Monday, March 17, 2014

First spackle project

In an effort to get the house prepped for sale, I have to go around the house and patch up any holes. The deepest hole I have to cover is the one left by a door stop on my coat closet.

I purchased squeezable spackle at Lowe's. It goes on pink and dries white. I'm sure a woman created this product. It is brilliant! The only issue I had was that some pink liquid came out first, but it was easy to wipe up quickly.

I also purchased a small square of FibaTape, which is self-adhesive and goes over the hole before the spackle.

I also purchased a putty knife for applying the spackle.

Here is the door as it is drying.

And, a close up of the hole.

I will wait for this to dry white and reapply once or twice more. Then, I will sand it down. Lastly, I will paint over it if needed. It is not the most noticable spot on the door, but I want to do it right.

I'm thrilled that I tackled my first spackle job. Woohoo! Go me... go me...


Monday, March 10, 2014

The Closet Diet

I do not diet or believe that diets work. I believe in changes in lifestyle and eating habits. The Closet Diet is a new and improved closet. A fresh spin on you everyday fashion. And all this coming from a gal with college t-shirts from 11 years ago!

1. Sort t-shirts, jeans, dress pants, blouses, sweaters, tank tops, dresses and blazers. Jeans are for super casual wear, not work. Keep just 3-5 pairs of jeans.

2. Go through each pile and ask yourself if you have worn it in 3 months. If not, start a donation pile and place these items there. Focus on keeping simple and classic pieces, preferably solid colored pieces. Keep one or two fun print tops for special occasions.

3. Have a small cheat bin. Keep some items that you like wearing around the house, or that are sentimental to you.

4. BUY NEW CLOTHES. You need to refresh your closet with new STAPLE pieces:
    - black tank top
    - white tank top
    - white button-down ironed shirt with long sleeves
    - black trousers
    - black pencil skirt
    - black cardigan
    - black or white blazer (not for a suit)
    - black suit (dry clean only)
    - black patent pumps
    - little balck dress

5. Hang pants on pant hanger with clips. Pants should not be folded on a hanger or shelf.

6. Hangers should match. Even if they are felt hangers from Dollar Tree, get white ones if possible.

Have you taken a closet diet? Take action today!


Friday, March 7, 2014

Styling a Mega Long Mantle

10 and 1/2 feet. That is the length of my mega long mantle. It sits a top a large fireplace and what was once a TV cubbie. It is not so easy to style a very long mantle, especially one that is so prominent in a room and a main focal point.

The cubbie is still a style-in-progress. The mantle is centered by a large oval mirror. I have had art work there before, but I like the mirror that matches my dark brown leather furniture in this family room. (The formal living room is all creamy white and does not have a TV.)

I placed two skinny, tall wall hangings as the anchors. Then, I peppered in two photo frames, two candle sticks on the right (hard to see), two books that are actually hollow inside, a tall vase, and three candle pillars. Everything here was purchased at Kirklands, my absolute favorite home decor store. Prices are incredible!


The cubbie hole on the bottom right was meant to hold a large vacuum TV. There is just the one shelf. I plan to make this a pillows and blankets storage area. I will bring in a large basket to hold all that.

I plan to bring in some faux flowers in large vases, which I also purchased at my favorite store.

What do you think could be done to improve this space? I am always open to suggestions.


Finance Fridays: Debt-Free in 30

To make something a habit, you should do it for a solid three months. 


You only need 30 days to live a debt-free life. 

I know what it's like it avoid collector phone calls and not open bills in the mail. Within 30 days, you can do the following:

1. Open ever bill that is unopened.

2. Hole punch each bill and place them in one large binder. This will be your finance binder. Get organized!

3. Sort each bill by 1) company and then 2) date due with the most recent in front.

4. Draft a letter to each creditor. There are hundreds of sample letters (templates) available online. I used the template in one of Suze Orman's books, which I borrowed from the library. The most important elements to any letter: your name, address, phone number, account number, signature, and amount you are willing to pay each month.

5. Include a "good faith" check or money order with the letter when you send it. Make sure to mail it from the post office with a confirmation request. This will cost $2 to $3.

6. Photo copy the letter before you end it. Place the letter copy in front of the creditor section in your binder.

7. Wait for a response from the creditor.

8. Always answer your phone and return the calls. The reps make notes in your account each time they speak with you. They are less likely to sell your account to another company if they are able to stay in contact with you, and you make some kind of payment.

9. Be honest. To yourself and the creditor reps.

10. Relax. This will be paid in time. Be patient and consistent.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Make-up Shelf Life and Expiration Dates

I stumbled upon an unused, unopened bottle of MaryKay TimeWise Night Solution.

I could not recall when I purchased it. I knew it had to be around 2008, which is the last time I remember speaking to a MaryKay rep.

I found this great website: I looked at the bottom of the bottle and found a code: RH12. According to Nicole's site, it was made on June 12, 2008. Since unused make-up has a shelf life of 3 years (unless it is actually labeled with an expiration date), I realized that I could not use this serum.

I am prone to break-outs, so I did not want to risk using it without doing some research.

For anyone with MaryKay products, please check out this site:


Monday, March 3, 2014

FREE Storage System

From this:

To this:

BIRCHBOX BOXES! I have hoarded these small brown boxes for months. I knew I would use the somehow. It hit me today... redo the junk drawer! Some of the boxes have patterned interiors, like this great chevron pattern. I used the box and lid of 3 boxes.

To keep them from shifting when the drawer opens or shuts, I used poster putty from Dollar Tree.
Works like a charm.

Below are more photos of this now cute kitchen drawer.

What's Inside
- tapes, command strips, Velcro
- journals
- hole punch, box cutter
- camera, measuring tape, tiny flashlight
- index cards (used for grocery lists)
- pens, pencils, correction tape, eraser

Saturday, March 1, 2014

DIY $2 Storage

I am a firm believer in the Reuse, Repurpose, Recylce principle. By purchasing regularly used items from your grocery store, you can create cheap (even free) storage solutions.

Soup cans. Look for cans with a tab at the top. This will allow for a clean open, instead of using a can opener, which could leave a sharp edge.

Clean can well. Remove the label and cover with contact paper or wrapping paper. I use double-sided stick tape or hot glue for extra hold.

Store inside: pens, pencils, crayons, makeup brushes, binder clips, washi tape, and the list goes on. I use a soup can in my pantry to hold chip clips. I use one in my office to hold rubber bands.

Oatmeal containers. These come in a few different sizes, but I love the small ones best. The plastic lid is great.

Dust out inside of container. Since the container is actually made of cardboard, do not wet it. Wipe off the lid. Cover the outside with contact paper or wrapping paper. No need to remove the oatmal label since it might ruin the carboard. Just cover it well.

Store inside: small toys, hair accessories (use ouside of container for headbands), kitchen utensils (instead of expensive ceramic ones), baking supplies (piping bags, cupcake liners, etc.), and the list goes on an on.

How are you saving on your organizing?