Tuesday, June 30, 2009

$43 Laundry Room Re-do...

As I said yesterday, I have been moving right along in my efforts to makeover my laundry room. I have finally finished it, and couldn't wait to show it to you.
I am gonna start by saying that this entire makeover cost me about $43. I am operating on a shoestring budget, but I enjoy the challenge of being thrifty. Here is how it came together.
Before pic, so you know where we started:

I know, I know. It's painful to look at! Anything would be better than that, so I had Papa build me a table over the washer and dryer, and a shelf with a clothes rack in the dead space. (By the way, this is the only way the washer and dryer can sit since they are front loaders. I did not want to take down my shelves and stack them, so this was the only option. Just thought I'd answer before you asked.) We used leftover plywood from another project and bought about $8 worth of supplies. I had the caulk and paint, so the table and shelf both got sanded and painted. Next I cleaned off those shelves, and got rid of everything but cleaning supplies and laundry detergent. I bought a tension rod from Wal-Mart ($3), and made a curtian out of left over fabric from another project.
Then I made my $7 towel rack:

I needed a rug for the floor, but couldn't find one, so I bought 2 kitchen rugs and duct taped them together on the underside. Yes you read correctly, but I figured when I need to wash them I can just take the tape off and then tape them back. I'll probably sew them eventually, but my duct tape is working beautifully! I got both rugs at Wal-Mart for $12 total.
Then I wanted to put something pretty on the counter, so I re-did this old tray I had in the garage. I spray painted it, and then cut a piece of cardboard to fit in the center. I hot glued a fabric remnant on the cardboard, and voila! A perfect little tray.
I put a lamp I already had, a couple shells, and a little jar of sand on it. I also sat my basket of stain removers there. With my 2 boys, I use a stainstick with practically every load of laundry so I need it handy. I picked up this little box with a clothespin design at TJ Maxx on clearance for $3. It holds my dryer sheets.
I got these 2 baskets at Hobby Lobby for under $10 total when they had their baskets on clearance. One holds mismatched socks.
The one problem area I have left is the huge water heater. I was gonna paint it, but decided against it. Part of me feels like it's a laundry room, enough already. But the other part of me says, it would sure look better if... So the jury's still out on the fate of the waterheater.


Sunday, June 28, 2009


We are heading to the beach for the week. We will not have internet access, so I will be "unplugged" for the week. I have scheduled some great posts for you while I'm gone, and you can always come over and just hang out and enjoy this fabulous new look Leslie gave me. Hope you have a great week and see you after the 4th!

Saturday, June 27, 2009


Why Mandi Shandi?

Lots of people wonder "Why is your blog called Mandi Shandi's ?" Well, Mandi is my first name. Shantell was my middle name. I was never fond of it, and dropped it in favor of my maiden name when I got married. My Mom always called me “Mandi Shandi” as a kid, and even now she calls me that occasionally. It is just one of those names that stuck. When I decided to start a blog and was trying to come up with a name for it, Mandi Shandi was the first thing that came to mind and I went with it. So for those of you that asked, “Is that your real name?” yes, no, kinda sorta. I guess it’s my real nickname is the best way to put it.

Custom Cards, REALLY CHEAP...

I have always loved custom cards. I try to send them out on EVERY holiday. It's a little excessive, but we have family all over the place, and they love them and have come to expect them. As you would imagine this can be a pretty expensive venture, so I had 2 choices. Figure out how to do it cheap, or stop doing it! Well, that sounds like a challenge to me. I have scoured the internet, and this is the best deal I have gotten yet. Here is Walker's birthday invite, made by yours truly. (Excuse the white box, but I did't want to put the vital stats out there!)
I went to Scrapblog, and designed the card. Their site is extremely user friendly, and the sky is the limit. I'll warn you though, it is addictive. I made 2o cards before I decided on one I liked.

Next, I saved them to my computer.

Last I uploaded them to Walgreen's as a picture, and ordered them. There are always coupon codes floating around out there for Walgreen's pictures. I actually get them in my e-mail. The one I used for these was buy 25 prints, and get 25 free. I got 25 birthday invites, and 25 of the 4th of July cards for under $5. That is 10 cents a piece people! I will have to pay to mail them, and buy my own envelopes, but I will still come out way cheaper than having someone else make the cards or even doing the cards as a collage on the Walgreens site. (Collage prints, even 4x6, are more expensive.)

Here is the card I did for the 4th of July, it was a 15 min. project. Only grandparents, aunts, uncles, etc. will get this so I didn't go to a lot of trouble. For the major holidays I take more time to make them "just right." I also order them through the mail and get the matte finish when I can wait on them. These I got in an hour, but they only offer the glossy finish in the store.
I hope this little tidbit of info. makes your cards fabulous, and your pocketbook fat with all the money you're saving!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Easiest Towel Rack EVER!

I have been steadily plugging along on my projects in the laundry room, and I wanted to share one I did last week that was SO quick, easy, functional, and cheap.
I wanted something to hang wet towels and bathing suits on, so I went looking for a rack of some sort. I found a few out there, but none were the right size, or price for that matter, so I decided to make my own.

I already had a piece of scrap wood in the garage. I spray painted it white. I was gonna leave well enough alone, but then thought why not tape it off and do stripes. I simply put tape on it every 2 inches. Then I gave it a coat of almond spray paint. Look at the child labor...
Well the boys just couldn't get enough of peeling off the tape, so I ended up doing stripes the other way too. That's how we got the plaid look.
From there I just screwed in my hooks and mounted it right on the wall. Voila, for the bargain price of $7 I got a towel rack that fits my needs perfectly. I have already been drying swimsuits on it.

I hope to have the laundry room finished in the next day or so. I will post about it as soon as I do.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Under Construction...

Just a heads up that I am having a bit of a blog facelift done over the next 24 hours. If the site goes a little haywire, come back a little later and everything will be up and running properly. I can't wait for you to see it. It's gonna be FANTASTIC!

Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 21

It is Weight Watchers Wednesday, Week 21, and for the first time in months I am excited to post about it! This week I lost 3 pounds for a running total of 28.7!!! It has taken real effort to get back on the bandwagon, but I am so glad I have. I feel more energetic and know I am doing what is right for my body. Journaling my points again has been a big eye opener and made a difference in my choices. It is amazing how those little 1 and 2 pt. things add up. I also planned the menu for the week as opposed to winging it, and grocery shopped ahead of time.
Another big change I made this week, is that I have started drinking a protein shake for breakfast everyday, as opposed to my typical oatmeal. I was getting hungry again within an hour or so of eating my breakfast, so I decided a protein shake might curb my appetite longer. I use skim milk, and add 1/2 cup of frozen strawberries to the mix. It makes the shake 5 points, but it fills me up until lunch and even then I am not starving.
In the exercise arena, I spent Saturday at the river and my MIL had me doing all kinds of things like running in the water and swimming. It was so funny, but I'm sure it burned calories. Other than that, I have worked in the yard and done my typical puttering around and staying busy. I did manage to get in one day of walking. I have a walking date set up with a friend for this evening, so I'm getting there.
This week's recipe is for Asian Burgers. They were in my Weight Watchers Magazine this month and I made the recipe and enjoyed it for lunch a couple times.

Asian Burgers
1 lb. ground skinless chicken
6 Tbsp. Lowfat Asian Sesame Salad dressing
3 Tbsp. plain breadcrumbs
1/4 tsp. salt
2 scallions, diced
broccoli coleslaw mix (already bagged in your produce dept.)

Combine chicken, 3 Tbsp. of the dressing, half of the salt, the bread crumbs, and the scallions. Patty into 4 burgers. Broil 5 inches from the top for 5 mins. on each side (10 mins. total) or until done. Mine took about 12 mins. While that cooks, put slaw mix in a bowl with 1 Tbsp. of water and cover. Microwave for 3 mins. or until crisp tender. Drain and add 3 Tbsp. of remaining dressing in slaw and toss together. Drizzle remaining 1 Tbsp. of dressing over the burgers.

3/4 cup of slaw and one burger are 5 pts. I ended up using a little more dressing, so it upped my point count to 6, but I am a saucy kind of gal.
I also wanted to share a link this week to Dottie's Weightloss Zone. I am sure there are few people who do not already know about this site, but her restaurant points list is the best of any I have ever seen. If you are on Weight Watcher's, bookmark this link!!
Thanks to all you gal pals who were so encouraging after last week's post. Your sweet words meant the world to me and y'all are such a constant source of support. I hope all of you had a wonderful week and did something really great for yourselves!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

My First Birdcage!

I finally got a birdcage and I love it! I have almost bought one several times at Hobby Lobby, but have never made the purchase for 2 reasons, one they are never on sale, and two, I never knew where I would put one.

Well I recently SCORED while roaming a furniture store and I got this huge birdcage that was marked $100 for practically nothing. It was damaged:
And missing its top finial: So I colored the spots with a little paint pen, and sat it up high so you don't even miss the finial. Here is my armoir before: And now with my birdcage: I wasn't able to put it where I had originally planned because it was HUGE, but I am happy with it on the armoir. For some more makeovers, go visit Kimm at Reinvented. It is Trash to Treasure Tuesday and there are always great things posted!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Edie's Paint Party...


One of my very first blog friends was Edie at Life in Grace. I doubt there are any of you that read this blog that don't already know who Edie is, since I have posted about her in the past. Anywho, she is hosting a party about painted patio furniture, and since I have posted all my painted stuff already, this will be a bit of a repeat. Sorry, but I have to show Edie some love and participate. Here are the painted projects I have done outside this spring/summer.

Front Porch Rockers:

Free Deck Chairs:
Lime Green Chair Planter:

Red Wicker Sofas:

Handi House:
This is one of the many projects my brother in law helped me with while he was here on the staycation. We cut lattice to put around the bottom, and he built me a little step. Walker and I stained them with deck stain, and I put one of the old birdhouses the old owners left there. I have to plant flowers and everything, but the hard part is done now.
Now this last one is a bit of a stretch, but it is what we have been working on since April, and I had to put something new in this post. It is the wall and counter off my back patio.
We tiled the counter. Lonnie laid the pavers for me as a surprise, and yes I know how lucky I am! He is not a big fan of home improvement projects, and he has really worked hard on this one. The tools were Papa's from the farm. We are still laying more pavers, and I will post more about it all once it is finished, but this is a progress shot. Thank goodness Lon has some help. I would hate for him to work so hard by himself.
There you have it. My painted projects in a nutshell. Now head on over to Edie's for some real inspiration. She is way more brave in her color choices than I am. I promise you will not be disappointed!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

I am so blessed to have so many great "fathers" in my life. I'm gonna share a little about a few of them in honor of Father's Day.

First up, my own hubby and a fabulous father, is Lonnie. He is an excellent example to our boys and they look up to him so much. A constant phrase they use is "When I'm big like Daddy..." and then they fill it in with some important adventure like, "I'm gonna drive myself to the store and buy my own dinosaurs." (That is what Walker said this morning. I'm sure Connor would say he was gonna go fast on the jetski or motorcycle.) He is their wrestling and rough housing partner, and he is their go to source for all things adventurous. Lonnie is strict when he needs to be, but also patient and kind. Everyday he is teaching them how they should treat a future wife by his example in how he treats me. He works hard to provide for us, but also values his down time and loves spend it with his family.

Next is Pop a.k.a. Poppy. Poppy is my dad. He hung the moon in my boys eyes. He fits the "grandpa" bill perfectly.He is always fun and there's never trouble. The word "no" is not in his vocabulary when it comes to the boys. It is a constant source of joy for me to watch them with him because he was such a different dad than Pop. Don't get me wrong, he was a great dad, but we had rules and had to follow them. I'm thankful for that now, but it cracks me up to see him get to only have fun. He has a green thumb, and is teaching me lots about plants and yardwork. Poppy started the Youtube revolution with my boys, and they love to watch different videos on his laptop before bed.
Papaw Russell is my Great Grandfather. He is Pop's granddad and is as patient as the day is long. I always hoped my boys would get to know Papaw Russell because he always held such a special place in my heart as a child. He used to be in law enforcement, but is incredibly talented in other areas. He built his own home, and all of the outbuildings. He raised hogs, chickens, and is a gifted gardener. I tease him that he is a renaissance man. The boys love to go visit Mamaw and Papaw because they have lots of animals and plenty of room to run.

Grandpa is my mom's Dad. I am his oldest grandchild, and I hold that spot proudly. (I'm his favorite, but don't tell anybody!) His favorite color is yellow and he is an avid sports fan. He has had a difficult life, but has overcome his obstacles and is a sweet, gentle spirit. These days he tends to sit back and watch the chaos that results from 9 children, 14 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.
Jerry is my father in law. He married my mother in law a couple years ago and my boys adore him. He is tall like Lonnie, and the boys think that is really neat. He is a carpenter by trade, and Connor loves to watch him work on anything. It is so nice to have my own Mr. Fixit. He's an avid fisherman and loves animals. Jerry is a genuinely good person, with a zest for life. He loves to go and do, and is always up for adventure.
Last, but in no way least, is Papa. Papa is Lonnie's grandfather and is about a good as they come. He has worked hard for everything that he has, and still works hard everday because he doesn't know any different. He is generous beyond words, and my 2 boys are his "Main Men". Walker is his namesake (Elliott Walker is his name, so we reversed it to Walker Elliott.) Papa is one of the most knowledgable people I have ever met. He follows the news and reads the paper so he is always up on current events. He could tell you everything from how to roof a house to what happened on Jerry Springer (his favorite show, HA!) that afternoon.He was born here in the lowcountry and his accent is almost Cajun sounding. When I first met him I had to listen very carefully. I could listen to him talk for days on end. He especially loves to tell jokes, and he always repeats the punchline to make sure you got it. He is my go to source if I need something fixed or if I have a how-to question.

Now none of these men read this blog, but I still wanted to do something on my blog for Father's Day to honor them. I have plans to spend the whole day with some of these great men. I hope your father's day is really special too!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Junk Party...

Kennesha over at Me N My House is hosting a junk party, and since I love some good ole junk I thought I would participate. Here are a few of my treasures that others considered junk.

First up is this rocking chair. It is in Connor's room and we rock in it every night. I don't have a before picture because I recovered several years ago. It is from Lon's family farm and was originally stuffed with straw. Papa was gonna throw it away and I told him I wanted it. He thought I was crazy, but I love this chair. He said he'd had it as far back as he could remember.

This is my Great Grandmother's jewelry box. When my grandma gave it to me I almost cried. I absolutely love it. It has a bunch of costume jewelry in it, and I still haven't been able to do anything with it because I don't want to mess any of it up. I may end up doing some sort of shadow box with my favorite pieces. Suggestions?

For now it sits on my dresser.
This is an old chair I got at an antique store for $5.
I spray painted it lime green and now use it as a planter. I smile every time I look at it!
My favorite piece of "junk" is this bike that belonged to my mother in law as a child. It was hanging in one of the barns at the farm. I brought it home and hosed it off. Everyone was so curious to see what I was gonna do with it.
Well hang it on the house of course! Isn't that what everyone does with old bikes? In all seriousness I do love it and since it is on this patio on the back of the house it fits perfectly.
And last but not least, this old wooden ironing board has been sitting in my garage since April when I picked it up at an antique mall. I got it for $7.50 and I love it, but I just can't decide where I want to put it. It will find a place soon though, because it is taunting me!
Now I am gonna go visit some others and gaze at everyone else's junk. Hope you had a good time looking at mine!
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