>> Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Good evening!  I wanted to let you know that I will be taking a brief pause from the computer during lent.  I will see you Easter Sunday!


>> Wednesday, February 10, 2010

It's Charlotte's birthday today!  She is so excited to be 5 years old!  5 means that she can go to "big school" in the fall!  It seems like yesterday that my poor body was toiling through 36 hours of labor to bring her into this world.  But it's been worth every single second.

Happy Birthday Sweet Girl!!!!  Let's Party!!!!!


The 3 Budgeteers: Hubs, Myself & My Conscience

>> Sunday, February 7, 2010

Hubs likes for me to tell him how much I think I need to spend.  My conscience needs to be told how much to spend.  And I just want to spend, spend, spend!

The first time we met with the interior designer, she told us she would have a plan for us the first week of January.  I expected storyboards chock full of furniture photos, fabrics, paint swatches, etc.  But, when we received the email, there was none of the above.

I am a very visual person.  I need to see it before it happens and I need a plan.  I am a planner.  I love the process of planning.  I suck at making decisions, but I love the process of making them!

Needless to say, I was disappointed. but I felt like she "got" me and my ideas, so I didn't let myself get too upset.  I met with her again and she brought lots of catalogs and a few fabrics AND THAT WAS IT.

AARGH!!!  Frustration!  And those catalogs!  There are NO prices, just pictures- she'll "have to get back to me on the prices".  Well, that's not good enough for me, because then I will set my heart on it only to get an email letting me know that the lamp (not lamps) is $500.00.

Of course it is.  I love it.

After that meeting, I decided to do it myself.  I sat down at the computer, decided what I wanted, added up a ballpark total cost and presented it to the hubster.

And he approved it.  And added in a little wiggle room.  Yay!

Now it's on to the fun part- finding places to cut costs so that I can have a little "cushion" to fall back on.

I told you in an earlier post that I decided to make a lot of the items myself.  Things like wall art, curtains and pillows I can make; and I can repurpose furniture and even lamps to cut costs.

Over the next few days, I will share with you an in-depth look at the plan for each room and the areas where I hope to cut costs.  I will share some projects and ideas.  Hopefully you will enjoy them and be able to use them yourself!

What would you cut?  On what would you splurge?

Cary K.


The [Wo]man with the Plan

>> Friday, February 5, 2010

I started the design process by creating a document in Microsoft Publisher.  I know there are a million more advanced and up to date programs other than my beloved Publisher, but it is the one program that I understand and know how to use!

I copied and pasted photos of items that I liked onto a page in Publisher.  I put living room objects on one page, kitchen objects on another, etc.  I then seperated each page with a list of the items, where I found them, what they were called and their price.  That made it easier when I was ready to go back and order.

I made a (sort-of) storyboard for each room, then printed it out.  This was the result:

Slipcover:  surefit.com
Fabric Swatches: fabric.com
Rug: companyc.com
Cabinet Hardware & Lamp: anthropologie.com
Rattan Rocker: ikea.com
Corner TV Cabinet: officefurniture.com

Rug: dashandalbert.com
Wine Rack: cb2.com
Large Shell: crateandbarrel.com
Fresh Fish Sign: allposters.com

Art:  ballard.com
Rug:  companyc.com

Reversible Comforters: jcpenney.com
Fabric Swatches:  fabric.com
Art:  art.com
Nightstand/Bookcase:  target.com

Wall Hooks, Rug, Towels: anthropologie.com
Glass Shelf: potterybarn.com

Shower Curtain, Wall Hooks, Rug:  anthropologie.com
Glass Shelf:  potterybarn.com

Quilt, Pillows, Rug:  potterybarn.com
Lamps:  ballard.com
Hardware:  anthropologie.com

Quilt, Trunk:  potterybarn.com
Lamp:  lightingdirect.com
Rug:  dashandalbert.com

Quilt, Lamp:  potterybarn.com
Pillow: companyc.com
Colorful Quilt: etsy.com (Carolina Patchwork)

Quilt:  etsy.com (Carolina Patchwork)
Pillow:  cb2.com
Slipcover: surefit.com
Rug: dashandalbert.com
Ottoman, Side Table, Lamp: crateandbarrel.com

Colorful Quilt: etsy.com (Carolina Patchwork)
Solid Quilt & Pillow: potterybarn.com
Lamp:  crateandbarrel.com

Obviously, we will not be purchasing a lot of these items, as I am trying to stay on a tight budget.  However, these are ideas that will help me stay in the direction that I want to go.  I have purchased all of the bed linens and rugs for the downstairs, but have not yet purchased anything for upstairs.  I am salivating over those quilts that I found on Etsy- aren't they amazing?  I think you could throw those in a room with nothing else and be done!  They are so beautiful!

I am so excited!  What do you think?  What would you change?

Cary K.


Facing the Music

>> Thursday, February 4, 2010

I finally took the first step in furnishing our beach home!  It has taken me exactly one month to decide what I want our little cottage to "feel" like.  (Actually, I'm still not 100% sure that I know!)

I initially wanted to name it "The Pickle Palace" or "The Pickle Cottage", but decided to forfeit that in favor of a more suitable title.  My husband owns a Sleep Inn hotel and shouldn't we give it a little credit for our good fortune?  So, that being said, our second home will be named "Sleepin' Inn".

Cheesy?  Maybe, but aren't all beach homes supposed to have cheesy names?  Relax, folks- it's fun!

I had no idea how difficult it would be to take the first step in deciding on a design for the home.  I knew that it needed to feel cozy and inviting; a place where you can kick off your shoes and plop down on the sofa without giving a thought to tracking in sand or having to remove a hundred fancy pillows from the couch (and having to put them in a safe spot so the kids won't spill on them and the dog won't chew them to shreds!).

Hubs decided to enlist the assistance of an interior designer, I think mostly because that's what everyone else around here does and because we really don't have a lot of time these days to devote to decorating.  However, I don't like the limitations that using a designer presents.  They show up with several fabric swatches, a ton of books and a lot of overpriced frou-frou ideas that just aren't me.  I just wanted to say "Hey- I like your fabrics but I know there are a million more to choose from and I have to see them all!"  Sorry- that's just me!

And I don't need your uber-expensive sofa that my kids are gonna spill kool-aid on and the dog is going to shed on- just give me a slipcover for my old ugly plaid sofa and call it a day!  (Photos to come later!)

So, hubs and I took a little weekend trip to Wilmington.  There's a wonderful little consignment/antique/second hand shop there called The Ivy Cottage.  If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend stopping in for a visit!

Anyhoo- The Ivy Cottage is filled with wonderful finds- old rugs, furniture, quilts, etc. and has blossomed into 3 buildings full of amazing treats!  I could honestly spend an entire day there- it's that much fun!

I found a million things that I would love to have, but we decided on a super long farm table (for the back porch) and a "hall tree" made of an old door, two bedposts and an old bench.  I will post pictures as soon as our laptop is back up (it died and my photos are on it!)

So, I am taking a cue from these two items and allowing them to set the stage for my upcoming performance.  Will I be able to choose linens, paint colors, lighting and furniture 1) on a budget; and 2) make it cohesive?

Stay tuned and watch as the disaster drama unfolds....


The Case of the Disappearing Blogger

>> Wednesday, February 3, 2010

I haven't disappeared- just working, working, working!  The design for the beach house interior is underway and I plan to start posting about it soon!  There will be lots of projects, lots of pictures and lots of fun!

I also plan to update you on the plastic bottle removal going on in our household!  So far, so good!  This month we are striving to stop using paper towels.  That's another big challenge for us!  More to come later!

Stay tuned!!!



>> Sunday, January 24, 2010

Have you ever felt as though you had a million things to say but nothing will come out? 

Or what about a million things to do and absolutely no time to do them?

That's how I feel right now.

Hubs is on me like white on rice to get the design for the interior of our beach cottage done, but I just don't have the time to work on it.  Nor do I have the inspiration that I need.  I know it's out there, but I just can't seem to find it.  I keep hoping that I will happen across some wonderful photo that depicts everything that I want and need, but it just hasn't happened yet.

And prices!!!  They really get me down!  How can a pillow cost 118 dollars?????  I mean, it's pretty and all, but as soon as I spend that much on a pillow, guess what's gonna happen?  Yep, that's right!  One of the kiddos will spill kool-aid on it or Calliepoo will pee pee on it. 

There are so many things that I want, want, want......

So, what's a gal to do?  MAKE THEM HERSELF!!!!  That's right, you heard me!  After all, my small word for 2K10 is CREATE!!!!

Here's the challenge:  let's flip through our Pottery Barn catalogs, drool over Restoration Hardware's website, channel Martha and MAKE THIS HAPPEN!!!!!

Hubster wants to be able to sleep at the cottage by April 1st.  So, that's the deadline.

My sewing machine is threaded, my paint brushes are laid out in a row......

All I have to say is BRING IT ON!!!!


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