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I got my first pair of glasses when I was five–and not just any pair of glasses. I’m talking giant frames and coke-bottle lenses on my tiny, tiny face. I was petite even then.IMG_20131021_0001 (382x570)

I must actually be closer to six or seven in this picture because the pixie haircut I gave myself just before starting kindergarten had grown out.

I held my glasses solely responsible for my lack of popularity throughout elementary and middle school (nevermind my awkward nature!) and started refusing to wear them somewhere around sixth grade despite the fact that I needed them desperately. At 14 I finally got contacts. In the years since I’ve done my best to forget that I even have impaired vision, leaving my contacts in for weeks at a time and replacing them so rarely that I could stretch a year’s supply into two. I know, I know, this is irresponsible. Many an optometrist has scolded me for this practice. A few months ago I knew I was well overdue for an eye exam and scheduled an appointment at Target Optical. I now have vision insurance for the first time in years so I figured I could finally get some new glasses to give my eyes a break from contacts in the evening. Imagine my surprise when, even at Target, even with insurance, my lenses and frames were going to be over $150! I was ordering a year’s worth of contacts at the same time so I just couldn’t stomach the cost. When I picked Jack up from my friend Gina (who’d kept him while I did the stressful which one is better? routine with the optometrist) I told her about it and she mentioned that she’d bought her glasses from a discount web retailer. Say whaaaat? Turns out that there are several inexpensive glasses retailers out there. I’m not sure I’d recommend them if you’re bespectacled full-time and would be annoyed by lack of quality, but if, like me, you just need a spare pair to peer through in the evenings then this may be a smart cost-saving measure. Here are a few I found in my search:–this is where Gina bought hers. She says to sign up for their email list and wait for a promo code. She was really happy with them!–this is where I ordered ours. Despite some bleak reviews online they arrived in good condition in about three weeks.–online reviews of this company are actually pretty great!–the only downside here is that $39 is as low as they go

I went ahead and ordered new glasses for Nick, too. I just called his eye doctor and asked them to give me his prescription. He hadn’t been there in over a year so I’m surprised that they didn’t insist he come in for a new exam, but I think he’s planning on heading to Target for his next one anyway–it’s pretty convenient to get your eyes examined someplace you already frequent. I asked him if he cared what kind of frames I picked out for him and he said no, but later that evening when I showed him the full-rimmed pair I’d chosen he thought I was joking. It’s a good thing he’s not very vain because they’re definitely not what he would have chosen for himself, but I like them!

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I’d tried on a pair of pink girls’ frames before sticker shock set in at Target and thought to myself that maybe I wouldn’t hate wearing my glasses so much if they were fun. So when I finally got around to ordering our glasses online I went for pink. What do you think? I love them!

We didn’t use our insurance for these (I’m not sure EyeBuyDirect even bills insurance, and I am not up for the task of submitting a claim myself) but even paying completely out of pocket we only spent about $80 total! It would have been half that if it weren’t for my nuclear-strength prescription, but perfect vision for the practically blind comes at a premium. If I can get myself in the habit of switching my contacts for eyeglasses every evening before bed maybe I can call myself one step closer to being an actual adult. Next task–getting myself to the dentist twice a year! I was doing well for a while there but I haven’t been since Jack was born. Speaking of the little guy, my heart is breaking at the realization that he’s probably doomed to wear glasses as well. Nick and I both HATED it and I’d rather not subject him to the same thing. Maybe by the time he’s old enough to need them they’ll have invented some miracle cure. Fingers crossed!

Happy Friday, party people! My brain is absolutely fried after a week full of math and science and very little creativity. I can’t wait until the first of the month when I have some money and can just go freaking shopping again. I’ve had my eye on this from Target for over a month but since it’s only available online I decided to get a Target debit card so I could get free shipping, which required a trip to the store to apply in person and then a week long wait for the card to come in and by then I was of money (note: I have money to spend on other things, like food and necessities, but my home decor budget is usually blown early in the month). Well, now I just found the same exact ottoman on Amazon where I could’ve gotten free two-day shipping without all the hassle.

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Seville Classics Rush Cube Storage Ottoman, Mocha
In case you missed it, I finally got around to making a facebook page for my blog! You can “like” it to keep up with blog posts and photos I post to Instagram. What else do bloggers do with their facebook pages? I’m sort of at a loss here, which is why I didn’t create one sooner. But I wanted a way to connect with readers on facebook while keeping my personal account to people I know personally so here ya go. Still working on the perfect cover photo, obvs.

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Living Well on the Cheap on Facebook

Are you familiar with TED? It’s a nonprofit that puts on conferences where speakers from various fields are asked to give “the talk of their lives” in 18 minutes or less. Videos of the talks are put online for the whole world to watch at their leisure. I’ve been hitting the gym every day and watching TED talks using the iPhone app while I work the elliptical. This one was especially inspiring to me.

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That’s all I’ve got for today. I hope you each have a wonderful weekend! I’m hoping to put my coding woes behind me (the navigation bar at the top of my blog is black and I want it to be white, total first world problem) and knock out some projects that have been on my to-do list for weeks. Wish me luck!

I’ve been scouring the interwebs for an affordable pair of tables to use as nightstands. They really need to be round and on the petite side to work with the new diagonal position of the bed, and I think I’d like them to be metal since everything else in the room is made of wood. I originally wanted to keep the pair under $100 but everything I like is at least $60 each! I might try to sell some stuff on craigslist to finance it. Here are my favorites:

roundup: round metal tables

1. World Market 2. World Market 3. Urban Outfitters 4. Target 5. Target 6. World Market 7. World Market

I need something sturdy enough that it won’t topple over on Jack if he tries to pull himself up on it, so a drum table would be ideal. The first two options from World Market have the added bonus of storage inside. If I had a million dollars I’d drop $800 on a pair of these and be done with it. I really like several of the options above, but something is telling me to wait. Maybe I’ll find something perfect on sale or secondhand.

This is my downstairs bath. I have it decorated just the way I want it, with pops of yellow and vintage touches and a shower curtain that goes all the way to the ceiling. The only thing is that a few months ago I threw out the wine cork bathmat (this is an old picture). It was falling apart under the increased wear and tear since Jack started taking regular baths in here and the floor has been bare ever since.

living well on the cheap bathroom

I was thinking about DIYing a new bathmat–specifically I was going to crochet a giant doily–but the more I thought about it it just didn’t seem very practical. I mean, it would be adorable for sure, but I wasn’t sure it would be comfortable or absorbent or machine washable. These are requirements for a bathroom used by tiny humans. So I’ve been looking around and I’m strongly considering this round rug from World Market. I think the dark gray would look really good and the reviews are great (I actually first fell in love with this rug from but the reviews indicated it wasn’t very well made so the search continued).

world market round bath mat


Another thing we could really use in this bathroom is a mat inside the tub. Jack is now pulling up and standing and the slippery tub makes me nervous. This whale mat is really fun and cute. I think I need it.

urban outfitters whale bathmat

Whale Rubber Bath Mat

Our upstairs bath has a lot of challenges–it’s tiny and painted my least favorite color, for starters–but one thing I’ll never complain about is the tub.

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Despite my love for a good clawfoot, one challenge anyone who’s lived with one will understand is the shampoo situation. There’s no place to our your stuff! We’ve always used one of those wire caddies that hangs over the shower head, but it’s not really an ideal solution and bottles are constantly falling out. I was so excited when I spotted this shower storage system that seems to have been made for old tubs! I added it to my “wish list” board on Pinterest so I can remember it next time someone asks me what I’d like for a gift.

urban outfitters shower storage

Super Shower Storage

And just because it cracks me up, I’d love to frame this print in here if we ever get around to painting over the red. Even Nick laughed when I showed it to him, and he usually is not amused by home decor.

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8×10-in ‘Everyone Poops’ Quote Illustration Print

So that’s what I’d buy if I had $85 to go spending on bath accessories right now, plus time and inclination to paint the upstairs. You’d think with it being such a small room I’d be able to knock it out quickly, but I’m intimidated by the red and all the nooks and crannies.