Wednesday, September 25, 2013

September Citrus Lane: We finally say goodbye to each other!

So I received my second Citrus Lane box. From my past post, you probably know I was kind of on the fence about them. I had some questions about why I was getting 3 year old items, when I signed up for a 2 year old box, but in the end I was going to give them another month.

Well, another month comes, and I wasn't as excited about the September box as I'd hope. I googled sneak peaks of other people's boxes, and saw block and some of the boy items that I was excited about possibly receiving, but I didn't see any girl items. The day came, and the box arrived. Here is what I received:

1. Charley Harper ABCs. I like this book. It's unique, and my daughter loves books. The pictures are interesting, my daughter had a hard time figuring out what some of the pictures were because they were so unique, but I like books, so this was a plus! (value: $7.96)
2. Goody Bag from North American Bear Company. My daughter made a B-line for this. It's very small, it can probably fit a Clementine, and that's about it. I wasn't impressed because first, Sophia has a ton of little purses, she obsesses about for 1 day, and then it goes into her never ending dark hole toy chest. However, this purse is very well made, AND apparently you can wash it in the washing machine which is nice. But, I just keep thinking how I could buy a cheapy purse at the dollar store, and my daughter would like it just as much, so I didn't find too much value in this item for me personally. Although, again, I have to confirm it's great quality, and my daughter liked it for the whole day! (value on their website $12)
3. Playful Wash from Episencial. This was only a 3.8 ounce body and hair wash, which they dont' sell that small. So although it's larger than a "sample" I feel like it's not really a full product, so that was disappointing. based on the price per ounce of a full product I estimate the value to be $3.83
4. Super Toddler Bar from Happy Family. This looks delicious, and Sophia loves candy bars! I put a value of this of $1-$1.40 depending on if you buy a full box at retail or not.
5. Item for mom: Julep nail polish value is listed at $12, but I'm a Julep member, so I can add on polishes to my monthly boxes and when they are on sale they can be a cheap as $4.99. Because I have a bunch of Julep polish, I personally put a value on this of $4.99.
Total Estimated value of box: About $30
I paid $25 for the box
I tend to like to get a 50% mark up on my boxes. So... if I pay $25 for a box, I want to get a value of about $38, which I did not.  I finally decided to cancel my subscription to Citrus Lane. I think there are a ton of other boxes I want to try.
So....although I LOVED how excited Sophia was to open the below box, i just reminded myself I can either try a different subscription box for her, or I can just go to Home Goods, pick up some items each month, put them in a little gift bag, and surprise her. I'm sure she will be equally as excited!! :)

Who knows, maybe Citrus Lane and I will cross paths again soon, but for now I'm taking a break!

Build your own: Nail Polish Rack

With the bathroom renovations going on, and my new vanity make up area, my goal is to be more organized. I told myself  "no more digging through tubs of nail polish! I'm going to organize my polish!"
I wanted to build something that I could keep my nail polish, and other nail items organized, but also see everything at once so I knew what colors I had. (for some reason I kept purchasing the same darn colors over and over again...reds and pinks!)
I googled the web and found a pretty neat looking rack that had instructions and seemed easy to make. See my inspiration blogger here:

I wrote down a list of materials and off to home depot I went. Well, like most craft projects I couldn't follow everything to a T. I couldn't find 8 foot boards, so I bought 6 foot boards that were pine, and very well made. I asked the guy to cut each 6 foot board into 3- two foot boards. Well apparently he couldn't do that because the cutter takes out like a 1/8th of an inch when it cuts or something, so I told him... "well, if you can make 3 even boards out of each 6 foot board, I will be a happy camper, as long as they are EVEN....EVEN is the key here for this project. They all have to be the same!

He understood, calculated some measurements and started cutting. Well, he cut the first board, and apparently he said his calculations were "off" so he tried to fix it. To make a long story short, I had him cut the 3 6 foot boards into 3 even sections each, so a total of 9 pieces that were "even." I don't know what the exact lengths were, but I wasn't cutting it, so I didn't want to get to picky!

I took that home, and I measured out the spacing on the wall, and figured I actually only needed 7 of the boards to tweak the project how I wanted it. Because some of the boards weren't exact, I picked the 5 boards which were the most even, and those were my horizontal pieces. I picked 2 of the remaining that were about the same size, and those would be my vertical pieces.

I painted them white, and gave the project to my husband and said "screw 'em together like this picture, and hang them up" and he did. Because the vertical pieces weren't exactly the same length, I decided NOT to square the top of this project like the original poster, and I just left the top part with sides. This is why it was really key to have all the pieces even, or you are going to have trouble screwing the project together.

In the end it turned out perfect for what I needed. My husband hung it up with some framing hooks. Not entirely what I wanted, but it works, and I didn't have to do it, so I was happy.

See below for my finished project! I still haven't put nearly all of my polish on this rack. I need to go through a box of polish to fill the rack up some more, but it's done!

Thursday, September 19, 2013

No Sew Valance: Finally done!

So I finally finished the curtains from hell. Actually, they weren't that bad, it took 2 hours, but I'm a very fast paced person, and 2 hours seems like eternity for me.
Anyways, I saw curtains on Esty, but for a double wide window, a valance would be about $60 for someone to make, not including the rod. So, I wanted to do it myself and gave myself a $20 budget.

I bought $10 worth of the perfect yellow and gray striped fabric from (they had 15 cent shipping one day), and some no sew "stitch witchery" or whatever it's called from Joannes, and I went to town. I cut and ironed, and measured and it turned out perfectly! I put it up on a rod I found on clearance for $14 at target, and it looked great.....

except when the sun shined through. My "hem" going along the bottom (which was just fabric folded inward and ironed shut) were not exact. Meaning the part I folded inside wasn't straight across. So it looked fine when I looked at it, but when the sun shined through I could see the uneven "tuck" of material, and it totally bothered me.

So... I spent another $5 on some blackout curtain liner, and pretty much did the project again to make a liner in the back to keep the light from shining through.

SO...lesson learned....if I would have just taken a little more time and cut straight, i wouldn't of had to have the liner, but oh well, it's done!! I was planning on doing another one for my daughters room, but being 9 months pregnant, and standing for 2 hours in front of a hot iron, is not my idea of a good time....
However, I am so proud of myself, and hopefully baby boy will think about how hard I worked on his curtains every time he looks at them......(yea right!)

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Home Renovations: Part 2

So 9/15 is a big deadline in tax world, so I've been a little behind in posting anything, but I think I'll be getting back on track!

We're in the home stretch for our bathroom renovations, and it looks like another week and everything should be complete!
Flash back to my first post about the bathroom finishing: Home Renovations: Bathroom Makeover

After a small tile mishap (the tile company had a portion of our tile on back order until November) I had to re order all NEW tile so that our bathroom could be done by the end of September. It all worked out for the best, because I think the bathroom tile looks awesome, and things are still on track!

See below for some updates.
One of my key necessities was the make the small space look big. We put some recessed drawers towards the back into the wall, which gives us more floor space, which is great!

We decided to go with a Roman Shower (I think that's what they call it) so no doors, but the water should stay inside the walls of the shower. This means no more Squeegeeing (I don't think that's a word) any glass doors, or worrying about glass streaks! (yes, less cleaning for me, makes me a happy camper).
Those 6x6 tiles on the top was the tile I wanted that was delayed from the other tile shop, so I had to go to another tile place to find NEW tile that had 12x12s and 6x6's in the same style. I lucked out, because this turned out pretty nice! Another feature I wanted was dark floor with dark brown grout. For some reason the water in our area turns shower floor grout reddish, and reddish rings in the sink and the toilet. It's a pain to clean, and so I wanted dark grout. I also splurged and upgraded the grout to a higher quality, so it's easier to clean, and harder to break down, or something. (I don't know if it's going to make a difference, but I guess we will see!)
I can't wait to get some final things done, and the fixtures installed, the final plumbing and drywall, and then I'll post the final pictures.

Stay Tuned!

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