light me up, baby

Last Thursday was a great day. Mom Hawk came over and continued work on the basement. She pulled down the remaining panels, cleared the debris, and finished painting the ceiling. We hauled out what we could until Ace woke from his first nap, and then he and I went shopping.

Shopping you say? Oh yes, shopping.

I never go shopping. We haven't made a major home purchase in about a year and with a son to look after, the budget is just more, well, parent-like. I haven't even gone to any of my favorite fun stores like World Market, Crate & Barrel, Pier One, or Marshall's because if we have the funds I'm out buying itty-bitty clothes for itty-bitty body or we're handling medical bills. I'm quite content with this, but it sure builds up a good desire for some creative spending in a gal.

With the electrician on site today and in the coming weeks, and with a few new light fixtures we simply have to purchase to cover the new holes in the basement, Mom Hawk suggested we find what we want now so that he can install them all at once. Pressure. I am not the best shopper when I need to make a big decision. A time-crunch with a creative adrenaline rush, sure. But real purchases we'll have to live with for years? Not so much.

Regardless, I enjoy doing this sort of thing on my own, so Ace and I saddled up and snagged some time at Menards & Home Depot. Hawk had a work bowling party that afternoon (how fun is that?!) so it was easy to text photos and opinions back and forth. 

The best part? RAce had fun and Hawk and I agreed on the look and size we wanted. I focused on the outdoor lighting and kept my eyes pealed for good kitchen lanterns. Here's what sonny boy and I found during the first part of the day:

These were all at Menard's. I actually enjoyed myself here. There was a pretty big selection, and I felt we could afford any of the pieces. The Menard's guide said that all the pieces were metal, not plastic. My goal in this at the beginning was to limit spending here. We don't plan to live in this house much beyond 10 years unless we add a major renovation (affectionately called the bay trifecta by locals: master bedroom, additional full bath, over a new family room; sometimes this also includes a kitchen renovation). Everything here ranged between $18-58.

Here was a quick snapshot of some choices for the kitchen. Of these three I liked the outside two, the left the best:

Then we hit up a Home Depot across the street and found these:

I picked up a few from Menard's and a few from HD. Love this modern age of return-if-unused!

Big trouble spot: I didn't want to choose lighting, especially in one day, that Hawk and I didn't really like. We don't have the sort of expense budget to waste on items we settle for, you know? We're doing fine, financially, but it's because we value our dollar and want to see it come back to us in quality.

Then, I got a call from Mom Hawk suggesting we at least take a look at a local shop, City Lights. I love walking through their showroom because it is arranged well and feels classy and clean. So for this second venture, Hawk met up with Ace and I after work. 

This. Was. Brilliant.

We arrived and discovered that the showroom is offering 50% off retail price, with free shipping (it's almost all by-order-only).

We had a blast. We quickly found some options for the exterior lights within the same budget as M & HD. We spent a good 45 minutes searching through indoor lighting in the hopes of finding great kitchen lanterns until our guide confirmed that we can use outdoor lighting on the inside!

Eureka! We ran back to the outdoor lighting section, set Ace free on the ground, and spent another hour reexamining our decisions both outdoor and in. Does this come in a ceiling mount? What length might it hang? What is the difference between oil rubbed bronze and black? How will this age? And so forth.

We're almost firm in our decisions. We need to make them final this week in order to receive the discount, so as soon as we're on board, I'll let you know! I'm really excited.

Hope you had a lovely weekend! 


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