Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Laundry Room Makeover

Around here, summer means tackling all those home improvement projects I've spent the winter months plotting. Of course, we only get to a fraction of what I have envisioned, but it's a start.

One of the things we've been gradually working on is re-doing our laundry room. It started out as a "I just want to repaint it honey," and like many of my projects, quickly grew into a whole host of things I wanted to change. Now if I had unlimited money to spend and an ever-ready pool of expert laborers at my beck and call, all those daydreams would be entirely attainable. Trying to accomplish that on a budget, with only one skilled laborer (my sweet husband) and one makes-more-work-for-everyone laborer (that would be me) and it's something of a challenge. But we're both learning as we go, and there's a great deal more satisfaction in a completed project when it's the product of our own sweat equity and bargain-minded innovations.

As you all know, hideous before pictures are an absolute necessity in order to properly appreciate the unveiling of the after pictures. Because the "after" is still a work-in-progress, I'll be posting those as we finish up the room in the next couple weeks. For now, here are a few before shots of what I not-so-fondly recall as the "baby-poop yellow" laundry room I inherited with the house:
Besides the color which made me infinitely crabby just looking at it (did I mention my mother fully embraced the 70s palette of olive green, dull orange, and baby-poop yellow thus triggering a full-out cringe factor whenever I see said colors?), there were several problems with the room.

1. Storage space - although there were a few haphazard shelves, they didn't provide much in the way of storage. And what they did provide was on full display- not the most attractive option in my book.

2. Aesthetics - There was nothing to tie the room together. Instead of looking like a pleasant, finished space, the laundry room looked like precisely what it was: a thrown together closet devoted to piles of dirty clothes. Ick.

3. Lighting - There was one tiny recessed light that, combined with the color, made the room dreary and dark.

4. Wasted Space - Because the door opened into the room, a lot of otherwise useful space was wasted. When you're dealing with a small room, every inch of usable space makes a difference. As you can see in the above picture, half of the wall was taken up by the open door. The other half was used for hanging hats, yes hats. Great use of space there, huh?

Stay tuned to see some of our solutions and the finished laundry room makeover!

Menu - July 20th

I'm back to my slacker ways, posting my Monday menu on Tuesday. This week, we have a lot of projects we want to get finished up so we're doing easy-peasy meals as much as possible. Here's the plan:

Crockpot Chicken Tacos
Mexican Rice

Sloppy Joes
Corn on the Cob

Garlic Bread

It's my birthday, which means someone else is doing the cooking and the cleanup!


Breakfast for Dinner
Scrambled Eggs

Caesar Salad with
Grilled Chicken


Cube Steaks with Gravy
Mashed Potatoes
Country Green Beans

For even more menu ideas, check out I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Save $5 off $25 at Walgreens

Today and tomorrow only, you can save $5 off a $25 purchase at Walgreens by printing this online coupon here.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Menu - July 13th

Monday -

Last Baseball Game Pizza Party!

Tuesday -
Grilled Mozza-Chicken Sandwiches
Tex-Mex Corn on the Cob

Wednesday -

Spaghetti & Meatballs
Garden Salad
Garlic Bread

Thursday -
Hamburgers w/ Grilled Onions & Pepperjack Cheese
Home Fries

Friday -
Meatball Subs
Pasta Salad

Saturday -
Ham & Pineapple Kabobs
Red Onion & Bacon Kabobs (As a certifiable onion enthusiast, I've been drooling over these ever since I saw them posted on $5 Dinners.)

Sunday -
Grilled Pork Chops
Baked Beans

For even more menu ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Fun - A Few Ideas

Apparently, I'm not the only one who thinks Friday = family fun. There is now an initiative, complete with dedicated website, to turn Friday nights into family night. Check out the website here for more information and for some ideas about what to do with all those Friday fun nights. For even more ideas, check out this article on msn today.

One of my favorites from the list is the old standby treasure hunt. With my oldest, we would dress like pirates (bandana and mock earring anyone?) and comb the backyard with my homemade treasure map in hand (tea bags work great to age plain typing paper, and don't forget to burn a hole or two - the best part of making your own map).

If you're looking for something a little more spur-of-the-moment, try digging out those leftover plastic Easter eggs. We've been known to have many an Easter egg hunt in July. Just fill them with pennies, bubblegum, small toys, or even pretty rocks. Any small "treasure" will do. For an even better twist, convince your husband to fork over crisp $10 bills, stuff the eggs, and have the kids hide them for you. Then take your loot and go get that well deserved pedicure!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Frugal Find - $0.99/lb Chicken Breasts

I was thrilled on Sunday when I spotted boneless, skinless chicken breasts on sale for $0.99/lb at Hy-Vee. It wasn't an advertised special so I double-checked, triple-checked, and then loaded up 10 packages. In fact, I was so excited that I went back today and got 6 more!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Menu - July 6th

Spaghetti & Meatballs
Garden Salad

Sloppy Joes
Potato Salad

Teriyaki Pork Kebabs
Grilled Pineapple
Corn on the Cob

Corn Dog Muffins (thanks to the new frugal mom for the idea)
Baked Beans

Chicken Tacos
Mexican Rice

Homemade Pizza

Pot Roast w/Veggies
Homemade Bread

For even more menu ideas, visit I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

FREE Chick-fil-A Meal

Chick-fil-A is offering a free meal (okay, maybe it'll cost you a wee bit of your pride). All you have to do is show up at a restaurant dressed like a cow on July 10th. How fun is that??? Don't believe me? Check it out, and please snap a picture for me.