Archive for June 23, 2010

$55 House Cleaning Deal in D.C.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog you know that I’ve been snatching up cleaning service deals from Groupon and Living Social for months now. Every time I find a cleaner willing to service our area I buy the deal. Cleaners typically charge $125 – $150 to clean my house, so finding a cleaner for $45 – $60 is a real bargain!

Living Social posted another cleaning service deal online this morning and as I’m writing this more than 650 folks have already purchased the offer including me. Last time I posted a link quite a few people ordered, so I’m posting again in case anyone in the D.C. area might be interested.

Even if you’re not in D.C. you should really check out Living Social. This is the second time I’ve purchased from them and the fourth time I’ve bought cleaning services from collective buying sites overall. So far I’ve had really good experiences with all of the companies that have serviced my home.

You can view today’s specific offer here.

June 23, 2010 at 3:30 PM 1 comment

Replace versus Repair: How Do You Decide What to Do?

When we bought our beach house in North Carolina it was ready to move into. The contracted sale included not only typical conveyance items like kitchen equipment and appliances and window treatments but also everything else that was already in the house including dishes, pots and pans, wall hangings and furniture.

Over the years we’ve replaced many of the original items. In fact we replaced all of the kitchen appliance, including the the stove, refrigerator and lastly the dishwasher. We’ve also donated or discarded the couches, side tables, kitchen chairs, coffee tables and dressers.

Every time we’re about to discard something I take a second look to see if there’s any possible way to repair it first. My husband had great success sanding and refinishing the large wooden table in our dining room, but we did buy new chairs after realizing that the old ones were too rickety and unstable for us to fix.

This spring I noticed that the wooden counter height stools in the house were in need of repair. Over the years they’ve cracked, chipped and stained. They originally looked similar to the photo below.

I thought about replacing them with new ones and drooled over the dining room selections I found online, but rather than jumping the gun and pulling out my credit card I decided instead to try my hand at making them look more presentable myself first. I found a new, but never before used can of blue paint in the garage and decided to give them a coat.

I wish I had a photo for you. At first glance the stools looked great. They weren’t perfect, not by any means, but they were bright and colorful and most definitely improved from their previous state. I coated the stools with a thin layer of polyurethane, waited for them to dry and placed them next to the counter. Unfortunately, though I can’t seem to get the blue paint from rubbing off. Every time I place a wet towel on the chair, (which is typical behavior in a beach house), the paint comes off.

So now I’m reconsidering my options and looking at buying new ones again. The current stools don’t have backs so they aren’t at all comfortable anyway. I even picked out a new stool design that I absolutely fell in love with.

I really enjoyed working on this project even though I failed. It probably helped that I took the stools out on the driveway and painted on warm summer days with cool North Carolina breezes.

June 23, 2010 at 3:00 PM 1 comment


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