Much Better*

>> 11.30.2010

*I started to write "Much Bedder" as the title of this post... but then chickened out after imagining the anonymous comments that would follow my poor spelling skills.

So, as you might have guessed by now, the big Craigslist reunion that I teased about last week resulted in a brand new (used) bed!

We'll save the fresh, unwrinkled bedding for the real bedroom after shot :).

(old bed)

I had been on the lookout for a new bed for the past couple of months, but couldn't find anything that fit our needs within my price range. Needs= no footboard (have I mentioned that Nate is 6'3?), good quality, and more in the style of the bedroom. I wanted to spend around $250, but that wasn't happening and I finally caved when I saw this solid wood sleigh bed. It ended up costing us about $370 ($350 for bed frame and $20 to rent a truck from Home Depot), which still follows my rule of paying no more than 50% of the retail price. Nate can't stop talking about how much he loves it and I'm happy so we'll call this a win-win.

I've decided to stick with the gold frames...
do you think the pictures should still go above the bed or do they work above the side tables?



>> 11.29.2010

I'm not sure there are many emails that get me as excited as the ones from CSN Stores offering a chance to do a product review. Thanks to the blog-o-sphere, I've found out about this internet mega-site with sources for eeeeeverything. Where else can you find thousands of choices in bar tables and stools? Seriously?!

With Cyber Monday going on, there are plenty of amazing deals to be found on their sites. Nate might just find this baby on our doorstep in the upcoming weeks (at 30% off!):

...but I might be nice and get something for him instead of another Fiesta dish ;). Stay tuned!


Lucky #13

>> 11.23.2010

Yep, lucky #13 came up on top in my Giant Gift Giveaway.
Congrats, Amanda... I think it's safe to say that we're all quite jealous of you!!

In other news...
Craig (as in S. List) and I were reunited last night after a surprisingly long break. I can't wait to show you my newest thrifty find once we put it together. Can you guess what I bought?!



>> 11.22.2010

***Don't forget to enter my Giant Gift Giveaway by tomorrow... odds are pretty good for winning over $200 worth of prizes!***

Things didn't quite go as planned this weekend. I imagined coming back with pictures of our ever evolving yard complete with brand new paths... but the process of digging out the extra 4+ inches for the crushed granite is taking forever! For today, I just have a few pictures of rocks (and a really sore back).

Here's the GIANT rock we're hoping is some sort of valuable dinosaur fossil for the amount of time we're spending digging around it:

Here's Nate's favorite part of our Texas soil, the free rocks included in every shovel load: 
If I had a dollar for every time he mentioned the rocks this weekend...

I can't forget the giant pile of rocks just waiting to get itself into our yard:
Talk about motivation to get work done!

It's pretty obvious what I'll be doing on my days off this week.
Do you have any Thanksgiving DIY plans?


Giant Gift Giveaway!!!

>> 11.18.2010

***This giveaway is now closed***

I know I mentioned quite a few times yesterday that the gifts featured in my 2010 Thrifty Gift Guide are affordable, unique, and downright cool... but what I didn't mention was that I'd be back today to give ALL of them away. That's right, today is your chance to win each and every one of the gifts in the gift guide (I know, how amazing are those Etsy sellers for participating!?)!!

Shall we review all of the prizes?

With shipping included, we're talking over $200 worth of gifts!

Entry rules:
1. Write a comment (one per person) below that includes some way of email contact... maybe you want to mention your favorite gift from above?
2. You must live in the US or Canada.
3. Entry closes next Tuesday, November 23 at 12:00 Noon Central. I will then use to select the winner and contact them via email.
4. Consider checking out some of the links above... these sellers were pretty amazing to agree to be in a group giveaway! 

Winner takes all. Good luck!


Gift Guide: 10 Thrifty Gifts for 2010

>> 11.17.2010

The 2010 holiday season sure is a competitive one! I feel as if Black Friday has turned into an entire month. I don’t want to steal Thanksgiving’s thunder by popping in early with a gift guide, but I feel like it’s about time to think about affordable alternatives to jumping into the hectic shopping scene. What I’m trying to say here is that we don’t need to leave our families to shop on Thanksgiving Day (*cough* Walmart/ Sears) in order to get great deals. We also don’t need to stick to online retailers who happen to offer free shipping or

There are so many amazing small business owners out there offering quality products at unbelievable prices; why not make this the year of the handmade and handpicked? With thousands of shops, has something to offer for everyone. Here are 10 ideas to get you started in 2010:

This year, say, "I thought ahead and had something made for you" instead of "it was the last one left."
I love this 8 x 10 print as it is, but I can't help but imagining swapping in my newlywed friends' name and a rich brown to match their decorating style. For just $15, OurHumbleABoweD will do that for me.

I've decided that Kim is crazy... crazy-good at art and crazy to charge just $36 (including shipping) for her customized pet pieces. You work with YellowBrickHome to offer a pic of your favorite pup (or cat... or hamster) and she'll turn it into a modern masterpiece.

One Size Fits All
Have you ever bought an insecure (obviously size small) teen a size medium sweater? Not only will the ego blow be huge (and I might or might not know from personal experience), but the sweater won't be worn. Instead of ruining Christmas for everyone, go for pieces that will be sure to fit ;).
Eighty-two listings for charms at $10 and under (including shipping!)... is there anything else I need to say about rjcharms!?

I can't say this loudly enough: I LOVE SHOE CLIPS! They're genius little shoe transformers that anyone can wear. I'm not sure that any are cuter for the winter holidays than these $20 velvet bows from No144.

You can tell the recipient that you bought this $35 neck warmer from Anthropologie and she'll be impressed (and absolutely believe you)... or you can just tell her it's handmade and blow her away. I dare you to find Alouetta's quality at this price in retail stores.

This $12 Shop Houndstooth charm started as a custom gift for a friend... and thank goodness because who doesn't have a coffee buddy who would appreciate a little holiday love?

 For the Hostess
...because a hostess might like something other than wine (I think).
If they're hosting a holiday party, they love parties. Why not support the habit with more party goodies. To make a "party in a box" gift, just combine some $10 handmade drink stirrers by tearinguphouses with a stack of cute cocktail napkins, written directions for your favorite drink, and a mixer.

She's trendy, she's cool, and she has invited you into her home for the holidays. Thank your host with this cute, modern $13 piece by Colie's Crafts.

The Gift That Keeps on Giving
When affordable just isn't enough, buy a gift that serves multiple purposes... or provides for multiple people.
Effiehandmade has come up with one heck of a multipurpose gift! Leather + cashmere + cutest ornament ever + gift card holder (the holder is built into the back) = $15 (did I mention the cashmere?)

I know I mentioned this in last year's gift guide, but calendars just have to be the most genius of affordable gifts. When you through in the fact that this colorful $10 printable calendar by pinkroses1220 can be reprinted for as many gifts as you'd like... well, it's just a no-brainer.

What are your favorite affordable gifts this year?


The Actual Yard Plan

>> 11.16.2010

Have you ever had one of those moments where you've told a handyman, painter, etc your ideas for a project then came back to find it... not quite as pictured. Well, it actually happened with my soon-to-be-husband (sorry, fiance just sounds weird) as we were laying out the pathway markers. There might or might not have been a bit of patio/ bed drama.
It's all a-okay now that I've drawn it out. So, for Nate (anyone else who might want a sneak peek),
the yard plan:

And the current progress shots:

We choose not to clean up the mess because it makes for more dramatic after pictures... and, yes, I'm sticking to that story.

The crushed granite is going in this weekend. Woo!

Anyone else have to draw out and color-code all of their renovation plans? Anyone jealous of my advanced Microsoft Paint skillz?


Hold the Gold?

>> 11.11.2010

When I first brought these gold frames back from the hotel discount store I promised Nate that they would eventually go black...

...but I'm going to be honest, once I replaced the pictures, I decided that I was kinda liking the aged gold look:

I mean, the lamps and handles on the furniture already have a bronze finish... 
*Don't worry, I didn't toss the blue bedding. It's in the wash right now because SOMEBODY Hugo just had to pee on it. TMI? Sorry, just keeping it real.

(A reminder of where I'm going...)

So, do I have to paint over the gold or does it work with the black and white?



>> 11.09.2010

I'm beginning to get a little confused.

It's not about the appearance of holiday decorations in the beginning of October...

and it's not about the home shopping networks pumping out holiday cheer for three solid months. 

It's all of the early promotions and sales that are throwing me off of my holiday savings game. 

As the retail market became more desperate over the past few years, their sales have begun earlier and earlier.If they want to win your money, they try to do it early on. But with the Black Friday sale prices that begin three weeks early and emails offering discount coupons similar to post-holiday clearance prices, is anything even "full priced" anymore? I know to expect some sort of discount when doing my holiday shopping, but it's hard to predict how low they'll really go.

What trends are you seeing in holiday sales?
When do you plan to do your shopping?


Black and White... and Black

>> 11.08.2010

I tried to stay out on that yellow ledge, but I guess my unadventurous side took over again.

The half bath mirror is now black:


For now, I think I'll just stick to using other accessories to inject a bit of color into the space.

Oh, and to the anonymous comments asking if "I feel like I'm in a zoo" or "in jail." Eh, not really. I think I feel more like I'm in the one bold room in the house- the room that happens to be the smallest and easiest to change. When doing this room redo I knew that I needed to accomplish two things: re-texture the walls and replace the ugly light fixture. While I was at it, I decided this would be as good of time as any to try out stripes for the first time. PS I still love you, anonymous commenters! I leave up the anonymous option in the comments so that I can continue to receive honest feedback from readers without blogs. Plus, you're way cooler than the spammers that seem to be attacking in full force lately. 

So, thoughts on the black?


Thrifty Little Tip: Find Cash Discounts

>> 11.04.2010

Your new favorite question:
"Can you give me a discount for paying in cash?"

What does this have to do with a truck piled up with sod? Well, we saved a good $30 just because Nate asked if they would give him a discount for paying with cash rather than credit. Remember, those credit cards that we expect all of our favorite stores and businesses to take actually charge the business a fee of around 4% of each transaction. That's money that should stay in your bank account.

When finding pay in cash discounts:

*Take the initiative to ask. You might be a cash person. That doesn't mean you'll automatically receive all discounts that might be available.

*Your best bet is with the small and local businesses. They don't usually have deals with credit card companies or fees built in. Think outside of the box- neighborhood florist, vet, or favorite restaurant?

*Weigh your options. Will the rewards points that you earn by using the credit card come out to be more or less than the cash discount?

*Make sure you aren't being penalized already. Some businesses add on fees when a customer uses credit over cash.

Have you ever found savings by paying in cash?


Dear Readers,

>> 11.03.2010

Do you have an etsy or other online store filled with unique goodies?

Please let me know: kasey (at) thriftylittleblog (dot) com



path problems

>> 11.02.2010

A big part of our yard overhaul is installing crushed granite pathways along the side of the yard. I know that this could look amazing... but I'm not quite sure if we're getting there the right way. While at Home Depot, we decided to use a recycled composite edging material because it is: 1. green (in the eco-sense) 2. similar in price to the metal alternative 3. much more attractive than the plastic options 4. malleable for all of the corners

We didn't realize that the flexibility of the edging would lead to a less than perfect line in the straight areas of the paths.

It seems that warping occurs if you're even the slightest bit off in your placement of the lines. Maybe things will get better as we pack in the dirt and the sod grows in?

Do you think I'm being too much of a perfectionist or do we have a big problem here?
Have you ever worked with composite edging? (tips please!)


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