Tag Archives: DIY

How to Save $100 a Year

My husband was starting to look a little too cute this weekend, so it was time for a haircut. It costs about $10 for Eric to get his hair cut at one of the discount salons around here, so it’s not extravagantly expensive, but considering he basically gets it shaved off, why spend the money?

It curls... if we let it get much longer it would "fro"

A few years ago we spent a little over $30 on a Wahl Clippers set kind of like this one. It has served us well, especially considering it paid for itself after just 3 haircuts.

Cutting your husband’s hair is not as intimidating as it sounds. I was nervous the first time, but the kit we bought came with a great instructional DVD and the actual clippers are pretty foolproof. I use the size 4 comb all over his head first.

If it's warm, I cut his hair outside to skip cleanup.

Then I take the size 2 comb and clip the sides, fading up into the top by bending my wrist at the end of each stroke. Finally, I use the right and left ear pieces to clip around his ears, and lose the comb altogether to shave the back of his neck and clean up the sideburns.

Tah-dah!

I like the way the back of his head feels after I cut his hair. I told him I was going to write on my blog that it feels like peach fuzz, but he didn’t think that sounded manly enough. So we mutually agreed that officially, it feels like the coat of a black stallion.

And of course we need a token shot of Micah, who was watching the whole time from his premier seating area (the pack -n- play).

And yes, his binkie is purple.

Do you cut your family’s hair? Do you use clippers or do you get really creative (brave) with the scissors?

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Basement Makeover

My basement has been driving me nuts for a long time. It was really messy and full of junk to begin with, and then the whole mess with the flood made it ten times worse. We can’t afford to finish it just yet, but this past week we did some things that dramatically improved its looks. The entire project cost about $100, too, so that’s not too bad!

Taken after the "flood": What a disaster!

When we first moved in, we threw everything in the basement, and then every time we cleaned and unpacked a room upstairs, the excess went in the basement, too. Eric’s “man cave” was starting to look like an episode of Hoarders.

So this week I started off the project by throwing away or giving away a lot of the junk that was cluttering the floor. I put an ad up for the 5 artificial trees in the free section of Craig’s List. I got about twelve responses within the first day, and by the next day, a nice couple hauled them away in their truck. Most of the stuff went to the curb, however. Much of it was stuff that had gotten wet and wasn’t worth replacing.

The next major step in our renovation involved Eric building these awesome shelves from 2x4s and boards. His dad came over to help. I was super impressed with the end result. I didn’t know I was married to such a skilled carpenter! (He is always full of surprises!) After I had cleared out all the junk, I was able to organize what was left on these shelves, which got everything off the floor.

I then bought some white sealer/primer and started painting the concrete walls. I did the first ten feet or so, and then my mom came over to help me finish. (Meaning, she finished it for me! She is wonderful!)

Wonderful Shelves!

It took quite a while to go through everything and organize it. Once that was done, we still had to put things back like rugs and furniture, since it had all been moved around during the restoration and clean up. We divided the basement into different sections: office, exercise equipment, storage, living area, etc.

The "office"

Gaming area (and exercise equipment in the background)

The "Living Room"

The final step, which even my mom has not seen yet, was the result of an impulse decision to paint a mural on one of the walls. I decided the corner behind the TV could use some sprucing up.

See how bare it is?

Ah, much better!

I used plain old acrylics to paint a branch and a red swallow motif. It took me about 2 hours and I had a lot of fun doing it! Here is a better view:

I love it!

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