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Sunday, January 30, 2011

I've gotten back on the coupon wagon...

After several months of slacking off, i've gotten my act together with my coupons and shopping. Saving money makes me happy! My plan is to post any of my shopping trips involving discounts - so that should get me back in the blogging saddle as well. 

Today's trip was to BJ's Wholesale Club. We go to BJ's almost every Sunday morning after breakfast. The main reason is cheaper gas since my sporty little horsepower machine sucks down the high priced juice. today it was $3.23. Usually it runs about $.10 a gallon less than the stations around the Paisley Cottage.

We also tend to pick up a gallon of milk, maybe a hot chicken, bananas, etc. Today I had some pretty good coupon match ups from the newspaper and the monthly BJ's coupon mailer.


  • Beef round steaks ($13.72 - 6 steaks)
  • 5 pack of Scotch lint rollers ($9.99 - 80 sheets each)
  • Laughing Cow cheese wedges ($6.69 - 3 containers)
  • 2 pack of Cetaphil Gentle Face Cleanser ($16.99 - 20 oz each)
  • Tyson Anytizer chicken fries ($10.99)
  • Pepperoni Totinos Pizza Rolls ($ 8.99 - 140 ct)
  • 24 pack of Berkley & Jensen flavored soda ($4.99)
  • Red Baron 12 single serve deep dish pizzas ($10.99)
Manufacturer Coupons:
  • $1 off any Scotch lint roller
  • $1 off Laughing Cow cheese
  • $1 off any Tyson Antizer
  • $1.50 off Red Baron Singles
BJ's Coupons:
  • $3 off 5 pack Scotch lint roller 
  • Bonus Coupon - purchase Totino's Pizza Rolls get 24 pack of B&J soda free (= $4.99)
  • $2.50 off any Laughing Cow or Baby-Bel product
  • $3.50 off Tyson Anytizer
  • $3 off Cetaphil
My savings was $22.49 - we used the self check-out and the first coupon Mr. Paisley scanned came up "coupon drawer full" and made the light flash and eventually some over zealous employee came over to clear it - and rather than empty the coupon drawer, she just manually entered all the coupons and I think she entered the one Mr. Paisley had already scanned a second time because I only bought 8 items and I can't account for the extra $1 off LOL and it doesn't say what the coupons are for on the receipt. 

My grand total was $62.94 (including 6.5% sales tax of $2.08)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

and I would be wrong...

Instead we purchased this sofa from Haverty's

 It is being delivered on Saturday. Evidently, it used to come in a dark brown as well, but they discontinued it (figures...) as that is what I would have chosen. However, it has a stellar 5 star rating with 70+ reviews and many folks who purchased the "brown" seen here said that it was much darker in their home than in the store. 

Don't let the picture fool you - it's a small sectional. A REAL blog post (or 3) to follow once it's here and we get the room painted, etc.

Woo hoo!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Busy 3 day weekend at the cottage...

I'm hoping to have a little time tomorrow to upload pictures - I certainly have plenty to blog about, just haven't had the time to write!

Mr. Paisley has gone off his rocker. All of the sudden he is nesting. He wants to put new floors in, buy new furniture, paint...and SHOP for all of this stuff. Who is this man and what did he do with my husband?

Needless to say, I am totally taking advantage of this freak state that he's in...this morning we went shopping for a new sofa and maybe a chair. 

I wasn't planning to get new furniture until the addition was done (which doesn't really seem like it's ever going to happen) - because I wanted a small sectional sofa and the current room doesn't really work for one. So I thought I'd just get something nice off Craig's List to hold us over. I found this set - which I love...and he hates. Smaller scale that what we have (perfect!), good color, great condition, it's from Ashley Furniture - $400 for all of it.

He hates paisley. 

No dice. Found one I liked at Big Lots. Simmons. Chocolate color. $299 for the sofa. Small scale - perfect.
It even has velcro on the front edge of the seat cushions to keep them from shifting. Sweet! Nope. He doesn't like the corduroy type fabric. Seriously?
What do I want?
  • Something in a dark enough color that it doesn't look dirty
  • I want it to sit higher than what we have now
  • I want 3 seat cushions
  • I don't want the back cushions sewn on
  • I want it less than 85" wide
  • I want it to NOT have a skirt around the bottom
  • I want it to be made well enough that it lasts more than 2 years
  • I want to like it
When has my husband ever had an opinion about what came into the house? He would have been fine with milk crates and a wire spool for a kitchen table and chairs. His style is vintage dorm room. WTH? WHEN did he decide he had an opinion on decorating?!

So this morning we went to the La-z-boy store. Jackpot - they're having a major sale (ok, it's January - most furniture stores have a big sale in January). Inventory blow-out. Excellent. The guy tells us "reclining is the left half of the store, regular on the right, sizes are listed on the tags" Excellent. What do I go right to? This...

Ok, this is a crummy rendering of it. Beautiful velvety soft chocolate corduroy LOL...for $800.  No sale...I mean with Mr. Paisley. What does he have against corduroy?!

But then...there it was.

Have you seen this ad in the magazines lately? I tore it out months ago for my inspiration file. They had the sofa, the chair and a half with the ottoman and a small recliner (instead of the slipper chair in the floral).  Fabulous sale. Nearly 50% off. Less than $600 for the sofa. What does it have in common with my list? Ummm...oh, it's skirt-less and it sits higher than our current sofa...and it has a lifetime warranty on the frame.  2 cushions, back cushions that are attached, it's red (well "flame"). It's 81" long. The floral comes with a black or chocolate background. I really like this sofa. I can't commit to the floral chair. I don't want a recliner. They have 1 in stock in the warehouse. Otherwise it's a 2-3 week waiting list. Not a big deal...I expect it will take Mr. Paisley at least 2 weeks to paint and put new floors in. This is based on the fact that I asked him to finish painting the one window frame in the living room (he painted the trim when we were last working on the LR, but never painted the INSIDE of the window frame) and finish the tiny little hallway (meaning paint 2 doors and one strip that he painted trim color that should have been wall color) yesterday. He managed to take down the window blinds and paint around the window. That's it. Just the window. 

I don't know what color to paint the walls and ceiling to go with a flame sofa. It's not RED, it's more mellow, not quite rust colored. I have no idea what colors they used on the walls in the above ad. They look good with it though. Right now the room is a creamy beige with pink *gag* undertones and a darker sandy beige for the trim, ceiling and one end wall. The ceiling and the end wall are tongue and groove knotty pine...which HAD to be painted. The room also gets a TON of natural light because there is a large window behind the sofa and the other end wall is almost totally glass...and the top half of the door to the back porch is glass - no fear of darker colors.

Any suggestions? We haven't purchased the sofa yet. Tomorrow we are going to go to Haverty's, Sloan Brothers, Baer's, Aaron's Fine Furniture, Ethan Allen and LightStyle (which is a lighting store, but they have some random furniture pieces as well).

This is the flooring we are looking at. It's a Click-Lock carbonized bamboo - click-lock because we can pull it up and mix it into something similar when we DO the addition and you won't be able to tell we didn't do the floors all at the same time. Money saver!

Of course i'll need a rug...
I like this one a lot...but the reviews online are not so hot. Evidently the bursts are made from some kind of ribbon (?) and they fray. Badly. They are on top of "main rug" background and not woven in so they are higher. Bummer...and totally not practical with Mr. Paisley living here. Hopefully I can find another that I like just as well.

So there you have shopping is what's going on at the Paisley Cottage these days. Stay tuned for a finished project. I hope.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Social Networking...a little something everyone should know.

My job blesses me with a wealth of folks who are in every profession known to man - just about. I have access to lawyers, bankers, writers, programmers, doctors, nurses, various members of the law enforcement community, teachers, professors, psychologists, name it, I probably have access to one thru my job.  This bit of info was passed along by one of my law enforcement officers and I included it in my last office newsletter - if it's good enough for work, it must be good enough to share on my blog. Parents - might want to go over these things with the kiddos!

SOCIAL NETWORKING SITES (SNS), like Facebook® and Twitter®, are software applications that connect people and information in spontaneous, interactive ways. While SNS can be useful and fun, they can provide adversaries, such as terrorists, spies, and criminals, with critical information needed to harm you or disrupt your mission. Practicing operations security (OPSEC) will help you to recognize your critical information and protect it from an adversary. Here are a few safety tips to get you started.

THINK BEFORE YOU POST! Remember, your information could become public at any time due to hacking, configuration errors, social engineering, or the business practice of selling or sharing user data.

Think. Protect. OPSEC.
Personal Information
Do you:
  • Keep sensitive, work-related information OFF your profile?
  • Keep your plans, schedules and location data to yourself?
  • Protect the names and information of coworkers, friends, and family members?
  • Tell friends to be careful when posting photos and information about you and your family?
Posted Data
Before posting did you:
  • Check all photos for indicators in the background or reflective surfaces? (bet you didn't think of that one 'eh?)
  • Check filenames and file tags for sensitive data (your name, organization or other details)
Are they:
  • Unique from your other online passwords?
  • Sufficiently hard to guess?
  • Adequately protected (not shared or given away)?
Settings and Privacy
Did you:
  • Carefully look for and set all your privacy and security options?
  • Determine both your profile AND search visibility?
  • Sort “friends” into groups and networks, and set access permissions accordingly?
  • Verify thorough other channels that a “friend” request was actually from your friend?
  • Add untrusted people to the group with the lowest permissions and access?
Remember to:
  • Keep your anti-virus software updated.
  • Beware of links, downloads, and attachments just as you would in e-mails.
  • Beware of “apps” or plugins, which are often written by unknown third parties who might use them to access your data and friends.
  • Look for HTTPS and the lock icon that indicate active transmission security before logging in or entering sensitive data (especially when using wi-fi hotspots).

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fabulous - it's a Goodwill score!

I haven't had much time to stalk my local Goodwill lately, but I made time last night (knowing that I had a million things to do before getting up ridiculously early on a Saturday to cart my happy butt to Silver Springs for a car show.

I saw a fake LV handbag - no thanks...

I saw this cool mid-century lamp
Which I totally don't need and don't have a place for, so I left it for someone else to get super excited about...

And then I saw this....and I whipped out my cell phone and quickly texted a picture to my mom. My text said "If this ur china...its poinsettias & ribbons..."

Umm yeah - obviously, I wasn't watching what was coming up on the screen as I was Swyping (if you don't know about Swype - look here - I use it on my Samsung Captivate Smartphone running Android)

After 30 seconds or so I called her. She doesn't text back fast enough and as I said, I had things to do's the conversation in Goodwill.
Her: Yes that's it. 
Me: Ummm ok, well, do you want it? 
Her: Well I have service for 8...
Me: Ok...
Her: How much is it?
Me: Ummm $.99 each piece. 3 coffee cups, 3 dinner plates, 4 saucers, 4 salad plates.
Her: That's a really good price.
Me: Ummm ok...
Her: Yeah, go ahead and get it.
Me: Ok bye

So I carefully stack the plates one by one checking for chips, and missing gold. They were a little gross...some of them looked like they were used for Christmas dinner last week and donated without being washed. Lovely. Then hooked a dainty coffee cup handle over 3 fingers and made my way from the far back corner of the store to the register up front. Half a set of china doesn't take long to get heavy. I often wonder why I don't just grab a cart when I walk in the door...just in case. Alas, I made it up front without incident. The one woman working was a manager and she checked all the price tags and wrapped each piece in newspaper and what seemed like an eternity later said "i'll give you the whole set for $2.99" Say what? So I say "really? You're my favorite person of the day!" and she lit up like a Christmas tree and said "thank you very much - are you 55 or older?" Say WHAT?! Ok, yeah, I need to get my hair colored, but geeze, it's just a FEW grays. So I say "ummm no." while thinking "you are SOOO NOT my favorite person of the I LOOK like I qualify for the Senior Discount? What the hell..." I pay my $3.19 and haul it out to the car and promptly end up waiting on the ding dong who decides to make a left across 4 lanes of traffic from the right hand turn lane. Moron. 

So I get home and think "i'll be nice and hand wash this lovely china rather than give it to my mom covered in schmootz" which I do and voila - cleaned up like a peach! Always nice to have some "extra" piece in case someone drops something and since they don't make this pattern anymore...

So if you read my blog and read one of the last posts about Christmas Traditions - then you can picture my family gathered around the dining room table at my parents' home on Christmas morning having the traditional Honey Puff pancake on this very same china...
That would be the infamous Honey Puff fresh from the oven.
Everyone say "Hi mom!"

Friday, January 7, 2011

I caved...

I admit it. I caved. I gave in to the house number craze.

I kept seeing it every where. Porches. Front doors. Blogs. Pillows. Pots. Crocks. Rocks. Curbs. Signs. Old windows. It was all so overwhelming that I couldn't take it anymore and just had to do it myself.

So that was my "big" project on this last trip to Robin's Nest.

I say "big" because let me tell you what a joy it was to cut my own stencils...and just how long that took. Nevermind, i'd rather stick a perfectly polished silver plated butter knife in my eye than relive that process.

Feel free to tell me that I should have just bought a Cricut.

Alas...I chose my fonts and printed what I wanted on a couple of transparencies with my trusty old laser printer. Then I taped those to a piece of corrugated cardboard and painstakingly cut them by hand with a craft knife that could stand to be the recipient of a new blade. Did I mention it took like 3 days? Thank you fancy mixture of fonts...

I picked up this vintage milk can at a local Goodwill for $13.99. It's not perfect by any means. It has some dings and dents (don't we all) and it had been painted several times. When I rescued it, it was a lovely shade of baby blue, speckled with rust and chips of missing paint.
So I gave it a quick once over with a sanding sponge, then hosed it off and let it dry before giving it a less than stellar coat of primer (looks better already).
 Mr. Paisley wasn't thrilled that I primed it on the deck railing (note the overspray). That's called character honey and it's my cabin, i'll do with it as I please (he keeps saying "I bought you a cabin" whenever he doesn't get me a gift for something - like say our 10th wedding anniversary that was November 24...).

So once the primer was dry I whipped out my new love...flat black Valspar spray paint and went to town. Once that was dry (yep, forgot to take a photo) I taped my lovingly hand cut stencils to the can with painters tape. It didn't stick very well. I made it was what I had on hand there. 

Here are my stencils...after the fact. Yep - once again I forgot to take a picture while "in process". 

I had packed cream acrylic paint and a few sponge brushes of various sizes knowing I was going to do this project. I ended up using a LARGE sponge brush for the numbers and a regular 1" for the rest. I put as little paint on the brush as possible and basically stippled to try to keep it from bleeding under the stencil that was precariously taped to the can. That actually worked pretty well AND gave it a bonus worn look. Perfect.

So after much adieu and several coats of stippling, plus a quickie "clean up" of some edges with my handy black Sharpie (followed by a coat or 10 of crystal clear...which further enhanced the worn look as I watched the acrylic paint disappear as the drops of clear hit it)...I present my house number milk can for your viewing pleasure. much BETTER does that can look in flat black?!

 And here it sits...mostly because that's where Mr. Paisley set it when he hauled the wheat straw bales down to the basement.

I'm still kind of questioning my font choice for the house numbers. It's one font. One size. It looks like I couldn't line up my stencils...alas, it was a 1 piece stencil...tis how it comes out printed in this particular font.

Joining some parties up in here!

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating