Tuesday, August 2, 2011

No-Spend July in Review

Hey hey!! How are ya? I’m back with another month in review, just in case you missed a project over the past 30 days. Because I know you would cry.

If you remember way back late last month, I told you about my mission for the month of July – to not spend a dime on DIY or decor for the whole 31 days. I had a basement full of unfinished projects and to do list a mile long…so I was determined to get a bunch done this month, using what I had on hand.

It was rough at times people. Some days I laid in bed, shaking. I needed some Goodwill! HomeGoods!! Hobby Lobby? Puuhhhlease?! ;)

I did it for the most part -- I had a couple cheats but I’ll tell you about those in a minute.

I started out the month by turning in a chunky Goodwill candlestick into a small end table:

chunky candlestick candlestick turned table

LOVE it! :) It’s worked out great!

Then, I finally showed you the family room reveal, complete with a new sectional and a moved TV – which transformed the space:

family room redo

Because I finished up a bunch of the room in July, I had to get creative with art and some accessories. I showed you the free art at the NYC Digital Gallery and how I made some of the prints into art:

free art

Did I mention FREE? :)

I found the perfect coffee table for the family room at Goodwill months ago, and made a few changes to it to make it functional for our space:

goodwill table

The casters on the bottom have been AWESOME – we move this thing around all the time. I love it!

Next up -- our little 16 square foot garden has been a JOY this summer. I showed you one of my very favorite fresh salads here.

square foot gardening

Today we picked about five tomatoes and 30 cherry tomatoes…for real. It is awesome. :)

I shared the exciting news about the Haven Conference, coming in June of 2012:

Haven conference

We are SO excited about this event! It’s open to bloggers and DIYers and we think both will find it worthwhile. (Tickets will go on sale in a few weeks – stay tuned!)

Next, I needed to fill the long space under our TV, so I built a trough-thingy and I adore it:

trough hydrangeas

It took no time at all and I promise you can make one too. Cross my heart. :)

I fell in love with the look of fresh, LIVE plants while blog hopping last month and showed you how I’ve added (animal friendly) pops of green throughout our home:

fern cat safe

And they're still alive! I can’t believe it!

I did something I’ve been meaning to do with the Bub for years and shared it with you here:

Sniff. :)

I had most of our summer vignette in the foyer done for a couple months. It was the painting of our front door that took me forever.

It was worth the wait though!:

black interior door

Love it!

Last week I shared some of my favorite tips from Pinterest – some have worked and some haven’t:

how to fold a fitted sheet(source)

Yes…I can now fold a fitted sheet! The key is putting it on floor or a table at step four – it’s nearly impossible to get right unless you lay it down. At least for me.

But I have conquered the fitted sheet and it rocks my world!!

And finally, something else that rocked my world…yet another NKOTB concert, with some Backstreet Boys thrown in for good measure:


I also shared more about our RV vacation from Indiana to Wisconsin and back.

We had a such a wonderful time and will definitely do it again. :)

So there’s the no-spend month in review! Like I mentioned, I did cheat a couple times. One was on purpose, one was by accident. I did buy a few things while on vacation, because…well, I was on vacation. :)

The accident was late last week when the Bub and I went to drop off a load of stuff to the consignment shop. The Bub wanted to go in (yes, I’ve taught him well) and we started looking around. And as we drove away with a bag of frames and a lamp…I realized I WASN’T SUPPOSED TO SPEND ANY MONEY.

What the ? I totally spaced it…honest to goodness, spaced it. I don’t know what the heck I was thinking. I got some great stuff though. :)

But I didn’t spend a dime on the projects I showed you this month. And I didn’t even walk into a Goodwill, HomeGoods, Joann’s….nothin’.

I started a few projects that I still haven’t finished, so the no-spend will continue here and there this month. And I can see myself doing this next summer as well, maybe even a couple months!

We have been working on the outside a TON this month though. Our deck is coming together so beautifully…I can’t wait to show you!!

Thanks for joining me for another month at TDC! Here’s to August! :)


  1. Hi Sarah, That was perfect timing, your post popped up on facebook just has I was thinking I needed to go over to your site and find the link for the free images! For reals! : ) I love all the projects you did last month. I still want to make the trough thingy. Soo cute!

    Oh and thanks for following me on Pinterest! I was all giddy when I saw that in my inbox this evening. : ) Have a great night! ~ Catie @ Catie's Corner (Put that there so you'd know who I was.)

  2. K, I am so proud of you and love the idea of "no spend." Way to go! That trough-thingy is just lovely and I really want to make one. And that "candlestick" is ginormous for a candle stick and I love it as a side table! Keep up the good work and I vote for more creativity and "no-spend" ideas like this on your blog!!!

  3. Hey again. Thought I'd let you know the link for the NYC digital images takes you to your family room redone post. : )

  4. your posts always make me smile. thank-you. :)

  5. Ok, you've inspired me! August will be my no spend month for home decor or crafts. I have already decided not to buy any clothes (for myself) this month. The boys might need some for school though. Love all your ideas! Heather

  6. Ok, you've inspired me! August will be my no spend month for home decor or crafts. I have already decided not to buy any clothes (for myself) this month. The boys might need some for school though. Love all your ideas! Heather

  7. I just wanted to take the time to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. This is such a fun place to be, that you inspired me to start my own blog! I can tell that you put a lot of effort into this, and it is greatly appreciated. Thank you for all you do.


  8. I need to do a "no spend" month....nahhhh, I don't think so! But thanks for the wonderful idea!

  9. I really need to do a no spend month challenge. I have so many half finished projects - I am sure I could keep myself busy! New products are just so tempting! Love all your projects and I am off to try folding my fitted sheets!
    Jenn :)

  10. Wow you rock! your house is gorgeous and I am totally jealous of your style! I could only dream of such a beautiful space.

  11. I was inspired by you and am in the midst of a no spend August but don't think I will make quite as cute stuff as you did......we shall see. :)

  12. I love your "trough thingy!" We're about to invest in a flat-screen TV, and I've been trolling for ideas to make it look less like an electronic shrine and more like a part of the room. You say anyone can make it... I may have to test you on that...

  13. What a great month! So many great projects and reveals and I am just so inspired. I especially love your new living room arrangement and I may have to paint the inside of my front door now that I've seen yours!

  14. AWESOME Job!! I'm actually doing a no spend August that I've dubbed "Getting back to Basics". Essentially, I'm limited to only the absolute necessities (food, utilities, mortgage, etc.) and cannot spend anything on any DIY, clothes, thrift store, etc. It's going to be tough, I'm sure!

    I love all of the projects that you were still able to complete during your no spend July!

  15. You can be proud of yourself for that no-spend month, Sarah! I don't know if I could pull it off. :) I am loving your living room's new look.

  16. You have inspired me also. I have just written down a list of projects that I plan to do. It is a long list. Your projects look great.

  17. Your is my newest favorate-est blog! What a great fun month! Girl, do you ever get a lot done - awesome!

  18. I am actually thinking about implementing a no spend on home decor on myself here this month.

    I have so many small projects sitting around because my attention moves to the bigger ones.

  19. Can I be like you? I seriously need to do this! I have so many projects that need this or that or just a block of time to finish. I keep saying I'm not starting anything else till they are done, but....
    I have a storage room filled with projects yet to be done too. Sometime I'll get to them, maybe...

  20. Sarah, I am so inspired by your No-Spend July mission. Although I haven't yet gotten my hands dirty in the world of DIY, I recently realized how much money I spend on eating out. I guess I got too used to the college diet of pizza and chinese food. I'm glad to see that you were able to achieve your goal of using what you've got on hand for a MONTH. Maybe one day I'll get there. Right now, I'm trying to start small and not eat out for a week (that includes the vending machines ALL AROUND the office here). It's gonna be tricky, but so necessary. Thanks the encouragement that it can be done.

  21. First off, love your blog :-) Had a question for you though... did you make the mirror hanging above your TV? If so, would love to know how you did it or where you got it if you purchased it. THANKS!

  22. OH I did the same thing for July too! I read your blog ALL the time, how did I not see that you were doing this? I got by with a lot of house shopping and uhhh practically not blogging for a month.

  23. Wow, I admire your willpower!!

    Love the trough under the telly, fab idea!!

    S x

  24. What a great month! I am still loving the lamp shade on your ceiling fan.

  25. You forgot about your plant and pot purchases for no spend July! I'm the same way as you. Sometimes I tell myself I'm going to do stop doing something and then I end up doing it without even realizing it! It's like my brain is on auto pilot.

  26. LOVE what you did! That candlestick turned side table is awesome, LOVE your "trough," and who doesn't LOVE free art!


  27. You had an action packed month! Glad to hear that your plants are all still alive!

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  29. I really liked the color of your wall in the picture of the part of your room where the blue prints are on the wall! Is that still in your family room, so that the colors would still be Sisal? (or might it be the Beechwood gray?) Hope my email addy is shown so you would be able to let me know - thanks a lot!!!

    Hugs from Michigan, Diane

  30. I love the no month!!! Way to inspire me to just use/finish what I have!!! Thanks for the challenge!

  31. Because it simply must be said again- your new family room is absolutely gorgeous. Perfect. Beautiful. Magazine looking, but with all the personal touches that make it still look like an actual home. Job well done!

  32. It is so remarkable what you have done. I've followed you every posting of your projects. It was nice to go back through them again, and to find out that I hadn't missed anything. I love you family room, and how you can take something it bring it back to life. Just remarkable!!

  33. The green candle looks so beautiful on that white stand. Perfect start for the month, which turned out to be so fruitful.

    I am hosting my first Link-up party - Tea Time Thursdays. Would be glad to see you there :)


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  35. luv this entire post! so glad to know i'm not the only person that "project hops" lol!! i so want to do Pinterest, but i'm on their waiting list. if u got an extra invite i'd luv one! i luv it all!


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THANKS so much for reading!