Saturday, October 1, 2011

Look Who Put a Ring on It

In the oh so infamous words of Beyonce, "If you liked it then you should have put a ring on it." And guess what folks, he did!

Three weeks ago, on September 9th, we got hitched!

With the forecast predicting flash floods and torrential downpours the entire week leading up to the wedding, the executive decision was made the day before to move it all indoors. With rain clouds looming above threatening our day every step of the way, an insane amount of chaos, and tons of love we were united as one.

We had a small and intimate budget wedding with 40 of our closest friends and family. There was a lot of DIY involved with our wedding, which definitely helped keep the budget in check. I hope to one day share all my DIY projects with you on this blog. In the meantime, I'll just leave you wondering how we pulled it all off with just $6,000. Keep an eye out, I hope to post a budget breakdown one of these days.

Monday, August 8, 2011

You Are Cordially Invited!

(To maintain some semblance of privacy I've blurred out names and addresses)

In case you can't read the text....

He asked and she said yes...
Or was it the other way around?
However it happened we
Invite you to join us
as we get married
on Friday, September 9, 2011
at 2:00PM
Reception to follow

RSVP Reply Card:
We look forward to celebrating with you!
Please reply by August 19, 2011
We have reserved ____ seats in your honor.
Name _____________________________
____ will dine, dance, and celebrate!
____ will miss out on all the fun!
Total number attending _____

Reception Card:
Following the ceremony
please join us for dinner and dancing
as the celebration continues
at 4:00PM

I made the map myself by drawing it out on paper, scanning it, then touching it up heavily with paintshop. I also used some rubber stamps to jazz up the plain white envelopes.

Because I'm cool and printed on the back side of the cards:
I left the backside of the invitation blank and used the back side of the Reception Card and Map Poastcard to type up directions to both venues. The back of the RSVP Reply Card has instructions on how to submit your RSVP and what information you can find on our website.

I also ordered some return address labels to use on the outer envelope, but since I had so many leftover I also used them to address the RSVP Reply Card envelope. Because the back of the outer envelope looked so boring I also had some seals custom made that say "We're getting married! 09/09/11."

Because I went with a lightweight invitation suite I didn't have to shell out $.61 for the typical wedding invitation stamp. This baby only required a plain ol' first class stamp.... which I gussied up by using the "Garden of Love" first class stamp.
By this point you are probably wondering how much did these wonderfully beautiful invitations cost?? Not that much if you really want to know. If you're guessing $100, I'd say guess lower... like much lower.... like right under $60.

For a grand total of $59.76, I purchased the following:
50 - 6x9 invitations with white outer envelopes
50 - 5.5x4 RSVP Reply Cards with white envelopes
50 - 5.5x4 Reception Cards with white envelopes
100 - 4x6 postcard maps
140 - Return Address Labels
48 - Envelope Seals
calligraphy Pen
rubber stamps

With the exception of the postage, calligraphy pen, and rubber stamps everything was purchased from Vistaprint. This was the beginning of my love affair with Vistaprint. I plan to dedicate a whole post to the incredibly awesome deals I found at Vistaprint.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Thank You Swagbucks!

I just purchased my very first DSLR camera!! I'm so excited that I even sprung for 1 day shipping!

Please welcome to the world my new baby. My pride and joy. The fruit of my loins, er scratch that... let's just stick with pride and joy. The Canon EOS Rebel T3 is the most recent entry-level camera for beginners that Canon has come out with.
Canon EOS Rebel T3 12.2 MP CMOS Digital SLR with 18-55mm IS II Lens and EOS HD Movie Mode (Black)
You're probably wondering how my frugal nature justified such an expenditure. Well, let me tell you the ways!

I only paid $172 out of pocket for this baby!! How? Back in January I joined a reward program called Swagbucks. I've mentioned Swagbucks before, but didn't really dive deep into what it's about.

Essentially you earn Swagbucks by using their search engine, completing special offers, watching videos, completing surveys, and so much more. You can then redeem these Swagbucks for Amazon gift cards.

The simplest way to earn is to install their toolbar onto your browser and use it to search, every once in a while you'll be rewarded with a couple of Swagbucks, usually on average between 7 to 11 points. You can earn a lot of Swagbucks by completing free Special Offers, most of the time it's as simple as submitting your email other times you have to click thru a bunch of offers to get the points. It's seriously addicting!!

 I had $360 worth of Amazon gift cards to use towards my order. $125 of that came right from Swagbucks. The rest of the gift card balance was thanks to a $50 gift card I received as a graduation gift, $62 from a credit card reward program, $89 from Amazon's textbook buyback program, $20 LivingSocial Amazon gift card, and $27 from Coinstar redemptions.

Well, what are you waiting for? Go join Swagbucks now! Use my referral code and I'll earn extra points too!

Search & Win

Pictures on this blog are going to be so much better now!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

It's Aliiiiiiiiive!

A lot has happened since the last time I posted on this blog. I don't want to bore you so I'll give you a run down real fast.

Two bathrooms were remodeled. A used toilet sat in the kitchen for 2 months. Made our engagement official. Set the date. Lots of wedding planning. Traveled to Miami for a funeral. Sad face. Won free engagement photos. Finished nursing school. Graduated nursing school. Happy dance. Working on a resume. Blah face. Hosted our families for 2 weeks. Fiance broke my glasses with his foot. Angry face. Can't see well. Bought new glasses. Joined a gym. Went from a PC to a MAC. Confused face.

That about sums it up.

Here's a peak at our engagement pictures.

I was thinking of maybe incorporating the wedding planning into this blog. It's a little off topic, but a lot of it is DIY and will totally fit in to the do it cheap theme I've got going on. I haven't decided yet.

What do you think? Should I incorporate a few wedding posts into my blog?

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Half Bath Update

Work on the half bath is happily progressing, albeit rather slowly.

Saturday we laid the cement board and Sunday we began tiling. We tiled well into the late evening when we realized our neighbors might not enjoy the roar of the tile saw at 10pm. So she sits awaiting for the more technical cuts around the door to be cut.

I took this picture around midnight so the lighting sucked. I'm sure the fact that it's an iPhone picture also contributes to the suckiness in quality. I tend to drain and never charge the battery/spare batteries of both of my digital cameras. And that is so not a good representation of the tile color.

Next topic of business...

I don't know if you thrifty bloggers have already taken advantage of this deal... but Lowe's has a pretty sweet promotion going on right now, the Lowe's Tax Refund Card.

Essentially, you buy a Tax Refund Card with a starting amount between $500 - $4,000 and on March 18th Lowe's will credit 10% of the original card amount to your card. In my case I bought a $600 card, so on March 18th $60 will be credited to my card. It's not a trillion bucks, but it will at least buy me a couple gallons of paint. But if you happen to be the lucky owner of a 10% off coupon from Lowe's or Home Depot you can double your profit! (That was your cue to get a change of address packet from the post office)

If only I had known about this promotion 3 weeks ago, I could have banked some serious dough. By the time this promotion rolled around we had already dropped one thousand bones at Lowe's buying tiling supplies and 3 new toilets.

I have tons of projects in the works with none completed thanks to the insane amount of schoolwork and time I've had to dedicate to schooling this past week. C'est la vie!

Did you buy a Tax Refund Card? If so, what are you going to use it for?

Monday, February 7, 2011


We are in the midst of an all out project fest. Last night Eric said (and I quote) "That's it we are limiting ourselves to one project at a time, I don't even want to come home anymore!"

My sentiments exactly.

We (mainly, me) are working on 5 fairly HUGE projects at once. the half bath and master bathroom, the stairs, painting the basement, and painting a new credenza.

The pictures suck. I used my iPhone. Too lazy to grab digicam.
What you see when you open the front door

Removing linoleum
Ready for some tile
The kitchen mess
More kitchen mess
The dog perched upon kitchen mess
The stairs that I am slowly refinishing... very slowly.
Bathroom vanity being painted in the living room and the bathroom sink just hanging out
Cabinets drying after a coat of paint... right in front of the tv, for your viewing pleasure :)
Shoot me now.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Look What I found!

Craig and his List finally came through! After months and months of scouring posts and emailing strangers I finally got my grubby little hands on a mid-century modern credenza!

I was so excited to get her that I practically carried her out without paying the guy. He had to remind me fork over the money first. Doh.

This is what 75 clams got me.

 Isn't she beautiful??
I love how you open the drawers!

She also has these really cool bronze insets on each corner. I have no clue how to pop them off though. I so don't want to paint over them!

While giving her a good clean with some Clorox wipes, her coat of poly started to come off..... Ugh Oh.

These are some pictures her ex-owner sent me before our cash exchange rendezvous went down.

I already bought primer and paint. I want to tackle her today.right now.this instant. But I don't know how to get those damn insets off.

I still can't believe I actually found something awesome on Craigslist! The guy originally wanted a C-note ($100), but I bartered with him and we finally agreed on 75 clams.

Have you found anything great on Craigslist recently??

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And So It Begins...

Operation Our Bathrooms Need a Major Overhaul

In my bestest most creepiest Count voice: That's one, two, three, ahahahahaha toilets.

We're right smack dap in the very middle of destroying beautifying our bathrooms.

What's left to do in the half bathroom:
Swap out drain trap for sink
Install brand new toilet that flushes!
Tile floor
Install new baseboards

What's left to do in the guest bathroom:
Wait for tub valve part to arrive and finish installing
Install brand new toilet that flushes!
Tile floor
Install new baseboards
Paint stripes on wall

What's left to do in the master bathroom:
Everything! Ugh.

I'll post some before pictures of the master bathroom at some point.  

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Junk in the Trunk

That's what was in my trunk last night after a thrift shop run. Junk.

I found some more junk, but I had to practice self restraint. Really, what was I going to do with a landscape painting of trees for $3? Granted, it was an original canvas painting with no frame for CHEAP.... but come on... trees? My inner conscience keep screaming at me "that doesn't fit the decor in your house, Gaby!!" Alas, I surrendered and put it down.

This is all the crap that I found and did bring home.

1. Wine Chiller from Sharper Image.... this thing retails for $100, I got it for $5!!
2. Lamp Base ... $5 and totally perfect for the guest bedroom.
3. Bronze candelabra... $1 but needs a good cleaning.
4. Christmas tree cloche... $1.50
5. Roll of textured wallpaper... $3 ... omg omg omg omg, SCORE!

For the GRAND TOTAL of $16.53!

Featured Where??

So I was just checking my stat counter and saw hundreds of hits from Facebook and Twitter. My blog isn't even on Facebook or Twitter! I'm not even on Twitter! Facebook yes, but Twitter no. I started to search my referring links and found the answer! Amy from Mod Podge Rocks featured two of my Mod Podge projects (Cabinet Doors and Mosaic Wall Art) on Mod Podge Rock's Twitter and Facebook pages. Check them out here: Twitter  and  Facebook.

Thanks Amy!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Big Money, No Whammies!

I've been recruited into the shameless cult of Swagbucks followers. I'm obsessed!

For those who aren't in the know, but want to be in the know.. is the web's premier rewards site. Powered by Prodege LLC, allows web users to earn virtual currency by doing the things they do every day - search the web, shopping at their favorite retailers, and by engaging in other activities such as phone recycling, submitting polls, and completing special offers. is the only place on the web to get what you want without ever having to spend a dime. 

I joined exactly one week ago and I've already redeemed Swag Bucks for TWO, count them - TWO, $5 gift cards. I'm totally stoked!You can redeem your points for tons of merchandise and gift cards.... like Home Depot! We all like Home Depot around here :)

If you want to join just click on the image above. It will take you to their site using my referral link. Each new member gets 30 Swag Bucks for signing up and when you refer friends you'll win Swag Bucks along with them. For each person you refer, you can win up to 1,000 Swag Bucks!

For those you of avid Groupon followers, you can earn Swag Bucks for buying Groupons if you link to Groupon through the Swagbucks website.

If you are skeptical about joining because you think it might be a scam... I can assure you it is not. Swagbucks is completely 100% legit!

Keep 'Em Comin'

I've slowly been making a dent in my cabinet door surplus by repurposing them into wall art. Here is yet another installment.

I hung these bad boys in the master bedroom right by the master bathroom. The intention is that random clothes that get thrown on the floor will get hung up instead. A girl can only hope.

Here's an action shot of our robes and hats hanging out.

A couple close up's of the knobs I used.

And a side profile just for kicks.

3 cabinet doors ( from Ikea)
white semi-gloss paint
6 knobs (from Michael's)
wrapping paper
drill with bits

Ignore the huge "E" and "G" letters. That idea didn't work out.

I started off by giving each cabinet door about 6 coats of paint. The painters pryramids mentioned above are the absolute best thing ever invented. Hands down. I suggest every one should invest in some! But watching paint dry for hours not so much fun. After it dried I drilled pilot holes for my knobs and screwed in some D-ring hangers onto the back each door. Then I Mod Podged the wrapping paper onto the front. After they were dry I screwed in the knobs and hung them up.

The wrapping paper kept wrinkling all over the door, but then I found out the trick to getting it on without wrinkles. Too bad I figured it out on the third cabinet door. The trick is to apply the Mod Podge to the paper and then let it dry for like a minute until it's tacky to touch - NOT wet. Then you just lay it down and flatten it out. You should now have little to no wrinkles!

See, no wrinkles!

3 cabinet doors from Ikea = $5
Wrapping paper (Hobby Lobby) = $5
6 knobs (Michael's) = $5 (used coupon and got them for 80cents each)
6 d-ring hangers = $4
semi-gloss white paint = already had
Mod Podge = already had