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Pendant Lights on the Cheap

When we moved in our house last year we knew we were going to be replacing lots of light fixtures (along with all sorts of other stuff which can be found in the archives of this lovely blog ;).  Our first lighting job was going to be the kitchen.  It was SO dark.  I mean like, "I might cut myself while slicing an onion dark" or "I can't tell if my steak is well done or rare dark".  Just pitiful lighting for a kitchen. 

Speaking of pitiful, the worst light in the kitchen was the bedroom type light fixture right over the island... this drove me totally nuts!  Bedroom lights are not kitchen lights, why was this so confusing to the person who picked the light fixtures for my house?? 

Plus, it looked super cheapo (ok, the person wasn't confused, probably just cheap)...

Here's a "Before" pic,
*This "before" pic is from a real estate web site and these were NOT my previous decorations, you can just barely see the cheapo light over the island but you get the idea.

Anywho, we really wanted to put in some pendant lights over the island  but it was going to cost some big bucks to have an electrician come in and run additional wiring and cut holes in the ceiling to install them.  You know me... I don't like to spend big bucks on anything!   

Wandering around Lowe's one day I came across the pendant light globe section and was drooling over the selection of globes.  My kitchen so needed one to take the place of the pitiful bedroom light.  I was about to walk away when my little guy threw his sippy cup on the floor, when I bent down to pick it up I noticed on the bottom shelf some "pendant light kits" it was just what we needed! 

A kit that allows you to hang 2 or 3 pendants from one light outlet in the ceiling.  SWEEEET!  You even get to pick your own globes!!  It was fairly inexpensive, the kit plus the globes was around $65 bucks.  If you (or someone you know) can switch out a light fixture your golden.  (thankfully, sweet hubs is good at that stuff). 

How does it work??  Well, instead of having a separate hole with wiring in the ceiling for each pendant, it uses the one that is there and hangs the pendants from a "decorative bar" instead of separate holes. 

The only trouble we ran into was that the original light fixture wasn't exactly centered over the island and the kit pendant bar is meant to be centered over the existing wiring.  We were able to get around this problem by centering the bar where we wanted it and adding an extra black screw to hold it in on the "far" end.  No one will ever notice. 

While the "decorative bar" may not look as good on the ceiling as having traditional separated pendants it looks much better than the bedroom light.  And really, who is going to come in and stare at the ceiling anyway?? Hopefully no one. :)

Plus, I can see while chopping onions and eating steak... inalienable rights of any homeowner!  
                                                                What a difference!   

Flaunt it Friday #13

Oh my, it's Flaunt it Friday time!  I've had a week away from blogging because I'm having a garage sale this weekend (started tonight!) and it's taken every spare minute I have to get ready.  I have SOOOO much junk nice stuff and all of you should come over and buy it. :)

I apologize for the lack of blogs and confusing some of you that added your links to last weeks party (silly inlinkz was supposed to be closed!), please put it on the new one and sorry for the confusion and the late party start!! 

Flaunt it Friday #12!

Last week was my biggest party ever!!  Thanks friends!  I love looking at all your creative ideas.  What do you have for me this week??

Vacuum envy...

What's your favorite chore?  Favorite chore?!  Isn't that an oxymoron??   Well, maybe I should rephrase it , what is your least hated chore?  Mine is vacuuming.  I actually kind of like to vacuum.  It makes the whole room look clean if the carpet has those nice neat vacuum lines in it.

Maybe it also has to do with it doesn't have to be done every day multiple times a day like dishes and laundry (which are my least favorite chores).  I don't know but either way, I'm down with vacuuming. :)

Unfortunately, I don't have very good luck with vacuums.  I've had lots of them... 5 in the past 10 years.  The first three had untimely deaths, I still have #4 and 5.  #4 ended up becoming our basement vacuum because it's lost a lot of it's suction, plus it has a very dusty canister that the dust clings to so makes a huge mess when I empty it- but it's good enough for the basement.

Currently, vacuum #5 has that lovely burning rubber smell  that it leaves all over the house after vacuuming. 

Nothing says this house is clean like the fresh smell of burning rubber. ;)

#5 needs a new belt even though it just got a new belt, it has chronic-belt-burning-itis thanks to our new carpet. We put in thick frieze (you know, the new fancy word for shag carpet) in the house when we moved in last summer and it is just too long for good ol' #5 to handle. 

Even at it's highest setting it sucks up the carpet like it's a rug and starts burning up the belt.  I have to vacuum really fast in order to keep the burning to a minimum.  You know what this means?... I don't vacuum as often as I should because it just too darn hard!  My arm is aching with a terrible tennis-elbow-carpal-tunnelish feeling by the time I'm done and I'm not exaggerating. 

Woe is me and my awful tortureous (and stinky) vacuum #5.

I have secretly been envious of Dyson owners for quite some time.  Even though I think I could really benefit from owning an almighty Dyson I would never, ever, not ever pay $400 plus for a vacuum.  I've never even considered buying one because of the crazy price tag.   

A few weeks ago all that changed.  I was in Tuesday Mornings (a TJ Maxx type of place but not as good) and there in the back of the store was a Dyson and I could see a clearance tag on it!  I was SO disappointed when I saw the price, $249.  It was a pretty good deal for a Dyson but not for Ms. Chic on a Shoestring. 

About 10 days later I got an ad in the mail from Tuesday Mornings that all clearance items would be half off starting the upcoming Friday.  So, Thursday before the sale I went and checked on "my Dyson" which I was sure someone else had purchased but and it was still there!  They wouldn't put it on hold so I said I'd be back when they opened. 

So, like one of those crazy people at Christmas time, I got there 20 minutes before they opened and stood in front of the door.  About 20 people lined up behind me.  I was the first one in and got the Dyson for $125!  I had a $5 coupon and a $65 gift card so it only cost me about $60 with tax!!!  $60 for a Dyson!?  This is definitely in my top 10 of sweet deal finds, ever! 

I was like a little kid on Christmas morning... I opened the box and just tossed everything everywhere then ran to test out my new toy!  It runs like a dream... no more tennis elbow or stinky rubber smell!

So pretty!!  Check out all that dirt in the canister!!  I just vacuumed last week,  I don't think ol' #5 was really doing a good job anymore (obviously!)

This new one really sucks!!!  (I had to say it, I couldn't help myself)

Keeping my name and Flaunt it Friday #11

Thank you everyone for your input about my bloggy/business name!  Chic on a Shoestring Decorating was the winner, hands down.  Actually, every comment left told me not to change it. :)   I was pretty sure I wanted to keep it and now am totally sure!

Please bare with me as I am a little low on posts lately.  I've got some exciting things coming up really soon that I'm anxious to share with you bloggy friends... 

TGIF... time for Flaunt it Friday!  Thank you for the great turnout and great ideas last week!  I wanted to feature this insanely awesome dining table re-do by Modern Vintage Interiors.  I L-O-V-E this set.  (I have an on-going obsession with damask right now, but that's another post)  Anyway, the before and after pics are just great, can't believe it is the same set. 

The kicker... she's selling it!!  I so could not sell this if I made it.... just lovely! 

Now it's time to party!! 

Flaunt it Friday #10 and What's in a Name??

I'm so excited that I'm about to get serious with my decorating business!  I'm preparing to launch a business website, get it on Facebook, and order some business cards.  Before I do that I need to be sure of one small detail, my business name.

Before coming up with Chic on a Shoestring Decorating I considered many other options but liked the flow of Chic and Shoestring.  However, it seems to be a little long and a few people that I've talked to have trouble remembering it.  (Maybe they're just forgetful??) 

And, does everyone get that I'm talking about a "Shoestring" budget??  You guys surely do because you are smart, you must be because you're reading my blog. (wink wink).  But if it were listed in the phonebook (does anyone use those things anymore??) or it came up on google would an average person get it??   

So, being the indecisive person that I am I thought I'd enlist my bloggy friends for their thoughtful opinions and great advice. 

I'm either going to keep the name the same or change it to Centsibly Chic Decorating.  Get it, "CENTS"ibly??  My creative Dad came up with both of these names... thanks Papa. :)

Here are my options
1. Chic on a Shoestring Decorating
2. Centsibly Chic Decorating

In the comments, please tell me what you think, I'd really love to hear from you!

Now for Flaunt it Friday!


My Picasso and his first masterpiece, our Sofa

A while back I got a sweet opportunity to team up with CSN stores to do a review for them.  Honestly, at the time I received the email I had never even heard of them.  I checked out their websites and was blown away by the absolutetly HUGE selection of products, over 200 websites!!  They have everything from a sleeper sofa to an outdoor umbrella.  Lamps, mirrors, home decor... they have it all. 

I did a lot of looking at their sofa store because recently, I found out I have a little Picasso on my hands.

Yes, that is marker all over the couch.  No, it is not washable marker.  :(

Don't think I'm a unattentive parent, I was literally 5 feet away while he was doing this... just on the wrong side of the couch, could see his head but not his art in the making.

I'm not having much luck getting it out.  I've tried rubbing alcohol, Hydrogen Peroxide, and a few fabric spot cleaners.  Rubbing alcohol worked but kind of faded the fabric and didn't completely fade the stain.  Any suggestions?? 

So, I might be in the market for a new sofa and found that the CSN Sleeper Sofa store has reasonable prices. 

Please let me know about your secret stain removers, I need your help! 

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