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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 at...you 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
=$34.62
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 bedroom...at 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 it....it 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 day...as 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 walmart.com 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
=$550
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 Lowes.com 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!)

Monday, May 2, 2011

CVS deals 5/1

This is a great week at CVS to stock up on many things, here are the top deals!

(2)Colgate Max Clean Toothpaste $2.77, $2.77 ECB

Pantene Pro-V Hair Care, 5.7-12.6 oz, $3.48, $1 ECB/2
Charmin Basic, 12 ct., Ultra Strong or Ultra Soft Bath Tissue, 9 ct., $4.99, $1 ECB
Tide 2x Ultra, HE, Total Care liquid, 19-32 loads, or Powder, 31-40 loads, $5.99, $1 ECB
Clairol Natural Instincts Hair Color $7.99, $2 ECB 
All Laundry Detergent 2x Ultra, 28-32 loads, or 3x Small & Mighty, 32 loads, $4.99, $1 ECB 
(2)Dawn Dish Soap, $0.99 
=$38.47

Use:
(2) $1 off Colgate from May All You or $0.75 off SS 5/1 (makes it free + profit!)

$3/2 Pantene Pro-V
$1 Off Charmin from PG mailer or $.25 off PG 5/1
$1 off Tide from PG mailer or $0.35 off PG 5/1
$3 off Clairol from PG 5/1
$1 off All, RP 4/10
(2) $0.50 off Dawn Hand Renewal
=$26.96

Get Back $10.54 = $16.96 (A little high but not bad considering that it includes 2 Laundry detergent)

Friday, April 8, 2011

DIY headboard..... in less than 1 hour

After I finished making over the dresser for Quinny's room I knew we needed to address the headboard situation...or rather the lack thereof.  Since we moved Quinn to a "big girl" bed 5 years ago (can it really be 5 years...!) she has never had a headboard.  She had a pretty pink princess canopy that would have hidden any headboard we used so it was never really a priority.  I've been itching to do a DIY upholstered headboard for quite some time now and thought I'd try out one for her room.

When  I was we were creating my our vision for her room I really wanted a big, fluffy gray tufted headboard. Kinda like this cute one from West Elm:


But, the $350 price tag just isn't in the budget, so I watched a bunch of You Tube videos until I felt like I could make one. Which, by the way, is the same method my hubby and I used to build the confidence to do our own backsplash in the kitchen.  Then I was off to Hobby Lobby to pick up the supplies: a couple yards of fabric, foam (actually my mom had some left over from a project), and batting. Then I went to our local hardware store and got a 20 inch x 3 ft. piece of 1/2 inch plywood for $2 (I love living in a small town somtimes!).

Basically, the process of making it is kinda like wrapping a present with many layers.  I wish I could have taken pictures of the process but until that 3rd arm sprouts from my head I'm not that talented so you'll have to imagine it!  I found this video helpful, and followed each step using my mom's electric staple gun to get things attached.
I REALLLLLYYYY wanted to tuft it and add in the buttons but truth be told: I chickened out!  I can't sew....at all, so I get nervous when anything involves a needle.  I decided to forgo it and snaz up the headboard with some cute beaded trim that I found on clearnance and Hobby Lobby. What do you think:


I'm happy that I decided to do the trim instead of the tufting, as my hubby reminded me a couple times, "This is our daughter's room, not yours!"  She is 7 so she totally likes the beaded, fluffy trim waaaaayyyy better than she would have the tufted look.  I used a picture hanger thingy (technical term) that I bought at Lowe's for $5 to attach it to the wall.  It said it holds up to 75 lbs so I thought it could handle a somewhat rambunctious 7 year old.
Here is a look with the bedding:




Overall, I'm pretty pleased with it and the process has given me the courage to try to do another one...maybe for our room and I'll tuft that one!  Here is the financial info for this one:
Fabric: $7.99/ yard at Hobby Lobby, I got 2.5 yards and used a 40% off coupon = $12
Foam: free, my mom had some left over
Batting: $7.99
Beaded trim: $2.99/ yard at Hobby Lobby, I snatched up 3 yards, since this was a different day I had another coupon!!! =$5.40
Picture hanger thingy: $5 from Lowes
= $30.32 for the entire project...not too bad, especially when compared to the $350 one!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dresser + paint =love!

A few weeks ago my hubs and I made plans for a trip to PGH (Pittsburgh).  We decided to head there for a few reasons, first his uber smart best friend is doing his residency there and we could visit him, 2. there is a cool downtown, 3. there was an Ikea and 4. I could find some craigslist deals.  About a week before we left I started looking on craigslist for things on my wish list: a dresser and desk for Quinn's room were at the top of my list.

On Sunday afternoon I came across a listing for a dresser that I loved, it was more of a chest actually.  Tall with 4 drawers, decent shape and beautiful lines...sort of an antique style and the $25 price was right up my ally.  I waited until Monday morning to send an email, (since a lot of craigslist business goes on over the weekend), I tried not to get my hopes up and waited to see if it was still for sale.  I hit send and waited...about 2 hours later I had a one word reply: Yes.  Woohoo, let the happy dance begin....but I now I needed to talk this person into holding it for me until Saturday.  After a little back and forth the seller agreed.  5 days later Lance and I pulled up with a Uhaul trailer attached to the back of our SUV, Lance used his supreme deal making skills, handed over an Andrew Jackson ($20) and we were on our merry way with this girl:
She had seen better days for sure, but under that blue marker and dirty grunge was potential.  She had been kept in a garage so there was a bit of a musty odor and one of the drawers needed some repair work.  I gave her a good scrubbin' with some hot soapy water and knew that she was going to be a star.  The musty smell was gone, and she was looking better. I took some wood glue and repaired the drawer that needed mending and putty to fill in the un-used knob holes.  Then I was off to Lowe's to pick out paint.  After much deliberation, I decided on a color called "Muted Ebony" from Valspar.  It is kind of a steel gray, I wanted a dark, sophisticated gray so I thought this would work.  Retrospectively, I wish I'd gone for a lighter gray, but it is growing on me.  After 3 very thin coats of paint with a foam roller this is what I am left with:

The gold handles and knobs weren't cutting it anymore, so I took a can of $1 spray paint and gave them a little makeover.  I may change them out later but this works for now.  The top was a different material, kind of a slick, lacquer so I didn't plan to paint it.  I gave it a scrubbing and left it white.  I love how it turned out, although I may add a bit of flair and paint the trim black, this area to give it a bit more character.  Thoughts???


I'll let you know how it turns out if I go that route.   All in all, I think my $20 dresser looks like a million bucks.  Ok, maybe not a million but a good $999,999...here is another looksy:


Here is the budget breakdown:
Dresser- $20
Paint - $11
Spray Paint - $1

Grand Total: $32 for a pretty snazzy dresser that really set the stage for the room re-do!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Reagan's room part II

Back again for the rest of Reagan's room, the details and fun stuff!  When I was planning Reagan's room it was important that she had an area where she could enjoy reading.  I was a total bookworm as a kid and hope to instill a love of reading in my kids by encouraging them as much as possible.  So the book nook was born!  Take a look:

The book nook is basically a soft, cushy area we made from an Ikea mattress.  The cool thing is, the mattress we bought came in 4 sections because it is for an expandable bed.  We used one of the sections as a backrest at the front part of the bed (Reagan loves using the top of that area to sit her little stuffed animals).  When we were on our big city trip to Ikea we picked up those fun pillows for the nook, at $5 and $6 bucks a pop they were an affordable way to add some comfort and color to the space.  After we had the mattress in place we realized that we had a 16 inch opening at the foot of the bed.  The wheels in my little brain got to turning and I wondered if we could fit a bookshelf in that space, sort of like a built-in.  Since I'm not handy and neither is my hubby (and there was snow still flying outside meaning it would have to be built in the living room) I decided to see if I could find one that would fit in that space.  Low and behold, a $15 one from Lowes had the dimensions that would work in the space.  It was white and plain but for $15 it was a go, especially since you can't see much of it. Here it is in the nook:

I decided to make it a bit cuter with some Ikea fabric I bought., Since I don't sew my inquisitive husband wondered what I was going to use the 2 yards of fabric for, I assured him I hadn't a clue but would figure it out.  And I did!  Before we attached the cardboard like backing to the shelf I ironed the fabric, sprayed adhesive on the back and carefully adhered it to the backing.  Then we nailed it to the bookshelf as you normally would.  I think the fabric really made it super cute and Reagan loves it!

The other favorite feature of the book nook is a cute flower wall lamp we got at you guessed it...Ikea! Seriously, I could move in that place and would work there in a heartbeat if we had one within 250 miles. Here it is in all it's glowing glory:
To say it's a hit would be an understatement!  It has a super easy switch so the kids can easily turn it on and off and the bulb is securely covered there are no worries about the kids getting burned. The book nook is under the top bunk and can be a bit dark the so light serves as a good reading light too.  We snatched it up for $9.99, a steal! It really sets a nice vibe in the nook, I may have to sneak in there with Pioneer Woman's new book (that I'm hoping my hubby got me for my upcoming bday) when the kiddos are at school.
Another super fun and thrifty aspect of Reagan's room are these fun flags:


I got the idea from the birthday garland I did for Quinn's rock star birthday, paper is the one thing I can sew.  For this fun project I called up my mama and borrowed her sewing machine, went to Wal-Mart and bought a $5 pack of scrapbook paper then cut it into triangles and sewed the together to create this cheap and cute decoration.  I thought it went well with the similar flags on Reagan's canopy and would add a nice visual element to draw your eye upward and make the room seem bigger. Remember, Reagan said that a princess room has to have a canopy, her daddy and I agreed and bought her this cute one in the "as is" section at Ikea for $8.99, it was open but didn't have anything wrong with it.  I love it when that happens! Here it is in her room, rocking out with the flags it inspired:


Did you notice the second rail on the end of the bed with the cute little buckets?  We got those for chalk storage since I knew I was going to go the chalkboard paint route.  Keeping my theme of turning paper into decor, I decided to cut out the letters of Reag's name in cutesy paper, I then used clothespins and twine to create a simple but large decoration for over the dresser:

It has been getting rave reviews and cost a whole $1.12 so if one gets blown down when we open the windows to let in a spring breeze I won't be stressing. I'll just grab a piece of scrapbook paper and make a new one.  That is one reason I used so many different paper patterns, I am not limited to making it match! 

Want to see my favorite thing in her room?  I love it so much I want my own:
That awesome, fun and quirky rug really sets my heart aflutter! I spotted it on Ikea's

So that brings us to the end of Reagan's room tour...now for you number nerds here is the total dinero that we dropped for this room:
$225 from this post
$16 for pillows
$15 for the bookshelf from Lowes
$6 for fabric for the bookshelf
$9.99 for the wall flower (I couldn't resist)
$8.99 for the canopy
$6.12 for the flags and name
$39.99 for the rug
All the other decor in the room was free! We reused it from our other daughter's previous princess room.  I just refreshed it a bit by painting the frames with paint we already had.
=$326.98 total


Pretty good, but remember, we sold her old furniture for $325 which brings the grand total down to $1.98!  So we re-did this room top to bottom for less than a gallon of milk! 

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Reagan's fun and functional "princess" room: the breakdown

Our 4 y.o., Reagan, has big imagination and even bigger ideas, but somehow they get lost in translation.  She is truly one of the most interesting kids I know and would like to spend an hour in her mind. She and I spent a lot of time discussing what she wanted for her room....we don't want to re-do it again for several years so it was important that it be something she enjoys now and will continue to enjoy for years to come.  That reason alone is exactly why we don't have any characters or character bedding...a fade that passes too quickly.

Reagan said she wanted a princess room, which as we discovered meant a canopy over her bed like her sister currently had in her princess room....easy enough!  A trip to Lowes and she quickly (or not so quickly) selected pink and green as her bedroom colors, her only other request was a bunk bed.  The foundation was set.  I decided that chair rail would be a nice (and inexpensive) way to add a little character to her room and be a nice transition between the pink and green.

The hubs and I had a trip to Pittsburgh planned, it was a  perfect opportunity for me to hit up Ikea and scour craigslist for some second hand deals. Since the deals are always more plentiful in a city.   The Steel City treated us well and we found a ton of stuff and had a really great kid free weekend.  Sidenote: there are so many local beers in Pittsburgh my hubby almost decided to stay.  before we went on our trip we had to take care of getting rid of Reagan's current furniture.  I listed it on craigslist (even though results can be limited for us in such a small area) and a local facebook yardsale site our area has, a few days later a nice family came to pick it up, so before we knew it this cute Ikea set our youngest had slept in since 18 months was gone:

Don't worry, we kept the dog,  We sold her furniture for $325 so that was a good start for funding the new room.  Which really helped keep the entire project costs low.

I started checking out bunk beds, we thought that this cool bunk bed from Ikea was perfect for Reagan. It is reversible so it can be either high or low but even when the bed is on top it isn't too high.  Still with me?  A picture may help:The $199 price at Ikea is reasonable but I was thrilled to find one on craigslist for a hundred bucks...and they were willing to hold it for us for a few days.  We negotiated and brought it home for $80! Sweeeeeeet!  But I had big plans for the bed, I grabbed a quart of chalkboard paint and went to town painting those ugly blue panels:

Now the kids have a cool outlet for their creative visions. We call the area underneath the bed the book nook...more on it later!

After securing the bed the only other major piece of furniture we needed for her room was a desk.  I hit up craigslist again and we found a cute and 4.5 year old friendly desk and chair for $30!  Those nice folks had ties to WV so they were willing to hold it for us, again Pittsburgh rocked with it's nice people! My sweet talking hubby sure did get them down to $20! Yay! Here it is in Reagan's room:

I loved that it wasn't huge and had a little shelf.  I have big plans to sand and refinish it this summer, not sure if I am going to paint or stain it. Ideas?  Reagan LOVES it and feels very important when she does her "homework" at it!


Her dresser has been around for a while: we snatched it from our older daughter's room since we were going in a different direction there, before that my hubby used it in college and when we first got married,  before that it was at my in laws house. Many years ago it served as my hubby's dresser when he was still chillin' in his under roo's.  He thinks it may have belonged to their neighbor before that... so yeah, it's held up well.  Did I mention that I have painted it 4 times in the last 9 years!  It's now white:

The big door on the right has a rack to hang clothes but we prefer to use it for game storage and find the area underneath perfect to slide in weird items (i.e. Hungry Hippos and huge drawing pads) that don't seem to fit good elsewhere. The paint job isn't great but Reagan is a bit rough so it will suit her well.

We decided to keep the 9 cubby shelf that Reagan has had since she was a wee lad of 18 months.  We love that she can easily access it and that the fabric bins can store small items.  We seriously need to do away with the red cubbies and get some green ones though...yikes:

See that big frog hanging beside the desk?   Like you could miss it! We picked it up at Ikea for $9.99 (on sale!!).  I thought is was super cute and fit our "princess" room, plus it serves as great storage for small toys like matchbox cars, My Little Ponies and Zhu Zhu Pets.  Reagan can easily get her toys in and out and see what is in each compartment.  Reagan isn't great at picking up her toys so we are trying to giver her good, easy storage options.

 Doesn't that frog make ya smile? Reagan loves him and his storage capacity!  Want to see another fun yet clever storage option we fit in her room?  Sure you do!

How cute are those?  Can you guess where we got them? Yep, Ikea.  The rod was a whopping $1.99 and each container was on sale for $0.59.  So for less than $4.50 we have cute and kid friendly storage for pencils and crayons.  Those cute containers easily snap off the rod so she can take it to the floor or her desk, which she loves.  I love that they are durable and wipe down/ wash out easliy!

Curious about our paint colors:  they are both Olympic no VOC paint from Lowes (side note, I wasn't impressed with the paint, it's coverage was terrible!), the green is asperagus and the pink is cotton candy...what a combo!

That's all for today, but come back tomorrow to see some more including the book nook and the cute flags that people have bee asking about!

For those of you tallying the budget here is a rundown so far:
2 gallons of paint, $15 each (I had a 20% off and there was a rebate bringing it down from $23)
Bed, $80 on craigslist
Matressess for upper and lower bunk: $35 each at Ikea, we lucked out and found them in the "as is" section because they were discontinued! But they are still on the website so not sure what's up with that?
Chair rail, $5.17 each (we used 5) at Lowes but all of ours had busted up ends (you cut those off anyway) so I got them for 50% off and then used a 20% coupon = $10.34 for all 5!
Desk, $20 from craigslist
Dresser...free, we owned it already and we my mom already had the antique white paint so it was a total freebie!
Rod and containers, $4.50
Frog and toy storage, $9.99
=$224.83

Monday, March 21, 2011

One month MIA

Yep, I've been MIA again.  The thing is when you have two munchkins a "I'll do it tomorrow" can get put off for a month. Add in the fact that we had the flu (nasty, nasty stuff!) and a stomach bug.  Over the last two weeks I have been super busy re-doing both of my girls rooms. What made me think it was a good idea to do them at the same time is still undetermined.  But I guess the plus side is that our house was only a wreck for 2 weeks instead of 2 weeks on 2 different occasions and since they were both getting new rooms the jealously was at an all time low!

Our oldest who is 7 (going on 17) decided that she wanted a Paris themed room:  pink and black with lots of Eiffel tower charm.  Our youngest decided that she was all about a Princess room.  Since the older had a Princess room my brilliant husband thought we should just switch them and only redo one room.  But after a few conversations with the 4 year old it turns out that "princess" to her means a canopy above her bed.

So I got the wheels turning and started coming up with ideas. Obviously I wanted to stick with a pretty small budget, originally we had said less than $500 for both.  I'm happy to report that it will be less than $250 for both!

 I'll have more details on...well, the details of each room soon.  But here is a sneak peek of the "princess" room:


The fun rug was really what got everything started for this room!  The low bunk bed and book nook underneath are perfect, she loves them!

We re-painted a dresser we already had to save some $$$!

And now get your passport ready for Paris:

We still have a couple projects to do in her room!


That dresser that I re-painted was a $20 craigslist find....woohoo!
Stay tuned for more!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Just roll with it...a sweet deal!

Raise your hand if you plan to paint a room this Spring?  Whoa!!! That's a lot of hands up!  I'm raising both of mine and a leg, we plan to paint both of our tax deductions kids rooms and our bathroom.  I'll be a painting machine, I'm hoping I can sweet talk my mom and brother into pitching in. I've seen my hubby paint...it ain't pretty so he'll be on kid duty, if he isn't out bringing home the bacon. 

Anyway, paint supplies can add a good bit of cost to a project.  I am holding out for a mail in rebate before I start buying paint but found a deal today that I couldn't pass up! Right now our friends over at homedepot.com are having a sweet online sale on Behr paint supplies: 75% off and free shipping! 

I decided this 5 piece set was the one for me (and my mom).  With a 2 1/2 inch brush, a roller, 2 roller covers and a tray it offered everything we needed! It rings up at $15.97 but after discount squeaks in at just under $4 plus tax.  I ordered 4, 2 for me and 2 for my mom. and paid less than $17 shipped! 

If you want to grab some of these (or other Behr Paint Supplies) just enter BEHR75 at check out! Make sure you go through ebates.com (click the link below to get started) to score 3% cash back!

http://www.ebates.com/rf.do?referrerid=%2FilKjAKi2qRUa3LHywgb6Q%3D%3D

Monday, February 7, 2011

My deals and steals this week 2/7

CVS
I stopped by CVS after church yesterday and scored these deals:
4 Quaker Oatmeal 2/$5, $3 ECB
3 Kelloggs Cereal at 3/$10, $4 ECB
1 Dove Visacare Body Wash $1.99
 =$21.99

Used:
$5 off $15 CVS purchase emailed to me
(4) $1 off Quaker Oatmeal coupons 1/2/11 Red Plum
$1/2  Kelloggs Cereals 1/2/11 Red Plum
$0.50 off Kelloggs Total 1/2/11 Red Plum
$1 off Dove Visacare Body Wash

=$10.49
- $10 ECB from last week

=$0.49 oop

Get back $10 ECB



Rite Aid
2 Finesse Hair products 2/$6, $5 UP Rewards
4 Old Spice Antiperspirant or Body Wash at 2/$8, $3 UP on 2
4 Gillette Body Wash at 2/$8, $3 UP on 2
2 Welch's Grape Juice at 2/$6, $1/UP
=$44


Use:
$5 off $25 purchase that showed up in my Video Values dash board
(2) $1 off 2 Old Spice Products, P&G 1/30
(2) B1G1 Old Spice, P&G 1/30
(4) $2 off Gillette Body Wash P&G 1/30 (limit 4 like coupons)
(2) 2 off Welch's printable coupon
=$17
Use $16 UP from last week
=$1 oop
Get Back $14 UP

Monday, January 31, 2011

DIY Valentines

I love a drug store deal just as much as the next coupon lovin' gal.  Where else can you buy everything from toothpaste, medicines, oatmeal and beer. Kid's Valentines are galore at every drug store you go to, your choice of Toy Story 3, Princesses, Spiderman, whatever your kid's heart desires.  I've never been a big fan of the pre-packaged $2.99 boxed Valentine's, we have always gone more of the DIY route.
Last year we did Jonas Brothers Rock Star bookmarks that I created in Photoshop with design instructions from my then 6 year old:

To say they were a hit is an understatement, everyone loved 'em.  She handed out 50 in about 4 seconds flat.  Both of my kids wanted to go the bookmark route again, our oldest is a big Taylor Swift fan so she wanted a Taylor themed one.  Our youngest, very spirited child wanted Barbie, below is the picture she initially chose:
Yep, that is redneck Barbie.  As much as I didn't want to squash my wee ones creative juices I also didn't want 16 calls from the parents of her classmates.  So we went with a more suitable Barbie.  I love the idea of a bookmark too, it is something that won't be immediately trashed and the kids actually use them.

If you aren't a photoshop pro (neither am I) you can do a DIY version.  Get a pack of your kids favorite character stickers or the foam letters from the craft section. Even just some stencils, markers, glitter and a couple of hours and your kid could make them.  Here is a template for a blank bookmark, you can also google character or Valentine one's.  If you have as many snow days as our kids you would have tim to make for everyone in your state.  Maybe if we send Mother Nature she'll lighten up on all the white stuff we have been dealing with lately.


I may send out Valentines with the Barbie picture our 4 y.o. originally chose to family and friends who "get" her different personality...if so I'm thinking about this wording:
This Bud's for You, Valentine.

P.S. If you are dying for the more professional looking photoshop ones, I'm happy to design whatever your kiddos desire for $10.  You can get cardstock and print them at home like we did last year.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

It all started with a look...

I was walking from the girls rooms, laundry basket resting on my hip, when I saw my husband standing in our bedroom giving me "the look".  No, not *that* look, this is a family blog!  He was standing near the doorway our bathroom putting on his tie,  his brow furrowed, his lips pursed, then his head tilted to the side toward the bathroom. His eyebrows quickly shot upward and nodded his head.  I nodded and sheepishly grinned.  He didn't have to say anything, I knew exactly what he wanted, we have been married long enough to have conversations without saying a word.  With the "conversation" over he went back to tying his tie and I continued my laundry duty.

So, what was "the look" and ensuing conversation about??  The crazy, unorganized state of our stockpile.  See, completely PG stuff here kids.  I love my house, it is great except one little detail: a serious lack of storage.  So I have had to get creative with our storage.  Luckily, in our bathroom we do have a reasonable amount which is great for our toiletries stockpile, however, we don't have ANY drawers...it's rough. We had to figure out a good way to organize "stuff". Back in December I had to hijack that storage to hide Santa's gifts for our munchkins.  Since then our bathroom had been in complete disarray, I knew it needed organized and knew we needed a better system but didn't know exactly what I wanted to do yet. 
 Here is a before...don't judge:

and this:

I had decided that stackable drawers would be a good option.  But they were a bit too big and $7 a pop which was more than I wanted to spend.  I went to my DG and found $1 stackable totes, they were small and clear and a buck...they were my solution.  After a bit of cleaning and purging ( I took things we had waaaayyy too much of to our mission).  Here is my new system:


and this:

I labeled each tub to make it eaiser to see what went where.  I left the tall and easy-to-stand up shampoo, lotion and bodywashes out and just lined them up on the side.  This really helped me see what I have on hand too.  Since they were way in the back, I hadn't realized that we were down to 3 toothbrushes, one bad sickness could wipe us out!  We have enough razors however to last until our girls get married and have kids...seriously!

Here is another look:

Feeling all elated and proud I decided to tackle another area of our bathroom. I felt like this area was always getting "fixed" and always messed up again thanks to the lack of drawers.  I am a bit ashamed to even show this picture, it will shatter my image of an organized mom.  Cue the scary movie music from Psycho ...here goes:

 and this:




Now this was right after Reagan knocked a bunch of things over but whew, that's bad.  I bought another of the stackable drawer thingies and got to work.  Here is what it looks like now:



and this:
 
I'm sure one of those organizing companies or pros would think that this is still lacking.  But the reality is I'm a busy mom living in a snow dome so I have to shovel, salt and repeat every 2 hours and this is good enough for me.  We have been living with this for 2 weeks now and it is still organized...so I think this may work!

My hubby came home and liked it too, he very impressed.  He even gave me "the look".... no, again, not *that* look. C'mom people,  my mom and Mother-in-law read this blog.   It was a "now let's think how we can better organize the building when the 37 feet of snow melts" look.