Office: Project Bookshelves!

I have to start by saying, my favorite room in our old apartment was the office! I was able to get things done and it was just a cozy and pleasant place to be. At the end of the day, I could go in there with a glass of wine and to relieve some stress I’d check some emails, browse Pinterest, or catch up on an episode of Kardashians that I may have missed. Don’t judge me! -haha!

When we moved into our new house we knew that the small room in the front of the house was going to be the office. We got a couple desks and set up our computers and monitors and video game consoles and calendars. It was a nice amount of space for an office but it was soooo boring and empty. I knew that I needed some bookshelves because for some reason I feel so much better when I’ve got my books around me (nerdy, I know). But here’s a picture of the office before our bookshelves.

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You see what I mean? It’s almost embarrassing to show. So it was no wonder why I didn’t want to spend much time in there.

Long story short, I wanted to put up some kind of industrial, rustic style bookshelves. At first I was going to put up shelves like this:

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Which look gorgeous but after I found out the price of the galvanized piping, I had to check myself. Not only the price but all the time it would take to screw in all those flanges. So once I found these shelves, I literally jumped for joy!

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I was casually surfing Pinterest, with or without a glass of wine, I forget, but that’s besides the purpose. I came across this blog post over at 7th House on the Left and shed a tear because THIS is exactly what I was looking for without even knowing what I was looking for!

Basically followed the exact same instructions but got longer planks of wood and some different stain.

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I especially loved that she spray painted the pipes in a matte black. I think it really makes everything look so much better! And by the way, you should have seen me sanding these boards outside in like 98 degree heat, COVERED in that sandy wood crap. Ugh!

So after I was done staining and spray painting, I basically just turned it over to Sam to finish the project. We have a really old, really flimsy latter in the basement that I refuse to climb, so it just goes to show how wonderful my husband is that he’s willing to risk his life to put up some shelves for little, old me!

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He’ll kill me once he sees that I posted a picture of him on here, but he’s such a cutie!

Anyways, the outcome of the whole project was insane! Way better than I thought it was going to be.

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Overall, I spent about $250-$270 for all of the materials, which isn’t bad at all. I also have some left over wood boards and stain so I’m thinking about adding some of those to our dining room!

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New Years Project!

I’ve been waiting for the perfect table to come along that I can paint and refinish and I FOUND ITTTTT!

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This is the picture from the craigslist ad and as soon as I saw it and noticed that they were selling for $50, I had to pick it up quickly! The guy that was selling it took the legs off and helped get it in my car because it’s a pretty heavy piece of furniture, so thanks to him!

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As soon as I got home I laid down my plastic and took off all the hardware and just sanded all of the pieces a little bit but knew that I was going to use a primer so I didn’t go crazy.

I was thinking about leaving it white but felt like it would look way too fancy and the room that I wanted to put it in desperately needed a pop of color so I chose to paint it Hawaiian Teal!

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I also left the bottom of all the legs unpainted which I’m currently loving the look of! I took off the hideous, gigantic knobs that were on the cabinet and exchanged them for some glass hardware and they look perfect!

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I also distressed the whole thing and I love it! I really wanted a cabinet just like this but was not willing to pay like $300+ for it. Luckily, at the end of the day this whole table cost less than $100!

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Happy New Year, everyone!

Brand new goals!

I love setting goals and creating new projects for myself, if you haven’t noticed. Now that the grad party is over and there’s no more planning involved as far as that goes, I can turn my attention to something else.

Sam and I have been trying not to eat out as much as we do. 1) to save money and 2) to lose weight and get healthy. I’m not the best cook. I’ll be the first to let you know and I’m sure Sam will be the second  – haha!.. I come from a family of really awesome women that can cook their booties off but I guess I never paid attention enough and I definitely regret that now. I really want to get into meal planning and learning new recipes.  And when I say “new recipes” I mean ANY recipes at all. Unless we’re talking about grilled cheese. I can make a mean grilled cheese. Anyways, I purchased a few magnetic notepads on Friday that I think will help me stay organized while I try and figure everything out.

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The plain notepad on the side is for any food items or whatever that I need to pick up from the store and the notepad on the right side is for our meal planning. This way we can plan and decide what we’re having from week-to-week.

I need help, though! Gimme some tips, tell me some tricks, send me some recipes, or whatever you got! Help ya girl out, people!

Happy Sunday! Hope everyone had a good weekend.

Country Theme Graduation Party!

My sister is graduating high school in a little over a month and I’m in utter disbelief. I can’t believe she’s about to go to college and about to turn 18 and be an adult.

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This is one of her senior pictures that I took recently.

Graduating high school means there’s going to be a graduation party! I’m helping my mom with the planning. I ordered the invites on Thursday night and we’ve decided that it’s going to be a country themed party because my sister loves cowboy boots and cowboy hats and all the country music and country boys and pickup trucks and what not. I’m not a fan of any of that but I love all the rustic decor. My mom is taking care of all the food and catering and stuff and I’m taking care of all the decorations and a homemade photobooth! I’m super excited about the photobooth actually. I wanted to share my progress with you guys and let you in on some of my ideas so you can let me know if it sounds stupid or if there are ways to improve them.

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First things first! Every grad party needs one of those photo memory boards with pictures of the graduate at all different ages. I’m thinking that instead of putting together the typical board I’m going to hang a few different layers of twine on the wall and use clothes pins to hold the pictures. I tried to search for something that was similar to what I want to do and all I came up with is this…

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I want to do something like this but with the twine not so droopy. I got the twine and the clothespins and did a small test run just to make sure the pictures stay put and they do! So hopefully that will work out.

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Another thing that I’m super excited about are these cool jar beverage spout things. I’m not sure what they’re called but I figured they’re perfect for lemonade or iced tea or even some kind of wine spritzer.

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I got them for $10 each at the Christmas Tree Shop near me and they look very rustic and country to me and considering I’m going to be using mason jars for flower vases and utensil holders I think it’ll go together very well.

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I wanted to make it a very feminine color scheme so we’re using a pink, a light pink, and gold as our main colors. I painted these mason jars and I think the colors look awesome together.

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Normally people use their high school colors but my sister’s high school colors are black and blue which are very harsh to me so we’re going a little girly.

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As for the photobooth, I got some really awesome ideas from Lovely Indeeds blog post which you can find here. I’m going to be using streamers in all the colors I mentioned previously and I’m going to add tissue paper pom pom kinda things that will hang from the ceiling.

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This is what hers looks like and I love how easy it is to put together.

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And lastly, for now, is this awesome milk can I found at Christmas Tree Shop.

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This is my before and after picture. Before it had all these tropical looking flowers so I took some acrylic paint in a brick red color and painted it. I had to do a few coats but while doing my last coat I added some crimson red and some gold streaks which you can’t really tell from the picture. I’ll try and take a better picture at some point but I figured this would be an awesome flower vase that I can load with sunflowers. I may decorate the can a little more but I’m loving the color of it!

So, that’s it for now! Please help me with some more awesome simple ideas or ways to improve what I’ve already got.

Happy Sunday!

Cheap Travel Kit For The Car!

I have this weird reoccurring dream that I’m driving through a desert like setting at night and my car breaks down. Don’t ask me why! I don’t think there are any desert-like roads in New Jersey but for some reason I still think my nightmare is relevant – Hahaa! That nightmare is the reason I always keep a few necessities in the car at all times. Remember those $.97 storage boxes I told you about last week in my Organizing on a Budget #4? Well that’s what I’ve used to put my kit together.

My kit includes:

– Toilet paper, because you never know when you’ll have to go. I know this all too well. But that’s another story!

-Small first-aid kit

-Bottle of ibprofen

-Pack of Wet Ones wipes that are on sale this week at Target for $1, by the way.

-Small bottles of shampoo & conditioner

-A mini lint roller. I don’t know why, but I never notice that I need a lint roller until I’m in natural light (like when I’m sitting in the car), so I added a mini lint roller to my purse and to the car kit.

-A little pack of tissues

-Hand sanitizer

-A small bar of soap that I stole from Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City 🙂

– Swiss army knife (w/ a wine bottle opener!)

-And matches, in case I really do get stranded in the desert and need to start a fire to stay warm in the freezing cold nights to keep away the dangerous animals and desert scorpions that are all out to attack me! (Alarm clock goes off)… Oh, just a dream.

So the whole kit was under $10 to put together and I think it’s well worth it because you never know when you’ll need some of this stuff. Some things I might add is maybe a couple bottles of water. Maybe a couple small bags of snacks or nut bars that won’t melt or get gooey if left in the hot trunk. Super easy to customize and actually pretty fun to think of all the scenerios when you might need this.

Happy hump day!

ESSENTIAL Monthly Planner!

***CHECK OUT MY NEW UPDATED ESSENTIAL MONTHLY PLANNER POST!***

If you’re like me, you like to stay on top of the monthly bills. Making sure that they’re paid on time is very important. I’ve come up with a great way to remind myself when all the bills are available to pay online and keeping track of when I actually pay them. If you’re the bill payer in your household, listen up! You need this!

I spent about $10 on these monthly planners and they’re a life saver. I started out with the small green one. It was really easy to just carry around in my purse for quick reference and then I’d keep the bigger one at home, but I ended up just sticking with the bigger planner. A lot more room to keep things looking pretty and organized and it still fits in my purse.

As you can see the smaller one looks a mess! So if you’re going to purchase a planner, just go for the bigger ones. Totally worth it!

I had to blur some information out of the pictures due to private information, but you get the idea. I use 5 different highlighters to determine what is what.

Blue – Bills that are due or available to pay online, estimated monthly income, and estimated monthly expenses.

Green – Bills that I have paid and paycheck amounts on Fridays.

Yellow – Information that I need to remember.

Pink – For special occasions or fun events coming up.

Orange – My days off and important information that pertains to my husband.

First, you need to determine if you’re going to have your bills mailed to your house or if you’re going to print them out at home. I get my bills mailed to my house (I know, tree killer!) but I pay almost all of my bills online. I record what days the bill is available to pay online in my planner and highlight them in blue. That doesn’t always mean that I’ll pay it on that day but at least I know where to go and what to look for when I’m ready to sit down and get to business.

After I have paid a certain bill I’ll write it in the appropriate space and highlight it in green. I don’t have a fixed weekly income since I work part time and don’t get paid for holidays, so I like to keep track of my paycheck amounts on Fridays which I also highlight in green.

If something happened or I got information that I needed to remember I record it in the planner and highlight in yellow. The information that I’m talking about is usually if I got an oil change I like to remember the day and the amount of miles until I need to change it again. If I received something in the mail that I need to return in a certain number of days. If I subscribed to something and I need to cancel my subscription before a certain date before I’m charged again, like Netflix and my Amazon Prime Account (You’re great Amazon, but I’m not interested. Sorry). Or to help me remember a doctor’s appointment.

Pink is my favorite highlighter color in my planner because it means it’s either someone’s birthday or a special occasion.

And I use orange to mark the days that I have off, called out of work, or holidays. I work part time but I get every other Friday off so it’s very easy for me to just look in my planner and plan around my days off.

Also, if you notice on the right side of the planner I have a list of the bills that I pay monthly. When I find out the exact amount of the bill, I write it on the side and highlight it in blue. It makes my financial spreadsheet very easy to put together, and I’ll show you how to do it soon too!

This planner has really saved me from forgetting to pay a bill, missing a doctors appointment, and also has saved me from forgetting a loved one’s birthday. I would definitely recommend that everyone have something like this. A lot of people have similar reminders on their phones and laptops but I really like having an actual planner to jot stuff down in.

Hope you enjoy this project! Stay tuned for the next project!

IF YOU THOUGHT THIS WAS HELPFUL, GO CHECK OUT MY UPDATED MONTHLY PLANNER POST!