Monday, July 30, 2007

Furniture From Home - Review

I know I am not on the market for upscale furniture right now, but I do so love "Windows" shopping!

I was asked to review a home furniture website. The website is user friendly, they even put their toll free number at the top of the screen, I do so dislike having to click 10 times to get it. They even have a catalog to request for browsing on the go.

I am looking for a nice dresser for my bedroom. It is the one piece of furniture we need in there. I'd like it to be smaller than the one we have now. The one we own is really too long for the room. It doesn't fit on any available walls. Must be the problem of having a half round room! I had considered a storage bed instead. Probably a little more pricey an option but we don't have a "real" bed either, just a mattress on the frame. I think $1399 is a little on the expensive side, but then there is that 100% free delivery & set up. Especially since my parents just dropped a regular mattress into their water bed (bookcase headboard & under storage). Bet I could find a used king frame for less if I'm patient!

We are planning on re-using our old dresser somewhere else in the house, possibly the princess's room. So it won't go to waste!

I also checked out the web site's leather sectional living room furniture. Nice pictures of their home theater furniture, if you have such a thing. We don't need a sectional, but my Mom is looking so checked just for fun. I did find a nice leather reclining wing chair for $649. That I have a place for.

After browsing the site I did find a Cherry/Leather dining room set that would be perfect for my house. The table and 6 chairs, just gorgeous for a mere $1799.99. I think the leather would be good for cleanups, but not sure how it would handle the abuse of a 3 & 7 year old!

They even have home office furniture. From a plain Secretary to Executive suites and computer hutches this store seems to have it all!

Almost on the road again...

Well sort of how the song goes! My mini van has been resurrected! It lives! Hallelujah! We bought a new battery for it & some new spark plugs & other piddly stuff that will only crack the surface of it's needed repairs, but it RAN! After sitting for over a year it needs far more work before I will drive it to the Post Office, let alone the grocery store, but it is a start!!! Still needs a visit to my trusty mechanic for new everything underneath (break lines, transmission fluid lines, leak of anti-freeze somewhere, etc.). I am wondering if it was undercoated? Guess we should have asked. I figured it would be since it came from a Buffalo NY dealer, but who knows where it was before that. Our roads are harsh on vehicles & the Chipmunks weren't kind either.

I am estimating $400 for the repairs, but who knows. Maybe my repair guy will take pity on me, he usually does! Might take more than a bourbon pecan pie this time...

We spent Saturday wandering Wal-mart, always fun with 2 kids & the hubby. I stick by my theory that I should have gone alone I would have spent a FRACTION of what we did as a family & still gotten everything on MY list!
School/Office supplies : $24.48
Household/Food (trash bags, bread,toothbrushes,snack food): $28.39
ME (clothing, socks, undies, etc): $49
Hubby (clothing): $61.25
Boy (clothing, shoes, socks): $48.82
Girl (Shoes & socks): $26.10
Car (battery, spark plugs, oil filter, misc fluids): $96.10

One paycheck bites the dust (mine that is). I'm not sure how DH managed to sneak $61.25, he didn't even get the much needed socks that were on the list. I picked up a pair of swim trunks & a shirt, that's it...sneaky bugger. I have been putting off buying summer shirts for me until the sales started so I managed to get 4 tank/shirts, pair of mesh shorts, 3 pack of sports bras, 4 pack of undies, 10 pack of socks, a night shirt for my money! Hubby picked up 5 shirts for the boy, I picked out 1 & a pair of clearance mesh shorts. At least all the shirts were clearance, but still. I didn't realize there were 6 shirts in the cart until we got to the check out (and the one I picked up was a 2 piece button up over t-shirt, so really 7 shirts!) They are at least a size bigger than he wears now, so if he hits a growth spurt we are covered!

The girl only got 2 pair of shoes & some ankle socks. One pair is school sneakers, the other was a pair of clearance flip flops, she is a shoe freak what can I say! Of course she doesn't need anything, that's why she didn't get anything else. Still benefiting from my major yard sale score.

We are canceling our weekend trip. Hubby says we'll be able to go later in the month but i doubt it. Finances are looking up, but we are still playing catch-up with bills & debts.

It doesn't help my outlook to realize that what took me 24 1/2 hours to make minus taxes was spent in 2 hours at WAL-Mart. Maybe I should buy some stock, it'll make me feel better!!! I can say on a happy note that it was only about 10% on highly consumable goods (food & household) the rest won't have to be replaced in a month. And we accomplished 90% of our back to school shopping. Now I don't have to worry about not finding the right stuff at the right price in a few weeks. Think I am going to have the Grandparents help out this year. They somehow got out of last year. After 3 years of the same backpack it is time to replace. I will keep it to use for other stuff (overnights, picnics etc) since it is only a little worn out. The Boy wants a pair of Heelys, my Mom offered him a pair last year, but I think he might be ready now. Bonus the wheels come out & he'll have a nice pair of school shoes.

Other stuff:

5 minutes for Mom is giving a 37" flat panel away, ends August 17th. So jump on over, link up & leave a comment!

Monday, July 23, 2007

Back to School Savings Already

It is hard to imagine that "Back to School" could even be creeping into our vocabulary, but August is almost here & even though we don't start until after Labor Day, the shopping will begin in just a week or two. I am sure for those who go back earlier or are off to college it has already begun.

I have started scouring the web for the best
online shopping coupons. Coupon Chief is a favorite stop.

I know a big part of my list is shoes. I think that it ranks somewhere above underwear & below pencils. Shoe Buy is a store I have grown fond of. I haven't yet bought kids shoes from there but I noticed they have the IT shoe my son has been BEGGING for. The prices are already great & add to that discounts from Coupon Chief... Woohoo. Bargains!

Straight Edge, Inc. - Review

I was asked to review some products for my readers from this awesome company Straight Edge, Inc. They sent me a sampling of their products & my kids have been bugging me ever since their Fed-Ex arrival to get off my behind & review them!

The biggest draw to my 3 year old has been the Old MacDonald Rub a Dub book. She pressed the button to play the music at least 50 times before I took it out of the plastic. It is supposed to be waterproof so it can go in the tub. It hasn't made it that far yet, but I'm sure it will at bath time.

My 7 year old has had his eye on the Ambulance Inside/Outside puzzle. He loves anything with wheels & this puzzle has it all!

The kids wanted to take it apart as soon as the wrapper came off.

I haven't had them use the "I can set the table" Write A Mat yet. We are still eating casually outside most nights, but next time we eat at the table inside it will get used.

The Beach Read a Mat is nifty & timely! We haven't been to the beach that often yet this summer but we have been a few times. Our beach is a lake beach and not VERY sandy but they've seen all the stuff on there!

The website has a huge variety of products & is well worth the stop. There are products for most of the grade levels (I'd say the periodic table mat would have come in handy during Chemistry 101...). My favorite is probably the "Quote on a Mat" with quotes on laminated mats from Thomas Edison, Gandhi, Churchill, how do you choose just one?

Busy Weekend.

Just a quick Hi ! some pics of what we hope is a positive home improvement project... We finally got around to installing the window we bought in June. Once we started pulling off the trim we realized just how wrong this window was installed. It had to come out. After we started there were only a few sets of nails holding it in, no caulk, just mouse visited insulation & rotten siding. EEEWWW!

Sorry the first two pictures are so dark, it was almost 9PM before I realized I hadn't taken any pictures yet. You can see the OSB boards we installed over the side of the house. We had to pull off 2 layers of siding & paper. The reason we took off so much is because it was rotten to that point. The Masonite siding was wet under the window & most of it folded like cardboard. The wood clapboard siding that wasn't soft was brittle. Both sets of backing paper were marked with water from some point in time.

This is us hanging the wrap. I didn't get pics of us taking out the window because I was underneath it hauling it out one pane at a time!

This is the finished window. It is not clean yet, but I will be working on that later today. We still need to find screens to fit, but I'd say that the $60 window + the $175 in other materials we bought (OSB, insulation, wrap, staples) and the 6" of lumber my Dad gave us was worth it in the end! Bonus: We only used about 20 feet of the 150' roll of wrap. Now we'll have plenty on hand for the next repair project!

Swap package!

Well I have pictures of one swap so here they are:

I received this bundle of joy from Mique of Adventures with the Provosts

The kids LOVED the soap popsicle, it says to remove the stick before using but I didn't get a chance!!! I haven't made any of the recipes yet, but when I do I will share!

If anyone has a chance to find fur cuffed oven mitts I highly recommend them, so Glamorous!!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Auction Saturday

I do so love a good auction. It is always sad to attend an "estate settling" auction, but it is a necessary evil.

I say evil, because they are addicting! My parents next door neighbor passed away a few months ago & Saturday was the auction. We went with a list of items we were interested in & left with none of them!!! Apparently, the antique dealers were there in full force. Good for the family, bad for those of us looking for a bargain. I was interested in a dresser for my bedroom. Well, the first one I wanted went for over $300, the second almost $150. I was hoping to go about $100 or less. I did get a lovely porcelain top table for our porch, night stand for my bedroom, a box of baking pans (8 pie plate, 4 cake pans, 9x13 with cover, smaller dish with cover, saucepan, tons of loaf pans), an old canvas flag that is HUGE, set of 3 roasting pans, Fisher price playhouse with people (the old style), cars & a container of tinker toys, a wheelbarrow, a bed, sheets for the bed (I will have a guest room shortly, cool!), 4 umbrellas (I sold one for the cost of all 4 once it started to rain!!!), a PILE of knitting needles/yarn & misc stuff ($2 odd lots score!), floor lamp for the living room, box of gag stuff (Halloween will rock this year), electric chainsaw, loping shears, crow bar, large scoop shovel (for the coal stove), metal plant stand (needs spray paint).

The toys was a major score for our collection. I have too look up & see what we are missing from the set. I know there was a castle that we don't have...

I was outbid on lots of stuff like the old wagon with the croquette set, buffet table, workbench (although that was hubby & I would have gone higher than he did).

It was a very long day, started at 8:30 when we got there & ended at 5 something when we started hauling everything home.

Bonus, afterwards we scavenged through what was left in the box lots & scored a push sweeper (no motor kind), wood shutters (hopefully will fit the weird space above my hall closet that was left unfinished), wood cutting board, pitcher set, sweatshirts for the kids, folding clothes rack, coffee pitcher, my Grandma took two vacuums.

I'm not sure how the family made out but it was fascinating to watch & see how things you thought were "junk" would bring huge money & something that was nice & useful wouldn't even sell.

I am still pooped so once I get pics I'll add them tot he post. but for now I need to grab another cup of coffee & go toss the new sheets in the dryer!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Goodness, where have I been...

I guess I have been more wrapped up in life than I thought. Didn't realize that I had abandoned my blog for this long. Time flies when you are outside!

I have also been busy working almost every day, watering plants, cleaning the house, etc, etc, etc. We did get delayed on the computer because I lost 2 days battling a computer virus. Ewwwww.

My driveway has become the Dayton 500 for the neighborhood. On any given day I can have up to 12 kids riding their bikes around my paved & circular driveway. They have even gone so far as to have qualifying times...

I have several reviews I'm working on. One is my new toy the Neat Receipts Scannilizer. This thing is so awesome. Now that I have it happy with my computer & vice versa things are running smoothly & I should be able to give a detailed report in a week.

I have also been looking over some products from Straight Edge, Inc. They have some great educational "Mom approved" type of stuff. Including this adorable bath tub book that plays Old MacDonald... LOVE IT!

So as soon as all is ready I'll have those out to you!

I'm also over due for a June Goals assessment... procrastination. Starting to feel that overwhelmed feeling again, deep breath & lists, lots of lists! All will come together!

DS has started the summer recreation program. We have started on an allowance (believe I mentioned it last post). So far so good, he keeps asking me about the "other $2" he is supposed to be getting. I had to remind him that as soon as he has enough we'll take it down to the bank & put it in his account. I probably should do it weekly, but once a month will do, then he'll have $8 to put in. He has been doing good at keeping his room straight

DD has been floating around visiting Granny & busily trashing the house when she is here! I have made her start picking up after herself. She has done a fantastic job of keeping he bedroom floor clean & putting the dirty laundry in the hamper, not too bad for 3 1/2!

I'll update more tomorrow, goals, goals, goals!!!

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