Monday, February 28, 2011

Getting Warmer

My daily Craiglist search for the perfect brass coffee table has been yielding some interesting and promising results. Most recently:

This uniquely shaped one, $175
I actually love the shape and style of these legs, but just in rectangular form.

Then there's this oval option, $100

And this one too, $200

Clearly none of these options are "the one" and those prices are a little high for my budget anyways. Here's a little reminder as to what I'm looking for, ya know, just in case someone out there happens to be hoarding one in their grandmother's basement:

So for now, the table saga continues...

New Look

Thoughts on the new look? I'd love to hear what you think.

Friday, February 25, 2011

I've Been Featured

I guess today's just a triple-threat of posting goodness- lucky you. But I just wanted to share with you guys that I was asked to do a Guest Post over at The Frugalista Find, a blog all about saving money through coupons and special deals. So it was all too fitting for me to post about my printer table project that cost me less than ten bucks total. Head on over to The Frugalista Find to check out my post and peruse her wealth of couponing information!

My So-Called New Home?

We aren't currently looking to buy a house and are by no means pressed for time to find one either. But when the opportunity presents itself and a house in our neighborhood and price point comes on the market, we've been known to stop by. Our target/dream area is Bridgewater, but if you know anything about Bridgewater you'll know it's one of the most expensive areas in central Jersey. Here's some stats from Trulia for reference:

Bridgewater Real Estate Overview

Market View for Bridgewater

Avg. Listing Price$475,107Wk ending Feb 16
Median Sales Price$356,750Oct '10 - Dec '10
google map tile
Movers & Shakers
Avg. listing price
Week ending Feb 16


Yeah, so as you can see you gotta be making beaucoup bucks to get in to the "average" size two-story home with a nice backyard and a two-car garage. For now, however, we don't need that long-term forever home. We're young. We have no kids. And we can't exactly afford our forever home at this point in our lives either. But again, there's no reason we need to be living in that Barbie dream house when we have our whole future ahead of us to decide where exactly we want to put down roots for the long-haul. 

So for now, I have been looking out for those nice starter homes in good neighborhoods. And to live in our target neighborhood of Bridgewater, I am sure it will be something that needs a good amount of elbow grease and a whole lotta lovin. And I'm okay with that. I am ready to put on my big-girl pants and get started on some serious DIY if need be. I mean, if by some divine intervention we find something we can afford that simply needs some paint and some caulk, I'm not gonna turn it down! Realistically though, what we find will most likely be small and need some imagination. And after a few years of TLC and maybe one or two kids later, we will hopefully sell and make a little profit to invest in a more long-term house. 
Here's what we are looking for in a house, sorta the non-negotiables:
  • Location, location, location
  • At least 2 bedrooms, ideally 3
  • A garage for Dan, preferably detached
  • Basement or attic for storage/more living space
  • No underground oil
  • Close to a major highway
  • Needs a realistic (to our abilities) amount of work
And here's a few things that would be dreamy (and definitely long-term):
  • 4 Bedroom, 2.5 Bathroom
  • Private lot
  • Good school district (ie: Bridgewater)
  • En-suite bathroom
  • Walk-in closet
  • Finished basement
  • Upstairs laundry
  • Two-story
  • Two-car detached garage 
  • Two-car attached garage
  • Daily cleaning and cooking staff...wait this is a dream, right?
If you want an idea of my type of dream home, bop on over here. So yeah, to sum it up thats the plan Stan. Anyone else think as deeply about their 5-year goals as I do?

And with that being said, we have an appointment tomorrow morning to check out a fixer-upper in Bridgewater. This should be interesting...

Update: The fixer-upper needed a little more fixing than we could realistically handle. Its location within Bridgewater was great but its location on the street was unfortunately very close to the street and a street light. No worries, the right one will come along at the right time!

From Unique To Chic

Yesterday I told you all about the sweet little table I picked up for 2 bucks at my favorite thrift store Unique on Monday night:

And decided to use as my printer table:

Because my previous printer situation looked like this

I wanted to go for a two-tone look so I was off to Michael's to pick up some aqua paint and wound up purchasing three of these in Robin's Egg for 99¢, but only wound up needing two of them:

So after a little TLC, I turned 2-buck-Chuck into this:

And here's how things are looking now:

I rubber-banded the plug so it wouldn't dangle lower than the table and show from the front

I also stuck four of these onto the bottom of the printer so it wouldn't scratch the new paint

I lined the drawers in my beloved Ikat fabric using Mod Podge for a fun little surprise

The only problem is that when we print, it still looks like this:

So when not in use, I curl up the cord like so

And here's the whole "office" 

I used a different shade of aqua on the inside of the table to help relate to my cheery aqua chair but not be so matchy-matchy. I still plan to incorporate more aqua accents through my wall collage and maybe my trinket collection above the table.

And here's a little breakdown of what the project cost:

Table: $2.00
Sandpaper: $0 (already owned)
Primer: $0 (already owned)
Foam brushes: $1.99
Aqua paint: 66¢ (only needed 2 bottles)
White paint: $0 (already owned)
Mod Podge: $4.79 (originally $7.99, but I used a 40% off Michael's coupon)
Ikat fabric: $0 (already owned)

TOTAL: $9.44

I mean if we want to get technical I only used about 1/20th of the Mod Podge, bringing my Total realistically down to about $5.00. But either way, under ten bucks is definitely in my budget for a customized printer table that I love. 

P.S. I updated the Tour to reflect my new "office" area

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Even More Thrift Store Goodness

I may or may not have a slight addiction to thrifting, but is that so wrong? On Monday we took a little family trip over to my favorite thrift store Unique on 22 in Watchung where I have already scored tons of goodies. And this trip was no exception. I also had quite a bit to donate which was previously cluttering up my newly organized pantry so that was an added bonus. After I dropped off my things in the donations section my sister came right up to me and said, "President's Day- 50% off!" Well that explained why the store was a madhouse an hour before they were closing. I quickly grabbed a hand cart and set off to find some gems. And lookee what I found:

Tray (which actually looks worse in person and will be getting painted)

Frames for my wall collage

Three pairs of capris from Gap and Banana Republic

J. Crew khakis (which I wore to work today)

I'm particularly excited about this little gem which will be making an appearance at next years 
Ugly Christmas Sweater party. (You may or may not know how hard it is to find one of these around Christmastime!)

But not nearly as excited as finding this:

An amazing price, made all the better by our honorable Presidents, bringing it down to 2 bucks!

Since I have been making an attempt to buy only things which I have a specific use for, I quickly placed my leggy friend in his new pre-determined home:

Meet my new printer table! 
Much better than this:

Due to its less than pristine condition (and the fact that I'm trying to NOT bring more wood tones into the dining room) I got right to work Tuesday night cleaning, sanding, and priming.

I used some gentle Mrs. Meyers all-purpose spray to remove any dust/dirt.
(you could always just use mild soap and water)

I then used some of my trusty Zinsser primer and gave it a quick coat 

You don't have to worry about streaks since it's gonna get painted again anyways.

I used a cheap-o foam brush to apply the primer because it's oil-based and a pain to clean out of a regular brush. 
This way I just tossed it when I was done.

Now if only I can find a reasonably priced wireless printer then we will be in tip top shape. We currently have to plug in our printer to the computer, leaving the wire exposed and strewn across the walkway to the linen closet. Fortunately we're not showering and printing at the same time very often but it has been known to happen... Anyone recommend a good-for-the-price wireless printer?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

A New Loo

To be honest, the bathroom isn't 100% finished- but what room ever is? There are still a few tweaks that I would like to make but for now I am happy with how things turned out. (To catch up on the bathroom mini-makeover click here, here, here, or here.) To rewind a bit, here's how things were looking before:

And without further adieu, our new loo:

The "patch" is covering our light switch which still needs fixing...

With the light off so you can see the fixture

And here's a little Resource List for those interested:

Wall color- Dolphin Fin by Behr

Garbage can- Ikea (actually a planter)
Soap- TJ Maxx
Barber shop mug- thrift store
Orange lotus bowl- thrift store
Toilet paper dispenser- TJ Maxx (actually a hand towel holder)
TP vase/holder- Marshalls
Penguin print- Etsy
Shower curtain- Bed, Bath, and Beyond
Potted plant- Ikea
Clear glass jar- thrift store
Gray hand towel- TJ Maxx
Towel bar- Home Depot
Window shade- fabric glued to existing roller blind
Bath mats- Marshalls
Makeup bag- Old Navy (years ago--similar bag found here)
Light fixture- Home Depot
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