Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Glidden Interior Paint

It's time to say goodbye to fingerprints, sharpie, glue, dirt, scuffs, and crayon on the walls...starting with my foyer.

This project began weeks ago with the collecting of color chips in various shades of beige. Lowe's had plenty of nice colors. I've used their house brand, Valspar, before and liked it well enough. Home Depot's selection proved adequate, and I've used Behr (worked well) and Glidden (wasn't impressed) before. I visited Sherwin-Williams, where the sales associate told me their paint is the best on the market, so I chose one of their colors, and bought a quart of it to sample...too yellow. The next sample was too green (my kids: "looks like barf"; "looks like poop"). I finally concocted my own color to get it just right.

I happened to be at Home Depot for something else and noticed Glidden paint on sale for $14.97 per gallon. The Bargain Huntress took notice. I hadn't even considered Glidden, because of it's lackluster performance previously, but $14.97 for Glidden vs. $40 for Sherwin-Williams tempted me.

After further consideration and research, I discovered that Glidden paint has been revamped, so I decided to go for it.

Glidden doesn't claim to cover in one coat. In fact, the guy at Home Depot recommended two coats. However, I found that Glidden covered just as well as other paint brands I've used that claim to cover in just one coat (which has never happened in my experience). It only required touch-ups here and there.

Here's the final result:

It's 50% Greenbriar Beige, 50% La Fonda Boulder.

The final word: I would paint with Glidden again, even at the regular price (about $20/gallon).

  • Buy samples first! I was sure the first paint chip I decided on was the color. It took 4 more tries to find the right one. Paint samples ($3) came in handy and saved me from buying 2 gallons of a color that would not have worked for me.
  • On a side note, painter's tape (the blue stuff) is worth the slightly higher cost. For the longest time, I have used regular masking tape, which allows paint to seep through. This time I used painter's tape, and had 2 minor leaks, saving me a lot of time on finishing touches.

By the way, my paint color needs a name. Do you have any suggestions?

Friday, February 19, 2010

Hoover f5914-900 SteamVac

(Updated: 7/31/10)

After doing a bit of research for a reader, I found a sister model to the Hoover I previously wrote about.

The Hoover f5914-900 has all the same features. The difference is the color of the machine and the type of carpet solution included with the machine.

The upside to this machine is its availability and competitive pricing.

The best deal right now is on for $145 + free supersaver shipping.


  • This is one of my favorite purchases ever. I love being able to use my own carpet cleaner every few months rather than forking over hundreds of dollars once or twice a year.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Be My year.

Get dirt cheap valentines for your child's Classroom Party 2011

Buy them today. I usually get them 90% off, so a box of valentines costs roughly $.25.

  • Check Walmart, Target, and Walgreens. That's where I usually find them.
  • You might be able to find cheap doodads/toys to go with them. I don't recommend buying clearance candy for next year. They either taste gross in a year, or they slowly and mysteriously disappear.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Snow Ice Cream

We had record snowfall yesterday!!! Isn't it beautiful?


While helping our neighbor get up our street this morning, he asked if we had made snow ice cream yet.

Huh?...Never heard of it, but sounds fun.

Google to the rescue....

This recipe comes from

1 gallon snow
1 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 cups milk

We had some leftover whipping cream, so I threw in the extra calories, because who doesn't love back fat?

Directions: When it starts to snow, place a large, clean bowl outside to collect the flakes. When full, stir in sugar and vanilla to taste, then stir in just enough milk for the desired consistency. Serve at once.

(Since it had already stopped snowing, I located the cleanest snow and skimmed it off the top.)

It tasted pretty yummy--a lot like homemade ice cream. But most of all, it was fun!


  • Eat it fast or freeze it. It melts quickly.
  • Let your kids do it by themselves. It's so easy, and it's more about the memory, right?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Do It Yourself Drain Cleaner

Remember this dirty water?

It wasn't my clever photography skills that allowed me to catch this crud before it drained. It's just sitting there....What was I thinking when I dumped the "recovery tank" of my new Hoover steam vac into my bathroom sink?!

Dirty water + lint globs + dirt + who knows what else + bathroom sink = a considerable clog.

Fortnately, I got an email from a few days ago that included the following:

"Safe and Friendly Drain Cleaner

"To safely clean drains, I pour baking soda into the drain followed by table salt. If the clog isn't bad, I just use cold water to flush it down. If the clog is bad, you will need to use boiling water. Since this will not harm pipes or the environment, you can use this weekly to keep drains from becoming clogged.

"By Kris from New Albany, IN"

It really works! I couldn't really dump baking soda and salt down the drain, since the sink was full of water, so I just poured about 1/4 C of baking soda and 1/4 C of salt into the sink with the dirty water. Then I poured 2 quarts of boiling water in the sink. It took two rounds of this, but now my sink drains a little better than before.


  • It's okay to say you're helping the environment even if you're being cheap (like me).

  • Go to Costco and buy the industrial-sized bag of baking soda for future drain clogs.

Hoover F5918-900 SteamVac Spinscrub Pet

I just bought the Hoover F5918-900 SteamVac Spinscrub Pet with a friend of mine. I know, I just bought a Bissell about 6 months ago. And I loved it...until it stopped spraying. I'm not sure what happened. The manufacturer's warranty still covered it, and Bissell was perfectly willing to fix it free of charge. However, I decided to take it back to Costco (5 min away) rather than drive to the nearest Bissell servicer (40 min away). I would have purchased the same steam cleaner again, but it wasn't on sale anymore. I would have had to pay an additional $50 to get the same one. So I researched a little more and found the Hoover to be the best deal. (Costco's return policy was a major deciding factor.)



The biggest difference between the Hoover and the Bissell was that the Bissell heats the cleaning solution for you, and the Hoover requires you to fill the solution tank with hot water.

Costco's version includes 2 of each of the cleaning solutions.

These are all "Pet" solutions. I have one dog that stays outdoors, but I think my 5 kids could give any pet a run for its money.

Here's my dirty Master bedroom carpet. The picture doesn't really do it justice...

(Just wait until you see the next picture.)

My first emptying of the dirty water. Yuck! This is what we've been rolling around on??!!

Note to self: don't empty dirty water into bathroom sink. (See next blog post for details.)


The Hoover was easy to put together, easy to use, and worked great. Now my kids have a blank canvas again to work their magic.

  • Make sure the "recovery tank" is sealed properly. I didn't have it sealed all the way once, and the Hoover wouldn't suck any solution from the carpet.
  • Pretreat spots properly beforehand. I didn't read the instructions on the bottle, so it took a little extra work (but not that much!) to get a few spots out.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Old Navy Sale

A little birdie told me that

has some great stuff on sale right now, including

$2 camis!


  • In my opinion, you can't have too many camis. Time to stock up.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Clearance at Walmart

I had to kill some time at Walmart today in between errands. I noticed a lot of clearance at our local Wal-mart here in Texas throughout the store. The items I saw on clearance included:
  • clothes
  • shoes
  • housewares
  • crafts
  • home decor
  • bath and linens
  • toys
  • cosmetics

Let me know if your Walmart has some good stuff on sale...


  • Check the original price. When I see a red tag or a clearance sign, my hand automatically starts reaching for my wallet. But if you look carefully, sometimes the sale price is only 20% off.

Monday, February 1, 2010

File Your Taxes for Free

Here's my advice for filing taxes last year. I feel the same way about In fact, I just filed electronically today for free and should be receiving my refund in 2-3 weeks!

  • Gather all your tax info before starting. This includes w-2's, property tax statements, social security cards, etc.