That’s right folks, we bought a piece of furniture that we found via Craigslist and…GASP…lived! Can you believe that we were Craigslist virgins and that this was our first find? It’s not that I haven’t been trying. I just keep getting rejected! It’s like the dating world all over again! Boy am I glad that I’m married…even if it’s to Colby…um….I mean…uh…I love you baby! There have been couch finds and chairs and other dressers, but every time I find something that I absolutely love and contact the seller…sold. Like clock work. So you can just imagine my excitement when I found the world’s most amazing buffet AND scored it. Booyah!
Oh but we’re not planning to use it as a buffet. Nope. We’ve got bigger plans for this gal…like turning it into a bathroom vanity. Look for the blue moon folks, the nearly three year search for the perfect sized dresser/buffet turned bathroom vanity is over! Or shall I say, OVAH like a real Maine-ah!
It’s not like we haven’t been actively looking for a new bathroom vanity, we just haven’t found something that we loved yet, and more importantly, was the right size. We have a very specific sized alcove in our bathroom for a vanity and we kept running into Goldilocks situations…this one’s too wide, this one’s too tall, this one is too deep….but now this one is just right.
And the $75 price tag seemed fitting for the buffet since this guy is beefy! It’s pretty solid wood, super heavy, and a decently made piece. It does have a few gouges and dings, but that’s what gives it character. The buffet does have quality dove tail joints:
A pair of drawers…perfect for storage (except we will have to modify them a bit to make room for the sink):
and TONS of concealed storage space in the cabinet area and in the lower drawer:
We’re even thinking of adding a little bit more storage on the inside of the doors. Like a little shelf to hold extra toothpaste or shampoo, or some glass storage jars for Q-tips and cotton balls. Oh the organizational possibilities! It’s got me all kinds of jazzed up like JT for Britney circa 1999.
The buffet also came with some hardware but we’re definitely not keeping it. I’m sure for some people, the crystal like knobs totally melt their butter, but they’re just not for me. I’m thinking something Anthro-like, with a little color in them. Besides…about half of them are broken anyway.
The second we brought home the buffet/vanity, I started the great debate. You know…the stain vs. paint debate. I decided to wait it out and let the buffet speak to me, or at least clean it up first and see how it looks all shiny and new like. So I whipped out an old tried and true method for cleaning up old furniture…the Magic Eraser/vinegar combo.
The vinegar works like a dream to get the musty smell out of wooden furniture and nothing cleans quite like a Magic Eraser. When we first moved into our house, we inherited a pair of cabinets (one being the dining room china cabinet that we painted and put on casters to make a hidden closet door out of it). The vinegar/Magic Eraser combo was the only thing that got the I’ve-been-sitting-cooped-up-in-this-house-without-air-for-years smell. Since the vanity had a stink going on and was pretty dingy, I gave her a good rub down…and DESTROYED three Magic Erasers. I think the vanity was dirty!
And voila! She shines! It’s like giving the piece a brand new finish.
Here’s a better look at the before cleaning (on the left) and the after cleaning (on the right).
I promise I didn’t Photoshop that. The Magic Erasers/vinegar brought out the stain color and revealed alot of red undertones. Speaking of undertones, prior to cleaning up the vanity I was leaning towards the “wood tones” corner of the ring. But after cleaning it up, I totally ran to the “painting” corner in the heavy weight fight of paint vs. stain. There’s a recurring theme in our house of cool tones and blue hues. I just didn’t see the redness of the vanity really fitting in well. Benjamin Moore paint swatches…here I come!
And I know Colby and I have been all gung-ho, team
Edward guest-bedroom-finishing lately, but we’re totally switching gears and working on the bathroom for awhile. That’s what calling off the three year search for a vanity will do to you. Make you drop all current projects in lieu of FINALLY finishing the bathroom. So as I type, we’ve demoed out the old vanity and started priming the vanity. Our goal is to finish repairing the walls in the vanity nook, painting the vanity, and installing it before it starts to feel normal to brush our teeth in the tub every night.
Pssst…So now that you know what we’ll be up to this weekend, what about you guys? Do you have any weekend plans? Any painting projects? I was working on priming parts of the vanity last night, while Colby was away on business, and totally dunked the end of my pony tail in the gallon of primer….DOH! I should never be left alone without adult supervision!
Have you ever had one of those moments when you just get all tied up in knots? Or your laundry does?
Yeah, that happened. And that was after I spent about an hour cutting away at some of the knots. Those are the table runners from our wedding that I had sent through the washing machine. I was trying to remove all remnants of ketchup stains from the fabric before turning them into pillow covers or something equally fun, but they became victims to the evil washing machine. It took about two hours to untangle them all and another couple of evenings of ironing to remove all traces of wrinkles.
Needless to say, I was mad…we’re talking rip roaring mad…at the washing machine. And I can’t say that this was the machine’s first offense. In our short, 2 year relationship, the washing machine has managed to destroy towels, two fitted sheets, three pillow cases, one flat sheet, a duvet cover, three button down shirts, a t-shirt, five (yes FIVE) tank tops, two pairs of shorts, three pairs of dress paints, and countless sets of underwear. But who’s keeping count?
The washing machine is old. And quite possibly could be older than I am, and is a laundry eating machine! It’s one of those old agitator ones that ties our laundry up in knots, twisting away at its contents and spitting it out in shreds. Actually, that’s not true. Absolutely no spitting involved. It’s more like the machine holds laundry in its clutches and you have to pry to clothes out of it.
So we made a little, “I’m angry at the old washing machine” impulse purchase. Aren’t they pretty?
We chose the Frigidaire Affinity series high efficiency washer and dryer and we love them! We picked them out at our local appliance store, Dunnet’s, last weekend and they were delivered to us this past Tuesday. Dunnett’s has free delivery with appliance purchases AND they even install. Sweet!
With our new washer and dryer in place, I’ve never wanted to rip down the laundry room paneling more! Oh…and those metal cabinets…those can come down too. Having the new washer and dryer in this room is like the king and queen of England shacking up at a Ho-Jo’s. That’s just not right.
It’s taking every ounce of energy in my body to refrain from re-doing our ugly laundry room. But with all the energy I’m expending on restraining myself, I’m saving it by doing laundry.
We opted for the highest, most energy efficient pair that we could afford. And I took an educated guess that this pair, which cost us about $1300, would pay for itself in about two to four years based on the amount of laundry that we do (in electricity and water savings) and by the amount of clothes and bedding the old washer was destroying. We should have bit the bullet long ago.
Immediately upon their arrival in our home, I bunkered down at the kitchen table and began pouring over the user’s manual.
And did some of the laundry that I had been storing up for the occasion over the last week while we awaited their arrival.
And as many of you know, I use a homemade powdered laundry detergent. And before, many of you had asked about whether or not the detergent was safe to use in high efficiency washing machines, which, according to my research, was perfectly safe as long as you use a low sudsing soap. The only strange part to using the DIY detergent was that I had to remove the plastic cup for detergent in the detergent loading tray because it was a powder.
So into the washing machine went the laundry, which was easily twice us much stinky clothes as our old machine.
And started pressing buttons.
It was a go-go-gadget washing machine situation. The new machine is so much more hi-tech than our old one. It welcomes you for crying out load! You push a button, any button and it’s all “Welcome Angie…thanks for doing laundry with us today….we hope your time in the laundry room was enjoyable and you’ll do laundry with us again.” And in my head the machine says that with a British accent. It’s very formal like.
And I may have pulled an Elf in the elevator situation, when Will Ferrel. (aka Elf) presses all the buttons in the Empire State Building elevator. I may have pushed all the buttons.
Now that I’ve done a few loads and learned a few tricks of the trade, here are my favorite features of this Frigidaire Affinity duo washer and dryer:
- Energy saving modes: Both the washer and the dryer have energy saving modes where they use a lower temp water or a lower heat speed to save in electricity costs.
- Sensor dry technology: The dryer senses when our clothes are dry, saving on wasting electricity over-drying clothes.
- Quietness: These machines are barely audible. BARELY. It’s amazing. Our old machines were so loud that you could barely hear the person you were talking to even if you were down the hall!
- Sanitization: The washing machine has a high-temp, steam sanitizing mode perfect for gross, stinky dog beds or anything else you could fathom sanitizing.
- And have I mentioned they’re pretty?!
I’m sure there are many more cool features to the new appliances but I’m still learning. But anyway, it’s back to the laundry room I go to much more happily go and do my laundry.
Pssst…Anyone else recently made the switch to a high efficiency washer and dryer? Do you love it? Hate it? Have any features or tips you want to share?
After a couple weeks FULL of painting projects (dining room door, kitchen closet beadboard & trim), the paint brushes took it a little hard. Real hard. I’ve had the same brushes since my first major brush purchase back in the spring of 2010, in my first few months of home ownership. Needless to say, a few of my favorite brushes are looking a little rough around the edges.
This guy wasn’t looking too bad until a Saturday of priming and painting the dining room door out in the hot sun. It probably wasn’t my smartest move, painting out in the 75 degree temps. But after a couple weeks of rain, there wasn’t a chance in hell that I was going to be caught inside.
Needless to say…five plus hours of painting with this brush and he was hurting.
So you know all those pins on Pinterest…you know…the ones that claim to “bring new life to old brushes” by cleaning them with boiling vinegar? Well, I’ve seen those all to often and I’ve always wondered if it really worked. AND if it could work on my hard core, destroyed, gunked up brushes. Testing my brushes on this cleaning theory is like taking a caked-with-mud-monster-truck through the car wash. So I boiled up some regular old white vinegar.
And poured it over the paint brushes in a bowl.
And let them soak for 30 minutes (as directed by the Pinterest pins).
Then I removed the brushes from the hot vinegar, washed them in hot, soapy water and let them dry.
The end result…still a mess.
Wop…wop…wop. I got a feeling that there was just too much old paint and gunk built up in the brushes for this cleaning technique to work. Some of the brushes that weren’t quite as bad off had some slight improvement, they were softer and generally cleaner. But the hot mess brush…zero improvement. It just smells like vinegar now. So I tossed a few of the bad brushes, the ones with zero hope of ever being usable again, and have added “paint brushes” to the shopping list.
Pssst…Has anyone else tried cleaning their brushes with vinegar? How was your experience? Or do you have another no fail way for cleaning old, dry paint from brushes? We’d love to hear your ideas! Save
Happy Earth Day everyone! Earth Day 2012 was certainly an enjoyable one here at the roost. It may not have been as exciting as back in my days working for UMaine when naked bikers sporting green body paint would take a little ride through campus. Did I say exciting? I meant awkward…very, very awkward. But on a serious note, or as serious a note as I can get on, we did celebrate Earth Day in our own, non-naked/green body paint way. Colby and I are just starting an assault attack on cleaning products in an effort to green up our routine. That’s me attempting to model my favorite natural shower cleaning product by Method. I seem to have missed my calling as a shower cleaning product model.
My cleaner green mission started a few months back while getting my clean on in the bathroom Scrubbing Bubbles style. Nothing against Scrubbing Bubbles, or Clorox, or Lysol, or any of my other favorite bathroom cleaners but you started making me sick. I would spend about an hour cleaning the bathroom using chemically product after chemically product and towards the end I would start to feel nauseous and dizzy. Not cool. My cleaning attack would give me a headache for the rest of the day. That’s when I decided to switch to Method. Now, no more dizzy spells while cleaning the shower.
During Earth Month I said to myself, “self…why stop at greening up your shower cleaning routine? There are so many other not so good for you or the environment products out there that I use pretty regularly.” Good thinking self.
So I started stocking up on greener/more natural cleaning products from Target. Why Target? Well…first off…I heart Target. And second, they’ve not only had these products on sale all month but have also been dolling out coupons for the products left and right in celebration of Earth Month.
The only product I’ve really been using so far is the shower cleaner. Although I have been using the all purpose cleaner sporadically and also love it! It smells so pretty! But I still have all my old cleaners that I’m trying to phase out. I’m too cheap just to trash everything I already have on hand but I wanted to take advantage of all the sales while I could. So I have a nice little supply of greener cleaning products ready to go when I’m ready to flip the switch. I also picked up a couple of reusable/machine washable cleaning clothes.
The idea here is to nix my paper towel/Clorox wipes habits. I go through ALOT of Clorox wipes. That may be my hardest habit to break. Hi….my name is Angie…and I’m a Clorox wipes-aholic. Hi Angie. So the idea is to replace the wipes and paper towels with something I can reuse…not throw away. I already have a couple of microfiber cleaning clothes that I use for dusting but was looking for a lint free towel for cleaning windows and also a couple of rag like items for cleaning counters. Hopefully these guys do the trick. Here goes nothing! Also, Target was in full force celebrating Earth Day this morning and was giving out little gift bags at the door.
The reusable shopping bag was filled with green samples including Seventh Generation laundry detergent and Tom’s of Maine toothpaste. Can you believe I’m a Maine-er and still haven’t tried Tom’s toothpaste?! Cah-razy! Oh yeah…and there were coupons too. Love me some coupons!
Pssst…One of my other favorite greener and cheaper strategies is making my own laundry detergent that you can read about back here. I have to admit, it’s going so well and I’m very happy about switching! So enough about us, let’s talk about you! What did you all do to celebrate Earth Day? Or does anyone have any cleaner/greener strategies? Do share!
Last week, while organizing my heart away during the whole organization maximation of our new his/hers desk area, I gave myself a little challenge. Remember it? I was going to get rid of 100 things? Yeah, that one. So how did I do? I totally rocked it out of the park! I honestly think I could have gotten rid of 200 things, easily. I actually chucked 114 things. I’m an overachiever. So here’s how the whole challenge shook out and my totals list:
Items thrown out or recycled:
(4) Old nasty bottles of lotion that dried out my skin
(1) Box of WAY outdated Crest White Strips
(1) Bottle of Victorias Secret body spray from my college years
(1) Expired tube of sunscreen
(14) Old magazines (after ripping out a few pages)
(3) Really old hairstyling products
(4) Bottles of nail glue
(1) Nail polish remover pen
(18) Bottles of nail polish (including the ones from both my high school AND middle school proms)
Items added to the yard sale pile:
(1) Non-digital camera from high school days
(23) 3 ring binders (left over from school and old scrapbooks that have been moved to storage boxes)
(1) Box divider tabs
(4) Plastic folders
(1) Box page protectors
(1) Financial calculator
(1) Masters cap, gown & hood
(1) Bag of ribbon
(1) Package small scrap booking paper
(1) Spiral bound notebook
(1) Package large scrap booking paper
(1) Box hanging file folders
(3) Magazine holders
(3) Winter hats
(1) Pair of winter gloves
(1) Tea bag storage organizer
(1) Set of coasters
(1) Over the sink strainer
(1) Lunch box
(1) Collapsible cooler
(2) Long underwear tops
(1) Plaid shirt
(1) LL Bean messenger bag
(1) Pocket bartender guide
(3) Ceramic bowls
(1) Ceramic tray
(3) Small serving bowls
(1) Cracker plate
(1) Never used nail care kit
(1) Caboodles case from my tween years
It’s a random list, I know, there was really no method to my madness. I just kind of jumped from room to room and grabbed the first thing I found that we didn’t need anymore and was just collecting dust. I started down in the living room where my pile of wedding and home magazines were overflowing.
I went through a stack of magazines, ripped out the pages that I wanted to keep for inspiration. Then I moved on, opening cabinets and closet doors and digging through baskets until I came up with the rest of the items. I didn’t really think too hard about what had to go. Essentially, if we hadn’t used it since we moved here (almost two years ago) it was time to go. By adopting this system, we started to acquire quite a little pile.
One of the things that HAD to go was this old Caboodles case (ladies…remember those) from my tween years that was still containing a couple of bottles of nail polish also circa 1994.
Did you see the two inch layer of dust on the top of that thing?! It doesn’t get used often. I kept the seven bottles of nail polish that are newer and not orange colored when it should have been pink. In the end, we ended up with a pretty big pile of yard sale items.
And there goes Goose photo bombing my pictures again! We’re planning on having a big yard sale once the snow melts, which at this pace means we’ll probably be having it in two weeks. I kid, I kid. We’ve just had an unseasonably warm winter here in Maine. Until then, the yard sale pile (and other miscellaneous items like wedding craft hoarding) has taken over the porch.
It’s a serious mess. But at least once yard sale day rolls around, it will be super easy to lug all the stuff out to the front yard. Our goal is to raise about $500 for our honeymoon…or possibly a new couch for the living room. I know it’s a lofty goal but we’re going for gold!
Pssst…I’m curious, have any of you out there had a yard sale? Any tips? Dish!