I love you mom!

When I was around 14, I met with an accident. I will leave out the gory details and skip right to the post-Surgery part. I was bedridden for a good 4 months, and for someone who never stayed inside the house, this was like a huge adjustment. I ended up being all depressed and moody, snapping at everyone. The person who had to put up with most of my temper tantrums, was my mother.

When I look back now, I realize I was nothing less than nasty back then. And trust me! I wouldn’t have put up with myself for more than a week. But my Mom did. Not only did she put up with me, she took care of me with nothing less than a smile. She rewarded my temper tantrums by cooking me all the dishes I loved. She stroked my hair every time I screamed and bought me dozens of my favorite comics every time I hurt her. I started walking in about 4 months and the temper tantrums kind of stopped but talk about unconditional Love.

Only a mother can actually love you with all your mistakes, be proud of you through all your shortcomings and never hold a grudge even when you let her down a million times.. And There is just one thing to say back to her. Mom, I love you!

Image courtesy: Amanda Greavette

Image courtesy: Amanda Greavette

4 steps to a brand new Living room

So I was just off doing some Monday morning Browsing when this post hit my eye! And guess what happened? It planted an idea in my head! The Idea quote from Inception Ah! Leo! *Swoooon*.Ok. I digress. Thing is, I suddenly want a living room makeover! At least a dream makeover plan for later! After I feverishly pinned away a whole lot of Living room ideas, I took a good look at my current Living room. You remember how I was thinking about getting a new couch in my Spring Cleaning post? For some reason, I procrastinated! Now I understand why! Our living room is compact! I like it that way. I am not comfortable with huge living rooms. It has a couple of large windows facing the lawn. We had painted the walls grey initially when we were in that Grey phase. Planning to change it altogether now. Here are the steps to planning out (Or dreaming about) a living room makeover!

1. Pick a Color Palette 

I guess this has to be the very first step. If you are stuck with matching the best colors with each other, take some help from COLOURLOVERSAs for me, this is the palette I am considering: COLOURlovers

I know it looks bland as a palette. But Maybe if you look at this one, you might kind of an idea. But I am looking at a lot more subtle version of this one!

Nice right? Now that we have chosen the color palette, its time to move to step 2!

2. Take measurements & Make a layout

This one is a little obvious right? We need to plan what goes where. Especially if your living room is a little small, like mine, this step is very important. We can end up cluttering the space too much otherwise! First measure out the room, and note it down. Decide how much of the floor space you can give for furniture. If you want your living room to be breezy, this can’t be more than 40% of your floor space. Next, take a paper and pen and draw out the shape of your room and then decide what things you want to add to it! A seating area and a TV might be almost mandatory. Do you want to put a book shelf and maybe a little home office there? Whatever, just draw it down.

Make a hand-drawn layout

 

3. Start Shopping!

Here comes the fun part. From the wall paints to the carpets, we need to shop or window shop all the elements of the room. The Walls In my case, I am painting the walls white. I will be using Sherwin Williams High Reflective White. I am using this discount coupon to get $10 off on this! But I am going to paint just one wall, Mandarin Orange. And then add to it a nice White frames, or a Bold “Keep Calm and Carry On” or something like this: The Sofa

I really need to give extra attention to this one. My husband takes the term “Living room” literally. He LIVES on the sofa, for most of the day. However, I am not going to let that affect my budget! I am considering this 2 + 1 combo for the Sofa. They are already on sale.. But I am using this coupon to get an extra 10% off Coffee Table I am really liking this Coffee table from Surplus Furniture to go with the sofas. The extra tables should do nicely near the window with a vase and near the sofa with a lamp! Considering they have a Buy a sofa and get a coffee table for a penny Offer , I might just change my mind about the sofa if I find something nice in their store!

Curtains, lamps and other accessories

The plan right now is to get Teal curtains, Yellow lamp, Orange, yellow and teal cushions, and some funky trinkets to go on the table! I intend to shop mostly at stores with discount to save on the money side!

and how cool are these kid chairs.. Might just add one in Yellow and one in Teal if it comes at a reasonable price:

4. Get your family involved

Let them be a part of the design and shopping as well. That way, the living room will truly become the family room.

That is it! 4 steps for a brand new Living Room 🙂 What colors are you going with and what furniture are you dreaming about. Would love to hear all about it. Add your comments.. Will mean a lot to me!

5 Coupons for Spring Cleaning!

This has been long pending. I have been wanting to get my act together and do some spring cleaning ever since I read MixHart’s Blog on her family’s Big clean! Now that Spring has arrived, somewhat, I guess it is time I get started on things. Since I am gonna be busy all day cleaning things up, I thought I will leave you with some coupons I am using to get the costs under control during the whole process… Enjoy 🙂

 

Get 25% off on Furnace and Duct Cleaning services! Trust me. You will need them

Get 25% off on Furnace and Duct Cleaning services! Trust me. You will need them

Your car needs some spring cleaning too! Get $8 off when you get an oil change at Mr.Lube

Your car needs some spring cleaning too! Get $8 off when you get an oil change at Mr.Lube

Spring Cleaning cannot be complete without a dash of paint! Avail $10 off on every $50 you spend at Sherwin Williams

Spring Cleaning cannot be complete without a dash of paint! Avail $10 off on every $50 you spend at Sherwin Williams

Couch gone all bumpy? Time to get it changed! With $100 off!

Couch gone all bumpy? Time to get it changed! With $100 off!

You know what goes wonderfully with Spring cleaning? A cup of hot fruit tea! Make that 2. The second one comes free after all!

You know what goes wonderfully with Spring cleaning? A cup of hot fruit tea! Make that 2. The second one comes free after all!

Hope that helps.. So are you starting on the spring cleaning yet? or Have you already finished? Did you blog about it? Share a link maybe? Would love to know more!

 

10 Coupons to save you money as you move to your new home

It is established that Spring is possibly one of the best times to move, since the rates are reasonable and the weather is not too harsh. But moving doesn’t just stop with moving. In many cases your new home requires special attention, painting, plumbing, Electrical repairs, new furniture and all that jazz!

Bills could spoil the joy of moving into a new home.

The only way to get through it all is to use as much discounts and offers as you can, through it! Here are 12 coupons to save you some money over your move!

1.  5% discount on the movers

Well, this is a given. You might need the help of packers and movers to get you through the move. So here’s a coupon from Platinum Movers to save you some money on that: 5% off on moving charges

2. Save on 10% Dispatch fee on Electrical works (Plus free inspection)

Use this coupon to save on Dispatch fee (10% of the total invoice). Also, get a full home electrical inspection, worth $250 absolutely free: Save Dispatch fee on Electrical works

3. Save GST on Plumbing

The government charges about 5% Goods and Service Tax on your Service bills and Plumbing falls under that. So, as you fix those leaky tubes, save some tax, using this coupon: Save GST on plumbing

4. Convert the basement into a den, and save while at it!

This is a topic not many experts remember. There is always, simply ALWAYS, some work to be done on the basement. But don’t fret, use this coupon to save you some: Save 15% on Basement development

5. Get some heavy discounts on the paint

For one, paint your home yourself. Adds that personal touch, is a super fun activity when you do it as a family and lets you save a lot on painter charges. But the paint itself doesn’t come free. But you could always get a discount there: $10 off on Sherwin Williams paints

6.Get the dream couch for $100 less

Sitcoms don’t lie when they portray the couch as the most important part of a home. It is, in fact one of the places your family spends most time at. So go for your dream couch or sofa. And get it for a lot lesser with this coupon: $100 off on any sofa set

7. The bed!

Most families move because they have expanded in size, which mostly calls for a new bed. Here’s a double save. Get a bed frame and pillows for free and also get 5% off on the mattress set

8. More plumbing coupons

In case your plumbing work is fairly less, use this coupon to avail a reasonable discount on plumbing: $25 off on all plumbing works

9. Get a shower door, for half the price

Yup! You heard me right. Here’s that coupon for you: 50% off on glass shower door – Enjoy the move, and the shower after!

10. Clean up with a discount

Sometimes, the new home can come pretty dusty. If you need some Furnace and duct cleaning, this might be the coupon you are looking for: 25% off on furnace and duct cleaning

 

There you go! 10 coupons just as promised. Now smile. You just got yourself a new home, all shiny and clean. Here’s a toast to that!

 

3 Out of the box ways to make some money on the side!

“Being a mother takes a lot from you. Personally and financially. Don’t get me wrong here, I am the types that believes being a mom is the best blessing a woman can get. But in reality, it is demanding.

A lot of my friends who had high flying careers gave that up to be a hands-on mom. But once the child grows up a little, they had lost the gusto to go back to a full time job (Myself included), and if they did, the 4 year gap yawned wide on their resume. So we chose the freelance and consultation routes. Trust me, it gives you a lot to do while keeping your schedule totally flexible. However, it does leave you wanting a little bit more in terms of variety and money.”

This is an excerpt from the ranting that happened over my girlfriends’ dinner meetup yesterday. See, Maya, a good friend of mine has a wonderful husband who is an investment banker that earns quite a lot. So this ranting from her came as a surprise for us. She dissed our concern and simply said

“Ah! But what he earns, is at the end of the day, HIS money. Our money when it comes to family expenses yes, but I want some MY money! That I can spend without asking, without guilt!”

I see her point now. Don’t you? Having some MY money, always leaves you feeling more confident and independent. It is a good thing. Now show me one person who wouldn’t want some extra cash? That being said, we found the perfect solution for Maya. Maya paints. She also does a fair bit of screen printing. Real quirky stuff. We convinced her to make totebags and shopping bags with quirky prints. Check out one she had done as a gift for her meme crazy sister… cool right?

meme tote

You can stop staring! I know I am cute!

And Maya has promised to show us samples by a week. All is well that ends well. But this whole conversation got me thinking. This is something a lot of us want right? That extra guilt free My Money? Maya had a talent to tap on. I am sure you would too. Maybe with a little training you could start a little side business that gives you that extra cash?

Here are 3 out of the box ideas that could help you earn some extra cash!

1. Make and sell vinegars and Root beer from home!

I am sure nobody talks about this. But that is why this is a niche you should choose! As long as Salads and pickles stay in fashion, Vinegar will as well! And with everyone shifting to organic and home made products,  your neighborhood might give you a wider welcome that you think! This is a simple 3 hour class you could attend this weekend (28th April 2013)

Friendly Ferments - Learn to make vinegars, ciders, root beer and more in a 3 hour class!

Friendly Ferments – Learn to make vinegars, ciders, root beer and more in a 3 hour class!

My aunt attended this last week and swears by it. I am considering checking this out over the weekend. Join me maybe? Let me woo you with a 11% discount on the Course fee

2. Learn to make Jewelry and sell it online

Time and again, Jewelry and accessories are the biggest sellers on online marketplaces for designers! And making jewelry is fairly simple if you look and learn. The best part is you can sell these easily online, on the ebays and etsy’s of the world!

3. Learn to screen print. 

You could start with the 20$ kits available online but screen printing has so many uses. From printing wedding cards or birthday invites for friends to making t shirts and bags, you could become the go-to-person for customized anything in your neighborhood  You could sell these products online too!

How to screenprint

How to screenprint

These are just 3 top of mind ideas I am putting out this week, and I will keep pointing you at stuff you could earn from, as a regular feature! What say? Add more ideas in the comments section. I would totally love to hear some out of the box ideas to make money on the side!

maren ellingboe

recipe developer, stylist, content creator

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