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Sink Hole

27 Feb

Last weekend, Steve and I decided we needed to get out of  town for a bit.  We headed up to Minneapolis to explore (and of course, check out Ikea).  We had a sink picked out that we were hoping would work for our laundry room.  I also had a long list of picture frames and other accessories to help get our house feeling more pulled together.

We got to Ikea and were greeted with this sight in the marketplace:

Yeah…apparently they are doing some renovating of the marketplace.  Quite the let down to this girl…so, we didn’t pick up any fun things to decorate with.  Boo.

They DID have our sink and cabinet in stock though (I checked that before we went), so we brought this lady home with us:

Our new sink love is the LILLÅNGEN from Ikea.  It has a very slim profile and as a bonus, comes with 2 hooks to hang towels on and has a small shelf inside to set hand soap on.  While we were there, we also spotted a faucet that complemented perfectly:

GRUNDTAL faucet from Ikea.

We took our purchases and headed home…where we got started with the worst part of buying ANYTHING from Ikea…

Luckily, we weren’t missing any pieces, we didn’t get in any fights, and we got it assembled in under an hour.  Win.

Here it is sitting in our laundry room.  You can see the outline of where the old sink was…this really helps you get the scale of how much smaller this is than our old sink.  We have a bit of an interesting situation since our hot and cold water pipes come up through the floor instead of out of the wall like usual, but we’re brainstorming ways around it.  Details to come once we are at the sink installation point…

Anybody else have the  LILLÅNGEN sink?  Embarking on an European/American plumbing conversions anytime soon?  Sink stories to share?  Let’s start the week off on a good note :-)

Magic Coils

21 Oct

When we getting ready to move here from St. Louis, we had 2 queen beds.  Sadly, our moving truck did not have room for one of the queen beds, so it got left behind (don’t worry, not in a landfill but gifted to a friend’s brother who was just starting out).  Since then, any guests we may have make use of our assortment of air mattresses.  We decided that it was time to commit to being “grownups” and buy a new bed for ourselves so that our old bed could move to the guest room.  The “old bed” is mine that I bought when I first set out on my own 4 years ago, so it’s still in great shape, we were just ready for a bit more room and wanted a king size.  Plus, I love soft and squishy beds while Steve prefers a firmer mattress, so we were looking for something that was a bit more “middle ground” for us.

After browsing the main show room of Nebraska Furniture Mart (we always do that first to learn about what they have and then high tail it to the clearance center to see what deals we can find) and test driving several mattress we were on our way to the clearance center.  We walked to the back and found a GIANT mattress pile (I wish I had taken a picture, it’s a bit “princess and the pea” since everything is stacked so high).  We found a few that seemed like they might work.  The problem?  They were in the bottom of the stack and we weren’t sure if we were just supposed to push the one’s on top off to get to the one we wanted or what the “mattress pile process” was.  In our obvious confusion, a helpful guy named Leo happened to be loading up a newly purchased mattress for someone and he got our mattress pick out.

There was no magic happening, it was a mattress dud.  After trying 3 more mattresses, Leo recommended that we try the mattress he sleeps on, a Simmon’s BeautyRest NXG.  We laid down and it was HEAVEN.  We then proceeded to lay on the mattress on the floor smack in the middle of the store for at least 10 minutes.  Since we were ready to sleep right there in the middle of the store, we decided it was probably a mattress match made in heaven.  We had completely by-passed this mattress in the “real” section of the store because it was priced so ridiculously high we didn’t want to even entertain it…but here it was in the clearance center marked at $1049.  Still not cheap by any means, but less than the $2700 it was selling for next door.

We were talking about what to do when Leo (who is not actually a salesman but the stocker) offered that he would 1) go get a salesman and 2) told us to ask for a break because they have some room to negotiate the prices in the clearance center.  Well done Leo, that is how you sell a mattress.  So, the sales guy came back and as it would turn out, Leo already told him that we needed it to be cheaper.  After a mysterious call on his walkie talkie, we got them down another $100 to $949.  We were sold.  After a quick trip to Uhaul to rent a $20.00 truck we were on our way.  So what makes this mattress the greatest mattress we’ve ever touched?

It starts with a base of individually wrapped coils.  What that means is that instead of the mattress being all joined together like a normal mattress, they are all separate giving you better back support and “motion separation” (so that if the person on one side of the bed rolls around, the person on the other side doesn’t feel it).  These coils also give Steve the “firm support” feeling that he is looking for while somehow also giving me the squishy support feeling that I love.  They are for sure magic coils.

On top of the magic coils is a lovely layer of memory foam so you get the continued cozy and body conforming feeling that you would experience with a traditional foam mattress.  The mattress is also designed not to conduct heat.  I’m a hot sleeper and most “foam top” mattresses have a reputation of retaining the body heat of “hot sleepers”.  My old bed was a bit like this, so I personally was looking for a cooler night sleep.

On top of that, it has a 20 year warranty AND it’s cute!  What?  A cute mattress??  Seriously, I was a bit sad to cover it up.

After 2 nights of sleeping on it, we can’t imagine how we slept on anything else.  I routinely had to have Steve pop my back and since the new mattress, my shoulders and back have felt loose and comfy.  I was actually cold last night and slept with all the covers on ALL night (rare) and Steve apparently wasn’t feeling well and got up quite a bit and I didn’t even feel him get out of bed once.  All in all, we’re more smitten with a mattress than we ever thought possible…

Anybody else experiencing the joy of a new mattress??  Or do you know why mattresses are usually so ugly?  Does an ugly mattress sell better than a cute one?  Can you believe I just type 898 words about a mattress??  Me either….

Just call me a Sneaky Sneakster

3 Oct

Steve went out of town on Thursday to go mountain biking with some friends for the weekend.  I have been thinking for several weeks about what I could do while he was gone to surprise him.  He’s been working SO HARD on the outside of the house and I know it’s been stressing him out, so now that the outside is done and the painters are in action, I decided to tackle the garage.  We have a nice large garage that was completely full and we have been parking outside.  Want to see how bad it is??

Old windows, tools everywhere and SO MUCH SAWDUST.

A big ol’ mess over there.

And now, a little bit of progress being made.  Hurray!

I decided to paint it a nice gray color.  How’d I pick it?  Well, I went to Home Depot, picked a color from the Oops section for $7.00 and went with it.  It is Baer exterior flat paint.  I had read online that exterior paint was more durable for the garage since it’s exposed to the elements a lot more than the interior.  I opted for flat since it’s the easiest paint to do touchups on and I know the walls will take a lot of abuse.  I grossly underestimated the amount of paint I would need and had to go have them color match another gallon for me.  All told, I probably used a gallon and a half out here.

I decided to paint the stairs Oil Rubbed Bronze.  That’s right, I found my favorite spray paint also comes in a can.  It has a nice glossy sheen (without being slippery) and I think it made the stairs awesome.  I primed the stairs first with some tinted primer I also bought in the oops section (1 gal for $5.00).  The Rustoleum was $8.00 for a can.

Here it is (not done by any means, but a definite improvment).  I’m going to paint the workbench the red color you see on the swatch and we’re going to build some more shelves to house our stuff, but that was all too much to do in one weekend by myself!

I’ll be sure to share the eye candy with you as I make more process on my garage make-over, but for 3 days and $40, I think it’s a significant improvement!  Most importantly Steve was really surprised and loves it.  Also, as a direct quote, “I can’t believe you moved all that heavy stuff by yourself.”  Me either hub…me either.

Am I the only one who loves surprise makeovers?  Have you painted or organized something while your spouse was out of the house?  How on earth do you organize your scrap wood??

An owl, bowls, and a candle

19 Sep

Remember a long long time ago when I won a $25.00 HomeGoods gift card in a giveaway from My So Called Home?

Well, I’m finally here to tell you what I got!  To back track a bit, I have been to Home Goods no less than 6 times since I won and I haven’t been able to decide on what I wanted to get.  My bestest bud Melissa and I headed to Minneapolis this weekend for a girls shopping trip.  One of our preplanned stops was at Home Goods.  She had never been, so it was a must stop.  I must say it didn’t disappoint!  I found some great stuff.

First up — I have been searching, since we moved, for a fire scented candle.  We don’t have a wood burning fireplace so we were hoping for a scented substitute this winter while we have our gas fireplace on.  Having worked at Yankee Candle in college, Melissa has all the ins for me on candles.  Sadly, the fireside candle for Yankee Candle was discontinued a few years back.  Well, walking through the aisle of Home Goods what did she spot for me?

That’s right!  The fire candle.  After determining it was the right scent, it headed straight into the cart….for only $7.99.  Cheaper than Yankee and I can’t even purchase it there, so it’s a double bonus.

Next up, we headed to the fall section where I found some owl tea lights.  After some deliberation, we decided that I wanted only 2 of them and Melissa only wanted 1, so the pack of 3 was perfect for us.  Grown up friendship bracelets if you will :-)

Sorry for the bad picture, we’re having a lighting situation in our kitchen.  I think they are adorable for fall and I’m so excited about them.  All 3 were also $7.99.

Finally, not this trip but a prior Home Goods trip, I picked up some blue ramekins.   I’ve been loving the individual sized desserts and dishes and for $8.99, these were an excellent addition to our kitchen.

I can’t wait to show you where the owls end up and what fabulous things I make in my new ramekins.  Successful Home Goods trip.  Hurray!

Don’t worry, we didn’t just get a few things at Home Goods, you’ll hear about the rest of our trip very soon!

Time for a quickie

15 Sep

These lights had been driving me NUTS in our main bathroom.  They are way to small for the GIANT mirror and the don’t really provide enough light for the whole room.  They took great care to match all of our light fixtures since they all have this octopus thing going on that I can’t stand.

Good bye ugly lights…and THANK YOU former owners for only painting this bathroom it’s strange pink beige color and NOT painting over wall paper.  So much relief on this one, I can pick some new paint and be on my merry way in here.

Time to go to the restore!!!  (ugh and how about that awful linoleum.  Someday we’ll wake up and decide to ceramic tile this bathroom.  It will be a good day indeed)

As for the new lights, I purchased them at Lowe’s on a particularly good clearance day and they were $11.00 each.  I figured going with 4 lights each would give the whole room a brighter feel and the straight bar would take away some of the shadows that resulted from concentrated light in the middle of the room.

And voila, zee finished product!

For not even an hour’s worth of time, this was well worth it, so now I notice the horrible paint color instead of the horrible light fixtures.  That’s progress people!

I love lamp(s)

5 Sep

I took advantage of this LOOOONG weekend to do a little Goodwilling.  I have been on a dry spell lately and I haven’t found much I really wanted when I’ve been out.  Finally, the curse has been broken.  I have found 2 brushed nickel lamps for our master bedroom!  The best part?  They all but match.  Suh weet!  They were $4.00 each and then I stopped by Menards and picked up 2 lampshades for $15.00 each (I know I could find one to re-purpose, but if I can’t wash it or disinfect it somehow, I don’t  buy it.  Used lampshades are a no go from me).  I’m happy with my find and happier that for the first time in my 26 years of life, I have a full sized lamp to read by before bed!

Isn’t our master bedroom gorgeous?  It’s going to have to be on the update list soon…and yes, we don’t have matching night stands so they are different heights.  And yes Erin, that is still your dresser and night stand.  :-)  On the list, select some paint, window treatments, a new king size bed, and finally hanging up some stuff on the wall.  This winter maybe…

A little closer now.  I love the sleek lines and the fun subtle ruffles on the shade, it’s something pretty to focus on while we hatch our plan for this horribly bland room.

Hope you aren’t laboring too hard this gorgeous day!

Walgreens Deal Alert!

18 Aug

Today through Saturday the 20th, Walgreens is offering a free 8×10 photo collage, no other purchase necessary.  You can order it to be picked up at your local Walgreens through one hour photo.  You need to use the code “PrintOne”, upload and select your photos and order away.  You know I’ve ordered mine!  Sorry for the poor quality, it’s apparently really hard to take a picture of a picture…

I love a good bargain…don’t you?

25 Jun

We’ve been searching for a vanity, and we found our inspiration vanity at Lowe’s, but we wanted to see what else might be out there and what we could find that was the right balance between being affordable and being what we would want to look at for the remainder of the time we live in the house.  We went to Menards first and didn’t find much that really fit what we were looking for.  Next up, Home Depot.  We walked through the vanity aisle and weren’t really finding anything that “tripped our trigger” so to speak.  Thinking we missed something, we decided to take one more lap around and came to the very back side of the aisle where we ran face to face into exactly what we were looking for.

Espresso colored wood – check.  Square sink – check.  On Closeout- Check.  Upon closer inspection, we determined that it was originally a $149.00 vanity, marked down to $75.00 because one side was a bit wobbly and in need of some work.  After some debate, I wasn’t really sold on it, I mean $75.00 was a good price, but for as rickety as it was, we felt it should be lower.  We spent about 10 minutes debating who was going to find someone and ask if they could go lower for us.  Yes, that’s right, our firm “we hate negotiation” policy was about to be thrown out the door.  I don’t know if we were feeling particularly bold or what exactly but we decided that if we could get it for $40.00 we’d be good.  Steve lost the, “you do it, no you do it, you do it, no you do it” battle, so off he went to find someone.  We asked and were told that they couldn’t negotiate on the weekends but they would definitely go lower for us if we came back on Monday.

We felt quite victorious as we were leaving, even though we didn’t have it yet, we were proud that we asked.  Steve went back on Monday at lunch and picked it up for $40.00.  The bonus?  It also included the vanity mirror…so a vanity, sink, and mirror for $40.00.  It isn’t open like our “inspiration vanity” but we are still loving it and think it will be perfect for our new and improved bathroom.  Our bathroom budget that we didn’t set is looking mighty good!  We’re out working on it right now (making it more stable and such), but I’ll give you a sneak peek (we set it in our bathroom to make sure it would fit okay).

We’re floored

21 Jun

While we were at Lowe’s this weekend perusing assorted bathroom items, we wandered our way to the rug aisle.  I had vaguely remembered reading this post on Decorchick’s blog.  At the time that I read it, we didn’t really need a rug and I didn’t think much of it….but in the aisle of Lowe’s, it suddenly dawned on me…our kitchen dinette (as Steve calls it) area has a pretty worn wood floor.  Refinishing it is on the agenda someday, but definitely not any time soon.  I decided to take a closer look because $17.00 for a 5×7 rug isn’t too shabby.  I couldn’t make up my mind so I grabbed 2 different designs (the only other design was a mostly brown pattern with a few flowers, it was pretty cool, but I was afraid it was too brown for our wood floor) of rug and anxiously came home to spread them out.


Steve was on team zebra the entire time, but I was thinking the green might be a nice pop of color….well, we laid them on the floor and it became quickly apparent, the zebra print just popped.

I’m loving it (I know the whole thing needs to be centered, but we have a wide walkway going on now to get the ladder and other bathroom fixing essentials through).  I think it adds a little pizzazz to our room and it makes me smile when I see it.

Lucy also loves it, she gave it the Lucy seal of approval.

Now for the details on the rug- it’s a jute rug and is a bit scratchy to walk on, but since it’s under the table, I’m not too worried.  If this was a living room rug that I would always be resting my feet on, I think I would go another way.  I was concerned that it might scratch our floor more, but the back of the rug has a very nice, anti-skid coating on it and the edges are all trimmed with fabric so it seems to be pretty sturdy and soft.  I like the look of the jute, it adds texture to our floor without competing with the carpet in the adjacent room.  $17.00 zebra rug, you are a keeper.

We LOOOOVE bronze…

27 Apr

Oh wait…no we don’t!  As I have mentioned before, I love our kitchen cabinets…I am NOT a fan of the bronze handles that had attached themselves TO our cabinets.  Since cabinet handles fall in one of those categories of “small items that can get silly expensive if you don’t keep your eye on them”, we thought we’d try our hand at giving them a quick little paint first.

I am a sucker for Rustoleum.  I think they make some very innovative products and their spray paint just WORKS.  I headed to Menards (which has 2 full aisles devoted SOLELY to Rustoleum products…heaven) to pick out our new cabinet pulls.  After reviewing the options, I decided that I wanted to do something a little more subdued than the metallic spray paint I used for my light makeover.  I decided to give the hammered silver spray paint a try.  As an exciting bonus, it was on sale!  You know I love a good deal….

I tried out some different options.  You can see the original handle on the far left.  The 2nd from the left is hammered spray paint over the brass, the 3rd from the left is the metallic (with gray primer) and the last one is hammered (with gray primer).  We decided we liked the hammered over the brass best.  It gave it a nice subtle finish while keeping it in the “brushed nickel” hue of our door knobs.

With the color dilemma settled,  I headed outside to do some painting on the patio.  I laid all the knobs out on cardboard when the wind came up…not wanting my knobs to blow away, I took a small bit of packing tape and attached it to both ends of the knobs to keep it in place.  I have read other people attaching the knobs to the cardboard with the screws that held them into the cupboards, but this seemed like an unnecessary amount of work.  I didn’t have a problem with my trusty packing tape.  After I had them all laid out, I decided it would probably be a good idea to wash them first since a few were sticky from who knows what.  I make a white vinegar/warm water mixture and cleaned these guys up before I re-stuck them to their tape homes.

 I did a light coat like the can suggested and then went inside to distract myself with other things so I wouldn’t sit and watch paint dry.  Once they were mostly dry, I turned them on their side to make sure I could get an even coat.  After I applied all 3 coats, I covered it with a Satin Finish Clear-Coat (also from Rustoleum).  We left them outside to dry and when we brought them in we were really bummed…it looked like the Nebraska wind had blown the “hammered” finish straight off the handles.  We were left with some silverish handles that looked REALLY plasticky.

In an effort to save my little project, I took them into the garage (with the door wide open) and sprayed one last, heavier, coat on the knobs.  This seemed to do the trick.  The hammered texture came through and once they dried, I applied another coat of clear-coat to seal them in and hopefully make them more durable.  I brought them back in and got to work putting them all back on the cabinets.
 We got them installed just in time for our Easter weekend company!


Just a small update that makes us walk into our kitchen and not notice our handles.  Sounds silly to do that much work and not notice them, but now we notice our gorgeous cabinets and countertops and don’t pay any attention to the knobs.  Prior to the facelift, we’d walk in the kitchen and say, “Man, I hate bronze”…and bronze is enjoying the break from being ragged on constantly :-)

The best part?  This project was INCREDIBLY cheap and easy.  I painted 36 kitchen knobs and still have plenty of spray paint left to tackle the rest of the pulls in the house (bathrooms, laundry room, etc).  Cost breakdown?
Hammered Rustoleum- $5.98
Rustoleum Clear Coat- $2.98
Grand total- $9.00

Sweet!  I will take that any day of the week!  Are you a fan of quick and easy make-overs?  Do you have a weird love of Rustoleum like I do?  I’d love to hear about it!

I linked up with Thrifty Decor Chick
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