Thursday, March 25, 2010

My Crafty Side

has been showing itself lately.

I keep my calendars and daily notes in a standard one-subject notebook that I bought at WalMart. But the covers are usually not my taste.

I found this gorgeous fabric on sale at JoAnn's and sewed a notebook cover. Now I can buy the cheapest ugliest notebook and it will be beautiful!

On the Dave Ramsey plan, we're supposed to shop with cash only, and keep said cash in envelopes. After 18 months on the plan, I still have not implemented the envelope system because I fear losing cash and coins from the envelopes. I needed a zipper! So I took an old shirt that my Nan (grandmother) had given me and made a really cute change purse. It's wide enough for the bills to lay flat (this was very important to my "Monica Geller" side). And my pennies are safe.

Beach Cheap tip-
(adapted from Dave Ramsey)
When you spend cash rather than swiping your debit card, you spend less. Yes, I know, I doubted, too. But when I finally implemented Dave Ramsey's envelope system, I spent less money. At the beginning of the month, take your monthly grocery budget in cash. Put it in your envelope/change purse. When you run out of money, stop spending. So simple. But it really works- because it hurts to spend cash. It is actually painful to part with cash money. Try it. It'll totally change your spending.

Monday, March 15, 2010

My Garden

My two raised beds. I lined the ground with wet newspaper, then filled with soil. I reused the wood from a broken fence panel. On the right are squash, zuchinni, onions and garlic. In the left box are peppers, tomatoes, brussels sprouts, onions and garlic. The cinderblocks are filled with basil, peppermint, dill, chives, and oregano.

My box-o-lettuce. I planted romaine, buttercrunch, bibb, red leaf, and lakeshead along with some swiss chard. YUMMY! Ben frequently requests "the best salad in the world."
I'm planning to move the box indoors when the weather heats up, hopefully keeping the lettuces from bolting.
Here's a better view of the oregano and brussels sprouts. They're doing fantastic. I'm really excited, ya'll; this is the first time I haven't killed everything I've planted! WooHoo!

Love at First Sight

I saw this darling parked in front of Goodwill on Saturday evening. We were on our way to my Mother-In-Law's birthday party, and I squealed when I saw her. My wonderful husband immediately turned into the Goodwill parking lot so that I could take a picture. This is my dream car. Except that I want the camper-van with the pop-top.
Isn't she beautiful?

The Reason

The reason for it all...
Lyliana's Room.

I put glow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling, wall, and ceiling fan.
Can you see my attempt at Orion on the right?

Lyli's Christmas gift from Daddy was $20 for me to spend on her. We took a trip to the Dollar Tree, and I let her pick whatever she wanted. She chose a bunch of "babies"-- a horse, a lizard, and a monkey. I purchased some butterfly stickers for the walls.
The Jesus plaque hung in my childhood room, and I've passed it on to my daughter.

This table was a scavenging find-- it was abandoned in a storage unit. I was thrilled to get it at the storage-unit-foreclosure-sale. It's fantastic. Solid wood. Decent shape, although the insert was a bit ratty. I painted the insert with chalkboard paint, and it covered the ratty edges really well. I painted each side with leftovers from the kitchen cabinets. Lyliana really enjoyed helping me paint it. She would walk around it chanting, "Purple! Blue! Pink! Green!"

Beach Cheap tip-
Storage units often go unpaid. The storage company runs public notices in the classifieds for units they are forced to foreclose on. Then the company sells the contents of the units. You can pick up some terrific finds this way. Check the classifieds in the Beaches Leader for ads.

And the tent. I used the curtains from our Live Oak house and a hula hoop. I was going for a private nook for reading and playing quietly on the princess rug. Lyli, however, has no time for quiet reading, so it is now a sleeping-place for all her "babies."
A few pictures...

We have an office space! With room for my favorite books, sewing machine, crochet and knitting projects, and pictures. YeeHaw!

Our own bedroom! With some of my very favorite books (way up high out of toddler reach) and some paper lanterns that I got on sale from Target. I love the "we're on vacation" feeling.

We even have room for my records and record player.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

My Kitchen

My kitchen is a very happy place. We painted every cabinet door a different tropical color. Now, when Ben asks, "Honey, where's the...?" I can respond, "It's in the green cabinet." It eliminates confusion and exasperation. ;D

I love my mermaid. Can you see her above the window? My Aunt Dianne painted her for me.

The removal of some cabinets really helped open up this room. And painting it all white and tropical brightened up the previously cave-like space.

And now I have room for my coffee cup collection (in the tiny green cabinet) as well as my new projects. I have a jar of cucumbers pickling in the corner of the countertop and some yogurt incubating in the oven. I have counterspace now, so I can roll out homemade crackers, pizza dough, bread dough, and pie crusts. I'm glad to have the space. It's nice to have extra room for personal indulgences such as the ancient percolator on the stovetop. Can you see it? I just perked some coffee for my afternoon cuppa-comfort.

Beach Cheap tip-
A fantastic cookbook- Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon includes information and recipes about lacto-fermentation, my favorite way to make pickles. I've made some terrific garlic-dill pickles (cucumbers) and fabulous ginger-carrots. YumYum.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Big House

We finally finished repairing my Mother-in-Law's house. The broken windows have been replaced. The rotted door has been replaced. The holes in the floor/ceiling/walls have been patched. The kitchen has been opened up (we removed some cabinets and moved the fridge to the opposite wall- technically the dining room wall). We changed the tiny master bathroom into a laundry room. (I'd rather share one bathroom than have to chase my three-year-old around a laundromat!) We painted. Now, every room except the kitchen is the same color (the kitchen is white). We resurfaced the bathtub and tile, but it wasn't sealed properly and came off the tub almost immediately.
And we have learned:

1). Your family will always be there for you.

2). Husbands and Wives MUST be on the same team!

3). How to repair the handyman's repair-work. (I learned to install the proper stove receptacle- he installed a dryer receptacle. And I also learned how to install a ceiling fan- he wired it wrong. Ben learned how to repair the bathtub faucet and light switch. There's more, but I think you get the idea: handyman=bad.)

4). It's just a house. {Material things will rust, rot, burn. Thieves will break in and destroy. Build up your treasure in Heaven-- not on Earth.}

Ironically, the best thing about living in this house, is the back yard! Lyliana loves her tire swing and way-too-many toys. I love having my glider to sit on and drink coffee while I watch my garden grow. And our four-legged baby, Coal, loves to be outside. (That's him lying by the fence behind the tire swing.)

Beach Cheap tip-

Scavenging! Our beaches neighborhoods are filled with people who buy new things and put their old things by the road. Just a few weeks ago, our next door neighbors bought a new plasma TV and put their old cathode-ray TV out by the street. They even taped the remote control to the top of the television.
And check for things you need. We found two doors on craigslist for a great price. Buying local helps your neighbors. I also made a new friend during this process.
I would like to recommend the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which is basically Goodwill for building supplies, but I must include this caveat: take someone who knows about building with you to the store. I purchased a ceiling fan that did not include a mounting bracket. I couldn't use it and they don't accept returns. Let the buyer beware.