Monday, August 6, 2012

Why I'm not allowed to go to TJ Maxx by myself...

I've learned that TJ Maxx is an incredibly dangerous store to go into when I have a little money stashed aside and a mission.

When I was in Florida, I found this really adorable metal wire wall basket thing at Marshalls. For lack of a better idea for it, I thought it would make a perfect mail sorter. One of the biggest issues we have with clutter is mail being strewn about the living room. Even if the mail only makes it from the box, to the basket (which is like three steps - no joke) it's still better than either sitting in the mailbox or strewn across the living room.

I know it sounds silly, but I was obsessed with this metal mail sorter.

I figured I'd check TJ Maxx because it's the sister company to Marshall's and I thought I saw one there a while ago when I bought some summer clothes for myself.

Yesterday I found myself with a little extra time after work so off to TJ's I went.

I wandered back to the housewares section, my palms sweaty, my muscles twitching. I knew it had to be there and if not, then what was my plan - that mail sorter needed to be mine! I mean sure, I had backup plans, but in my mind - that piece I saw was perfection.

I know, I'm a weirdo.

The first aisle I went into had a lot of metal sorting things, I found a smaller, more decorative one, but the simplicity of this mail sorter (along with it's size to hold things like magazines and large envelopes) was what drew me to it. But - this was better than nothing.

As I rounded the corner, out of the corner of my eye... there it was! My mail sorter! Hiding underneath a bunch of other metal sorting things, it was waiting for me, calling my name. I practically lunged for it. I set down the other smaller metal sorter and a little old lady watched me as I (this is no joke folks) hugged the metal object to my chest and sweetly whispered "I'm so glad I found you" and then chuckled to herself and said "I hope you enjoy your... um... metal thing. It looks like you really wanted it."

Heck yeah I did!
I know, I'm weird for being obsessed over a very simple metal thing - but doesn't it look nice in my entryway?

Having only spent a few moments looking for my sorter, I figured I should look around the rest of the store. I'd say that it was a mistake if I only came away from it with useless stuff, but I managed to find some really great deals and useful items.

1. Recipe box:
Yay! Now I'll actually remember that chili recipe...
Garry always gets frustrated with me when I can't remember a recipe for something particularly delicious I made. I'm really terrible about remembering to type it up or write it down. Not to mention, I didn't have anything to store said recipe cards in.

I found this really cool-looking set of metal apothecary drawers. It fits perfectly on my countertop and 3x5 cards should fit nicely in there. I'll keep the cards and a pen/pencil in the drawers so I can write things down as I'm cooking. That way, no more forgotten recipes.

2. Glass "catch all" bowl:
For every thing a place and for every place a thing... wait that doesn't sound right.

While this bowl isn't probably supposed to be for "catch all" items and more for just being decorative, I realized that we have been using a cereal bowl for our "catch all" stuff for a while. Frankly, I was getting annoyed with it. This bowl was just the right size without being too big or too small and it's gorgeous to boot.

3. Rattan serving tray: (pictured above)
Since this was only $6, I figured it would look really nice under the glass bowl. It also provides a more stable "base" for the bowl than just our ottoman.

4. Soft blanket:
Cloud can't wait for it to be cool enough to curl up in the amazing softness that is this blanket

Okay, this is kind of weird, but in some of our previous living room photos you could see a blue/green chenille blanket. I loved that blanket. It was so comfortable - the perfect snuggle on the couch on a cold day with a cup of hot cocoa blanket. Well, it ripped. I tried to use it for a while, but the fabric kept fraying and, well, I just needed to give it up. *sigh* Even though I have about 6 or 7 other throw blankets in the house (of course, none of which match my living room or are soft and squishy like my chenille blanket) I decided that I needed another soft blanket because dammit, winter will be here soon. Yes I know it's not even August, but folks, I live in upstate New York.

5. Throw pillows:
Soft, squishy comfort

The ones I made when we moved into the house... are... well... done. See - I was the infinitely smart one who decided not to bother making an envelope style pillow case and therefore we couldn't really wash them. Yeah. Also, the actually pillow forms weren't really that comfy. They were more for just decoration than actual use. Basically, I needed something comfortable enough for long-term use, like napping through a marathon of Lord of the Rings on a Sunday afternoon.

Granted, I spent a good amount of money on these, they were still incredibly worth every cent. Don't get me wrong - I still got a pretty good deal on them.

6. Bath mat: (waiting for the finished bathroom reveal!)
I found a wood bathmat. Oh I lurve it. Basically our previous bathmat was past the point of no return. In other words, no amount of bleach or soap could fix it. Gross. And I knew this would only continue with fabric bath mats... so when I saw the wood version I snagged it!

7. Bath mats... part II:
Yes I bought three bath mats. Two of those mats were *supposed* to go under Auron's crate so one of my throw blankets could be relinquished (and washed). Unfortunately, Auron is too smart for his own good and figured out how to reach his paw through one of the slats in his crate, pull the mat into his crate and proceed to chew on it. The dumb part is - he has blankets in his crate and he doesn't chew on them. Not that I want him to chew on them, but it just seems odd that he only wants to chew on the fabric that's under his crate. Weird dog. Anyway, those bathmats are hiding in my closet until I figure out something to do with them. :-/

So that was my shopping excursion to TJ Maxx. Despite spending a LOT more than my original intent (I had only planned on getting the mail sorter) everything I bought (except for the to be determined bathmats) were needed and are useful.

I'm just glad we don't have a Kirkland's or World Market in town. It's bad enough that we also have a Pier 1 and Home Goods...

OH! and I purchased a pillowcase from Linda over at Drop Cloth Designs. The best part was I was able to get her to do a custom piece for me!
Yay! :D
I had her transfer our wedding monogram on a pillowcase. Mind you - this piece is nowhere NEAR as fancy as some of the work that she does (if I were to choose any non-custom pillow from her site it would hands-down be this one) but it has sentimental value to Garry and I and that's what mattered. Besides, I like simple. Simple is good.

So here's our living room with all of the pieces put together:

Little by little it's coming together. I just need another set of "main" curtains (to go infront of the sheers) and finish my lotus sculpture (under the shelves) as far as small projects - but we still have some big ones coming down the pipe (replacing all of the trim, building - or finding - a new tv console, and somehow... someway... getting a fireplace along the back wall).