Monday, August 24, 2009

Divine Design on a Dime

Many of you who have seen the new place asked me where I get my stuff, and I told you that I'd blog something about my best bargain deals. As you know, it's a passion of mine to decorate, however, it's incredibly more exciting when I find a great deal.

Here are some of my thrifty design secrets:
1. Find the hidden treasures on Craigslist. I have two young children and I didn't want to feel like I needed to be in bondage to expensive furniture with them around, so I still wanted something formal, but I wouldn't have to worry about my children being children. So, I went to Craigslist! Guess how much I paid for our new, but not so new, dining room table?

American cherry. Solid Wood. Turned Style Legs. Two leaves. No visible scratches, dents. Just a few knicks on the corners that my wood marker ($6 at Home Depot) took care of. Ok, guess?

$25. It was so cheap because the owner in Ashburn said that the table was broken. I took one look at it, and knew Patrick could fix it. He did -- in fifteen minutes! Advice: On major furniture purchases, go local because driving 30 minutes or more to find out that a piece of furniture was not as they advertised is a huge loss of time. Also most things that are solid wood and not missing any parts is usually repairable if you've got the right tools. All is not lost!

2. If you can't paint, Motif!
While I am dreaming up brilliant design ideas for Caelan's room, in the interim, I didn't want to stare at blank white walls or put temporary holes in the wall, so I saw this peel and stick artwork called Motif in a minute at Target for $14.99. There are cars, trains, princess castles. I chose this one because it goes perfectly with his existing whimsical animal theme.

Incidentally, I also bought this bumper and bedskirt at a consignment in Chantilly, called Little Lords and Ladies. The set is from Pottery Barn, and it was also $25.00

3. Look for department store clearances.
If you have a local Sears or JCPenny, they usually have an online outlet where they are discontinuing furniture. They also need to make room for new styles. If you order anything on line, they generally will send you a follow up "coupon" for free shipping, etc. Save it for a rainy day. You can also have them ship it to the store for free, and you just pick up. I found these beautiful solid wood chairs for $50 each and the elegant pedestal table was the perfect size. 42" round.
The set really punches the green in our family room. The entire set including taxes was $420. You really can't find that price anywhere for a five piece solid wood dinette.

To pull the whole morning room together, I added a white runner with black embroidery (Pottery Barn Outlet $14) and artificial hydrangeas (AC Moore $7 with 40% coupon) and some plates (Ross Dress for Less. $6 for 4 green plates, and $5 for 4 salad plates.)

That should hold you over for a little while. I find so much joy in the hunt for bargains, I will share all my secrets.... if you can have as much fun with this as I am!

Being with the Bernsteins

The Bernstein clan visited our new digs, and we thoroughly enjoyed our visit with them. If you saw them in a previous blog, you can see how big they are growing now!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Our New Pool

You can not imagine how cool it is for us to have a community pool that is part of our HOA. We decided against joining our pool in our old neighborhood because they were going to charge us several hundred dollars extra to join. It's a really nice pool, and very country-clubbish. We have been enjoying our resort pool every weekend since we moved in, with friends and family. I also take the kids during the week, and Patrick meets us one night a week after work. It's so great!

At first glance,this picture below looks pretty ordinary. But check it out - someone very little is standing on his own! Caelan likes to stand right over the mini-fountains.

The Lauer Clan join us on Sundays after church.

The cousins meet once a week, usually the afternoons during that difficult 3-5 timeframe! Cousins Luca, Gabriel (pictured below) and Lily love the mushrooms and the baby pool. More than half the pool does not exceed 2 ft so it's incredibly kid-friendly!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Prayer Box

Patrick and I have always wanted to find a place to record all of our prayers like a notebook or an index card box. The idea was we would write down our prayer request, date it, and pray continuously and then at the end of the year, we would be able to go back and see all the prayers the Lord answered faithfully for us. The prayer could be major or very minor, but it would all be recorded.

Well, I was at the store the other day and practically tripped over this box in the aisle. I looked down and it was this perfect size box with the perfect sentiment - Bless this Home. What perfect timing! With our busy lives, I don't know about you, but we need all the help we can to remember to pray. This will be perfect. Send us your prayer requests!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Little Smiley Man turns 10 months

Little Caelan is not so little anymore. He turned 10 months last Saturday. We can hardly believe the time is flying by. Caelan's personality is very laid back. He basically cries when he's hungry or dirty, or wants his mommy. So far, he doesn't show any signs of separation anxiety and happily goes to anyone in the nursery or stays content in the arms of family and friends.

He eats like there's no tomorrow. He is a tank. He signs "more" and "all done"--but beyond that, we can't get him to sign much else. He smiles a lot. He likes to ride on his toys, although he can't really get anywhere--yet.

He is starting to pull up on things and walk. Patrick thinks he'll be walking at 11 months. Micah walked before he was one, so we'll see. Here's a great video to a great start: