Friday, January 31, 2014
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Note: I swear ziplock hasn't paid me or given me anything (but I would love more bags in more sizes should they want to send me something :) )
I love them so much that since my local stores don't carry them, I buy them online and pay for shipping. If you know me and know how cheap I am, you know that says something.
Monday, January 27, 2014
The Master Bathroom is finally finished!!
I have to say, it is SO NICE to wake up and not have to walk down the hall to get into the shower. It’s the little things that make me happy!
Welcome to the new and improved master bathroom …
I’m so happy with the floors! Take a look at the before and after here.
The tub looks great with the new color on the walls.
We had the shower painted, which makes it look 1,000 times better. But, I am not 100% satisfied with it – we’ll see how it holds up with time and use!
New shower doors which were a pain in the rear to install BTW. New faucet and control knob.
LOVE this towel bar!! It is so nice to hang up our towels when we get out of the shower to dry instead of having to put them over a door knob or over the shower door. Best $20 spent!!
The only problem with this grey color (called Driftwood Grey by Martha Stewart) is that it makes the bathroom much darker than the white that was here before. I still love the color, but now I want to add more lights. Want to but not going to.
The white molding looks great against the grey walls and the tan tile!
Michael’s vanity – didn’t do much here but paint the toilet paper holder and the vanity lights.
My vanity – again, not much done here but the flooring and paint make such a huge difference!! We also changed out the ugly old yellow outlets and switches to new white ones – small change but big impact!
Michael was very surprised when I brought these jars home – they are not my style at all. Very fancy and I am … let’s go with … plain – not fancy at all.
I do think they look great in the bathroom! They are perfect for storing cotton balls, q-tips, and cotton pads (or whatever those are called) within easy reach.
I am also a huge fan of baskets – all of my daily used face items are in this basket put some extra. Maybe I should just find a smaller basket? Hmmm…
Since I love Before and After pictures so much – here is the before of our bathroom (we painted it white when we moved in – it was yellow) and the after.
Like I said above, the grey makes the room a little dark but it still looks SO MUCH BETTER!!
Saturday, January 25, 2014
Way back when we did the floors we were also planning to do the molding. But, we all know how that goes! Here it is almost all finished!!
Molding and transition strips! Woo hoo!!
That little transition piece makes it look so finished!
I am glad to finally check that off the running to do list!
Wednesday, January 22, 2014
- Labels - This is the first place to start with almost any food. Note that the dates on packages are usually sell by dates not "use by" dates. The butcher will mark down meat that is close to the sell by date, usually noted with an extra sticker on the package. Grab up these reduced price packages! Either cook with them right away or package them up for your freezer.
- Lower priced cuts - If you are working on cutting down your grocery bill you can often do that by changing the cuts of beef that you purchase. Skip the steaks and look for roasts. Roasts are suited for cooking low and slow. Ideally the crock pot (for maximum energy savings) for several hours with some liquid (broth or wine), onions and any seasonings you like. If you are new to roasts start with the chuck roast, one of my personal favorites and so easy to use.
- Don't fear big roasts - Bring home a big roast for the crock pot and make it into a new meal the second day. The first night enjoy pot roast and the second night shred the leftovers and make a new dinner. My favorite second day roast meals are pulled sandwiches and enchiladas. Saves you time and stretches your meat dollar.
- Buy in bulk - Don't be afraid of the large packages to get better savings. Divide them up into portions that fit your family and freeze them. Use good quality freezer bags to prevent freezer burn and label your bags for organization.
- Buy a half or quarter of a cow - This is a great way to buy in bulk and get it direct from the farmer. There are a few things to consider so check out this previous post on buying beef in bulk - http://houseagbuilt.blogspot.com/2012/03/so-you-want-to-buy-half-cow.html.
- Talk to the butcher - Don't be afraid to talk to your butcher. Ask for their suggestions of inexpensive cuts. You might hear about the flat iron steak or cross rib steaks which are some of my favorite budget friendly steaks. You may also get some new ideas on cooking or tips about cuts that are on sale.
Monday, January 20, 2014
With a terrible drought and water rates on the rise, there is more incentive now than ever before to conserve water. I'm bringing you a series of posts with practical ways for you to save water in your home. Some of these I've already implemented in our home but I'll be implementing all of them possible in a 'test' home in order to actually compare the water savings to the prior year. I'm excited to see how these changes actually impact the water use and bill, instead of just calculating expected savings.
I will note that my local hardware stores - even the big ones - did not carry the linked items in store so you may need to order them online.
So see if this works for you and you can start saving water and money today without spending a dime. And check back for my upcoming posts on water saving fixtures and landscape.
Saturday, January 18, 2014
Since cows need to eat, this means that people will have to sell cows to reduce the number of mouths they have to feed. There simply will not be enough to go around for the cows in California.
We are small farmers and yet this drought is having a huge impact on our farm. We will have less than half the amount of beef as normal for sale to our customers this year at the farmers market. Knowing the water situation was not good, we sold most of our young calves last month. Those calves can be fed in other states where they have more feed.
So what will this drought mean to you? Here in California we are blessed with fantastic local food. You will see less of our California food this year. There just isn't enough water to grow it. Some areas of California will have their water reduced by 95% this year - that translates directly into less California food for you to enjoy. Food prices will rise and local selection will be limited. More of your grocery store options will be coming from out of the state and country.
Finally we are at terrible risk for some devastating wildfires. Fire season starting in January instead of June is very bad news.
Thursday, January 16, 2014
The world of baby stuff is intense … someday I will write a post on the best things to have for baby, until then I am pinning them like crazy!
The pin above if from The Bewitchin’ Kitchen – I like that she broke lists just ten things.
The pin above is from The Crazy Life – I love that she added a quantity by everything! But, seriously 4 waterproof mattress pads? I can see two, but four?
There are about a bazillion other lists and I’ve ready a ton! But, I still have no idea what I really need. Every list is different and every baby and family is different.
So, I’d love to hear from YOU … what were the things you couldn’t live without with a newborn?
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
In our family room there is a wall that I displayed a bunch of photos on. Loved my display (even though a picture is sideways – I’ve been meaning to change that) but we used some of the frames for the photo display at dad’s memorial. Two are missing – kind of ruins the photo display.
I have been wanting to put up shelves, but like the sideways picture I never got around to it. Enter my momma … she is amazing. She is retired now and bored with nothing to do all day (lol – she is not bored at all but she’ll laugh reading this)! So, she made me some 10 dollar shelves cut just the perfect length for this wall. Then … (you’re not going to believe this) she painted them, and came over to put them up for me!! I told you she is amazing!!
The space is transformed and I can add or take away pictures whenever the mood strikes!
I love the dimension of stacked frames and the interest created by using frames of different height. I’m still playing with the layout but I LOVE my new picture shelves!!
Tuesday, January 7, 2014
Let me start by saying that I don’t believe in resolutions. Resolutions are basically dreams and dreams are a good thing, but saying I want to lose weight this year is usually where a resolution stops. I’ve read that 25 percent of people break their New Year’s Resolutions within a week. That’s just a week – imagine after a month!
Dreams with a deadline are called goals. I am a huge believer in goals. A goal gives you something to work toward something you want to work toward. A good goal is measurable and attainable. A good goal makes the goal setter reach but not too far to give up hope. As a teacher, I set goals for my students on a daily basis – in education we call them objectives. My students reach those objectives daily and by the end of the year they reach their year-long goals and are ready for the next grade.
I read a lot. Not as much as I would like to though. I love books – especially finance and self help books. Weird … I know. But, I have read my share of goal setting books. It has been too long for me to remember the title or the author of these books. I’ll tell you what I’ve taken from these books and how I’ve changed it to work for me. I would suggest you search for goal setting books at your local library to read also.
I set up yearly goals in three categories:
Finance – money
Finance goals have to do with debt, saving, retirement, income, budgeting, or anything else you can think of relating to money. Do you have debt? Want to chisel away at it? Have you set up a budget? Where do you want to be financially in a year?
Personal goals are about you. How do you want to grow as a person? Do you want a better relationship with your spouse? Are you constantly sick and want to get healthier? Are you unorganized and want to organize your house?
Professional goals are about your occupation. How do you want to grow in your career? A goal in this category could be getting a new job or getting a promotion in your current job. It could even be starting your own business. Maybe taking a class or joining a professional organization.
Since I am for some reason obsessed with the number three, I set three goals in each category. But, for some reason this year I couldn’t narrow my personal goals down to 3 – oh well, this is going to be a big year! J
How to set a goal
Think about what you want for the future. Let’s talk personal – there are so many people each year that make a resolution to lose weight. That is the start of a great goal but remember how I said that a goal needs to be measurable? I want to lose weight is not a goal – it is a wish. Set a number or a size. A goal needs to be measurable.
Now if I were to say I want to be a size 2, that goal would be unattainable. I have never been nor will I probably ever be a size 2. A goal needs to be attainable – something that you have to work for, but if you keep working hard you will accomplish it. A good goal would be become a size 8 or lose 45 pounds. I’m not the best at wording goals, so you can play with the wording if you are particular about it.
It is also important to share your goals. My sister puts them in her office which is a fantastic idea. I put my goals in a frame in my craft room. This year my plan is to put them in a pretty frame and put them in the office or in our room somewhere. Post your most important goal on facebook and get encouragement from friends! Tell your spouse or kids and they can help you attain it. Write your goals down and share them!
Notice that I didn’t write how I am going to lose those 45 pounds? That’s the next step – set up a plan of attack!
Make a Plan
A goal is not like a crock pot roast – you can’t set it and forget it. You have to work for a goal. You won’t be able to accomplish it in a weekend or even a week. Your plan of attack will be like mini goals (like lesson objectives for teachers) that help you reach your yearly goals.
Goals can be set at any time during the year and can be adjusted to work for you.
Here are my goals for this year:
- Fully fund our IRA accounts
- Research and start (?) a college fund for baby
- Live on one income for 2 months (and bank the other)
- Give birth to a healthy baby
- Lose the baby weight plus 5
- Blog 8 times or more per month
- Read 1 book a month
- Decorate and organize baby’s room and keep it that way!
- Take 1 class (3 units) before the next school year
- Help 4 people do a 180 and share their story
- Plant and harvest our first crop!
Do you set goals? If not, you should start! Start with one or two for the year and work your butt off to accomplish them. What are your goals? I would love for you to share on Facebook or right here in the comments!