Hello friends. I apologize for the long absence. I have been directing all of my emotional energy towards Japan for the past few weeks. My youngest brother and his beautiful wife, as well as all of her family, live in and around Tokyo.
Thankfully, they all managed to escape serious harm from the quake and tsunami that struck on March 11, but as you can imagine, it was a very scary couple of days for my entire family. We continue to monitor the news for new information regarding the Fukushima nuclear reactor, and we pray that the worst case scenario does not happen. My brother has assured me that he and his wife are taking all measures available to protect themselves (only drinking bottled water, eating imported foods when possible, staying indoors, etc.) and he feels that they are as safe as they can be considering the situation. He also stated that with the exception of rolling power outages and the scarcity of gasoline (in an effort to reserve those resources for the recovery effort in Sendai), things are continuing on as usual in Tokyo. He has urged his Stateside family to go about our normal lives, enjoying our families and our homes, as we never know what tomorrow may bring. I will continue to watch CNN and get updates from my brother, but it is time for me to take his advice and get back to my everyday life, for every day truly is a gift.
* If you are interested in donating to the relief efforts in Japan, I have included a tab at the top of my blog labeled “Help Japan”. Just click on it and you will find links to some wonderful sites aiding the relief efforts.
So, in an attempt to get back to normal around here, I thought I would finish the post I was working on when the quake happened. I had just revealed my entryway makeover and was starting a post showing the cost and materials breakdown.
If you remember, I was trying to keep costs as low as possible. Because I knew I already had some of the pricier items needed (bench, rug), I had given myself a $100.00 budget to complete the rest of the project. Here is where I spent the money:
$ 0.00 Bench- I already had this as part of a dining set not being used
$ 0.00 Rug- I already had this, too
$29.99 Shelf - ready to hang, purchased in the perfect size (6 feet) from Home Depot
$12.99 Brackets- package of two
$39.98 Wall hooks- I used two 27″ long wall mount “racks”, $19.99 each, from Target
$7.00 Framed numbers- Six frames from the Dollar Store plus one tube of paint ($1.00) from Wal-Mart (I printed my own numbers on the computer, then cut them out, painted them the same color as the wording in the Subway Art, and glued them to black card stock before framing.)
$23.98 Baskets- Two at $11.99 each, on sale at Michaels
$9.00 Subway Art- (cost of materials)
$15.97 Accessories- I already had most of it; I purchased three lanterns from Marshalls ($4.99, $4.99 and $5.99) and the tote bag ($1.00 on clearance) from Wal-Mart
$138.94 + tax = Total Cost
Yes, I did go over budget by $38.94 and some tax, but considering how much the PB version would have cost, I still saved a considerable amount of money by doing it my way… and that makes this thrifty gal very, very happy (and organized!)
* Several people have asked me how I made my Subway Art…. I am working on the tutorial right now; it should be ready to post soon!
In the meantime, please keep the people of Japan in your thoughts and prayers!
Until Next Time!