Valspar Free Paint Sample

Hi friends!  Is it old news that Valspar Paint is giving away free paint samples for 100 days?  If you haven't heard, they are still doing it at 9:00 cst every day until that days limit is reached.  I finally got there before the limit last week and ordered my sample... Whoopee!  I'm so easily excited these days...does that mean I'm getting old?!

I decided to choose a green color for my office/mom cave.  Green can be very tricky... I mean really tricky.  I am looking for a green that is in the family of green apple green but not quite that dark.... make sense??  Definitely the kind of color that you should put a sample up on the wall before choosing (real paint sample, not the little color swatch card taped to the wall).

Anywho, I chose my green, "Afternoon Delight" (nice name, HA!), from the Lowe's website and waited excitedly for my package to arrive.  It came in a neat little box and I was so excited!  Like a little Christmas present in February... how fun!! 



I opened the box and found the paint swatch of "Afternoon Delight"... umm... it's a little... uhh... bright.

Dunn,dunnn,dunnnn..... FAIL :(  It's even worse looking in real life.



Aww mannn, I had such high hopes that I had picked the perfect color.  Not even close... it's borderline Kermit the Frog green with a hint of 80's neon green.  Not exactly the look I'm going for.  I'm sure my computer screen varied the color just enough to make it look perfect, but not exactly accurate.  It doesn't look too bad in my picture, but believe me, it's crazy bad.  But, never fear, I will be able to use this green on some craftiness sometime soon. 

Besides picking the wrong color (thank you very much to my computer screen color variations) this is a really sweet little deal.  You get your paint sample (fail), a cute little roller with a tray and 2 roller heads, a packet of complementary colors swatches and a coupon for $5 off your next Valspar gallon purchase.

What a nice little package!
 

The best part is it's completely FREE, you don't even have to pay shipping! 

So thank you Valspar, I'll be buying some green paint soon with my $5 off coupon, it just won't be "Afternoon Delight". 

Have any of you friends found the perfect apple green tone that's not too dark??  Would love to see it!   
PS:  This post was not endorsed by Valspar, just think this is a great promotion they are doing. :)

Linking:  Under the table & dreaming

Flaunt if Friday Features! and 1000+ Followers!

I hit 1000 followers yesterday and I'm SO excited!! 

Thank you all so very very much! 

I appreciate you reading my blog and sharing in my joy of decorating and finding sweet deals!  It's so nice to share with people who appreciate it. 

I also really appreciate your comments, they truly make my day.  I read every one and respond as much as I can.  I love them... they remind me of passing little notes in junior high, purely fun. :) 

My goal was to hit 500 by my one year blogoversary and I've hit 1000 in 13 months.  Thank you all from the bottom of my heart!! <3 

Now, on to the Flaunt it Friday Features... my new weekly post featuring your great stuff. 

You girls (and guys?) never cease to amaze me!  Awesome link ups this week... it's so hard to choose!

Please feel free to grab a button if you were featured...


Chic on a Shoestring Decorating



A beautiful dining room table and chairs refinish by Natty by Design


Awesome Master Bedroom Before/After at A Day in the Life of the Perkin's Family... love the colors and damask!



Pleased as Punch did this awesome pantry expansion and renovation... lovin' the chevron stripes!



A pretty $10 diy headboard by Sugar & Spackle made from cardboard...yes, I said cardboard!  Wow!!




Cute homemade horizontal striped curtains by A Thoughtful Place.  Love those sripes!
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A lovely table makeover by Lauren Lane Decor.


Glittery Plastic fruit turned white and pretty by One Shabby Chick.





A great tutorial on how create a 3-d gallery wall by In My Own Style.



What a huge and fabulous chalkboard paint wall at House of Chic and Penoche.



Make your own butcher block counter tops by Low Country Living.  I can't believe they made them... they look wonderful!




Look at this beautiful bookshelf made from 3 junk pieces by 4 the Love of Wood.  So creative!



This great tie-up curtain tutorial by Craft Couture... check out how her nails match the fabric, too fun! :)



A deelish new chocolate chip cookie recipe from Still Waters... I'm drooling a bit I think...


A great craig's list coffee table makeover by Erika with a K.



Thanks for all the lovely link ups! Enjoy the rest of the weekend and I'll see you back here soon!

Flaunt it Friday #47!

Hi friends!!  It's time to party!!
 
Chic on a Shoestring Decorating



Framed Canvas Photo on the Cheap

Hello there.  Do you remember about one million years ago when I shared with you here this steal of a picture frame that I got for 95% off??  I was SO excited to get it because I had such big plans for it... but these big plans were expensive... or so I thought.



I've been wanting to have a large canvas printed of our family photo for a long time.  But, it had to be big and big means expensive.  One of my biggest pet peeves is too small pictures on the wall, especially if they are photos.  Picky, Picky, Picky I am...

Even when some of the canvas places around the web were offering 65% off it was still going to be around $100 to get a 16x20 printed and shipped.  Maybe that is a good deal but not good enough for me. ;)

I went to ArtsCow.com and they had a coupon for a 16x20 photo canvas print (unstretched) for 17.99.

Coupon code HERE, scroll all the way down to the bottom of the page.  And no, Artscow is not paying me for this post, just sharing a good deal because I'm nice like that. wink wink ;) 

$17.99!?  Seriously??!!

Unstretched means the canvas comes unframed and rolled up like a poster.  No problemo...  especially if it saves me big bucks! 

Here's a pic of what unstretched looks like...




I had purchased the digital image from my photographer, Ryan Mousty (ryanmoustyphotography.com), inexpensively so I could blow it up like I wanted.  Ryan's prices are really great and she is very talented and very patient with squirming kids so check her out!

On top of the ridiculously cheap canvas I found a code on-line for free shipping.  WooHoo! 

Arts Cow is the cheapest online photo printing I have found.  The biggest complaint they get is the sometimes longer than average shipping time.  The shipping time is long because they are located in Hong Kong.  That's on the other side of the planet, a very good excuse for slow shipping.  To me, it's worth the wait to save the money.

So after about 2 weeks my lovely and totally cheap picture canvas arrived!

I originally thought I would staple it to the back of my thick wooden frame because that's how you attach it when you stretch canvas around a frame.  Then, I chickened out.  It seemed too easy to get it attached uneven and have the canvas get all rippled and weird looking.

Hmm, what to do...  the old trusty glue gun could not help me with this one. 

Then, in a moment of brilliance I decided to attach it to an already stretched 16x20 canvas because I realized it would fit right into the back of the frame perfectly.  All I would need was some spray adhesive.

I happened to already have a canvas so was able to slap the picture canvas onto the blank stretched canvas and stick it in the frame.  It fit like a glove.  Suh-weeeet!



I was so excited that it fit that I hung it on the wall... I haven't even done the spray adhesive yet.  I am trying to find a very safe one to use on canvas... I don't want the ink to run or to somehow ruin it with the spray adhesive.  Anyone have any experience with spray adhesive on the back of photo printed canvas?


It is now in the entry way of our home. 




So let's see how much I saved...

Original Prices:
16x20 regular canvas + shipping = $100
Picture frame from Hob Lob original price = $225
Total = $325

My prices:
16x20 canvas = $17.99
Picture Frame from Hob Lob 95% off = $13.00
Blank canvas to stretch photo canvas = Free (used an old one)
Total = $30.99

My savings = $294.01 ... approximately 91% off!!!

That's pretty darn good if I do say so myself!!  :) 

I'm so happy with it and even happier that I was able to do it on a shoestring!

Don't forget to link up late Thursday night for Flaunt it Friday!

I'm linking: Fingerprints on the Fridge; The Girl Creative; Spunky Junky; It's so very Cheri

A lazy cook's dream recipe...

What's for dinner?  Oh how I dread this simple question.  Growing up, never did I realize what a hassle it was to plan what's for dinner.   My mom is an excellent cook and we had good home-cooked meals every night (except Friday, pizza night :).  I remember asking my mom this dreaded question every day after school and actually complaining about certain meals (ewww, can we something else?? in my most annoying junior high voice).  The nerve of my junior high self!!

Early on into my marriage I called my mom and apologized for complaining about meals while growing up.  I seriously did.  She laughed knowing that I got it.  Until then I had NO idea what a huge pain in the rump it was to plan a meal every. single. night.

Thankfully my hubs really likes to cook.  After being at work all day he actually likes to come home and make dinner (God bless him!).  We split dinner duty about 50/50 and he does even more in the summer when he can use his other baby, the new fancy grill. 

Cooking and me, not so much.  (Note, this is my FIRST recipe post in over a year of blogging for that reason) I used to hate to cook, now I'm to the point where I like to make some things but it isn't my favorite thing to do and by dinner time I usually don't feel like making dinner.  When I hear that dreaded question "What's for dinner?" it still bothers me... it makes me sweat.

To avoid these panic-stricken episodes and to save money at the grocery store I have started to meal plan.  This has helped immensly but there are always those days when the planned meal just isn't doin' it for me. 

Those are the days when the dreaded question gives me hives. 

I have found a recipe that is SO easy and delicious that I thought it was too good to be true.

It is a lazy cook's dream recipe.  Here it is, and I'm serious.

Slow Cooker BBQ Chicken

4 frozen chicken breasts
1 bottle BBQ sauce
1/2 cup water

Place water in the slow cooker, add frozen chicken breasts, pour BBQ sauce over the top.  Cook on low 6 to 8 hours. 

*If you're feeling extra ambitious you can chop up an onion and throw it in too but it's not necessary, I've done it both ways and it's great either way. 
**we like Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce
***I've made this with only 2 chickens breasts (that's all I had), just don't use as much sauce and don't cook it as long.  :)



Seriously, that's it! 

And, it's oh so delicious!! 

Besides being extremely easy I always have the ingredients on hand.  This is my fall back recipe almost every time.  I just have to be careful not to make it too much so we don't get sick of it. 

What's your favorite stand by recipe?  My boys are getting burned out on BBQ chicken. :)

Linking: Today's Creative Blog

Flaunt it Friday Features!

Happy weekend everyone!  As always, you guys have impressed me with your awesome posts linked up to my Flaunt it Friday party.  I mean, it's really good stuff!  It's so good that I've decided to start featuring some of your posts every Saturday.  I wish I could feature everyone!  (If you haven't linked up yet, don't worry, the link is open through Wednesday.)

If you've been featured please feel free to grab my cute little button to post proudly on your blog. :)

Chic on a Shoestring Decorating





Involving Color's beautiful art display behind their couch.



The Polka Dot Umbrella's awesome dresser refinish.



Olde Tyme Marketplace's darling vintage seed sack pillows.
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A sweet metallic table from a $10 thrift store find at Junkin' Junky.



A beautiful desk makeover at The Frosted Gardener.

Pillow 13

A cute stenciled pillow from Lemon Tree Creations.


A great Restoration Hardware knock-off sign by Vintage Skye.



A cheap and beautiful den transformation at House Finally.



A lovely damask diy mousepad by MdSchoolMrs.



A cool DIY shim mirror by Chapman Place.



Don't these chocolate covered cheesecake bites from This Chick Cooks look heavenly?!

Hope you enjoyed my feature picks, I know I did!!

xoxo

Flaunt it Friday #46 and Introducing Willow House!

Happy Friday friends!  I'm SO excited to introduce another new sponser, Willow House with Nanci Burt! 

Willow House (formerly Southern Living at Home) is one of my favorite home party/independant sales companies of all time!  They have such beautiful and versatile pieces. 

I'm really diggin' the fun spring colors of these pillar candle holders....




I absolutely love the beaded plates and those large vases are swoon worthy....

Start your garden now and move it outside when it warms up... how cute are these?!


Please check out Nanci's Willow House on-line store now showing the Spring 2011 catalog and a huge Outlet (read discount) section.

Now... time to party! :)


Medicine Cabinet Organization

I posted about my medicine cabinet dollar store organization a year ago (when I had like 2 followers) and I'd like to tell you that it still looks great!  Wanted to share it with all of my new friends who may need some help with a messy medicine cabinet.

When we moved in last summer I was really excited to be getting a lot more cabinet space. Our new medicine cabinet is twice the size of our old one with much easier access. We used to have it in one of those odd cabinets in the corner that has a skinny door that is a quarter of the size of the cabinet, then you have to crane your neck to see what the heck is back in that corner. I thought surely we'd have much more room in this cabinet, it's about 3 times the size of the old one and it was wide open so it'd stay nice and tidy, yeah... right.

I am SO completely embarassed to be showing you all this picture of our medicine cabinet. I was so tempted to straighten it up a little bit as to not scare and disgust you but I wanted it to be real, no editing. This is what it looked like at it's worst... those with faint hearts and weak stomachs look away!



Holy cow, we look like druggies!

This is really what it looked like and I'm blaming it all on my dear hubby, (sorry babe!) :) I tried to organize it when we moved in but he never quite got the set up (which wasn't very good anyway) so if he needed something he would just start rifling through it and it would end up looking like this. Nice, huh. :)


I went to the Dollar Store and got me some fancy plastic baskets. I then made sure they fit in my weird size cabinet... to my shock, they did! I then prettied them up with dog tags and ribbon that I had already...





and Waa-Laaa!!





I made 3 baskets like this and one smaller one to fit in the weird leftover space in the front. The end result is lovely but the lighting of my picture is not, it was a cloudy day.





This was a cheap and easy fix!  It's actually stayed like this!! Sweeeeeet!! It works! Even the insides of the baskets are staying neat... amazing! I feared that hubs would revert to old bad habits but he puts everything back in the right basket, he loves organization. Guess I need to organize more often! :)

I'm linking:  Shabby Chic Cottage, Beyond the Picket Fence, Crafty Soirre, Fireflies&Jellybeans, House of Hepworths, Under the Table & Dreaming, Thrifty Decor Chick

Monster Jam Birthday Party

Nothing says romance like watching some monster trucks smash a bunch of old junky cars... right?! 

Ok, not really.  If you didn't catch it from the title, this is not a going to be a romantic Valentine's Day post.  Instead, I'm going to share with you how I created a fun and thrifty birthday party for my son.

Before you go and think that we are some kind of redneck monster truck fans I can explain... :)

My son got a package of little monster trucks for birthday last year.  He thought they were fun to play with so my husband recorded a "Monster Jam" competition for him on the DVR.   Me, being the paranoid mother that I am, decided I needed to screen the taping of the competition thinking that there would be lots of cursing, smoking, scantily clad women, and beer commercials. 

My hubs and I were happily surprised to find just the opposite.  In fact, Monster Jam is really kid friendly and family-oriented.  There was no nastiness or PG-13 stuff whatsoever.

So, we let our boys watch the competition on TV and they were hooked...  the rest is Monster Jam history.  We have all kinds of the toy trucks and little fake dirt tracks and plastic cars that smash and go back together.  The boys absolutely love it.

As luck would have it, a Monster Jam competition came to a nearby town just a few days before our big boy's birthday so the hubs took him as part of his birthday celebration.  They had a great time and hubs was very impressed by the kid friendly atmosphere and professionalism and friendliness of the drivers.

So what else could we do but have a Monster Jam themed birthday party?!  Perfect!

We decided to let the Big Boy invite some of his little friends over for the party rather than having it somewhere.  Not only did this save money but I really think he enjoyed it more because it was tailored to him, what he likes, and what he likes to do.

Big Boy's favorite truck is called "Grave Digger".  I know, great name for small children, right.  For some reason, despite the disturbingly morbid name, the Grave Digger is really popular, like one of the most popular trucks out there. 

Thankfully, when I asked the big boy if he knew what a "grave digger" was he looked at me like I was crazy and said "a monster truck".  Good answer... sweet innocence. :)

Since Grave Digger is "the coolest truck", we used it as our theme....


Pretty, isn't he?

The highlight of the party was the Grave Digger monster truck cake that my mother-in-law made.  She did such an awesome job!  She is a really talented cake decorator and even used to sell her cakes when her kids were little.  She claims to be a little rusty because she doesn't do it anymore but I think it looks perfect!




We had the party in our finished basement in the play room area.  I bought the "official" plates, treat bags, and plastic tablecloth.  Everything else I did in black and green (Big Boy tells me "purple is for girls") which saves a lot of money.  The themed party supplies are about double the cost of the plain colored stuff.



I used some streamers to liven up our basement.  I was planning on balloons too but found out my youngest is scared to death of them so we decided to just put them on the mailbox so the guests could find our house.



Those things on the wall are little flags that come with the hot wheels size monster trucks, each truck has their own flag.  Finally a good use for those things! :)

Next to the mini flags I made a collage of the pictures taken at the Monster Jam show Big Boy went to so he could show all of his friends.



I used this funny Grave Digger hat they got at the show for a centerpiece...




For a fun Monster Jam themed game I drew Grave Digger on some poster board so the boys could play "Pin the license plate on the Monster Truck".  I tried to find a Grave Digger monster truck poster and couldn't find one (reasonably priced, even on-line!). 


I made the license plates out of large notecards, each boy got one with his name on it to tape on the board while blindfolded.  They had a good time with it and the big boy liked my poster drawing so much he wants to keep it. :)

We also played "Hot Potato" with a grave digger truck and raced remote control monster trucks.


Excuse the yucky flash, basement pics, what can I say.

I also used the Grave Digger skull and cross bones flag from Monster Jam, trying to get our money's worth out of the overpriced souvenirs from the show.
I filled the party favor bags with stuff mostly from the Dollar Tree.  By splitting a few packages of 3 pack bubbles, 3 pack stickers and a few bags of candy (including Transformers candy which was a big hit) I was able to come up with pretty decent favors for cheap.  I also picked up a bag of m&m mini packs and a package of reusable silly swirly straws and that was it.  Everyone like it and I managed to make sure no one opened the bubbles inside my house.  The trick is to give them the bag as they are walking out the door...

As you can see I didn't go way extravagant.  This was a party for kindergartners, I'm not sure if anyone even noticed my streamers or lack of balloons.  I'm pretty sure everyone had a good time, especially my big boy.  I know to him it didn't seem like a budget conscious party, but a fun Monster Jam party that he'll always remember ( I hope!) :)   

Hope you had a Happy Valentine's Day!

xoxo, from a Grave Digger mama. :)

I'm linking:
handmade projects
Today's Creative Blog