Bargain clothes

Since I quit working full-time three years ago I have been wearing the casual clothes I had and have only bought a couple of shirts, sweaters, pants or shorts each season.

I realized a few weeks ago that I needed to go shopping since I have holes in a few of my favorite shirts :-(  and am starting to wear out a couple of pairs of really old pants.

Here is one set of bargains I picked up from JC Penney and Kohl’s.  The best part of this outfit is I don’t have to turn up the pants!

So, this outfit cost me less than $10.00 for the top and pants combined.

JC Penney, Kohl's, clothes, bargain

The top came from JC Penney and was less than $5.00 on clearance (regular over $20.00).

The pants came from Kohl’s.  Since they were $4.40 on clearance (regular $44.00 – 90% off!) I decided to try them on even though they were rolled up to a really funny length (about 1/3 of the way between my knees and ankles).  I figured I could try to unroll them or cut them off and turn them into capri pants for next year if I had to.

When I got into the dressing room I found out that they were not stitched up – just rolled up at the factory (they had crease marks).  When I rolled them down they were the perfect length.

I have worn the pants once and they already have a small black pen mark :-( .  Hopefully it comes out in the wash.

Besides this outfit I picked up a similar shirt in a different color for less than $5.00 and a light colored pair of cord pants for about $8.00, but I have to turn them up before I can wear them.

I also picked up new jeans from Costco for a very nice price.

I obviously need to work on taking selfies if I am going to show you my clothing bargains.

So, where have you found bargains lately?

Later – H

One of my favorite blogs #1

I saw that another blog posted about one of their favorite blogs recently and realized I would like to start doing it also.

So, I only started following blogs a few years ago.   One of the first blogs I found was  ‘While Wearing Heels’   http://whilewearingheels.blogspot.com/

I wasn’t even sure what post first caught my attention so I just went looking on her blog to figure it out.  I think I first found one of Amy’s posts on Pinterest.com and was hooked from then on.

Some of the first ones that I pinned:

a) Framed postcards – I have been sending the daughter / us postcards from vacations for years.  I usually put the postcard in the scrapbook (using removable photo ‘ears’ so we can take it out and read the back), but I loved the idea of actually framing the writing on the postcard and an associated photo.

http://whilewearingheels.blogspot.com/2013/04/frame-personalized-postcard-souvenirs.html

b) United Scraps of America – I love this idea, but I plan on making it special for us.  I want to make a wall hanging and fill in the states as they are visited.  There are many that would be filled in right away between traveling for work and for fun, but it would be fun to figure out which states are still on our ‘bucket list’ (and to figure out if we can find  a reason to visit those states).

http://whilewearingheels.blogspot.com/2012/09/united-scraps-of-america-grand-finale.html

c) Steampunk Art – I thought this idea was so cool and when the Father-In-Law was selling old pieces of tractors, etc I saw piece that would be perfect.  I still have the piece and need to get it finished so I can get it displayed.

http://whilewearingheels.blogspot.com/2012/03/switching-gears-steampunk-art.html

So, what are some of your favorite blogs?

Later – H

Grocery Outlet – bargains and Gluten free

Note:  I got nothing from Grocery Outlet (or any of the brands listed) for this review.  I am just really happy that the Grocery Outlet opened in our town.

Since my favorite grocery store closed last year I have been bouncing around the local stores and Costco for my shopping.  I was happy when a Grocery Outlet opened locally.  I knew from extended family (and other blogs) that they didn’t always have everything, but when they had something they usually had a good price on it.

Did you know that each Grocery Outlet is locally owned?  The statistic is that for every $100 spent in a local store $45 stays in the community.  I am definitely willing to try the local stores to keep the money and jobs here.

So, here are some of the items we have been buying there lately.

Morasch Meats  – Beef New York Striploin Steak (2 pack, 14 oz,  $5.99) – Wow, we put some Dry Rub on these yesterday and cooked them on the BBQ.  They were great!   The husband and I were able to share one of them so we have the second one for another meal.   (Note – I went back today and bought two more packages of them since it was so good.)

Organic chicken legs – I got a great price on these (I cooked them up the same day and took them on our camping trip a month ago).

Smart Balance spread for $1.99 – this is a great price and the expiration date is way out there

Individual Garlic Bulbs (3 for $1.00)

Flaked Coconut

Cans of soup – today I picked up a can of Muir Glen Organic Homestyle split pea (14.9 oz) for $1.49

Frozen Ore-Ida potatoes (I just picked up a bag of Zesties for $1.49 for the first time today so I will let you know what we think).

Hummus – Since I am the only one in the family that really likes hummus I bought a container for a great price (don’t remember the cost now since it was a month ago), and then froze it in smaller containers.

Gluten free mixes – Arrowhead Pizza crust mix , 1-2-3 gluten free Rolls Mix and Poundcake Mix (haven’t tried them yet, but I know their prices were definitely cheaper than other places)

They also have bags of Gluten-free All Purpose Flour and other gluten free mixes which I am thinking of trying in the future.

So, now I stop at the local Grocery Outlet before I head to any other grocery store.

Have you checked out your local Grocery Outlet store lately?  Here is the link to their website if you want to find your local store:  https://groceryoutlet.com/

Let me know if you try them out and what bargains you found.

Later – H

Movies: Noah versus God’s Not Dead

So, I don’t make a big point of this in the blog (since that is not what the blog’s focus is), but I am a Christian.  I believe in God and Jesus Christ.    This is my opinion of the following two movies.

So, a few weeks ago we rented (from Redbox) the ‘Noah’ movie.  I thought I knew what the movie was about before we rented it (and thought the husband would like it), but I was wrong.  As the husband said it was a general movie (with violent scenes) with a guy named Noah.  I was happy to hear that a non-Christian felt led to make the movie, but the only redeeming feature (to me) was hopefully someone will actually read the true Noah (and the Ark) accounts in the Bible.

Now, onto the movie I rented last night from Redbox.  The movie I rented was ‘God’s Not Dead’ by Pure Flix.   I knew it was on my ‘to rent’ list, but after ‘Noah’ I was a little nervous that we would not like it.  I loved this movie (there are some sad parts, but they were needed).  A college freshman has to defend (with scientific facts, etc) that God is not dead.

I think it is a good movie for everyone (not just Christians).  A key point:  If you don’t have faith in God then what do you have faith in?

Also, it doesn’t help that Newsboys is one of my favorite Christian music groups (and we actually got to see them once live in concert).  The ‘God’s Not Dead’ song was a favorite of mine before I even knew a movie was coming out with that title.

So, if I had to suggest one of these movies to someone it would be ‘God’s Not Dead’.  And, I think I will be looking for movies put out by Pure Flix in the future.

Later – H

 

I fixed the dishwasher! (updated)

Update: I found out this morning that EveryAppliancePart.wordpress.com blog mentioned my post and linked to it.  Here it is if you want to see.

http://everyappliancepart.wordpress.com/2014/08/28/dirty-water-in-your-dishwasher-after-the-cycle-clean-out-your-air-gap/

Also, I realized I didn’t mention the YouTube video I had found so I added the link.  Note: I didn’t watch past the point where it stated what a ‘drain air gap’ was and that I needed to clean it out.

So, this morning I was being super productive – listening to the television, making Gluten Free Waffles (which I just realized I haven’t posted the recipe for yet, but I will), cooking bacon in the oven and emptying the dishwasher all at the same time.  Sounds pretty good, right?  Well, it would have been IF I had checked the bottom of the dishwasher before I emptied it and put the dishes away.

Note to self: Check the bottom of the dishwasher before emptying it.

dishwasher, drain air gap, repair

 

See, the dishwasher was filled with dirty water (and the amount in this photo was after I had scooped most of it out) – yuck!  So, now I had problems: not working dishwasher, a sink of dirty dishes AND I didn’t know which dishes sitting in the cupboards had just come out of the dishwasher!

So, I pulled out the dishwasher booklet and saw a note about cleaning the ‘drain air gap’ – I didn’t even know what that was or where it was.  Do you know what it is??

drain air gap, dishwasher, repair

 

So, I did a Google search which brought up a YouTube video.  I was surprised to find out it was the ‘thing’ that is next to the kitchen faucet.  (So, that is what it is and what it’s job is – I learned something new today!)

YouTube video I had found:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rmG2JXQL858

 

 

Ours hadn’t been cleaned in a while (per the husband tonight).  The metal part easily pulled off, but the plastic part had hard water build up on it and was difficult to snap the top part off, but I got it.  (I used vinegar / baking soda to help clean some of the crud off.)

drain air gap, dishwasher, repair

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I was shocked how much junk was inside of it!  (This photo looks like a bug, but it really was small pieces all stuck together.)

drain air gap, dishwasher, repair

 

After I cleaned out the ‘drain air gap’ and scooped out all of the dirty water I ran a quick wash and prayed it would not have any dirty water in the bottom when the cycle was finished.  I was doing the happy dance when the bottom of the dishwasher was empty when I opened it!

 

So, I have done multiple loads of dishes today – I at least knew the blue dishes had not been used lately so they were skipped.  I still have a sink full of dishes, but I am almost back to where I started this morning.

So, I am guessing I saved a couple of hundred dollars and a call to the plumber.

Do you have a Drain Air Gap (sounds like they are not required in all areas)?  When was the last time you cleaned it??

Later – H

 

 

Cost of the Master (shower) bathroom upgrade

I was talking to an extended family member the other day about the Master (shower) bathroom upgrade blog post.

http://acreativeengineerinnevada.wordpress.com/2014/08/10/master-shower-bathroom-upgrade/

and I realized that I didn’t say how much we spent on it.

a) American Standard toilet – about $270 with tax  (we had it delivered to the local Home Depot so we could inspect it before it came home)

b) Toilet Seat – We had already bought the seat for our old toilet in that bathroom.  So, I guess it cost $0.00 for this upgrade.

c) Wax ring – I ordered the one off the Home Depot website at the same time as the toilet.  It was about $6.00

d) Flooring – A box of the flooring costs about $53.00

I will use that amount even though the ‘cost’ of the front bathroom flooring was really twice that since we needed one piece from this box to finish that floor (which really makes this bathroom flooring free).

e) Paint – We had a 1/2 gallon of the paint sitting in the garage so it was good to put some of it to use anyways.  So, the cost of the paint in this remodel was $0.00

So, the total cost for this bathroom upgrade (not counting our time and labor) was about $330.00

I think that was definitely worth it to get a bathroom that saves water, has a new floor and is what we wanted.

Later – H

Master (shower) bathroom upgrade

Since our house is over 20 years old and we are on a well we decided it was time to upgrade the toilet in the Master (shower) bathroom to a low water usage model.  While we were at it we decided to remove the carpeting (it still looked good, but I was so happy to see it go).

bathroom, remodel, old toilet, sponging

A while ago we decided to paint the lower half of our Master (shower) bathroom walls.  At that time I did a Faux finish – one color of solid blue painted and then a darker color sponged over the top.

 

bathroom, remodel, old toilet, sponging

 

Knowing that the new toilet had a smaller tank it became obvious that I would have to repaint the wall before the new toilet was installed.

 

So, instead of going to the work of trying to match colors and sponge marks I decided to just paint the walls and bottom molding a solid blue.

bathroom, remodel, new toilet, new paint

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Here is what we changed and what supplies we used.  All items were bought at Home Depot.

Note:  We paid for all the items and supplies we used for this project.

a) Paint (part of a gallon) –  Behr, Fragrant Breeze (semi-gloss, pastel base) – This paint was bought a while ago and it was also used above the Kitchen cabinets.

b) Toilet – American Standard H2Option Dual Flush (1.0 / 1.6 GPF), round front, Bone color.  **The wax ring and toilet seat have to be bought separately.

The builder of our house didn’t believe in large bathrooms so we had to buy a round front toilet for each bathroom (and our shower and bathtub are Bone colored so white wouldn’t work either).  This is the second one of these toilets that we special ordered through Home Depot – the first one was in February 2014 (for the other bathroom) and it works great.

This toilet was definitely not the cheapest one we could have found, but we were looking for one that would meet our needs: Round front, Bone colored and low water usage

c) Flooring – TrafficMaster Allure 12 in x 36 in Sedona Vinyl Tile Flooring (24 sq ft / case)

Since we have ‘smallish’ bathrooms we were able to do both bathroom floors with two cases of this flooring.  Which is good since the first bathroom took one extra piece than one case.  (Really!?!)

d)  I also repainted the bottom molding with the same blue color so they matched the walls.

I am happy how it turned out.  What home remodel project have you worked on lately?

And as a side note, I went  through Southwest Rapid Rewards so I will get points for the dollars we spent at Home Depot.  As an extra bonus I bought Home Depot gift cards at a local Grocery Store so the cost got me extra reward points there also.  Besides that I used our credit card (which gives us a percentage back) to buy the gift cards.  I think that was a triple play!

Later – H

 

 

replacement Scunci mop cover

My Scunci mop came with one cover.  So after seeing this pin on Pinterest:

http://creeklinehouse.com/2013/01/make-your-own-reusable-swiffer-cloths.html

I decided I needed to make something similar for my Scunci mop head.

Items I used:

Scunci mop head as a general pattern, leftover piece of terry cloth and a left over scrap of microfleece type material.

DIY, sewing, mop head

 

 

 

 

DIY, sewing, mop head

 

 

 

 

It worked so great I created a second one and they have got multiple uses already.

Later – H

Table runner – Lil Twister

Have you ever see a Lil Twister Pinwheel Quilt?  You start with this:

quilt, lil Twister, sewing

 

 

 

 

 

 

And by using the Lil Twister Pinwheel Quilt Template (for 5″ squares) by Country Schoolhouse (and sewing the new squares together) you come out with this:

quilt, lil Twister, sewing

 

 

 

 

 

The first time I tried to cut out the squares I cut into the next row of squares :-(       I put this project on hold until my sister-in-law came to visit.  Thanks to Angi for helping me figure out what I was doing wrong.

Note to self: Don’t run the rotary cutter all the way to the corners – cut the corners out with scissors.

Oh, and since I was wearing a left wrist brace (due to spraining my wrist) at the time, I had to be creative in holding down the template.  I ended up using a full can of Chili (about 15 oz) as a weight and then holding the can.  The worst problem was my hand was definitely hurting by the time I was done.

I think it turned out pretty good.  What have you made lately?

Later – H

 

Random thoughts

So, I just realized I have 41 posts waiting to be posted!   But, they all need something – photo, recipe, one piece of info, etc, etc and right now I don’t feel like finishing any of them (sorry to some friends who are waiting for me to post at least one).

Instead, I figured I needed to write this one about random topics:

a) Drought, rain, lightning and wildfires – Did you know that at least California and Nevada are in a major drought (if you watch the news you can’t miss it).  This afternoon I am listening to much needed rain, hearing thunder and praying the lightning I see doesn’t start a fire.  In the last few weeks we have had wildfires started by lightning, power outages and 100 year flooding (luckily not in our neighborhood).

b) How do you want to be remembered?  Some people think of that sentence in the ‘when I die’ context, but I am thinking about it in the day to day interaction with people you know and don’t know.  At the beginning of June I spent time helping build frames for our local Quilt Show (mostly with people who didn’t know me at all or very well).  I was happy a few weeks later when a ‘new’ friend told me that her husband liked me.  Boy, that made me feel good.

c) Cancer stinks – Currently two friends have family members that are dealing with cancer.  My family went through this 20+ years ago and it doesn’t get any easier to hear that someone I know and care about is going through it.  I so wish a cure could be found so families don’t need to go through this anymore.

d) What are you happy about?  On Facebook I saw some friends doing the #100happydays posts where they post at least one thing that makes them happy each day.  I decided to join in.  I am up to over 40 days now and I don’t see me ending at 100 days.  The posts I make are not huge items, but they make me look for something good every day.  I am also realizing that I post a lot less of the ‘bad’ now also.

I know this is not a usual post, but they are definitely topics I have been thinking about lately.  I promise to finish at least one of the draft posts this week so my backlog doesn’t get even bigger.

So, what have you been thinking about lately??

Later – H