Friday, February 5, 2016

Five on Friday: Home Edition II

Like last week, I have continued my quest to finish my house again this week.  

Finish decorating.  

Finish purchasing all of the various pieces of furniture and accessories needed to make this house into a home.

1. A teal and orange living room

I have wanted to make over our living room decor into a teal and orange theme for the past few years...long before we even moved to the South.  But, I have been unwilling to spend the money to do so.  We are still on a budget, but there is a big difference between being a graduate student and being employed full-time!  Last week, I mentioned the pillow covers that I ordered on Amazon from China.  (It'll be another few weeks before they arrive.) 

This week, I finally chose some curtains, the teal chevron ones below.  I'm still not convinced that they are exactly what I was wanting, but we'll see when the pillow covers arrive.  

2. A kitchen rug

When I bought our new living room rug, I also picked up a bright colored braided kitchen rug at my new favorite discount overstock store.  It didn't work.

So, I went back and found a new option.

Besides having amazing quality rugs at this overstock store, it also carries carpet remnants that have been bound along the edges.  AKA, rugs.  

I found a 5x7 berber carpet remnant to use as a rug in the kitchen for less than $20!  That's my kind of rug!

Overstock Carpet Rug

And it looks perfect!

3. Kallax

I know I've already mentioned IKEA recently, but now that we've put the new Kallax unit together for our Little's room, I just have to mention it again!

The Little's Room, still in progress

It's perfect.  Just the right size.

And our son was the perfect helper.  My little handyman.

My little handyman with his tools.
That's not how we use shelves!
Or is it?

4. A dining room FAILURE

As I mentioned in my previous post, I had a great Pinterest-inspired idea for our dining room and Christmas clearance helped me make that a reality.

A chalkboard tablecloth sounds pretty neat, right?

So so wrong.

You'll just have to read over here to see just how bad it was.

5. Meal Planning for More People

My MIL arrived yesterday, and my FIL arrives today.  I'm not so confident in my cooking abilities, so I'm trying to figure a new menu for the next week or so that doesn't require gourmet training, but is still healthy.  

Any ideas?


Home Decor FAIL!

**This post may contain affiliate links.

Do you remember last Friday's Five on Friday post when I was so motivated and excited to get everything finished in my house?  

And I was thrilled to save $1,400 on an area rug for our living room?

Well one of those things was to finally switch out tablecloths from a Christmas-y one to a neutral one.  (We absolutely have to keep a tablecloth on at all times because kids are hard on furniture, especially an unsealed beautiful wood table.)  

I had considered a couple of different options, but I found a tablecloth on Christmas clearance for 75% off, so I bought it.  

The cool thing about it is that it is a "chalkboard" tablecloth, so the kids or I could draw on it.  

The bad thing about it is that it is vinyl.  I hate vinyl, but it's something I thought maybe I should just accept as a mom of small, messy children.  

I also found these great Yum and Eat placemats at Target last fall and have been waiting to use them!  They are also plastic-y and easy to wipe off.  

Room Essentials® Placemat Polypro YUMRoom Essentials® Placemat Polypro EAT
Cute, right?


The result: FAILURE

My vinyl "trash bag" tablecloth
I see a trash bag.  What do you see?

It's just awful.  

It looks like a trash bag on my table.  No thank you.

I still like the placemats though.  I think.  

Any ideas on what kind/color of tablecloth to use with them?

Saturday, January 30, 2016

How I Saved Over a Thousand Dollars on an Area Rug

*This post may contain affiliate links.

Yesterday, I mentioned in my Five on Friday post that I finally found an area rug at a local overstock store for under $200.  Last night, I decided to try to find my rug online to find out more information about the quality and such.

Honestly, I thought it was a long shot since the store I purchase the rug from specializes in overstocks and closeouts.

So, I Googled . . .

fleur de lis area rug . . . nothing.
fleur de lis black area rug . . . nothing.
fleur de lis black and cream area rug . . . nothing.
fleur de lis heart black and cream area rug . . . YES!

There it was.  A pin on Pinterest with my exact rug.


Yikes!  Wowsers!

Here is what I saw.

The Area Rug I Saved Over a Thousand Dollars On

Sixteen hundred dollars?!?!

So, obviously, I thought it was a fluke.  So I searched more for my rug and there it was on Amazon, Walmart, Wayfair, and more.  All for nearly sixteen hundred dollars!

So how did I do it?  
How did I save nearly $1,400 on an area rug? 

This is how I saved over a thousand dollars on an area rug.

1. Talk to the locals.  We are new to the south and I knew there must be more options that the standard national retail stores and the giant rug store that I had seen tons of billboards for.  My local source is our daycare provider.  She knows all the right places to find things around here.  She was the one that knew about the local overstock/closeout store.

2. Seek closeout and overstock deals.  I have found that closeouts and overstocks are great ways to save money.  Think of the Amazon open-box deals that you can find on diapers sometimes.

3. Dig deep, Be patient.  In this case, my rug was at the bottom of a pile of 50 or 60 rugs.  I could have looked at the top few rugs and eliminated the store altogether.  This rug was truly a treasure hunt and felt like looking for a needle in a haystack.  I could only see about one square foot of the 8x11 foot rug when I selected it.  I was crossing my fingers the entire time as I waited for the employees to get to it that I would actually like the rug.  Luckily, I did.

4. Use store reward programs.  Like many stores, this store had a rewards program.  And there was even a special offer to get an extra 15% off once signed up for the program and filled out the online profile.  I signed up in the store, walked out to my car, sat in my car, and filled out the online profile.  Once I received the email for the extra 15% off, I walked back into the store and bought the rug.

Here's the breakdown.

Original price: $1,573.00
Closeout price: $199.99
Sale + rewards discount: $20.00

Final price = $179.99 

Savings of $1,393.01 or 89%!

I'm loving this rug, and I think I love it more knowing that I saved over a thousand dollars on an area rug!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Five on Friday: Home Edition

*This post may contain affiliate links.  

Wow, it's been a very long time since I jumped into a Five on Friday post.  Even though these are some of my favorite posts, life has just seemed like a sprint since we moved to South Carolina.

1.  IKEA

One of the great things about our new location is that we are only about an hour away from Charlotte.  And that means we are only about an hour away from IKEA.  For years, I have watched as friends posted pictures of their adventures at the iconic store, and I've pinned IKEA hacks over and over from fellow bloggers (especially for children's rooms), but it wasn't until recently that I had the chance to have my very own first IKEA experience.  My husband and I were in Charlotte doing some business research, but I saw IKEA in the distance and convinced him to walk through with me.  Even though we had fun feeling inspired by ideas that we might want to implement someday, at the end of the afternoon, Alexander the Great remarked, "You need to make some friends, so that you can go to IKEA with them."  The unspoken part was along the lines of " that you won't drag me here again."  And he's totally right.  The first trip resulted in only one purchase.  Lingonberries.  I've eaten lingonberries at almost every Christmas that I can remember because my Dad makes Aebelskiver every year, our traditional Danish food.

After that first experience, I knew that I would be heading back to Charlotte to bring some IKEA back to our house!  And yesterday was the day!  I am finally finishing off the Littles' room (our 2 year old and our 7 month old).  I have been eyeing the Kallax cube unit forever and finally got it!  Yay!  The picture ledges I wanted to go above the Kallax cube unit were out of stock, but I got a few baskets, and I'm hoping that Hobby Lobby will have some similar shelves.  I decided to spend a bit more and go for the IKEA Kallax instead of the Walmart or Target versions because the cubes are larger by couple inches and I think that will make a big difference for storing kids' toys.

I also found a bath mat that perfect matches the kids' bathroom, a small black picture ledge for my master bedroom, and a frame with knobs on clearance that I'll put in the kitchen to hang towels.

Next time, I want to pick up some of the kitchen wall storage to use in our main bathroom (i.e. the kids' bathroom).  There is really no counterspace, so it's tough to organize the things we use most and don't want to stash beneath the sink.  I'm trying to decide between the spice racks and the Bygel rail with a couple colorful pots and hooks, but I'm leaning toward the Bygel rail.  Thoughts?

2.  Pillow covers

I finally ordered pillow covers for my living room throw pillows that coordinate with the color scheme I'm moving toward.  I need to cover four pillows, and I ran across some pillow cover designs on Pinterest, which led me to Amazon, which led me to some rather inexpensive pillow covers with great ratings.  I'm super excited for them to arrive; the bummer is that it turns out that the pillow covers are being shipping from China.  Oops.  It'll be a month or more before they arrive.
Triangle Pillow Cover from Amazon
Bible Verse Pillow Cover from Amazon
Arrow Pillow Cover from Amazon

3.  Rugs

I guess the theme today is home decor and home organization!  Our current rental house has wood or laminate floors except for in the bedrooms.  I know that everyone else in the world loves wood floors, but personally, I hate them.  They are cold and hard.  And high quality rugs are so expensive.  And if you know me, you know that I am a very thrifty, frugal person.  For the past month or so, I have been hunting high and low for a decent rug at a decent price.  Apparently, it is a rather difficult thing to do.  I almost bought this rug from Pier One, but after the shipping costs, no thank you.  I also considered a few from Target.  Because who doesn't love Target?  Anyway, here are some of my favorites.

Greek Key Rug from Target
Threshold Fretwork Rug from Target
Swirly Rug from Wayfair

But that was before our daycare nanny told me about a local overstock/closeout place.  One of things I had been struggling with was paying several hundred dollars for a nice tufted rug like I saw at the fancy rug stores or paying $150-$200 for something that was cute, but not high quality.  And at this local store I found the rug.  I joined their rewards program for an extra 15% and went home with an 8'x10' high quality tufted rug for under $200!

You find out how much I saved in my post here.  I was shocked!

Here's my not quite finished living room with the new rug.  Next step, curtains and end table decor.

Zuna Rug - Black - Starkly stylish, the Zuna Rug in Black has a crisp presence on your floor, its unrelenting but curvaceous black and white pattern slightly carved for a tactile and noticeable element of design that makes the perfect backdrop to colorful furniture or achromatic accents. Hand-tufted construction from pure wool of New Zealand origin makes it a pleasure to tread.:
My new rug!

4.  This Mermaid Art

Mermaid Canvas from Zulily
Mermaid Moon Canvas from Zulily

My daughter's theme is mermaids.  (The Little Mermaid was my favorite movie as a child, and I have always wanted to have a mermaid/sea themed nursery.)  I saw these on Zulily and fell in love; I haven't decided whether or not to order one or both, but I think they are just perfect for a little girl's room.

And then there's this . . .

Sleeping Mermaid Print from Zulily

And in another year or so . . .

Mermaid Comforter Set from Zulily
5.  Lists

I love lists.  Love them.  Right now I have about 7 of them for different categories of things I need to do.  Over the weekend, I plan to cross off a lot of items from the category of finishing our house.  It's time.

Have a fantastic weekend all!

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Our Weekly Menu | January 25th

Our Weekly Meal Plan (Whole30, Paleo)

Monday - Lunch: Macaroni and Cheese

Dinner:  Corn and Potato Chowder with Side Salad (*not Whole30)

Tuesday - Lunch:  Leftovers

Dinner:  Salmon with Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Wednesday - Lunch:  Pita Pizza with Baby Carrots, Almonds, and an Apple

Dinner:  PW's Zoodles with Marinara and Oranges

Thursday - Lunch:  Sticky Chicken Drumsticks with Spinach Salad, Baby Carrots, and Strawberries

Dinner:   Tandoori Chicken with Rice and Asparagus

Friday - Lunch:  Egg Salad with Spinach Salad, Trail Mix, and Pineapple

Dinner:  Leftovers

Saturday - Lunch:  Breakfast Casserole

Dinner:  Spinach and Bacon Fritatta

Sunday - Lunch:  Leftovers

Dinner:  Leftovers

Last week, we had sickness going around and around our house, so there was no menu, there was only survival.  So, this week, we are starting again!

Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Our Weekly Menu | Paleo Whole30 | January 11th

Our Weekly Meal Plan (Whole30, Paleo)

Monday - Lunch: Out

Dinner:  Leftovers

Tuesday - Lunch:  Leftovers

Dinner:  Paleo Tex-Mex Casserole

Wednesday - Lunch:  Pita Pizza with Baby Carrots, Almonds, and an Apple

Dinner:  Chicken Shawarma with Israeli Salad

Thursday - Lunch:  Sticky Chicken Drumsticks with Spinach Salad, Baby Carrots, and Blueberries

Dinner:  Nom Nom Paleo's Pork Stew with Rice

Friday - Lunch:  Egg Salad with Spinach Salad, Trail Mix, and Pineapple

Dinner:  Salmon with Balsamic Roasted Brussels Sprouts

Saturday - Lunch:  Breakfast Casserole

Dinner:  Leftovers

Sunday - Lunch:  Leftovers

Dinner:  Kielbasa and Veggie Hash

Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links.

Monday, January 4, 2016

Our Weekly Menu | Whole30 Paleo | January 4th

Our Weekly Meal Plan (Whole30, Paleo)

Monday - Lunch: Out

Dinner:  Paleo Stroganoff with Rice and Sauteed Greens

Tuesday - Lunch:  Out for our Anniversary!  (We are making a day of it, starting out with working out together in the morning.)

Dinner:  Out for our Anniversary!  Leftovers for the kiddos.

Wednesday - Lunch:  Pita Pizza with Baby Carrots, Almonds, and an Apple

Dinner:  Crockpot Chicken Kale Soup

Thursday - Lunch:  Sticky Chicken Drumsticks with Spinach Salad, Baby Carrots, and Blueberries

Dinner:  Chicken Shawarma with Israeli Salad

Friday - Lunch:  Egg Salad with Spinach Salad, Trail Mix, and Pineapple

Dinner:  Cabbage Soup

Saturday - Lunch:  Breakfast Casserole

Dinner:  Leftovers

Sunday - Lunch:  Leftovers

Dinner:  Paleo Tex-Mex Casserole

Find previous meal plans here.
**Linking up at I'm an Organizing Junkie for Meal Plan Monday**

This post may contain affiliate links.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Dear Mermaid Princess, {6 Months}

Dear Mermaid Princess,

Wow!  A half of a year.  You are growing so fast.  Where has the time gone?  I can't believe you are 6 months old already!

Weight:  20.2 pounds.  Yep, you are a chunk.  The cutest little chunk I have ever seen!

Health:  You are very happy and healthy.  No complaints here.

Sleep:  You're still waking up randomly at around 4am about every 3 or 4 nights, but otherwise you are a great sleeper.  Mommy and Daddy are so blessed. 

Social:   You are starting to interact more at daycare.  Your big brother reports that you like to play blocks with him, and Nanny and Love say that you are always happy and cuddly.  

Diet:  You are eating food everyday at lunchtime and irregularly for dinner.  I swear it's like trying to feed Fort Knox.  Every bite, you close your mouth or get your tongue in the way.  You like food, but you're just not quite understanding the eating part yet.  Mommy is going to make some big batches of baby food this next week -- carrots, broccoli, spinach...yummy!

Likes:   You love chewing on everything.  I think you're going to be cutting a tooth anytime!  And you are starting to show a preference for Mommy every once in a while, but you love seeing any of your family members -- Daddy, Mommy, Brother, ChooChoo.    

Dislikes:  Dropping your toys, being hungry, not being part of the action.  

Nicknames: Princess and Peanut (Daddy), Pumpkin (Mommy), Baby Girl (Big brother), Tootsie (ChooChoo)

Milestones:  First Thanksgiving!  It was both your Thanksgiving and our first Thanksgiving away from family.  This year we were blessed to be invited to have Thanksgiving dinner with some friends here in South Carolina.  You were cute and happy the whole time.

Adventures:  Grocery shopping with Mommy and Big Brother is always an adventure.  Your brother loves the carts that look like cars and having steering wheels, but we discovered that your car seat will not fit in the basket of those carts.  And learned it a little too late, so you got to ride like a big kid in the grocery cart for the first time.  You had such a fun time with your brother!

You are also rolling around like a pro.  Whenever you see something across the room that you want, you will just roll yourself around until you get to it.



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