Just my thoughts

Before and After Kitchen Remodel

Kitchen Remodel

A few years ago we purchased a home built back in the early 1970’s. It had really not been remodeled that much since then. There were still only one light fixture, usually off in the corner, per each room. Many light switches still controlled floor electrical outlets, just as it was back in the 70’s were they used floor lamps then ceiling lights.  The home we had just moved into had also been vacant for over 2 years.

It is amazing how much a home can deteriorate when not being used. The old iron pipes had corroded and the all needed replaced. The ac system and the furnace were on the way out and couldn’t keep the home even close to the same temperature. The electrical system needed revamping and circuits split and more new circuits added to handle increase in lighting. The bathrooms needed upgraded from the peach and baby blue toilets and sinks.

The kitchen had a terracotta color tile and under the fridge there was an orange colored paisley carpet that was basically rotted through. Not only that but in a large home it had a small and narrow galley kitchen that you could touch the counters on either side with only barely reaching your arms out. And our home kept with the traditional style home of having a kitchen table area and a more formal dining room area. As a younger couple we were not interested at all in keeping a formal dining room. And we looked for ways to expand our kitchen. We both wanted an open floor plan for a kitchen and one big enough not to be crowded in the kitchen when we had family and guest over.

We began our remodel of our home almost immediately after moving into our home. The kids helped my husband tear down the walls to the formal dining room. In the “before” picture you can see both walls that we tore down, on both sides of the door that you see to the right of the photo. Where the wall is on the far right side where you begin to see the dark cabinets on the edge of the photo is the same wall that in the “after” would of been along the edge of the granite that you see closest to you where the small sink is in the foreground. So essentially we expanded our kitchen over 5 feet wider and then behind the granite island you see in the foreground there we built two desk with granite counters and matching cabinets that go another 4 feet further into the old formal dining room. Both the desk area and the granite countertop island added a total of 10 feet or so width to the kitchen. Also by taking out the wall of where you see the photo on the wall to open up into a living room with couches really freed up lots of visual space to really make the room huge.

Even though now it may look great the main part of the remodeling post here is that we paid it off in segments. We lived for 3 years with sheet rock walls in the kitchen with wires hanging out capped and taped off out of the walls for the soon to be cabinet lighting. And we had plywood for countertops, and had only wood cabinet boxes under them with no doors. We built our kitchen in stages. Doing it in stages enabled us to build it the way we dreamed we would want it. If we had tried to pay for it all at once there would of been no way we could of even afforded to build it the way it is now. It would of been way to expensive to do it all at once.

Everything that we did we also did by hand. We put in the new tile floors with heating elements to warm it. After tearing out the old terracotta tiles and carpet under it and of coarse the rotten subfloor too. Paying off each job we did as we went allowed us the fun little extras like heated floors. And by saving tons of money by doing the work ourselves can save you sometimes more then half the cost of the job if you were to have someone else do it for you. Sometimes taking a week or two and watching online videos and reading how-to’s can save you thousands which enables you to spend a little more on fun additions to the remodel.

Just because you like to save money and live thrifty, doesn’t mean you have to buy poor quality and cheap materials. Living thrifty means that you find ways to save money and do things the smart way. Doing the tile floors yourself saves you lots of money, more then half because of how labor intensive it actually is. By saving thousands on tile floors gives you enough to spend a few hundred on heated floors that not only help heat your home more efficiently in the winter by radiating heat thus saving you money, but also feels great to the bare feet. That is being thrifty. If you would want to you could even keep all of it and just do the floors with no heat and save that for another job in the remodel. But I have to tell, heated tile floors make the hard cold idea we all think of tile floors actually feel warm and cozy to the point you would rather stand on the heated tile then even a padded mat.

We recently finished remodeling our bathrooms as well. We ripped out all of the sheet rock, tile, tubs, sinks, toilets and everything else down to wood studs in each bathroom. Just like the kitchen we added heated elements for about $200 per bathroom which is the best money we have spent in both rooms! The heated floor is so nice to walk on in cold winter months when you wake to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Doing all of the work in the bathroom after watching sheet rock videos and watching how to texture videos on YouTube helped us to save enough money doing it our self that we were able to afford jacuzzi tub and granite countertops, tile surround showers and all new fixtures and sinks and toilets as well. Sure we could of avoided the tile shower surrounds and just installed pre-made plastic tub and shower inserts, but tile with glass accents add to selling value later if we were to sell the home.

Just because you save your money and do the work your self does not mean you can not save your money and buy upgrades to your home remodel. Take time to learn how to do it, and try sample areas to test how things work. Not only do you save money, and install upgrades to your remodel with fun accessories but you also get a high sense of accomplishment in knowing you did it your self.

Not long ago we shared a post on DIY Concrete Stained Flooring . And a more in depth look into our kitchen remodel too.

DIY Concrete Stained Flooring

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teaching kids about money and consequences, #money, #kids, #consequences, #parenting, #helpfultips

Teaching Kids About Money and Consequences

I have been at my wits end lately trying to find a punishment that gets my kids’ attention!  It seems like nothing was getting through!  Until I thought of this.

Now the struggle of getting them to mind as well as helping them learn about saving and spending money are being addressed at the same time and it is working out great!

To begin with, lets talk about the consequences side of things.  The way it works in our house is by getting quarters.  At the beginning of the month we add $5 in quarters for my younger two and $10 for my 12 year old.  As the month goes on, anytime they disobey, talk back, hit someone, refuse to do their chore, or anything else that we feel fits loses them a quarter (sometimes more depending on the behavior).  The quarters then get put in a separate jar and the only way to get quarters back is by doing an extra chore or going above and beyond.  This is usually something they don’t know they will be earning money for and isn’t something they expect.

So by the end of the month they could have nothing left, or they could have even more then the $5 they started out with.  I realize this isn’t a ton of money, and may seem super small to you.  If that is the case, by all means increase the amount you are putting in!  It is great for any budget!

We plan on using the quarters month after month and paying them with bills so that they aren’t bogged down with tons of quarters.

Now onto the teaching them about money side of it.  We are trying to teach them the importance of saving for something they want, paying a small 10% portion to our church for tithing, and buying things they want.  It is hard for some of them.  Sometimes they get that money and want to spend it right away and then are disappointed when they could’ve gotten something better if they had saved for a couple of months.  But it is all up to them. With gentle reminders from us when the money is burning a hole in their pocket about something they had mentioned wanting that costs more then they have. (In our case this would be a video game that right now is still $60 and our son isn’t up that far yet!) it is ultimately still their choice if they spend or not.

I feel like allowing them to make a few mistakes and buy something they may regret later it is teaching them a valuable lesson.

I have found that this has also been great on cutting down their asking for everything they see at the store.  They are learning that things cost money and that none of us have an unlimited supply of it.  I used to dread taking them to the store because I always got asked for something and it is frustrating! Now, they see something they want and then notice how much it costs.  They do sometimes still ask for it, but if it isn’t something they need, it is something they will have to spend their own money on it.  They don’t usually like that idea!

This has been great at our house. It has worked wonders on both lessons and has eased up some of the arguing, tension and frustration around our home!

teaching kids about money and consequences, #kids,  #money, #consequences, #parenting, #helpfultips

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silly things our moms say1My friends and I were laughing the other day about the silly things our Mom’s use to say to us when we got hurt or were sick, when we were little. Some of the things they said where wise wisdom and others were down right ridiculous.  We were laughing so hard we had tears coming from our eyes. So I ask my readers the question what did your Mom say to you when you were little and Had a Head Ache, Thirsty or had the Diarrhea?  I got a good laugh from your replies….

  1. You’re too young to have a headache!
  2. No matter what the ailment the first question would be “did u try to go poop.” I say it to my kids now just to be funny
  3. The funniest thing has come from my husband. When he would fall or get hurt and was bleeding, his grandmother would say – with a twang -, ” I hope your satisfied”. LOL I don’t know why that makes me giggle!
  4. It’ll be better by the time you grow up!
  5. My mother told me if I peed outside I would get a sty in my eye…then I got one…I was busted!!!
  6. Are you bleeding or coughing up a lung? No? Have a good day at school. Just kidding but it wasn’t far off from that
  7. My parents would say up chuck instead of vomit
  8. U r a headache (lol)
  9. Hello I am friday meet me saturday and we will have a sunday.
  10. Suck it up, get your own water, don’t crap in your pants… lol..oy vey lol
  11. You have currutaca (diarrhea)
  12. If you peed in the road, you’d get a sty on your eye, I had a lot of them. If ya’ gotts go, ya’ gotta go.
  13. If we got the runs we were told to… Eat more cheese
  14. And for everything else, if you are not bleedin or your bones are not broken then you are fine go outside and play
  15. LOL!! It must be a southern mom thing- first answer no matter the ailment “go sit on the pot” bahaha
  16. Well my mom and I always got really bad seasonal allergies and we called it “buffalo head” because it felt like a huge fluffy buffalo was clogging up our heads!
  17. Sad but my mom would threaten to give me a laxative if I had ailments. I learned to suck it up and go to school.
  18. You have a headache? Let’s chop off your head… that’ll take care of the problem:-/ Lol
  19. My mother told us “everything” was Gas…. Didn’t matter what it was.
  20. Did you poop today?, Go get a glass of water., Go drink some Pepto!
  21. Walk around the block and fart
  22. The other thing she said was “unless you are bleeding or on fire, then I don’t wanna hear about it,”
  23. My papaw always told us if we had a headache that ” with a head like that how could you not have a headache!” gotta love them lol
  24. My young women’s leader used to say for anything wrong, “Just go poop! It’ll make you feel better!” Haha!
  25. I’ll wash your mouth out with soap!! (sad thing, our neighbors mom actually did this)
  26. Any type of stomach issue “Drink and drink tons of water to flush out that nasty virus. It will come outta one end or the other.”
  27. My dads response was always, “its a long way from your heart,” or, “we’ll just smash the other one so you forget this one hurts.” Lol.
  28. You’re Thirsty? I’m Friday! Lets get together Saturday and have a Sunday!!
  29. My moms answer for everything was “go sit on the toilet” lol as I can see a lot of moms used to say that too
  30. If we were thirsty “Drink your Spit!”
  31. Any other possible ailment, my Mom would say, “Put on some lipstick, you’ll feel better!”
  32. It will feel better when it quits hurting
  33. My mom always asked if we had tried to got to the bathroom when we were sick. It seemed no matter what was bothering us, it might be caused by the fact we hadn’t pooped in a while. Was she right? Who knows. My I was only suffering from a constipation induced headache.
  34. Hi Thirsty, I’m Donna.
  35. Love all the pooping…apparently there were a lot of BM’s going on when I was a kid.
  36. My mother’s answer for any ailment or injury was “yellow Triaminic”. Stomachache, headache, sore throat, stubbed toe… It didn’t matter what the problem was, Yellow Triaminic was the answer. Horrible stuff. We didn’t fake sick in our house!
  37. It wasn’t headaches, thirst and diarrhea I got the crazy advice on. It was earaches, stomach cramps and hiccups. If I had an earache she insisted on blowing her nasty cigarette smoke into my ear (I learned never to complain about earaches).
  38. My grandmother would say, “It’ll get well before you get married.” I cried so hard when (I don’t even remember what minor injury) happened within 24 hours of my wedding day and I realized it wouldn’t get well in time. lol I miss her so much!!
  39. A headache got a children’s aspirin or 1/2 a regular aspirin. As the oldest of 6 kids, I never bothered to tell her I was thirsty — I just got myself a drink of water. And, for diarrhea, it was the horrible, awful, most dreadful of all solutions: Pepto Bismal. To this day, just the smell or sight of it disgusts me! uggggg!
  40. I tell my kids when they say their thirsty to “swallow their spit” always get a good laugh outta that one. And pepto for anything else that was wrong when I was a kid.
  41. My dad always asked, Did You break My (insert whatever you tripped over or fell on)??? If You broke It you’re in TROUBLE!!!
  42. Linda Hansen my grandmother and mother would fix me campbells chicken noodle soup dry toast and hot tea. tuck me in bed and feel my head for fever
  43. A headache was ” what do you expect with a watermelon for a head?
  44. I remember a time when my mom gave me M & M candy for a headache told me it was medicine.
  45. My mom used to always tell us to take a warm bath- no matter what the ailment was she would say, “take a nice warm bath n you will feel all better” the amazing thing was it always worked
  46. Every time we were sick to our stomach we got cola syrup its tasted horrible. lol
  47. “If you’re not thirsty enough to drink water, you’re not really thirsty at all”
  48. When my kids get hurt, I’ll say, “why did you hurt me like that?”, kid will respond, “I didn’t hurt you, it’s my ( ) that hurts.” Then I get to explain, “You are mine, anytime you hurt, I hurt! Now stop hurting me.” I’ll usually get a smile and a calmed down child.
  49. My grandmother gave us baby aspirin for headaches…rubbed us down with vicks vapor rub or campho-phenic for most ailments and pepto bismol for “the trots”!
  50. Baby aspirin, loved the taste. She would try pepto bismol but it would end up making me barf, so she would make jello, soup, hot tea and crackers for tummy problems. She would force me to wear hideous scarves by saying we would end up with a shot at the doctor if I didnt wear it.
  51. Get some water. (Water doesn’t taste good though). Then you’re not that thirsty, are you?
  52. I used to tell my daugher she wasn’t sick she was just sickening!!! kind of mean old mom. Ha Ha!!
  53. When my daughter tells me she hurt something, I get all dramatic and say “ohmygosh! Are you okay?? Do you need to go to the doctor?!? -snicker-*no* ” do you need to get a pop???( that’s what she calls shots) -snicker-*no!* then I guess you’re okay! Then I kiss it, she says thanks n goes on about her business
  54. My mom and I still joke about this, but whatever the ailment,she would say “take an Advil.”
  55. We also got a lot of Vicks vaporub for various ailments.
  56. Aspirin or Vitamin C. That was my mom’s cure-all. It didn’t matter what was wrong with you.
  57. No matter what was wrong with you my Aunt Cathy would always tell us to go take a big healthy dump….. It would cure whatever was ailing you. Ugh….
  58. Cant remember what she said about these circumstances,but i do remember she used to say to me,”if you get hurt and break your leg don’t you come running to me”, lol!
  59. A big turd with fix your problem
  60. Castor oil and granny chasing you with a spoon of it
  61. My dad would tell us “You will forget about it by the time you kiss your boyfriend” of course that would make us laugh then he would say “See you forgot about it already!”
  62. A headache meant you were tired–go to bed; thirsty meant get yourself a drink, I’m not your slave; diarrhea (or any other gastrointestinal disturbance meant pepto bismol
  63. My Dad would always say, “It’ll feel better when it quits hurtin!”
  64. My dad would always say when we hurt ourselves in a minor way, “give me your finger. I’ll bite it, then you’ll stop thinking about your (foot, shin,head,etc)
  65. When I was stomach sick my dad would make me toast with butter and brown sugar on it. Wish he was still with us.
  66. Are you bleeding? No Are you on fire? No Are you breathing? Yes Now go back to class! (we used to try to play sick to come home early from school; as you can see it never worked!!)
  67. My grandma Always said I was too young for headaches!
  68. My dad always offered to stomp on my toe. He said I would forget all about anything else.
  69. When I was thirsty my mom told me to swallow my spit.
  70. If we were coughing badly, my mom used to say “Cough it up… might be something we can use”. Grossed me out then and grosses me out now….but I still have the urge to say it to my kids when they cough.
  71. I was raised by my grandmother, any complaint we had, the first thing out of her mouth ‘have you pooped?’ Prunes were here cure all, unfortunately I have asthma and the prunes didn’t solve that so I had recurring hospital stays. My sister and I always laugh about how everything was supposed to be solved by pooping!
  72. For head aches, mom would say to go lay down…For a cold she would put vapor rub and crush aspirin under our feet and make us sweat it out. AND for an upset stomach she would give us crackers and 7up…or yerba buena (herbal green tea)…R.I.P Mom…she always tried to make us feel better…silly sometimes the things we had to do or take but we felt loved…
  73. Drink more water…. No matter what’s going on, the answer is always drink more water!
  74. My dad’s thoughtful answer for my ailments?- life’s tough then you die. Not related to above but my when climbing trees or rough housing my grandma would quip “if you fall and break both your legs don’t come running to me!”
  75. I alway tell my kids neosporin and a band aid .If it’s not gone in a week then we will worry. Fixes everything! LOL
  76. My mom used to ask me if I had had a B.M. if I told her I had a headache. What she thought one had to do with the other, who the hell knows?
  77. Well, I always say…”we will need to amputate” thank you dad for that one!

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banddaidRandom fact … I am GUILTY of hiding band-aids in strange places in my home … I always have more “just in case”.  Because when I REALLY need a band-aid the box is always empty thanks to my children and their attempts to save the world like Dr. Quinn medicine woman.

WHY you ask, because I have 4 small children. If the package of band-aid is just put on the shelf somehow my children are drawn to it like bees to honey or flies to food.  That freaky little box of band-aids calls out to my children and in NO TIME flat all 25 band-aids have been  unwrapped (wrapper tossed on the floor for the magic maid fairy aka MOM to pick up later) and used for the most tragic traumas you have ever seen.   Here are a few examples of traumas and life saving support  these band-aids have offered my children in the past…

1. Promptly put on a 3 week old wound were there once was a scab, that has now fallen off and all that remains is healed skin.

2. All over the wall, in a random pattern … some even over lapping.  Maybe this is modern art and I am just to old school to see its divine potential?

3. On little brothers “Butt Crack” since he broke his bum.

4. All over the TV, because scrapping sticky things off electronics just makes Mom SO happy… not.

5.  In a path on the floor, and they stick like you would not believe.  Left there so I can follow it like bear tracks right to the guilty party.  When I follow the trial it somehow always leads me right to my kids.  When I ask them WHO used all the band-aids they all look at me and say “NOT ME”.  Yet they are polka-dotted with them…. how then, did that band-aid end up right in the middle of their forehead?   ( I told you these band-aids are freaky little things and can not be trusted…lol).

So that my friends is why I Hoard/ Hide band-aids in random weird places in my home.  So do not be shocked if you put on a stocking hat in the middle of summer only to find a box of band-aids inside, or open up my printer and find Mrs. Piggy and Kermit the Frog hanging out band-aid style under the lid.

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yard sale finds

I am not a huge yard sale shopper, some of my friends hit the sales EVERY Saturday morning rain or shine all summer long.  They score some awesome deals.  BUT I am more of a hit or miss kind of gal, if I happen to see a sign and I have time I will pull over.  I always wear my sunglasses that way I do not have to make eye contact with people….. why?  Because I always feel weird looking at other peoples stuff.  Am I the only one that has yard-sale anxiety lol.  If I find something I want great… but it comes when I stop and don’t find anything I want. As I turn to walk away  I feel bad, I feel like I am saying “sorry you junk stinks”.

I try hard to only buy things that I have a purpose for, or know exactly were to put it.  So I don’t end up on the next episode of hoarders.  This weekend I bought 3 things, the street behind my house was having a neighborhood yard sale.  I did not even get over there till about noon, but I was still able to find a few great deals.

Working water feature, pumps water down the front to create a soothing water sound.  Came with a light, it was really dirty but cleaned up great.  I bought it for my Mother in Law, she loves the sound of running water so I thought she might like it.  Well worth the $1.

Three foot wire strand of red beads, was a steal of a deal at only $.25.  I put it behind my bird on the hutch I made for my kitchen.   It gave it a little punch of color it needed.

Last but not lease, a bunch of fake fruit for $1.00.  Yes I know maybe a bit tacky but the glass fruit I use to have in this bowl keeps getting shattered on the floor thanks to my children.  SO fake, foam fruit it is… till they are a little older :).

Did you go  to any yard sale this weekend, did you find anything good?

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bad parking job

Matt and I where out on our “date”…. we went to lunch and then to a fabric store.   Ya I know it might not sound that romantic to you,  but having lunch with my husband and strolling threw the fabric store WITHOUT children makes it romantic, and fun (you won’t understand this if you don’t have kids).  Don’t get me wrong I love my 4 little “balls of energy” but sometimes it is nice to sit down…. and just chew my food, then swallow.  Yip that is right, chew my food and then swallow without a sticky hand tapping my arm telling me that her brother is breathing on her.  Or cleaning up another spilled cup of water, or ordering a new meal because my sweet child decided to “salt” my food for me when I was cutting up the toddlers plate so he would not choke….   Never a dull moment with kids around.

Ok… on with my little story.  So Matt and I went to lunch at Tuscanos, I had a free meal coupon for my birthday.  We enjoyed lunch then headed over to Home Fabrics so we could pick out  fabric to cover some pillows (why do my pillows need new covers, because the sticky hands don’t only touch my arm but find my couch pillows as well).  We were in no rush, we pulled up and were getting ourselves together to get out of the truck.  When I see this gold car WHIP into the parking space a few empty spaces next to me.  BUT she was NOT really in a space, instead straddling the yellow line, taking up TWO spots.

I looked over to Matt and said, ” Wow this lady is worse at parking the car then me.”  But I thought for sure she would back up and attempt to park a little better.  NOPE, she popped out of that car like a tinkerbell princess going to the ball.  And pranced herself right into the store.  I just sat and watched the whole thing, with my mouth open in shock.  I looked at my husband and then busted up laughing.

And THAT is why going on a date with your husband is so important.  A few hours of time away from the busy life to just laugh and have fun together.

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