Carter’s Size 8 and More!

I participated in an Influencer Activation on behalf of Influence Central for Carter’s. The opinions stated in this review are genuine. 

When I mentioned that I was doing our back-to-school clothes shopping at Carter’s you all responded with “I love Carter’s” “Carter’s is the best!” or “Us too!”

So maybe I’m not going to tell you anything that you don’t already know, which is that Carter’s clothes are adorable, affordable, convenient, and comfy. But did you know that they now offer a size 8?!

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This is really exciting for my family because Z turns 8 in like a week and he’s starting to wear size 8. So when I went to the Carter’s store a couple of weeks ago it was so convenient. I was able to shop for all 4 of my kids at Carter’s and left with a bag full of bargains.

That’s right, I said all FOUR of my kids because this pregnant mama stopped dead in her tracks when she saw the baby clothes at the front of the store. I couldn’t resist doing a little shopping for the little one coming in 3 months!

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Then I moved onto the size 5 girl clothes because SJ needed some new leggings and a first day of school outfit. There were so many options and I get nervous with this cutie pie because she is by far my pickiest dresser. She came with me though to choose what she liked. Carter’s makes shopping with little ones so easy thanks to their helpful employees, a nice clean layout, and even a little play table to keep the tiny shoppers entertained.

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We both fell in love with the “Shine Like a Star” ensemble.

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I loved how easy they make it to mix and match. I got the whole outfit for 50% off and even stocked up on some cute accessories. SJ rocked this look on her first day of Kindergarten.

Z was due for new shoes, new jeans, some back-to-school tops…the works!

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I found everything I was looking for at Carter’s thanks to the new size 8 and size 3Y shoe options. The adjustable jeans are the best thing ever because growth spurts do happen! He looked stylin’ in his back-to-school clothes and he entered the 2nd grade with confidence.

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Lastly, I also had to pick up a matching outfit for Ezie.Ezie

He really looks up to his big brother and they are still at an age where they love to match so how could I resist.

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I scored all of these items and more at such a great price and I even got $20 worth of coupons at the end (which I already spent by the way).

Now is a great time to stock up on awesome fall fashion sets for your kiddos because the deals are so amazing! First of all you can use this printable coupon or promo code to shop at your local Carter’s store or online and get 25% off your purchase of $40 or more.

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On top of that right now and through the end of August they are running the #CountMeIn Sale with many items up to 50% off and doorbuster savings like $6 leggings, long sleeve tees, or boys terry pants when you buy 2 or more. Then get ready because Labor Day weekend the entire store is 50% off! That’s my kind of a sale.

I already loved Carter’s , but some of these latest improvements have just made me love them that much more.

onthegoAre your kids closets ready for fall? Head on over to Carters.com or the Carter’s store to stock up on the styles you and your on-the-go-gang are sure to love!

By | August 24th, 2015|Babies & Toddlers, Frugal Living, Schooling|7 Comments

First Week of School 2015

I have felt really optimistic about this first week of school until it all came crashing down today. J has had to take over car pooling/kid watching due to me having a fever and barely being able to breath or sleep. So I went to the doc and everyone agreed I need to be on antibiotics now. Even though I don’t love having to take meds (especially when pregnant), I am grateful for the relief I should soon be feeling.

We started this week off with a practice run complete with our first day of school clothes (brought to you by Carter’s) and then took off for a photo shoot of the snazzy ensembles.IMG_9243

I will be posting more next week for the Carter’s Count Me In campaign. I have some sale information and a coupon that I know you are going to love so be on the look out for that. 
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Tuesday we did another dry run because I have become really militant about our schedule now that school is back in session so all week long we pretended to go to school. I’m talkin’ wake up, get school clothes on, and get out the door on time. We even drove to the school itself to see how we did on time.

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Then we went to a park before the fog had lifted and most children were at home with their sane mothers enjoying their final day of sleeping in.

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We even practiced packing a lunch and carrying our backpacks.

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Sometimes I think I have lost my marbles with how hard core I have been. Then other times I realize how much it has paid off. More on that later. I’ll plan to spill all of the details of my latests OCD school schedule next week because although it’s only been one week, I am a believer.

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Wednesday was the real deal for SJ. She is officially a Kindergartener.

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Photo courtesy of Ohio Valley Voices

She was so excited. When I dropped her off and picked her up all I saw was a gigantic grin from ear to ear. She has two main teachers. One focuses on speech while the other is more of the academics teacher. Both of them are amazing and she has worked with them before so it should all be smooth sailing.


The best part about SJ’s first day was how talkative she was afterwards! She told us about her school bus craft. She told me she ate all of her lunch (naming each item) and said she liked her food.

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Photo courtesy of Ohio Valley Voices

She said she played with all her friends (and named each one).

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Photo curtesy of Ohio Valley Voices

This time last year we would have been limited to yes or no questions. She really couldn’t articulate any of the days events at all, so now I’m the one grinning from ear to ear. I am just thrilled with the progress she has made. This is going to be the best school year yet!

Z had Meet The Teacher on Monday.

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So far it’s all been great. I’m already extremely happy with his teacher. This guy is passionate about reading, challenging the students, and also working on good character. I have loved Z’s female teachers, but I’m pretty excited about him having a male influence to say that learning is cool and fun!

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Z has a new cast, new glasses, new shoes, new supplies, even a new haircut. We are in a tight spot right now, but the Lord has provided all of the things that we need. Every. Single. Thing. I am so grateful for His many blessings!

As for Ezie, he is feeling the effects of being the little guy. He wants to wear a back pack so we let him carry Z’s old one.

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He even has Z’s old lunch box inside it. He talks about school and asks about his brother and sister frequently. He’s a trooper though. Only three more months and then he won’t be the only child at home anymore.

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I’ll admit I am having a little too much fun getting that fluttery back-to-school feeling. I guess it reminds me of my childhood and the fact that my kids are still  really interested and happy about school certainly helps. There are so many things I love about this season, especially knowing that fall is right around the corner!

Do you have any school age children? Have they started school yet?

By | August 21st, 2015|Lifestyle, My Life, Schooling, Uncategorized|5 Comments

I Won’t Apologize for My Stance on Modesty

A few days ago I was featured on the website For Every Mom. I was truly flattered when they requested to share my piece “Are Breasts the New Shoulders“, but I was also nervous. When you have more of a platform you end up with more opposing views, which is fine. I was ready for some pushback to my post about cleavage. I even got a couple harsh responses when I wrote about my family living in a small space and was published on The Humbled Homemaker. That subject isn’t even controversial! So this time when the topic was modesty I knew I would have to put my big girl panties on and brave the negative comments. And by big girl panties I mean like 19th century knickers that go down to my knees, because that’s just how incredibly modest I am (read sarcastically).

Let me start by saying I HATE sexual crimes with every fiber of my being. I have been extremely outspoken about my stand against sex trafficking, pedophelia, the objectification of women, sexual abuse and rape. A long time ago a friend of mine used the word “rape” as a description casually in conversation. Not in the literal sense, but just like “Man this phone company is such a rip off. They are raping everybody with these charges”. My blood pressure rose and I had to speak out. We had a long talk about how wicked and atrocious rape is and why I don’t appreciate the word being tossed around lightly. I would be far less offended by a curse word than something so vulgar and disgusting as the concept of rape.

When a movie shows a rape scene I am completely repulsed by the movie itself and refuse to watch stuff with that kind of vulgarity. This is a non negotiable black and white issue for me. I don’t care if it’s a historical movie. I have said it before “When a story line includes a young child being molested  that horrendous act can be implied without it having to be reenacted and displayed for all to see on the big screen and the same respect should be shown to women when it comes to rape”.

So you can see why I would get heated when people start throwing around the phrase “rape culture” anytime someone talks about modesty. 

For example, I recently read an article about a girl who used to think wearing a one piece meant she had to be ashamed of her body, but she had a revelation of how veiling her beauty could be such a powerful freeing thing. I made a bet with myself about how many comments I would have to read before inevitably someone accuses the author of perpetuating a “rape culture”. Sure enough, I’m just a few  comments down and BINGO they pull the rape culture card.  There were several comments attacking this girls faith, opinions, and beliefs. People are telling her that because she believes that the way she dresses could possibly have an affect on a man’s thoughts, she is inadvertently stating that women are responsible for what men think/do and is condoning what rape is.

Sorry. But no. I refuse to accept that.

Not to sound like an old lady, but back in my day (like in the 90’s) you could choose to dress modestly/quote scripture and it might make you a nerd, or self righteous, or prudish… whatever. However it did not make you an advocate of rape! What is wrong with people!? The way a woman presents herself in no way means she deserves to be abused, ever. Say what you want about my beliefs, but DO NOT even think about accusing me of being a proponent of rape.

Modesty is about being whole spiritually. It’s about respect for yourself and for those around you. It’s about honor, value, and love. It is placing a HIGH value on sexuality, seeing it as a sacred thing to be cherished. In it’s purest form modesty is the OPPOSITE of rape. Okay? Because rape degrades people.  It steals power. It rips the soul out of all that is lovely and good about sex. Rape is full of pride, lust, greed and is from the pit of Hell. That’s an understatement.

Have women ever been oppressed in the name of religion? Yes. Has modesty ever been used to shame someone and make them feel less valued? Yes. But on the other side of the spectrum I feel like these days the women that are choosing modesty are like the modern day Joan of Arc. Watch out because you are about to be burned at the stake. Okay that’s an exaggeration, but you can certainly be bullied and wrongfully accused. Which is why I have decided that this is a choice I will not apologize for.

This modesty thing is an extremely complicated multileveled issue. I am certainly not trying to throw stones or make it a bigger issue than it is, but if a woman feels convicted about wearing leggings that shouldn’t warrant an angry backlash, and if a woman wants to vocalize her PERSONAL beliefs about the type of swimsuit she wears or if a school has a dress code  for crying out loud, it should not be thrown into a stigma of RAPE CULTURE. Sorry, if the all caps looks angry. I am a little bit angry, because I hate rape SO SO SO much.

I will continue to defend my belief in modesty all the while fighting for justice on behalf of the victims of hanious sexual crimes. I can do both simultaneously showing honor to God and women everywhere.

I have chosen to embrace the Biblical approach to sexuality in the way that I feel the Lord has led me even when the world rages against it, and for that I make no apologies.

By | August 13th, 2015|Lifestyle|6 Comments

Where I’ve Been

You know something is going on when I come up on the one week mark of no blog posts. My excuse this time is a really happy one! We had the opportunity to go to visit friends in Northern Michigan and it didn’t take much convincing for us to pack up and take off. Our summer has been busy to say the least. SJ was in therapy the whole time, J had school and was leading worship on Sundays, and now school is about to start full time for the kids. So it might have been a bit of a whirl wind, but we were able to manage a weekend getaway.

Z was with his grandparents the past two times that we’ve visited Lake Huron so this was his first time to experience it all. It was nice to be together as a family even if there were times we wanted to disown each other. It wouldn’t be a vacation without some sibling rivalry and maybe a broken bone right? We don’t know if Z broke his wrist or not, but we probably going to bring him in tomorrow to have some X-rays done. He seems okay for now, but I just want to make sure everything heals properly if there is any severe damage. It was a playground injury by the way. He was doing some stunts on the monkey bars at the beach.

Anyway, enough story time. We really did have a great trip let’s move on to the photos.

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SJ was the first one out of the car to run over to the beach the moment we arrived and then she was the first one in the water when we got our suits on. She was so sad when the weekend was over!

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This is my best friend Mels. Her family has a beachside cafe in East Tawas Michigan. If you are ever even remotely close to the area you have to check out A Different Blend. Tell them Messy Mom sent you.

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And while I am suggesting coffee shops she is also the creative genius behind The Lighthouse Coffee Bar in South Dallas where J and I ministered for a long time. Although they are on opposite ends of the country you will find a lot of similarities between the two menus because Mels created most of the drinks and dishes. I’ve included all the links for you guys. You’re welcome.


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During our two and a half days in Michigan we pretty much spent the entire time at the beach and then grilled out at night. The weather was a little bit nippy at times, but it was pleasant most of the time. I am just thrilled that it wasn’t raining and it was windy enough to get to see all the kite boarders and wind surfers doing their tricks. That’s what those things are in the background.

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I did my share of swimming, tubing, and sand castles, but most of the time I was the resident lounger.

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When the little ones got tired they knew where to come.


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It was a quick turn around, but worth the drive for the adventures we had and the memories we made.

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Hopefully we’ll get to return soon.

By | August 10th, 2015|My Life|4 Comments

Tooth Fairy Disappointment

I have another kiddo joining the adult tooth rank. It’s funny how different it has been though. 2 years ago when Z was in this position he barely made any mention of his tooth at all and on Christmas eve it fell out! We were wondering how he would ever get to sleep that night with all the excitement. The tooth fairy and Santa all in one night?

I figured my job was done when I sneakily grabbed the tooth in exchange for a dollar, but  in the middle of the night he lost a SECOND tooth and also slid it under the pillow. I panicked, but we were able to distract him while we did a snatch and grab of the 2nd tooth. We got it all on camera which was fun.

I was hoping to do the same thing with SJ and get her reaction too. She has been anticipating this moment for a couple weeks. I remember the day she noticed her tooth was loose. She was sitting on the couch and her eyes got really big as she exclaimed “My teeth is falling out!” then she panicked and got a paper towel and stared at her tooth in the mirror. She obsessed over that tooth everyday telling anyone in sight that her tooth was broken. We explained the whole baby teeth big teeth thing and how it would fall out and you would get money. The night she lost the tooth we put it in a ziplock under her pillow and she as beaming as she fell asleep awaiting the tooth fairies arrival.
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When I heard her wake up I rushed into her room so that I could record her reaction on my phone only what happened next was not at all what I was expecting.

At first I thought she was upset because she did not see the 4 shiny quarters in a bag, but that wasn’t it. She saw them. She just didn’t want them. She wanted her tooth back and she was very clear about it. She cried for a while and then began to desperately look all over her room because she just couldn’t believe the tooth was gone.

In the long run she got over it and spent her money on a small beach bucket and shovel. I should know by now to expecting the unexpected with kids, but I certainly wasn’t predicting the first lost tooth to be so eventful for either of my children! They have a way of keeping me on my toes.

By | August 4th, 2015|Laughter, My Life|4 Comments

What to Expect to Pay at Yard Sales

Yard sale season is upon us. In fact, this coming weekend (August 6-9) is the annual world’s longest yard sale. The same one I participated in a couple years ago.

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As someone who has hosted many yard sales and gone to hundreds I feel pretty qualified to share some of my expertise with the world.

There is no way I could fit all of my tips in at once, so let’s just start with what to expect to pay. If you are selling then this would apply to what to expect to get.

There are many different factors, and you can find countless lists online that give price ideas for specific items, but as a general rule I like to expect to pay 90% off retail value.

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I know it sounds crazy (especially to the person selling) but I have kept this rule of thumb for years and I always use it as a gauge when I am deciding whether or not I should jump on something.

Remember this is just a rough reference point to get you started. There are many things to keep in mind when using the 90% off rule whether buying or selling.

1. Some stuff will actually go for less

For example last weekend I got this old Little Tikes Picnic table for $2. If I bought one new it would be at least $50. However, this one is like 20+ years old and needs some TLC so it was a steal. I have pinned refurbishing ideas that I really hope to implement, but even if I threw it out tomorrow we have gotten our $2 worth out of it already for sure!


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Some other examples maybe some jewelry that was once worth $35 is only going to sell for $1. Or a couch that was $800, but has been through the ringer and no one is going to pay more than $35 for it now.

It depends on the condition, age, and popularity.

2. Some stuff will go for more

On the contrary you can certainly ask or pay more than 90% off. A couple days ago I found an Ikea canopy like this one.

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I had just been looking at the ones at the store and wanting it for the girls room so I know they retail for $20. The asking price was $5 and I jumped on it. I wasn’t thinking that I was tied down to the 90% off rule. I felt it was fair deal.

For all you sellers please keep in mind that yard sale clientele are looking for BARGAINS. If you have something valuable that you don’t want to give away for pennies you can always post it on Craig’s List or Ebay. That’s when you’ll get buyers looking for your specific item and they will pay more.

3. Items are often priced by category and not original value

For example books 50 cents, clothes $1, DVDs $2. You can’t get nitpicky about individually pricing everything. You can also usually pay less if you buy more. I call it bundling because that’s what they say on American Picker’s and it doesn’t get anymore pro than that right?  I got all of these pajamas for $5 so it ended up being like 30 cents per set.

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There were some really cute all matching PJ’s which I split between my daughter and niece. SCORE!

I actually don’t enjoy haggling. My personality is more likely to just skip something altogether rather than negotiate. ALTHOUGH, if I am really knowledgable about a product or the market prices in that area I am sometimes confident enough to do so. Knowing the 90% off rule has helped me a lot because even though I can’t stress enough that it’s a really rough estimate, it helps me stay focused and have a plan as I shop. 

For example, this weekend I found some really ugly stained stackable lawn chairs (which we really need now that we have a yard) and I thought I could probably clean them up and spray paint them.

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The lady wanted $3 a piece. I wanted $1 a piece and that’s what I ended up walking away with. She actually begged me to take them. I think we both felt good about the end results. The chairs are worth about $10 a pop in perfect condition, but they are badly stained so I am going to have to invest some time and money into them and she was probably going to end up throwing them in the garbage.

The point to this whole post is very simple. The baseline price for most items at garage sales is 10%  (90% off) what it would retail for brand new in the store. I just loooove yard sales and they usually last through part of October in my area so I look forward to a couple more months of dirt cheap goodies.

Are you a yard sale junkie? I’d love to hear your tips!

By | August 3rd, 2015|Frugal Living, Uncategorized|11 Comments

How We Installed Hardwood Over Carpet Part 2

After getting so much positive feedback and tons of interest in our little laminate wood flooring installation project we decided to do a follow up along with a little time-lapse video of how the floor removal process went. For part one click here.

Our little experimental project consisted of laying a floating floor over the carpet in our apartment. We like the aesthetics, but mainly the dining area was carpeted and we knew that wasn’t going to work especially with three small children! So we laid the floor down over it and that definitely simplified clean up after eating (and potty training for that matter).

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Still, we were unsure at the time exactly what the carpet would look like after years of being smashed under our layers of flooring. It turns out it looked great! WAY better than if we would have been living our daily lives trying to spot treat that area!

In the video you will see J removing the planks, followed by the removal of the subfloor which was OSB, and then vacuuming the carpet underneath.

Since we didn’t really document the original process we thought this video would be a nice way to see how it all came together. Even though it is of the removal, just reverse it to see how the installment would work.

A lot of readers have questions over the past couple years including-

“How long did it take?” It took about 8 hours once we had the materials ready

“Did it end up being damage free for the carpet underneath after removing?” YES!

“Is it strong enough to use as a dance floor?” I don’t know. Our three kids ages 2,5, and 7 have used it as a dance floor in some ways. It’s held up pretty well, but it had some minor evidence of wear and tear after a while.

“Would this work for an upstairs apartment? How is the sound for the downstairs neighbors?” If you are really concerned about the noise you can add a layer of floor muffler underlayment in-between your OSB and laminate planks. We did live in an upstairs apartment so it’s definitely doable, but I guess it depends on how much of a priority the volume control is for you.

That’s pretty much it. In the end we got our full deposit back after we moved and the carpet looked like new. I can assure you that would not have been the case had we not laid down the floors. And the best part is we didn’t spend all that money just for those years in the apartment, we got to take the floor with us and we are reusing it where we live now.

Our only regret was not continuing the flooring into the hallway because it is also such a high traffic area and it took a lot of abuse. If you are interested in doing a flooring project like this in your own house or rental property and you have any other questions please feel free to ask. If I can’t answer them I’ll get with the handy man that works behind the scenes here and I’m sure he can get you some info.

Good luck with your project!

By | July 30th, 2015|Frugal Living, Projects, Simple Living|18 Comments

The Seven Year Flip

When we bought our first home we did a complete overhaul to the house, but it wasn’t exactly a flip. It was never meant to be. We weren’t looking for a quick investment.

We just wanted a home that we could afford and that pretty much narrowed our search down to fixer uppers, which was fine because J is so handy and we always wanted our first house to be unique. Of course, we didn’t plan for the remodel to take 7 years, but hey life happens and we were living it!

This post is just a tiny little glimpse at some of the before and afters of our first renovation. I’ll post links to the extended version of the remodel for anyone that wants to see more, but this will be the first time I am going to share just how much we bought it for, how much we put into it, and what it sold for. Which, I hope will be inspiring for all the DIYers out there.

The Living Room

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The Dining Room 

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The Hallway

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The Kitchen

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The pictures were taken at opposite angles of the room, but you get the idea.

 

 

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The Master Bedroom

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The House

 

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It was winter grass for the record

 

So that’s most of it other than the two other bedrooms, bathrooms, and laundry room. I don’t know if any of you like to watch “Flip or Flop” or any of those HGTV shows for that matter. I love that stuff, and so how can I not show a final tally of how this investment turned out for us financially? These are not exact numbers by the way, but they are pretty close.

We purchased the house in 2004 for $77,000

We spent a little over $35,000 on renovations. Not all at once! Remember this was a 7 year project. I also thought it would be worth mentioning that the kitchen was by far the biggest expense coming in at a total of $13,000! That includes gutting the entire room, putting up new walls, laying slate floors, getting all knew custom built cabinets, crown molding, granite counter tops, the booth, the lighting, and all new energy efficient stainless steel appliances. So it was a whopper, but it could have cost a lot more had we not done most of the grunt work ourselves.

Lastly, we put the house on the market the week of Christmas (talk about bad timing) but miraculously received an offer days later for our asking price of $139,000. How cool is that?

In the end we spent 112,000 (77,000+35,000). We sold for $139,000 giving us a $27,000 profit. Instead of paying to live somewhere we made over $3,000 a year off of our property. Not too shabby, although keep in mind most of the time we were somewhere in-between the before and after. So it wasn’t a classy situation believe me, and I can assure you that there was a ton of physical labor involved. Let’s just say we earned our keep.

Not that it’s anyones business what happened to that money, but we were able to pay off all of our debt including student loans, a car loan, medical bills, and credit cards. It has been such a blessing to be out from underneath all of that! I am really happy with the outcome of our “7 year flip” even though it’s not realistic for us to be home owners right now, I look forward to the day we can do something like this again. I say that looking at all the pretty pictures. It’s kind of like childbirth though, you forget how much effort it took!

 

Have you ever done any major home renovations? Would you do it again?

By | July 28th, 2015|Frugal Living, My Life, Projects|4 Comments

Home Improvements

If you asked me what my blog was about I would say motherhood, family, crafts, homemaking, faith, natural living, frugality etc.

Keeping that in mind what do you think my all time most popular post is?

A Very Veggie Birthday?

Heart Art?

Oh Be Careful Little Mamas What You Pin?

Nope. Nothing about crafts or motherhood. Those are some of the runner ups, but the Messy Mom Blog post with the most views (by a landslide) is…

How We Put Hardwood Over Carpet

Yes. Hundreds of people come to this site everyday not to see cute pics of my kids or find out tips for natural birth. They have come to read about home improvement. The How to Install Hardwood Over Carpet does not only hold the record for all time hits, but on any given day it is usually the most viewed post even when I have something new that is somewhat of a hit.

I am not bitter about this at all, but I am a little jealous of my husband who I hope starts his own blog someday when he has time. Because even though I wrote that post, it’s really all him.

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He is the mastermind behind it and not only do people want to know more about our flooring projects they want to know where or how to make the furniture that he comes up with! Like the coffee table that can slide under the entertainment center.

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My Lots of Hope in a Little Home is definitely the most successful series I have ever published and a lot of it also has to do with J’s genius. He has a knack when it comes to taking something that looks kind of hopeless and turning into greatness. It’s okay for me to brag on the hubs for a bit right?

J has renovated a house, a coffee shop, an apartment (which were all temporary upgrades since it’s a rental. More on that later), and now he is working on getting us settled into another rental property. In order to get geared up for this next big undertaking I want to take some time to look back at some of the work he’s done and also reveal some of the outcomes of those home improvement projects. I know I am not a remodel blog, nor do I want to be, but it’s been a big part of our marriage up to this point and I do love to save money by reusing, reinventing, repurposing, and remodeling. So that’s what I plan to write about this week. I’ll be picking J’s brain and diving deeper into some of the messy details of just a few of our greatest Home Improvement projects. Stay tuned.

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By | July 27th, 2015|Frugal Living, My Life, Projects, Uncategorized|2 Comments

Free Signing Time Video

I have great news for you all today! Signing Time has a released a  FREE Back to School Video Download. It’s hard to believe that one of the stars of the show (little Leah) is now going off to college in real life! She was 4 when they started the series and so this free download is in celebration of that wonderful milestone.

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This video is perfect timing to prepare your little one for school while teaching 30+ signs as a bonus. I want to do everything I can to spread the word because I love Signing Time so much and if this video reaches 500,000 new families by October 1st then they will realease a second FREE download.

Downloads are great because sometimes you need that a quick movie available on your phone or tablet when you don’t have wifi access (like on an an airplane). Some of you moms of littles know what I’m talking about!

Just to give a short personal background story, the Signing Time series has been very instrumental to my family and will always hold a special place in my heart. Not only have they helped all three of my children to learn some of the foundations of ASL, but there was a season where I watched the videos over and over, pausing and rewinding parts until they stuck when SJ was first diagnosed deaf. My husband, my parents, and I would all gather around for our Signing Time lessons and we are adults! That was a big part of how I was able to final speak with my baby girl for the first time.

I won’t go into all the details but SJ wasn’t diagnosed until she was 2 and she didn’t get hearing aids until she was 2 1/2 and even then they didn’t help. It was a year before she began to hear via use of cochlear implants! So the first three years of her life sign language was how we communicated.

If you are interested in your child being exposed to sign language for any reason at all (and there are many benefits by the way) then this is a great time to check out Signing Time because the video download is absolutely free. There is no obligation to buy anything and it’s really fast and easy to get on your computer or other electronic device instantly.

Our family owns several Signing Time videos, we also have checked them out from the Library for ones we don’t own. We’ve seen Rachel and the gang on Nickelodeon and PBS as well as Netflix, but coinsidentally the school episode is one that is NOT on Netflix and we don’t own it. SCORE!

If I had to give one critique (it’s not really a critique at all, it’s just a personal difference). We use all the signs from Signing Time except for some of the finger spelling ones. For example there is a video where they teach the sign for “Toy” and they finger spell it “T-O-Y”. I own a signing dictionary and have local deaf friends that sign it the same as “play” but with the letter “T”. That doesn’t mean that finger spelling it is wrong AT ALL, I’m sure it’s more accurate to some degree. ASL is complex in that there are many different regional dialects and acceptable variations.

For SJ we used sign language as a practical bridge for communication and she still is not at a place where any fingerspelling has worked for her. So we are more likely to use what is called a “home sign” before we would learn a bunch of fingerspelling words. From what I understand this is not uncommon for young deaf children the same way hearing children have variations of words that they use before they are able to articulate. I mention all of this because the “Back to School Video” finger spells “Glue” and “Pen’.

Sorry, I’m rambling now, but I really do believe in this program and I’m thrilled to share this awesome deal with all of you. Again, the full length video is “Signing Time Back to School” and you can watch it instantly and download it to keep as your own. Just go to

www.signingtime.com/free-video

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Oh, and don’t forget to share this special offer with all of your friends.