Sunday, August 14, 2011

This little light of mine!

I am a regular at Lowe's, I think it is similar to Norm at Cheers...most everybody knows my name.  During the re-do of my bedroom and bathroom I was at Lowe's more than usual.  Picking up materials and supplies, checking out sales and looking for inspiration.  Most women hit the mall when they get a couple hours away from their kiddos, not me, I head to Lowe's.  I LOVE to wander the aisles at Lowe's (no diss to Home Depot, we just don't have one close) just looking and dreaming and planning what I'd like to tackle next.

On one of my frequent trips to Lowe's I learned that in early to mid July they would be doing their annual lighting clearance event with serious discounts.  I floated around the lighting aisle dreaming about the $90 lamps that I was hoping would get the big red sticker, they were perfect for my new bedroom.  I waited....not so patiently for the sale to get closer.  Finally, it arrived but I didn't make it.  I was sick with a weird viral infection that caused extreme vertigo, dizziness and nausea which made it impossible to drive.  My mom offered to take me but I really didn't even like riding in the car, it made me really sick so I passed.  When I finally made it to Lowe's there were a few lights left, mine beloved (who had been marked down to $21) was long gone. *Sniff* Sniff*

The even sadder part was that I wasn't able to find anything I liked for less that $75 each, which was not in my budget.  I knew that I wanted something different but wasn't sure what...So I thought long and hard and walked around Lowe's pondering. Then one, day I saw it:

This simple, $3 outdoor lantern was going to become our new bedside lights.  I quickly picked up the rest of the supplies I needed and headed home to get started.  Saying I was excited would be as much of an understatement as saying Mike "The Situation" is self centered.

Here was the transformation process entailed:
-Using wire cutters and pliers to remove a little piece below the swinging door to accommodate the cord.
-Cursing under my breath for 10 minutes when I cut my finger removing the little piece of metal.
-Using 87 rolls of blue painters tape to cover all the glass and opening.  (Maybe not 87 rolls but it took a while)
-Applying 3 thin, even coats of spray paint.  By the way, when I am spray painting anything I skip the $2 stuff and get the $4-$6 Valspar or Rustoleium..  You should too, all the cool kids are doing it....and it works better!
-Adding a candelabra kit that I bought guessed it, Lowe's.  I paired it with a set of CFL candelabra 60Watt bulbs that I picked up at Lowe's too. I like that they were brighter than a nightlight bulb that I feared I may be stuck with.

After I finished and switched it on the bare glass was WAY to bright! Our bedroom could have been mistaken for an airport landing strip so I needed to rectify that.  I found some craft paper that kind of matched and went with it.  I'm thinking about frosting them at some point.

After, a week or so I decided to hang them on scroll hooks and love the final product:

At, night they are the perfect amount of light so I am in love with them...big time!

Here is the budget breakdown:
2 Lanterns, $3 each
2 Candelabra kits $5.34
Spray Paint $4
2 Scroll Hooks $3.98
Pack CFL light bulbs $5.98
or $17.31 per lamp

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Take a minute and soak it up!

In our neck of the woods things are a bit different.  It seems like bad news occurs far more often than good news: a lumber mill is closing and 100 people will lose their jobs, the EPA is making coal mining more difficult so coal jobs are down, a local hospital is closing, some one's house was lost in a fire, yet another business is leaving town, the Mountaineer's are having a bad year....I could go on.  But, in all seriousness, there isn't a lot of job growth or new industry that decides to re-locate to the beautiful mountains of West Virginia so we hear our fair share of bad news.

A couple years ago it seemed like we were about to lose one of the things we have to be proud of in our little state.  The Greenbrier and it's fabled history was on the auction block.  After years of losing money the gorgeous resort was for sale, Marriott, an industry leader was in talks to come in and buy it.  But everyone knew what would happen if such a large company was involved....hundreds would lose their jobs and we would get another strike in the "lose" column.  But at the last minute, literally, a white knight rode in to save the day.  Jim Justice, a local guy who made his money from coal bought the resort and vowed to bring it back to it's glory days.
He started by bringing back hundreds of laid off workers, and hiring more.  Issues with the labor union were quickly resolved, renovations and updates were started.  He opened up the checkbook and has yet to stop!  There have been so many changes and additions: a steak house featuring the name of WV native and NBA star Jerry West, an over the top casino, an ice rink, more stores and then the biggest of all, a PGA Tour event.  The Greenbrier Classic.  The Classic is now in it's second year, last year was a phenomenal success, exceeding everyone's expectations. 

But, this year Jim Justice upped the ante.  After narrowly missing the award of the coveted 5th star last fall The Greenbrier was ready more than ever to show the world the better side of WV.  It is a week of nothing but good news!  On the golf course Phil Mickelson, Tom Watson, John Daly, Sergio Garcia and returning champ Stuart Appleby. Most brought their families to the friendly resort, singing it's praises for creating the best family atmosphere on the tour.  But, the fun won't stop when the sun goes down, Jim Justice upped the ante there too.  Performing as part of the classic will be country greats (we mountaineers like our country music) Tim McGraw and Keith Urban with rising stars Miranda Lambert and Luke Bryan.  Friday night the Allegheny Mountain will rock to the sound of The Black Eyed Peas, yes the same group who performed at the Super Bowl.  Like I said, it is a week of good news in our little state. 

So, you may be wondering why I am writing about this on a blog that is mostly about being frugal and saving money.  Well, simply, I'm proud.  I grew up in a one stop light town where people left their doors unlocked and wave a friendly hello. However, it is now long past it's glory days as a booming lumber town but still, neighbors care about neighbors, people wave and greet you with a "Hi ya'll."  This is a big deal for our little state, short of the WV Mountaineer's winning a National Championship (Lord, are you listening, I've been praying for that for a while now?) this is the most exciting thing to happen here.  I am a WV girl at heart and so proud of my little state that is on stage for the whole country to see this week. 

Tonight, I'm going to take a minute to soak it up while enjoying the sweet voice of Tim McGraw.  I remember first hearing his song "Don't Take the Girl" when I was 15 and being awestruck.  A few years later I danced to "It's Your Love" as a new bride.  When God blessed us with 2 little girls "My Little Girl" became a favorite at our house.  There are so many more too, his songs resonate with me.

So,  I'm taking a minute, I won't think about couponing, the next room I want to makeover, back to school sales or the bad news that will headline our news next week when 30 more jobs are lost somewhere in the great state of West Virginia.  Tonight, I'm just going to soak up the good and be proud of our state and thankful for men like Jim Justice who don't forget their roots and save a little piece of WV for us to be proud of. 

It seems like a lifetime ago, but here is my new husband and I swaying along to Tim McGraw at our wedding.

If you aren't one of my local readers or aren't familiar with The Greenbrier is truly the pinnacle of a luxury resort nestled in the mountains of WV.  The activities are endless.  I hope that everyone has the chance to visit one day, if you do my husband, Lance, is one of the 1500 proud Greenbrier employees ready to make your stay everything you've dreamed of. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

My bedroom makeover...on the cheap.

A haircut, a decent bottle of wine,  entree at a casual dining restaurant, trip to the movies....what do all these things have in common?  The all cost more that my bedroom makeover which is totaling up to $10 right now...yep, $10!  
So, way back before summer got it's grip on me and never let go I was re-doing my least I was really wanting to.  When I found tile for our bathroom it gave me a little inspiration to get started...I just needed more motivation.  I didn't dislike our bedroom ao I wasn't terribly motivated to re-do was in the "it'd be nice" category.  Here is a look at our previous ho-hum bedroom:
 It was a mission style bed that was orginally a cherry color but I painted it black one well as the rest of our furniture.
Speaking of furniture...we had a lot of it in our room: Queen bed, 2 night stands, dresser, small chest, armoire, and a bench.  It all made our kinda big bedroom feel kinda small! 

I happened to be at a yard sale one day when a friend was buying a queen size sleigh bed set for her daughter...for $250!!  I was beating myself up for not getting there 10 minutes earlier and snagging it myself.  Then she said, "I'm not sure if this will fit in my daughter's room, if not do you want to buy it from me?"  As I tried to contain my glee and optimism I quickly nodded my head, I think I was unable to speak because I was so excited and hoping it wouldn't  fit.  An hour later I got the call: it was mine!  For $250 I got a Broyhill sleigh bed, 6 drawer dresser, nightstand and even a queen pillow top Setra mattress with a new cover.
After muting the phone and squealing like a tween at a Justin Beiber concert I put the wheels in motion for my bedroom makeover.  But first, I needed to get rid of my furniture...a couple for sale ads and few hours later I'd sold it all for $500...yep, I made a profit (but I did sell a lot of pieces). 

Here is a glisme at my new room:

 I LOVE LOVE LOVE the new bed!! Even though it is huge I way way more space in our room.  The bed is really high too so I feel all princess and the pea like every night. 

This is opposite the bed, it is hard to get the scale but that dresser is 65 inches long so it is quite large. Yes, the clothes basket is in the corner....I'm keeping it real.  It is almost always in that corner...that's where it belongs. 

Obviously, there was a BIG color change.  I wanted something more....fresh and bright.  We went with Valspar Cornflower Blue, it was love at first roll.  Well, not really.  I actually have serious paint commitment issues and almost always hate the paint until around day 3.  But, now there is serious love.  And everyone who has seen it loves it too. 

This is in the corner beside the left side of the bed.  I decided to use the nightstand as a little chest instead.  It only had one nightstand and I wasn't really feeling it beside the bed but we could use the extra drawer space so I thought I'd put it somewhere.

One of my favorite new things in the room is this leaning mirror that I got on clearance at Lowe's. It was black but I've never been afraid to paint something if I like it!

One of my other favorite things are these great 10x10 white picture frames that I got at for $13/pair.  The super cute girls in them add to the appeal!
 I decided to go the black and white route.  I love that one of the last things I see everynight (well, every night Teen Mom isn't on) and one of the first things I see every morning is my sweet girls. 

This room is full of details or deets as I like to call them when talking to my husband.  So, I delve into the deets next week.  Possibly tomorrow but I'm going to see Tim McGraw tomorrow and my little country girl heart is all excited and I have a hard time sitting still long.

Here is a budget breakdown of the entire room:
Bed, dresser, nightstand and mattresses $250 at a yard sale (my BEST bargain ever!!!)
Bedding ( more on that later) $69
Pillows, $31, Pier 1
Nightstands, $51
Picture frames, $26
Leaning mirror, $31
Paint, $26
Lamps, $22 (much more on those later!)
Painting, $5
Art above bed that has yet to arrive, $39
I sold previous things from our bedroom for $540, leaving me to cover $10 of the cost.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Get your tile on!

The other day I was at Lowe's getting some white 6x6 tiles for my 4-H club to make trivets for Mother's Day (we did hand prints cut out of cardboard) the process was the same as this fun Christmas gift.  Anyhow, as I was high tailing it to the tile section I passed a box that had glass mosaic tile blends in it, I did a double take when I noticed the price: $4.98 a sheet! Here is a look at the tile that had my heart aflutter:

Ever since my hubby and I tiled our kitchen backsplash last year we have been wanting to do our bathroom.  You can check out our kitchen tile and our actual kitchen here, the company gave us a credit for sending them some pics! Ours is the 6th and 7th pictures.  We loved the company and their product was great, we had hoped to use them to get our bathroom tile but we just couldn't find a tile that I loved, here are two I liked:

As I said, I liked not loved them and at $22 a sqft it would be a lot to put into something I didn't love,  a whopping $615, actually.  Our $100 credit would barely put a dent in it.  I really wanted a 1x2 inch tile for the bathroom to glam it up a bit instead of the 1x1 inch we used in the kitchen.  Lately, my hubs has been bugging me about just picking something,  I had decided to go with the green and do only an 8 inch backsplash instead of the entire area behind the sinks to lower the cost and keep him from having heart failure. 

Anyhow, back to my destined trip to Lowe's...I stopped and checked out the tile closer and knew I was in love! I liked the brown, white, greyish and steely blue color combo and the brick type layout of the tiles.   Feeling pretty sure my better half would agree I calculated how much we'd need to do the 26 sq. ft area behind our sinks.  By the way, that sounds like a lot and makes our bathroom seem HUGE, it isn't.  That area is a little over 5x5.5 feet, about the area most that have a double vanity would have. This tile is an "in and out" item at Lowe's, meaning that they get a set amount and when they are gone their gone.  Not wanting to chance the utter disappointment of buying 1 to show my husband and discovering they we sold out I quickly snapped a pic on my iphone and sent it to my husband's Black Berry with the message: You have about 3 minutes to tell me you hate these before I get to the register.  Side note: when doing a project it always helps to have an idea the dimensions or size of the project in case you run into these special buys!
After almost 9 years of martial bliss and 11 years since our first date I know a few things about my wonderful hubby. 1)  He likes blue which this tile has featured. 2) He is a pretty easy going dude and would typically agree with my design choices unless the words pink, floral or south western were used in the description. 3) He loves me and unless the tiled made him want to vomit he would most likely agree so we can continue our marital bliss.  He was in a meeting and didn't respond to my text within 3 minutes,  but I knew I could return them if necessary.

So my 4 year old and I loaded up the tile we needed and headed up to the check out armed with my 10% off coupon,  I always keep them with me as if they were my third child.  We still have all the tools, adhesive and grout leftover from the last time so we are all set for this project.  I'll also be using the gallon of Chocolate Brown Valspar paint I got out of the "miss mix" section for $4 a few weeks back.  As soon as I find 2 mirrors to put over the sink (don't want to go back to the ugly builder ones) I'll be all set to get this tile project started!
If you want to score your own $5 a sheet tile you can check out some on or swing by your Lowe's, ours had 6 - 8 different colors! I was super pumped to find these babies at online tile store for $14 a sq ft, meaning I saved $8 per sq ft.  
Here are the project cost deets:
27 sheets of tile =$135 - 10% =$121
Grout =free (already had)
Adhesive= free (already had!)