Thursday, October 31, 2013

Halloween! When will decor go to 90% off? Read on.

Who doesn't love Halloween? This is my favorite time of year. Harvest, beautiful colors and decor, scary shows, crisp weather, scarves and boots, and we still have Thanksgiving, Black Friday and Christmas to look forward to!

Plus, I can dress my animals up in cheesy outfits. They don't share my enthusiasm.

A candy corn tie is all we can wrestle on Simba.
Dracula! You can't tell in the picture, but there's even a sparkly bow tie.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Another glazing project

Yesterday's post showed the first item that I tried glaze on. Here is my second attempt with glaze. I found this item on a garage sale as well. I don't remember what I paid, but I'm thinking $3 or $4. It was plain wood. I spray painted it off white and distressed it. It stayed plain white for a couple years. I love using it in my bathroom because all of my beauty supplies are easy to reach.

I thought glaze might make it a little more interesting.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Glazing furniture to add depth

It's been a while since I last created a post on here. I apologize! We were out of town and I'm just now getting back into the swing of things. This week I hope to show you some of my furniture projects.

I finally got the courage to try out a decorative glaze. I found this Rustoleum Java Brown Decorative Glaze from Home Depot.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

In love with antique frames

I think items made decades or even centuries ago have so much more character and were better built than most items in today's stores. Check out this large frame my father-in-law found at a garage sale. I wish I had a before picture because he cleaned it up and stained it. We hung it last night. It's on the main wall of our living room and is one of my favorite pieces.

My initial thought was to put a mirror in it, but I stumbled across the 'H' at Hobby Lobby and thought it was the perfect fit. Our last name starts with an H. It was 50% off so ended up being $5.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Update those plain garage doors

We had plain garage doors just like everyone else on our block.

I wanted to add pizazz. I love the look of carriage house doors, but they're super pricey. We're talking at least $1,000 for one door and I needed two!

I knew there had to be a better way. I bought two packs of this hardware from Home Depot for $18.98. If you're in the military be sure to always show your ID card for 10% off at Home Depot and Lowes.

Home Depot

This project is pretty easy. The hardest part is taping everything off and making sure it's lined up.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Gardening and canning to save money

My parents live on an acreage and planted a big garden this year. It's been so nice to have fresh corn, watermelons, onions, peppers, tomatoes, spinach, and sweet potatoes on hand. Planting a garden is a cheap way to eat healthy. It's also super convenient. Need an onion for that recipe? Walk outside and get one. Anyone can do it. You don't need an entire acreage to garden. Try out a container garden if you lack space.

We've spent several Sundays canning so that we can enjoy these fresh foods through the winter. Yesterday, we made another batch of salsa.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Is granite film a good way to update countertops?

I just stumbled across another way to update your countertops. It's a vinyl granite film that is supposed to be durable and fool the eye into thinking it's the real thing. Rachel Ray even had it on her show! Check out the links below.

Image: Lisa Kaplan Gordon

Removing popcorn ceilings

I am not a fan of popcorn ceilings. Ours had to go because I felt like they really dated the house. A person can do all the updates they want, but popcorn ceilings are a dead giveaway to the true age of a home since this was a huge trend in the 70's and 80's.

Removing them was one of the first projects we did when we got the keys to the house. It made an absolutely awful mess. I was about in tears halfway through, but I am so glad they're gone. Since we were ripping out the floor and repainting everything anyways, it wasn't a big deal that the gross popcorn goop got everywhere. If I had been in a nice finished home, I don't think I would have tackled this project for fear of ruining everything else.

I forgot to take a picture of ours, but here's an example:

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Beautiful fall day for an auction

I'm just discovering the awesomeness of auctions. My retired father-in-law is a pro and goes to them on a regular basis. He finds the coolest stuff. Auctions are a great way to get unique items for a steal. There was an auction down the street from our house today and we brought home a couple of treasures.

Faux granite countertops

Something a lot of us have in common: ugly laminate countertops in our homes. Don't get me wrong, some of the newer laminates are really quite nice. If you have a home with beautiful granite or quartz - you're one lucky duck. Unfortunately, my home was filled with laminate countertops from another era. My kitchen and laundry room had lime green counters and the main bath had blue. The idea of ripping out all three counters really stressed me out. The cost had me almost breaking out in hives. So I found a better solution. I was able to redo all of the upstairs counters for less than $100.

Here are the before pictures:

Friday, October 18, 2013

How we updated an entire kitchen for less than $800

Our kitchen looked bad. Like really bad. It screamed 70s and the green counters that went up the wall made me cringe. I'm sure many people looked at our house when it was for sale and turned around and never looked back. We saw a lot of potential though. For an older home, it has an open layout to the dining and living room that's so popular in today's homes.

Here are some before shots of the kitchen:

And here are the afters:

Nevermind the cat. He was trying to strut through all my pictures.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

What to do with that old piano bench

If you don't play the piano, you've probably never had much use for a piano bench. However, don't dismiss them just yet. I found this one on the curb for free when I was still living in Lincoln.

It was in decent shape. Just needed some paint and a fresh idea.

To be honest, it was dark and early when I picked it up and I wasn't even sure what it was. All I knew was that it was wood and it was free. I've always wanted a nice bench or footstool at the end of my bed so that's when I got the idea to add padding and fabric to the top.

No idea what I'm doing, but I'll blog anyway...

Hi everyone,

I started posting some of my projects on Facebook and my friends were more than complimentary and encouraged me to start a blog. I have to admit I'm a bit hesitant. Are my diy projects really good enough to start my own blog? Do I crank out enough projects to keep this thing updated? I guess we'll see!

For those of you who don't know me, I'm a small town girl who loves the simple things in life - family, friends, and my pets. I'm also a complete cheapskate which is something a lot of people don't realize. At first glance you might think I spend a decent deal on my house, clothes, etc., but I never buy anything unless it's on sale. Ever. And if I do it really pains me. 50% off isn't even good enough. I wait until items are 70-90% off and I have a coupon to stack on top of it. I drive my husband nuts because I choose our restaurants and activities based on what coupons I have that week. While I could enlighten you on the world of couponing, there are so many great blogs out there that provide more inside information than I could ever dream of. My favorites are: (She's from Lincoln and posts lots of local deals!)

Be sure to follow all of them on Facebook!

Another way I like to save money is diy projects. I'll show what I'm up to each week on this blog. My husband and I bought a house a couple months ago and have been redoing everything in it. It was built in 1977 and still had all of the original 70s flair. Wait until you see the bedroom that had puke green and bright blue swirled carpet! We loved the house though because it is a good sized ranch (3,000 sq ft including basement), has an open layout, is all brick, is on a nice street, backs to the country, and is in a great school district. It was also the right price. I want to pay off this house asap so instead of sinking tons of money into renovations, we've been updating it ourselves. Will our projects look as good as a contractors'? No, of course not. But we enjoy working with our hands and coming up with creative ideas to save money. The whole point of this blog is to help wonderful people like you realize you don't have to spend an arm and a leg to have a beautiful home. Thank you for joining me on this journey!