Friday, February 19, 2010

My imperfections . . .

I have been planning this post for some time. I think I have eluded to it for some time. My house is old. We have lots of imperfections. Oh how I would love to have a show home, but alas it is not to be. I love my little imperfect home. I stress about the small things, but I need to learn to get over it. This is my first step. I will share our little imperfections with you. I will share all my free and thrifty finds. Mary has shared that she needs affirmation. . . I realized I do too. Lots. So show the love folks. . .

I rarely buy anything new. I am too stinkin' thrify. I love Craigslist, in fact I think I may be addicted. I check it a couple times daily. . . even if I am not looking for anything in particular. Seriously. Here are some recent Craigslist finds. . .

McCartney's desk and dresser, I paid $40 for both.

Our living room furniture. I paid $100 for a leather loveseat and three chairs. Ching! LOVE it with the kids and the dogs. It cleans so well with a little vinegar and water spray. Regular body soap on a rag works for the really nasty ugg the kids get on it. (Notice the cords on the floor. I think we have a Nintendo charge plugged into every outlet downstairs. Thank goodness my OCD is medicated!)

This click-clack futon works fabulously in the kids area. I paid $60 on Craigslist. The kids can fold it down to lay down and watch a movie and they don't have to fight over space. Love it! The pillows were from our old furniture. The kids can throw them on the floor and do whatever and I can just throw them in the washer. Win-win. The little rocker was from the trash. (Note the other Nintendo charger plugged in and laying on the floor)

This entertainment center for the "kid area". I paid $ 20. I know it is ugly, but it serves the purpose of getting all the crap wrangled and the baskets kinda hide the ugly junk. Note: the mirror was a throw away from one of the condos my stepdad rents so I snaked it. I bought the cute little candlestick lamps at Good will for $3 last week. The baskets were also from Goodwill, with the exception of the Longaberger on the bottom. That was before I had children and I could spend big bucks on a basket LOL.

I had my eye on this island for some time. I have little to no counter space and very little storage. This was clearanced and I asked if they would sell me the floor model at a discount. (I have no apprehension of asking for % off something) and they gave me an additional 15% off. AND it was already put together. Woot! I think I paid $70 for it instead of $13o. The cake plate with the cute cheese dome on it came from Goodwill for less than $3 each.

This component rack was also a floor model that was on clearance. I also got an additional 10% off for taking the floor model. I think I paid $50 instead of $125.

Once again, no storage in the kitchen calls for interesting fixes. I bought this rack on clearance at Lowes. I used it for small appliances, but I needed to put ugly stuff on the bottom (like roasters and cookie sheets) So I used a Goodwill shower curtain and made some curtains and a little cover for the bottom of the rack. Unfortunately I did not have enough fabric so I used part of a thrifted sheet that I had in my fabric stash. The sheet happened to match the wall paint color perfectly. I hung it on the rack using metal shower rings. I love that the curtains are hung a little low so that we get more sunlight, it was like that when we moved in and I left it. (Notice the plastic over the left window stapled to the inside of the window. I am all about stay warm and this window is wickedly drafty. Whatever works! And more Longabergers!)
Clearance also applies to appliances too. This refrigerator was a special order that the people decided they did not want. I got it at Lowes for a fraction of the price. I have no idea how much it was originally, but we got it for way under the regular bottom freezer drawer stock models. It is my favorite thing in my kitchen. I just had to buy a washer last weekend. I went to Lowes and asked if they had any scratch and dent. They did not, but I got a model that was reduced and since it was high efficiency, I got an additional 15% off. She said she only had one left so you guessed it, I asked for an additional discount. Got 10% more off and free delivery to boot! Our stove was being clearanced at Best Buy when they stopped selling "biscuit" colored and went to "almond". (Notice the stool? Trash. The locker was a throw away from my work. I have had it for about 10 years and it has been about 6 different colors. It has held books, clothes, movies and now is awesome kitchen storage.)

This mama is one of my favorite peices of furniture. This fab armoire was a clearance scratch and dent from a local furniture store. What was wrong with it? It has a small chip out of the right bottom leg. I color it with a brown sharpie every once in a while. We paid $549 instead of $1499. Once again, that was before kids. I am not sure I would've paid that now for a hunk of furniture. We used to keep our TV and components in it, but since we have a giant TV, we use it for storage. The bottom portion is all kid's shoes. Sigh. (Note more Longabergers on top. I had an addiction)

Have I told you I will stop for cool stuff in the trash? I have no pride. These are fabulous trash finds over the last few years.

This desk is what the kid's compter sits on. The chair and the window above is also a salvage find. All three of these things came from someone's trash.

I posted about these chairs here. I found them in the trash and recovered them for less than $10. I think they are cah-ute!

These chairs also had a blog post here. They came from the trash as well. They got a fresh coat of spray paint and some left ovr vinyl for the seats. (I have kids people) They are now at our dining room table.

This little lovely came from someone's trash as well. It also had a matching harp style mirror that was broken. Oh how I wish I woudn't have left that behind. I so could've fixed that, but I left it behind for the trash guys. Poo. I couldn't bring myself to paint over this guy's (I have named him Chester, I know I am nuts) wonderful chippy, crackly finish. I do love some shabby love. This guy lives in the entryway and keeps all our hats and gloves and dog leashes in it's drawers. Notice the crappy self-stick parquet type tile. Ugh. But check out his glass knobs and cute key holes! (Along with some dhild's crayon love, not mine)

This beauty was also from the trash. We use it for storing office supplies and cameras and other small electronics. I love it! She is beat up and warm and yummy. This sits by our front entryway and hold all the mail, change basket, and other stuff on top. (Notice the backpack stuffed underneath and more pre-children, pre-thrifty Longabergers on top)

How thrifty are you? What are your imperfections?

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sunday, Sunday . . .

Today I am making oodles of meals and fixins' for my friend Jill. She selflessly and graciously gave her father a kidney this week. A good friend is coordinating meals for her and I am making 3 meals for her and 3 meals her father. I have also decided to make some breakfast foods so that they can have some easy, already prepared breakfasts as well. I am reeling from the wonderful sacrifice she is making. I am in awe of her generosity, the least I can do is make some food.

We have had a pretty easy and mellow weekend. I have be enjoying the Olympics. Dustin has been pretty decent albeit "lippy" but I suppose that is to be expected since he is turning FIFTEEN this week. Even though he is really a 4 year old emotionally, it does not stop the snotty teenage mouth apparently. I took him to church this morning which was ridiculously irritating with the noises, the constant "whispers" that were heard across the sanctuary, and the figety-ness. I wanted to pull my hair out . . . but I refrained. I suppose the loud burp that made me giggle uncontrollably made me chill out. It is amazing what laughter can do for our attitudes.

After church we had to run to the Mart of Walls because our washer died Friday. I got a new high efficency washer and had to go buy that special laundry soap. I had a fabulous thing happen in the detergent isle. Someone introduced themselves to me as a blog reader! She said, "I feel like I know you!" How awesome is that?

I love the internet.

Monday, February 08, 2010

Back off dude . . .

I just read an article over at 5 Minutes for Special Needs that got me to thinking. Run on over there and check it out. If not, it speaks about "giving in" to our kid's with special needs. The author, Ellen, was taking about a trip to McDonalds when her son really wanted to sit at his "normal" table that was already taken. The kind father and daughter who was sitting there got up and moved. Another father gave her a snarky look. Ellen admits she could've simply been too sensitive and misconstrued his look, but who amoung us has not mistaken a look as being aimed pointedly in our direction.

I am well aware that some families chose to keep their children's disabilities private. But I am the woman who would use this kind of moment to educate people. I suppose if I was unsure if the dad was being snarky or not I would direct my attention to the dad who was kind enough to move tables. I would profusely thank him for noticing that my son was quite fond of that table and with his particular special needs routines are important and he doens't really understand boundaries. I would of course do this at a decibel level that would be sure to be heard by possible snarky dad. I would tell them that "some people" don't understand my child has special needs and I appreciate his kindness. I would also ask my child to say thank you.

If I was well aware that the snarky dad was indeed being snarky and possibly mumbling about me giving in to my child, I would direct my attention directly to him and let him know that my child is special needs and even though he may look "typical" he has organic brain damage. My volume would be in direct corelation to the volume he used showing his displeasure.

For those of you who have not been reading here that long, I had this happen once in Sam's Club and once in Pizza Hut.

How would you handle it?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Meet my new best friend . . .

I live in an old house. Old like 110+ years. It is a duplex we rent the other side. It is nice to have someone pay the majority of your mortgage. We got the house for a steal. It is old. It needs some serious upgrades. We do not have the money for upgrades. Have I told you it is old?

I am learning to embrace my home and all of the faults. I had planned to post pictures of the house along with its faults a while back. I could not do it. Does anyone else take pictures for their blog and have to position their kids at certain angles to not show their house;s faults in the background? I do. I am a freak about showing people my house. I just don't do it. I like my house. I am content with what I have, but I know that my little hovel doesn't compare to what's out there. Maybe I simply read too many decorating blogs. . . (then dear Lisa goes and posts pictures of her lovely house!)

I have to keep telling myself that in order to have a stay at home parent, which is absolutely needed for a child like Dustin, we have to make some lifestyle choices. And, HELLO, I work in daycare!

Anyway, all that to say that I have a new best friend. Her name is Georgia, cause I am weird and name my appliances. She is FAB. I am constantly telling the kids, "Get off the filthy floor!" and "Don't drag that blanket around on the dirty floor!" because no matter how much I mop and scrub the floors they do not seem clean to me. I replaced the kitchen floor a couple years back, but the dogs run through the kitchen on the way back inside. It never feels clean to me. I LOVED my swiffer wet jet, but had issues with buying new solution and pads. I had some tricks up my sleeve, but it started leaking once and Robert set it outside in the rain. Ummm, it has batteries! It was dead and I did not buy a new one because those suckers are $20+.

Sunday, I was trolling the store and broke down and picked up another wet jet. Down one of the aisles, I saw a steam mop. I decided it was time to try it. It was okay. It was the basic Shark version. I really didn't much care for it. I read alot of reviews and decided to give it 3 shots to clean the floor. Everyone said that it takes 3 cleanings to remove all the built up gunk and cleaning products from the floor. Two more cleanings and I was still not sold. It did not seem like the steam was reaching through the pad and it was hard to push around the floor. The pad kept rolling up because it had a lame velcro type stick on system. Last night I went out and bought the better Pocket Steam Mop to see if it really was better.


I love it.

So worth the extra $20 (on sale). The heads swivel. It comes with a rectangular one and a triangular one for bathrooms and tight spaces. The covers create a pocket that holds the steam so they work better than the lame stick on ones of the regular version. The steam holes are evenly spaced as opposed to the one steam hole on the cheaper version. It works like a dream on the hardwood floors, linoleum and tile. The head will flip over so I have 2 cleaning surfaces on one cover. I did the whole house with one head this way, then popped it into the washer. The best part is that it ONLY uses water, no harsh chemicals and it is clean AND sanitized. The steam reaches 220 degrees. Those pads are HOT when you take them off and the floors are warm to your feet! The floors dry instantly so I don't have to blockade the kitchen to let the floor dry before kids, cat and canines dirty up my mopped floors.

My floors feel clean. Maybe I can stop freaking out about dirty floors!

Do you have one? Do you like it?