Category Archives: Home Improvements

>Small Accomplishments, Mini Quiche & Roller Derby

>What do they all have in common? Not really sure but it’s what has been going on in my world lately.

Last weekend the hubs got the rest of our baseboard molding installed in our living room. We still have to patch the holes and paint but all base and crown molding is now installed in the main part of the house (kitchen, living, hallway & dining). We technically still have to install moldings around the bedroom and bathroom doors (three of them) but narrower molding so I am calling this step in the project done!

Last night I made mini quiches with red bell pepper, mushroom, bacon and cheese. I did them in muffin tins. I was NOT pleased with how they turned out. Too small and even though it was cooked through it was too watery. I even cooked the veggies BEFORE I put them in the egg mixture.

The egg mixture probably needs to be increased in order to make enough fuller mini quiches for breakfast for the hubs and I each morning. That is a lot of eggs! I have not figured out the calories yet. Anyone have helpful tips on mini quiches?

Last Saturday the hubs and I went to Roller Derby for the first time. It was a friends birthday and she saved three of the front rows for us all to hang together. That night we even set an attendance record! It took me a while to get the general idea of the rules and I still don’t understand everything but it was fun. The medics only had to be called out once and a girl ended up on crutches.

The local league is the Rat City Roller Girls. There are four teams; Derby Liberation Front, Grave Danger, Sockit Wenches & Throttle Rockets. They have the GREATEST names like Yoko Onoudi’nt, Georgia O’Grief, X-Khan & Betty Ford Galaxy.

Oh yeah, and their “cheerleaders” and fans take things seriously! Below Skeletora or Countes De Bodies – not really certain.

A huge Grave Danger fan. He was VERY in to it.

My SD and her friend with a member of the Throttle Rockets.

Her friend (in the hat) is in Jr. Roller Derby. I think my favorite was the Sockit Wenches. Probably because I liked their uniforms the best and they kicked some serious but in their match.


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Filed under completed goals, Condo, Cooking, dieting, health, Home Improvements, recipes, roller derby, steampunk

>Absolute Necessities

>I have been on a decluttering binge for many years now. I aquire less and less and it seems to me that I am ready to give up more and more.

The past couple of weeks the hubs and I have made more of an effort on finishing our condo projects. We painted the living room and the walls above the wainscoting in the bathroom. We bought more baseboard molding to finish off the living room. A trip to IKEA is in our future for many of these DVD shelfs and this leather couch. When we painted the living room we only put items back in that we needed. That meant a recliner we do use all the time but just really clutters up the room is going away.

I am the first person to look at something and think “how can I reuse this in another way”. I had briefly decided that recliner (it looks like a wing chair) would work great in a corner of the dining room as a reading nook. (Photo below is not the actual chair but close to ours and lighter blue – you get the idea).

This is where I get in to trouble. Suddenly I am all about the reading nook and less about the rest of the dining room that needs finishing. Not to mention the living and bathrooms that have unfinished projects we started working on. All I can picture is lazy afternoons reading in the chair by the garden window, sipping my coffee with a blanket tucked around me. Never mind that in order to have those lazy Saturday afternoons, I need to finish the living, dining, bath and master bedrooms.

Instead, we are selling the chair. Pairing down. Perhaps in the future we will have a reading nook. If so, we will look for the appropriate chair at that time. At least this way I have not gotten distracted from finishing my current projects. Cause the dining table and chairs need to be sanded and painted – so they match. I think that is a little more important than a reading nook (which still requires us getting our old PC unhooked and the shelf it sits on taken down).
I have always been “afraid” of dead space in a room. In the past I have always filled my rooms with probably more than they needed. I always worry if there will be enough seating when I have a party, or Christmas morning when the relatives come over. You know, I have stopped worrying about those things because I am tired of living in clutter just to be prepared for those few days a year where I need to have more than my immediate family in my living room.
I have learned the hard way to start with good basics and build from there. I never had the money for good basics so I bought or inherited the basicas and built on top of them. We are getting back to basics.


Filed under clutter, Decluttering, decorating, finances, goals, Home Improvements, IKEA, organizing, projects

>How Much To Save?

>So I have this specific amount of money I want to have saved and a bunch of expensive things I want to buy. I’m trying really hard to find a balance between wanting things and sticking to a savings plan. Its hard! If I get those fancy schmancy tickers figured out I will add them to my side bar to track my progress.

Emergency Fund $3000 – I have given myself a deadline of six months to save this. That is a savings goal of $500 per month. Right now I have budgeted $600 per month and that is comfortable so at that rate I will be able to meet my goal at the end of January 2010. A full month ahead of schedule but also some wiggle room for any emergencies.

Travel Fund $2000 – I want to save for my honeymoon vacation next May strictly with money from paychecks along with my emergency fund. However, that would require adding an additional $225 to my monthly savings goals. That could be a bit of a stretch. I can reasonably expect to have around $2000 in a tax return in February 2010. That money will be earmarked for travel when I get it and I should have already saved my emergency fund.

I want to go back to snowflaking as I was pretty successful when I did that in June. I need to weigh the cons of wanting something against the pros of that much more saved because it does add up.

We have a few large expenses coming up in the next six months that I need to plug in to our budget.

  • Dog teeth cleaning – $300
  • Repair clutch and brakes on hubs new car – ?
  • Purchase hubs new car – $2000 (we are buying my dad’s old Porsche from him and can make payments if need be). The reason for the new car? The hubs current car is not the most reliable and in January we can no longer commute together.

How is it that Trading Spaces can spend $1000 per room and make them look fabulous and I have spent thousands and still do not have one finished room? We are in the home stretch as far as condo projects go and want to have them all completed in the next year. That will leave four years of enjoying a finished space before we move on.

We saved for and purchased our new TV a few weeks ago. The other big budget items we are looking at. We want to buy quality items since we will be living with them for the next several years.

  • New couch and chairs for the living room.
  • Low profile bed frame with storage in the headboard for master bedroom
  • Bathroom vanity and sink.
  • Five more closet shelves in the master bedroom
  • New kids beds

Things that I would like but don’t absolutely need…..

  • New cushy dining room chairs
  • Bar and bookshelves for dining room
  • New kitchen counter tops
  • Deck in yard

By far the most expensive items will be the living room furniture. I absolutely hate what we have now in color and its just not that comfortable. It makes me want to save that for last which is ironic since this is the room we spend the most time in.

Other things we need to do around the place is paint (living, bath & kids room), baseboard moldings (install and paint), replace tile on hearth & beef up the living room mantle. These things are all items we plan to purchase with monthly mad money as they are not large ticket items.

This weekend we plan to head out and pick up some more baseboard molding to finish off the kitchen and dining rooms as well as some paint to start painting all the moldings we have already installed (base and crown). We will price tile for the hearth as well.

Oh yeah, Christmas is coming too! I did get a jump start on that though. We already bought the kids “big” gift of iPods (with cash thank-you-very-much!) and I have 1 1/2 tabi socks kitted for SD. After those are completed I will get SS’s fingerless gloves knitted up. I have to start thinking about ideas for other family members too.

I had the thought that if I saved $1000 and then saved for a big ticket item and went back and forth like that I would make both halfs of myself happy. I think its more important to have that emergency fund saved up though. Darn it!

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Filed under budget, goals, Home Improvements, wants

>Any Ideas?

>The hubs and I have a flat panel TV mounted to the wall in our bedroom across from our bed. We have a “floating” shelf from IKEA to hold our DVD player and small cable box.

Do you see it? Do you see the thing I hate? Against my beautiful blue walls are all of the cables hanging down to the outlet. It’s so hideous! The only idea I can come up with is buying one of those wire cord cover kits and then paint it to match my walls which would at least make them disappear.

Oh how I wish I were wireless!


Filed under Home Improvements

>Home Improvements Don’t Always Go The Way You Want

>My hubby started replacing the carpeting in our condo with parquet flooring before I even moved in (almost seven years ago). We have been gradually replacing all the carpeting in our condo with this same parquet flooring a package at a time as we could afford it. Wouldn’t you know, the company who makes it has decided they are not going to carry the old stain we have been using anymore?

The color on the bottom of the below photo is the color we have throughout our condo. The color on top is what is available in the same size.

We are down to finishing up our bedroom. The last room of the house.We have decided to finish the flooring in this lighter color, then sand, re-stain and finish the floor so it’s all one uniform color. Ug!

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Filed under Home Improvements

>A Girl and her Paint Brush

>Mind you this is ONE coat of the three I will probably need to finish my kitchen and I have not painted the ceiling yet. The color is Pomegranite by Ralph Lauren.

The cabinets are not getting painted because I think that would be too much red and we are getting new cabinets and granite (I hope) counter tops next year. The cabinet color used to be the wall color (and still is in most of my house – but I am changing it), it really was a light mocha color…really. Just compared to the red it looks like nothing.

The black door you see in the hallway through the archway is going to be our headboard in our bedroom (obviously sitting lengthwise on the wall). We will get to it eventually.
Home improvements are fun but I am bushed!

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Filed under Home Improvements