Saturday, February 27, 2010

Shopping Your Friends Closet

We have all heard "shop the house," well how about shopping someone else's house, or better yet, their closet.  Kerri and I are going to sell our kids clothes from last season in a local consignment event in a couple of weeks, so we have been quite busy preparing.  You wouldn't think getting all of this stuff together would be such an ordeal but the sorting, ironing, hanging and tagging is quite time consuming. 

Since both of Kerri's kids are about a year older than mine it works well for me to shop her stuff before the sale.  This way I get first dibs and she gets 100% of her sales price instead of 70%, win win for both!  So last night we went shopping at "Hebert's Closet".  I loaded up for Mason and got some much needed semi-casual stuff for Reagan, she is finally starting to be able to wear her stuff for more than one season so she didn't need as much. 

If you have never shopped your friends closet I suggest you try it or at least search your area for consignment events and sales.  I have found that if you consign or work the sale you can get in early and will have the best selection, lots of brand names for a fraction of what you would pay retail.   Hopefully the clothes I will be selling at the event in a couple of weeks will more than pay for what I bought from Kerri.  That means I am dressing my kids for almost free and you can't beat a deal like that!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Cool, Cool, Cool Tricks!!!

So if you have young kids you get my title, if not, go to, fun fun stuff.  Ok, on to the cool tricks.  My dishwasher has been playing some not-so-cool tricks lately.  No matter what kind of soap I used or what setting I chose my dishes kept coming out with a soapy film all over them.  Well, lucky for me I go to church with a man who owns an appliance repair business.  So I told him all my problems and kept my fingers crossed that he wasn't going to tell me to head to Lowe's.  You will never belive what he told me to do.  You ready??  Apple cider vinegar, yep, a whole gallon of it.  Run that stinky stuff through on an empty cycle and it will clean all of the soap build up out of your pipes and hoses.  Cost me about $3 and now I have sparkly dishes again, yippee!!  Pretty cool trick don't ya think!!

As you can see in the picture I didn't use all of the vineger.  I have heard of people washing their hair with apple cider vinegar to remove styling product build up and it is supposed to leave your hair so clean and soft.  Has anyone tried this, I am just wondering how long will I smell like a pickled apple??? 

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Bedtime Bribery

Reagan has been sleeping in her bed for some time now the only catch is J has to lay down with her 'til she goes to sleep. When she turned 5 we told her that she was a big girl and needed to start laying down by herself.  After her story was read and prayers were said, there was a wee bit of resistance that first night.....she cried wailed for over an hour! At one point Mason woke up and started crying too.  I just laid in bed and laughed. J asked why I was laughing and I said it's either laugh or cry with them! I kept waiting for the neighbors to call the police to see what was going on, thankfully they didn't.  The second night we laid down the law.  Ok, so we bribed her. We told her she could leave her lamp on and if she went to sleep by herself, without crying she could get a cool night light and at the end of 7 days she could get a prize; she was asleep in about 30 minutes.  Bribery works like a charm!  Today we went to Target and she picked her prize; a bling-bling cell phone.  We are very proud, way to go Reagan!! 

Friday, February 19, 2010

Spray Painting Kitchen Cabinets


It has been a busy few days at the Stafford house.  J went out of town this week and I got the bright idea I was going to surprise him and spray paint the kitchen cabinets.  Yes spray paint, in February, in the snow.  Crazy I know, but that's just how I work.  I researched spray painting cabinets on the internet of course and found someone that had great success so I felt that I could do it too.  I recruited some help, all of which asked that I not mention their names to J when he got home, (I think they doubted me just a little).  First, I set up a make-shift spray paint room in a little mud room off of the kitchen. I lightly sanded and then sprayed all of the cabinets with a spray primer.  Then I coated the back side of all the cabinets with 2 coats and the front sides with 1 coat of Krylon spray paint.  This took about 4 cans of primer and 6 cans of Krylon.


They still needed more coats so at this point I rolled a coat of Creamy White Behr Primer and Paint in one.  Once the doors were hung, I rolled another coat using a small sponge roller, this really made the paint look smooth.  I do think spray painting the first few coats did save some time, but I am glad I rolled those last couple of coats, spraypaint can be tricky and stinky....if I would have inhaled any more of that stuff I think I would have died! It took about 2 1/2 days to do all of this and I put the last knob on about 15 min. before J walked in the door. J was surprised and yes he loves it (especially loves that he didn't have to do it)! A BIG thank you to all of you anonymous helpers!!  

After :)

For all of you out there in blog land that are about to take the paint-your-cabinets-plunge, here are my suggestions;

*sand first-especially the non-wood areas
*prime-I liked the spray primer, it was quick and easy to apply
*prime again-I love the Behr primer and paint in one from Home Depot, this extra primer in the paint will help keep the paint from chipping
*paint the last coat after you re-hang the doors, this way you will see them as they will be and see what areas need repainting
*use a small sponge roller for the last coat-it leaves a smooth finish
*use paint that is washable and durable
*get helpers

*try to surprise your husband while he is out of town
*spray paint in the house-the smell and spray paint dust was too much at times even with doors & windows open-it was a lot of cabinets
*buy cheap paint
*be afraid-I was nervous once I saw the doors waiting on the floor to be painted, but I was not turning back and I'm glad I didn't!

Good luck!!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mason's Room.....(Green Rocker cont.)

Ok, so the pictures of my grandmother's green rocker don't quite do it justice.  You are probably thinking J was right about this chair right now. So I thought I would share a little more of Mason's room so you can get the "full effect". 

The "Choo Choo" above his crib are the paperish letters from HL....$1.99 ea., but you know I got those on sale for $1 ea.  Little spray paint and there ya go.

As you can see in the picture above, the bedding is trains, but I didn't want to have just trains so I also played off of the stars in the bedding.  I got these little metal stars on a stick, (I'm not really sure what they were for), and added a magnet to the back and some spray paint and now they hold pictures.

I bought the large star and some paper stars (same as the "choo choo" letters) and spray painted them too.  Then I took some string and hung them from the large star and we have a mobile over the changing table.

I bought all of the star stuff at HL around the Fourth of July and it was all half off. I think we spent around $175 on this room (we already had the furniture) which included the bedding, rug, toy basket, wall paint and all of the accessories. Not bad for an entire new room!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Grandmother's Green Rocker

I ran across a post at A Penny Saved about a green velvet sofa she is going to use in her nursery.  As I was reading I was in disbelief  because I thought I was the only one who would ever want green velvet furniture.  When I was pregnant with Mason I knew I would need a rocking chair for the nursery.  Being the frugal one that I am, I remembered my never-get-rid-of-anything dad had a rocking chair that belonged to my grandmother in his attic.  My whole family, husband included, couldn't believe I actually wanted "Mimmie's green rocker".  But I had a vision.  Ok, not really, I just needed a rocker.  I got the chair and placed it in what was our office/catch all room before we converted it into the nursery.  Every time J went in there he made some not so nice comment about the chair.  I have to admit there were a few times I went in that room and wondered what was I thinking myself, but I had already proclaimed it's greatness so there was no turnin' back.  I really didn't have a plan to start with, so when I went shopping for crib bedding I looked for something to match that green rocker.  I found some bedding at TJ Maxx and I believe it was $70 for the set and I was in business!  The set included a quilt, bumper, skirt, sheet and 1 valance.  Since the room has 2 windows I took the valance that was in the crib set and turned it into 3 pillows.

Now with the pillow and a throw on the rocker it fits right in.  I know deep down J is glad I got this thing, especially while he is rocking in a comfy chair in the middle of the night!

I'm linking up to "FREE Friday" @ A Very Blessed Nest!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Goodwill Hunting

These are my latest thrifting finds.  The railroad posters/signs were .99 each, the mini bowling pins were .99 for all 4 (aren't they so cute), the little vase thingy was .99 and the plate was $3.99, I know I splurged on it a little.  All of this for $10.85!! 

Many of you have left sweet comments about some of my thrifting transformations and many have also said that you don't have much luck at Goodwill.  So, I want to offer some Goodwill hunting tips.

1.  Broaden Your Horizon

 I typed in Goodwill & my city in Google and it pulls up a map of the closest stores.  I couldn't believe it, but there were about 11 in a 35 mi. radius of my house!  And to think I usually only go to 3, oh what I have been missing!!

2.  Go Often & Savings Secrets

Because the inventory is always changing, I go to the store closest to my house almost weekly.  Find out when the sales are. I  know the last weekend of the month is 1/2 off weekend-1/2 EVERYTHING!  My area stores also offer various sales throughout the month and a senior citizens discount day. 

3.  Make a List

I have a list on my fridge of what I want to do in each room of my house.  I have this for 2 reasons; 1-to remind me of what needs to be done and 2-if I happen to have a light bulb moment of something great I want to do in a room, I want to write it down before the bulb blows.  This list also helps keep me focused when I go in a thrift store if I am slightly overwhelmed with all of the stuff.  It is also a good idea to have measurements of spaces you are trying to fill on this list, just remember to take a tape measure with you to the store.

4.  Don't Always Follow the List

Just like rules, lists are sometimes meant to be broken.  If you see something you just love, love, love and it's $3 but you don't know what you are going to do with it, get it.  If you really like it in the store you will find a place for it at home.

5.  Don't Cast Judgment Too Soon

For instance, if you see a piece of furniture that is a horrific color don't walk away too fast.  Look at the "bones" of the piece.  Is it solid?  Could a coat of paint make this beautiful?  How much money will I have to spend on the transformation?

6.  Be Patient

Ok, I realize this could be the hardest tip yet, but Rome wasn't built in a day and your house wont be either.  I have been married 11 1/2 years and have never felt like my house was "finished".  I know that's very encouraging (sense the sarcasm).  Don't get stuff just to fill up space cause you wont be happy with it even when it's filled.  Take your time and enjoy the hunt.

7.  Take a Friend or a Camera Phone

It is always nice to have a second opinion or some reassurance about a potential purchase.  And it's nice to have someone along to share the thrill of a great find!

Good luck on your hunt!!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Roadside Wreath-Take 1

I was driving through town the other day and just so happened onto a street that it was "that time of the month",  monthly garbage pick-up time that is.  I noticed one house in particular that had quite a large pile at the curb.  As I passed, I slowed down and low and behold they were throwing out some grapevine wreaths.  I turned my car around and snatched em right up. 

There were 3 wreaths in all!

I took the smallest wreath and put a bowl in the middle with some nuts, acorns and a candle in the middle and I now have myself a new centerpiece.  Here's the rundown on what this cost: wreath-roadside-free, bowl-had it-free, nuts-had em-free, acorns-out of the yard-free, candle-had it-free, ribbon-had it-free.  So that's a grand total of FREE!!  That's one 4 letter word I love to hear!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Chalkboard Door

I have showed this chalkboard before in a post titled "The Big 5", which was about Reagan's 5th b-day.  But since Kerri at A Very Blessed Nest is having a "Free Friday" McLinky Party, I thought it deserved its very own post.  We are in the process of changing out flat wood doors to panel doors through out our house and being the frugal, don't want to get rid of anything kinda person that I am (thanks Dad) we have some of those flat doors in the garage.  So in need of something kinda large on my kitchen wall, I thought what better than a chalkboard?  So I pulled a door from the garage and painted it with some chalkboard paint.  J put some baseboard trim around it and ta-da, a FREE chalkboard!  Do you have something free and fabulous?  Come join the party at AVery Blessed Nest!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Inspired By Shutters and Burlap

I needed something on the wall above my desk area, which is in my living room.  Since it is the living room I wanted it to look somewhat attractive and not to office-ish (try saying that 3 times fast).  I love how the Nester uses shutters in various places in her house and I thought that would work perfect in this space.  I found these shutters at the Habitat store for $10 and painted them red.  Then I added the picture frames, which I got from Goodwill for $7 for all 4 of them.  The iron shelves came from Pottery Barn Outlet several years ago.  Then I ran across this burlap wreath on Where the Heart Is.  So simple and inexpensive, right up my alley!  And there you have it, shutters and burlap!

Home Sweet Home!

J had a conference this past weekend in Nashville so I thought it would be fun to take the kids and do some thrifting while he was there.  My friend Jennifer was also in the area visiting her parents so we had our Goodwill trips all planned out, but instead we got....SNOW and lots of it, about 8 inches! Friday morning it started snowing around 8:00 and we had no food in our hotel room.  My "mother bird" instincts kicked in and I loaded up my niece and kids and we headed to the store.  We got about 3 blocks down the road, which was already getting covered with snow, and there was a wreck.  I slowed down to go around and a man ran right into the back side of my car!! He said to me, "if you would have sped up a little I could have gone between you".  Between me and the wreck!?!?, and they say women are bad drivers!!!  Thankfully everyone was o.k. just a big dent and broken tail light, anyway, back to the hotel.  After J got out of his class we found a Wal-Mart and got some food.  It took us about 30 min. to drive 5 miles, the roads were bad, people sliding everywhere. We did everything you can possibly do in a hotel with 3 kids.  We were getting a little stir crazy if you know what I mean.

 We went outside for awhile but it was very COLD!! 

I40 looked really bad Saturday evening so we were not sure if we would even be able to come home on Sunday, but thankfully they scraped the roads Saturday night and Sundy afternoon we were homeward bound!  It was a loooong few days but we made it.  Home sweet home!