April Dollarwise Home Spruce-Ups at Cactus View Cottage

Updated: May 14


How has your April been, my dears?!

We've pressed on in faith and fortitude during this pandemic at our favorite place to be: at home, a.k.a. our little Cactus View Cottage.

Here are a few of our dollarwise April spring home spruce-ups, and more are coming down the pike. (Never let a home-y-ish girl like me be quarantined at home this long!)

All my living room pictures have (finally) been dusted. The blessing of that chore was I was able to re-live happy travel memories through our collected art. Attitude is everything when it comes to cleaning; I try to enjoy the process even when it's not always a fun chore.

Happy Home Hack: See those two white hampers in my foyer? One is for Goodwill donation bags and the other is to hide the trash that my husband takes out in the evening. Two of the best purchases I ever made as I like to "hide" distracting/ugly things in my home.

Similar hamper.

I clean up my kitchen as I go everyday when I cook, but this time around I deep cleaned every nook and cranny, like pulling out the white island and sweeping under there (!), and using this great board cream to oil our cutting board. I also decluttered our cabinets (again).

We made it a rule during this challenging virus time that we would not discuss Covid anything at our dining table.

Similar tablecloth in green.

We added a "Farmer's Market" to our little kitchen for fun, additional storage, and because fridge-cold fruit hurts my teeth so this was my solution as with limited counter space, fruit bowls were out of the question.  "Go vertical" has always been one of my best small space organizing and decorating strategies. I love the little sign I found on Amazon to finish this project off.  Steve installed the baskets for me.

Isn't it cute? Little things at home (that also don't cost a lot) make me SO happy!

Life's simple pleasures are truly the best. :)

Our second freezer arrived and Steve rebuilt the shelf to now house two small freezers vs. one.  I cook everything from scratch so we needed more freezer space for fresh-frozen fruits and veggies.  I ordered the brown storage drawers for additional food storage for things like pasta, coconut oil, etc.

Similar freezer to ours. One we bought on Amazon and one from Wayfair.

Have tools, will design and build is Steve's motto. He learned handyman skills as a kid growing up on a farm that was 40 miles from a town, (one way), and woe be the wife who might suggest we hire some of this handyman stuff done. (That wife would be me, the only wife he's ever had in almost 40 years!)    :)

No one could ever do our home-handyman projects to Steve's exacting standards, trust me, with his engineer mind and banker's-attention-to-detail, so I go with the flow and let him surprise me!  He has never disappointed me as long as we stick to his ongoing mantra that he always tells me in good humor:  "You be the brains and let me be the brawn."

Okay! I can't pound a hammer, but I'm a resourceful researcher and shopper and he doesn't like that part, so this is the best m.o. for all concerned at our house. :)

Mission being accomplished and service with a smile.

Steve mounted our TV on the wall so we can watch movies from bed better than when it's propped up with books as a viewing m.o. Yay! Future home updates include buying a new very large TV for up there so we can watch scenic travel shows from bed in beautiful brilliant color, but that's a down-the-road project.

Home projects are NEVER done, no matter the size of your home, and no matter what anyone tells you, because well, life is never done.

I am super tired of our blah blackout taupe MBR curtains and cheapy blind that was there when we moved in, so stay tuned if you want to see how I "problem-solved" that little home dilemma.

Sneak peek.

We moved some pictures around our home which is always a dollarwise decorating m.o., but I couldn't resist buying this new Monet painting as I can see it from our bed when I work on my laptop. The colors are so soothing and the quality of the pix is great for the price.

Wayfair has great canvas art; the other two pix we bought there since we moved in as well.

I bought this little cabinet to use for pantry storage awhile back, but even with a frosted-glass treatment I didn't like how I could still see the food inside since it's in our living room. And so, I mused and mused and came up with painting the glass on the back. Four coats later, and a bit more yellow in color than I had hoped for when I chose the paint online, it worked.

Steve removed the door, I laid the door on the kitchen table and brought out the paint brush and here you go!

The yellow-ish paint goes great with our rug, so all is well that ends well. It's a good thing too, because there is NO WAY to paint it a different color now as it's on the back of the door. :)

Love you, yummy yellow!

Steve trimmed our bougainvillea and bottle-brush plants on the side of our house.

I love them both! (The bushes, and Steve.) :)

Gone are the ugly clear plastic bins for my overflow spices and juice bottle storage and here are great bins with bamboo covers I found at Container Store online. LOVE!

Similar baker's rack to ours.

BTW, love these little juice bottles too. Great for freezing juice from large bottles into smaller ones as it's so much cheaper to do that than buy small bottles. (Yes, I'm a girl who likes to save money on small ordinary things so I can spend on other things that are more fun!)

This bin houses and hides to-be-shredded papers.

It's official: My favorite (dollarwise brand of) tea bags are now organized alphabetically by flavor. Just thought you'd like to know so if you come to my home for tea, I can find you just what flavor you like really fast!

(It's okay if you make fun of me for doing this. I understand.  I really do. I also understand that I am an English teacher by training so we like to alphabetize things and I have also worked in several libraries from the time I was in college and so "Dewey Decimal,"  as in she who classifies, organizes, and alphabetizes things became my second name. Throw in the fact that I'm of German descent and we Germans organize everything to the point we even have a phrase for it:  ordnung muss sein, which means "there must be order."  Just thought knowing all this you could perhaps find it in your heart to forgive me for my over-alphabetizing obsession.)  :)

My at-home pedicure was a spruce-up for me. I sat on my bed, used this to soak my feet, and a short stool like this to avoid killing my back, and I used this clear polish as I wasn't adept enough to use my fave pink without having it all over me and my carpet. :)

These flat sandals by Lauren Conrad make my feet so happy. Comfy and rubber bottom so "mature" ladies like me don't slip.  :)

Enjoying the night sky from my kitchen window after all that "home" work!

My motto has always been that you don't need to spend a lot of money to create an attractive home. And while they're fun and pretty, you really don't need Pinterest boards, Instagram boards, or glossy home magazines either. You need your own imagination, creativity, some good cleaning rags, and a willingness to do whatever it takes to make your home feel good to YOU with the resources you have.

Have fun sprucing up YOUR home!

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© Kathryn Bechen 2020