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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Freebie for today!

enter code CLOUDMP3 to get your free $2 for downloads.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

It's a sad day for Paisley Pumpkin

This afternoon the TN neighbor called to chat and was taking inventory of my outdoor items at the cabin. Someone stole my bench. The one that is the centerpiece of the Paisley Pumpkin blog banner. 

Now money-wise it's not a big loss. I paid $20 or $25 for it at a thrift store and then $8 or so on black spray paint. That's not the point. It was cute. It was prefect for the spot. It was MINE. I bought it. I got my happy ass out of bed at 7am to go to work, to collect a paycheck, so that I could buy stuff I wanted. Like this little bench. If there is one thing I detest it's thievery. If it's not yours, leave it alone. 

The neighbor had called the sheriff's office and they sent someone out. Turns out stuff was missing from several other cabins as well. It was weird - it was like they took bits and pieces from each place in order to decorate their own. They didn't clear out stuff from anyone. Believe me when I say my neighbor has a gorgeous deck. She's got an ornately carved wood porch swing, a pair of black rocking chairs, a vintage Coke cooler - the kind with legs and a bottle opener on the front, whiskey barrels, split log benches, Cedar Adirondack chairs, all kinds of nice stuff (unlike me, mine is all inexpensive and frankly there isn't that much of it...I was still working on that - not sure if i'm going to continue since i'm going to have to either bolt it down or haul it all down to the basement every time we leave).

They took a large salt glaze crock and a whiskey barrel planter from my neighbor's deck...but they neatly lined up the grapevine balls (that had been in the crock) along the bench it had been sitting on. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?!  They took one of the two wood rocking chairs from the cabin on the other side of the neighbor's place. They weren't nice like the one's on my neighbor's deck - they were unpainted, weathered and old...yet they took one of those instead of the nice ones.

The sheriff said they would have patrol run thru once per hour for the next week, but that they really weren't obligated to do so (really? Small town, not a lot going on, what exactly DO you have to do besides drive around and PATROL for that sort of thing happening?). He also told her that they've only had ONE break-in there, about a year ago a cabin was burglarized and all they took was the flat panel TV. Turned out to be someone from the cleaning it wasn't even a random happening, it was someone who had access to the place

This just really bums me out. Some of us were trying to bring the resort back to life with redoing the cabins and taking pride in the ones that weren't rental properties and frankly, my guess would be someone else in the complex that's redoing a place. It wouldn't surprise me if more stuff is missing when I get back up there later this month.

That said, I bought a video security system the other day so that will be getting set up ASAP. I'm sad that it's necessary...because I was buying it just to see what was going on around the cabin, NOT to catch thieves. *sigh*  

 The bench as it was at the thrift store (they need to reset the date on their camera...)
 The bench the week we "moved in"
 Still brown...but decorated for Christmas...
 Now here's my neighbor's deck - I told you it was nice! See the crock on the old bench...
 She changes everything for all the holidays.
 Her front door...
 The $400 carved bear that they didn't take and the $15 whiskey barrel of flowers that they did...
 More of her stuff...
 From the entry way onto her deck.
 My dumb little bench in the midst of being painted black...
 Last fall after it was painted....
 Getting decked out for Christmas...

 I wonder if they would have taken the pillow if it was still there...I mean, they left the rug, the lighted pine tree, the little blue bench and the canvas banner (not a Christmas one LOL)

*UGH* I'm so friggin' MAD! Goodbye little will be missed. I hope your dishonest, low life, new owners enjoy you as much as I did.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Coupon Crazy Day!

Today I did my last minute CVS run for this week. I did pretty darn good I must say LOL.

Of course I scanned my card when I walked in and out came a $3/$10 First Aid purchase. Excellent, i'm planning to spend $20 on Excedrin - bring it!

The deal on Excedrin this week was spend $20, get $10 ECB. I had a $.75 coupon for 20ct or larger and a $1.50 coupon for 80ct or larger. I picked up a 250 count box of tablets for $15.49 and a 20ct box for $5.79. Bonus - the 20ct came with a free box of Excedrin PM attached. 

The math - $15.49 + $5.79 = $21.28,  $21.28 - $1.50 - $.75 = $18.78. Not bad - hey wait, I got that magic $3/$10 first aid coupon at the kiosk. Pain reliever = first aid. $18.78 - $3.00 = $15.78...and since my pre-coupon total met the $20 requirement, out popped $10 in ECB when I checked out. That makes my Excedrin purchase a whopping $5.78 - yep $.01 less than the shelf price of the 20ct bottle.


1 box of root touch up hair color on sale for $5.99. This was not a planned purchase and I know I had a coupon for it. At home. Yep, I didn't take my coupon binder. %$#(*&!

I had a $5/$20 coupon from the newspaper this week so I wanted to make sure I hit $20 - how about that for an excuse?

Let's continue...

CANDY! Big candy sales this week. Buy 2 get 1 for a $.01 on a bunch of stuff. Stuff I had coupons for. Mr. Paisley will get a little something sweet in his lunch bag this week.  Nestle and a couple others were buy one get one for a $.01 so I grabbed 6 full size Butterfinger bars - Mr. Paisley always gets a Butterfinger Blizzard when we go by Dairy Queen. I also had 3 coupons for $.50/2 Nestle singles. When the hell did candy get so expensive? $1.19 for a chocolate bar...

$1.19 X 2 + .01 = $2.39 for 3 bars. $2.39 - $.50 = $1.89 or $.63 per bar. Now we're talking!

I did this deal 3 times. 

More candy...
Hershey's bites / drops were BOGO $.01. Regular price $4.49. So $4.50 for two bags. I had 4 coupons for $2/2.
$4.50 - $2.00 = $2.50 or $1.25 each. Hardly more than a regular price candy bar. Meh.

I did this deal twice - snagging 2 bags of plain chocolate and 2 bags of cookies n cream. They were out of Reese's and Special Dark. Boo...

They also had a deal on Schick Hydro razors and blades. Buy the razor for $8.99 get $4 in ECB and there was a $4/1 coupon in the Sunday paper.  Same deal on the 4 pack of blades only the coupon in the paper was for $2/1. Good deal either way. I got one of each and had the $4 and $2 coupons.

Funny thing...ha ha. When I checked out, the only ECB on my receipt was the $10 for the Excedrin. There was a line and only one cashier so I just went with it figuring I would just call them and have the regenerate them. Upon closer inspection of my receipt...they were ringing up BOGO free. Weird...but i'll take it! Why? The blades were $8.79 and free. I would have gotten $8 in ECB. WOOT - and extra $.79 in savings for me. 

$8.99 + $8.79 = $17.78.  $17.78 - $4.00 - $2.00 = $11.78.  $11.78 - $8.79 (for the bogo) = $2.99 for a razor and 5 blades. I'll take it.

Now in addition to those coupons, I had my $3 ECB because my birthday was last week. Plus a handful of ECB from my last CVS trip totaling $11.

My pre-sale, pre-coupon total was $72.15, my coupon savings was $35.75 and my sale discounts totaled $22.11. Add the $1.43 in sales tax and voila! 80% off retail.

I love CVS!

Oh yeah...I also found a penny by my car in the parking lot ;-) 

Friday, June 17, 2011

Do you match your bag to your shoes?

That was the question of the day....

I have to say...sometimes. It's not something I think about. If it happens, it happens.

It just so happens that my bag and my shoes have been coordinated as of late. Mostly because my 2 favorite pairs of sandals have seen better days and i'm not wearing them to the office anymore. Now i'm wearing some super cute, super flat sandals that just so happen to work with the purse i've been carrying for ummm too long now. I have lots of shoes. I have lots of purses. It's not normal for me to wear the same shoes and carry the same bag for an entire week, but that's what's been happening lately. 

Here's the current favorite.

The sandals are not as bright gold as they look, much closer to the color of the purse. 
The bag is Steve Madden and I love it, except for the inside. The lining is a mess - it's not attached anywhere other than the zipper, so you have to use two hands to open the zippered pocket inside because when you pull on it, the whole inside of the bag moves. It's got 2 open pockets in it, but I don't like them either. They're not tall enough. My cell phone flips out of the one wide enough for it and always ends up in the bottom of my bag. Maybe if the lining were attached they would be more functional. I still love the way it looks on the outside. It has vertical ruffles on one side and the other side is just plain with a metal "Steve Madden" tag in the middle. I found it at Ross. I wasn't looking for a new purse, but when I cut thru that department it jumped off the rack and onto my arm....along with 2 others. The shoes also came from Ross. They're Dollhouse brand. I don't know who normally sells Dollhouse brand shoes, but I always find them in the discount department stores (Ross, TJ Maxx, Marshalls) and they tend to get their merchandise as buy outs from other places. At any rate, when I get them, they're super cheap and they're always comfortable. These sandals were a whopping $12.99.  I get compliments on them ALL the time. Last Friday the regional director commented on them when she and I nearly got stuck in the freight elevator together. I swear that elevator is possessed! Now this is a woman making uh way more money than I will ever make. A woman who wears beautiful, expensive clothing and carries $1000 bags. Frankly, she doesn't usually talk to anyone. So for her to comment on my cheap shoes - wow LOL. Of course I just thanked her and didn't say "oh I got them at Ross, they were cheap" that's not Southern.

So - do you match your shoes and your bag? Does Vera Bradley make anything other than flip flops because i'm not sure you can truly "match" shoes to her bags.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

I finally got a Cricut...6 months ago.

Yep - you read that right! I finally got a Cricut. SIX months ago. I'm just shy of mortified to also say - it's still in the box. 

It's a funny story you see...after Christmas last year, my in-laws met us at the Cabin for our Christmas with Mr. Paisley's side of the family...or his parents anyway. So there we were (we, being my mother-in-law and I) meandering thru the aisles at Kroger (not really, we just ran in to grab a few things while the guys were next door at Lowe's). So the middle aisle is like extra wide - generally they have the seasonal crap decor, candy, whatever there with the big bins in the middle. What in the world - I stopped in my tracks as we were headed toward the dairy case in the back. Is that? What! 

Seriously? #1 in the grocery store...#2 $69.99! Sold. Into my cart it went. Let me tell you - at Christmas time, Kroger has the most random things in that aisle! 

As if getting it for $70 wasn't sweet enough, my mother-in-law bought it for me as another Christmas gift. I wonder if she remembered when we went shopping a couple of years before and found one on sale for $99 that she bought for her daughter for Christmas...when she asked me about it then, I said something along the lines of "I want one, but really don't think i'd use it"...of course as of right now, that's true! It is indeed still in the box. I can think of a million and one things i'd like to do with it, but I need to get my office in order so that I have room to set it up and actually USE it. Right now i'm still on the purge the house kick. Soon that yard sale is going to happen and once it does, I will be commissioning Mr. P to whip up my desk / storage, paint my office, refinish my office chairs and get down to business. Of course you know that once that happens it will be here for you to read about...eventually.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

Score! Showing off my mad shopping skillz again

Today I took a friend of mine shopping. We did AWESOME!

A little back story - my friend is going thru a rather unpleasant divorce and there are young children involved and it's just bad. She hasn't worked full time since she had the first baby and has only had a couple of short term part time jobs in between - then the out of the blue divorce nastiness and the economy she hasn't been able to find a job, the not soon enough to be ex isn't giving her any money. She's just having a really hard time right now. So last week I get a call for an employment reference for her - she got the job! So excited for her! Of course will the toll the divorce and not seeing her kids has taken, she's super skinny now and none of her work clothes fit. Lucky for her, the new job is business casual and it's full time, but they only work 4 days a week (seriously? *I* want that job!) so as a celebration - I asked her to let me take her shopping for a couple of new outfits. 

So in preparation for today's trip, I went thru last week's newspapers and scored 2 $10/$25 no exclusions coupons for JC Penney. Now if you've ever shopped at JCP you know they practically give away stuff with their clearance prices. Plus they were having door buster deals from 9am-1:00pm today. Sweet - that was our first (and turns out ONLY) shopping stop! I also found a 20% off 1 item coupon for Stein Mart and a 20% off purchase coupon for Macy's - all good on sale items. Macy's was also valid on clearance.

She texted me that she was on the way over at 9:38am - she arrived around 10:05, we left the Paisley Cottage around 10:20. We were done shopping (including drive time from my house to the mall) at 11:33am and then I took her to lunch at Smokey Bones for some yummy BBQ (and free Kettle Chips from checking in on Four Square on my phone - I love free...).

Back to shopping. I swear we spent 15 minutes in the parking garage trying to adjust the seat belt in the stroller for her toddler. We finally walk into JCP and as luck would have it right into the women's section - woo hoo! So we head to the clearance racks first - they had some super cute stuff I have to say.

After 1 quick trip to the dressing room - she picked the following:

  • silver gray dockers pants ($6.70 after the clearance discounts and coupons)
  • green / gray plaid peasant Henley top (sort of a cross between a peasant blouse and a button front Henley) $9.52
  • gorgeous sheer magenta / purple top with cream color crochet trim (ANA brand) along the neckline and double layer flutter sleeves $7.15
    • total for that purchase $24.89
  • khaki Levi's pants $5.96
  • ANA brand beautiful emerald green silky tank top with a keyhole neckline and ruffle edge along the neck (will look amazing with those silver gray pants) $5.60
  • ANA brand tan chino skinny pants $4.97
    • total for that purchase $17.60
Are you serious? 

$42.49 for 3 outfits!  

JCP also prints your total savings on the recipes - #1 was $101.47 savings! #2 was $92.63 savings!

Grand total of savings $194.10

That's 83% off - I was totally planning on spending $100. She wouldn't pick out anything else. She hates "charity" - I don't see it as charity, she's a friend, I can afford to help her out, so of course I want to. The fact that I can put her in 3 outfits for less than it costs me to fill up my gas tank every week is just CRAZY! I know she will enjoy them and wear them proudly to work next week and of course I wish her the best with the new job - I know it will make a HUGE difference for her and for that, i'm thrilled and excited for her.

I'm also super stoked at the savings! Proof that just because you aren't rich, doesn't mean you have to shop at Walmart, you can buy brand name clothes for next to nothing, BRAND NEW for less, you just have to know where to look. 

Here are stock photos from the JCP website of some of the items (some aren't found online)

 these are the Dockers silver gray pants -
 The emerald green tank - love it... (with a little cardigan or blazer of course for work)
The crochet trim sheer top - this is the funky periwinkle / cobalt blue color, the don't have the purple on the website. The store had it in yellow, peach, a floral print, the blue and the purple. I must say, the blue was prettier in person LOL.
The Ana skinny pants - they have some super cute top stitch details too.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Bamboo floors...

Mr. Paisley has been busy at the Cottage. In 1997 A gazillion years ago I had some lovely berber carpet put in the family room, master and guest bedrooms here at the cottage. It was old. It was tired. Mr. Paisley burned a hole in it with a light bulb. Luckily, on a day that I was not going in to work until the afternoon...the smell woke me up. He had taken the light fixture off one of the iguana cages and set it on the floor, then didn't put it's on a timer. A 100 watt bulb will melt nylon fiber carpet down to the cement sub floor in nothing flat. Just sayin'...

At any rate, I love my wood floors at the cabin - even though they are in dire need of refinishing. I wanted wood. He wanted bamboo. I wanted darker, but not too dark. He bought natural. Whatever.

Ambient Bamboo had a stellar deal on Strand Woven Natural Click Lock flooring.  He ordered it. I lived with 19 boxes of flooring stacked in my living room for weeks. It came the day before we went on vacation for a week.  Because we have a concrete sub floor and it was going in a room where we will be moving a wall and adding another room off it, we had to use a floating floor. This way we can pull it up without damaging it and mix in the new flooring that may or may not be an exact match when that time comes.

Ambient will send free samples. We got the natural and the carbonized. I wanted the carbonized. DH bought natural. I covered it with giant rugs...but that's another post.

We cut the carpet and padding into 2' wide strips, rolled it up, tied it and put it out for the garbage collection. The amount of dirt UNDER the carpet...OMG. The carpet removal went quickly. Then Mr. P decided he wasn't really in the mood to work on the floors. It didn't help that I pointed out the large bright green stickers on the boxes of flooring that said "if you live in FL you need to open the side and both ends of the box to let the flooring acclimate for 72 hours before installation". It had been sitting in the living room for 3 weeks. Sealed up.  He said a lot of nasty things.

That's moldy looking (but not) concrete that once upon a time had sticky back vinyl tiles on it...under the nasty green carpet that was there when I bought the house.
The foil looking rolls of underlayment went down and several trips to the big box hardware store were made for seam tape. Special red seam tape. The flooring itself went down quick - not a ton of cutting. 

Just the pieces for the end of the room, the ones that fit around door jambs and the ones along one wall. 

The biggest pain was that we live in a very small house with no room to just empty out 2 rooms to do it all at once. In fact we worked around the sectional sofa. We took it apart and put it on one side of the room, did the floor, moved it on top of the new floor, did the rest of the room....

the bedroom was even more interesting. There was at least a 2 week break between finishing the family room and moving on to the bedroom. I had dirty concrete flooring in my bedroom that long. Yuck. 

The flooring went down just as quickly in there, a little more cutting though - turns out that room is FAR from such thing as quality construction these days. Then I lived without the transition pieces in the doorways for weeks. I'm not really sure what the hold up on that was - other than Mr. Paisley just didn't do it. Typical of course...he does most of his projects to about 95%. He eventually finished them, only because we were having a party and I said no way. The closet isn't done in the bedroom. Care to place any bets on how long that will sit unfinished?

The trail of progress. You don't want to know how long theses scraps sat on the front porch.

 This is the bedroom floor - 

You can see how small the bedroom can see both corners on the ends of the window wall!
 Indeed that is a darker shade of paint - it's not just a photo without the flash ;-)

And covered with a rug - because I wanted the darker floors (and well, because I don't want the light colored ones scratched up by the bed frame).

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Finished Living Room

Since I posted photos of the finished sofa, figured  I should also show the finished (for now) shots of the whole room. 

Across from the sofa - since I changed the bedding in the master bedroom, the toss pillows have a new home in the living room. Pardon the SUV parked on my lawn - we were having a party and (go figure) the cop (Mr. Paisley's brother) decided to park in the yard.
With the flash - so now you can see my grocery bags and coupon stuff sitting on the floor beside the trunk. Such is life...
The gorgeous sofa again - all of the art / wall hangings came from Ross - believe it or not. $29.99 for the 3 panels, $12.99 for the carved wood medallion and $6.99 for the metal fleur de lis. The mirror over the small Expedit inside the front door also came from Ross....back in 1997 when I bought the house. It was hanging in the master bathroom over the vanity until we redid the bathroom 5 years ago. The rug was a find at Marshall's. Fell in love with it the moment I saw it. $199 - it's wool and jute with a sculpted pattern. It was in the family room until I found a  rug similar to it (only much larger) at another Marshall's. You'll see that one later.
One of my beloved Expedit bookcases. 3 of the 4 baskets are full of my shoes...which I grab on my way out the door. The mess in the corner is 2 more blinds that need to be hung up in my office and a long wooden sign that is going to the cabin. They're out of the way...I wasn't going to move them to pretend there isn't random stuff stashed around the Paisley Cottage. The chair (as you can see) is my catchall when I walk in the door from work. My purse and my lunch bag get dropped there. Welcome to real life at the Cottage. The cellular shade on the door will be replaced shortly. It blended in with the previous door it just irritates me when I look at it. It's being replaced with a linen roman shade that will blend with the drop cloths hung on curtain rods drapes.
The corner bookcase is still there. Mr. P and I are working on a plan - we just haven't decided yet - so for now, it stays in all of it's mismatched glory. I drive a Mustang. Miss Georgia's car seat means the passenger seat has to be all the way forward and STRAIGHT up for the seat to fit in and hook up to LATCH and all that jazz. Thus it lives there in the living room when not in use so "big people" can sit in the front. At least it's color coordinated ;-)

Last but not least, my 4x4 Expedit (originally from IKEA, but you know me, I don't pay retail - I got it already assembled on Craig's List for $90) that replaced the bamboo dresser that was holding my stockpile. You can see some of the black and cream canvas bins - which are now holding the stock pile AND give me some display space as well. In the back of each of the top cubes I have a 12x12 scrapbook page frame with a piece of scrapbook paper that I liked (well 4 different ones) just to change it up a little. The arrangement on top is...well, stuff I just put there for the time being. A "rope ball" door stop, an orange glass lamp with linen shade, a carved wood bird, an easel with a creamy shabby chic mirror (both Goodwill finds), a Waterford crystal bowl and a hanging birdcage (with Spanish moss and a wooden Robin's egg in it) another Goodwill purchase. The moss came from the yard (hello, I do live in FL...that stuff is everywhere) and the egg was a trinket my parents brought me from their travels years ago. The little white bird is an altered Dollar Tree purchase. 

The lamp stays, any suggestion on what I should put there? Thought about hanging a framed something-or-other on the wall and then figuring out what to put up there that went with the artwork. I guess I could hang the mirror instead of having it on the easel...then it would reflect the window and natural light rather than...the ceiling. There's a thought. What would you put there?