Category Archives: Bargains

Two Quickie Updates

A wire basket that hangs over the cabinet door.

A wire basket that hangs over the cabinet door.

I’ve been regularly visiting all the local discount stores for some kitchen runners.  No luck in that area but at Marshalls I found a storage basket ($6) for the door under Charlie’s sink.

This basket is sturdy enough to hold a few more items.

This basket is sturdy enough to hold a few more items.

If he thinks it will work for him maybe we can permanently mount it.  For now we’ll just let the over-the-door hooks show.

Under sink cabinet

Under sink cabinet

They’re not really too noticeable.

Sheetrock on the wall is hung horizontally.

Sheetrock on the wall is hung horizontally.

On the opposite side of the house in the conservatory we’re starting to get more drywall hung.

Charlie's working his way right around the room.

Charlie’s working his way right around the room.

Wow, does it ever change the feeling of the room.

What small change have you made that has had a big impact?

Handy Apron Hang-up

I’m a modern woman; I often cook without an apron on.

I used the oven for the first time this past weekend to cook a turkey.

I used the oven for the first time this past weekend to cook a turkey.

I’m a modern woman; I often cook in my good clothes and need an apron which I like to have handy.  So I washed (and ironed) all our aprons and looked for a convenient place to keep them. (We used to keep them behind the basement door which is no longer in the kitchen.)  Of course, the pantry was the perfect place.

The pantry is a convenient place for lots of things including aprons.

The pantry is a convenient place for lots of things including aprons.

I remembered having 2 double, nickel-toned hooks that would be perfect hung on the right wall of the pantry just low enough so they would hang off the floor and allow space for a shelf (or something) above.

I love using things I already have on hand.

I love using things I already have on hand.

We made marks on the wall and Charlie hammered a nail in to make the holes just large enough to allow a plastic anchor to be hammered in.  Then the bracket which holds the hooks was screwed to the wall.

It would be easy to mistakenly hang this bracket back-to-front.

It would be easy to mistakenly hang this bracket back-to-front.

The trickiest part (of a very untricky task) was to place the hook over the bracket and screw it tight from underneath.

A set screw with a very narrow slot invisibly holds the hook on the bracket.

A set screw with a very narrow slot invisibly holds the hook on the bracket.

Voila!

We have both masculine and feminine aprons at-the-ready.

We have both masculine and feminine aprons at-the-ready.

Need an apron?

Do you get frustrated when you know you have something and can’t find it?

Heads Up

I had a list list of potential projects for myself to accomplish this past weekend.  Then Charlie asked me to help with the ongoing saga of drywalling the conservatory.

The architect's plan of the conservatory and attached bathroom.

The architect’s plan of the conservatory and attached bathroom.

When we left you last week he had hung 2 pieces on the ceiling.

Two pieces of drywall span the room.

Two pieces of drywall span the room.

Realizing it was a bigger job than he realized he sought my help which, by the way, I was NOT eager to provide.  Being a model wife I acquiesced. (Seriously, I was conducting the music at church on Sunday morning and my left arm was so tired I had to switch hands.)

The ceiling is about half finished using Liquid Nails and more than enough drywall screws.

The ceiling is about half finished using Liquid Nails and more than enough drywall screws.

After using the method found in this YouTube video even though we were 2 people, we ultimately found it easier to use this homemade crutch.

The T-shaped support was a big help.

The T-shaped support was a big help.

Charlie hoisted the sheetrock and I wedged the crutch which itself was not light. (While standing there a big glob of Liquid Nails fell in my hair. ICK!)

The final screw (maybe).

The final screw (maybe).

A couple hours of working, crafting, eating, and cleaning and we hung the entire conservatory ceiling.

This was a big job for a novice and a disinterested bystander.

This was a big job for a novice and a disinterested bystander.

Woo-hoo!

Do you take on jobs above your capacity? Do you look back and say Hmmmm? Wow? Yikes?  All riiiight?

Small Organizational Project

For the first time in decades I actually have all new appliances in the kitchen.  Yes, all at one time.

A new stove and range hood to mention 2 new items.

A new stove and range hood to mention 2 new items.

Normally I would make a folder to hold the instruction manuals, receipts and brochures for each appliance, file it in my “house things” box  which is stored at the top of the attic steps.

I'm pretty sure the box on top in the attic has instruction manuals.  Maybe.  I hope so.

I’m pretty sure the box on top  of the pile stored in the attic has instruction manuals. Maybe. I hope so.

This time I decided to utilize an old metal file box I had inherited from my mother.

I've been saving this old box and now I know why.

I’ve been saving this old box and now I know why.

This green metal box is probably 50 years old and still had the original stickers on it.  Consequently, they were stuck on with a vengeance.

Metal file box and new appliance information (in the foreground) -- a perfect match.

Metal file box and new appliance information (in the foreground) — a perfect match.

Even sandpaper did not remove every gummy bit.  After sanding to remove rust and dirt I wiped the whole box down with mineral spirits which easily cut through the remaining sticky residue.

Even soaking and sanding did not fully remove the old label.

Even soaking and sanding did not fully remove the old label.

After the mineral spirits had dried I sprayed a light coat of metal primer (self-etching, if it matters) which I had on hand from other projects.

Spray metal primer helps paint to adhere to the box. Notice the clasp is taped to prevent paint from getting on the lock.

Spray metal primer helps paint to adhere to the box. Notice the clasp is taped to prevent paint from getting on the lock.

Then I got out my go-to spray paint, Charcoal Metallic, which I have been hoarding.

I accidentally sprayed an undercoat of hammered bronze which actually gave it a more enameled look.

I accidentally sprayed an undercoat of hammered bronze which actually gave it a more enameled look.

I sprayed about 3 light coats over the entire exterior of the box with the clasp  and interior edge taped so they would not be painted.

Before

Before

Like new and it matches the kitchen n'est-ce pas?

After — Like new and it matches the kitchen n’est-ce pas?

A regular size file folder fits in the newly-painted box and will be stored in the pantry for convenient retrieval if I have a question about how any of the new appliances operate. (And, yes I DO have some questions.)

I have a convenient niche in the pantry to store this necessary information.

I have a convenient niche in the pantry to store this necessary information.

Check another project off the list.

Are you having fair weather? Is it encouraging/helping you to check items off your to-do list?

Impulse Buy

I am a verrrrry prudent shopper. Rarely am I enticed to buy something that is not on my list, that is not practical, that I don’t need in the immediate future.

I've actually been looking for something like this.

I’ve actually been looking for something like this.

When I was purchasing the wire baskets for the kitchen island I saw 2 packages of tissue paper: one music, one Paris.

I'm not taking off the packaging until I'm ready to use the paper for a project.

I’m not taking off the packaging until I’m ready to use the paper for a project.

The music paper is really exciting.

The music paper is really exciting.

For $3 each I bought both.

Impulse shopper? Yes?

Island Baskets

The back of our DIY kitchen island has shelves approximately 10.5 inches deep.

The back of the island faces the prep counter.

The back of the island faces the prep counter.

I wanted a basket or baskets or bins to keep the shelves organized.

I saw these pale blue/grey baskets with leather handles at Target but they were ON SALE for $16 each.

I saw (and liked) these pale blue/grey baskets with leather handles at Target but they were ON SALE for $16 each.

I searched Ross, Home Goods, Marshalls, Target, and WalMart to no avail. I just happened to be looking for some floor runners in TJ Maxx and I saw these 3 baskets.

Wire baskets tie into the hardware and stainless steel finishes in the kitchen.

Wire baskets tie into the hardware and stainless steel finishes in the kitchen.

I was originally thinking wicker but wire is even better.

The baskets, which are a little wider than the shelves, sit comfortably.

The baskets, which are a little wider than the shelves, sit comfortably.

The two with the brighter silver finish were on sale for $6 and the darker one (which I REALLY like) was full price at $7.99. I’m hoping to find a few more.

I was so excited to find these baskets which were NOT displayed together at the store.

I was so excited to find these baskets which were NOT displayed together at the store.

Now what can I put in them?

We still have a few boxes of kitchen supplies (in the background) to unload and clean.

We need to find a permanent spot for the recycling (in the background) which we missed this week due to the snow.

And should I make fabric liners?

Have you found the perfect something that is not at all what you were looking for?

This Old Table

Our dining room table is too big to use in the new kitchen but I was planning to do so until I got another one.  I was actually planning to make one with the legs of this table and some of the pile of wood salvaged from the house demolition.

Without leaves our dining room table is a 48 inch round.

Without leaves our dining room table is a 48 inch round.

My other choice is our metal garden table which is really just a bit too small (36-inch diameter) and rickety for the kitchen.

Our blue metal garden table flanked by French folding chairs.

Our blue metal garden table flanked by French folding chairs.

So, much like Goldilocks, we need a table sized somewhere between the two. Turning into our street on the way home from church one afternoon Charlie and I saw a piece of junk someone had put out in her front yard which was free for the taking.

We had to take the legs off to get the 44 inch round table in the car. It also has 2 leaves.

We had to take the legs off to get the 44 inch round table in the car. It also has 2 leaves.

So in our good clothes we muscled this table into the back of the car. There are no photos because, naturally, we were totally unprepared for this acquisition.

It might be the perfect size for our kitchen bump out.

The legs are heavy turned wood.

The legs are heavy turned wood.

I cleaned it off and bolted the legs back on.

The legs are held to the frame with one bolt and one square nut.

The legs are held to the frame with one bolt and one square nut.

Before sitting upright on our new floor I put felt pads on the bottom of each leg.

Self-stick felt pads will protect the newly finished wood floor from scrapes and scratches.

Self-stick felt pads will protect the newly finished wood floor from scrapes and scratches.

As soon as I set it upright I knew something was amiss.

The view from the bump out into the garden is spectacular even in winter.

The view from the bump out into the garden is spectacular even in winter.

The table is too tall – 30 inches tall. Our dining room table is only 28.5 inches tall.

This table has a 44 inch diameter.  Forty-two inches would be better.

This table has a 44 inch diameter. Forty-two inches would be better.

It’s really heavy and one day I’ll probably refinish it in some way.

Woo-hoo, we have a table in the kitchen.

Woo-hoo, we have a table in the kitchen.

Or maybe I’ll have to make a table for this spot like I planned.

Do you notice small inconsistencies? Do they drive you nuts?

I Have a Pantry, Too

I have a newly built empty pantry which I have not yet begun to organize.

The worktop in the pantry.

The worktop in the pantry.

After our contractor mounted the counter I painted the trim to match the kitchen, Waterbury Cream.

I painted the trim on the counter to match and screwed a cup hook to the shelf support to hang my yellow trivet.

I painted the trim on the counter to match and screwed a cup hook to the shelf support to hang my yellow trivet.

The Petersiks over at YHL gussied up their pantry. I was especially interested in the wire baskets and shelving they found at Lowes.

5 pieces for one price

5 pieces for one price

At Lowes I really had to assemble the 5 pieces myself by looking at the photo on the large hanging basket.

By looking at the photo on the package I was able to gather the set which costs less than $15.

By looking at the photo on the package I was able to gather the set which costs less than $15.

The pieces are 2 hanging baskets, 2 shelves and a shelf with deep sides.

I tried putting the microwave on this counter but it took up too much space.

I tried putting the microwave on this counter but it took up too much space.

The other pieces will be useful in the pantry.

We don't have much in the pantry yet because we still can't use the kitchen.

We don’t have much in the pantry yet because we still can’t use the kitchen.

We can’t wait until the kitchen is fully functional.

Do you have a pantry in your kitchen?  Any organizational tips?

I’m Happy I Wasn’t Home

Even with all the snow we’ve had this past week and the call from the drywall provider that the delivery would be late, the drywall was delivered today.

Boy, am I glad we decided not to pick up the drywall ourselves.

Boy, am I glad we decided not to pick up the drywall ourselves.

Charlie told me a complicated story of how the truck was stuck on the ice,

This big truck was stuck on the ice.

This big truck was stuck on the ice.

How the delivery team can’t use the boom too close to electric lines (must be at least 12 feet away?),

The boom is the large red piece that is used to off lead the drywall in one large load.

The boom is the large red piece that is used to off lead the drywall in one large load.

How the company called to tack on extra charges when the crew decided to handtruck the drywall (their decision since the boom ultimately was usable),

The entire load is for us:  it must go from the flatbed into the house.

The entire load is for us: it must go from the flatbed into the house.

And how relieved everyone was when the order was delivered

The drywall was trucked into the house on this nifty cart.

The drywall was trucked into the house on this nifty cart.

and stacked in the conservatory.

The conservatory is filled with drywall.

The conservatory is filled with drywall.

Greenboard and Hardie backer

Greenboard and Hardie backer

Next chore: put drywall on the ceiling of the conservatory and master suite.

Do you dread big deliveries to your house? Does something always get dinged or broken?

Energy-Saving Weekend

President’s weekend is a good time to purchase large appliances because the stores usually have good sales.

Our present refrigerator is about 15 years old, white and small.

Our present refrigerator is about 15 years old, white and small.

In Maryland we had another good reason: no sales tax on Energy Star appliances during President’s weekend. That’s 6% in our state.

We also get a $150 rebate from the local gas and electric company.

Pacific Sales is a wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy.  They offer high to mid range appliances as well as an assortment of home electronics and other home improvement products.

Pacific Sales is a wholly owned subsidiary of Best Buy. They offer high to mid range appliances as well as an assortment of home electronics and other home improvement products.

We have already purchased new appliances for the kitchen except for a refrigerator.

Our stove, dishwasher and undercounter refrigerator are still in their boxes.

Our stove, dishwasher and undercounter refrigerator are still in their boxes.

I had planned to buy a Samsung side-by-side model #RS265TD as recommended by Consumer Reports.

A new side-by-side has external water  and ice, something new for us.

A new side-by-side has external water and ice, something new for us.

After checking the price at Lowes we went to Pacific Sales inside of Best Buy where we had purchased our other appliances.  They price matched our best price at $1169.99 with free delivery and haul away.

We did end up buying the Samsung RS265TD.

We did end up buying the Samsung RS265TD.

We saved $504.48 on the price + $150 rebate + $70.20 state sales tax which is an overall savings of $724.68.  And since I used my Best Buy card we also get a $70 credit to use at Best Buy in the future.

We have never had a refrigerator with water and ice on the door.

We have never had a refrigerator with water and ice on the door.

The refrigerator is being delivered after the floors are finished which is planned for 2 weeks from now.

Do you take advantage of special deals?