Monday, August 30, 2010

Got Stains? Use this..

I am in shock. Having two dogs means I clean the floors A LOT!

And, lately I've noticed some spots starting to show on the carpets so I got the cleaner out and sprayed the spots. I went to get a rag to scrub the spots and when I got back to the room I honestly could not find the spots. I had to feel around to find the wet spots! I was so amazed I immediately thought, "I have to blog about this".

So what do I use? It is SpotShot in the blue and orange can. I used to use Resolve foam but I literally did not even put one finger to work scrubbing the carpet with SpotShot. The best part about this product is that it works in seconds. So the next time you need to buy carpet cleaner you know what to get.

Friday, August 27, 2010

See! It's Perfect.

I'm now taking custom furniture orders! Tell me this isn't perfect for this space...

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just Build Your Own...

I really need a console table to go in our foyer and a tall, narrow bookshelf for the blue room. After weeks of online shopping and window shopping around town I have found NOTHING. It would easily cost me $200 for the console table I want and $100 for the right bookshelf so I decided I would just make exactly what I want.

To all couples who plan to get married.. make sure you register for power tools. Girls, you may think you want fancy towels or new dishes but you will really love having the tools to build your own __(fill in the blank)_.

Let's just say, I LOVE POWER TOOLS. I can use a jig saw now and I didn't even need Craig's help. Nope, I read the directions (yeah, it was tough) and just installed the saw blade and made a few cuts and there you have it.

Seriously though, I drew out a plan and figured out about how much lumber I needed. If you're going to paint it you can just get the inexpensive Pine you find at Lowes or Home Depot. If you want to stain it you can spend more and get oak, etc. for a nice woodgrain.

Today, in only about 3 hours, I built the table and painted the first coat. I used a very simple plan with a top piece and 4 legs. The legs were screwed in place to the top first and then I framed the 4 legs with 3x1 directly under the table top. Then I cut insets for the 2x2 legs and put in a lower shelf to stabilize the long, skinny table and to add some storage space for "coffee table books" and picture frames. After securing all the pieces I flipped it over and started painting. It may not be the most beautiful table ever built but it only cost about $20 to build.

And, the best part is, it's custom built for our foyer area and will fit our need perfectly. Not even a $200 piece could say that.

Curtain Fitting

To no avail, Craig now has appropriately fitted curtains for his window. Although the packaging says they are energy saving/noise reducing, they are a bit thinner than the other kind but they are much more attractive in this room than the monochromatic shades of "Eclipse" brand. A nice brown and tan stripe pattern goes well with the color of the room and will match the bedding PERFECTLY when we get that set up in the next week or so. We are so close to getting everything put together! Lori, my sister-in-law, will be happy to have her room set up when football season starts. Just 10 days away.

Good news is I did put the other (very short) curtains in the blue room and they look good. They are still a bit short but in the words of Babe..."that'll do". I do love the tan color against the blue walls. Remember, I can't return them because Elie ate the packaging and there is a tiny hole in one panel. Lesson Learned: Always measure your windows before you buy curtains!

My next curtain endeavor will be hand making (yes, with a sewing machine) the kitchen valence out of fabric I bought. But, since I am so smart, I have asked Lesa to help me with my first attempt using my new sewing machine because I am not very confident in the window treatment area. Thank goodness my in-laws are back from their vacation! I bought a nice black, tan, green and red striped fabric on sale for $4/yard and the special drapery backing so the finished productr should be very nice. I guess we'll see how that works out.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

soo NOT funny!

Today was quite possibly the looongest day ever. I started my day with a quick breakfast to get out front to set up our yard sale. Regardless of what time you want to start your yard sale you're actual start time is the second you open the garage door. No kidding, the second I pushed the button there were 5 cars out front and I didn't even have time to pull everything into the driveway before people came into the garage. I ran in to to tell Craig "ready or not, it's time" and just let them look as I was moving everything out. The time... 6:42 a.m.

At about 10 a.m. we had nearly sold everything. I took a second to count our money and realized we had made over $120! All just by selling some junk in our closets. We started cleaning up at 10:30 and then cleaned out the garage and put everything we wanted to keep in it's place. What progress we are making!

Then I headed to work for the closing shift to help out a little and made it home around 6:15 p.m. to find all of Craig's books and papers at the dining room table while he was watching a movie. No big deal (although I really don't understand why he can't use his office) but I asked him what's wrong with his office. He said it was too hot.

So, I went in there to scrape the paint off the windows from our painting last weekend and started seeing little scratches. About that time, a chip peels off my razor and I realize of all things- THE WINDOW IS TINTED! Are you kidding? Yeah, it makes sense, these windows get direct sunlight for 10 hours a day, but I just painted the whole room without painters' tape! After my loud scream, Craig came in to see what the problem was and very sweetly helped me find a plastic scraper and paint thinner. After a very intense fight with unwanted paint on glass I asked Craig to help me hang the blinds and curtains so we could keep the room cooler. Afterall, that's what I wanted to get accomplished in the first place.

We hung the brand new blinds and they looked great (except that the middle window is different from the two skinny side windows). That didn't really bother me since the dogs will probably damage them anyways so we proceeded to hang the curtain rod. I was so excited to finally get these thermal curtains up so Craig could use his office and then...

REALLLLLYYYY?!!!! They are too short! I almost cried. After all of this work for one single window, now this! These fabulous curtains are only a good 2 feet too short. That's just fantastic. And, we can't even return them because Elie has chewed up all of the packaging! The best part about it was the look on Craig's face. I thought he was gonna pee his pants holding back laughter and all I could say was, "ahh, can your mom please come back to the States! Because I can't do this house stuff without her." So really Lesa, please come home soon, we need your help! I know what you're thinking, "why didn't you just measure the window." Well, that's a great question and you better believe I will never buy another window treatment without knowing my exact window dimensions.

Thank goodness I can actually use these in another room so all is not lost but I told Craig I would start looking for new curtains- curtains that were the right size and added a little color to the room. He simply responded, "k, well you can find some sooner rather than later." Ha!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Preparing for a Garage Sale 101

We've never had our own garage sale, yard sale, moving sale, etc. but we're about to embark on a mission that isn't as easy as it sounds.

First of all, we've been accumulating "stuff" for months now - before the move it was small things that might be worth something and now it's anything worth selling. We have more worthless stuff than I could ever imagine - however, I will say, most of it is fixtures, blinds, handles, etc. that we have replaced.

Second, I can't just throw everything out into the driveway and expect people to buy it so I've been trying to organize it buy household, electronics, clothing, accessories, etc. And, I've been saving boxes to put things in so it doesn't have to sit on the ground but how much time should it really take to prepare for a garage sale?!

Third, we're going to start pricing everything tonight but I'm faced with a dilemma - should we price high and make a deal or just price a little more than what we want? And, I happen to be married to the world's biggest deal maker who likes to "be nice" when people want to buy something. For example, we had this great refridgerator we were selling because we got a new stainless steel one. It was almond colored and had a broken shelf but other than that it works (well) and it has an ice maker with the ice and water dispenser on the front. We talked about selling it for $100 and when someone asked how much we wanted my sweet husband replies "Oh, I don't know, $50 or $100." Well of course the guy says ok 50, sold. Then when I arranged the pick up and got the money Craig gets mad that we only got $50. Well sweetheart, maybe you should have thought about the big gap in between $50 and $100 when you made the offer. So, I think I need to price really high if my husband is going to be involved in any of the sales.

Fourth, people must spend $40 just on advertising their sales and I'm not doing that. We live on a fairly busy road so I'm going to put a two-sided sign in the front yard that says "Garage Sale This Saturday" and a sign on the end of our street but I'm not driving all over town to post pink posters on every telephone pole. I may post it on Craigslist too since that's free.

So wish us, I mean me, a good Saturday because this should be interesting!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

You can do this!!

We have done so much to our new house that cost a lot of money but I have been trying to redo our bathroom without spending money and here's how to do it:

1. Paint the walls and trim to contrast with existing cabinets and countertops- in this case we chose green and repainted the trim white instead of taupe. A gallon of paint is $25- we used Ryegrass by Sherwin Williams.
2. Pick a complimentary color to match the cabinets- in this case brown and neutrals with green accessories.
3. Switch out towel bars - anywhere from $20- $50. We chose oil rubbed bronze to bring out the brown. **
4. Change knobs on cabinets - we found some for $1 each at a surplus store but Target usually has the best prices on knobs and handles. **
5. Spend a few dollars on new glass shades.

** Instead of switching your hardware you can spraypaint. Some of our stuff was corroded so we chose to replace it but our light fixtures have been spray painted. Just get a can of all purpose Krylon or Rustoleum - we used Outdoor Spaces in Earth Brown and cover the surrounding area (I loosened the fixture and slid paper behind it and then covered other areas. Then I used a box without a bottom to sheild the spray from going everywhere). Spray a couple light coats and let dry before you remove the papers. Brand new look in minutes!

Someday we may redo the countertops but with these other changes completed the bathoom isn't that bad! All in all we maybe spent $100 to get a great new bathroom- and it's from this decade!

See before and after...

... I swish my tail

Got home early today! Everyone was napping and clearly it was not time for me to be home because Chase started barking like someone had broken in to the house. After realizing it was me, Chase and Elie were soo excited to see momma that they kept knocking each other over and jumping on the bed- and Elie of course starting biting poor Chase's ankles and neck to "bring him down" (notice how she is low to make her move).

Then Craig started loudly singing.. "oo I don't want anybody else, when I think about you, I swish my tail." I died laughing and Chase started jumping on me, and Elie starting jumping on me, until finally the singing stopped. It's moments like this why I love my life.

Welcome to The Wife and Three

Last night as I began thinking of my upcoming week at work, I started getting upset that it just wasn't what I wanted. I rolled over to tell Craig I really wasn't sure about my job because I didn't feel like I had any purpose being there everyday and I can't understand why they think I'm so helpful. I went on to talk about everything I'm supposed to be doing and how I really do like the work and people but I get bored and I just need something more fufilling. So my dear husband, knowing how I just need to feel productive or I will lose it, suggests I start a blog.

So, here begins my quest to begin a new project and document our fun and crazy life as the Cummings Family. You can expect some of the best stories (especially from the dogs), tips on gardening and landscaping, home improvement, decorating, exercise, cooking, hiking, camping and more... pretty much anything I love to do you will hear about!