Happy 2012!

Welcome, won't you stay a while? There's so much to do, and we hope to share it all with you this year. Design, crafts, frugal living... You'll find this and more at Design-Aholic!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

I Need a Little Blog Love + Unplanned Master Bath Reno

Well, I miss blogging.  I miss DIY, and I miss home decorating too!  I haven't written a post in over a year, but I haven't completely disappeared.

Of course I could say "things have been hectic", or "there's so much going on", but hey, those are bad excuses for someone that thrives on this creative outlet.  The truth is I haven't taken (yes, taken) much ME time in the last year and a half.  There are valid reasons for that, but suffice it to say I'd like to be "back" at this.

Since it's been so long, here's a recap of the last year:

Backyard was re-done
We got a new couch
We got a new bed
I learned how to seal granite counters
I became addicted to Pinterest
I made a lot of projects around the house
Water heater broke
Leak in bathroom wall lead (is leading...) to an entire renovation (of course, unplanned)
Little Man grew, and grew, and grew, and is doing all sorts of fun things
I took up couponing as a hobby
I got out of the habit of crafting, thrifting, and DIY-ing (but this is an important start back to that!)

Item # 7 on the list is the most pressing right now.  We have an open construction zone in our house and it's been there for 6 weeks already.  It started with a re-caulk, found a leak, found mold, bathroom taped and sealed off, dried out, air purifiers, holes in the walls... and we land where we are today, with an open construction zone, and no estimate of exactly when phase 3 (construction) actually starts.

Good news is we caught the problem early enough for the damage to be covered under out homeowners policy.  Everyone should check if mold damage is part of their policy because it's quick to grow, expensive to deal with, and not always covered.  Because I'm the designed/decorator, hubs had asked me to start picking the finishes out for the put-back portion of construction.

Here are my ideas, in what I think is FINALLY coming into a solid image in my head!

First, there's paint.  I'm going for a beigey/grey color, and this is a favorite:

Benjamin Moore, "Shaker Beige" (a top 100 BM color)

Then, the furniture/vanity.  We're replacing an old late 70's 36" vanity with a modern 60" vanity, since we had the room, and a bunch of dead space.

Estate by RSI, Avalon in Java, w/white solid surface top


Next, shower and floor tiles... We had laminate in the bathroom before, so this will be an upgrade for insurance purposes for us, but if we're going this far, we're going to do it as much as we can how WE want it.  So, I've picked these.

American Olean/Equinox in Cocoa, 20x20" floor tiles & 13x13 shower wall tiles:

There will also be some toiletry storage in the shower, and I like a design with two cubbies, like this:

As well as the cubbies, the shower will likely get a border of a contasting tile as a design punch.  I'm just not sure how high to put it up the wall- the tile will now be carried all the way up the wall.

But, something like this probably:

We also need new shower doors, for which I picked clear glass.  We have a large stall shower, like this one, in our master bath.

Kohler Frameless shower door:

I'm debating brushed nickel or polished high shine silver fixtures.  I think I like the shiny contrast of the high shine fixtures, but they're so much more difficult to keep clean.  But also, with the shower doors being high shine, I need it to match! 

I like this set, AquaSource 2 handle polished chrome watersense faucet

So those are my selections.  Since we weren't anticipating this reno right now, our selections are probably not EXACTLY what we would have picked if we had a real $10,000 budget.  But, I think I'll be pleased with these picks.

Hopefully I'll be popping in more frequently now.  Saturday afternoons are a treat around this house- little man is still sleeping 3+ hours on the weekends, which is affording hubs some naptime, and me some personal time (which includes blogging again!)

I hope you are still here with me and will stick around for another re-start and new posts!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Taming the Ribbon-y Mess

A while ago, a remembered seeing someone organize their ribbon by wrapping it around cardboard sheets.  I needed to uh, tame the ribbons I had.  I love ribbon, but even though I don't have that much, it seems to take up way more room than it should!  And considering I just added 13 new styles that I nabbed at the dollar store (to make baby ribbon/tag blankets!) I definitely needed to contain it.

Isn't it pretty:

Since I was doing tons of ordering online of necessities while I was on maternity leave, we had a garage full of cardboard!  (By the way, if you're looking for awesome diaper deals, check out  Seriously, I'm getting super sweet prices with Subscribe & Save.  Ok, back to regularly scheduled programming)

I cut the squares so they would fit nicely in the basket(s) I already had.  Then, I started unwinding, and re-winding from the spools to the cardboard cards.

So, we went from this:

To this:

Yay for quick, and pretty organization.  Love it.  Oh, and I'll show you those ribbon/tag blankets soon!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Frugal Finds

There seems to be some that swear by couponing, and some that couldn't be bothered by it.  I have found lately, as I did when we first had to pay a mortgage, that using coupons and being smart about purchases can really save you a lot.

While on Maternity leave, I signed up to follow a few blogs related to living well, but frugally, and it really became a game for me.  I did things like signing up for the Target card, to automatically save 5%.  I bought things in bulk, directly from and got free shipping (like toilet paper, and diapers).  I even started searching for and using coupons.  It's really quite amazing how much you can save doing these things.

I wanted to share my finds from this week.  I was able to save myself more than I spent, and everything I purchased, I needed.  Yes, I had saved my coupons for a while, and yes, I had watched for sales on most of the items (a few I got lucky on) but when you start paying attention, it can become second nature.

Here's what I got, all for $44, Retail was around $100:

I went to three stores.  Target, BedBath&Beyond, and Kohls.

  • Olay Face Wash (2)                 $4.49 & $2.49        (Retail $4.99/ea)
    • (On sale for $4.49/ea plus a $2 off coupon for one)
  • Olay Body Wash (2)                FREE                     (Retail $5.84/ea)                        
    • (I had 2 buy 1 get 1 free coupons for Olay- I bought the face wash, and got two large body wash bottles FREE)
  • Tide HE Detergent                  $10                         (Retail $12.79)                            
    • (On sale for $11, had a $1 off coupon)
  • Tide Stain Release                   FREE                    (Retail 4.49)                        
    • (I had a buy 1 get 1 free coupon for this item, when you purchase detergent)
  • Dawn dish soap w/Olay           $3                          (Retail $4.79)    
    • (On sale for $4, had a $1 off coupon)
TOTAL @ TARGET: $19.95 ($21, less 5% discount was $19.95, Retail was $43.73, a 55% discount)

  • 3-pack Carters bibs (2)            $5                           (Retail $17/ea)
    • (I had a $10 off a $20 purchase coupon, plus the bibs were on sale for $9.99
  •  Christmas Snowglobe            $0.41                       (Retail $4.99)
    • Because my coupon was $10 off $20, and the two bib sets were $9.99/ea, they rang up slightly lower than $20 (by $0.02) so I found a Christmas ornament for $0.49, and they discounted that 15%, so it was $0.41.  Lucky me, it actually was personalized already with baby boy's name!)
TOTAL @ KOHLS: ~$10 (Retail was $38.99, a 75% discount)

  • Kitchen Dish brush set            $2.40                     (Retail $2.99)
  • Luna Bars (10)                        $7.90                     (Retail $0.99/ea or $9.99)
  • Johnson's baby wash               $4.39                     (Retail $5.49)
TOTAL @ BedBath&Beyond: $14.69 (Retail was $18.47, a 20% discount)

So, I saved $55, and spent just under $45.  The retail value of these items, even at discounted prices was $100.  
I bought a new shelf for our garage to organize my extras, and so that I can quickly see what we're out of.

What's your feeling on sales?  Do you stock up on items?  What's been your best bargain to date?

Sunday, March 20, 2011

With a forecast like that...

Can I briefly share AGAIN why we got hardwood floors and Stainmaster carpet?

Take a look at this:

 And these guys:

And this (nope still haven't redone the backyard)

All of that adds up to THIS, constantly: MUDDY PAW PRINTS.

The black dog comes barreling around corners, and gets her muddy feet up on the baseboards, and the walls!  How the hell?

...I'm constantly sweeping.  However, there's some satisfaction knowing that it's not going into carpet and hiding.  At least it's easy to clean off!

So, of course, I'm in love with my Shark Steam Mop (that I got on clearance at Target!  Woop!)

All of this, to make it a better place for him:

So yes, I love the Rain, and therefore I love my hardwood floors.  The end.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Update to the no cost makeover

Wow, nearly 2.5 months since my last post.  That's a record.  I miss you all!

I did end up doing my little "no cost" make-over, but it was slightly modified in terms of the "no cost" part.

In order to get the blue, tan, white & black color scheme I talked about in my post, I ended up buying some fabrics to make the toss pillows that pulled the design together.  So, I'll count that cost.  The rest, I just moved the furniture around like I figured I would, but still haven't bitten the bullet and painted that ladder shelf. (Going from white to black, to really pull the theme together.)

So, the fabrics I purchased were super inexpensive- one was $5.99/yd, the other two were 2.99/yd.  I purchased 1.5 yards of the black and white damask, and 1 yard each of the trellis and circle damask.  Also, I had found a white fabric shower curtain on clearance for $2.50 at Target, so I used that also to make two solid white pillows.  I still have enough of the trellis fabric to make another pillow, so even though the fabric total was around $16, I didn't use it all!

Also, the mirror above the fireplace was purchased in 2010 (Just before Christmas) so it doesn't count in my 2011 project cost tally (but for score keeping purposes, it's a huge round, chunky mirror, exactly like I wanted, and it was $45.)

So, I moved the couches, moved the ladder shelf, put in another table and my Louis XVI chair, moved the sofa table, and added in a small cabinet (yet to be painted) with a lamp.  We got a new TV stand (also in 2010), and have the glider from 2010.  (Love the glider, but it's hard to decorate around!)

Stay Tuned!  I've got a lot of posts coming up soon- even though I haven't been posting much, I've been taking photos of everything I'm doing.  It's been a busy place around here, and is just about to get busier!

PS: Baby C is growing like a weed!  Here's a sneak peak at his weekly pictures.  YES!  I'm still taking a new photo EACH week!

Week 1:

Week 10:

Week 20:

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