{Site currently under construction. Grace for my mess?}

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Crap. It's Almost Summer. or What Cheap Decor Really Looks Like

I have a bone to pick with you décor bloggers. When I'm sitting here, sipping my coffee and drooling over beautiful room makeovers and one of you prefaces your recent remodel with "Check out this nearly free room re-do!" I'm totally hooked. I drool a little. And then I click on through and read that the new doors cost $600 and you got a steal on the new rug for only $350, and the sofa was a mindboggling steal at $800 but those custom curtains cost just about that much.

Dude. That's like mega-millions in my world. That is the farthest thing in the world from nearly free.

Here's what a "nearly free" room makeover looks like for me, and my other poor frugal friends. Steal curtains from the next bedroom over. Dig through boxes in the garage and come up with a few trinkets. Spray paint them to match the look you're going for. Bust out some scrapbook paper, craft paint, canvases, and exacto knives for wall art, or just paint over some thrift store ugly that you discovered. If you're really lucky, dig around in the bargain bins at Big Box Discount Store for a new comforter. Nevermind that it feels like sleeping on cellophane. Drool over adorable baskets and bins, but balk at the $30 a pop you'd have to shell out for them and instead opt for gift-wrap and cardboard boxes for a custom look. Super glue the wheel-tracks back on the dresser that is falling apart (that should buy you another year with the thing) and replace the knobs with the ones you found for $1 a the thrift store.

{That little trinket was free, just for you. You're welcome.}

One of these days I'll get around to hosting that virtual open house I've been promising…the one where I show you my real life, totally imperfect, thrift-store decorated abode and you laugh hysterically at me. Hopefully soon, since decorating is back on the brain.

I am lacking adventure in my life at this particular moment. Whenever I lack adventure, decorating takes stage front and center. It's bad when decorating takes over my brain, especially in the state of financial affairs known affectionately as broke as a joke or too broke to pay attention. Honestly though, I find this the best time to revamp a room or liven up the place a bit. When money's not in the picture, decorating requires a serious level of creative problem solving and it feels like a challenge. You can't just run to the store and buy what you like—you have to figure out more interesting ways to get the look you're after. I'm all about the challenge.

Our adventure-less life won't last for long, though. Tomorrow we get our foster care certification and our out-of-state adoption is moving right along at the same time. In the next few months, we'll probably have anywhere from 4-6 kiddos living in our (did I mention humble?) little one-story house with three bedrooms, including ours. I am excited. I am also sweating with nervousness. Oh, did I mention my 15-year-old brother-in-law is also coming to stay the month while my in-laws renew their vows in Israel? And he's a drummer?

{Take that noisy neighbors who just acquired pet roosters!}

The three kids I already have are on top of each other every single second and sibling rivalry is beginning to come up against homelessness and starvation in my mind as one of the world's most insurmountable obstacles. Okay, not really, but you get the point. The 4-year-old is in the 12-year-old's stuff constantly. The 9-year-old is a total slob  organizationally challenged. The walls are closing in and this house is beginning to feel very small…and we're not even full up yet. Eek. This is particularly distressing because summer is just around the bend, which means 4 to 6 7 kids, age 4-15 in each other's space 24 hours a day and I'm starting to wonder… Oh crap. What in the world am I going to do to keep these kids from killing each other every day? (Especially on those days I'm tempted to let them).

What are your favorite keep-em-busy summer activities to maintain peace in your home? Restrictions include budget and time (I work full-time from home), and the challenge of activities that appeal to the various ages. We are blessed with plenty of outdoor space (2 acres) and a flexible schedule, though. Lay it on me—I'm desperate, and there are only so many $2 movies a mommy can take!


  1. I really wish we had a great outdoor pool on this end of the valley. When I was a kid, admission was 50 cents, and my mom would take us practically every morning, because she said it tired us out like nothing else :) 

  2. Yeah! I know I'll be picking up a kiddie pool ASAP to at least keep Caleb busy for a few hours a day. Not quite as exciting for the big kids, but it might keep Caleb out of their hair for awhile if nothing else! Kenna went to White City pool with her class, but I haven't been there. Is it decent at all?

  3. Your blog is so much fun! Paige sent me here and she's right -- you're a great writer. Love the blog title! 

  4. Oh, Cara, you always make me smile!!  I'll be thinking about some good ideas to keep kids entertained and distracted from driving each other crazy.  {I need ideas, too!}  Love to you!

  5. Thanks Deana! You stumbled on a relatively un-intellectual post I'm afraid (I pretty much emptied my brain completely for yesterday's post!) so don't judge my writing talent based on my pre-coffee ramblings, LOL. :) Glad to have met you! I'll check out your blog too -- thanks for coming by.

  6. Thanks Jennifer! I'm desperate! ;) Have a beautiful weekend, friend! <3


Your comments are such an encouragement. Thank you for sharing your valuable words.