlanta, Georgia and met up with 11 other bloggers from around the country and the lovely folks from GMC. And just as soon as we all arrived, we were off on our adventure!

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 Amy from The Idea Room and I were paired up and we spent 5 whole days traveling in our luxurious 2015 Yukon Denali together! She was the best road trip partner ever. Seriously, Amy is a total gem.

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Before we headed out, we each drew our room assignments out of a hat. I was assigned the Study/Den along with a Full Bathroom upstairs. I was excited and nervous and every other emotion.

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Our first stop was the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Atlanta. They were so wonderful to work with and their stores have such amazing treasures! Seriously, find the nearest store and go there NOW! This was the most stressful stop by me. I had never met the family we were designing for, I hadn’t seen the room and I had a very limited budget. I had no idea where to start.


However, we ended up finding a lot of goodies that helped pave my way and the highlight were these metal drawers. They were being used to hold screws and bolts but they graciously allowed us to actually buy them.

Day 2

Thursday was our first day of the garage sales! In one day, we drove 538 miles through Kentucky and Tennessee and found the most amazing treasures. Seriously I have never seen anything like it. Literally both sides of hwy 127 are covered in the most incredible yard sales. Tons of antiques and farmhouse decor and a million items that you will drool over. Oh and the prices are AMAZING. (Honestly, I’m considering renting a uHaul and driving all the way out from Seattle to go next year and shop for myself!)


 Hands down, these were the best states to shop in. They had the best selections and I wish I could have spent a week along this stretch. There was so much to look at.

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We stumbled upon these gorgeous metal letters that I almost had a heart attack over.

And then we saw fields like this that were covered in beautiful furniture pieces.

Let’s jus saw at the ends of this day our car was completely packed and we had to offload into the GMC Trailor!

DAY 3 & 4

On the second day of the sales we headed north and went all the up to Lima, Oh. There were not as many sales but the prices were actually better. I wish more than anything that I would have bought everything I saw along sales in Kentucky and Tennessee but I was holding out thinking we MIGHT find something better and I didn’t want to blow all my money in one day. That is definitely something I would have done differently.

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But alas! We stumbled upon this adorable antique shop in a tiny town in Ohio called Seven Mile. The mayor of the town actually owned the store and she was such a sweetheart!

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Our last stop was the Habitat ReStore in Cincinnati. Oh my word, this place was amazing. We filled every last inch of our Denali and that was pretty hard to do (these things are huge!).

Now, I know what you are thinking. Did we buy EVERYTHING from the yard sales? No. There were some things we had to buy at a normal store. I wanted to buy a new shower curtain and new bath towels for the family so I tucked away some money to spend on a few new items. We also took a trip to IKEA to help finish off the spaces with a few items we needed. But I would say 90% was all second hand.

At the end of the day, all our shopping was done and it was time to prep! So we took over the parking lot at our hotel and went to town painting, sanding, sealing, and anything else we could do to prep.

mouse 2

And want to hear something funny, but not so funny at the same time?! Oh yeah, thanks so Amy’s beautiful dresser, TWO mice were living in our car during the  ENTIRE road trip! The GMC Crew found one and I found the other the next day. Thankfully, after some coaxing they both just jumped out of the car and ran away. So thankful those guys didn’t pop out while we were driving!

Day 5

habitat house

Oh day 5. This was a total blur. We arrived at the Habitat home at 6:30 AM and worked straight until 2:00PM. This was the ONLY time we had to work on the house, move all the furniture in, decorate, style, do all our projects. etc. It was crazy town. Seriously nuts. But absolutely a blast.

And I will sign off for now and reveal the entire house soon!





Taryn is the owner/editor of Design, Dining and Diapers, a lifestyle blog that focuses on DIY home decor, design, seasonal crafts, easy recipes and just being a mom! She is all about making things for less by upcycling thrift store finds and using what’s on hand. Taryn lives in the greater Seattle area with her husband, 3 year old daughter and 1 year old son.

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  1. says

    Looks like you had so much fun, and I am jealous of all the thrifty shopping it must have been hard to not buy things for yourself while you were out and about. I can’t wait to see the reveal!

  2. says

    WOW! What a great adventure. A whole handful of my favorite gals all on one trip. So jelly. I have heard about this yard sale – I would totally do it. We should plan for next year – you can stop in CDA & pick me up along the way & we can come home with treasures galore.

  3. JaneEllen says

    I’ve been to the sale couple times when we lived in KY. It is incredible but never have enuf money to buy all you see. I ended up having to leave some of things I’d gotten when we moved away. Killed me.
    What an adventure huh? So glad you got to go to do this, what a cute house.
    Saw your photo on Danielles’ blog of you in front of 7 miles antique store. Sure wouldn’t blame you if you did go back next year, might just be worth it. Did the heat get to you? Pretty hot and humid there, that I don’t miss.
    Don’t get your posts anymore, sure miss you. Should I re-subscribe to get them? Hope all in your family are doing well, how’s little guy doing and your daughter? Getting big I’ll bet. Happy days Taryn.


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