1.01.2020

I bought the "Sunrise Coast Amadora Faux-Leather Sofa, Burnt Caramel" from Amazon....


Just recently I purchased the Sunrise Coast Amadora Faux Leather Sofa, which I found on Amazon after a LOT of searching!  

I wasn't looking for that particular brand or furniture name, I was simply trying desperately to find a couch that matched as close as possible to a real leather sofa, chair and loveseat set we had purchased in 2002 from Ashley.

The real leather furniture set was great quality, expensive, and absolutely wonderful!  So wonderful that 15 years later we gave it to our oldest daughter and her new husband for their home and they used it for a few years... and it was STILL so wonderful that when they sold their home to relocate with his job, the buyer made it part of the purchase agreement that she absolutely had to have the couch (sofa) and chair that was still in the house as it was being shown.  (Our daughter and her husband needed something to sit on in their 'new' home so they had taken the loveseat with them - leaving the chair and sofa along with an ottoman, in the house for showing and marketing.)  

They wanted to say NO!  As it was not only part of a SET and they already had the loveseat at their new home, but also because it was furniture that had been in our family for 20 years.  Our daughter had grown up with this furniture and everyone anticipated having it in our family for at least another 20 more!  

Our 'old' real leather chair they had to sell with the house to appease the buyer
But our daughter and her husband had already relocated with his job, they had double house payments, and really, really wanted to just sell the home and be done with it.  So they agreed (through clenched teeth) and gave up the sofa and chair.  

During the discussion process I told her that I would 'gift' them a replacement couch to match their set as close as possible... and so for Christmas/Birthday this year, I was on a search for the closest, yet affordable, sofa I could find to match the real leather Ashley furniture we had purchased new in 2002.

I wanted to show the "OLD" (real leather) furniture I was trying to match... it took me forever to find a photo of it in our old photo files!  But I finally did.  The chair (above) and the loveseat and sofa/couch is in the background of the photo below.  But you can see the fat rolled arms, the style of leather, the style of cushion as well as the little bun feet.

Our real leather furniture in the background of this old photo

After a week long search I found one that closely resembled the real leather Ashley Furniture set... and was totally affordable.


(These photos are from the Amazon listing where I purchased it)

https://amzn.to/2tk4uKb

https://amzn.to/2tk4uKb
The throw pillows are pretty horrendous... but you can easily buy slipcovers for those to match your own house decor and colors.
https://amzn.to/2tk4uKb



Details


 
  • 3-person couch
  • Weathered faux-leather upholstery
  • Wide, padded, rolled arms
  • Removable seat and back cushions
  • Elegant nailhead trim
  • Sturdy bun-style feet
  • 2 decorative pillows included
  • Arrives fully assembled




MY THOUGHTS....

  • The first thing to note is this is one of the only versions that had the 'shiny' leather look, which we needed!  We own a very similar style but in a softer, brushed leather look - which would not have matched as well.  
  • Second, the bun feet, the fatter/wider arm rolls and the nailheads were perfect.
  • Third, it's cleanable.  Since we own a similar style made from the same microfiber blend to resemble leather, I know from experience that I can use a damp cloth or a bit of mild soap to get out a spill that had dried.

MY CONCERNS....

Amazon offered 3 styles of delivery.  They offer full white-glove where they bring it into the room you need it.  They also offer 'inside the door' service or the basic delivery that said they would deliver to the first 'safe, dry, covered' area. It specifically stated that a covered porch or open garage was a good example.

Since I was shipping this to my daughter and they live where they get snow, ice and rain, I asked her if I should do the 'inside the door' and she said no, on the front, covered porch would be fine.  This was free and also the fastest option.

I placed the order...

And when I got my order confirmation it listed the delivery company Amazon was using.
I then googled the delivery company... and my heart fell into my stomach. I knew we would probably have issues.

There were hundreds (thousands?) of reviews on all different forums and websites and review sites... but I had a hard time finding any good reviews.  Damaged items, missing deliveries, deliveries to the wrong address, deliveries marked "DELIVERED" with NO PRODUCT anywhere to be seen.  No customer service, poor customer services, lies about where the furniture was, when it would be delivered, lies about attempted deliveries when the customer was home waiting and watching... the list went on.

Nothing I could do about it so we just had to wait.

Surprisingly, the couch was delivered FAST.  Thanks in part to the state and city it was being delivered to.  Had it in been other parts of the country I suspect we would have had more issues.

However, there were a couple issues.  The first is that neither she nor I got a delivery notice.

Because Amazon uses a 3rd party delivery service instead of the typical UPS or FEDEX, I never received notification it had been delivered (until about 1 1/2 days LATER when Amazon marked it delivered on my order history).

My daughter found out it had been delivered when her neighbors came to her to ask her if she was waiting on a couch delivery?  Ummm, yes?

Apparently the wife was going to leave the house, and as she backed into their driveway, she saw a couch had been delivered to their house, and left.  No one had rang the doorbell or let them know a delivery had been made.  It was also a few houses down from our daughters... not even 'close' to the correct house.

THANK GOODNESS FOR HONEST PEOPLE!  They could have had a free couch.




The couch didn't weigh as much as anyone anticipated.  My daughter was able to 'push' it across the wet grass and slippery leaves to get it down to her house.  Later, her husband helped get it into the house when got home from work.

Although the box had holes in it, the only damage to the actual couch was underneath, where there was a hole in the fabric lining the underside, where the bun feet are stored for delivery.

YAY!  It looked great!

The color is a brown, burnt caramel color, just as stated.
The faux leather is a more shiny style, not the brushed soft leather that is typical of this fabric.
It is sturdy and pretty and the cushions are very, very firm - which is good because once it gets some use by her little family (children!) it will be broke in just fine... but still be firm enough for comfortable sitting.

We are THRILLED with it.  Sorry I don't have a good photo of it in her home... this was snapped from a video she was sending me. But you can see the back of the couch as well, which wasn't featured in the Amazon listing.

This was taken as soon as the couch had been unpacked.....



I give this sofa a thumbs UP.

I do have concerns about the third party shipping they use, which might be hit or miss - mostly depending on where you live I think.  But it worked out well for us.

And even if their 'buyer' demanded the furniture with the house and we had to give up beloved furniture in order to make the sale, at least we found a great replacement.





10.30.2019

Amazon Promo Codes!


Life in 2019 got a little crazy with a lot going on, and some things had to give... which included keeping the Budget Blog busy.

A post here and there is about all I could fit in with everything else going on.  Because I've not been keeping an eye out for deals, budget friendly projects and more, I've completely been in a cave when it comes to offering my readers something anyone that orders from Amazon needs and wants;  discount codes.  I honestly never really paid attention (oops!).

So this morning, I typing quickly and posting a few offers I saw that I think might interest readers... everything from $10 off Amazon Pantry to candy, Keto items, and more.  I don't have time to organize this or add as many as I'd like this morning BUT I do have hope that I can make this a regular feature....  




(AND... when I posted the code/links there were images!!!  BUT now that I posted them, I didn't see the photos.  If you have an ad blocker, it might be blocking the images...  Mine is.  I really wish I had time to fix all these right now.  I hope to get back this afternoon to work on it. For those of you who CAN see the images... yay!  Enjoy shopping!)








Save 70% on select product(s) with promo code 70813U9J on Amazon.com


Save 10% on select product(s) with promo code 10CFMARSH on Amazon.com


Save 10% on select product(s) with promo code 10BERRYKIT on Amazon.com


Save 30% on select product(s) with promo code 30TT68MK on Amazon.com


Save 50% on select product(s) with promo code 509XCTEB on Amazon.com


Save 50% on select product(s) with promo code 50S2ALOW on Amazon.com


Save 30% on select product(s) with promo code 30HZGZDN on Amazon.com


Save 15% on select product(s) with promo code 15JESSICA on Amazon.com


Save 20% on select product(s) with promo code 20ZPAMZN on Amazon.com




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If you plan to purchase items through Amazon please consider clicking through my affiliate links. (If you are buying anything at all; even if it's something not related to this page). Thanks so very much! Budget at Amazon



10.07.2019

Framed "heart" and "state" prints - showing the states we've lived with little hearts on the cities



The frame in these photos is one I bought early on in our marriage, years and years ago.  I've attempted to use it in many of our homes, in many different ways, but there is only one of our previous homes (out of five) that it really looked happy and in the place it was meant to be.  In the other homes it just didn't go with the decor or style at the time.

Luckily the farmhouse and rustic look is 'in' again and I was able to drag it out of my bedroom storage closet and try to decide how to use it... this time.

I tried various family photos but it just wasn't working for me.  Another issue is that in our current home, the walls are often at angles or have windows taking up a large portion of them and there just isn't a good spot for it.

But this wall had an empty space above the window, right above a matching farmhouse table, so I decided I had found the space...  but needed something different to fill the frames.

I've always loved art, printables and pillows, etc. that feature your home state with the little heart(s) to represent the cities where you've lived.  I've always loved them... but never owned anything as such.

I started to look at some ideas online and realized I could easily make my own!

Finding a silhouette image of your home state online is fairly easy.

I then opened the image up in a simple (free) paint program and added a little white heart shape, followed by the text editor to insert the state.

We've lived in five states so far, and my frame had five openings so it fit perfectly and was so quick and easy!

I simply printed them off on my home computer, (using card stock) cut to size and framed.

Using my own frame and cardstock I already had pieces of in the cupboard, this was my zero cost framed 'state' print and I love them.








I also found some related products available on Amazon you might be interested in as well!


   Primitives by Kathy Wanderust Inset Box Sign, 8 x 8.5-Inches, Wisconsin

  Kindred Hearts 12"x13.5" Wisconsin State Slogan Pallet Board Wall Art

   Wisconsin State Home Barn Wood Sign

  Louisiana LA Home Script | State Silhouette | Glossy White Outdoor Vinyl | Car Window Decal | 5" x 5"










7.02.2019

Arthritis like pain and swelling; swollen joints, pimple like bumps... all from a prick by a ROSE bush? Yep.




This is a topic I've been meaning to touch on for about 6 years now and just never took the time to write about it. 

I figured it might be helpful to others going through the same thing to at least read about it and perhaps put some fears to rest.

It's about the joint pain, bumps, little pus filled pimple like eruptions and the arthritis like swelling associated with pricks from your roses and rose bushes.  Especially the Southern favorite - "Double Knock-Out Roses" which I found to be the worst offenders.

I'm a Northern girl, transplanted to the South and inherited a backyard full of gorgeous, huge, prolific roses.   When I decided to do the pruning of them after our first year in our current home, I wore gloves, got my pruning sheers and went to town.  Sure, I got some pricks but it's rather unavoidable and really... no big deal.  Right?  Wrong.  Not seriously wrong... but just a little bit wrong.

Getting pricked by rose bushes usually isn't a big deal but this time I noted that I broke out in little red bumps.  Those hard little bumps had a white 'head' on them but it wasn't a pimple, you couldn't 'pop' it and if you tried, just a clear liquid came out... not really pus.  Just the clear fluid that means you aren't getting anything 'out' of it and doing more damage than good. 

Those bumps also gave way to swelling and joint pain!  Wowza!!!  My knuckles hurt, ached and were swollen.  My right hand was pretty much useless and I just kept it curled up like a claw as it was so swollen and painful.

I feared something serious and went online to see if others were experiencing what I was.  I did find some information (this would have been around 2012) but many rose bush enthusiasts had never heard of it, others thought the person questioning this was simply dealing with a normal 'rose bush thorn prick' and didn't understand these are different.  Still others posted about going to the doctor -  and doctors, not having a clue, were over prescribing all sorts of things and doing scans and tests and such.... and thinking it was arthritis; making them use all sorts of creams and one woman even ended up with her doctor insisting on minor surgery on the little bumps.  I won't even GO THERE because that was just ridiculous.  But anyway!

So I kept researching, kept an eye on my own and figured some things out.  Now, it's 7 years later... and yep, if I'm not careful I still get some of these arthritic causing pain and swelling, hard bumps but it's something that I know is fairly common with certain kinds of roses and in certain areas of the country. 

First - know that the stiffness and pain in the joints, unfortunately, can last a month.  But it does go away.  It's not forever!  

It certainly felt like it!  Use heat and numbing gels to help if you wish.  Ice if that seems to work better for you.  Basically, it's like you aged overnight and now have arthritic hands for awhile.  It's weird... especially if you are only 30 years old and looking at your hands reminds you of your 94 year old grandmothers hands.  

Your body also seems to be build up a bit of a resistance!  I was SO happy to find this out over the past 7 years.

That first time was brutal.  My hands were full of bumps, my fingers unusable, my joints so achy.  And it lasted forever... or felt like it.  Over a month.  My husband also had helped trim a bit and although didn't have as many bumps as I did, he also had one or two that were near the joints in his fingers and were swollen and painful.

The second time and even third, no matter how careful I was, it's inevitable you'll get pricked and I did.  And yes... same thing.  

But then, after a few seasons, I realized although I was getting the same amount of pricks, they were going away faster.  They were also not causing me the long lasting (month long) painful joints.  The time got shorter... 

Hmmm.

And now, by the 7th season, although I'm SO incredibly careful trimming - I don't even grab the stems with my fingers but snip, and then pick up the trimmed piece with my pruning sheers to carry it to my 'burn' pile, I still will get a few pricks.  But I'm happy to say that after 7 seasons, I rarely am bothered by them.

It's a prick with a bit of blood, which if I see it, I'll squeeze it a bit to help it bleed freely to naturally wash it out.  Then later, I obviously wash my hands very well, working the soap lather well to also help clean the area.  Sometimes I'll dab a bit of colloidal silver cream on the spots to help kill off any bacteria. 


By that evening or the next day there might be a red bump, and it might even get the little white head on it (that looks like a pimple, but isn't).  Sometimes the area may still get red or a bit swollen but I just keep flexing my hand open and closed and go with life....

And then realize a day or two later that there is only a tiny red period sized mark left and I hadn't felt it or noticed it for a day or so.  And again, go on with life and don't think about it and then... I remember, but it's gone.

Apparently my body has slowly been building up immunity to the bacteria and/or fungus that the thorns have.  And for that I'm glad... but I also am SO VERY CAREFUL now that I usually only get a few pricks as compared to the 20 I probably had that first year.


_______________________

I guess the bottom line for me is that I'm EXTRA careful when I have to do the cutting back and trimming of the Double Blooming Knock Out Roses.  The other roses I have don't seem to cause the same reaction as the Knock Outs do. 

I wear gloves, use my pruning sheers to pick up and carry the branches.  I try very hard NOT to get pricked at all, not even a little.  But when I do, which obviously happens, I know that now, after 7 years, about 50% will turn into the eruptions, cause redness, pain and/or swelling.  But with a little anti-bacterial cream and time... it will go away and all will return to normal. 

It isn't  long lasting and it's not actually arthritis.






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