Wednesday, July 25, 2012

College Savings Calculator

This year, Ben and I are starting a business, Ideal Lending, LLC.  We have been funneling all our resources into it, saving only up to his company's match in our retirement fund.  I hadn't even started to think about college for Cadence.  I guess since BYU was so inexpensive for us, I hoped it would always be that way.  I just ran the numbers on MSN Money's College Savings Calculator and while BYU will still be relatively inexpensive, we have to start saving as soon as possible.  It looks like college will be $50k for the 4 years, so that has us investing $1254/year for the next 18 years.  

Anyone else started thinking about meeting rising college prices?  What is the damage for your local school tuition in 18 years?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

First Furniture Re-do

After emailing him the Craigslist listing, Ben picked up this little table on his way home from work.  We learned a valuable lesson not to purchase furniture without both of us seeing it.  The table looked nice in the pictures, but in person it was pretty banged up and reeked of smoke.  The seats were covered in an awful printed vinyl meant to look like tan tooled leather.  We listed it back on Craigslist, but couldn’t find anyone willing to take it for anything near the price we’d paid.

First to go were the nasty seat covers.  We replaced them with an indoor/outdoor print from  It has a great weight and will hopefully last through the wear and tear of life with a small family. 

I put on two coats of Zinsser Cover Stain primer.  Then I put on another coat, for good measure.  I didn’t sand before or after or at any point during the re-do because I didn’t want to get too complicated with my first project and sanding scares me.   There are a few drip marks, nothing too noticeable, and brush strokes were reduced with the addition of Floetrol.  

After priming, I painted 4-5 thin coats of Valspar white semi-gloss.  I used the untinted gallon I’d purchased to paint all our trim.  I like the bright, happy white and the money saved.  We finished off the painted area with some coats of Polycrylic.  The table top got a rub down of Restor-a-Finish.  

The smoke smell is gone, and we love the end result!

Friday, July 6, 2012


Last night, I was perusing some beautiful home tours on blogs, in search of "inspiration" for my own home.  There was a blip in internet connectivity, during which I started to think.  What if I took half the time I do reading blogs and ogling Pinterest, and put it into working on my own projects?  What if I took another 10% and put it toward building photography skills?  Another 10% on writing my own blog posts?  Maybe the remaining 30% could go toward earning money for future projects (I have an online job I've been woefully neglecting).

So, for the month of July, I'm declaring independence from my Pinterest addiction and from my obsession with other people's perfect homes.  Instead, I'll be working on my home, developing my creativity, and building skills. 

To kick things off, I'm enrolling in a few of the online Alt Design Summit courses.  Bing is running a promotion where you can attend up to 4 courses free in July.  I'm looking at DSLR 101, Setting up Online, Blogging 101, and maybe the Photoshop class.  There are lots of intriguing course options, which normally cost $15 a piece.  If you are looking for some personal enrichment this month, check it out.  Thanks to Bing for the great opportunity.