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Goodwill Treasures

11 Nov

Happy Friday, 11/11/11 and Veteran’s Day kittens!

First, and by far most importantly, HUGE thank you to the incredible men and women who bravely protect the safety and liberties of those us of here at home, past and present.  There are no words that do justice to our gratitude.  This thank you also extends to their supportive and loving families who suffer heartache unimaginable day in and day out.  Know you’re in our prayers too!

And on a lighter note…  I think I’ve mentioned it before on here, and I get the feeling it’s a common blogger tendency…  I positively LOVE goodwill.  Every time I pass one I have a near uncontrollable urge to just ‘pop in’ and see what they’ve got and more often than not, when I give in to that impulse, I leave with a treasure, ready and willing to be upcycled into something lovely.  This kind of treasure hunt has been the inspiration for several of my Etsy projects.  It’s also been a key contributor to our first home’s ‘hominess.’  I always have aspirations of sharing my finds and upcycling adventures, but all too often my laziness ends with Twitter posts instead of proper blogging.

Today, I’m here to promptly rectify this.  Sure, it might be with low-quality cell phone pictures taken outside in a terribly-in-need-of-a-rake backyard… but nonetheless, to rectify…

My latest project:  


A $7 shelf, with peeling poo-brown paint….

Gone grey.

I love, love, love, goodwill hunting.  To me, it’s like finding diamonds in the rough, breathing new life to someone’s old, forgotten treasures, and letting them become treasures in a new right, instead of heading to the landfill.  Perhaps I’m being overly-romantic about material goods, but it’s something I really enjoy, can you tell?  What do you think guys, likey?



Homemade Dishwasher Detergent

8 Aug

So last week I mentioned that I’d picked up the simple ingredients to make some homemade dishwasher detergent.  And maybe I was ridiculously excited about it (I’m an old married woman, it’s the little things these days!).  But come on guys – it’s totally gonna save some serious monies!!  So here’s the lowdown:

Homemade Dishwasher Detergent (On the cheap!)

Recipe from Frugally Green

You need:

  • 2 cups of Borax (laundry aisle of your grocery store)
  • 2 cups of Baking Soda (a big box is also available in the laundry aisle)
  • 4 small packets of unsweetened lemonade Kool-Aid (you can also use 4 tablespoons of citric acid–if you can find it)

You do:

  1. Mix it all together.  That’s it.  One measly step.  Unless you count…
  2. Do a happy cash-money saving dance.
You use:
2 tablespoons per load, one inside the closed locking cup and one in the open cup.
This was def. one of those, no way this can work that well for such simple ingredients and hardly any money.  And then, by Job, it did!  My dishes came out squeaky clean without a bit of residue and spelling delightfully fresh! Happy dances ensued!
You can store it in your old detergent box or a glass jar so I can see the money you’re saving more clearly:)  I figure this cost me about $3 and should last about 32 loads.  As opposed to the $7 I used to pay for that many loads previously.  Plus, you can use white vinegar for your rinse agent!  Go figure!!
Anyways… happy savings kiddos!! xoxo:)

The halls are decked.

20 Dec

Hi Kittens!

I swear I’ve had these decorations up since right after Thanksgiving.  I’ve just waited til the last minute to post about them.  Let’s blame it on the gifts I’ve been opening wrapping.  And those cookies to be eaten baked – I’ve been a busy girl!

Anyways, here are our easy-peasy decor, on the cheap. Continue reading

Mother of All Wreathes

9 Dec

That title phrase is legit.  The beaut was borne out of an overambitious mind, a deep-seated passion for glitter, and the loving support of two gorgeous friends and one fly husband.

True story. Continue reading

Halloween Decor

25 Oct

Hi kiddies!

Don’t know about where you are.. .but fall is in full swing around here.  And with Halloween right around the corner – you know what that means.  Fun decoration time!   Here’s what I busted out this year…

Ready for the breakdown?  Read on! Continue reading

Chalkboard Wall

20 Oct

So we just redid our kitchen. And it’s like 98.4% complete.  There are 4 knobs that need washers before they can be screwed in and the island can’t be tipped right side up and rolled back in ’til we fix the dang caster (read: wheel) whose ball bearings came tumbing out when we were padding it so as to save the new sexy floor.  And the stainless sink is still covered in ivory paint – bums.

I know that was a mouthful but the important part is:  no whole kitchen photos yet, coming soon, instead – please enjoy our new kitchen chalkboard!

We just used 3 quick coats of Chalkboard Tint Base in Moonlight with a roller (they mix it right at the paint counter @ Home Depot for ya), and framed it with some purdy $7 crown moulding that I picked from Home Depot.   We slapped on a few coats of semi-gloss paint and our incredibly handy man, Dan (Handy Dan, I like it!) cut it to size and stuck that sucker right up there.  Want to know more gory details?  Or are you desperately trying to place this little crevice of our humble abode? How bout some unecessary labels?!:

Eventually (you know when we’ve got our lives at least a little bit together) we’ll probably give it a second coat of our Behr semi-gloss ivory and gussy up the edges where Dan caulked to close the gap that peeks into the black abbyss that is our random fridge cubby.  With green.  A two hour project that saved that crazy cubby and us several hundred dollars in demo.  And now we have something fun for all my obsessive lists.  Maybe someday they’re even be little Webbies to cultivate their inner artist via chalk there.  In the meantime, since I know you’re all dying to know how we afford to live in such home-improvement extravagance here’s a little list of your own:

The Big Budget Breakdown

        • Rustoleum Paintable Chalkboard: $12 and we didn’t even use half of it – chalkboard basement wall anyone?
        • Paint Roller: Free (we had ’em to do the whole kitchen sillies)
        • Two 8′  Pieces of Crown Moulding: $5
        • Bit o’ Behr Premium Paint: Free (again, with the kitchen, you def. need less than a quart tho!)
        • Finishing Nails: $4 (we have a buttload left here too!)
        • Chalk: $3 (I splurged and got white and colors from Michales @ $1.50/box)
        • Eraser: Free.  Maybe because I didn’t buy one yet.  Where does one buy a chalkboard eraser anyways?
        • Gradiose Total: $24


See – toldja we were high rollers;)

And as with all newly painted chalkboards, since you’re not sure whether what you’re writing will every really erase, be sure to write something that you won’t mind keeping, posted on your wall, forever. And ever.

Falling into Wreath-Makin’

15 Oct

Hi kiddos. Believe it or not, there are some perks to changing seasons.  I know that’s obvious when its going from spring to summer for instance, but around here, it’s tough to see the joy in newly frigid and dark days.  ‘Cept when it means you get to bust out the glue gun, boxed wine and ring up some wreath-diggin’ girlfriends.    Here’s how to make it happen:

1. Get together at about 8pm, so you have to make a mad dash to Jo-Ann Fabrics and stuff your cart full of goodies and sprint through the check out.  Supermarket Sweep style.

2. Buy excessive amounts of lovely autumnal foliage.  At our Jo-Ann’s all the fall decor was 40% off and then I was able to use a 20% off your entire purchase (including sale items!).  We literally had an overflowing cart (reds, yellows and pumpkins, oh my!) including tons of leaves, flowers, acords, pumpkins and 3 grapevine wreathes.  It came to $60 bucks.  Our bounty made four wreathes comfortably with quite a bit of leftovers.

3. Bust out the wine and snackies. And cover your kitchen table with your plethora of prettyful pieces.  But keep an eye on your cheese.  And vino.   They may just get buried in all that fall goodness and then you’ll be toast. Because we all know you can’t make wreathes without wine.

4. Lay it all out on the line (or wreath).  Do this however floats your boat, Kmitch and Sniff were careful little layers, putting each leaf in its general position whereas I am a piler.  I snagged the colors and textures I was going for into a giant pile and then worked directly from there.  You’ll also want to trim pieces down if they have extra stem or are coming off a big stalk.

5. Get your (hot) glue on.  Yay!  My favorite part.  The moment you’ve been preparing for!!  I use my handy little guy on low heat (Kmitch has battle scars to show how dangerous these suckers can be) and just put a healthy dollop around the base of what you’re stickin’ into the wreath.  Then shove it down into the grapevine, so it gets tucked away and is nice and secure.  Don’t worry a bit about those glue ‘hairs’ that will be everywhere, when you’re done they’re super easy to pull off.

6.  Work round and round. Once you’ve made it all the way around your gorge wreath, go ahead and fill in any baldie spots to get just the look you’re going for.

7.  Step back and admire that masterpiece! Congrats!!  You’ve made a *rockin’* wreath. And if you’re feeling particularly nutty, go ahead and make one for your momma too.  She’ll llerrrvvee it!

There’s our beauties.  Isn’t it wonderful how we can all start with the same pile o’ leaves and end up with 3 different, but equally incredible, wreathes!  Hoorayyyyyy!