Thursday, September 25, 2008

DIY, sucka!

okay I'm sorry.. I shouldn't have called you that. I take it back. I was feeling feisty.

Okay, lets take a moment to talk about DIY (do it yourself). It's become a huge thing and people who would never attempt things like this are suddenly drawn to the possibilities. Especially with sites around like Etsy where people can DIY their own little crafts and then sell it to people who STILL think they can't do it. Okay, in some cases, these things take actual and real talent that some people just don't have.

But the best thing about DIY is how much money you can save with it. When we first moved into our house we had VERY little furniture, and basically none of it matched. I found a GREAT bed for sale at JcPenney that was iron and black (and totally cheap as these things go). So then I needed some furniture to go with it. You have seen in a previous post about my great deal on a side table, but what I've never shown you is the rest of the furniture in the room. Most of it is DIY. We had aquired an old VERY outdated dresser from the hub's parents. Not only was it ugly, but it was not in the best condition. It had scratch marks and dents all over it. Still, there was potential. it was solid wood and had a great base foundation to work with. So feeling particularly handy and with the spirit of just embarking on home ownership upon us, we treked over to Lowes and bought a sander, paint, and then headed to Target for a cheap pack of knobs.

So we set to work, we sanded the crap out of it and then slathered it with primer and painted away. It took quite a few coats but was very do-able. Even for us inexperienced DIYers. When all was said and done and dry, we threw the knobs on and the dresser was transformed.

A picture is worth a thousand words so here is the process:



in process:

starting to see it...

Don't we look like experienced DIYers here? Oh yeah.. so cool.


see our brand new dresser?? Totally transformed, wouldn't you say?

Here's a close up for the knobs we got in a money-saving pack at Target:

While we were at it we had an old coffee table the color of blonde wood that just did NOT go with my style anymore. We had aquired it for free somewhere or another. We decided to turn it into a bench for the end of the bed so we sanded and painted that sucker as well. I don't have any pictures of that process but it wasn't much different.

And here's how our little DIY projects fit in with the rest of the room:

what do you think? pretty nice room for most of the furniture in there being free, wouldn't you say? All it cost was was a sander (which can be spendy but we plan on using it in the future as well.. if you are looking at just one project you may want to look into renting or borrowing) and paint and supplies. Much cheaper than brand new furniture.

Do you have any great DIY projects you'd like to share with me? e-mail me and share it!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

lighting the way to great deals

So.. in my last post you may have noticed I also upgraded those lamps in the bedroom big time. I was on the prowl for some lamps for quite a while. I checked out everywhere, I was surprised with how much lamps cost these days! You can tell I haven't bought any in a long time....

anyway, I finally found some that came as a set at linens 'n things which helped with the cost a lot. Plus they were pretty much exactly what I was looking for! I was sold. Two large great looking lamps for a combined price of $49.99. I was game for that.

Turns out the bargain hunter inside me had so much more in mind for me. I got to the store and searched for them and only found two out of the box, on display. Turns out there were none in stock in the boxes. The wheels in my head began to turn and I found a sales associate and began negotiations. First I had to convince her to sell me the floor models. After slight coaxing that was sealed. Then I pressed my luck further, pointed out a few inconspicuous spots that I knew I could easily clean up when I got home and asked about a price reduction for it being the floor model. Bingo. 25% off. I then pressed my luck further and asked about using a coupon on top of that. No go on that one. 2 for 3 sure isn't bad though! So I got two lamps for about $37.50, or $18.75 per lamp.

So there is your tip of the day, folks. It doesn't hurt to negotiate. The worst they can do is say no. Try to get some bargaining chips first like finding small flaws that you don't mind living with or that can be fixed. When you find things like that you actually have room to talk and wont come off as someone who is just too cheap to pay what they are asking.

matching furniture is priceless

We knew we were taking a risk when we bought our bed from overstock by itself, without being in a set or knowing what we could match it to, but we couldn't resist the awesome price when there was a pottery barn version floating around for more than twice this one. (don't ask me how much we paid.. I don't even remember.. it was a good one though... and no, they no longer have it on there).

When I spotted some nightstands at Target I felt they had a very good chance of going with our bed. I'm usually way off on these hunches but I was hopeful. They were listed at $99.99 which isn't TOO bad as far as nightstands go. I still knew I could do better. I had missed out on a sale on them at one point so I waited it out, hoping it would come back around to the sale price. That day came and they were put on sale for $79.99 and I snagged two of them. So I saved $40 total on them. And YOU all know how I can stretch out $40, so that was a pretty big savings for me!

Anyway, check out my awesome reward for waiting it out:

Before, with crappy temporary nightstands:

and here we are after, with my new awesome nightstands:

as you can see, my worries were completely unfounded. It was a PERFECT match and they look like they belong together in a set. Now I just have to wait to pounce on some dressers ;)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


I just realized I never told you guys where I got the pillow a few posts down. It's from JCPenny :)


WOW! so.. I just found out that this blog has 96 subscribers. 96. I'm kind of flabbergasted about that. That means I let 96 people down when I just up and stopped writing. Not that this blog is so cool and that everyone is just waiting with bated breath for me to write entries. But still, apparently people DO want to read stuff from it. Okay... well maybe that was the kick in the pants I needed. I am going to give an honest effort to stay on top of this blog and keep you all entertained! Just as long as you all keep reading :)

Deals alert

I wanted to let you all know that there is a sale going on at Michaels right now. They are celebrating the opening of their 1000th store so they have savings store wide. Notables are: most frames are on sale, a lot of scrapbooking supplies are on sale (they had some great paper storage sitting out front), and baskets are on sale. I love baskets. They are fun and help organize. You're sure to find SOMETHING you need or want there. They also have some really cheap but cute fall decor there if you want to get in a festive mood!

I'm a bad blogger

I really am. I'm sorry blog, I will try to dedicate a little more time and attention to you. I'm sorry readers, for not giving you fun things to read. Between this and my personal blog, my personal blog has been getting a LOT more love. It's not that I haven't found deals.. I have! and I will try my best to remember them all for you.

But for now, this is a little clothing edition for you!

I walked into Old Navy last night because I was in the area so I figured I'd drop in and see what they had to offer me. I've been waiting for them to get in a certain sweater in a certain color and certain size but no luck, once again. I did however find some gems in the clearance section. Sometimes they throw everything together that is clearance and to be honest, it's a little too much to sort through, even for the best bargain hunter. But it was neatly organized that night into sizes. I ended up finding a lounge top for sleeping in for $3.99

and some cute black capri lounge pants to go with it (no picture, sorry) for $6.99

I also picked up this fun sporty jacket for those casual fall days for $9.99

I've also had luck lately with getting some really cute shoes online at Old Navy. I ordered several things from Gap and Old Navy recently where they had a promotion going for free shipping if you order from two or more of their stores (gap, old navy, banana republic, and piperlime). If you didn't know, all of their websites have been combined into basically one, so your one shopping cart holds items from all four stores. So anyway, some great shoes I have picked up lately have been these

and these

I also got some adorable satiny more formal looking flats but it seems they are out now.

All of these shoes mentioned and shown I bought for $5.99 each. Not bad. Not bad at all.

When did my order for free shipping, I also picked up this bag for $12.99

one of my best tips for finding great deals on great clothing is to go to these sites and find the clearance section. There are so many more cool things floating around online in these sections than there are in the stores. And a lot of times you can snag a free shipping code as well.

well that's it for this entry. Let me know how you liked the clothing edition or if I should just stick to home decor :)