A wasted day, maybe

I can’t decide if today was a total waste of mine (and a few other people’s) time, or if maybe I’ll be able to salvage some of the effort. See, it’s coming on to winter here in my neck of the woods, and it’s always nice to have a project in mind to keep you busy during the cold months. So, in that spirit, I decided that it was time to do something about our basement bathroom. It needs a new vanity top, a sink and faucet, a new shower and faucet, new paint, a vent fan, a couple of new walls/doors, and a nicer floor. My goal was to get all the stuff together to do this project from beginning to end for $1,000 or less. I was close, but the best I could do was around $1600. Way out of budget. And that was assuming that we could use a standard shower stall, which I’m not convinced that we can. And neither was anyone else I talked to. I figured if I could plan for the $1000, if we had an overrun of budget it would still be manageable, but with the $1600, there’s no possible wiggle room for budget overruns. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ I wanted to keep it cheap so that we could save our money for the main bathroom remodel (it needs a new tub/shower surround, possibly some new studs, drywall, a new vent fan, new subfloor, and obviously some updating). ๐Ÿ˜ฏ

But, I put it all in a spreadsheet, tallied it up anyway, and showed it to my partner in all things demolition and remodeling. Hubs said that he thought we could maybe just use those figures on the upstairs bathroom, and maybe just hang up a few plastic sheets in the downstairs shower so we could use it while doing the upstairs bath. Yes, I said hang plastic sheeting…in the shower…not to be confused with a shower curtain…. Some things are just really difficult to explain without pictures, and trust me–you don’t want to see this. Eye bleach is hard to come by. After we’re done with the sheets, we’ll just demolish the shower….thing…stall…?

So, here’s hoping that hubby holds up to getting this done this winter, there will be some pretty amazing demolition pictures to post if he does. And we’ll have one really awesome bathroom out of the deal. ๐Ÿ™‚

Money Saving Tip: Clorox Anywhere

I had recently run out of Clorox Anywhere (love that stuff!), and decided that though I love it, I wasn’t willing to shell out the rather exorbitant price for it. So, I turned to my friend “Google”, and searched for it.

Lo and behold, I found a recipe for it. ๐Ÿ™‚

From DealSeekingMom.com:

1 & 1/2 Teaspoons of bleach
22 oz. of water

I reused the bottle that my storebought version was in, and it looks as though the “recipe” author did as well. Way cheaper than buying a new bottle since you likely have a $2 bottle of bleach around anyway. ๐Ÿ™‚ Hope that helps you!

Halfway there!

The carpet is in! Installing it ourselves wasn’t quite as bad as I thought it would be. You can see some of my seams, but honestly, I’m not that concerned about it. It’s a family room using recycled carpet, so it wasn’t ever going to be featured in Better Homes and Gardens or anything. If there was such a thing as “Cheapskate Magazine”, we might fit there, since the project has only cost $20 and some time so far.

Right now we’re trying to decide on paint colors while we’re still in “remodel mode”. I just think it makes sense to paint the walls before moving the furniture back in. And since we don’t have any tack strips, I’m just going to roll the carpet back a few feet along where I’m painting to keep it from getting any drips or spills.

The biggest question is color. I’m trying to choose between about 3 colors for the walls. All are fairly light colors which will work well with the not-so-ideal lighting situation (it only looks bright now because there’s no leaves on the trees outside yet). I’m also trying to decide if I want to paint all 4 walls the same color, or leave 1 or 2 white. The room is a really long rectangle (35′ long x 13′ wide) and I’m afraid that all the paint is either going to break the bank or just be overwhelming once it’s finished. And, based on my experience in the sewing room, the 3 concrete walls are going to take color differently than the one sheetrock one (sheetrock on the right).

After carpet, before paint

Here are my color options (not that they seem to be accurate):

The yellow is a light sunny yellow, the middle color looks pretty accurate to me (it’s a kind of blue-grey), and the bottom one is a slightly darker/brighter shade than it shows up (almost a pale sea green IRL). If you’re going to a DoItBest hardware store anytime soon, they are A154~Banana Pop, C231~Misty Seas, & E262~Blue Burro. Currently I’m leaning toward the yellow or the sea green. ๐Ÿ™‚

Things that tick me off Thursday

Coupons. We’re trying to cut back on our grocery bill (because sometimes it gets out of hand) and so we started getting the Sunday paper so that we could clip them. My biggest annoyance with them is that they often require you to buy much more of something than you really need. My personal favorite? Cereal coupons. Perhaps we don’t have the space to store 3-5 boxes of cereal just to save $1. [/sarcasm] If I wanted to buy bulk, I’d have a Sam’s Club membership (which BTW, you should definitely pay attention–it’s not always cheaper to buy their huge quantities over a normal sized purchase at the local grocery stores, in fact, we noticed that there weren’t many things that were cheaper at our “local” Sam’s vs. our variant of Kroger store, thus the reason we didn’t ultimately buy a membership).

I also hate how sometimes you go to buy something and the coupon is only worth about 20ยข, which still doesn’t make it less expensive than the generic, but you took the time to cut the darn thing out. And why do I have to sign up with my email address for every single brand that I buy in order to get coupons from them? Why can’t they just put them in the paper? Maybe I don’t want more email in my inbox, maybe I just want it to be in the paper to be cut out and used without the hassle that I sometimes get with the printed coupons (our local Target refuses to accept printed coupons). I even signed up for CellFire, only to discover that it only works at one or two stores (from the same chain as my local store) in the big city that I don’t live close enough to to shop at?

Anyway, I don’t know how people really save money with coupons, perhaps they live closer to the store than I do (30 minutes one way) and have more time to shop there every day waiting for the specials. I think right now we’re merely breaking even on the cost of the newspaper subscription for the things that we buy regularly. I guess, perhaps we should file it under “entertainment” and start making a more concerted effort to read the whole thing.

Glad to be back!

*Whew!* Been offline for a while, because our internet provider doesn’t have any options for upgrading our internet service to a larger plan. Boo on Sprint!!! Plus they charge you outrageous amounts of money if you go over your limit, so trust me when I say that you’d do ANYTHING to avoid that. One of the pitfalls of being too cheap to have cell phones AND a land line, I guess….

After spending way too much time trying to catch up on all my emails and everything that’s been going on in the blogging world, I’m tired of sitting at the computer. So I’m going to take my numb rear and find something to do that doesn’t require sitting for a while. Have a great day!

Let the celebration commence!

Today is my (26th) birthday, and Friday was our 5th (*whoa!*) wedding anniversary. My wonderful hubby has somehow managed to put up with all of my moodiness, quirks, and everything else for the past 5 years. ๐Ÿ˜‰ In honor of the occasion, we made the *super* budget trip to Kansas City (sans kiddo) and got to do some wandering around the city. Unfortunately I missed out on the one fabric store that I was told to visit (Kallan’s???) which was a bummer since I was told that they have some fabulous fabric there. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ

For the sake of readability, here’s the bullet points of where we went:

  • *WW1 Museum (totally not my thing, but the guys seemed to enjoy it.)
    *Visited an old roommate from college (he went with us to a couple of the sites, and we enjoyed the visit.)
    *Union Station (the model train section would have enthralled my son, we’re going to try and take him sometime.)
    *Federal Reseve (no money was being printed–but they did do some shredding and sorting. Kind of a neat place to visit, just remember you’ll need your DL so that they can run a background check on you or something.)
    *Nelson-Atkin’s Museum of Art (we spent 4 hours there and still didn’t see everything! The sculptures definitely were NOT to my taste.)
    *Crown Center (we went shopping there for something for the kiddo, and also something for our neighbors who took care of our kitty while we were away.)
    *Legends (bought some decent clothes for hubby, a pair of jeans for me at a couple of the outlet stores.)
    *We also went to this extremely expensive restaurant where they cook the food on this metal plate in the center of the table. The restaurant thing was totally awesome–the food was fabulous, they put on a very cool show, and you definitely got plenty to eat!
  • So yeah, it was a bummer to leave, there were a couple more things I’d have liked to have seen, but we think we’re going to try and go back sometime fairly soon with our son. There were a lot of activities for families that seemed interesting, and some of them were even free. Definitely a good way to celebrate, especially if you’re on a budget. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ll try to get some pictures up in the next couple of days or so.

    Interfacing window treatments

    I’m so going to do it. Gigi had been talking about window treatments for her newly remodeled bathroom and it reminded me that we still have these horrible miniblinds on the HUGE picture window. When we replaced it late last year, we had intended to replace the miniblinds and the curtains with roman shades or something, but after looking for something in our budget, (which didn’t exist, ha ha) we decided to just tough it out until we’d gotten the money together to buy something nice.

    Anyway, in response to Gigi’s post, a comment was posted about using interfacing. The lady had promised to post pictures of it on her blog, and you can see that post here. I’m so going to do it–maybe not on the picture window….well, maybe on the picture window…we’ll see. I love how it lets in the light without everyone being able to see your business. Apparently it has some “staying power” as well. Can’t beat that!

    Ah, Shoes

    I’ll confess, I’ve never been one of those gals that has a shoe fetish/obsession/whatever you want to call it. I like to buy one or two pairs of shoes that suit every occasion, are black (so they go with everything), and until now–they’ve had to be cheapie shoes. Screw it. I’m tired of shelling out $20 for shoes that sit in my closet because they kill my feet and I dread wearing them. Because really, I’ve spent more money on $20 shoes that were donated to charity that haven’t hardly been worn than I would have spent buying decent shoes to start with. My biggest problem is that I can’t decide which ones I like best, and don’t know for sure of anywhere locally to try some of these on (because I really would like to make sure of the comfort before I shell out $100 for some shoes).

    I’ve been told that there are a few brands that are considered to be uber comfortable, so these are the only ones I searched through. (Clarks, Sofft, Mephisto, & Born if you were curious. ๐Ÿ˜‰ There are others, but I didn’t find any to suit my taste.) So anyway, to quote Shannon: “On to the pretties!” (Click on any of the images to buy your own. :-))

    I’m looking at the black versions of all of these, however a couple of the non-black versions would be OK should I suddenly hit the lottery jackpot. But, I’d have to buy a ticket for that to happen. ๐Ÿ˜›

    Back–with new and improved internets!

    We went cell phone shopping yesterday, and came home with a nifty new internet connection and two new “eco friendly” cell phones. It was ridiculously expensive *shudder*, but at least now we’ve got things back to normal. I’m a bit nervous about losing our little broadband card, since it’s about 1/4″ thick and only about the size of a credit card, but as long as we keep it plugged in, it should be pretty easy to find.

    We’re sure going to miss our old provider, but seeing as they told us to leave (we were out of their “service area”, and they just now discovered it–two years later)….we’re not feeling too badly about it. Anyway, I’ll try to have a more interesting/exciting post tomorrow, right now, I’m kind of ready for bed–it’s been a long weekend.

    You’re jealous, I can feel it….

    Looky what I got for $12!


    Screw you, Vogue and your $20 for an OOP pattern!

    So anyway, moving on. ๐Ÿ˜› Since DH has officially not been measured yet, nor has he decided whether he really needs or shirts more; I’m taking matters into my own hands and forcing him to be measured tonight and starting on the pants first. So, if you hear something akin to male screaming coming from casa de Couture, it’s because I had to hog-tie him to get his measurements. LOL! ๐Ÿ˜›

    I’ve finally gotten over my case of nerves about starting them–now I’m mostly just looking forward to the challenge. And since we have a ton of snow on the ground right now, it looks like I’ll have ample time to work on them for the next few days. 8) Anyone else ready for Spring?! I know I am!

    Well, I’m off to let the Wii kick my butt into a more desirable shape!