Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Living Room - Yes, I Procrastinate.

OK, OK, OK!  I know I procrastinate.  But, at least I get there.  Part of the delay in posting pictures of the new Spring-ified living room was the fact that I had an awful time finding some blue pillar candles for the wall sconces.  I went to JoAnn Fabric and found the perfect shade of blue candles on clearance for 2 bucks a piece.  Cha Ching!  That's my kind of deal!  But...they only had 5 left and I needed 6.  Don't think I didn't search that store high and low looking for an extra one!  I even had an employee in on the hunt.  We looked to no avail.  There wasn't a 6th candle to be found anywhere in the store.  Bummer.

So, I moved on to Meijer.  I found some candles in a shade of blue that would work.  For 7 dollars a piece.  Somebody, just smack me if I ever spend $42 plus tax on 6 candles.  I'm much too cheap frugal for that.

So, I had to wait until I found them.  Which, I finally did this weekend at DEAL$.  My candles ended up being $3 a piece.  Not too bad - but more than I paid for anything in my whole change-up.

Are you ready to see how I pulled it all off so inexpensively?


I found this heavy tablecloth for $1.99 at Goodwill.  Of course.  I cut off the border and made 2 pillow covers to go over my red pillows.


Now these red pillows are the forms inside of the blue covers. 


I swapped out a few things on the wall that is to the left of the above picture, too.

This is what it looked like before.

This is where we are now.  And please, ignore the blue painter's tape surrounding the woodwork.  It is going to be painted out white...eventually.

I traded the old picture with this one that was hanging in my bedroom.  It has more blue in it.  I also swapped the votive holders and red mini pillar candles for these simple blue tapers that I found at Goodwill for twenty-five cents a piece.

The white urn had been replaced with this vignette a couple of months ago - except there was a red book where the one with blue now is. Since I already had everything around the house, it was free.

The red chair pillow in both of my wing back chairs have been replaced with these:

Both of these blue pillows were borrowed from the guest bed upstairs.  My cost - nada.

This might not be the best example of the entertainment center.  But, since it is the only example I have - it's what you're getting.  :0) You can see the red vase and books on top and the red pillar candles on the side.

I swapped out the red books for some blue ones I had (free) and traded the blue tapers (twenty-five cents a piece at Goodwill) for the white ones.  I had the blue pillar candle on the blue candle base in my bedroom - so I just brought it out into the living room (free).  The blue and white plate was given to me by my friend, Carrie (free, also).  It was previously hanging on the wall upstairs with 5 others.  No one will ever see that it's missing. :0) 

Here was my before shot looking from the kitchen/dining room, again:

That rug is now in the dining room.

Here is the after:

Before - looking from the hallway:

And after:

Like I said in a previous post - I think it will look even better once we get the trim and doors painted white.

I didn't show pictures of the hallway.  I'm not sure it's even big enough to be officially called that anyway.  But, it had a pretty picture hanging on one wall with a red background and white flowers.  I found the following framed sketch at Goodwill for $5.99 and picked it up because I thought it was cute.  And neutral.

I could totally live in a house like that. :0)  Anyway, I have this print in my hallway now.  And the big red mirror that I had on the other wall is patiently waiting to be painted 'heirloom white'.  Now, if we can just get the weather to cooperate...

So let's do a total run-down on everything I spent $$ on to swap out my house from a Fall/Winter color sheme to one that's more appropriate for Spring/Summer.

  • 2 king sized bed sheets (curtains) - $3.98 a piece = $7.96
  • 1 table cloth for dining room table = $1.99
  • 1 back up table cloth for dining room table = $2.99
  • 1 table cloth for making sofa pillows = $1.99
  • 4 taper candles = $1.00
  • 6 pillar candles = $18.00 (By far, my most expensive buy.)
  • 1 pencil sketch - $5.99
Grand Total = $39.92 + tax

Not bad, considering I changed out everything from drapes, to table cloths, to pillows, candles and accessories.  And since I shopped and gathered over a period of about 6-8 weeks, I didn't have to drop the cash all at once.  I was able to keep the cost down because I shopped my house and surveyed what I already had before I shopped anywhere else.  I chose to go with blue because that meant I could borrow accessories from around the house for a few months.

I like the fact that I will be able to reuse everything from year to year.  The only exception would be if we burn the candles up - probably not going to happen.

Well, I'm done now and your eyes are probably tired from all the reading.  So, you go have yourself a good one, OK?


And, BTW, thanks for hanging in there and reading.  I'd hug you if I could!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Free History DVD

I just wanted to pass along a great offer from the History Channel to you today.  If you are a homeschooler (or school principal) - click here to register for a free copy of "AMERICA The Story of Us".  They'll even pay shipping!  It will be mailed out in August.  The offer is good through July 1st.

Have a great Monday!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Finally...Winter Jam '10

As you may or may not have caught in my "To Do" list for Spring Break last week - we went to Winter Jam '10 this past Thursday.  The original plan was to meet up with the gang at 4:00 pm and head up to Fort Wayne.  But, when Chris' boss found out where we were going, he wanted Chris to drop off some equipment at another shop up there.  That meant we needed to leave earlier (without the rest of the gang) so we could find the place before they closed.  Naturally, when you change your plans and try to hurry, it throws some sort of wrench into the mix...

Like thinking that since your son was already in the car and your husband was on his way to the car, that you were cool to lock the door and shut it.  Except, your husband forgot to grab his keys and you purposely didn't bring yours.  So, you weren't going ANYWHERE - unless your husband did this...

Chris had to climb through the bathroom window to get his keys before we could actually GO to the concert.  We like to keep the excitement alive.

We got the the equipment dropped off in Ft. Wayne for Chris' boss and headed over to the colliseum to get in line. 

It was actually a good thing that we went early because this is what it looked like about an hour and forty-five minutes before the doors opened.

We were able to get the most awesome seats I've ever had at a concert - and save enough for the rest of the gang when they got there.

We were right by the sound pit where all of the artist came out and waited before they went up on stage.

Those are the stairs that they actually used.  It was fascinating to get to see all of the behind the scenes stuff that went on.

The crew setting up before the concert.

Most of the groups only did two or three songs.  Except, Newsong.  They hosted the concert and did a pretty big set.

They went all out with confetti and giant balloons.  It was pretty cool.  But, some of my favorite moments were when the bands would just sing with acoustic guitars.  And this...

Let me just say here - I am not one to be star-struck.  People are people, right?  They put their pant on just like we all do.  They just happen to make their living in the public eye.  I've been to lots of concerts.  I got to meet lots of artists when I sang in the choir of the Handel's Young Messiah Tour years ago.  Heck, I even (accidentally) touched Michael English's butt.  But none of that affected me like seeing Mac Powell walk out into the pit to get ready to go onstage.

I suddenly became a thirteen year old girl.  I leaned over and told Chris, "I'm actually excited!!".  I was giggling and waving and trying to take pictures.  It was ridiculous.  I didn't feel too bad, though, because I think my husband turned into a thirteen year old girl, too!

You see, Third Day has been our favorite band since...forever!  Or, at least since the 90's when they actually started producing records.  Or CD's.  Or eight-tracks.  Or whatever the heck it is they actually call them now.  Anyway...we've been fans since their beginnings. :0)

Mac, right underneath our feet with his hairy Jesus lookin' self.

Guess who?  He was so close we could have plucked one of his hairs out.  But, some party pooper would have called security and had us escorted out of the building into another nice, sturdy building with bars and we actually wanted to see Third Day perform.  It was basically the whole reason we came to the concert, after all.  Plus, we had spent Chris' retirement and Isaac's college fund on 2 drinks a piece and a Dippin Dots for the boy - so we wouldn't have been able to afford bail.  We couldn't expect our friends to bail us out, either,  because they have more kids than we do.  I'm pretty sure they left the building missing an appendage or two.

So, we got to hear Third Day end the show with a 45 minute set.  Mac heard how awesome I am when he was in the pit right below our feet and had me come up on stage with him to help him sing "God of Wonders"...Yeah right.  It would have made the show better, I think, though.  No?  Whatever, Loser. 

Then...we were hungry from all that screaming and jumping and acting like thirteen year old girls.  So, we drove through McDonalds at 10:58 pm and this is exactly how the conversation went.  I'm not exaggerating here.  At all.

"Hi.  Welcome to McDonald's.  May I take your order, please?"

"Hi.  Yeah.  We'd like.....and ..... and ....with a ..... to drink with that."

"OK.  So, I have your order as ....."  Then silence before she finished repeating our order back to us.  And then, more silence.  Followed by...

"I'm sorry.  We're closed."

HELLLLLOOOOOO!  YOU JUST TOOK OUR ORDER!!!    I swear, I thought I was back in Florida for a minute.  Except, we could actually understand what she said.

So, we left without causing a scene because, remember we had no bail money left, and went and found a McDonald's that actually stayed open later than 10:58 pm on a Thursday night. 

After the adrenaline wore off we struggled to stay awake on the long ride home.  But, we arrived safely with gratitude in our hearts that we had had a wonderful evening, all in all, and didn't have to climb through the bathroom window to get in the house.  And we all lived happily ever after.  The end.  Well, the end of this story anyway. :0)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

How Am I Doing On My "TO DO" List?

I've been having a fairly productive week, so far.  I'm getting some things accomplished while still taking time to have a little fun with the boy.  That is, after all, important as well!

I thought I'd share a smidgen of what I did this week - starting with my bedroom.  I did get the curtain for my closet hemmed and pressed.  I didn't take a picture of it, though.  Because, well, it's just a white muslin piece of fabric.  That, and I didn't feel like moving the 50 gazillion bottles of essential oil that I can't seem to find a home for off my dresser and I wanted you to think I was a clean freak/organizational guru (gag) and they would have totally been in the picture and couldn't let my indiscrections be revealed.  Whew!  Did you get that?  Alrighty then.  Moving on...

Do you remember when I won a gift basket full of lavender items from Centsational Girl?  It had these beautiful linen napkins in it.

They were so beautiful that I didn't want to use them as napkins.  It would have broken my heart to see them forever ruined with red sauce.  Or butter.  Or boogers.  But I found a solution in which I could live with. 

I have 4 windows in our bedroom.  One more is on the right wall.  I had 4 napkins.  Do you smell the smoke coming from my ears?  They would become the valances for my windows.

Now, I get to look at them every day without fear of ruining them.  I simply hot glued the corners of the napkins to the molding.  When I'm ready to take them down - I can just peel them off the frames and pick the glue off of the the fabric with no problems.  That's my theory, anyway.  :0)  They should be able to be reused with no ill effects should I one day decide that they would indeed look beautiful covered in red sauce.  Or butter.  Or boogers.  But, enough about my valances.

Let's talk about global warming.  Naaah...But, we can talk about something that makes me warm and fuzzy.

Like, this pillow I made for my bed.

The pillow form I used was previously a standard pillow who had out-lived it's usefullness.  I cut it in half and stitched the opening closed to keep the stuffing from falling out.  The other half became a throw pillow for Isaac's room.  I would show you a picture of it (It's really cute.) but, that would mean that I would have to walk downstairs, actually take a picture of it, walk back upstairs, and load it onto the computer.  And, I'm much to lazy busy for that right now.  Thank you.  I knew you'd understand.

The white material used to be a Martha Stewart, white, cotton duck shower curtain that we used in FL.  I washed and dried it one too many times and my shower began to look like it was wearing capri pants.   Now, white capri pants may be perfectly acceptable in FL.  But, they look pretty silly in February in IN.  I just couldn't allow my new shower this horrendous fashion faux paux.  So, I repurposed it.  I've used the fabric to make a window covering for the school room, a table runner for the dining room and, now this pillow.  I still have fabric left, too. 

I wanted to make ruffles to go on it but the fabric was too heavy.  Or, I was too unskilled.  You decide.  Never mind.  Don't hurt me.  I'm feeling rather vulnerable right now.  Either way, rosettes it was.  I'm pretty happy with how it turned out.

I think it needs some friends, though.  What do you think?

OK.  That wraps up the bedroom.  I'll share a bit from the other rooms (which still aren't completed, yet) later.

Smooches, y'all.


Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Can You Guess What This Is?

These freaky orange finger looking things are the first of my tulips peeking their heads out.  Yippee!

And, LOOK!  Buds on my cherry tree!  It won't be long until we start seeing green!

I love this time of year and the first signs of Spring!

Monday, March 8, 2010

Spring Break Week!

It's Spring Break Week for us - and, boy, do I have big plans!  And, a long 'To Do' list! 

I decorated our house in neutrals so that I would be able to swap out the colors easily to change things up a bit.  With Spring rapidly approaching, I'm feeling the urge to say goodbye to all of the red and lighten things up a bit.  For the past couple of weeks I have been shopping Goodwill, as well as my own house, getting a 'Decorating on a Shoestring' game plan in place.  I'll share more about that as I feature my finished projects.  But, for's what I'm hoping to accomplish this week.

  • Make decorative pillow pillow for bed. Check.  Just finished that one up.  Pictures to come.
  • Hem curtain I started to hang in place of closet doors.
  • Cover underside of the glass tops of my nightstands with toile wrapping paper.  Maybe - not 100% sure on this one.
  • Swap out red rug for one that is stored in the garage.  It used to be in my living room until I felt the need to get rid of some visual clutter.
  • Wash my red drapes and store for Spring/Summer.
  • Hang the new "curtains" I'm going be using.
  • Make matching covers to go over my chandy shades.
  • Make covers to go over the red throw pillows for the couch.
  • Swap out red accessories.
  • Get rid of 100 gazillion magazines filling my baskets.
  • Get some coordinating accessories worked in.
  • Swap out the red in my hallway with more fitting artwork.
  • Paint all of the woodwork/doors in the hall, living room and dining room.
  • Get seeds started for the garden.
  • Tighten up a coat rack I bought at Goodwill a couple of weeks ago.  If the weather gets warm enough, I'll also take it outside and paint it.  Right now it's a little brassy for my taste.
  • Go to Winter Jam and see Third Day, Newsboys, Tenth Avenue North, Sidewalk Prophets and several others.
So, I've got a pretty busy week planned on top of my regular cleaning, laundry, cooking and baking. 

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

My Little Friend Died

Friday is my big day out traditionally.  It's the day that I get all of my shopping an errands done.  Sometimes, I even shower first. :0)  This past Friday happened to be one of my bi-monthly shower days.   I also washed my hair.  That meant I needed to blow-dry it.

Say hallo to my little friend.

I have a system for blow-drying my hair.  My little friend helps me.  First, I blow out my bangs and knock a little of the wetness out of the sides.  Then I pull it up in a clip while I dry the underneath.  After that's dry - I take a little bit more out of the clip, drying it in sections until I reach the top and it's done.

Imagine my horror when I saw sparky flames and smoke shoot out the backside of my blow dryer as it died on me after I had managed to only dry my bangs and the underneath of my hair Friday.  Not good, people.  Not good.  I tried to flip the little red button on the end of the plug, hoping against all hope that it would flip back on.  Nope.  Nada. Nothin'.  Crap.

I don't know what on earth would have caused this, unless it had a little something to do with this:

Yes, you would be right.  That IS crusted dirt, and I don't know what else caked in there.  Does anyone know how to clean the crud out of there without getting electrocuted and taking a first class ticket to the Pearly Gates?  Anyone?  I would like to be able to spare the life of my new little friend this slow and agonizing death in the future.  Anyway, back to my hair tragedy...

You see, I was going to The Land of Stick People.  Rich, stick people.  Rich, stick people who dress to the nines just to go to the grocery store.  I am neither, rich nor stick people, nor do I dress to the nines just to go to the grocery store.  However, I DO like to blow-dry my hair, throw on a little make-up (God help us all if I don't.) and generally make myself presentable.  But, so help me, I am NOT going to wear a pair of stilettos just to buy some grub.  Beth Chapman, if you're reading this - I love you, Girl!  Give Dog a hug for me!

I had no way of drying the rest of my hair.  I was quite a lovely sight to behold.  So, I figured if I couldn't dry my hair - then I'd just make a real statement and make it look intentional.

I think the blue brings out my eyes.  Don't you?

Here's to making a statement!