Little projects for Little E. Nursery is coming along but not quite done. Will be back with photos when it is.
Little projects for Little E. Nursery is coming along but not quite done. Will be back with photos when it is.
Posted in Home Sweet Home, Wake Forest, tagged airy, blog, Budget, cabinets, cottage, craigslist, DIY, kitchen, paint, refinish, remodel, remodeling, remodeling guy, renovation, repaint, spraypaint, Wake Forest, white on April 3, 2009 | 4 Comments »
So, after mulling over, discussing and praying about a move to Kentucky next summer so that the WMD could switch seminaries and we could be closer to our families, we’ve decided that the best thing for our little family in this economy is to stay put right where we are for the next four years and let the WMD get his Master’s degree here. Really, other than not being closer to family, we’re very, very happy with this decision.
What that means is that painting the kitchen cabinets are back on the table once Little E is not taking up residence inside my belly anymore. Originally, with a new baby on the way and the possibility of putting our house on the market pronto, we installed them as is and figured they were better than what we had when we moved in. They are really great, solid wood cabinets that have served us much better functionally in the last 8 months that we’ve had them than I originally thought considering we only paid $150 for the entire kitchen (we didn’t have room for all of them, so the WMD got a nice little workshop in the shed out of it too), which is a ree-diculous CraigsList score.
However, they are buttugly.
Our home is small and I want white cabinets, which I assume will feel less imposing than the dark brown stain that’s currently on them. I also think white will lend to a more airy “cottagy” feel, which is what we’re going with in our home since, well, it’s technically a cottage. All of this to say, I’ve been researching how to paint kitchen cabinets since a) we don’t have the money to pay someone to do it, b) even if we did have the money, we probably still wouldn’t pay someone to do it (but that’s because we would have gotten all new white cabinets to begin with. And we wouldn’t live in this house. We’d live in this one a few blocks over from us.), c) I figure I’ll have boatloads of time on my hand since I will be staying home with Little E (I assume that’s correct, right, all my mommy friends?(I’m kidding)), and d) I’m a glutton for punishment. I’ve spent the last four summers standing out in the sweltering North Carolina sun painting something and I figure, why should this summer be any different?
So, as I was doing some research, I stumbled across Remodeling Guy’s post about painting cabinets. I figured if anyone knows what it takes to do this sort of project, Remodeling Guy does. He started with Part Iand then pulled the ultimate switcheroo with Part II. Really, I can’t do it justice, so just go over to his blog, read what he did and then come back here to let me know if I should attempt his method in Part II. I’m curious to see what my readers have to say about his Plan B. It appeals to me in a way very similar to the way dill pickles appeal to me right now, so to say the least, I’m leaning strongly in that direction.
Posted in baby, Home Sweet Home, tagged baby, blue, Budget, changing table, color, decor, DIY, dresser, furniture, Home, inexpensive, inspiration, nursery, paint, red, Redo, Yellow on March 19, 2009 | 6 Comments »
I finally found a dresser on Craigslist that was in our price range, the style I wanted and within a reasonable driving distance. It also came with a matching nightstand. I have plans to paint both, but I’m not sure which color yet. I think the nightstand will go in the living room, so it will probably end up apple red like the other side tables we have in that room to bring it all together. I have an empty spot waiting for it and it will be a great place to store our board games, cards, etc…
As for the dresser, this will serve as both the changing table and clothes storage for Little E (whose wardrobe is quickly eclipsing mine already!). The WMD doesn’t think I should paint it at all, but I drew my veto card on this one. Yes, this is a hill I will die on. I did ask him if he liked the decor of our home and he said yes. I then reminded him who was responsible for that and that he needed to leave the dresser color up to me. Besides, he was just yanking my chain. He loves to do that and most of the time, I’ll play along. But not when it comes to painting furniture.
So, while I’m deciding what to do with the dresser, I’m mulling over these inspiration pics:
Courtesy of babybomb
Courtesy of kmk7878
Courtesy of tashanoel
Courtesy of inkstainedwriter
Any opinions? Should I go with color or just do a creamy white?
Posted in baby, Budget, Family, Home Sweet Home, tagged abc, adult, alphabet, art, baby, Budget, decor, decoration, design, DIY, dresser, girl, gulliver crib, ikea, inexpensive, nursery, red on February 23, 2009 | 1 Comment »
Now that it’s pretty obvious to most observers that I’m indeed pregnant, I’ve been getting a lot of questions about Little E’s nursery (the chick formerly known as Little WMD). Since her parent’s are the frugal type and purchased a small home, she won’t be getting her own nursery. But, the two walls she will get will be cute!
Since we’re not repainting that room, I’ve decided to incorporate red and white into her bedding, decor, etc… to go with the tan walls. Sorry that the photo above is so small, but it gives you an idea of what I’m thinking. The room color is in the upper right. The crib sheet is red and the crib skirt is the polka dot fabric behind it. We’ve purchased the Ikea Gulliver Crib in birch for her and for now, we have the alphabet poster in red and the Love You print that I’ll mat in white and frame in black.
The other photos are my inspiration photos. I’ve been searching CraigsList relentlessly for a dresser that will also serve as a changing table. I’m looking for something with good lines, that’s feminine and, most importantly, cheap. I really like the white one in the photo above and have been looking for one similar to it that I can paint. However, it seems like people on our local CL want upwards of $100 for an old dresser. Knowing that I could just as likely find a free one on the curb, there’s no way at this point in the game that I’m dropping more than $50 for one.
I’m considering making the hoop ribbon mobile in the lower right, only in shades of red, pink, and white. I have plenty of ribbons and a hoop, it’s just a matter of sitting down and making it. The photo with the little girl jumping up and down is really more for references than anything else. I love Meg’s thrift style and would really like to copy it in Little E’s room. The last photo in the upper right corner shows embroidery hoops with different color/pattern fabric in them. Such an easy and inexpensive way to decorate a wall. I also like the fact that I could place these on the wall above the crib and not have to worry about heavy objects falling into the crib.
Basically I’m trying to create a sweet area for a little girl that blends in with the rest of the room, which is used as her dad’s library and study area. I wanted to make sure that her art would be something that I would hang in our house any way and that her area not be full of pink, ruffles and butterflies. I want her space to meld with ours. Hopefully I’ll be able to achieve that.
Posted in Uncategorized, tagged baby, blocks, Budget, cheap, colorful, colors, nontoxic, pull cart, rainbow wagon, sifo, thrift, toddler, toxic, toy, vintage, wood, wooden on January 28, 2009 | 2 Comments »
I found this little wagon at a thrift store last summer- before I was pregnant. I loved that it was vintage and colorful, so when I spotted the $2.50 price tag, I grabbed it up. I have to admit that I did look on Ebay to see what it might sell for. There was only one listed and while it was selling for more than I paid, it wasn’t enough to convince me to sell it. It reminds me of something my grandmother would have had in her home for her grandkids to play with.
Now that I’m pregnant, I’m thinking this will make a nice little addition to the baby’s area (little WMD will be sharing a room with our office). I don’t know if I will let the baby play with it though. I wonder if it contains lead paint since it was manufactured in the early 1960s. Any ideas? I do love the fact that it’s all wood and it would be great for motor skills, so it would be nice to know whether or not it’s safe for a toddler to slobber all over.
My mom, my aunt and I made our annual pilgrimage to Ikea while the WMD and I were in Michigan for the holidays (Note: The WMD did NOT go to Ikea with us. That’s not the WMD’s thing. He would want me to note this for my readers). Since it’s only a once a year kind of thing, we took our time meandering around each floor and enjoying lunch in the cafe.
Now, there’s never a shortage of things that I want each time we make this trip. In fact, there’s usually a surplus. However, taking into consideration that any items purchased have to be transported across country and then find a place in a teeny, tiny house means that I often leave with very little. In fact, it wasn’t until we got to the very end of our shopping trip that I spotted this little number. I liked the shape of it and I liked the $6 price tag even better, so I snapped it up in a heartbeat. Once we were back in good ole’ North Cackilacky, I went to the HD (Home Depot), picked up my color de rigeur and spray painted that baby a nice shade of apple red to match the other side tables in the living room.
Now I just need a plant. Should have picked one of those up at Ikea too.
Posted in food, Home Sweet Home, tagged backsplash, bathroom, black, Budget, cabinets, cheap, contrast, countertop, cupboards, DC, flexibility, flexible, frugal, Home, House, ikea, inexpensive, kitchen, outlet, paint, product, Raleigh, remodel, reno, renovation, sink, subway tile, tile, white on June 24, 2008 | 4 Comments »
I’m really learning what it means to be flexible during this kitchen renovation. What I think we’re going to end up with (but really, who knows at this point) is very different than I originally pictured in my mind. Part of that is due to a limited product selection. Can you believe Raleigh doesn’t have a tile outlet store? Part of it is due to high gas prices and not wanting to drive four hours north (twice) to pick out and pick up a butcher block counter top at Ikea in D.C. I suppose when it gets right down to it, it’s money that dictates what our next direction is. C’est la vie.
So while we set out to create this for our countertops:
We’re now going in this direction:
And you know what? I love it! Did I mention I have an extremely talented husband who is game for most things I throw at him? He’s very good at going with the flow. Always has been. Actually, I suppose I’m the one who’s not real good at that.
I really like how the little black tiles draw the eye to the frame they create. You can kind of see the herring bone pattern Matthew came up with in the top corner up there. He’s very pleased with that and he should be because it looks great. We will paint the wood trim black since we couldn’t find the black cap tiles to go along the edge for less than $5 each- way too expensive for us. It will make a nice contrast between the white cabinets and the white subway tile. Did I mention I have a thing for black and white? Did you see the guest bathroom in my last place?
The only thing I wasn’t anticipating was how expensive those black tiles are. Can you believe that they are 6 times more expensive than the white ones?! If Matthew hadn’t bought them and laid them out while I was at work today, I probably would have gone to just doing the plain white tiles to save money. But now that I’ve seen it, there’s no going back. And really, we’ve been so frugal every else with this kitchen, we can spring for the extra tiles. It will look so good in the end. We plan to do the same thing on the backsplash as well.
Another thing that’s teaching me about flexibility, not having a kitchen sink:
While our sink fits our tiny bathroom perfectly, it just wasn’t made to put up with filling Dutch ovens full of potatoes. I’ll spare you the sight of me washing dishes in the bathtub- in that same Dutch oven. Hey, I thought dish pans were obsolete these days, so I never bothered picking one up.
Looks like our food budget is going right out the window with the pricey black tiles.
Posted in Home Sweet Home, tagged backsplash, black, Budget, butcher block, cabinets, cheap, counter, countertops, craigslist, cupboards, dishes, dishwasher, dryer, floor, flooring, free, fridge, green, hand, hardware, Home, House, idea, inexpensive, inspiration, intrigue, kitchen, lower, new set of teeth, oak, online, paint, pantry, photograph, photos, refrigerator, remodel, renovation, stacking, storage, store, stove, subway tile, vct, washer, white, work on June 20, 2008 | 1 Comment »
I know I promised pics of my new set of teeth, but when I got home last night and saw this, I decided I had to adjust my plans a bit. Don’t worry Lindsay, I’ll get to them. Just stay intrigued a little bit longer.
I know it’s a mess, but it’s progress. And look! We have a dishwasher! That we got for FREE off of Craigslist! And it works! And it’s only two years old! No more washing dishes by hand: priceless!
I knew Matthew wanted to work on taking the lower cabinets out, but I didn’t think he’d get this far in the time I was at work. You can see the cabinets we purchased on Craigslist. They are brown now, but I plan to paint them a nice off white. They are solid oak and were a steal at $150 for the ENTIRE kitchen! We did have to buy a little 9″ cabinet to fit between the stove and the cabinet on the left there, but it will look fine once we get it all painted. Hey, our house isn’t the biggest and best on the block by far, so we don’t need to spend a fortune redoing the kitchen. And believe me, anything will be an improvement over what we had, as seen on the upper cabinets here:
Those curtains have got to go!
We will be extending the countertop from the corner over there on the left to the door frame in the center. We would like to have an area we can do work at our laptop on, so this will give us space for a stool to go under the counter since the corner cabinet (with a GIANT lazy susan in it!) doesn’t extend the entire length of the wall.
This is what the rest of the kitchen looks like, just so you get an idea of our setup. We are planning on getting a stacking washer and dryer when we can find one cheaply on Craigslist. Once we have that, we’ll move the fridge next to it and put two tall pantry cabinets where the fridge is now. We are going to have SO much more countertop and storage space in this kitchen than we have had.
And the doors aren’t falling off of the cabinets!
Matthew is working on the countertops today. We are going with white subway tile with a black subway tile border. I really wanted butcher block, but that was either way out of our budget or 4 hours (and a lot of gas money) away at Ikea in Virginia. Laminate would actually cost more than the tiles as well, so we’re going with the tile. Not my first choice for a countertop, but it’ll do. We also plan to run the subway tile up the backsplash. I’m looking for something like this in the end:
I really like those green tiles on the backsplash. Obviously we won’t have the hexagonal tile on the countertop, but this is close enough. I had originally planned on nickel hardware for the cabinets, but I may go with the black. I love how it all looks here. We also plan on putting down VCT flooring in an off white and sage checkerboard pattern. If you know of an online store to get green subway tiles like this that’s not outrageously expensive, please let me know!
Posted in Budget, food, Home Sweet Home, NC, Raleigh, Rambling, tagged aldi, appetite, avocado, avocadoes, big lots, bike, bike riding, biker, brand namde, Budget, car, carpool, carts, climbing, comparison shopping, cook out, coworkers, craving, cut back, discount, finance, financial, food, gas, gas prices, green, grocer, grocery, grocery list, ground beef, gym, hamburger buns, harris teeter, hot dog buns, hot dogs, inexpensive, kraft macaroni and cheese, long story, lower prices, money, multitask, mushrooms, onions, produce, pumps, rent, salt, sausage, save, saving, sugar diet, sweets, teenage boy, teenager, wal-mart, walmart, website, work out, working out, workout, zucchini on June 12, 2008 | 2 Comments »
So with gas prices continuing to climb, I’ve started to look at ways we can reasonably cut back our budget in other areas since I’m not ready to give up my 5am gym sessions to carpool to work and Leslie’s not ready to give up sleep for 5am gym carpools. I’ve considered riding my bike to work, thus combining my workout and saving gas money/mileage/maintenance on my car and thrilling the multitasker in me, but Matthew doesn’t consider that a valid option. He’s not convinced that I could do the 27 mile ride (that would be one way) in less than three hours. To which I kindly remind him that I AM the product of Greg Cook who is a biking fool. While Matthew agreed that my dad is indeed the mac-daddy of biking, he wasn’t convinced that I inherited that. It probably doesn’t help my argument that I would be riding through Raleigh’s notorious rush hour traffic and sharing the roads with the crazies who drive them.
Since cutting back on gas is out, I’m looking at other options. In looking at our expenses for the last few months, I’ve noticed that we spend the majority of our money on food. Makes sense to me. I live with a man who has the appetite of a teenage boy and a deep craving for sweets. He informed me that he was going on a sugar diet last week, which to me meant that he was cutting sugared foods out- good move! However, he meant the exact opposite. Due to the lack of sweets we have at home (I don’t buy them because a) they’re bad for us, b) they’re bad for our budget and c) I prefer salt and I do the shopping), he was going on a sugar diet, meaning all sugar and only sugar, since he was being deprived at home. Baaaad for the budget, I say!
Anyway, to make a long story shorter, I decided to check out Aldi this week. For those of you who don’t know what that is, it’s a discount grocer. They claim to have lower prices because you have to “rent” the shopping carts (for $.25), thus eliminating the need for cart retrievers, replacements, they sell the grocery bags to you if you really need them and a whole host of other things all found at their website.
I pass by an Aldi on my way home everyday from work, so after crying my way through another painful fill up at the pump, I made my way over to the store to check it out. In my mind, I was preparing for a Big Lots-esque grocery experience. You know, all the leftover, expired and generally nasty food from the regular grocery stores. But this was actually surprisingly good. It took a litte while to get oriented to the system, but I was pleasantly surprised with the selection.
Here’s the kicker though: my husband is one of those brand loyal people. So, if I show up with the off brand of Oreos for instance, he will silently protest by allowing them to sit on the shelf for the next four months. So this go round, I just stuck to produce, meat and bread, figuring that would be a good sample to start with. This what I got:
Hot dog buns (8-pack) $.79
Hamburger buns (2 8-packs) $1.58
Kraft Macaroni and Cheese (2) $1.58
Avocados (3) $2.97
Zucchini (3) $1.69
Mushrooms (12 oz) $1.29
Sweet onions (3lbs) $.99
Ground Beef 1/4 lb Patties (12) $4.99
Brown and Serve Breakfast Sausage $.97
Jumbo Hot dogs (10 pack) $.99
Now, I haven’t really done a lot of comparison shopping, but I know for a fact that avocados are $2.60 EACH at the local Harris Teeter (Can you believe what they name their grocery stores down here? Almost downright obscene I tell ya!) right now and I got them for $.99 each at Aldi. I also know that the 3lbs of hamburger I got for $4.99 is cheaper than those hamburg logs you get at Wal-mart for $7.00. Not only was it inexpensei, it was all really tasty too. We enjoyed a cookout last night with the Hunts and Amy Lawrence and were all surprised that the food was actually good. I also caught two of my coworkers raving about it this afternoon as well.
So, we’ll be shopping at Aldi more often now. If you have one nearby, I’d recommend checking it out. Don’t be a hater.