Let’s Talk Tile!

This is it, guys. The week we start the bathroom.

Probably.  If I can ever get over the debilitating fear of not being able to put it back together.

Luckily, we’ve sourced everything but the shower fixtures, so there’s no turning back now.  Which means… we have tile (and we saved over $300 buying it)!

For the walls, we decided (after a ridiculous amount of agonizing on which white was the right white) to go with White Daltile from Home Depot.  In the end, it matched our new sink better than any of the other (five) samples we tried.  We also picked up matching trim to go along the top.  They don’t look like they match in the photos below, but they do in real life (and let’s face it… real life is what matters).

Daltile Rittenhouse White Subway Tile Home Depot 1

Daltile Rittenhouse White Victorian Trim Home Depot

As usual, we used giftcardzen.com to buy Home Depot gift cards at 9.5% off and a 10% Lowes coupon (which HD matches) to save about $100 on the wall tile!

Our marble was delivered on Friday.  Two things about marble. One, it’s heavy. Really, stupidly heavy. Two, it’s beautiful. I probably spent a good half an hour “Oohing” and “Aahing” and holding up the trim here and there in the bathroom admiring it. It’s mesmerizingly gorgeous.

We bought our marble from an online retailer called marbleonline.com.  I’m not going to lie, they seemed a little sketch to me at first. But Kevin had done his homework and it turned out to be a really highly rated company with great reviews. We ordered 44 square feet of 3″ Carrara Hexagon Mosaic tile and enough marble pencil trim to do a subtle accent around the entire room (and in the shower).

Marble Online 3 Inca Carrara Hex

Marble Online Carrara Pencil Liner

When we ordered our marble from MarbleOnline.com, they sent us an email with pictures of their current stock so we could choose the tones we were liked in our marble, then they sent us only marble with the color variations we were wanting.  Their shipping was free and they were great to work with (we don’t have any affiliation with them – we’re just passing on the info on a great company)!

Not only were they great to work with, but their marble prices were anywhere from $2-$5 cheaper than the other places we got samples from.  All in all, we spent $483 on our marble hex tile with MarbleOnline.com. If we had purchased from BuilderDepot, it would have been $626 after shipping or $762 from The Tile Shop after Texas sales tax. If you average those together, we saved about $210 by shopping around for our marble!

If you add the ~$100 we saved on our wall tile and the $210 we saved on our marble to the $299 we’d already saved on buying our sink, console, and medicine cabinet, we’ve saved a total of $610 on our renovation so far just buy using coupons, sales, and shopping around! $610!!

What have you saved on lately? Have you ever spent half an hour staring into the complexities of a piece of marble (no? I figured it was just me)?  Can you believe we’ve saved $610 on our bathroom before we even started it?

Mirror, Mirror

Do you know that feeling when you put on a jacket you haven’t worn in ages, put your hand in the pocket, and pull out a $20? It’s the best, right?  Kev and I had that happen to us this weekend… except the jacket was a dresser drawer and the $20 was two gift cards.

The first gift card was to Lowe’s and Kevin used it to buy a 20V DeWalt jig saw. Woot.

The second was a $50 gift card was to Pottery Barn… which got the wheels in my head a-turnin’.  I have been coveting this recessed medicine cabinet from Pottery Barn pretty much since we decided to remodel the bathroom. But at $250, it was more of a splurge than I was willing to make, especially when Home Depot has a similar-but-not-recessed version for $109.

Pottery Barn Recessed Hotel Medicine Cabinet (via)

Now I had $50 off that $250.  Things were starting to look more attractive. And then yesterday morning when I got an email from Pottery Barn for 20% off a single item, I knew it was a sign from God (assuming God busies himself with things like Pottery Barn sales and bathroom renovations).

With the $50 gift card and the 20% off, the cabinet was down to $150.  As usual, we checked Gift Card Zen and scored just the right amount of discount gift cards to get us another 8% off, meaning we paid just $138 before tax.  I won’t lie, I did my happy dance when Kevin wasn’t looking.

All in all, we saved $112 on the medicine cabinet. If you combine that with the $186.85 we saved on our console sink, we’ve saved $298.85 so far on our bathroom renovation!

This has inspired us to add a new goal for our bathroom remodel:

Save $1000 on what we were already planning to purchase for the remodel by getting creative with sales, coupons, and discount gift cards.

It’s an ambitious goal since we don’t have too many major purchases left, but I know we can do it. Only $700 more left to save!

How was your Easter weekend?  Have you ever had that found $20 feeling?  Have you gotten creative with sales or coupons lately? Do you think saving $1000 is too ambitious?

Oh My Guinness!

Around the Little House there are few things we like more than scoring deals and a good pint of beer (not necessarily in that order).

So when we stumbled on vintage Guinness prints at a yards sale for $7 each (with the frame), we were pumped (mostly).  Turns out, there had been nine prints for sale at the beginning of the morning, but the owner had sold seven of them just ten minutes before we got there (dang that other yard sale we stopped at first).

Still, we loved the two remaining prints and after a few minutes of haggling (in which the owner threw in a milk crate of beer taps) we loaded them up in Dora the Explorer and took them home.

We hung them up in place of the (too small) masking tape art we made three years ago.  Remember those guys?

LHBH DIY masking tape art

But after seeing the Guinness posters up there, I don’t think the canvases will ever see the wall again.

Vintage Guinness Poster Framed

Vintage Guinness Poster Framed Vintage Guinness Poster Framed

I just love them. They’re fun, vintage, and a much better size for over the couch.  We still need to anchor them to the wall so they’ll actually hang straight and not fall off the wall at 3am and scare the bejeebees out of me (I prefer to keep my bejeebees intact, thank you very much).

Just for fun, you can tell a lot about the goings on at the Little House by that first photo.

Guinness 4Kinda makes me feel like Sherlock.

Happy Hump Day!

Sinking Fast

Happy Monday!

Kevin and I spent most of yesterday braving torrential rain and near-arctic temperatures (it was 47 F) to visit five different stores in search of the perfect tile for the bathroom.  We didn’t find the tile, but we found out what the tile is supposed to be: Carrara Bianco marble hexagons.

Carrara Bianco Builder Depot(via)

Carrara bianco has the right mix of gray and white without the creams and tans we were finding in the Hamilton Carrara.  We’ve ordered a couple samples and I can’t wait to get them! Of course, we still have to decide on whether we want 2″ or 3″ hexagons (as of yesterday we’re leaning towards the 3″, but are worried they could be too big for our small bathroom).

Even better than deciding on a type of marble, though, is actually buying the first item for the remodel… our sink (squeal).  It’s exactly what I was hoping for.  I mean, exactly.  It’s perfect. It’s gorgeous.  And did I mention we got it on sale?

American Standard Retrospect(via)

It’s the Retrospect sink and console stand by American Standard.  Most places online have this combo for about $650+, but we managed to score it on sale from Home Depot for $453. (!!!!) How? Here’s the math:

Sink Regular Price: $176
Legs Regular Price: $415
Total Regular Price (with TX tax): $639.75

Sink Sale Price: $140.80 (20% off)
Legs Sale Price: $332.00 (20% off)
$10 off $100 code: -$20 (code: HDSPRINGBF)
Giftcard Granny: -7.6%
Total Sale Price (with TX tax): $452.90

Getting your dream sink: Priceless.

Seriously though, I’m ridiculously excited about this sink. Probably way more excited than a person should be about a sink (if that’s even possible).  At this point, I can’t even imagine the level of excitement when it’s actually installed.  Be still my heart.

And Kevin is my hero for not only finding a $10 off $100 coupon code for Home Depot to save us an extra $20, but for remembering to buy Home Depot gift cards on giftcardgranny.com and save us even more (for the record, we’re not paid to endorse any of these companies, we just like them).  All in all, we saved a grand total of $186.85 on our sink – probably enough to entirely cover the faucet and plumbing.

I call that a win.

Would you go with 2″ or 3″ hexagons in our tiny little bathroom?  What do you think of our new sink?  Have you ever used discount giftcards to make any purchases?

Giving the Office the Slip-per Chair

I have an amazing husband. Probably I don’t even need to tell you how awesome. He’s there for me when I need him, makes me dinner when I work late, and finds amazing deals on slipper chairs at Target. Let me tell you, he’s a catch.

I worked late again yesterday and while I was up north at the office, Kev was perusing the local Super Target for fall clearance deals.

At about 6 pm he sends me a pic of an adorable slipper chair. “50% off,” the text said. When I got home, this was sitting in the living room:

See that little red sticker in the upper right-hand corner? Yeah. It rocked my socks. Is my hubs awesome at scoring deals or what?

Honestly, what did I do to be blessed with a husband with equally amazing bargain-hunting abilities and taste in slipper chairs? I’m overwhelmed with what God has done for me.

We’ve been looking for a small-ish chair to go in our office for a while. I know, I know. We said we weren’t going to buy for/work on one room until we finished another. That went out the window with the backyard so we’re back to buying things when we find good deals. It works better for us.

Anyway, back to the chair. We started our office makeover waaaay back in January and haven’t touched it since. That is, until last night.

We put together the chair and brought an old (and I mean old) bookcase out of our spare bedroom and into the office. The styling still need a little work (we borrowed things from other rooms to make it look right), but all in all I really like having a reading nook in the office

The bookcase is only a temporary solution, but it definitely works for now. This was such a quick and easy upgrade and it makes our office feel that much closer to being “finished.”
What deals have your scored lately? Does your significant other have superior taste in slipper chairs? Can they also make awesome tomato tuna melts (because mine sure can)?

EDIT: Another reason I need a new computer: the colors are waaaay off on our dinky little netbook, if you can’t tell. Last night when I edited these photos with GIMP the color was perfect. This morning looking at them on my brand spanking new work computer? Yellow. Argh.

Dallas Restaurant Week

Kevin and I love cooking our own meals in the comfort of our own kitchen. I love filling the house with the good smells of a well prepared meal and knowing that I made that delicious concoction all on my own. For me, there’s nothing like cooking to relax you, to take your mind off of what ails you and instead, focus all your energy on making others happy with food.

There are times, however, when I’m lazy, when the kitchen’s clean and I don’t want to mess it up, when the refrigerator is empty and the grocery store is a thousand miles away. In those times, we like to eat out. Being self-proclaimed foodies, we love to eat out at some of the hip (and delicious) restaurants around the big D and dream of sitting down in some of the darkened, storied establishments around town that cost our entire month’s eating out budget for just one meal. For one of us. Those restaurants are just out of our price range.

We don’t have to despair, though! There is a way to get to enjoy some of the finer meals in Dallas– Dallas Restaurant Week!

We had no idea it even existed until one of our friends told us about it yesterday. It works like this: many of the restaurants on the posher side of life set a prix-fixe menu of a few appetizers, entrees, and desserts from their regular menu. For $35 a person, you can choose one of each category and say you’ve eaten at So-and-So’s Fancy Pants Cafe.

Last night we had pan seared sea bass with Bearnaise sauce and roasted asparagus at a steak house in Plano (I meant to take a picture, but forgot… oops). This weekend we’re going to try to get into the fanciest places we can. It’s a lot of fun (and pretty darn tasty, too!).

Many other large cities across the US have similar weeks. New York currently has a prix-fixe event going on as well as Washington DC. Boston‘s is coming up and good ‘ol Indianapolis’ just ended this Sunday.

Check out Open Table to see when there’s a Restaurant Week near you!


D- to the -Ish Washer

Kev and I are always in search of deals. Since we moved into the Little House, we’ve been scouring deal sites for stainless steel appliances, bathroom tile, cork flooring…  anything, in short, that we want for the LH. Our agreement is that if one of us finds an “incredible, unbelievable deal” we have the okay to pull the trigger, delve into the home improvement fund, and make the purchase (as long as it’s returnable).

Kevin was browsing the Sears Outlet website on Friday when he came across one of our biggest wants: a stainless steel dishwasher. It was a refurbished return; there were no visible defects, dents, scratches, or malfunctions– and it was only $190.

Needless to say, we snatched it up, loaded it into the explorer, and several hours of drain hose wrangling later, we had this beauty gleaming up as us. Not bad for $225 after tax and install parts (especially when it regularly costs $699 from Sears).

Isn’t she purty?

What deals have you scored lately? Do you ever look at clearance websites like Sears Outlet? Have you ever installed a dishwasher? We were surprised by how easy it was. 

Coupon Challenge Update: Week VI

Today, I’m thankful for Little House. Big Heart. It’s the outlet I’d been craving, my little home on the interwebs where I can write and share and let my kooky, creative side loose. It’s the impetus I need to push me to actually complete the projects I dream about for the Little House. And it’s given Kevin and I a hobby to do together; I love working side by side with him to make our Little House a home (even when our projects don’t turn out quite like we expected).

And now for the Coupon Kids Challenge Update! This week we saved:

  • $1.50 at JoAnn Fabric (burlap was on sale!)
  • $1.00 at Kroger with our Plus card (we bought our Thanksgiving turkey for just $0.59 a pound!)
  • $1.50 at The Home Depot (on paint for the office– more on that later)
  • $1.64 on gas at Sam’s Club using our Sam’s cards
  • $2.01 at Albertsons
  • $53.46 at Hobby Lobby on fall decor for the mantel (it was %50 off!

for a grand total of $61.11 saved this week! We’ve officially saved $570.88  since October 7!

New to LHBH or miss out on the start of the Coupon Kids Challenge? Read up on it here!

Find any good deals this week? Is it just me or does it seem like something in Hobby Lobby is perpetually on sale?

Coupon Challenge Update: Week V

Today, I’m thankful for second (and third and forth) chances. To be honest, I mess up a lot. I never intend to; in fact, I usually have good intentions but somehow things tend to just slip away from me and I’m left apologizing to someone for something. Fortunately, I’m blessed with the most patient, forgiving, loving family and friends who are always there for me, no matter what I’ve gotten myself into. Most of all, I have a God who sees my every thought and loves me and forgives me no matter how far short I’ve fallen of his Grace– and I am so very, very thankful for that. In the lyrics of Reliant K ,”the beauty of Grace is that it makes life not fair.”

Speaking of second chances to redeem where I messed up, on to the Coupon Kids Challenge update! This week, we saved at:

  • $5.50 at JoAnn Fabric (they’re having a Veteran’s Day sale right now!)
  • $15.32 at Kroger with our Plus card (we bought our Thanksgiving turkey for just $0.59 a pound!)
  • $8.00 at Harbor Freight (on Canvas Drop Cloths… bet you can’t guess what my project for Friday is)
  • $1.64 on gas at Sam’s Club using our Sam’s cards

For a grand total of $30.46 saved this week! We’ve saved $509.77 so far! Only $490.23 left to save!

New to LHBH or miss out on the start of the Coupon Kids Challenge? Read up on it here!

What have you saved on recently? What are you thankful for on this rainy Tuesday morning?


Thankful November and an Update

Halloween is over! Do you know what that means?! Well, yes. It does mean I have lots of leftover candy that I shouldn’t be eating. What it really means though is that it is officially the holiday season! Thanksgiving here we come! In honor of the season, I’m joining Jen and Katie over at Paisley Print Shoes in their Thankful November. Each day this month I’ll start off my post with one thing I’m thankful for to help remind me that Thanksgiving is about more than just the food (although, to be fair, that is my #1 favorite part).

Today, I’m thankful for my amazing hubby, Kevin! Our first kiss was three years ago today and since then I haven’t been able to live without him. As corny as it sounds, I really did get to marry my best friend. Kevin is the kindest, most patient, hardest working person I know and I’m so blessed to get to live my life next to him!

Now for the weekly Coupon Kids Challenge Update for week IV! We’re one month in! This week was a tough one for saving, but here goes:

  • $1.64 on gas using our Sam’s Card
  • $4.18 on groceries using our Kroger Plus card
  • $37 at The Fish Sushi Restaurant (on Monday nights they give you a gift card for the amount you spend on food to use the on your next visit)

For a grand total of $42.82 saved this week. That means we saved $479.31 in October! Only $520.69 and five months left to save!

How was your Halloween? What are you thankful for today? Saved on anything good today?