Monday, November 30, 2009

4-Day Weekend Update - It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!!!


Happy Monday everyone... it's offically the start of the Christmas season, my favorite time of year! We had a very busy 4-day Thanksgiving weekend... Thursday we went to hubby's grandmother's for Turkey Day w/ his family. Had a good meal, and ordered our new TV! 55" LCD HDTV by Insignia that we got on sale for $1200 - LOVE it! Friday, hubby picked up the new TV at the Best Buy store, and we ran by Big Lots and got a new TV stand.


Saturday we went to Walmart *shutter...* the dreaded store, and got our pictures done at PictureMe - I love that portrait studio, have NO complaints, and prefer them any day over Olan Mills for their quality, and quantity/price. While there, we also picked up the curtain track I'd ordered site to store, and got groceries (heaven forbid...) I'd have much rather gone to Kroger, but since we were already there and all...

Got the house cleaned up, tried out my new Shark Steam Mop and I love it! It's so much better than the Swiffer or Clorox mops... and well anything beats a regular old mop and bucket... and it's just steam, no soap, no wet floors to worry about the kids tracking all over just after I finish!

I also finished all my Christmas shopping (online, I refuse to go to any other store other than the grocery between Black Friday and Christmas Eve...) We got all our Christmas decorations up inside (minus the nativity set & fiberoptic angel I'm still digging for) and we'll be putting the outside lights and decorations up next weekend!








Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Saving $$$ This Christmas

So far we've managed to stay within our budget & save some money this Christmas.

We did the big part of the shopping for the kids at Big Lots.

I scored a kitchenette set for $35 for my 18 month old (and an extra set that came with tableware & food for $5 since the kitchen just came w/ cookware), along with an $8 toy stroller & a baby doll with mini basinette basket which was $12.

For our 4 year old son we got an easle (I believe it was $25 or $35) but it's a great easle- well constructed, has a chalk board on one side & I think I dry erase on the other-- there's something on the other side... but it also matches the toy bins we got for his room - it has two bins on the bottom to store art supplies. We also got him some $10-$15 army sets that hubby picked out... and I am ordering his Transformer from amazon.com (he's getting older, it's getting harder to be completely thrifty with his Christmas list...)

We are getting our pictures done at Walmart next weekend - a family Christmas picture & the kid's yearly photo. This will play a big role in our gift giving this year, and we will use the family photo on our Christmas Card.

For immediate family we're doing inexpensive gifts if we know what they want or a gift card. (Don't want to give too much detail, as I have family who read the blog... LOL) But we're staying in our normal Christmas budget of $100 per child, and $20 per family member that we buy for, so I'm proud of us.

Pantry Design


So we've looked & looked for a stand alone pantry for the kitchen... I had one on order, but it was backordered, and it's a good thing b/c it really isn't want we want, and we can't really find what we want... so hubby is going to build one (apparently he has this carpentry side that is just now coming out after 4 years of marriage), and I'll stain it to match our cabinets - look at the picture on the left, what might one call that stain color? Walnut? Cherry? It's not really "red", I'd say it's more walnut myself...

Here is the layout idea (no where near scale... just a *very* rough sketch) It will be approximately 6ft tall x 3ft wide x 1 1/2ft deep.



I want two layers - the top will be 3 shelves, and the doors will have "can shelves" installed. The bottom will be two pull out shelving units. We will go price everything this weekend, and I will let you know what we're looking at... Our budget is no more than $200, as this was the most I planned to pay for an already built pantry... hope we can stick to it! This will quailfy as our first "real" Do It Yourself projects!

Material list:
FRAME:
1- 3'x6' (or larger) piece of plywood for back
2- 1 1/2' x 6' (or larger) boards (probaby 1/4"-1/2" thick) for sides
5- 1 1/2' x 3' (or larger) boards for bottom, top, middle, & shelves

DOORS:
1- 3'x6' (or larger) piece of wood to cut into the 4 doors
6- 6"x18" boards for can shelves (will need to be 1/2"-1" thick in order to cut down to have an outter lip to keep the cans from falling out)
4- 4'x6" boards for sides of top doors (can shelves frame)
10- door hinges
4- knobs

PULL OUT SHELVES:
2 - 1 1/2' x 3' boards for bottom of "drawers"
4- 6"x3' boards for the fronts/backs of the "drawers"
4- 6"x18" boards for the sides of the drawers
sliding drawer hardware

And lastly: interior stain (walnut or cherry - to be determined)

Monday, November 23, 2009

HomeGood Style Scope - I'm a Global Casual

Take this quiz!

Your style…revealed! Sarah, you are a Global Casual

Your home is warm and inviting, and expresses your curiosity and zest for life. You have wide-ranging interests, and an appreciation for many different cultures and ways of life. You bring a sense of the far-flung world into your home through its d├ęcor through unique or artisan-made treasures. Objects in your home tend to reflect your personality, your passions, your values, and your eclectic interests. This gives your home a sense of intrigue and comfort.


You value order. You feel happiest if your home is well organized. You understand that when your house is in order, your mind feels clearer. Rather than a lot of meaningless objects or overly-designed items, you are happier with a few well-placed things. Your home is your respite from a busy life. Try to avoid letting things into your home that you don't really love.


Putting Your Style to Work!

With your style and needs in mind, here are a few tips that will help you make your home a little happier.


1. Your Design Challenge: ORGANIZE


The front hall sets the mood for your entire home. Consider how to accommodate all the room's functions as beautifully as possible. At the very least you need a console, and if you're short on storage, consider a dresser. Outfit the surface with nice trays and bowls for mail, keys and sunglasses. Keep a trash can for immediately tossing the junk mail. Closet-door or wall hooks encourage coat and bag hanging rather than dumping. If you have children, try to give each a basket in the closet for hats and gloves. It's nice to have a chair or bench for changing shoes, a mirror for last-minute lipstick checks, and a lamp or sconces for warm light.

2. Your Happy Place


Make this room as comfortable and inviting as possible by bringing in some real furniture like an armchair or a sofa if you have the space. A little lamp on the counter or decorative hanging light can set the mood. Stools are great perches and can easily be moved around. Don't forget to bring your personality and style into this room: hang some art or display a collection of family photos in mixed frames. Consider bold, happy colors in the kitchen as well, like brightly colored pots and pans, big bowls for corralling fruits and vegetables, and trays for spices, oils, teas and pepper mills.


3. Be Party-Ready All the Time!


Scent: The first thing you notice about a home is how it smells. Use naturally fragrant cleaning products. If you find a scented candle or fresh potpourri you love, stock up on it. Any scent you like, whether perfume or linen spray, can be used on upholstery, bedding or just spritzed into the air.



Mood: Nice, flattering light makes us feel good. So nix the harsh, direct light from overhead fixtures in favor of the softer glow from floor and table lamps. Also, stock up on some votive candles and a couple of hurricane lanterns for setting around the room.



Food: Devote space in your pantry or on a shelf for go-to party essentials: crackers, dip, chips, nuts—whatever you like to serve. Keep on hand a collection of attractive bowls and cocktail napkins, and you'll be able to set a spread—instantly!
 Drink: The simplest and chicest thing is to have a drinks tray or table always set up. Include a mix of pretty glasses, an ice bucket, a lovely pitcher, and bottles of soda and water. When the bell rings, just add ice and limes.

Weekend Progress: Thrifty Big Lots Deal

We made a lot of progress again this weekend. In addition to Christmas shopping & laundry, we hung some more picutres up, I got Andrew's room completely unpacked & finished, and I got my dining room unpacked.

At Big Lots we got Andrew some new Toy Storage Bins, which were a lot bigger than his old ones (I was able to consolidate 3 bins into 1!), and they cost a lot less than what we'd paid for the smaller ones at Walmart! Not to mention I got $10 off the already low price b/c we took the display model - this was our second time going in there for these bins and them being out of stock, and the last time they had told us they'd have more by last Wednesday... but one of the bars was a little bent, and being the negotiator I am, I got him to sell me the display (which they don't normally do) and knock $10 off the sticker price.






The finishing touches on Ella's room were the pictures & shelf above her changing table (which as yet to be painted white) and the stickers on her cheferobe. And we still have to get some curtains & shorten the cornice board to hang above the window.





Thrifty Tips 101

I'm all about being thrifty... I'm all about saving money where I can, and using my extra money towards our home improvment adventure... With Christmas time coming up, we try to save anywhere we can. So far this how we've saved money this holiday season.

1. I take my lunch every day to work... and instead of buying nasty/processed/over priced frozen meals, I just fix an extra serving at dinner the night before. So today for lunch I'm eating delicious pot roast, potatoes, and carrots & corn on the cob -- beats the crap out of frozen anything (taste & price.)

2. We started our Christmas shopping this weekend. My kids are 1 & 4, so I can still get away with all or most of the shopping at discount stores like Freds & Big Lots. (This year my 4 year old does specifically want an Optimus Prime transformer, so that's one thing I'll have to go to Target for...) But what I'm going to pay for Mr. Optimus, I managed to buy a toy kitchen set (the actual kitchen, not just some dishes) for at Big Lots -- $35 for a toy kitchenette that would have cost $80-$100 at Walmart or Target (don't get me wrong, I LOVE Target, but I love my savings more...) As for Walmart, I only go there if I can't get what I'm looking for anywhere else for less... strongly dislike Walmart...

3. Craigslist is your friend. So is ebay, amazon, and overstock.com.

4. Decorations: I've seen so many good tips for "DIY" Thanksgiving & Christmas decor... One thing I saw was spray painting pine cones silver or gold & using other "dead" tree limbs/floral arrangements for "fall" decor...

5. DIY storage ideas. The most recent idea was the DIY Magazine Holders... Loved this idea - saves money, but also allows me to decorate my holders anyway I like!!! (And for those following the blog, while I had a very productive weekend, due to the rain I did not get to my magazine holder/spray painting projects.)

6. Google! I always google an item I want to make sure I'm getting the best price... I can't stand to buy something, then turn around a week later and find the same thing cheaper.

7. And lastly, I never down 2nd hand anything... I'll take gently used items any day! I have a 1 year old- they outgrow clothes faster than I can buy them... Ebay is a good find for gently used kid's clothes - the last lot I got my son was all brand new w/ tags, name brand clothes that I couldn't have gotten that cheap if I'd have been willing to drag myself into Walmart... and same for my daughter - a good bit of  the last lot I got her were new, and what was gently used you could barely tell - nothing a good wash won't fix! We have an email shop here at work, and I got JC Penney drapes & throw pillows that go perfectly in my new family room (the drapes were new, and the pillows were used for decor only) and I couldn't have gotten them cheaper anywhere else!

Some may call me frugal or cheap, but I call it "thrifty." :-)

Friday, November 20, 2009

Introducing the Family & Home

So I've blogged & blogged about out home improvements & renovations, I thought I'd introduce the "us" who live in the home a little bit more...


So there's me. Sarah, age 24 (25 in February), mother of 2, I work as a Program Assistant for the Master of Public Health program for Mercer University. I live in Georgia, I've been here going on 5 years. I was born and raised for 19 years in Muncie, IN.  I love music, blogging, home improvement, camping, grilling, being outdoors, photography, and being with my family.

We bought our first home back in 2007, which we knew wouldn't be our permenant space, we just didn't know for how long... well, our son was 3 when baby #2 came along in 2008... We knew once there were two munchkins roaming the house it wouldn't be long before we needed more space... and we had learned that the elementary school district we were in wasn't the best, so we started looking for a new space in 2009.

We found Tiffany Ln, after seeing a few other homes (fell in love with 1, but it was a little too expensive since we hadn't sold the current house...) Well  Tiffany Ln was bigger than the first home by a couple hundred sq ft, and while the basement wasn't finished (probably one reason it was less $) the price was unbeatable (Thank You economy!) Over 2900 sq ft 3 bed/2 bath 10 year old home for $108,900, when they were running closer to $130,000 everywhere else we looked... I asked what's wrong with it? Crazy thing - nothing, other than a recent termite infestation that the sellers had removed quickly and put the house under bond for a year, and according to our inspector and his thermal imaging scan there was no damage. That was it. We didn't ask them for anything else (other than a very small door repair and to have the house cleaned & cobwebs removed from the basement...) And it appraised for $114,000 (with the poor market right now, it's tax assessed value is like $126,000...)

So we went from 1270 sq ft, to 2919 sq ft - what the heck was I to do with all this space?! Well I've managed to fill it up pretty well, and we have a set goal for finishing the basement within a year.


My husband is Adam. He's 25, works for our local cable company (which entails free internet & TV-- our total monthly bill is like $10, and we have high speed & every channel out there - including a few new channels that right now are "employee only" for testing - HAHA!) I love his job. Possibly more than he does...

Hubby is a computer geek (loves his games), is into camping, being outdoors, and spending time with us, his family, and his friends. We met back in 2004 and married in 2005. I promise God brought me to Georgia  for the sole purpose of finding him!


Our kids are Andrew & Ella. Andrew is 4, and Ella is 18 months (1 1/2 years for you men and nonparents out there who are like what's with the month thing?) Andrew is in pre-k. He loves superheros (Iron Man &  Transformers are really in right now with him...) He's loves playing with cars, trains, army men, and the list goes on.

Ella is on a talking spree -- she will accurately repeat  any word you say, even the ones you don't want her to... Oopsie. Some of her favorites are milky, mommy, and the oh so favorite of anyone who hears her say it, sexy.




And last, but not least, is our fur-baby, Bubbles. She is 4 years old and a mini dauschund. She likes to lay in your lap, especially when you least want or need her there (like last night when I was on the floor trying to fold laundry...)

Adam thinks it's funny to shoot her with the toy gun he got at the grocery last weekend (yes I have 3 kids, not just 2.) It's just those little suction things you shoot at the tv or window and they stick... but the poor dog is skiddish enough without having to hide from the husband... she puts up with enough from the real kids! :-)

A Blast from the 3 Week Past: Our Very First Project

This post was written for Houseblogs.net as part of a sweepstakes sponsored by True Value. Visit http://www.startrightstarthere.com/ and checkout TrueValue!

So we've been in our new home 3 weeks now... we've done so much already in the short time since we  got the keys (which we thought that day would never come), but I'm trying to think back to what was our "first" project... we really did a lot right off - I worked on one thing while hubby did another... but the first big project had to be the nursery.


It was tan, not a nursery color, and I wanted to get it painted before the new carpet was to arrive. In our old house, her room was the old office/den and it has wood panel walls that we didn't want to paint... so this was my first chance to fully design her room the way I wanted it... the carpet we'd ordered was Stainmaster (Home Depot had a $39 install going on, and my mom paid for it...) and we went with a berber carpet in "Daddy's Girl" pink.

So then it was a debate between light green or light yellow walls to go with the new carpet & the current decor (Winnie the Pooh) and her white furniture...












After a couple blog & facebook posts, we decided on the "Morning Sun Yellow." Our paint was Behr Ultra Premium Semi Gloss from Home Depot. We also bought white semi gloss to touch up the trim... clear to say I was extremeley happy with the final product, and the new carpet arrived that following Thursday. I also had put together an "Idea Board" to see how well everything would tie together.

We had moved in a week prior, but couldn't fully "move in" until the carpet was installed, or we'd be paying them to move the furniture,  after we'd already paid movers! So finally we were ready to put the room together.



We were basically done! Still had some things to hang up on the walls (We've done that since then, need updated pictures) & window coverings to finish (still not there yet), but the overall project was finished!

Thankful for New Memories


Today I am thankful for new memories we make... yesterday I found myself reminiscing in the olden days at Grandma & Grandpa's Christmas tree farm, which to me was what made Thanksgiving and Christmas... how I miss them! But  today I am thankful for the new memories we make as us "kids" from those days have started our own families. While I miss seeing grandma and grandpa's faces, the wonderful food (grandma's noodles & mashed potatoes, along with her deviled eggs, sugar cream pie, oh the list could go on for days), and the happiness and calmness we felt at their home during the "crazy" holidays, I am thankful for my children & our new home that we get to decorate for the first time this year. And even though the holidays stay crazy for us now, with much help from the inlaws, I still love this time of year. I can't wait to put up my tree in the big bay window in my frong living room where people can actually see it all lit up from the street! I will be doing outdoor decorations this year too, since hubby said he had too much else on his plate with the house to do it... so up the ladder I will go hanging lights and putting out my "winter wonderland."

Thursday, November 19, 2009

DIY: Make Your Own Magazine Holders


So the hole thing sparked when I needed something to hold all of my son's coloring books. I had hubby put a shelf up above his table (at the old house everything sat on the table and he couldn't really use it.) So then I started thinking of ways to organize everything (coloring & activity books, crayons & markers, drawing paper, etc.) I have an old wipe holder for his crayons & markers - which I think I'll revamp this weekend while I'm on a spray painting kick. For his coloring books I wanted to find a magazine holder, but didn't want to pay for one... I came across these instructions online, and they are perfect as we still have plenty of boxes left from moving!

So this weekend I'm going to either find an old cereal box, or I've seen another website that used cardboard boxes and created 2 holders at once. A little spray paint & some stickers, and wa la! Also on my project list for this weekend is to spraypaint the shelf in my daughter's room white to make them match furniture. :-) Can't wait to add the before & after pics next week! Stay tuned...

Chapter 4: Basement Layout Plan

So we were talking about once we put in walls, flooring, and paint the ceiling, the best way to lay out the basement, and here is what we've come up with... we're working with the current location of the washer & dryer & water heater, and a workshop that is already over 1/2 way built at one end of the 15'x40' space. Of course this isn't even remotely to scale, but it's a good estimate.

Thankfulness Continued...

Today I am thankful for my husband, who yesterday patched the holes in the wall, hung up a lot of our pictures, and installed the doorstops! :-) Today him and his dad are finishing the security system, hopefully installing the digital thermostat, and who knows what else.

When I get home I'll finish putting away my clothes - found the last box in the garage. Tomorrow night we have a semi formal event we're going to with my job, for the 10 year anniversary of the Mercer Master of Public Health program, recognizing the past and present leadership. But Saturday morning you can bet I'll be up and back at it... I will not rest until my house is put together, and on top of that I need to start decorating for Christmas next weekend, after Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Today I am Thankful for... holes in my walls?!


So I'm continuing my thankfullness until Thanksgiving challenge. Today's thankful bit goes with our home blog. I am thankful for holes in my walls (but not the one in my roof.) Yesterday hubby ran the cable for our new security system! So of course he had to put holes in walls (even though he accidently put a few extra holes in the walls, and even a small 3/4" drill hole in the roof...) So my house is tore up, and we have new repairs to add to the list (I was less happy with the hole in my son's room that I had JUST painted...) but I am thankful for the holes that are supposed to be there for the security system to be installed. :-) But even more, I'm thankful that we are blessed to have Adam's uncle as our security system provider, so we get everything at cost, and Adam installs it (he used to work for his uncle) so we don't pay labor, and he just comes out and activates it (at no charge.) So grand total for the security system so far (minus the cost of wire b/c they didn't know how much would be used) is $700 - which would have been $500, but we paid an extra $200 for the wireless feature where the monitoring will go to the cell towers... so sorry to those crooks who were planning on cutting the phone line, there won't be one to cut.

But I matched that up to ADT... they are offering a $99 deal, but that only includes something like 1 sensor, 2 window taps, 2 door taps, one panel, and the brains... NOT enough to fully cover any sized home, let alone our 2900 sq ft... To upgrade to what we have with Parkwest, ADT would be well over $1000. We will have full coverage (all doors, most windows, several sensors, hardwired smoke detectors, & two panels.) And with ADT you are required to sign up for their monitoring for 1-2 years, which is $30. Monitoring with Parkwest is $5 if you have the regular phone line monitoring, or $15 if you have wireless. A penny saved is a penny earned. And going with a smaller company like Parkwest is generally cheaper for anyone, not just those of us who get freebies and parts at cost. The monitoring is that cheap for anyone which is a plus b/c you'll be paying for that as long as you want the cops to show up if the alarm goes off...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Chapter 3: (Basement) If Walls Could Speak...

So I started looking at wall panel for the basement...
I found a moisture resistant smooth panel that should brighten the place up a bit. The first  two white options are a little too bright (ow my eyes!) But the swirl option looks like a winner!

"To make even high-moisture areas beautiful, there isn't a better choice than our Smooth Panel Boards. Finished with a tough, acrylic melamine coating, they resist staining, fading and mildew. Available in three designs, they offer several decorating options for kitchens, bathrooms, laundry rooms and mudrooms. But don't stop there. Let your imagination be the guide (not recommended near bathtubs, sinks or on shower walls – AquaTile is recommended for these applications)."

I really like some of their decorative panels, but we need something moisture resistant. But the whole thing has sparked even more wall decor ideas for the master bath & family entertainment room. Our master bath theme is palm trees, and I think I'd like to surround my garden tub with a wall mural of a beach. The walls on each side of the tub are like 4x6 (give 2 feet for the tub...) or something close to that, so chances are a store bought mural won't cut it since the come pretty standard , and there's a large window on the backside of the tub - which I'd like to add some bamboo blinds. One of my husbands best friends since they were in diapers, his mom keeps my kids during the work day, and his aunt is an excellent artist. I was going to have her paint the characters in Andrew's Room instead of buying the decals, but she was booked up through Christmas, and I didn't want to wait until then.

For the family entertainment room, I'd like to add a large wall mural as well. The walls in that room are plenty large enough for a "store bought" mural. I've gone with a traditional style with my window treatments & matching pillows... I'm not quite sure what I want to go up on the wall, but I know it needs a change!

EDIT: Hubby and I were downstairs last night discussing the basement set up, and he said it'd be cheaper just to buy 4'x8' wood panels to put up...which really makes sense, considering no matter what I get I plan on painting!

Thankfulness


Okay, so I got this idea from another blogger, and Facebook. It's the same challenge going around Facebook, and you may have seen it, and I'm challenging anyone who reads this blog to list something you are thankful for at least once a day until Thanksgiving. I just started this a couple days ago myself on Facebook, and really try to think of something good. We can always be thankful every day for a roof over our head, family, friends...

My first day I was thankful for two things: the fact I finally got my swine flu shot (I work in Public Health, and our office is right down the hall from the Student Health Clinic on campus, and I did not want to get sick and take this crap home to my family!) And I was also thankful that my son started wanting to say the blessing at dinner! (He's 4.)

Today was my 2nd day, and I said I was thankful for a NEW home, wonderful job (which I just left a dreadful one a few months back, so this is a biggy), and my family & friends (most of whom I've come a lot closer to here recently.)

So here's your challenge: Each day, list something, or a few things you are thankful for! Thanksgiving is coming up in a week and a half, but lets see how much thankfullness we can spread until then!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Our Weekend Progress: Learned what takes paint off a sink or tub!

We're offically ALL moved in -- Hubby got the furniture that was being stored at grandmother's, plus our "new" coffee tables that his uncle gave us. My living room is just about put together! The furniture is moved in - just gotta hang the pretty art we got from Big Lots up, and we're getting some lamps from hubby's uncle as well. :-) Got a lot unpacked, swept & vacuumed floors, and cleaned bathrooms.

And if everyone remembers my paint delima... hubby got the clog out of the sink by taking it apart... which uncovered a leaky spot he had to then fix, LOL. But the answer to the paint stuck to the bottom of my tub and sink: AJAX w/ bleach & either a rag & fingernails or one of those stainless steel pads. I had little specks of paint in the bottom of my garden tub, which also had a non slip bottom (so those little bumps)... it tooks some scrubbing, but it came up! And while cleaning the dry paint out of the sink (which was a lot easier w/o the bumps) we found our leak - water came pouring out from the cabinet. But it's all fixed now, and the paint mess is gone!

So now my next question - what's a good remover for rust spots? Have some smaller rust stains on the edge of my sinks & on the counter tops... I had heard something about toothpaste-- tried this, it did not work.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Chapter 2: Basement Inspiration! Featuring: Young House Love


Okay - so I've been looking and looking for some inspiration for our basement... but all I can find on the web are these huge, luxurious finished basements, and well that's just not us. Our basement is long, but narrow compared to most, approximately (more of a guesstimate) 40'L x 15'W. The owners before us started finishing it- ran ductwork for the a/c & heat, put up the studs for the sheet rock, and even started to add a small room at one end.

But I've finally got some inspration from Young House Love's Tackling the Basement Posts! Their basement looked a lot like ours when they started. Cinder block walls (though they had a moisture problem, which thank the Lord we don't have) and a cement floor...

For one, drywalling a space like this (or paneling the walls) would be expensive... this couple painted their walls (of course they needed to in order to seal them w/ a waterproofing, oil based paint...) But the final outcome came out nicely! Now I don't think we'd need to use the oil based stuff, but I think I'd like to use some sort of sealing paint just to be on the safe side-- it's not flooded in the 10 years the house as been built and has good drainage, but there's a first time for everything, and after being empty over a year it does smell a bit musty, hard to tell if it's from it being wet or empty or both... I also really liked their idea of painting the cement floor vs paying for flooring... now eventually, I'd like tile in this basement, but we're talking about starting to finish this basement within 6 mo to 1 year, and I don't see ceramic tile being in the budget... Here is what is in the budget so far:


  • Hubby wants to finish the room that was started for a workshop (which we will do with the cheaper option of paneling or sheet rock-- anyone know the answer here?) It already has tile floor... but they stopped one of the side walls a few feet short of the cinder block wall on one side (where the electrical panel is located) and Adam would like it to go all the way across...

  • Finishing the duct work-- they will heat and cool, but one of them is hanging kinda funky and needs to be tacked back up properly.
  • Painting the ceiling-- now this was one thing we decided to cheap out on for two reasons-- didn't want to pay extra to sheet rock the ceiling, and then there was the fact that our ceiling is low enough and it'd take a lot of money & effort to nicely close in all the pipes-- which we'd like it to be easy to get to in the event of a pluming issue.
  • Of course: the walls. But still the question of "how to?" We definately want them to brighten up the space!
  • The floor, again "how to?" I liked their idea of painting the floor- and I've seen where people have done "paint tiles" on cement floors-- the question is do I have the ability and/or patience for such a task? :-)
  • We'd like to close in the washer, dryer, & hot water heater at the other end into a little "utility closet."
  • The large space in the center we'd like to make into an entertainment/guest area. This Christmas hubby wants a new flat screen TV, and we'd put the old entertainment center w/ the old tube TV, vcr/dvd player, & old surround sound speakers downstairs- everything still works, he just wants BIGGER. I'd like to add a nice futon for seating & also additional guest sleeping quarters, and toss in a couple recliners that at least 1/2 way match.
  • We'd also like to do a wet bar w/ sink & mini fridge, pool table/air hockey table, & a gaming system for the "big kids"-- hubby & friends (xbox 360 more than likely!) We also have the kid's VTech learning game system that will go down there... I got some good inspiration for the wetbar from this blog. And of course, we have our old kitchen bar that is no longer in use that we could use as a cheapout, quick fix until we can afford to build something fancy... Now it's just a question of location, location, location...

Come Vote for my Most Recent Home Project!

http://www.repair-home.com/project/painting/sunny-nursery.html

Toy Storage Solution

So we've pretty much unpacked the baby's nursery... but we threw some toys in a box and stuck them in the closet due to lack of a place to put them... so I figure it's time for a new toy box! I've found one at one of my favorite stores: Target All of the furniture in her room is white, and so this will match beautifully!

Home Construction Improvement Dremel Give Away!


Dremel 4000 – High Performance Rotary Tool


Dremel has introduced it’s most powerful and versatile rotary tool to date, the Dremel 4000. The folks at Dremel have been kind enough to send us the all new Dremel 4000 2/30 kit to give away to one lucky reader of Home Construction & Improvement.

With the Holidays just around the corner this could make a super gift for the lucky winner. Even if you don’t win this one you may want to add it to your wish list this Christmas!

About The Dremel 4000

The Dremel 4000 High-Performance Rotary Tool offers the highest performance and most versatility of all Dremel rotary tools. The increased strength of its motor plus electronic feedback circuitry delivers consistent performance at all speeds. Slim ergonomic body provides a 360-degree grip zone for control in any position. Separate on/off switch and variable-speed dial allows convenient speed adjustment and maintains your selected speed. The 4000 uses all Dremel accessories.

Features: Quick collet lock for fast accessory changes Pencil grip close to bit Replaceable motor brushes for longer motor life Rotary Tool, 30 Accessories, 2 Attachments, Carrying Case (4000-2/30).


How To Enter For A Chance To Win - CLICK HERE to go to the blog to leave your comment for a chance to win.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Before/In Progress/Moving Day Pictures!

So I wouldn't really call these before and after pics YET - we aren't 100% finished, but have come a long way and I wanted to share our progress!

Living Room:

We're still missing some furniture (hopefully getting it tomorrow!) And we're still unpacking boxes, but the new carpet & curtians have really made a difference so far, and we have some pretty art from Big Lots that I can't wait to get on the walls!

Master Bedroom:



Our new bedding set also came from Big Lots and was $40 for a 7 piece set, VS the $120 set I had originally picked out online @ Sears... don't min the sloppy job of making the bed- I just threw it together real fast to take a picture, LOL.

Baby's Room (Our Biggest Tranformation -- SO FAR!)




4 Year Old's Room


Sorry I couldn't get a cleaner picture, everyone was playing in there last night!

Moving Day:

Adam & his dad filling the garage with boxes... and it only got fuller, all the way to the front! I can't wait until I can use my garage.