Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Handy Man, Part Deux

Last Friday, when Craig was off to do another project for me, the plan was to put a drawer in the kids’ bathroom vanity.  Partly to see if we could get any supplies there, and partly just for fun, our first stop was the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.

Now, I have been there several times and have never found the wonderful and awesome bargains that other bloggers seem to.  But there’s always the possibility, you know?

Drawer supplies were a bust, but I did spy a double cast iron sink in good shape for only $30.  That’s when the plans changed.

This is the sink the house came with:  just your run-of-the-mill cheapo stainless steel.  I always had it in the back of my head that some day when I had an extra $200 or so (ha, ha) I would change it out for cast iron. 


Here, after a lot more work than Craig realized it would be, is the new sink.  I like it; I think it dresses it up a bit.



Now whenever I get that $200, I can get a cool new faucet.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I Have a Handy Man

Last week Craig took a few days off while the kids were on spring break and we did family stuff.  This week, he has taken two days off, just to get some things done for me.  What a guy!

Tuesday, he did some work on my kitchen cupboards.  The lower cupboards all have a roll-out shelf on the bottom, but the top shelf is just this narrow little thing way at the back.  Kinda dumb.



There was a lot of wasted space in there, and I had to kneel down and reach way in the back to get anything that was on that top shelf.  It was particularly frustrating with the pots, pans, and lids, and the containers.  It really made for a big mess, and the kids especially just tended to toss things in every which way.

So, I had Craig build a pull-out shelf on the top for both the pot and the container cupboards (only got photos of the pots).



You can buy ready-made pull-out shelves for about $50 and up.  Craig’s materials were under $20 for both cupboards.  That’s pretty awesome for something that just made my life easier.

Tomorrow is his second day off, so I need to check the honey-do list and decide what’s next.  Yippee!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Seen in Public

Today I was at Walmart at 2:30 in the afternoon, and I saw three different dads with a child in pajamas. Like, fuzzy fleece definitely pajamas (well, 2 were definite, and one I’m pretty sure). Not that I think it’s a big deal; I just thought it was funny, because you’d pretty much never see a mom in public with a child older than 12 months in pajamas. In fact, I rarely see any kids in public in pajamas, so to see 3 on the same day in the same store seemed notable.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I should mention that just last week, I was the mom in a store with a kid in PJs. Pinkerbelle was already dressed for bed and the whole family jumped in the van to go pick up Firstborn, and stopped real quick at Michaels for something Skippy needed for a school project. So, I don’t think I’d really count it, you know?)

ETA:  I just remembered this photo Craig had on his blog about a year ago.  This was all him; I had no idea he took Pinkerbelle to Krispy Kreme in this get-up.  Pajamas and completely clashing!


Anyway, back to Walmart. It made me think of the website www.peopleofwalmart.com –have you seen it? It’s all photos that people have taken of other people at Walmart. It’s pretty funny…and you might be somewhat amazed at what has actually been seen in public. Next time you need a good laugh, go kill a few minutes over there (fair warning: while I don’t think there’s anything really inappropriate, I would rate it PG).

Further disclaimer: I have not spent a lot of time perusing the mentioned website. I am not aware of anything that may be distasteful or demeaning, but that doesn't mean it isn't there somewhere. People of Walmart does not represent my views, and my intent is not to promote malicious ridicule of others.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Taking a Breather

I have had so much fun writing this blog for the last 18 months!  Really, I can hardly believe I had that much to say, and that so many people cared to read it.  I appreciate each and every one of my followers, those who read and comment regularly,  and even the lurkers!

But I’ve got to tell you something…for a while I’ve been kind of struggling to come up with material.  It’s not coming to me right now as easily as it was, and lately, I’m not having too much fun.  I feel totally self-imposed pressure every evening to think up a good post for the next day, but I’m not coming up with anything.

I realize that just last week I was asking for feedback on the idea of a weekly linky party, and the response was favorable.  But again, I have a confession.  I was trying to recharge my blog mojo, and unfortunately I’m just not feeling it.  Right now, I don’t really want to do a party!  Maybe in a couple weeks I will; I don’t know.

So, right now, I’m going to take a step back.  I’ll probably be posting less often, because I’m not going to put pressure on myself to post.  If I’ve got something to say, I will.  If I don’t, I won’t force it.  I’ve had this post (partially) written for a  couple  weeks, and have put off posting it, but nothing has changed.  This just feel right for now.

I may have just written my blog’s death warrant, but I hope not.  I hope you’ll still check in when you see I’ve got a new post up.  Thanks for understanding!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Featured Blog: Finding Home

This week I’d like to introduce you to Mandi of Finding Home.  I kind of feel like I know Mandi; we’ve been visiting each other’s blogs for some time.  She is originally from Pennsylvania, but married a Canadian and now lives in Northern Ontario.  I’ve actually been to her town, and it’s pretty far north.  (BTW, Mandi, I’d still like to hear the story of how you and Shane met!)

While Mandi waits for Permanent Residency so she can get a job, she has taken on the role of full-time homemaker.  Check out her Home Notebook to see how she keeps herself organized and on task.  You can even download her scheduling page and start on your own home notebook.  If it will help me be half as organized as it’s intended to, my life will be a lot easier!


Mandi likes to be crafty, and you will often see examples of goodies she has made in her posts.  Here is just one example of an easy, quick project she made with dollar store frames.  Isn’t it cute?  I can see lots of ways to use this idea.


She has made her home inviting, and so cute!  Look at this little armoire she painted for their bedroom.  I love the cupboard, but I also love everything about this picture—the wall color, the weathervane, the crock, the simplicity of it all.  And next time my sister comes to visit, I’m totally telling her to bring me some of those seagrass baskets from Canadian Tire!

Mandi's Photos 621

I’m going to show you some more of her decorating because it’s so cute!

Mandi's Photos 020  (Look, more seagrass baskets.)

013 She painted this old sewing table for the entry.

Mandi's Photos 283( Love this little Christmas vignette with the skates!)

One thing that always shines through on Mandi’s blog is that she loves Jesus.  Here’s just one example:  in Follow Your Heart, Mandi tells a story about how she followed God’s prompting one night, and in so doing, may have saved a girl from who-knows-what. 

I just love Mandi and I know you will too!  Please go say “hello”!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Partiers Wanted

You may have noticed that I haven’t had a Thrift Store Thursday post in a long time.  Or, for that matter, that I haven’t even mentioned a thrift store in a long time.

Unbelievable as it may be, I have hardly been to a thrift store since Christmas!  Maybe twice.  I just suddenly started feeling like I didn’t need to bring any more random items into the house; if anything, we need to get rid of a bunch of stuff.  Not necessarily stuff I bought at thrift stores, just the accumulation of 18 years of marriage, three kids and nearly a dozen houses.

But, I kind of miss my Thursday parties, so last night I was thinking about it…how about a party called just Thrifty Thursday?  It would be for sharing tips on saving money, economical and tasty recipes, and yes, any bargains you may have found at Target or a thrift store.

It’s a pretty broad topic, and would leave a lot of leeway for posts of different types, though I would kind of  hope to keep the focus on saving money and not just spending money on random things.  Admittedly, my original Thrift Store Thursday was usually more about spending.

So, what do you think? Any interest?  Would any of you participate?  I really value your honest input.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Join the Party!

Today I’m linking up my post From Dilemma to Delightful with Amanda’s Show Me the Progress party. Please head on over there and check out the transformations the participants have made (after reading mine, if you haven’t already!). Oh, and link up if you can!

Progress Party, March 2010

Quick Fix

A couple of weeks ago, I confessed to you some of the reality at my house.  One of those things was this plant.


Shortly thereafter, I cleaned it up, and I believe it will make a full recovery.


The plant sits on the little landing halfway up the stairs, so I see it every single time I go up or down.  Today, I suddenly noticed as if for the first time, this:


Yuck!  I must have the plastic saucer, or all that would be on my carpet, but gross!

Solution, a bag of rocks I got at Dollar Tree some time ago for a different purpose.  Better!


Cheap and easy, that’s my style!  (No, not in that way!)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Featured Blog: Life at the Zoo

First off, I want to let you know that I now have a button available for you if you have been one of my Monday feature blogs. The code is on my right sidebar; feel free to grab it (on a voluntary basis, of course).

Today’s featured blogger is someone I’ve “known” for quite a while, in the bloggy sense. Tricia from Life at the Zoo is a busy mom whose blog is funny and inspiring, and authentic.

Authenticity was her goal for 2010, but I really think she had it already. While you’re checking out that link for a look at her home in its authentic state, be sure to take note of what she did with the super cool chemistry lab chairs she scored for $4 each!

dr chair before_thumb[3]

Tricia is crafty…here is one of her more recent projects:

silhouette frame 8_thumb[1]

And here are some of my other favorites:

Before and After buffet (you’ll see how she made the awesome lamp shades, too).

buffet after  frame

This table is soooo cool, you’ll have to see how she made it to believe it.


It took a lot of thought and planning to get this photo wall to look this good, and she shares her tips with us.

Phto Wall After FR

But Tricia is not only about projects and a pretty home. She is encouraging, and inspiring, and you can tell she truly loves her life. To get a glimpse of that read Things I Love…

On Saturdays, Tricia does a post about things she’s seen around the blogs that week, called Inspire My Saturday…it’s always fun to see some great things you may have missed. Recently, she celebrated her one year blogiversary, and did her Saturday post as a look back over the year. Inspire My Saturday, Birthday Edition is a good way to get to know more about Tricia and her blog.

Please stop by Life at the Zoo, take a look around, and be sure to leave a comment!

Friday, March 5, 2010


Random.org picked #2 as the winner of the sweater giveaway from Resweater.


That makes Treasia Stepp of Stepp Into My World the lucky lady!  Treasia said she likes the pillows people have been making with sweaters; now, if she likes, she can make one herself with her free sweater from Kris.

Coincidentally, I also felted a sweater recently.  The problem is, this time around, I didn’t mean to felt it!


I found this Ann Taylor LOFT wool/angora/cashmere hoodie at my consignment outlet for $1.  I loved it; it was soft, warm, and pretty.

Then this week I washed it.  I had done it before with no problem, but this time I accidentally left the machine on fast agitation, and I guess that’s what did it.  It shrunk.  I tried to stretch it out when it was wet, but it’s still just a little too small now.  Fortunately, I’m not out any money; I certainly got my dollar’s worth out of it.

I’m still hoping I can salvage it somehow…maybe get it wet again and just put it on and wear it to stretch it out?  Otherwise, I guess it will go into the sweaters-to-repurpose box.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

I Got Nuthin’

Sorry y’all, I’ve had a couple of sick kids this week, and there’s nothing of interest happening around here.

I will pick the winner of the Resweater giveaway tonight; until then, there’s still time to enter.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Thank You!

I’ve received a few awards recently that I need to acknowledge.  First, the Kreativ Blogger award was given to me by  Angie of The Country Chic Cottage, Melissa of Frugal Creativity and Kerri of Kerri’s Klutter.


Amber Waves of Grain gave me the Beautiful Blogger award.

blog award

I am honored that these ladies thought of me.  Thank you!

Both of these awards ask that you share 7 things about yourself, so here, totally randomly, are 7 trivial things about me.

1.  I like to sleep.  A lot.  I often take a nap in the afternoon.

2.  When I was in fourth grade, I came in second place in the school’s mandatory speech competition, with a 3-5 minute speech about robins.

3.  I still have two baby teeth (there were no permanent ones to take their place; dentists are always amazed that they’ve lasted this long).

4.  I have never broken a bone.

5.  I am a great-aunt 7 times over.

6.  I hate to make a salad, but I love to eat it if someone else made it.

7.  I don’t like to talk on the phone.

Okay, I’m going to offer these awards to anybody who has never received a blog award.  If you are reading this, and are as-yet award-less, take your pick of the two.  Tell 7 things about yourself, and pass it on to several blogs that you like.

Thanks again to Angie, Melissa, Kerri and Amber!  Please visit these ladies.

P.S.  Don’t forget to enter the giveaway I’m hosting for Resweater.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Featured Blog: Resweater, and Giveaway

Giveaway now closed!

Last week I was approached by Kris of Resweater to see if I’d like to host a giveaway for her. Of course I would! Her blog was new to me, so I decided to do it for a Monday highlight.

As you might suspect from the name, Kris’ blog is all about recycling sweaters. You know I did that several times, but she takes it to a new level.

Look at all these goodies she’s made!

Diaper covers for cloth-diapering mamas:


Adorable tissue pack covers:


Reversible purse:


Crazy-cute elf slippers:


Kris says these are dryer balls, but I think they look really fun to play with too:


Kris posts lots of tutorials so you can try your hand at making something from felted wool, and if you win her giveaway, you can start for free!

Kris sells wool sweaters for recycling in her artfire shop, and will give the winner the sweater of her choice. Just leave a comment on this post. Winner will be drawn this Thursday at 9:00 pm.

Please visit Kris’ fun blog and shop and see what she’s got going on!