Putting My Parents to Work

Mom and Dad made the long pilgrimage to the Cozy House last week.

For some reason, whenever they come to visit, they love cleaning up my to-do list.  I love letting them.

Thus, here is an update on some of the projects that have recently been completed around the cozy house.  Here’s  to my parents, who kick my butt into gear and make me finish things around the house when they visit.

(Sidebar: every single photograph in this post was taken in lousy lighting.  Please ignore the awfulness of the photos.)


Our bedroom has been in need of some serious TLC for months now.  I’d become one of those people who had given up hope that the master bedroom could EVER serve as an oasis of tranquility and relaxation.  Ours was a living, breathing pigsty, with every possible surface piled high with junk…from jeans waiting to be patched to piles of books, books, and more books.   It had also become a catch-all for pieces of furniture that were removed from other rooms in the house but were too large for me to carry downstairs by myself, including an old dresser, a large library table that had been used for a tv stand in the living room, and a super heavy television.   AWFUL.

The Head Board (I’ve begun to think of it as a proper noun, since it’s been living in the basement long enough to feel as though it’s a member of the family) made it’s debut in our bedroom, finally, thanks to Dad and Jon and a large hammer.  It is beautiful and woodsy and huge and comfy and handmade and I love everything about it.  It was totally worth the wait.

I’ve always wanted roman shades for the bedroom windows, but I’ve never found any that I thought were worth the money, and the thought of sewing them from scratch made me start to twitch.   Mom and I got up the nerve to attempt this project of turning mini-blinds into roman shades. I picked up this fabric for $2 at a yard sale a couple of weeks ago, hoping that it would work for window treatments of some kind, somewhere down the road.

At the same yard sale, I also picked up a new set of mini-blinds for $1.  I swiped a set of blinds off the kitchen window that are never used for the second bedroom window and wah-lah!  Super easy to do, and it cost me all of $3 to cover both (small) windows in our bedroom.


I’ve had two bushes sitting on the porch for about 2 months now, so Dad put them out of their misery by finally getting them in the ground.   Thanks, Dad!

Living Room

My living room curtains had me feeling extremely uninspired, so we made a trip to the fabric store.  After much debate, we purchased fabric for curtains and pillows, and also a few yards to recover this $2 ottoman I bought at a garage sale that was held in a storage unit a couple of weekends ago.  It was a little scary but it was the perfect size, shape, and price, so I thought it had potential for being slipcovered.



I know, the red is super bold, right? Jon just raised his eyebrows when he saw it.   But I got tired of having a blah living room, so I was ready to live on the wild side for a while.  Trust me, I know the colors in these pics are wacky, but it actually goes really well with the fabric we chose for the valances. Plus, if/when I get tired of the red, I can rip it off and recover it with something else…the next time Mom comes.  🙂

Cost: Fabric for curtains, pillows: $30.  Fabric for ottoman, pillows: $10.  No longer having white sheers that don’t match anything in the room:  priceless.

Laundry Room

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about wanting to make my own laundry soap.  Mom brought me 15 bars of Fels Naptha (since it’s somewhat hard to find in our small town), and we spent some time mixing up a big batch of laundry soap.  The recipe I ended up using was super simple:

1 cup soap flakes (Fels Naptha)

1/2 cup washing soda

1/2 cup Borax

Use 1/4 cup with each load of laundry

(Those of you who make your own laundry soap, is this close to the mixture you use?)

I was surprised at how much I liked the scent of Fels Naptha.  It was sort of springy and lemony and light.   I am in love with this, and won’t ever go back to store bought.  I bought an old blender at a garage sale that I used to turn the Fels Naptha into soap flakes, which worked perfectly.

There were a thousand other little things that they helped out with while they were here, and I’m so thankful for their willingness to help their good-intentioned-but-easily-distracted daughter catch up in life.


5 thoughts on “Putting My Parents to Work

  1. Unnn-bbbbee-lllliieee-vvvvvv-aaabbllle!!!! Love ALL of it! You are totally amazing and I would NEVER be able to do any of it! Someday you will be a millionaire by all the $ you save on do-it-yourself projects and you will find me in the poor house! 🙂

    • Thanks toots! Trust me, if it’s not easy to do, I don’t do it…and I totally have to give my mom credit for 99% of the decorating that got done. She’s my Domestic Wonder Woman! 🙂

  2. Did you just do the powder laundry soap? Super easy, right? I also have a food process that was donated to me and I only use it for making laundry soap. It’s really nice to not have to wash all the soap out to make food with it. I only use about 2 tbls per load – which would save you even more money!

    I have to say, the red sure looks pink on my computer. I’m not sure Jon should have to put up with hot pink in his living room!

    • It WAS super easy! Love it! I did think 1/4 cup seemed like plenty, so on my next load I will try 2 tablespoons, too.

      Yes, yes, my husband is so into hot pink. 😉 In real life it’s almost a wine red color but it looks ultra-bright on my computer, too. Yikes!

  3. Pingback: Friday Favorites: Link Love « The Cozy House

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