Press "Enter" to skip to content


It’s been a unique experience to do the kind of shopping I’ve done this move. The curtains we did before – and paid a lot less, if I remember right. We also did the bedding. The new sofa is unique – I literally haven’t ever gone shopping for a sofa before. My ex spent my money to buy one that should’ve been condemned at the store, but I didn’t have any input on the purchase. This time around we’re kind of doing it all at once, which is a weird feeling. It’s literally going to be a  new home when we get done, and we’re really decorating almost from scratch. We have to get rid of a lot of stuff too, but we should hopefully be able to sell a lot of what we can’t keep, so it’s all good.

More photos!

These curtains are the bomb. I was looking for EXACTLY something along these lines, but it was going to cost me around $150 for the two windows, way out of my price range. This set cost me about $60 for the two windows. Score!


One thing I hated about swapping out our king size for a queen size bed: I loved our quilt! Lucky for me I found this one, which is very similar to the one we had to leave behind. I consider that a win.


sink - before
Thus was the original sink and faucet in the kitchen. You can’t see, but that faucet was really busted at the end. I wouldn’t have hated the porcelain, but the thing was just trashed. The strainer baskets were even shattered, and this dumped into a garbage disposal with a cord stolen from a lamp. Yes, really.


sink - after
This is the end result. Kind of a big difference, huh? The garbage disposal is history, at my request. I hate the things – they serve no purpose except to make noise and destroy my spoons. The sink, meanwhile, is both an upgrade to stainless AND is about twice as deep as the old one.

G had to dig the trench for the Internet install. The phone company installer swore he couldn’t do it, despite the fact that I’d ordered an installation at an extra cost. That was a lost morning we’d hoped would be spent painting. It also zapped poor G’s strength so we had a short day today. We both had a hard time staying awake. Granted, this is pretty light work as renovations go, but it’s still a LOT of work for two people, with most of it falling on G’s shoulders.

I have done some of the work, but so much of it I simply can’t do. I’m not a painter. I tried, and let’s just say it wasn’t successful. However I managed to re-hang the cabinet doors, and I take care of virtually everything else – all the bill paying, errands, meals, blah blah blah. So I’m not completely useless.

I didn’t mention the degree of personal pandemonium going on in the background. It won’t go on a public post but hopefully on a private one, soon. Let’s just say I’ll be glad when we finally get to move in here.

On a brighter front, I started the process to become a Mystery Shopper. No, I’m not talking about the come-hither crap that you see everywhere and boils down to a whole lot of nothing. There are legit Mystery Shopper jobs and I know someone who owns one of the shopper companies. She got me connected with the pro Mystery Shopper organization and I’m working toward my certification. The average person seems to make somewhere around $1000-1500 a month average, with some averaging closer to $5K monthly. I talked to one person who did $10K a month for a while but said it was not something they could keep up – it involved a LOT of travel, to the extent they were virtually never home. (Though admittedly, I’m never home NOW.) If I can do part time and do the $1000-1500 range we’ll be sitting pretty since we have no bills, but I’d like to go a bit higher so we can start socking money back for other things. I’d love to retire someday soon, but looks like it’s not going to happen yet.


  1. goatbarnwitch goatbarnwitch September 8, 2016

    Love the progress photos… you can do this!!! I hope sooner rather than later if there is drama involved.
    I mystery shopped a while ago and it can be fun but travel is an issue. For me in rural NY it didn’t make me as much as I would have liked. Good luck with that and if it pans out I may ask some questions…

    • leilani leilani Post author | September 8, 2016

      Thank you. I technically live in the Phoenix metro area so there are opportunities here. I’ll have to see how it pans out. I know there will be travel, but since it will be my only job, so be it. I only need my body and my car to hold up.

      Who knows how it’ll pan out? I need to cover some basics for us, and know some of it ends up being reimbursed meals. I don’t mind that except we can’t drive fifty miles just to get a reimbursed meal, for example, unless I can combine it with a paying shop.

  2. Daal Daal September 10, 2016

    Inspiring to see how much better it looks, little by little!

    • leilani leilani Post author | September 13, 2016

      Thank you Daal – nice seeing you here! It’s making progress, albeit more slowly than I’d like.

  3. Terri Tinkel Terri Tinkel September 13, 2016

    It’s getting better and better. I hope your days of living with family are soon over. I know you both need your space and some down time too.

    • leilani leilani Post author | September 13, 2016

      Thank you Terri. It’s kind of an odd feeling buying new stuff. We are still looking at yard sales too, of course, but it’s highly unlikely we’ll buy a sofa at a yard sale, and it’s at best hit and miss finding bed linens in the specifics I wanted. For example, I bought some white sateen sheets from Ross for $25 a set. They’re a good thread count and 100% cotton. You can find sheets at yard sales all day long – but a lot of times they’re stained and/or torn, polyester blends that don’t hold up, etc. I believe in buying smart – which includes knowing when to buy new.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *