Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Save Money While Mowing Your Grass - Fiskars Staysharp Max Reel 18-inch Review

Mowing season is upon us, folks! I know some people enjoy it.

I'm not one of those people.

Growing up, my folks had 5 acres. As myself and each of my siblings got old enough, we would mow it all.

I'm done with big yards.

Karl is too.

Which is why we want a small plot of land in our first home.

In preparation for (hopefully) moving soon, Karl has been researching mowers for a long time, but was inspired by one of his fave blogs, Art of Manliness to look into push mowers [the article is called "In Praise of the Push Reel Mower" for those interested in reading it].

Why a push mower?

For starters, it's quiet. The first time Karl used the Fiskar, he came back smiling and saying how peaceful it had been, and promptly showed me a picture he'd taken of a bee on a nearby flower that he had been mowing near. I've been in the yard with him while he's mowing and we can chat - kind of crazy sounding, right?

It's a pleasurable experience to mow, something neither of us can recall mowing ever being before.

It's a money-saver. Psssh, buying fuel or charging with electric to simply mow our lawn? Our ancestors would be shaking their heads at us.

The push mower itself is inexpensive as well - the best price I've found for it is on Amazon for $190, free s/h. [note: affiliate link] Or do what we did: good 'ol Craigslist! I found a nearby seller who had used it only twice whom we bought it from for $150. Nice!

Bonus: Want exercise and muscles? Buy this instead of exercise equipment.

There. You just saved money in three ways already.

Push mowers are like taking snipping shears across your lawn, allowing the grass to grow in a healthy manner, and also giving your lawn a nice manicured look.

Lastly, push mowers are much safer. Ever catch a rock and the mower chucks it at major league baseball speeds? We've had siding from 50 ft away get punctured by such a scenario. Imagine if someone had been standing there? Yikes. Then add in the hot motor to burn yourself on and the continuously spinning blades even when you're standing still.

No motor on a push mower, and the blades stop when you stop. You would have to run right over a person to actually catch them with the blades with a push mower.

Why the Fiskar mower?

adjustable height, from 1-4"

It trims very well and has different settings for how high or low you want to cut your grass. Unlike a lot of push mowers, it also allows you to cut right up against edges of walls.

Is a push mower for everybody?

To put it simply: no.

If you have a yard that's more than half an acre, you'll probably want to get a bigger mower.

Is your yard crazily uneven or rocky? Then a push mower may not be your best bet. You'll have a harder time moving it across your lawn, especially if you like cutting your grass very short. See the video here for a little demo of cutting it very short on uneven ground:

Although, if you ever wanted an excuse to redo your lawn so that it is flattened and smooth, this would be a good excuse.

Overall we're glad we have a push mower. I'd say to really look into them if you're interested and go for it!

Shared On: fromdreamtoreality, hitmewithyourbestshot

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Yardsale Haul - May 2015

This past weekend I got to have one of those yardsale experiences of finding one amazing bargain piece after another, including specific items I'd been looking for.

Using my go-to resources for finding good yardsales, I geekily mapped out an itinerary days before so I could hit-up 6 big multi-sale and moving sales all in one morning. Two especially stood out: a retirement village, and the other a multi-vendor sale in a park.

My cash budget was a wee $30 from a recent selling of my ancient Gameboy, so it was a lot of fun to put my wheelin' and dealin' skills to use again! In fact they allowed me to walk away from the retirement village with a hand truck (we've been looking for one awhile now!) and these two awesome large glass jars for a total of $5! Goodness did I have a big grin on my face as I stowed it all in my car! A good hand-truck alone can run $50 and upwards, so this was a steal!

Later at the park I hadn't walked by many booths before I saw IT.

The Federal Style of furniture has always appealed to me. No, that's an understatement. I LOVE it. I'd also been on the lookout for such a piece to be in our entryway or as a TV stand. So I immediately bee-lined it to the dresser and checked for a price. Not seeing one, I asked the gal how much.

"That? Asking $40, but make an offer."

Ooo. Now I was definitely tempted. But there was still one problem...

...I was driving my Mini. It can fit a lot more than most would believe, but a dresser...

"Hm, maybe if I can find a way to get it back to my house I can consider it. I'll make a call and see."

"Oh! Do you live far? We could probably just drop it off for you."

Oh heavens, not have to lift it myself or commandeer a vehicle? She was singing my tune.

As it turned out, I happened to be just down the road from the sale, so I told her as much and then added that I wanted to look at the rest of the vendors and then I'd come back with a decision. She kindly said she'd hold it for me.

I probably took no more than 10 minutes to see the rest of the vendors. I also double-checked what cash I still had on me. Only $25.

It was time to get my negotiation skills to work again.

Coming back to the Federal dresser, I gave it a closer inspection - opening drawers, the "sniff test", etc. Satisfied, I approached the lady again and offered $25.

She countered with $30, citing the delivery being included. It was truly a good deal, so I showed her my cash remnant and said that $25 was all I had, but that I could pay the final $5 when it was delivered to the house. We shook hands and that was that!

Her father immediately went to work getting it in his truck, and no more than 10 minutes later it was sitting in my driveway as I had a nice chat with the father (he had a story about one of our annoying neighbors that had me laughing) and handed over the $5.

So, here it is, all for $30!

It's sitting in my garage for now because it has some missing veneer on the sides and drawers, so I'm going to be restoring it (this will be my first time trying to restore veneer, so if you have tips please send them in!).

Y'all have any awesome finds or deal-making this past weekend? Do tell! :)

Shared On: fromdreamtoreality

Friday, May 8, 2015

Island-Blue Side Tables

Oh my goodness, these tables have fulfilled a wish of mine that I've had for months of wanting to go bold and bright with a color, so I could not turn down the opportunity when I had these small side tables in my possession!

Here's what they looked like before I got to work on them:

These tables have been a handful, but they were worth it! Now look at these daring darlings:

General Finishes is once again the winner behind this phenomenal color of milk paint called Patina Green. It has a Jade quality to it, and reminds me of the beautiful and clear turquoise ocean waters you find in tropical areas.

The bold color especially works with these two pieces in a room because they are small and therefore not overpowering, but will still make a statement.

I kept the original fixtures and used good ol' gold Rub n' Buff to shine them up and add even more glam.

Just like those pure island waters that beckon your gaze to linger, you can't peel your eyes away from them!

Very much in love with how these babes turned out!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Low Hutch Makeover

Hi all! I finally kicked that awful cold's butt and am back to full health again. Huzzah! Better still, I have not just one, but 2 furniture makeovers to (at last) show y'all this week!

Today's makeover was my mom's low credenza that she keeps in her dining room. It was stained a very redish-brown back-in-the-day, and she wanted to bring it some life again.

Also in her dining room is a buffet table, and the plan was to try to have the credenza match it ...and I just realized I forgot to get a pic of the buffet table - do'h! Basically the whole top and the trim at the bottom are both black, and the middle is some kind of tuscan...antiqued-white...thing...? (I'm really great at this whole describing thing)

Anywho, going by that color scheme, I used General Finishes milk paint in Lamp Black on the top and bottom (you can see it in-progress here on my Instagram). Then came two coats of GF's Linen in the middle, and then topped off the middle with GF's Van Dyke brown glaze.

The fixtures and hinges were also painted black with the milk paint, which my ma did herself (she's actually starting to get the furniture painting fever and did a side table the other week! Another one joining the dark side, mwhaha).

In the end it turned out looking very close to the buffet table, so they do actually look like a set now. Very cool.

Looks much better than that ruddy red hue it had before!

Once again, GF products ftw!

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