Sunday, March 24, 2013

Living Room Projects

I am in full on redecorating mode and today I finished up a couple of projects.  My new love seat is being delivered on Wednesday so the room should be mostly complete at that time!

A while ago I searched for fabrics to recover a chair in the living room.  I polled my friends and the following was the landslide winner of favorite fabric choice.  I purchased 1 1/2 yards using a 50% off coupon   It was pricey fabric and I spent more than I normally would but I still am getting a new look for about $30.00.  The chair happens to be Lou's favorite soft sleeping spot so he wasn't too impressed when I started pulling the chair apart.

Now if you know me at all you know that I do not sew at all.  Well, maybe a button once every three years or so but other than that I do not sew!  Thankfully my trusty glue gun was at the scene today.

Here is the finished product.  I am really loving it and think it's the perfect choice for my new look!

My other project has been searching for an inexpensive TV stand. I actually wanted something thats original purpose wasn't a TV stand.  I hoped for something small and a bit unique.  I had been casually searching Craigslist when I found an end table for $10 in Gorham.  I had sort of expected that it would be really beat up and I would end up completely repainting it but when I brought it home I was very pleased with its condition.

Here it is as I bought it.  The finish is dull and it has some scratches:

Here it is after a good cleaning and polish.  I think it looks great!

I wanted to redo the hardware and originally though I wanted to spray paint them a glossy purple to add to the purple touches I am introducing to the living room.  I was not impressed with the result.  It looked out of place and like some weird furniture girl was winking at me-doesn't it look like two big eyes popping out?

I settled on some new, classic hardware from Home Depot.  I love the look of the acrylic clear knobs and the bottom pull is simple and just right. It still looks a bit like a furniture girl but this one doesn't give me potential nightmares!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rug Pricing Madness on Overstock!

I am in the process of re-doing my living room.  I have a new love seat on order and I am hoping to infuse a big color punch into the room.  Let's just hope that "color punch" doesn't equal "hot mess"!

I was looking at throw pillows online last night and that caused me to shift into browsing rugs. Online shopping really can be dangerous territory!  I came across a rug on that I thought was perfect.  It was a fantastic price and had great reviews.  As I am fond of doing, I snapped a photo of the screen with my phone, forgot about it and went to bed.  Here is that screenshot showing a very reasonable price of $209.99 for a 5 ft X 8 ft rug. It's the one on the middle right:

The next morning I went online to look at it again. I wanted to do this mostly to see if it looked any different on a large monitor as opposed to the tiny iPhone screen.  Imagine my delight when I saw "Was 209.99, Starting at $114.99"!  Except once you click on the rug it only gave you the option of $209.99.  I started an online chat with an rep.  I will say that she was very nice and most importantly she was based right here in our own little country.  She spoke with a supervisor and told me that the item numbers had recently been changed and the $114.99 price was for a 2 ft X 3 ft rug.  I expressed that it was not clear on the site but I graciously hung up.  I was gracious until I tried to search for that 2 ft X 3 ft rug that doesn't exist!  And really if it did exist would its starting price have coincidentally been $209.99?  

I picked up the phone and called the customer service line.  A very nice (again) person acknowledged that she saw what I was seeing and asked me to hold while she checked with a supervisor (again...ugh).  But this time she quickly came back and told me that they were honoring the price.  She explained she had a supervisor approval but that she would have given me the credit anyway because she could clearly see it was a pricing error on their part.  She manually took my order (since the price still only really showed as $209.99 when you add it to your cart) and when I told her I had been planning to use a 10% off coupon code she accepted the code and I actually got the 10% off the top price before the discount was taken!  Here is my final order total including two throw pillows:

I was very pleased with the Overstock customer service and their willingness to make things right.  I immediately gave a shout out on Facebook and that means over 200 people heard something good about their company.  However, they really need to take a look at the person doing pricing for the web site and consider finding them a better suited position.  I couldn't help but stalk the site to see if they fixed the priced. Shortly after my call I noticed the price was up to $119.99.  Hmm...closer but still not correct.  I almost died when I just went on and saw the price of $47.99!!  No, I'm not going to call up and demand a price adjustment.  Although, I suppose I would be well within my right.  I gave a friendly shout out to 200 people praising the company but now I'm telling all of cyber world "Go get yourselves a cheap rug!"

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Bedroom Redo

I decided to buy a new comforter set last weekend.  I had a plain beige quilt on my bed and it really was lacking color and pizzazz   I didn't want to have to buy all new accessories so I looked for something that fit in  with my existing color scheme.  I also really wanted a bed skirt.  Even though I've always thought that they attracted dust and cat hair I hated that as I walked up the stairs the first thing my eyes landed on were the wheels of my bed frame and the plastic bins stored under the bed.  I was thrilled to find an eight piece comforter set at Target that added a perfect touch of color while still staying true to the existing "feel" of the room. And for eight pieces while not cheap it was definitely a good deal.

The set included a comforter, two euro shams, two regular shams, two throw pillows and a bed skirt.  I was able to still use some pieces that I already had and they worked perfectly.  The striped pillow on my bed was one I already had.  I love how the skirt and the flip side of the mattress are rich brown which feels very grounding against the light colors and helps add that pop of color that was much needed.

I already had this pretty pillow.  It had been on my bed but now finds a new home in this chair.

I used the euro shams to cover my bureau and nightstand.  They have that rich brown color which adds a nice texture to the furniture.

And best of all the comforter is so soft I just love the feel of it every time I get into bed.  I still have the same sheets but really my two sheets sets are in very good shape and do coordinate so they will stick around for some time.

By the way, I've been using the iPhone app Pic Collage and have been loving creating picture collages.  It's good for those moments you want to highlight a few photos but fear boring the world with multiple pics of basically the same thing.  Here's a Pic Collage of my new bed:

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Things I'm Loving Right Now

I've had a bunch of moments where I'm loving something but they individually don't make for a hearty blog post so I'm throwing them all in here together!

I know it's not healthy but I love, love doughnuts.  I discovered a gem of a place in Las Vegas that makes vegan doughnuts but obviously that's a once every couple of years indulgence   I was very pleased to discover The Holy Donut on Park Avenue in Portland.  Every day they serve cinnamon sugar vegan donuts and if you plan ahead they will make them for you in any glaze  you choose  This is what made me happy one recent weekend morning:

To balance out all of that sugar I am happy to report that I am back on the juicing/smoothie wagon.  What a great feeling to get all that green spinach  yummy fruit and nutritious almond milk inside me before it's even 8am   I throw about 1/2 cup of almond milk in with some frozen banana, frozen mango and unfrozen pineapple.  Top it off with a big pile of greens.  It tastes sweet and like a summer day!

I have recently become a bit of a closet coupon-er   Mostly because I'm new to it and I don't really know what the heck I'm doing.  But I am beginning to have a few "wow" trips where I've saved a boatload.  Today I went to Walgreen's and got four nail polishes and two Almay makeup removers for $3.48.  Score :) Oh, and I have to add that I don't buy stuff just because it's cheap or because I have a coupon.  I LOVE these polishes and have been wanting to get more and I've used this makeup remover many times with much success.

It's also been a great week for freebies at work.  I got four coupons to use toward any regular season Portland Pirate's game.  My friends and I have already made plans to attend the April 7th game.  I haven't been to a hockey game in a couple of seasons so it's fantastic!  I also got coupons for Elevation Burger.  I've been dying to try their vegan burger and their french fries made without any beef fat (are you listening McDonald's???).  A temp who worked in our office for a few weeks gave them to me because her son in-law is the owner.  I can't wait to try it!

This week I also saved money on gas.  I signed up for Cumberland Farms Smart Pay.  It took a bit of set up work but then I pulled up to the pump, whipped out my phone and a few moments later I had saved 10 cents a gallon.  Cha ching!  I love this since there is a Cumberland Farms right next door to work and I'm there all of the time.

Phew...I think that's it for now but what a ton of small, amazing things to smile about!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wool Is Not My Friend

After I posted about making my own laundry soap it was suggested that I could also make my own wool dryer balls.  I looked into it and I loved the idea!  You spend a bit of time and money upfront to make these balls that will last for a very long time.  They work to fluff up the clothes to reduce drying time, the friction of the wool acts as a fabric softener and no chemicals!  These are the instructions that I used: Wool Dryer Ball Instructions.

I was excited to use a 50% off coupon at the fabric store and I scored this large skein of 100% wool.

On a quiet Friday night I spent an evening making 6 wool balls.  I guess I can understand how people get into knitting as it was rather meditative although a couple fingers really hurt by the end!  I crafted these 6 beautiful, perfectly, tightly wound balls:

The next step was to put them through the washer and dryer to "felt" them.  From what I understand felting is where you wash and dry wool that shouldn't ever see the inside of a washer or dryer to fuse the fibers together making the ball completely tightly wound into little felt balls.  At least that is what is supposed to happen.  This is what came out of my dryer:

Oops!  I was determined not to get discouraged. I still had four perfectly fine balls.  Although none of those balls appeared felted in any way it was time for round two. I used the extra yarn I now had to salvage my remaining 4 balls.  I reinforced them tightly and bought a new, cheap pair of nylons to wrap them in.  They took another trip through the washer and two rounds in the dryer.  They came out mostly intact...yay!  But still didn't appear felted.  I wondered if maybe my expectations were too high.  And then I spotted these perfectly crafted masterpieces at Whole Foods:

My little wool balls are not at all the appearance of these guys.  I really believe that if I toss mine in the dryer with clothes they will completely unwind.  It's also worth mentioning that for $19.99 I could buy a whole lot of unscented dryer sheets.  So, this project was unfortunately a fail.  I tried really hard to make it work but it seems wool and I are not friends.