I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Man

So I’ve been decorating stuff lately. Namely, I’ve been decorating my husband’s office and my home office. My husband’s office was built in 1979 and honestly some of the things in there were original, so we took out an improvement loan and set about updating the place and bringing it more into the 21st century.

Of course everything cost more than originally budgeted. That always happens, right? So by the time the granite was installed, the wallpaper removed and the walls retextured and painted, the cabinets sanded and painted and new carpet installed, there wasn’t much left over for new office furniture and artwork. That’s where cheap, bargain-shopping Liz Talley came in. And I figured while I was in the office frame of mind, I would spiff up my own digs. So off I went to all my favorite places to scoop up bargains.

At a furniture store I scored a nice leaning bookcase for $199.00 which meant I could give my old smaller bookcase to my husband to put in his closet for storage. Ding! Money saved and I gotΒ a new bookcase. Next, the office chair.Β I had recently bought a nice leather one for my home office that was too big for me and causing me to slump. With my Louisiana income tax return, I bought an ergonomic chair for me (something called a Quantum) and sent the distinguished leather and wood chair with my husband. More money saved! And lest you think he got all my leftovers, I found a beautiful Riverside desk and filing cabinet on sale at Dillards. Using my 10% off coupon meant I saved over a $100.00 there. Then I found an orginal painting won at an art auction, found a frame on sale at Michaels (using my 40% off coupon) and brought forth a nice, masculine Labrador Retriever piece to hang near his desk. I scored another large metal sculpture at Tuesday Morning and a wood table at a salvage store to hold the coffee, etc. So, yeah, I took my mad shopping skills and helped trim the budget down considerably. All in all, it looks pretty darn good.

So now you’re wondering about the title, right?

Well, after helping my husband put together my new chair last night, I felt empowered. So empowered that I decided I could put together the bookcase I bought for my office. Piece of cake, right?

Well, it was…mostly because I was determined it would be. I did use the eldest son’s brawn and asked for his help bringing it in the house. After that, I was on my own. They had homework. Whatever! But I let it slide because I do want them to do their homework and we had yet another baseball game. So I unboxed, laid out the parts and after a few slip ups trying to hold the sides up while I screwed the shelves in place, I found a rhythm and a system. Thirty minutes later, I had a completed bookshelf that I built ALL BY MYSELF! Trust me. This is an incredible feat. I don’t do well with instructions or screwdrivers…but when a gal needs a bookshelf up and functioinal, she does what it takes.

So I posted a picture of the end result which I was very pleased with. Got the pillow on sale at Pier One for under $25.00, too. Another bargain since it’s really cute. The Louisiana Writers print was found in my grandfather’s storage shed after he passed away and the rug was a bit more than I like to pay but it had flowers on it and my office is the only place I seem to be able to do flowers in this masculine household.

So what about you? Ever done something on your own that you thought you couldn’t accomplish?

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25 Responses

  1. It’s beautiful, Liz! I’m in awe of your mad shopping skillz. LOL

    • πŸ™‚ I pride myself on bargain shopping. It’s kind of a high, and I’m sure bordering on some sort of sickness. Honestly, when I feel super stressed, my sure fire cure is a cup of Starbucks and the bargain endcaps at Target. Yeah, i’m pretty sure that qualifies for therapy…um, real therapy, not retail therapy πŸ™‚

  2. Year before last for Valentine’s Day my hubby bought me a new desk. I fell in love with it immediately and lucky me they were discontinuing the model and I got it at a steal, just $100. The next day he told me wait for him to get off work before attempting to put it together, yeah right. It took five hours and some help from a female friend with the heavy lifting but I got it. And it’s still my favorite piece of furniture.

    • Glad to know I’m not the only one not good at waiting. I kept thinking “If I don’t do it, I’ll have to wait till the weekend” so I pulled on my big girl panties.

      Glad you got your desk built…and that WAS a steal.

  3. You go girl! πŸ™‚ Your office looks great! I get a rush out of finding those bargains too. πŸ™‚ And I’m way too impatient to wait on hubby to put stuff together. I’ve done shelves, backer’s racks and even barstools and you know what? You really don’t need all those screws they give you. I always end up with an extra hand full. LOL Shhh..don’t tell hubby that! So far, nothings fallen apart… πŸ™‚ Love the feeling of doing it myself.

    • Ha, one day things will start falling apart and if there has been enough time between when you put it together and falling apart, you can convince him HE was the one who put it together. So you’re totally safe.

  4. I like putting stuff together, after I get over grumbling about it sitting for MONTHS while Gunsmoke reruns roll in the TV room.

    But I’m not bitter.

  5. I love putting stuff together. πŸ™‚ But that’s just me. And I have no patience either. When I want it done, I don’t wait. hehe

    Your office looks amazing! Love the rug. I love decorating!

    • If I let it sit for more than three day, the box becomes part of my decorating scheme…so I understand πŸ™‚

    • OOps! My comments messed up. Sorry, Ashylnn. Thanks for the compliment. I’m so happy with the way it turned out…even if my mom said she didn’t think the rug matched. And she chides me on being matchy-matchy!

  6. One year while we were living in Oregon my husband made a trip back to visit his family in South Dakota and the very day he left the water pump went out of my pickup. It was Memorial Day weekend, no chance to get it into a garage until Tuesday and I had to be at a rodeo in Idaho on Wednesday night. So I pulled out the auto repair guide we’d bought specifically for that pickup, got myself a new water pump and followed the step by step instructions to install the damn thing.

    Took all day but nothing dripped when I was done and it was still pumping away when we sold the pickup a few years later.

    • Okay, you got me beat. LOL. But you’re way more savvy in survival than I am. That’s what happens when you live on a ranch in Montana.

      Glad you made the rodeo and, yeah, I’m impressed with your skills.

  7. The office looks great–comfy and inviting. I tried to fix a record player once (yes, I’m ancient:-) Got it all put back together, still had a handful of screws and springs, and the records still wouldn’t go round. Since then, I’ve always left things for DH to put together until just recently. Last month, we bought an end table and a chest from Ikea. When he started putting the chest together, I decided to help. I got plastic cups and sorted all the screws, etc. The chest went together seamlessly, and it was such a feeling of empowerment! I couldn’t wait to do the table. I’m sure I could have done it by myself, but he helped anyway;-)

    • It is a great feeling of entitlement…that’s why I had to do this post. I was so proud of myself. I almost told a random stranger today “Hey, guess what I did? Put together a bookcase!”

  8. I have always been the DIY gal at my house. Last year I build myself a writing table, but it is usually used to hold the clean laundry and stacks of books that dont fit on my bookcase since I prefer to write in my comfy chair.

    I have built a shelf with hooks for the backpacks and sports equipment and I tiled my kitchen and bathroom floors (hubby ran the tile saw, but I put it down.) I’m hoping to finish my book and celebrate by enlisting oldest son to put up the backsplash once school is out and baseball season is over.

    I am in the middle of Waters Run Deep. I am loving it, and enjoying seeing how your writing has taken on more depth with each book.

    • That’s impressive, Kristina, and I’m good a pitching in to help, but usually my husband is the lead on the project. We bought him a shirt that says “Mr. Fix It” on the front because that man loves a good project.

      Thanks for letting me know you’re enjoying it. It’s a new series and that always makes me nervous. I had so many people enjoy my Oak Stand books that I worried. Appreciate it πŸ™‚

  9. I LOVE putting things together. There is such a sense of accomplishment. At the end, you actually have something! I assembled our gas grill! Lots of pieces and screws. Of course hubby refuses to use it. “Claims” he’d rather use charcoal! hee hee

    Hubby is going fishing for a week. Leaves on Friday. While he’s gone I’m going to buy an outdoor rug and furniture for our deck. Surprise!

    Mom is in the middle of Waters Run Deep and loving it.

    • Ha, ha, sneaky Cyndi. YOu sound like the hubbie. Every time I go out of town, I come home to something new. ONe time it was an aquarium. I was not pleased because you KNOW who had to take care of those fish. I say a prayer every time I go out of town that I don’t come home to another animal.

      So glad your mama is enjoying the book πŸ™‚ Makes me happy!

  10. Well, we did build our own house. πŸ˜‰

  11. Sorry. Couldn’t resist bragging.

  12. ahh….yet another reason why I’m stealing you away whenever I get to decorate a house. πŸ™‚

    looks great!

  13. I have to admit, the idea of leaving something for my husband to do is a little foreign to me. I put together my 7-foot cherry bookcase by myself. I’ve swapped out electrical outlets and done other repairs. I was watching the discussion and wondering why I’m this way, and then I realized!

    Growing up with a single mother definitely has an effect on your perspective. πŸ™‚

    • Oh, most definitely. My mother is very strong-willed and a survivor, but she wasn’t into putting things together. That was always a project for her and my dad, so count your ability to take tasks by the boot strap as a hidden blessing.

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