Thursday, March 31, 2011
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Monday, March 28, 2011
Sunday, March 27, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
Decorating is fun. Sometimes necessary. But let's face it, decorating can do a job on your finances. A big purchase (that rug you're dying to have, for example) can turn your budget upside down.
We always try to pay cash for any remodel or renovation project we do. At the most we will stretch it over 1-2 months. Nothing's worse than financing those new silk drapes and deciding 3 months later that you hate them. AND that they haven't been paid for yet. This is not a lecture on finances. It's an idea on how to make your decorating dreams come true without risking your retirement.
For most of us a big remodel -kitchen, bath, new floors, etc. will be thought out well in advance and probably saved for over some length of time. But it's the little things that can add up and break the bank without a plan. Something like an impromptu trip to Target or Ikea.
I have found that at the beginning of a new season there's a slight possibility that I'll want something new for the house or garden. Springtime shouts out for some pretty annuals and pots to put them in. Fall means a new wreath for the front door. Summer calls for some new outdoor dinnerware. Christmas means, well it could mean LOTS of new decorations! Each season I try to set aside an amount of money to help freshen up my home. I base the amount mostly on the budget but sometimes I know I will just want $20 worth of fresh flowers for a month and that's all I will budget. Sometimes the budget is tight and I have to shop at home and get nothing. How do I make room in the budget for the bigger expenditures (like flowers, pots and potting soil)? It usually means taking something out. Not the mortgage, of course but there are usually some things that can be cut:
- Yes, you've heard this before - the trips to the coffee shop (or soda machine). We all know that adds up. Cut your trips to your friendly barista to 2 days a week and all of a sudden you have freed up $10-$12 a week; $40 a month. That's enough for a set of these this month!
- If you go out to dinner twice a week @ $50 a pop, cut it down to once a week and you'll have a whopping $200 this month. That will buy you this.
- Cut out movies & popcorn once a month and you can buy this.
You get the idea. These little (and not so little) things add up. Over a few months you can really transform a room.
What if you don't have much to cut? If you can cut just $5 from your grocery budget (some soda or chips, maybe) and save it until next week you can get a nice bouquet of flowers from the grocery store that will last up to 2 weeks and will really add beauty to your dining room or living room. That same $5 saved for a few weeks and taken to Michaels (don't forget your coupon) can buy you all sorts of really nice accessories.
My first suggestion will always be to shop at home but if that fails or you are just itching for something new, look at your budget and see what you might be able to give up to make room for that new pillow.
How do you make room in your budget for decorating?
I'm linking up to Frugal Friday with Life as Mom.
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Here's my closet - we have 2 very small closets in our master - this is mine. Quite the mess in this photo. I have had that yellow shoe bag since I was in high school and worked at Pappagallo. Talk about something made to last! I love it though and can't imagine life without a shoe bag.
Here's my after. Pardon the poor photo. I took it in the late afternoon when the sun beats in our bedroom door. It doesn't look too different but I filled up a trash bag to take to Goodwill plus had a few things to put in the trash can. The way I stack the shirts up makes for a quick mess so that's why I am in this closet a lot straightening and purging. I was surprised I got rid of as much as I did this time.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
My centerpiece for my dining room table. I love the pink and blue together with the Beatrix Potter eggs (Pottery Barn Kids).
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Yes, this was a risk for me and the jury's still out. What kind of risks have you taken in your home? Has it always worked, like me are you still unsure? Leave a comment or link up at the Nester with me...
Monday, March 21, 2011
Saturday, March 19, 2011
This mirror hangs in the dining room next to the accent wall. I love how a mirror really makes a room look bigger. The sign (from Pier One) above the mirror reminds us all to dream.
Thursday, March 17, 2011
I love reading Simple Mom and I love her latest project 'Project: Simplify'. Five weeks, five hot spots. Last week was our closet. As cluttered as I feel my house is sometimes one area that I do spend time on several times a year is my closet. I purge often yet it's still full. It is a relatively small closet but I still like to be able to see things and get to them. I haven't purged in there since before Christmas so it's about time. I'll admit I didn't do it last week but plan on doing it this weekend along with Tsh's 2nd hot spot: paper clutter. That should be my middle name. While my closet will be a 30 minute task the paper clutter could take 30 hours or more.
I look forward to sharing my progress here. It's time to start spring cleaning and this seems to be the perfect way to do it. Time will tell...
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Tomorrow we're headed to the indoor skating rink. The outdoor one is closed for refrigeration servicing or something. Apparently, no one told them we were coming...
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Sunday, March 6, 2011
I had big plans. I wanted to read the books I mentioned . I wanted to finish this book. I wanted to go see 'The King's Speech' and use the movie gift certificate my friend gave me. I wanted to clean my office a bit. Big plans.
But you know what they say about the best laid plans. I offered to sell Girl Scout cookies for 5 hours on Saturday and 5 hours on Sunday (you read that correctly, a total of 10 hours) so there would be enough parents (there has to be 2) in order to keep the booth open. Keep in mind that LM was at the Coyotes game so I didn't have a child boothing on Sat or Sun. Although I know the leader appreciated it and so did the parents I helped out I think I should have only offered to do it once. But I made a committment to the leader (who is also a friend) and I was going to honor it. Even if it meant it would take longer to get those books read. I know with a good amount of certainty that very few, if any, other parents would have done this. I mean, part of the reason my services were even needed is because there were parents that would not help out.
I have to say that I did have fun both days. On Saturday, I took one of the Brownies with me (her mom is the leader and she was out of town) and we boothed with another girl, A, and her mom who I don't get to see much so it was fun to chat during our downtime. And she brought Cinnabons for us for breakfast. :) On Sunday, it was A and her dad since her mom wasn't feeling well. A's dad is Mr. Mom and he's the one who's always at school picking up his girls so we know each other and had a good time chatting.
On Saturday afternoon when I got home I decided a nap was in order. So I laid down for about an hour and then got to reading. I also watched 'Waiting for Superman'. I found it really interesting and a little sad. I think anyone with children in the public school system should watch it. It is eye opening to say the least. If your kids are in a good school you have a lot to be thankful for.
This week is the last week before spring break and I am super busy. I am looking forward to having LM around next week but need to catch up on some things this week.
But first I want to finish book one...
Friday, March 4, 2011
I decided to splurge on a couple of books. I usually go to the library but the 2 I got are ones I think I would like to keep.
The first book is 'Veganist' by Kathy Freston. You may have seen her on 'Oprah'. I just love her. She helped Oprah's staff go Vegan for a week. Now, I think it might be hard to go totally Vegan but even if I was halfway there I'd be better off. So I'm going to read more about it and then see what I think. I just read this book and it was enough to make me consider giving up meat, if not dairy and eggs.
I also picked up 'One Thousand Gifts' by Ann Voskamp. I am really looking forward to reading this one.
I almost bought 'Mr. Sunday's Soups' by Lorraine Wallace but I felt like I spent enough money and I think this could be a good library book. If I love it after I get it at the library I can buy it. There are some super yummy sounding soup recipes in there.
Thursday, March 3, 2011
There was the fridge, dishwasher, reverse osmosis situation which made my kitchen a mess as I had tools and flashlights all over the place. Not to mention everything under the kitchen sink was out so people could get to the pipes and stuff. Well, that is all taken care of now and I was finally able to clean up in the kitchen. The one surface that stayed clear during this? The dining room table. No matter what is going on I make sure that surface is clear. It was a blessing during this time so we could eat and do homework there without any worries.
I haven't been home much. We have been out of town alot. I have been working and at school alot. I have been running alot of errands. I long to have a day to stay home and really enjoy making my house a home. I think I am looking far into the future for that. Or maybe not. Let's hope not. In the meantime I get the laundry, dusting and vacuuming done bit by bit. It's getting done.
What would I like to do today?
- Change sheets. I have one set in the wash now. One more to go!
- Wash my shower curtain and duvet cover. Hopefully they can go in after the sheets
- Wash my husbands hockey clothes. Actually, they should go in before the shower curtain and duvet cover since they are kind of (a total understatement) stinky.
- Empty the dishwasher. The new, quiet dishwasher. I love it.
- Clean bathrooms.
Quite lofty goals considering I am off to run some errands and help my husband at work in a few minutes. Once LM gets home, has a snack and starts homework I can pick up where I am leaving off.
What do you do to make your home a haven?
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
I used a plate stand to display the frame and voila! St Patrick would like it, I think!
I am linking up to Wendy's Frugal Friday. So much fun!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The nurse provided her with tennis shoes and socks. I was happy that the nurse was able to do that & that I didn't need to be called to bring a new pair. I often complain about the wacky (in my opinion) things the school does but I was thrilled to see them take care of LM when she needed it.
When we got home I ask LM for the socks so I could wash them and return them to school this morning. She said, 'oh, I only had them on for a few hours. You don't need to wash them.' Alrighty then.
I washed those socks and returned them along with the shoes and a thank you note to the nurse.
Oh, and today LM has on boots....