Monday, November 2, 2009

How early is to early

to decorate for Christmas? I keep walking by my new tree, and the boxes of festive decor and salivate. I'm so anxious! I love Christmas. Christmas decor makes me happy.
I usually wait until the day after Thanksgiving, but this year our 10th wedding anniversary falls the day after, so I know I will be decorating sooner, but just how soon is to soon?

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Couch Woes

We need a new couch. Badly. Our couch is sinking, and torn. We bought it at a discount furniture store about 5 years ago. Big mistake. You get what you pay for when it comes to furniture.
Here in lies my problem. I refuse to buy a new couch until I can find exactly what I want.
I would love a crisp white couch, but its not in the cards. We have 4 children, 2 cats and some clutzy adults in this house. White is NOT the way to go.
I saw the living room set of my dreams the other day. Not in a store, not on a website, but on a banner ad at the bottom of my email.
I clicked on the ad hoping to be directed to a page where I could save the picture for my wish book, or bring it to a furniture store and tell them "THIS, THIS is what I want" Imagine my dismay when a search of the products on the page I was brought to proved fruitless. The living room set of my dreams was no where to be found in their catalog. So now I just gaze longingly as the ad scrolls over the bottom of my email.

I'm not giving up. I will find it. One day.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Prepping for Guests...

In addition to washing the guest linens and all that fun stuff, its nice to have a little extra touch for overnight guests. I've always seen the cute little "in case you forgot" baskets, but I thought it would cost a lot of money, money I just didn't want to spend when we don't have a lot of overnight guests. Well when I started couponing, and getting a lot of items for free, I realized it doesn't have to cost a lot of money. I took this little tin bin I had laying around, threw in a washrag that matches the room, and added body lotion and body wash that was given to me, and face wash and anti-perspirent that I got for free. Since our guest bath doubles as the kids bath, this won't stay in place all the time, but my mother in law is on her way up, and I hope that she notices and appreciates the gesture.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fall decor on a budget

First of all see my new shelves? My friend Jennifer saw them at Target on clearance- 75% off! She thought they matched the airy, beachy feel I'm going for in the living room- so she picked a couple up for me. I love them! After a recent living room shuffle, my cute white side table was pushed into a corner, not shining like I wanted it to- so once we got the shelves together, I just turned it sideways slid it between the two and now its a gem once again.
Now onto the purpose of the post- fall decor. My most important tip is the same as it is with regular decorating- ask around! I'm sure all of us have at least one friend or family member who decorates to the hilt every year. These friends usually have such a large collection that they don't put everything out, or throw things out that they no longer want. These items can be huge for you. You will notice the little pumpkins scattered around- they are gifts from Donna, Jen's mom. In fact, since my box of fall decorations is missing, most of my fall decor is from Donna.
With the exception of a few things I have picked up on the cheap. One of which is the plate/charger the vase is sitting on in the middle. Simple deep orange plate, Target clearance for 24 cents.

Jennifer recently changed work locations, and the two glass vases on the ends she had at her former office, she brought them home where they sat, and I decided to utilize them for a while. I bought some fall candles at Target, scattered some leaves and more pumpkins, and pretty is as pretty does. When she needs them back, I can replace them for a couple bucks at Wal Mart.
Few more touches here and there- many more not pictured, and fall has fallen on my home. Its all so cozy and warm.

I'm contemplating decorating for Christmas earlier than normal this year. I normally have an afternoon/evening of decorating the day after Thanksgiving, but this year our anniversary is the day after, and it happens to be our 10th. Plus I got a new tree and I'm OH so excited to decorate here. With our high ceilings, staircase etc. Its going to be gorgeous!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Bad bad blogger-

I know I know, I have been MIA way to long. School starting, along with cars breaking down, and illness haven't left much room for crafting or bargain shopping.
However, today I wanted to bring you something a little different. I have started coupon shopping! I have gotten some great deals so far, but still felt I was missing out on a lot because I was less than organized.
So I sat down today and organized. I moved my coupons from the small 1" binder to a much larger, and much easier to navigate 2" (maybe 2.5") While I was doing that I tossed the expired coupons, and opened up my spreadsheet maker. I made a spreadsheet of all my coupons, broke down by category, making sure to include the expiration date. The number in parenthesis is the number of identical coupons I have.
Hopefully, this will make it much easier for me when I read about a great deal on one of the many blogs I follow, I can just scan the spreadsheet to see if I have the coupon in question, same for going through weekly ads.

In addition I added a spiral notebook to the front of my coupon binder to jot down great deals I read about, grocery lists etc. So we'll see how well being this organized works for me. I'll be making a shopping trip Friday, so if I do exceptionally well, I'll be sure to post it here. Once I get batteries for the camera I'll post pics of my binder. For now, here's a small glimpse at my coupon data base. Ignore all the typos and misspelled words- I decided not to be a perfectionist about it, if I know what I'm referring to, then that's what matters. :) Oh, and you can click it to make it bigger.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Plate Wall Expanded

My Plate wall has grown so much so quickly lately. I found a couple plates at goodwill that I liked. Then yesterday Jennifer came across a post on Craigslist, a lady was selling 4 plates that already had the hangers on them. She also had a tea pot that was so unique its pretty. Jennifer asked me to email the lady and ask her if she would take $5 for all the plates and $5 for the teapot. She agreed, we met at wal mart and she told me that these things had belonged to her grandmother. I think the lady was 55 or so, Jen says 60. Regardless, for these things to belong to her grandmother you know they are old! The plates have H&C stamped on them and from what we can tell they could date back as early as 1915. Each of the four is different, but they match if that makes sense. I love them! Now my goal is to find a few more large plates, that have COLOR on them. White is sort of overtaking the wall which is not what I orginally intended.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

One Last Peek....

Here's my work area. There are still several things on the list to be done- new mousepad, or I'll cover the current one using the tutorial Centsational Girl posted. I still have some of the fabric left that I used on the footstools. I also need to find some way to contain the mass of cords behind the desk that peek out. but this is where I spend my computer time. I have my essentials, a bottle of Vitamin water and my phone. I'm still loving my red desk. It makes me happy to sit here.
Here is the white side table all decked out. The candleholder was made over- I can't remember if I posted it or not. but it used to be gold. I'm trying to find the perfect candle to adorn it. The planter that I got on clearance at Hobby Lobby (for $2) holds our remote controls, and a couple pens so when I get some ideas I can jot them right in the appropriate journal. The top one, damask, is my household idea book. It holds paint chips, and its where I've jotted my ideas and supply list. The bottom journal has Santa on it, and its where I keep my gift list ideas for everyone in my family.
And here's the book case in its new home. The wall plaques I got at Family Dollar for $1.20 each. The standing sea shell plaque was $1.20 at Hobby Lobby. The tart warmer was a gift from Jennifer- I've had it several months.
So there you have it, a few of my favorite areas of the living room. I can't wait for the day when I can reveal the whole room. I still have a lot to do first. But it will be worth the wait. Promise!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Master Bedroom Part 2

Here's our bed. Our old comforter is covered with the duvet to match the new theme. The headboard? An old freecycle grab. It matched our old bedding perfectly- but now I have some great plans for it- you will have to stay tuned to see.

Small wall by the closet. I would lay in bed at night and stare at this wall, big enough to put something on, but small enough to pose a challenge. So I put the medium size shelf from the 3 set shelf mentioned yesterday, added the two grey IKEA mirrors Jennifer gave me, and the other two votives from the IKEA set that she gave me as well.
Above the bed we have the black and white canvas I won in an online giveaway. Thats a pic of hubby an I a couple summers ago.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Master Bedroom Part 1

This is my dressing area. Certainly in progress- the dresser will be refinished soon.
I'm also looking for a nice little chair or bench for under the shelf and mirror.
This is the other half of my dressing area- the mirror hanging on the wall? Part of my dumpster diving experience! I'm almost certain I will be painting it.
So for the breakdown- The stone plaque- Family Dollar- $2 (was a gift from Jennifer), black shelf is part of a set of 3 from Target, clearance for $5, Candle Votives- IKEA (another gift from Jennifer- she's redecorating her room and moving away from the black and white theme so I'm benefiting from that), Mirror- Fallas, $3, Fleur De Lis wall hook 25 cents at a flea market.

And a close up of the mirror. I love the detail, and think its a perfect addition to my dressing area. Being as I'm on the short side, I have it hung at the perfect height that it serves as a full length mirror for me.
So again- this is a work in progress- I'm posting all the rooms as a "before" so once I get them all where I want them, you and I will be able to flash back to how they looked before. Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2.

Sorry for being a bad blogger- its been crazy few days.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Wants, Wishes and Whatever....

While I'm out and about I have been keeping my eyes peeled for several things- with no luck so far.
Maybe because I'm on the picky end of the spectrum in that I WANT something I can re-do.
I am not looking to purchase a piece that is perfect already- I want to put my own custom spin to it.
Does that make me weird? Maybe.

Here's what I'm looking for:

Wooden bench with upholstered seat. (a storage bench would be AMAZING, but not a requirement)

Wooden dining style chair with upholstered seat (two of these actually for two different projects)

Metal chair with cloth seat OR small bench with upholstered seat.

I wish I knew the area well enough to know where the good garage sales are. Garage sale season is coming....I can feel it! The kids go back to school in less than a month, and shortly after that the weather will turn cooler, and they will be popping up all over....I can't wait!

Until then however, I browse Craigslist every day just looking and waiting to come across one or all of these items that I have decided I just can't live without.

Stay tuned tomorrow for another peek at my home- this time I'll be revealing the master bedroom!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A girly work in progress...

So this is my girls room. Its pretty much a blank canvas right now. This is the desk that my grandparents tried to sell for years, and I finally took it off their hands. In our old house it sat in my kitchen because of the vintage green, it held cookbooks and my microwave. Now its in the girls room. It will be re-done, which is going to be a job. Everything is solid wood- EXCEPT the top which is particle board that is falling apart. So I'm not sure how I'm going to fix that. But I'm sure I'll figure something out, and it will look great when I'm done. The lamp is from IKEA- $5 total, everything was on sale. I plan on adding ribbon, or painting an Eiffel tower on the shade.
Small bookcase was another freebie. My friend Jennifer found it by the dumpster at her apartments, she put it back together, and we plan on adding some paint to tie it into the room's eventual Paris theme.
Remember yesterday's no shame post? This is the headboard!
It really is perfect- its the perfect shade of white, has a great girly flair- I might add some finials, and I may not. But there you have it, the bones of what will end up being a perfect room for two growing girls. Girly enough for the 5 year old, and grown up enough for the 9 year old.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

I have no shame....

This was a birthday party weekend. In my house birthday parties mean one thing mostly- lots of TRASH! So instead of wait for trash day, we loaded up the van and took the garbage to the community dumpster. When we pulled up I saw a bunch of stuff just sitting there.
I got excited as I got closer- there was an iron full size headboard very pretty and feminine, just what I wanted for the girls. This doesn't really need any work- if anything I'll just add finials to the ends to add some color.
There was also a tv, we wanted one for the guest/playroom. Not sure if it worked, but figured hey, if not we'll just bring it back to the dumpster- we brought it home, plugged it in, and guess what- it works!
Last but not least- there was a tall mirror- looks like it used to be attached to a dresser. Its not very pretty right now, but I have some big plans for it. My friend Jennifer is the one who spotted it and talked me into loading it up too- and now the more I think about it, the more excited I get about it. We have already decided where it will go in my room. :)
My kids were slightly bothered that their mother and friend where unloading trash, and putting someone elses right back into the van, but hey, they say- one man's trash is another mans treasure. I certainly found some treasure tonight!

Monday, July 27, 2009

Presto Change-O!

Remember these?
They now look like this! Much brighter- much prettier!!
Ten minutes and leftover white spray paint from another project. Presto- Change-O!

Total Time: 30 minutes (including dry time)
Total Cost: $0

Sunday, July 26, 2009

End Table/Dvd Cabinet

There once was this cabinet. This cabinet had been a bedside table, living room end table, and dvd cabinet. (its current job is multi-tasking as an endtable and dvd cabinet) This cabinet was very out dated. Just didn't fit in anymore- time for a face lift.
Look at the pretty new hardware! Sorry for the crooked picture. User malfunction!

It looks much nicer in person, the camera did not do a great job capturing how fresh and homey this cabinet is now. It fits in once again with the younger crowd. :)

Total Time: 4 hours
Total Cost: $10 (paint and hardware)

PS: This cabinet was given to us by my husband's parents. They visited this weekend for our oldest daughters' birthday and my mother in law saw the cabinet, and quickly decided that she might want it back. ;) I guess thats a sign of a job well done! She loved what I had done to it.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Unusual Accents...

Meet Pappi-Wall-E! When we moved into our new place our pets had to go to other homes, one we had to give to a new forever family, one is with a foster family. However, it was tough on the kids, so we asked if we could have a fish. I wanted something low maintenence, but still pretty.
A friend recommended a Beta. So once we were all settled, we went shopping. The kids named him, obviously- but I picked him out for his eye catching red color. And then we added the cobalt blue stones in the bottom of his container to match my living room decor.
Just an example of some unusual accents you will find in my home.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Seeing Red

So this was a ho-hum desk. It was given to me several years ago when I started college. It is a very sturdy desk, foundationally sound, just drab. I sat around several nights while watching tv contemplating how I was going to do this desk. Did I want it white like everything else? Its home is in the living room, but I just didn't think white was in this desk's future.
It came to me one night during an episode of Ace of Cakes! The desk was going to be red. I would replace the hardware, I could see it in my head and just couldn't wait to get started.
So one day Jennifer and I set out to change this desk from drab to fab.....
Here's the new hardware. Hello! You are so snazzy! I love you!
And there is the finished project! A happy desk- a desk that says come to me, sit here, you know you want to. The color I picked was Glidden Candy Apple. I'll have to be sure to take a pic of the desk in its location when that corner is put back together. Right now I'm giving the desk plenty of time to dry and bask in its glory before putting stuff back on it. ;)

Total Time: About 8 hours
Total Cost: $20 for supplies. (Paint, Poly, and hardware)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Silhouettes on a Budget

I started with simple profile shots of the kids. I had them printed as 5x7 prints because I knew I wanted to use 8x10 frames.
The next step was to use a sharpie marker to color in the parts I wanted to cut out. Then I used fine pointed, very sharp scissors to cut out the darkened area.
I flipped the image over onto black cardstock, and cut it out. I was planning on just tracing around the image and cutting it, but my friend Jennifer felt more comfortable gluing the image in place and cutting around it. It also added more thickness to the silhouette .
Once we had all those done, I cut white cardstock to size- to fit in the 8x10 frames. Glued the cut out image to the center of the cardstock, placed it in the frame and......
TA-DA! Oh, I also wrote each child's full name and current age on the back of the white cardstock. Just in case ;)
So here's a breakdown of the cost:
Frames-$2 each ($8 total)
Cardstock- $1.25
Grand Total: $14.25

Total time: 1 hour.

As a reminder- I cannot take credit for this idea! I got the idea on how to do this from my friend LD's sister.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wide Open Spaces....

So I had the staircase wall. Long, blank, and just asking for something special.
My family portraits are over our couch, and I knew I wanted something other than portraits. I set my heart on silhouettes of each of the kids. I just knew it would look amazing.
Imagine my dismay when I started shopping around and found that they would cost me $30-$40 EACH. I have four children! There was no way I could justify spending that much money. So I decided to see if I could make them my own, asked around and my friend LD told me how her sister made some one Christmas, so I decided to give it a try.
Here is the end result. I LOVE it!!!!
Stay tuned tomorrow for how I made the transformation in less than $20! Yes, that's right- all four of them, less than $20!

The table that keeps me up at night...

Ok so not really, but it made for a good post. But the truth is I have gone back and forth on what to do with this table so many times its insane. The back story on this table is this: Several years ago we helped a neighbor move out of her house, she was going to leave this table on the curb for the trash men, and I rescued it. Its been the envy of many people who have entered my home. I honestly do love the table, its solid wood, and just beautiful.
But with its dark color, its outgrowing the decor of my home. Its current location is in a corner of my living room, and I have thought about it, but I really don't have another room in the house to put it in. I have thought about painting it white, and changing the hardware, but I don't know if that would take away from the integrity of the table. I have thought about selling it, or giving it to one of the many people who have admired it over the years, but I don't know that I can stand to part with it. So it sits, as the rest of the room changes around it, to lighter and brighter- it will remain the same....for now. Until I can finally come up with a solution that I can live with.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Small Display Case- Take 2

So after two coats of Glidden Crisp Linen White, the case has made its way back into my house. Its home by the window will be changing soon as another project gets on its way to being completed, and we can start rearranging things more to my liking. I love how the white brightens it up so much, its much easier to see what I'm displaying. ;) (yes I'm one of THOSE people)
The only bad thing about its new location is it will make the difference between my freshly painted white furniture and the HUGE undertaking the main living room project is going to be. But its going to be exciting and amazing no matter how time consuming its going to be ;)
How's that for a teaser?

Oops I forgot!:
Total Time: 3 hours
Total Cost: $0

Monday, July 20, 2009

Small Display Case- Take 1

This little shelf was a freecycle grab. Its been a DVD case, a bookcase, and now its a little accent display shelf in the living room. It used to have sliding doors on it, but those are long gone. With all the redecorating, it was time to transform it.
The first step was to take sandpaper to it, smooth out some of the knicks and rough it up a bit.
Second step was to add primer. This was time consuming as there is much more surface area than the table I worked on last weekend. I also had to do two coats of primer in some areas to make sure I got good coverage.

Here it is all primed and drying, waiting for paint. I will be using the Glidden Crisp Linen White again. Stay tuned tomorrow for the finished project!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Can't Paint? Revisit your childhood...

We live in a rental, so can't paint our walls. Thankfully the color is not a stark white, so that does add some warmth. Wall decor for little boys, at least in my opinion is a little trickier than for girls. (side note: the desk in the above and very bottom picture is on my upcoming projects list. I have some awesome plans for it!)
When my oldest son decided he wanted a sports themed room, I figured it would be easy enough. I found the perfect wall decor cleaning out my cedar chest one day. The several pennants my hubby had saved from his childhood.
They add a great splash of color to the boys' walls, and also play up my love of all things vintage.
One of the pennants is of Nolan Ryan!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Bathroom Beautification

I am wanting to re-do the upstairs bathroom. Our bathroom. I won't be getting rid of the current decor, instead I will add it to the circulation for the downstairs bath. I plan on changing the decor in there to go with the seasons. I think this decor will be perfect for fall. (side note: remember the post about using items for a different purpose- see my wine rack turned towel holder?)
I digress, I tend to have very expensive taste (hence the name of the blog) and when decorating a bathroom, usually the shower curtain is the most expensive item. I am up in the air at the moment, do I carry over the color scheme from our bedroom (black/White/Grey) or since the kids bedrooms are up there too, allow the bathroom a scheme all its own?

I have fallen in love with this line from Target.
I really, really, really love this curtain from Bed, Bath and Beyond, but I really feel its to bold for our small bathroom.
So the hunt begins. I'm going shopping today for Sadie's birthday, and I plan on keeping my eyes peeled for inspiration. I would like to have the transformation complete before fall so I can switch things around.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Expect the unexpected

When looking for accents for a room, I've found that its best to keep an open mind. There are many more uses for items than what they are marketed as. Take this lovely piece for example. (above) This was being sold at Target on clearance for $2. It was being sold as a charger, it would make a stunning charger I'm sure, but I turned it into wall art. A similar iron piece that is being marketed for the wall will run upwards of $20. I hung it in my dining room loving that the round shape mirrors the beginnings of my plate wall around the corner.
Which brings me to my plate wall. I have long since admired plate collections being hung on walls. I just never had a proper place to do my own, until now. When we moved in here, I saw the very wide blank wall spanning the kitchen/dining area and knew it was time. I began searching for pretty vintage plates, and was disappointed to find that there weren't that many out there, and the ones I found were very pricey. I wasn't ready to give up on my dream yet, so I set the idea wheels in motion. I was once again, inspired by a trip to Target. I found the green leaf plate on clearance for $1.24. Best of all its not glass! It has the vintage flair I was looking for, and didn't even make a dent in the bank. Re-inspired I set the plate aside when I got home and checked around other stores, didn't find much at all until I came across the blue charmer again, at Target for $2.50. I also found an awesome plate at Cracker Barrel for $3, but it was to thick for the plate hanger, so it has become a charger under my vase of bright yellow tulips on my table. Not wanting the plate hanger I bought to go to waste, I headed out to the garage and dug into my box of china. I never use it because it holds great sentimental value and if something was to happen to it I would be devastated. Now I can admire it, and its still perfectly safe. Its also the only glass plate on my wall at this point.
Last but not least, I placed cobalt blue glass spheres on these sconces in the living room in place of candles. I purchased the spheres during my recent IKEA trip for 99 cents each. The sconces are on my to do list, to be freshened up with a new coat of paint, but for now, I think they look amazing!

So there you have it. Keep your eyes and mind open, you'll be amazed at how many uses you can find for something!