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Saturday, October 30, 2010

FREE Couponing Workshop if you're in the Orlando Area

This is a workshop that is hosted by my former Weight Watchers Leader Deb. She's awesome. I went to her last couponing class 2 weeks ago and it is AWESOME for anyone who is just starting out and wants to join in the savings! It is hosted at a Weight Watchers center. Please note:
  • It's open to EVERYONE - you don't have to be a WW member
  • They will not try to "sell" and get you to join Weight Watchers
  • Deb will tell you that she is a leader, that X years ago she lost 145 pounds and she will pass around her "before" photo
  • The GREAT door prize is a basket of Weight Watchers products, snack bars, a side dish (sorta like Knorr sides) and some other goodies
  • Deb will share lots of tips and tricks and get you going on the basics of couponing - GREAT crash course for beginners

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Garland - Quick and Easy (oh and CHEAP)

I whipped up this fall garland in about 15 minutes. I had a ball of twine in the closet, doubled it and cut the length I wanted. Knotted the two ends together. Each leaf is actually 4 leaves. I bought a pack of 100 for $1 at Dollar Tree. I dabbed some hot glue on the twine and stuck on a leaf, and then another on the other side, then two more upside down. I just alternated colors more or less. Plus my bag of leaves had several varieties, colors and fabrics. Some were sheer and shimmery and some solid "silk" (nylon, whatever). It did take quite a bit of glue. I was using a mini stick gun and it must have taken 15 glue sticks.

Why did I make my own? I wasn't feeling the ones they sell at the craft they were more than I want to pay (even on sale) and there was too much plastic. Don't get me wrong, I have several and I do use them for decorating - it just wasn't what I was looking for to finish off my mantle. Tops I have $3 and 15 minutes invested in this one.

 Sorry for the lack of "tutorial-esque" photos. I was in a hurry to get it done and just didn't think about it - someday i'll be a REAL blogger and do all those things like i'm supposed to...

Sharing my Penny Pinching over at The Thrifty Home!

Show and Tell Green

Also joining in the showin' and tellin' at Blue Cricket Designs

Pimpin' over at Bloggeritaville's Thrifty Thursday

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Over the hills and thru the woods...

to Bryson City, NC we go...

We splurged on tickets for a "3 hour tour" - ok, really it was a 4 hour train ride with lunch and a shopping layover in Dillsboro. At any rate, more on the train later...this is a post of photos...I took several shots of the fall leaves. It was pretty cool to see how fast they changed. We came in thru the forest on Saturday afternoon and it was still pretty green. When we came back thru on Tuesday it was really starting to turn. Great color on the NC side - they peak sooner than the TN side...of course they also get a lot more snow and cold weather.

So here we go...

 Decorated for fall in Pigeon Forge (near Calhoun's @ Wears Valley)

 This is actually near our place. The poison oak was all scarlet red in the trees and frankly, it looked pretty cool.

 Yes...I was standing in the seat and out the sunroof...

 More poison oak...

 Newfound Gap
 The black thing on the right is actually a HUGE blue butterfly...
 Now into NC

 Mr. P...he was thrilled to pose (right...sure he was)

Clouding up...I guess it was our notice that it WAS going to rain on our parade...

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

MY first order of business...

First the sneak peek photo from the other day...a cinnamon broom dressed up with a sheer, sparkly fall bow, a couple of my previously blogged acorns and some copper colored wheat candle holders (and candles) from Cracker Barrel. Those were a "cabin warming" gift from my aunts and mom when they came to visit. If you like them, they changed them a bit this year, but they're still available. Instead of the leaves across them, they have copper sunflowers. They come in the set of 3 and the candles are separate, but also available. They were all 40% off when I was there a couple weeks ago ;-)

Remember the list? Not long before we left for this trip I decided I wanted a new mantle. I saw all these gorgeous mantles decorated for fall and all I had was a narrow, uneven stone mantle. Now I watch enough HGTV to have seen a hundred fireplace fixes and a new mantle is quick and easy (you do know HGTV is in Knoxville right? I SO want to work there!). Being that the cabin is sort of country, primitive, Americana - I didn't want fancy. I didn't even want it as finished as it ended up, but that's ok, I love it! So yes...a new mantle was at the top of my Honey Do list and I wanted it done ASAP so that I could decorate it for fall and actually ENJOY it while we were there. 

After breakfast at Cracker Barrel on Sunday morning, we went straight to Lowe's. It's right next door. 

1 10' - 1"x10" piece of pine
1 12' - 1"x4" piece of pine
a pocket hole jig
some screws
2 cans of flat black spray paint
1 can of clear spray paint
5 cup hooks
wood filler
wood plugs

Test fit

 Mr. P is gettin' it done!
 A few coats of black paint...
 Voila! Fabulous isn't it?
 The whole deal...since the new mantle cap is deeper than the old stone, I had Mr. P add 5 cup hooks on the backside of the front facing so I could hang my garlands...and the stockings of course. The black is such a HUGE help in breaking up all the "wood" tone.
 The picture frame I took out of my neighbor's trash - covered with pine cones, acorns and hickory nuts. Not bad for a bunch of free stuff plus some hot glue!
And yet another Dollar Tree hurricane vase - filled with (yep, you guessed it) free pine cones, hickory nuts and a couple of large fall leaves (also from the Dollar Tree).
The pumpkin candle holder was a $5 Big Lots find (it's actually copper colored), plus a Trick or Treat Yankee Votive that was in my stash at home.
Those are the acorns that I posted about HERE
Don't you LOVE that giant acorn?! $6 at TJ Maxx...

 New mantle...less than $50. Gotta love it!

Just for is a before shot...before as in when we first went to look at the place before we bought it.

Joining the Paint Party at Domestically Speaking!

And i'll Toot my Own Horn over at Silly Little Sparrow...


And of course i'll brag over at Tools are for Women too! - I have no shame...

Transformation Thursday!

Thrifty Thursday too!

Monday, October 25, 2010

First Order of Business...

Those of you that have been reading for awhile know that I'm a list maker. Going to the cabin is no exception...there is always a list. Usually more than one.

This trip we hauled a new (well, new to us) hot tub from Florida to TN. We picked it up for a couple hundred bucks on Craig's List best place ever to pick up expensive toys, for not expensive prices. First order of business was to get that hot tub off the trailer and drop the trailer down at the club house parking lot as our parking area hardly accommodates the the trailer is too hard for the two of us to push up hill to be able to hook it back up. 

Time to do some engineering. #1 our street is one way. Frankly, it's the WRONG way for backing the trailer up to the deck. So we drove up there and blocked the road (it's not like it's busy...) turned on the water, did the quick potty run and then Mr. P looped back around to the exit of our street and called me to make sure the road was clear for him to come up the wrong way. Once again, we block the road while the TWO of us walk like Egyptians errr WORK like Egyptians. Yes you read that right...the two of us unloaded a 5 person hot tub by ourselves.  How you might ask? First, the trailer is a car hauler, so the last 3' angles down (still need ramps to drive the car onto it). Mr. Paisley is a genius after all. He cut up some scrap PVC pipe 1/2" or 3/4", I don't recall. Since it was just the 2 of us...there are no photos of this entertaining event. Visualize...

We shove the hot tub far enough down the trailer that the edge is over the section that angles down at which point Mr. P lifts one side just enough for me to shove 2 sections of pipe under it. A few more shoves and it takes off like a Hoveround (not quite rocket status) and thunders down onto the front deck...sort of. At any rate, it's off the trailer. So Mr. P then continues down our street the wrong way to take the trailer down to the parking area...I could hear it bouncing as he took the sharp corner and the trailer wass really pretty much off the road and going over the rocks (err mountain) that is in the curve. Whatever...he made it ok and was back in 15 minutes or so. It's dusk at this point and the Tennessee mosquitoes are out and I can't take it anymore. The hot tub is nearly as wide as the deck...barely fitting between the window trim and the deck of course to get into the cabin and away from the mosquitoes, I have to climb in and over the hot tub.

Later - after donning jeans, sneakers and a long sleeve shirt - oh and half a can of OFF! I ventured back outdoors and we more or less repeated the previous steps only I was shoving more pipe under the tub and Mr. Paisley was pulling them out the back and tossing them back to me as we pretty much effortlessly rolled that sucker to the far end of the deck for the night. Actually, it ended up sitting there for 2 days because I had more important things on my list...

Plus we still had to rip out the old hot tub.

See that small lighter color rectangular piece of wood right under the date stamp? There's a hole  under it...where the old hot tub plumbing went down to the basement. Someone thought it was a good idea to move it...and then promptly stepped in the which time much swearing was heard echoing thru the mountains of East Tennessee. On the bright side said person landed on his good knee and thus didn't do any more damage to the bad one. Then he screwed the scrap board down...over the hole.
All the junk cleaned out! Still not ready for the new tub - we're trying to insect proof the screened part of the deck. I mean why bother screening the "windows" above the rail when there are gaps in the floor and walls that will let the bugs in? So we stapled in nylon screen above the privacy slats (those are already screened) and below the rail - in the hot tub area. Still have to do the rest. Next trip we're going to put Cedar boards over the lower walls because it just looks messy and unfinished to me.
The old hot tub...not at all light weight I might add.
Ta da! New hot tub. Ghetto fabulous purple marble (guess which one of us didn't pick this out...) Once again, I was bad about taking photos. In this one, the corner piece hasn't been put back on and it was taken before Mr. P built the surround for it...just to make it look a little more custom. It actually has a ledge around it on the back and both sides. The front has doors for access to fix it and to store the chemicals out of sight.  There are also steps.

And this was your sneak peek photo - that's Mr. Paisley enjoying the fruits of his labor. I tried to be sneaky - thus no flash and the bad picture. At least we know it'll be ready to go for the November trip when there's a good CHILL in the air!

My Facebook Status was something along the lines of...
"I have a new appreciation for the ancient Egyptians - all I did was move a hot tub. They built enormous pyramids out of giant blocks of stone, each of which i'm sure weighed much more than this hot tub"