Craigslist Made Easy

As you probably know by now I'm a huge fan of Craigslist, I bought our dresser on there, an old coffee table, our dining room table and even our wedding photographer!! Yep I'm a huge fan, living finding unique pieces for our home, and sometimes just go on there to look, lol. What I'm not a huge fan of, is looking though every single post { after narrowing down my search } to look at every single page, to find icky items and no gems. Well, I pretty sure my Craigslist dilemma is finally over. I was recently contacted by the founder of CraigsEasy, which helps people like you & me avoid wasting precious time { looking though countless pages to locate the gems faster } he thought I would enjoy using this FREE tool to make my searches easier. I should also note this is local company based in Palo Alto...which is cool so close to our hometown of Sacramento.

They offer a free tool called a booklet from their site, Craigseasy takes all the images from the listing and places them all in one page, so you able to see all the pictures upfront and then click on the listing your interested in purchases the item.

It was so easy to add to my computer, since its only a booklet { no need to download anything } for more information on getting a booklet for your pc click { here } I did a simple search using CE - aka Craigseasy, looking for a dresser for under $75.00 in less then a few minutes, I found two dresses. The first one is for $70 the second one is only $50!!

Isn't this an amazing dresser for only $50 bucks, look at the detail. This dresser would look amazing painted a pretty shade of blue or Kelly green.

Nest I did a search for mid century under $75 bucks. I found this cute mid century modern side table for $ 55 bucks, over priced yes. Next I came across the super cute mid century modern desk, for $60 a little steep for me for such a simple desk, that I often see at Thrift stores for h much less

My final search was for coffee tables under $50 bucks, I came across two the have promise. The first one is $35 dollars and would amazing spray painted - white or black. The other coffee table I like was only $30.00 and was practically screaming out to be painted a crisp clean glossy white.

For those of you out there that are new to shopping on CL - remember to look past the ugly and so the potentail your find has.

Do you use Craigseasy, to make your Craigslist searching easier? If not add the booklet and let me know what you think.

** I was not compensated for my review on CraigsEasy, just glad to spread the word and hope you find amazing pieces for your home. Photobucket

Thrifty Loot

On Saturday my mom and I decided to do a little thrift store shopping. We only stopped in two thrift stores { Goodwill & St. Vincent }, but walked away with some thrifty loot. That's one of the biggest reason I love shopping at thrift stores, you never know what gems you might find. I found this great ceramic bird, that just needs a coat of primer and white glossy spray paint. The little bird was only 2 bucks. I also bought the little wire basket for fifty cents to go in my garages laundry area { a simple way to keep my laundry products together} 

I love this little lion I found at the register while buying my stuff, I got it for my husband for his nightstand. Not only is it cute, its a nod to his astrological sign in the not so obvious way.

I also found a wicker and glass vase, perfect for the summertime and fall decor. I also came across a little stainless steel berry colander. One of the quirkier finds of the day was the little black bull head, that I plan on leaving as is.

Out of all my thrifty loot, the biggest score of the day were the vintage looking Halloween plates that were $1.00 each. Oh and they were from Pottery Barn, and I think brand new because they still had cardboard divider between each plate. I love these plates, they are super cute.

I'm glad I found a some fun items for our house, because the last few times I've gone thrift shopping, I left empty handed. Have you been thrift shopping lately and found some great loot?

Inside Job

Our kitchen redo has been on my mind for quite sometime, were planning to redo our kitchen over a time span. I how now idea how long that will be. But I've been wanting to tackle a few mini projects in our kitchen. So I decided to give the inside kitchen cabinets a mini makeover. The cabinet where we keep our everyday dinnerware only had two shelves. Which created a huge problem trying to fit our everyday dinnerware on to two shelves.

Not to mention, Mr CLH would put the dishes away in a way that would bug me, big dishes on top of little dishes. Please tell me I'm not the only one who shoots evil glares at the one they love after opening cabinet doors! The easiest solution for my problem, was to add another shelf. I did some measurements of our excising shelves and stopped in Lowes and had a new shelf cut, the new shelf was only $5 bucks. As you can see the new shelf stood out and helped the extra storage.

Along with our new shelf, I also wanted to do an inside cabinet makeover with some paint. The inside of the cabinet looked like laminate faux bois and not in a good way. Plus I wanted the inside of cabinet to look pretty.

I got some color inspiration from the September issue of Martha Stewart Living. I love the pretty color of her cabinets and went to Home Depot to check out her new paint collection.

I instantly I fell in love with her shades of grey. I had four grey contenders top left: Driftwood Grey, Flagstone. Bottom right: Bedford Grey and Sharkey Grey. After looking the the colors, we decided to with Sharkey Grey, its a perfect greige { grey + beige } it also compliments our wall color Woodrow Wilson Putty by Valspar. It's just a little darker which good. 

After removing the shelves, I sanded the inside of the cabinets and then applied two coats of oil based primer { I let each coat of primer dry one hour before applying the second coat } I did the same thing with the wood shelves. I painted the inside of the cabinet sides and top and the shelves with Delicate White by Olympic paint the back is where I used the Sharkey Grey by Martha Stewart Paints. I liked the subtle contrast of the Sharkey Grey next to the white.

Here's how our first mini makeover in our kitchen turned out. The subtle grey back of cabinets looks so pretty against our white dinnerware. I kept our basic Ikea glasses on the bottom shelf along with our coffee cups. Then our plates on the second shelf, then our various size bowls. The tippy top shelf looks all dressed out with our cake stands, teapot, pitcher etc.

With the inside of the cabinets getting a mini makeover, our everyday dinnerware is feels much more Martha Stewart. Which as Martha would say is a good thing.

Soon the doors on this cabinet will have glass panels, which will make this mini project more complete. How do you like our little mini cabinet project? Do you have any mini projects your working on?


The Dish: Tomato Pesto Farfalle

I found this quick yummy recipe online a few days ago and I couldn't wait to try it. The recipe reminds me of a salad I eat every once in a while from a local cafe. This is a perfect light summer salad { before it gets too cold } you can easily add grilled chicken to the pasta.

Shopping List
1 teaspoons of salt
3/4 ground black pepper
Cooking Spray
12 ounces of cooked farfalle { or less depending on the amount you want to cook }
1 tablespoon butter
3 garlic cloves minced
1 1/2 cups of low fat milk
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/3 cup of pesto
3/4 cup Half & Half
2 cups of shredded Parmesan Cheese
2 Roma tomatoes
2 cups of frozen peas

The lighting on my kitchen is so bad, and I started this recipe late in the evening, hence only one good picture. Oops.

1. Cook pasta according to package directions, and drain. Reserve 1/4 of water. Place pasta in a large bowl
2. Heat butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add garlic to pan and cook for one minute, stirring occasionally. Add 1/2 cup of milk with flour in the saucepan. Next stir in the pesto. Gradually add remaining 1 cup of milk with the half & half, stirring constantly. Cook for 8 minutes or until the sauce becomes thick. Then add the remaining 1/4 of reserve water then add in 3/4 of teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and then one cup of cheese until it melts. Cook frozen peas in Microwave according to package directions.

After the the peas are cooked, add the peas toss gently. Pour the sauce mixture over the pasta and mix. The pesto farfalle can be served either warm or cold. Cut slices of tomatoes and serve with your meal. I prefer this dish warm the day of and cold for lunch leftovers. We had our meal with sliced buttered baguettes. I should when I make this meal again, I'll add in more garlic and pepper for more oomph


What's a your favorite light meal to make?

Our Wedding Part Three

This is the final day of Our Mini Wedding recap, if you missed Part One (click here) Part Two (click here). I hope you have enjoyed reading about our wedding so far. Below is a picture of our wedding invitations including the reception card. I added a lilac belly band with our monogram to keep everything together.

Yesterday I left off with my father beginning to walk me down the aisle. I had a rush of emotions when I looked down up the aisle and saw our son and my soon to be husband. For music we had an amazing flute player, play the standard wedding march and play a fun song for us after we were pronounced husband & wife. One DIY project was exciting about making for our ceremony were the two flower kissing balls at the end our our isle. To make the the flower kissing balls, I used Styrofoam balls, lots and lots of faux white roses found via Ebay and hot glue. The flowers turned out so pretty and looked real, I used chocolate satin ribbon to hang the flowers and hung them on a wreathe hanger.  I bought the wreath hangers on clearance from Target for $ 6.99 each, I plan on using them to hang Holiday wreaths this year.

After we said our vows, we had a few moments to visit with guests and then take pictures with our family and then took some pictures by ourselves. If your getting married soon, make sure you scout out the area beforehand so your able to make the most of your time before arriving at your reception. We took several pictures in the Old Rose Garden, front of our states capitol { which is where the garden is located } and at the hotel.

The cocktail reception in our backyard was very relaxed, we had a mix of cocktail tables and long tables for family and friends to stand at or sit down. To light up the night sky we hung string lights and paper lanterns. The twinkling string lights look so pretty, so hard to capture on film.

As I mentioned above our tables were a mix of cocktail tables and long tables to sit at. For the centerpieces, each cocktail table had lilac hydrangeas and roses with eucalyptus branches that we DIYed and large pillar candles in vases. The long tables and had the flowers including a centerpiece of tea light candles on a cake stands. In addition to wedding cake, guests were also able to snack on lemon bars and fudge brownie bites.

Since we had a cocktail reception we decided to go for appetizer foods that were small bites but big on tastes. We used Off The Vine Catering and the food was so yummy! Are caterers were so good to us and set up the entire backyard for the reception and poured drinks all night long. For drinks we had White & Red Wine, Champagne, two types of beer and Lemonade and Homemade Sweet Tea. My mom made kindly made the sweet tea for the reception. My mom also helped me make all the favors. For the favors I bought small clay pots and painted them white and planted fresh flowers inside. Each favor had 'flying butterflies' and flag with the guests name on them. My mom cut hundreds of butterflies out for our big day, they landed everywhere on straws, favors and even the hanging lanterns!

For our wedding cake we went with Ettores European Bakery, hands down they have THE best cakes in all of Sacramento. Everyone raved about how yummy they cake was. The top tier of the was Princess Torte, the second tier Strawberry White Chocolate Mouse and the bottom tier Kahlua. Of course I had all three slices that night and ate lots of yummy food. Our cake was simple and white and decorated with pretty butterflies a gift a lovely bride that was planning her Wedding in 2009. Summer and I became friends via the Knot.com and bonded over butterflies and many DIY projects and of course wedding stress (we still talke all the time!). Anyways she found some pretty purple butterflies for my wedding cake and mailed them to me!  It made the cake extra special.

I hope you all enjoyed hearing about our wedding, it was so much for to share some details from our big day and share a little more about us too!! We were able to save a lot of money by taking on DIY wedding tasks. Our three biggest expenses for the Wedding were: Catering, Photography and Rentals { chairs, tables, dishes etc } We also saved money by having our ceremony in a Rose Garden and the Cocktail reception in our backyard, both places were free.

Tomorrow I'll be back to all things home decor related and sharing a little project I talked that's making me smile. Thanks again for all your kind words about our story.

Our Wedding Part Two

I never knew time could fly so fast, until we started planning our DIY wedding last year. We had a ton of wedding projects to complete and a home projects too since we wanted to have a cocktail reception in our backyard (read more about them here). My weeknights & weekends were consumed with wedding excel spreadsheets, dress fittings, food tasting, planting flowers and weeding our backyard. One of my best friends during the wedding planning was a mini book called The Bride's Mini 411, Checklist, Calenders & Contacts which fit perfectly in my purse when I didn't want to carry my Wedding Binder around. The book was a gift from my maid of honor.

Before I knew the morning of the Wedding had arrived, and it was a busy yet fun one! My mom, sister and my maid of Honor arrived bright and early to my house to finish up one last important detail flowers! Our wedding flowers were a DIY project, that morning we made: 4 bouquets, 3 boutonnieres, 8 centerpieces. I love how my bouquet turned out a mix of white hydrangeas and roses. My bridesmaids had lilac hydrangeas and roses, our flower girl had a pretty bouquet of baby's breath.

In addition to making our wedding invitations, I also made our wedding programs. Each program was wrapped in chocolate ribbon band.
After finishing up the last minute details at my house we all headed to the Hyatt Hotel to get ready, which is almost directly across the street from the ceremony Rose Garden. I stressed the morning of the wedding but felt better once I was at the hotel & getting my wedding pre-pampering. I went to a bunch of bridal shops and had some maybes, but found THE dress at Alfred Angelo. I knew it was the one when my girlfriends cried. Instead of a bright white dress, I went with a cream that flattered my skin tone and went with a champagne ribbon for a shade of contrast. I signed up for their emails and got the dress on sale.

Instead of simple white wedding shoes, I wanted a punch of color and shoes that I would have fun wearing again on a swanky dinner date with Mr. CLH. I found the shoes at Nordstroms, the store didn't have me size in stock but found them at store in Chicago they only pair left in my size in all of the Nordstroms. Love that Nordstroms shipped them to me for free.

Here's a picture of my maid of Honor and I walking across the street to the Old Rose Garden Capitol Park

The Internet was one of my best friends during wedding planning, I found a simple drop veil made with a pencil edge. I bought my veil from obridal.com they make custom veils that are really affordable and pretty. The whole day felt surreal, but began to feel 'real' when my dad and I rounded the corner to begin walking down the aisle.

Tomorrow concludes our mini wedding recap vows and cocktail reception details. If you missed part one of Wedding Recap please click here. I hope you've our wedding so far. What's your favorite wedding memory of your big day, before saying your vows?

Our Wedding Part One

Hi everyone, yesterday my husband and I celebrated our one year anniversary. It has easily got to be one of the best years ever, so easy & fun. So far I'm liking married life! I thought it would be fun to do a little mini recap of our wedding and a little bit more about me, him and our son. Before I get into all the fun of planning Wedding, I wanted to share our story. I met my now husband when we were teenagers 16 to be exact. We fell in love at a young age and had our son at a young age when we 20. My husband Hasani, you know him better as Mr. CLH was just month shy of his 20th birthday. The stress of being a young couple with a baby was very hard on our relationship and we actually ended our relationship just before Tabari was one years old. 

Anyone who's had a child (children) knows how hard it can be to raise a child while  maintaining a relationship is a lot of work especially when you young! We co-parented our son for seven long years and lived our own lives, until one day in February 2007 we had a conversation about past hurts and misunderstanding and US. We decided to give our relationship another chance! For the next year and half we grew closer and bonded as a family, moved with each other, went on vacations and started looking for a home to buy and of course I fell deeply in love with him, more so then I ever could have imagined when we were young.
We got engaged the day after Thanksgiving 2008, and quickly set a  wedding date 9/19/09. Yes, we only gave our selves 10 months to plan our big day) Now back to all things planning & prepping

We decided to have a small intimate wedding of 50 with our close family and friends. And of course are wedding was a DIY affair on a budget, just like our fixing up our 1950's rancher has been! We decided to have a garden wedding ceremony and have a cocktail reception at our home and keep the whole day special and low key & fun! Along with wedding DIY projects we had plenty of home DIY projects to tackle around the house to make our home reception ready.  We painted our house, installed a sprinkler system and rolled sod out added a ton of curb appeal all before our big day! Here's a engagement picture of Hasani & I right in front ceremony spot at Old Rose Garden Capitol Park. 

We wanted our Save the Dates to be fun and reflect our personalty ( and make people smile) My sister Shannon acted as a photographer, and we took our pictures at a local school on the playground (my nephews school!)

Another paper project I couldn't wait to tackle for our big day was our wedding invitations. Since I love hydrangeas and those are my wedding flowers, I wanted to include them in our invitations. I contacted an Etsy graphic designer had her custom make me a graphic Hydrangea flowers and a sweet little butterfly. I was able to turn this graphic and turn into invitations, Reception Cards, Rsvp Cards and our Thank You cards. Which save a lot of money!

Here the invitations, I used Publisher to create the wedding invitation suite and printed them at home on our HP Printer. Instead of sending the invitations off with regular old stamps, I used ___ stamps from our local Post Office. Its little touches like these that make me smile. I also lined envelopes (including the RSVP) with lavender paper. Since we were doing a small quantity of invitations, I purchased the envelopes from Paper Source, where I also bought envelope liners - they I still use. I'll share our wedding invitations in Part Three :)

You all know how much I love Craigslist, right? Well not only is it a good place to find a steal on furniture its also where I found our wedding Photographer! Yep, CL has a whole section of  business ads, I looked under the 'Services' section under 'Creative' and searched for a photographer. I talked with a few photographers saw their websites and still wasn't sure, until I came across DMG Photography and we met with Darwin Garza and instantly clicked. I knew right away he & his wife would be able to capture our special day in the mix we wanted, portrait and photojournalist style. If your in the Northern California area ( SF Bay Area though Sacramento ) and looking for amazing team of photographers to capture your day or event please visit thier wedsite http://www.dmgphoto.com/

Here a few pictures from our engagment session with Darwin taken around the City we call home.

Was your wedding a DIY affair, or will it be? I would love to hear details