Our Kitchen Update and Removing Paint from Clothes

Recently, we have been updating our kitchen. We started off with a 1970’s kitchen with good “bones” as they say, but ugly appliances, countertops, cabinets that need refinishing, etc. We have put in a lot of work ourselves to get a better looking kitchen.

This is basically what we had to start with. We already did those floors!

All put the cabinets needed to be refinished completely. The original finish was pretty much gone/ wore down to bare wood on most of the cabinets. Plus the cabinet over the fridge had been saws-alled at some point and was unrepairable as an actual usable cabinet so it had to go. Also, the “vintage” appliances were an eyesore. My husband and oldest son worked hard on sanding and restaining the cabinets. I think they did a marvelous job!

Before we painted and finished up.

We picked out new appliances! It is so hard to find appliances in stock anywhere. We ordered and had to wait what felt like forever, probably a month, for the wall oven, induction cook-top and over-the-range microwave. The fridge we got at Costco and had to wait a day or two for delivery – while everyone else is backordered at least a month!!

We are enjoying our kitchen now!

After all this, painting the room was all that was left. Yesterday, we did a quick paint job on the kitchen and dining area replacing the gold vessel/ yellowish color with a paper kraft/ whitish color to brighten up the rooms. It looks great!

Well, working fast and in clothes I didn’t really want to ruin – I got paint on me. Not only did I get paint on my clothes, but I left it on the clothes overnight and only this morning did I decide to do anything about it. Not worried, I got out the rubbing alcohol and a scrub brush I keep in the laundry room. Using a small amount of rubbing alcohol poured directly onto the paint and scrubbing lightly with the brush removed all the paint. Then, I just tossed the clothing in with the rest of my laundry.

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Wait!! Don’t Call the Plumber… yet

drain

Do you have slow drains? Who doesn’t at one point or another have a sink, tub or shower that starts to drain slow? If you are anything like me you don’t want to spend too much money fixing the problem. Drain cleaners are not only expensive, they are bad for the environment and sometimes bad for your plumbing.

Before you try anything else, I suggest you put a tea kettle or large pot full of water on the stove and get it really boiling. Remove sink or drain stoppers. Take your boiling water and slowly pour it down the drain. This may not work with the first pot of boiling water or it may. I always boil a large pot of water and repeat the process three times just in case I have a really stubborn drain.

Did that work? Don’t fret if it did not! There is another way. You will need baking soda, a rag or some sort to stop the drain, vinegar and another pot of boiling water. For this method, remove drain stoppers, pour about half a box of baking soda into the drain, follow with 1/2 cup vinegar, and IMMEDIATELY stop the drain with the rag. Leave this to work in the drain for about 30 minutes and then slowly pour your pot of boiling hot water down the drain.

These methods should work well and once you have got your drain working as normal I recommend at least using the boiling hot water method on a regular basis to prevent future problems. Once a week or once a month are both good schedules.

The Hydrangea Incident

Towards the end of last summer, on a day much too hot, I decided to move a well established hydrangea from one end of the yard to the other. When I started it seemed like an easy enough task that I could complete in about an hour…

I dug my new hole first. That was definitely easy. Then I pruned back the hydrangea, being careful to keep each and every shoot possible to make a cutting to root a new bush. I have 18 to 25 tiny hydrangeas. Next, I began to dig up the hydrangea.  Oh boy! It was starting to get hot out and this hydrangea had to be laughing at me. By this point the root ball, I’d rather call it a snarl or snag, was difficult to determine its size and whereabouts and add to that I was digging on a slope.

Ok, now after many breaks for myself and for my children I finally chopped through what I had decided was a very unnecessary portion of the root to free it from the ground and get it planted into its new home. By this time I am exhausted and when the hydrangea mocks me again by not fitting into its new hole I break off another piece of root.

If you would like information on hydrangea propagation check out www.hydrangeashydrangeas.com.  I did not use rooting hormone or tent with anything.

When my husband got home from work, immediately after I finished this project mind you, he was certain beyond a doubt that I had killed the hydrangea..

Every one of those nursery pots has a live hydrangea.

I can use them in our landscape or sell them later on!

Who’s laughing now…

Oh! The Shutterfly Photo Book Deal!

I almost forgot! I was able to get a 20 page 8×8 hard cover photo book for my son for FREE all I had to pay was $7.99 shipping. I put a few of his favorite things he did leading up to his birthday this year.

It is a great idea to keep an eye on the Shutterfly site for deals and to check those emails they send out regularly for amazing coupon offers.

photobook

Click here to view this photo book larger

Visit Shutterfly.com to create your own personalized photobook.

http://share.shutterfly.com/action/welcome?sid=0RZuGTlqyaMLe&cid=SFLYOCWIDGET

Saving Money with Baking Soda: Shampoo!

Maybe I did this backwards! I started using Apple Cider Vinegar Conditioner a month or so ago when I ran out of store bought conditioner. Well, I ran out of store bought shampoo three days ago and I am now using a baking soda and water mixture to wash my hair.

I love it! Now my hair is even more easier to deal with! Again, I am using a dollar tree spritz bottle to make the shampoo formula. Almost any small bottle will do, I am not using the nozzle for either the shampoo or conditioner. I find it easier and less time consuming to pour evenly over my hair.

The Shampoo Recipe:

  • 1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
  • 1 Cup Warm Shower Water

This is more than enough to wash my hair thoroughly, my hair is straight and shoulder length. That’s it and my combs through easier than ever! It is clean and feels amazing. Not to mention looks amazing!

How I Turned a Won $85 Gift Card into $95

My local shopping mall Clackamas Town Center held an Oscar Nominee giveaway to win an $85 Shop Etc. Gift Card on Facebook. Of Course I entered and was thrilled when I won! Shortly after winning I signed up for Clackamas Town Center’s “The Club” which was offering a $10 Shop Etc. Gift Card to new members who make a total of $75 in purchases in one day at one or more of the stores at Clackamas Town Center. Woohoo! I chose to shop at Victoria’s Secret and buy myself two new bras. I was a day late for getting a $15 gift card from Victoria’s Secret(they ran out of the gift cards for that promotion!). Very upsetting! Still I was able to get a Secret Reward Card that is going to be worth anywhere from $5-$500 during the month of April. That is still a bonus any way you look at it! So far, out of pocket, for my fabulous new bras I have paid $2.50!

Right now, Clackamas Town Center is running another sweepstakes – Whack-a-Weed Spring Refresh Sweepstakes

Thrift Store Style Board

Back story.. After two kids, what I consider major and abrupt weight loss and the desperate need to update my wardrobe I pledged to myself a clothing allowance.. I know, I know sounds funny, but I have this list called priorities and previously clothing for myself wasn’t making the cut. I had clothing, albeit not very appealing, but it did the job…

Inspired by A Thrifty Mom’s Fashion Style Boards and her copy cat match-ups at Amazon.com. My favorite boards and favorite finds from A Thrifty Mom’s style boards are actually a few of her first to be posted. If you choose to go take a peek, I do suggests checking out all of her great fashion style boards (for women and men too!).

This is one of my favorites.

copycat-style-match-for-less

Unfortunately, I still felt that the prices for items I wanted was adding up to way too much.. Over $300 was in my Amazon.com cart at one point(for about two or three complete outfits, a couple scarves, a necklace, a basic top or two and two pairs of boots).. Alright, I leave all these wonderful items in my amazon.com cart and one Saturday morning I head to my local Goodwill.

I saved the fashion style boards from A Thrifty Mom and specific pics from Amazon.com that I liked the most to my phone, just in case I needed to reference them for inspiration while shopping.

I spent 2 hours at Goodwill, constantly in and out of the dressing room (so much the lady thought I was stealing stuff). It was my last trip to the dressing room, I had found a wonderful Calvin Klein dress to try one with a wide belt. I asked the attendant if I could take the belt inside and have it counted with my six item limit, she agreed. I tried the dress and belt on and they looked fabulous together. On my way out of the dressing room I dropped the belt, without noticing, on the floor of the fitting room. The attendant immediately started to rifle through my cart and my items I had just brought out of the dressing room. She was asking me what I had done with the wallet I took into the room. I had no idea what she was talking about. Then she said it was a red wallet. OH! You mean that belt I really want and now I cant find it. I said to her, maybe I dropped it on the floor in the dressing room. I actually had to repeat that a couple of times before she would re-open the room to look. She retrieved the belt for me and I headed for the check-out line, leaving her behind and probably embarrassed.

I leave spending $101.50 and get 3 cardigans, one pair of black skinny jeans, one amazing skirt, one hot dress, two belts, 1 pair of flats, a purse and 4 tops.. all of which interchange with each other. There was one more item in my total, a game for my son that cost $2.99.

I did end up buying one pair of boots off of amazon.com for 28.99. Shopping for used or new donated shoes isn’t something I have the patience for.

The jeans aren’t pictured here because I can’t seem to take a picture of myself wearing them! My favorites on this trip were the black Calvin Klein dress and the grey skirt. I hope that this inspires you to go make some excellent finds at your local favorite thrift shop!

Now if anyone has tips on how I can take better pictures, please let me know! 🙂