Monday, March 7, 2011

Before & After: Refinished Accent Chair

So I found this ugly ol' chair at a yard had potential.  I ripped up the seat and found 2 layers of fabric and some of that plant basket lining stuff...yuck, old.  So I bought a brand new fluffy 2" foam cushion, some batting, and brand new awesome fabric.  I sanded the wood and painted a cream, leaving some of the creases and crevices alone to bring in more of a shabby look. 

I put it on my Facebook page ( ) and within 5 minutes (literally) it had several responses and within 45 minutes or so it had sold.  Guess I need to scout out more chairs like this. :)

Here it is before:

And here it is after:

Please consider following my blog as I'm always posting about our home improvements (big and small), projects, savings tips, animals, and coming soon...dancing. :)  Yeah, the animals and dancing don't have much to do with home improvements, but whatever.

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Friday, March 4, 2011

Happy Birthday to a Ridiculous Mutt Called "Max"

Ohh, sweet Maxy-boy.  He is definitely a ridiculous a good and funny way.  He has brought a bunch of laughs our way for the last 10 months. 

How could someone just leave this poor boy to die?  Well, someone's where he lived before...pretty bad.

Hoarder's backyard

This was the water for 20 animals to drink...including other dogs, goats, chickens, ducks

Here he is with Layla and Evelyn (Layla is now with our neighbor friend Stephanie
and Evelyn is with my friend Hanna)

Scary huh?

But he gained a pretty nice life over here at the Bankston house. 
Here's a few things about Max...

He's not so fond of bathtime...even still. My husband has to pick him up for me to give him a bath...he kicks and screams...well, just kicks.

He loves to dream about all the ladies, he yells and chases after them...all the while asleep. And I'm not lying when I say as I'm typing this post he just attacked someone in his dream! He about bit that guy's head off...whoever that guy may be...or cat.  

He loves to jump on the trampoline...

He now also loves to jump through the windows to get inside.

He loves to walk verrrrrry slow in front of the cat and pretend he's not going to try anything...because he's juuuuussssttttt going to get a drink...and then POUNCE! Just enough to make the cat run!  

He opens the door by himself to get out and romp around with the other neighborhood dogs. He's very popular at school. (Note: the other dog is the one that was at the hoarder's house with him) 

(This is my brother and sister-n-law)
Sometimes Max and his sister and cousins (3 boxers, 1 ours and 2 my brother's) like to chase deer in the middle of the Blue Ridge mountains...but somehow he's the only one who sends us on a 6 hour adventure to find him during the freezing cold.

He likes to "relax" when he eats...

He takes treats from Mom, Dad, but you tell him his treat is from the Dogcatcher??? He won't eat those treats.

Sometimes Barbies are his treats...

Not sure of the exact date this month, but Happy Birthday Max! You're a ridiculously funny mutt, and we're glad to call you ours!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Ways I Save Money: Personal Care Savings

As a mom of 3 kids, 2 dogs, 1 cat, 2 rabbits, 2 birds, 1 hamster, 5 fish, and an open pet hotel for any needy wildlife, I need all the extra money I can get.  I have always been a thrifty gal, but the last few years I have gotten a good way. 
I'm always getting asked how I save so much and what my "secrets" are.  So I thought I'd start posting a little at a time and share some of these ways with you.  They're not really secrets, lots of people do these things, it's just that I combine them all and to get the maximum savings.  So even if you come away with 1 new way to save, that's all good.  And if you have any "secrets" you'd like to add, I would LOVE to hear them as well.

Today's Savings Tips:  Personal Care Savings (clothes, "grooming", keeping clean)

*Collect coupons for handsoaps, deodorants, toothbrushes, and toothpaste. I watch for the sales and combine the coupons, then stock up and usually get these items for near to nothing or free.

*I don't buy the high-priced shampoos/conditioners. Suave works just fine, thanks...and sometimes I can get some good coupons.


*I cut each of the kids' hair, as well as my husband's.  Pretty simple time you take them to the salon or barber, watch how they do it...and I'm sure there's some online how-tos out there as well.

*I only get my hair cut twice a year.  Now that may seem extreme for some of y'all, but I have long hair and it can go that long between cuts. 

*I highlight my own hair, in which I buy the highlights with a coupon and while it's on little money out of pocket. My hair stylist says I do an awesome job, so I'll keep on. Although it really needs to happen again soon...

Haha, no worries, these aren't my toes...
can you imagine getting your shoes on?!?

*Although I know it's a great treat, ladies, but I do not get constant pedicures/manicures.  First off, I bite my nails, so manicures are a cinch...:)  But I DON'T bite my toenails (I do, however cut them, unlike this lady to the left)... so I get them done once at the beginning of sandal season and then I do them myself throughout the spring and summer.  I forget about it during fall and winter...

*Razors...people seem to throw away their razors before needed.  If you wipe and dry the razor blade off immediately after using and store it where it will stay dry, it will stay good for up to a year.  So quit buying all those razors.

*This one's TMI, but unless I've been doing some grunge work or dancing and unless the kids have been playing outside, we take a shower/bath every other night.  It's actually good for your skin and hair not to wash it every single I go with that.  We save on water, soap, & shampoos.

*I don't buy bubble bath for the kids...this can get expensive if you do it all the time, plus one of my kids has sensitive skin.  They'll have plenty of fun without it, and if you must do it then you could do it every other time and cut down.

*I make my own laundry detergent.  It's better for the environment, much cheaper, and works great if not better.  Click here for good recipes...

*Speaking of laundry, I do not use fabric softener sheets.  For 1, they cost money... and 2- I've heard they aren't that great for your clothes anyways.  Yeah, there may be a little static every now and again...but I can handle that.

*We use towels twice, wear pajamas twice, and wear jeans twice (unless dirty)...and we still have tons of laundry.

*Make-up- I don't buy expensive makeups unless there's something specific, like concealer or foundation, that just works much better.  But everything else I find with coupons and am not brand specific.

Next post will be about savings on home decor and house cleaning.  Stay tuned.