Archive for the ‘STEALS!’ Category

If you live in the greater Phoenix-area, hopefully you’ve heard about the Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market. If not, well, now you know.

There is one tomorrow (Saturday, September 15th) at WestWorld in Scottsdale and I am SO EXCITED. I’ll be there with a group of girlfriends, Starbucks in hand, ready to find some great decor items for the Dream. Here’s what I’ve found in the past:

The iron wall hanging that is in our family room was the one and only item I purchased at my first Junk in the Trunk sale more than a year ago. It was about $40, which I thought was a great deal. Initially, I bought it to hang on our entry wall…

You can see the bottom of it in this shot of Kenton when he was four months old. MY BABY! Where has the time gone?! Seriously, they are only babies for approximately one nanosecond. WAH!!!!

Anyway, it’s now in the family room and I like it there for now.

Eventually, I’d like to get the four photos around it printed on 16×20 canvases. Currently, they are 8×10 photos in 16×20 frames. I think that size adjustment will look better on that wall.

Bowdoin the Bulldog, however, is not impressed. Shocker. Oh, and ignore the hot mess over there on the right – more on that in a minute.

So, at the last Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market a few months ago, I scored a few more sweet things for the Dream. I blogged about that here.

Fun. Fun.

Tomorrow, I’m on the hunt for at least three things. (The at least is a disclaimer for Mr. Dreamer – just so he knows if I find more than three things, I’m not breaking any promises. It’s only at least three… I’m actually hoping to find more.)

Back to the hot mess…

The wall where our TV is mounted is arguably the most boring wall in the entire house. Again, Bowdoin is not impressed – and no one can blame him. At the JITVM, I’ll be searching for some kind of shelf/mantle to mount over the TV – and possibly some fun things to display on it. Ideally, I want something nearly as long as that wall, kinda chunky, and the same stain as the TV stand – I know, it’s a very specific list.

I’m also looking for a table to go under my gallery wall. A few weeks ago, the gals behind JITVM posted THE PERFECT table on Instagram and I commented that I had to have it! Well, I was just a couple of hours too late. Someone beat me to it. Boo Hoo! So, I’m hoping there’s something at tomorrow’s sale that’s even better.

Finally (but not literally finally – see disclaimer above), I’d like to get a chalkboard to put on the bottom half of this wall – so Kenton can color on it. He’s a tad obsessed with his sidewalk chalk for the back patio, that he’s not allowed to bring inside. So, I thought that might be a practical and fun thing to add here. The chalkboard at the adult level we purchased in France right after we bought the Dream. Yes, that number is correct – 33 days to baby. I KNOW. Too fast, too fast.

See the Boy vs. Girl poll? Don’t worry, you’ll have a chance to cast your vote next week during PREGNANCY WEEK here on Our Dream Foreclosure.

So, anyone else heading to the Junk in the Trunk Vintage Market tomorrow? If so, comment and let me know! If you see me, say hi! I’ll be the one with the permagrin and beach ball tucked under my shirt. 🙂

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I’ve been excited to share this project with you for MONTHS. No, it hasn’t been done for months, it’s been done for about five minutes. The closing ceremonies are on Sunday, so I kind-of waited until the last minute to actually do this project… but it’s been in my head for months.

Oh gosh, do those wheels make me happy.

As you know, we’ve been working on Kenton’s “big boy” room. It is going to have a cycling theme. So, I’ve been tossing around different ideas using bike parts in the room. I got this idea a while back and Jason initially tried to talk me out of it. Where would I get bike wheels? You’ll have to buy a whole bike (three bikes!) and just use the wheels? This could get expensive, quick. Yikes!

So, imagine my DELIGHT when I stumbled upon these beauties at my local thrift store…

Three bikes. $4.99 each. WHAT?! I know. You know what’s even better? I had a $10 off coupon. So, I got all three bikes for $5. YESITSTRUE. They all happen to be the same brand and size. The gal at the register guessed I was pregnant with triplet girls. I quite enjoyed telling here there was just one baby in my belly and these bikes were about to get stripped for an art project for my son’s room. Yep, she was confused.

I got home and could barely contain my excitement as I showed Jason what I found. He was impressed! You need to understand, Jason is a cyclist. but not only does he ride a bike for exercise and fun – it’s also his main hobby. He loves scouring eBay for deals on bikes and bike parts. Many times, he’s purchased incredible bikes for way below retail, stripped them and re-sold the parts via eBay for a hefty profit. We have an ongoing agreement… I don’t care if he spends $2,000, $3,000 or even $5,000 on a bike if he’s sure he can turn a profit off of it. He always does.

So, I had the right guy on my team to strip these girls down to just what I needed.

bike guts

6th wheel

That, my friends is the 6th wheel. I’m saving her for another fun project in the room – but you can see there the toughest parts to remove (thanks to rusty bolts) – the axel, bearings and cog. Once Jason was able to get those off, there was a ton of grease in that middle hole. We spent a couple of days going through cycles of spraying them down with degreaser, wiping, rinsing, letting them dry – before we felt they were ready for the next step…

The first step, once the wheels are successfully naked from all unnecessary parts, spray them down with primer.

Once they’re dry, which takes no time at all here in Arizona, you’re ready to apply the individual ring colors.

Since the Olympic colors are not colors I’m using anywhere else in this room, I opted for Krylon’s Short Cuts, mini spray paint cans:

Aren’t they cute?

Krylon, by the way, didn’t pay me for this post. I just researched spray paint and thought this product would be best. It worked out well. I had more than enough paint for each wheel. I also shopped around for the best price on these puppies, which I found at Hobby Lobby:

Two of the colors were $3.47 and the other three were $3.27. Not sure why red and yellow were more expensive, but still – that was the best price I found.

So, the obvious next step is to start painting the wheels/rings…

The front/back was easy. The sides, however, were a little tricky. At first, I thought the middle hole would fit over a wine or beer bottle, but they were a little small. So, I jerry-rigged three beer bottles through the spokes to hold the wheels just far enough off the ground that I could spray the entire side in one try.

Bonus – after, you have artsy painted beer bottles (which went straight back into the recycling bin!).

With all sides of the wheels painted…

I let them dry for a few hours. Again, the Arizona summer “dry” heat is fantastic for fast drying. It’s not fantastic for late-term pregnancy, but I digress.

Once they were ready, we did a quick Google image consult to check the proper order… then we simply nailed them to the wall, really close together.

Since Kenton’s big boy room is not ready for these rings yet, they are being temporarily housed in the playroom. Before we move them, we’ll be looking at different methods of hanging. This isn’t necessarily the most secure – especially for a curious little boy! Anyway, here’s what they look like right now in the playroom… so you can see the size….

Yes, that’s my little “Made in the USA” future Olympian down there chasing a ball…

We’re hoping he goes for the gold someday in cycling – but his current obsession with balls may indicate another sport interest. We shall see.

Okay, here’s the budget breakdown for this project:

Bikes = $5 ($4.99 each with a $10 off coupon)

Spray paint primer = Already had

Mini spray paints = $16.75

TOTAL = $21.75

Crazy, right?!

What do you think?! Anybody else do an Olympic-theme DIY project this week?

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So, last weekend, I ventured out to the Junk in the Trunk Trio’s Vintage Market. It’s basically a big craft sale, but with really cool stuff. They had about 60 vendors – all selling “junk” and/or treasures, depending on your view. I took a girlfriend and wisely left the hubby behind. We both scored some great treasures.

Here’s my loot:

More on that in a minute. First, let’s check out what my friend, Kristen nabbed:

How adorable is that chevron bench?! She also got that cool sconce, a couple of vintage clutches, and some sweet subway signs.

I got a major coup with this $12 vintage dish display rack that I’ll transform into diaper storage for the playroom:

I plan to paint it to match another piece in that (yet to be revealed) room. The top shelf will display pictures, the bottom will hold diapers and I’ll hang some mini-baskets with diapering-essentials from the bottom.  That’s the plan anyway. I’m EXCITED.

I also scored this sweet pillow for the playroom:

Awe, it just makes me, well, happy! And “happy” is exactly the mood for a playroom. Amen?

I also snagged a couple of pieces for the new gallery wall in the Kitchen/Family Room:

I’ll paint the distressed piece solid white and display some fabric in it. These two items will be among several on this new display wall… where we’re kissing goodbye to our wedding wall:

It’s just time, you know? The wedding was so pre-Kenton and pre-baby in my belly. Time to update things!

So, I got enough “junk” to keep me busy for a while. I’m definitely looking forward to the next Junk in the Trunk event in September!

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I stopped by my local thrift store to browse – primarily searching for a changing table for the new downstairs playroom (update coming soon) – but I happened to walk by the fabric aisle.  FABRIC!  They have fabric at the thrift store? People donate unused fabric? What? Look what I scored…

I’ve got yards of each for just $2.99 each. Seriously. I couldn’t believe it either. Actually, when I got to the register, I found out it was on sale because I also picked up a $2.99 frame and my grand total came to $6.52.


The gray fabric is for our bedroom, where I’m going to attempt this Pinterest project.

Still not sure what I’m going to do with this vintage chevron upholstery fabric, but I could not pass it up! ($2.99!)

Any ideas for me?

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Post-Christmas Dreams

Ahh… the day after Christmas SALES!  Do you love them as much as I do?  I love them more than Black Friday.

Here’s what we scored this year:

bonus points if you can spot some Bulldog wrinkles sneaking into the shot

We snagged these Alegra Hicks chairs from West Elm for 70% off.  SWEET!  Retail price = $499 each.  We got these puppies (brand new, still in the box) for $125 each!  They’re going to go in the living room with our brown leather couch once we get our couch swapping finalized.   Here’s another look:

Also at West Elm, we scored these sweet little handmade initial ornaments:

Jason, Michelle, Kenton, Bowdoin

At just $.90 each, we also picked up a couple of initials for possible future bebe’s names.  No, we’re not sharing what those are.  (We’ve got to hide these, I know a few people -ehem-cough-grandma-cough- will try to find them.)

At good ol’ Tarjhey, we found some cool vintage-y Christmas decorations for next year.  We brought home all of this for less than $10:

And, finally, we hit up Crate & Barrel for a whole pile of next-Christmas goodies:

We spent about $50 on this loot, which includes garland, candles, mini-cupcake papers, tea light holders, and the one thing I really wanted – Christmas pillows!  I snuck past two ladies who thought they were fighting over the last Christmas tree pillow and found a whole box full of them.  So, I snagged two!

Baby Gap also got some of our business for a few baby closet essentials…

Anyone else score some great deals this week?

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*This giveaway is now closed, but you’re more than welcome to keep reading… and subscribing!  The button is right there on the right side of your screen.

‘Tis the season – almost – for giving gifts.  To get into the spirit, we are doing our very first giveaway on Our Dream Foreclosure!  If you’re in the market for a photo book, today is your lucky day.

I have put together so many photo books through Shutterfly, they actually asked me to host a photo book party and sent a bunch of free books to give away to friends.  Apparently, I don’t have as many “real” friends as the good people at Shutterfly think and there are a few extra books – so, those are getting passed along to you, my virtual friends.

Why, yes, that is a baby book of our Bulldog, Bowdoin's first year. What? That's not normal?

That’s just one example of the many books I’ve done.  There’s also a few from our wedding, one of our honeymoon, one from our trip to France, others that we’ve gifted to family and friends – I could go on.  I love pictures – taking them and displaying them.  However, I hate scrapbooking.  Just thinking about that craft-activity conjures up visions of gluey fingers, tiny scraps of paper that need to be vacuumed, photos irreversibly adhered to a page askew, and neck pain from hours bent over an endless pile of 4×6’s.  NO. THANK. YOU.  The neat lines, clear text and limited debris involved with digital books is far too appealing.  I also love the fact that if a book was lost or fell victim to an upended latte – it’s not gone forever – it just needs to be re-ordered.

We have some friends that feel the same way.  So, they came over recently for a BYOL (laptop) soiree and we shared a lovely evening not speaking to each other.  See:

Ok, so there was some conversation – but we were primarily focused on our books.  And drinking wine.  And eating brownies – but I think I ate more brownies than anyone else.  Whatever, I’m breastfeeding – that burns about 4,000 calories a day.  Bring it, brownies.  Speaking of too many brownies, remember when my belly was big?  I updated all of you lovely readers on a weekly basis (archived here).  That became my maternity journal – and that’s the book I was working on that night…

I’m looking forward to having a book of memories of the 41+ weeks I carried my precious Kenton.  It was such a special time and this will be a fantastic keepsake.


Okay – now on to you and your keepsake!  I have five 8×8 books to give away (that also come with 10 free Christmas cards).  The first five people to respond get them.  Here’s what to do:

  • Subscribe to the blog (See “Follow this Blog” tab in the right column)
  • Comment below (make sure to include your correct email address in the comment form)
  • In your comment, let me know that you’re subscribed AND tell me what you plan to feature in your photobook… your kid? puppy? special trip?

Disclaimer: Shutterfly did not pay me to write this post – they just sent me too many free books and I don’t want them to go to waste.

PS – make sure you include your email address in the comment form – winners will get free codes via email.

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For our first official post of the summer, what better topic than the backyard grill/BBQ?

Who wouldn’t dream of having a custom-built BBQ on your patio?  Nice feature, huh?  Kinda pricey though.  Unless you “inherit” the sad shell of a former such luxury with your foreclosed home, which you bought with your super-handy hubs, whose ultra-super-handy-pops is always willing to lend a helping hand.

surveying the scene

So… here’s what we started with…

Ugly.  Sad. Pitiful.  EYESORE.

So bad, in fact, we put up plywood support and duct-taped plastic tablecloths over this thing in an attempt to sheild it from view during our Open Dream Party.  It was the perfect spot to serve drinks, including this YUMMY sangria, but we would never force our guests to see the extreme DIY home improvement project that awaited us underneath.

But once we did have the time/energy to tackle it – we think the results are quite impressive!

Here’s how the Dream boys got ‘er done:

filled a gaping hole in the back with recycled pavers we found in the backyard

the hole in front was measured, cut and filled so that our existing grill would be a perfect fit

after the el-crappo tile on top was removed.... the surface was re-enforced with plywood and Dura Rock

new tile went on that surface like a breeze

it took just a couple of hours to set and grout

after a little paint to cover the new stucco (DIY) job...

voila! the eyesore is now quite nice to gaze upon

The BEST part?  The entire project, which the pro’s would charge thousands to do, cost us less than $150.  Here’s how:

Mortar = $6

Bricks/Pavers to fill holes = Free!  Recycled from ones we dug up on the backyard

Plywood/wood = $19

Dura Rock = $16

Tile/grout = $90

Paint = already had

Grill = already had

Labor = FREE!

Total cost = $131

Yep, you can color us happy and know that we’ll be enjoying many a grilled meal in the future.

Happy Summer!

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Dream Date

January 20, 2008

That’s our “dream date” — our wedding day.

Recently, we browsed through one of Mrs. Dreamer’s favorite stores – Anthropologie – and found something fun to commemorate that date:


These little spice jars called our name – especially when we saw they had our necessary number makeup.  But the PRICE made the purchase a no-brainer…

just $12 for the set! score!

We thought they’d be perfect on the window sill behind our dreamcet.

However, once we got them back to the Dream and pulled them out of their tissue paper – they seemed much more country-bumpkin than they did in-store.  Hmm… we are NOT knick-knack people and are now truly on the fence with these little numbers.  Sooooo…..

Can’t wait to see what you think.  BTW – We are working on that last point… trust us.  DIY landscaping, here we come (hopefully before the AZ summer hits!).

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Nope.  No exciting announcements.  (As if the blog is the place we’d first announce a dream in the oven?!)

Just another little Then & Now action for you… the Dream Family room.  As we’ve mentioned before, the family room is an extension of our kitchen – a lovely feature that was on our “must” list while Dream shopping.  We’ve already told you how we had a design challenge on our hands with our color schemes and how we’ve tied the rooms together with some A-list-Pottery-Barn-esque fabric.  So, here is what we were working with…




Everything is different, except for the flooring.  Which wasn’t hard because the house was empty and the walls were white!  The hubs did a great job installing a new ceiling fan that actually matches our decor…

you can see the box valances found their way into this room as well...

ah, yes, the cork collection grows. but do you notice anything different?

We opted to switch out the white frames you previously saw for brown so these photos tie in better with…

this collection of photos from our France trip that flank our tv

All of these frames are from Ikea — steals for $5 (5×7) and $10 (8×10).  We’re sticklers for cohesiveness and flow… while these may not be the best quality, nobody’s going to get too close… they perfectly serve their purpose for now.

And now for the rest of the highlights:

cozy chair in the corner with a "Mrs. Dreamer" original pillow - same fabric as the valances

There’s still a lot to do…

  • Clearly, we’re in need of a “real” coffee table!
  • We’d love to put an area rug under said coffee table – but two smelly, drooly Bulldogs make that seem unlikely
  • Eventually, we’ll replace the off-white leather (hand-me-downs-of-which-we-are-so-grateful) furniture with brown leather — easier to keep clean and will better match our aesthetic tastes
  • Next up: painting the ceilings the same color as the walls (Colonial Buff by Sherwin Williams) and adding CROWN MOLDING!  Can’t wait!  We think that’s going to take the room to a whole new level.

We did not pay full price for ONE thing in this room (YAY!). Most of it we had before and moved with us into the Dream, but here’s a rundown so you can see where we spend our time NOT paying full price:

  • Couch, love seat, chair, ottoman – hand-me-downs from the parents
  • Media cabinet – consignment store (My Sister’s Attic)
  • TV – gift
  • Bar – Craig’s List
  • Lamps by couch – from a woman who is dealer for a big-furniture-chain – she advertised on Craig’s List and now we’re on her “list” (!)  More exciting finds to come from that… 🙂
  • Lamp behind chair – we’ve had the stand forever, but scored a new shade at a charity auction for $5
  • C&B Wicker side table – charity auction (retails for $90, we got it for $12)
  • Tile side table – My Sister’s Attic
  • Frames – Ikea
  • Photos in frames – taken ourselves on our trip to France
  • Clock – Holland Boone, using a gift certificate from our wedding
  • Globe – Marshall’s/Home Goods
  • Black vases – Costco (with a coupon)
  • Throw – TJ Maxx
  • Pillow – self-made
  • Valance – self-made
  • Blinds – Home Depot (with coupon)
  • Curtains and rod – Ikea

Oh yeah, we feel g-o-o-d about that!

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We are happy to report that Christmas dinner at the Dream was a success!


We hosted our parents and served up a healthy dose of Boeuf Bourguignon.  It was our first attempt at making that dish – something we savored while traveling through the Bourgogne wine region in France this summer.  We were able to host Christmas dinner — our first in the Dream — thanks to our new table!  We’ve had our eye on the Napa dining table from Cost Plus World Market for months.  We pulled the trigger after getting a 25% coupon via email — while it was already on sale!  Score.

Our Christmas dinner adventure started on 12/24…

raw meat. lovely.

we chopped the meat into 2-inch cubes and set aside the grizzle for a pup treat later... because...

...raw meat may seem gross to you... but our pups drool over it (literally!). don't worry, we'll cook the meat before they get it.

next up: veggies, spices and wine (from the Bourgogne region, of course!)

we chopped up the veggies and added them to the meat

then we added the best part... the wine! we let this mixture marinate in the fridge for 24 hours.

While this fine concoction marinates… we enjoy…

...Christmas morning!

carrying on the Christmas quiche tradition in the Dream

bowdoin found what santa brought him (paris slept in, smart girl)

After opening some fabulous presents – that may or may not involve improving the Dream (!)… we were back at work…

our marinated concoction must be separated... into three parts...

veggies... marinade... meat.

now we have to put a bunch of stuff in our new dutch oven... cook it... take it out... cook something else... take it out... you get the picture... so we'll save you all the pictures (but yes, we took them). this is us cooking bacon and leaving behind the fat. YUM!

so much yumminess in one 7-quart pot

We leave that to set while we take off for another Christmas tradition…

a hike! clearly, we are not the only people with this tradition.

this is Christmas in Arizona, folks. awesome.

After burning a few calories… it was time to go home and EAT!

before our guests arrive... we set the table...

...get the hors de'voures and champagne ready...

bon appetit! (how much do you love the name cards? srsly.)

after filling our bellies... it's present (and family photo) time... consider this the before...

...and this the after! kinda messy for 6 adults and 2 dogs... but what will it look like when mini-dreamers are running around?! yikes.

So, that was our Christmas Day 2009.  Thanks for “sharing” it with us!  Now, we’re off to get ready for our NYE party.  We love having a house to entertain in!  HAPPY 2010!

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