Monday, October 30, 2017

My thoughts on "older" trick or treaters

With tomorrow being Halloween I've seen a lot of posts on Facebook the past few days related to the holiday. Whether it be photos of the kids in their costumes--which I personally absolutely love--or just stories of their antics in choosing costumes or getting dressed, people love sharing. One of the things I see floating around every year is this:

"For those passing out candy this year on Halloween 🎃, when a teenager comes to your door, please give them candy without saying "aren't you too old to be doing this"?... at least they're not out drinking & driving, vandalizing, doing drugs, etc. I would much rather they knock on my door for candy. Also, please don't refuse a child candy if they aren't dressed up. Some families can't afford it or maybe dressing up is uncomfortable if not unbearable to some. One last thing, size does not always determine the mental age or special needs of a child. In your eyes you may see a "teenager" or "an adult" but their mental state may possibly be that of a younger child.
I copied this from a friend because I felt the need to share. Copy and paste if you would like to share."

This strikes a chord with me every time I see it. I find it extremely sad that some adults feel the need to make a child feel guilty or ashamed for simply trying to squeeze in another year or two of an all too fleeting childhood. And when I see posts like this one I am always reminded of the one year my boys went trick or treating around our small town. They were in their early teens and they wanted to dress up and I encouraged them! 
Along our route we stopped in at one of the local churches that was having Halloween activities. In order to get candy you had to go into one of the classrooms with the lights off where there was candy spread out on the floor. You had so many seconds to get as much candy as you could and what you got you could keep. I didn't go into the room with them for obvious reasons and didn't really think anything about it. But, later that night, we were at a haunted house hosted by another local church. There's always a campfire at this event and lots of local people. Well, there around the fire was one of the ladies from the previous church and while we were certainly acquaintances we weren't friends. We definitely knew who one another was though. So, she sees my boys and then APOLOGIZES to me because when my boys went into the darkened classroom for candy they (those in charge) had moved all the candy to the edges of the room making it almost impossible for them to find any. Why, you ask? Because they thought they were too old to be trick or treating and she didn't realize who they were. But, it shouldn't have mattered WHO they were...they were in a CHURCH where they should have been treated with love and tolerance, unconditionally. 
To this day my heart breaks every time I think about this. My kids didn't know...I'm sure they assumed it was the same for every child who entered that room. This was a CHURCH...a lady that I thought to be a "good christian lady" and as unjust as it may seem, I lost all respect for that lady that night. I have never looked at her the same and I believe I never will. This is a small town and I do see her out and about occassionally and I remember that night every single time.

Please, it's just candy and we ALL like, if an older CHILD comes to your door trick or, give them candy and wish them a Happy Halloween! Let them hang onto this childhood tradition just a little bit longer :)

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Mobile home remodeling and decor updates

 It's been a minute since my last post, oops...sorry! Just life, life and more life happening the last few months. Nothing too exciting on the remodeling front but I do have some updated decor photos I want to share. 
We did recently update the light fixture in the dining area. I think we also updated the blinds since my last home update post. I *love* my blinds but they are a headache to keep clean and dust free.

Just as a reminder to anybody who's not familiar with our home, we live in a 1997 16x80 singlewide manufactured home. We've been here almost 10 years now and our home has gone through several transformations along the way. It's probably not AS noticeable to outsiders but for me I see every tiny improvement as being one step closer to my perfect little home. Fancy it isn't but it IS paid for and I find tremendous comfort in that.
I love coming in my front door and having that feeling of "home" and I hope that no matter the shape and size of your own homes that every single person reading this feels the same when they open their front door.

These photos are in no particular order and I've left out photos of my scrapbook room, the master bath and also my son's bedroom (although I'll be sharing photos of his room very soon as we're about to do some updates in there!)

When you walk in the front door and look right this is your view.
The bathroom is there at the very end of the hallway. The first
bedroom on the left is my son's room and the 2nd bedroom
on the left is what is my scrapbook room. 

This is our dining area

I love this floral arrangement <3 I painted and glittered the
jars myself and added the jute twine. I got the flowers
from Hobby Lobby--I chose pink because 1. I love pink and 2. I
wanted the flowers to look as real as possible considering they aren't. And
3. I was looking for a good pop of color
The tray I picked up at Ross or TJ Maxx.

This is our laundry room...nothing too spectacular
but I like it :) 

This is the living room from near the front door--my
gallery wall is a work in progress...a slow process, lol. 

kitchen/dining area from the middle of the living room

One side of the living room from the middle of the kitchen

the back hallway taken from the doorway of the master

The dresser in the master bedroom just as you walk in the door

Haha...yes, that's a pile of shoes (and my purse) in the corner...I'm
really bad about just tossing my shoes to the corner when
I take them off. I should get a nice shoe rack and put it to
use but, if I'm being honest, that's probably not gonna happen, lol. 

This looks horrible I know but I've just not gotten around to
painting that wall when we got our new bed a couple months ago.
Yeah, I suck like that sometimes, lol. 

hallway bathroom...the only thing that's changed in
here since my last bathroom update is the mirror and
a bathroom decor sign I got from Hobby Lobby that you
can't see in this photo

This is the wall on the other side of the living room...
right behind the front door. 
This is the cube shelf I just recently added to the
end of the hallway outside the bathroom and
directly across from my scrapbook room. These cube
shelves are my new favorite thing for storage, hands down!

This is the view from outside the hallway bathroom door.
You can see the door to my son's room on the right.

I know there's been nothing exciting in this post and I apologize but I really just wanted to get these photos posted.
You guys should have figured out by now that there's always another project in the back of my mind so be sure you stay tuned ;)

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Gold glitter monogram

As I was on the school bus this morning driving my morning route I found myself feeling like I needed to constantly be rubbing at my nose and it occurred to me that to a bystander I probably looked like a crack head, lol. When, actually, I just had glitter in my nose.
While waiting for my son to get ready for school this morning before the bus route I was working on a gold glittered monogram for my scrapbook/craft room and that fine, powdery glitter just gets everywhere...including your nose, lol!
Kind of a random post, right? Oh was in my head so there ya go :) Carry on...

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Crystiles peel and stick wall tiles--our kitchen backsplash makeover

Good morning!
Today, I thought I'd share with you all our new kitchen back splash. I had originally intended to use actual tiles but, just to be completely honest, I was looking for a simpler (ok, EASIER) alternative because I knew that I'd be waiting until heaven knows when if I kept waiting for my husband to agree to such a time consuming and back breaking project. I try to be fair to him and to remember that he works 6 days per week and just like everyone else, he likes to have some down time when he's off. I understand that and I respect that. SOOOO....a couple weeks ago I came across the concept of peel and stick dimensional "faux tiles" and I was quite intrigued.  I pretty much watched every video I could find on YouTube and for the most part, people loved them and they looked really good.
I finally coaxed the hubs on board and off we went to Lowe's in search of the tiles or something similar. Unfortunately, we didn't have much luck with Lowe's. They did have some similar tiles but not in any of the colors I was looking for. However, being there and seeing the tiles themselves in person and holding them and touching them and comparing the way they looked to the actual glass tiles was enlightening. I was convinced that the average person would never look at these and realize that they aren't "real tile".
So, with that in mind I was ready to get my hands on them and get them into my kitchen ASAP.
I had seen a YouTube video by a YouTuber named Laci Jane and I'll try to add the link. Her tile looked so amazing and I thought the colors would look great in my kitchen so I followed her link and headed over to Amazon to place my order.

Laci Jane's tile video

I was so excited when my package guys just don't even know, lol.
As you can see from the photo, the box was not very large. The tiles are thin and very very light. The sheets are 10 in. X 10 in.  and we needed 42 sheets for our kitchen. They come 6 sheets per package. I actually ordered an extra package and I'm glad I did because we used it!

Here's the link to the tile I purchased. If that link doesn't work, somebody please let me know!


I'm going to start by showing you a few pictures of our kitchen before we started just to give you an idea.

 Just giving you all the different angles so you will be able to truly appreciate the dramatic change that the tiles made.

We began by prepping the walls...basically removing the strips that are ever present in manufactured homes. Don't we all despise those strips? I understand the need for them but that doesn't mean I hate them any less.

Once the walls were prepped it was time to measure and make sure the lines were level.

 And NOW...the "AFTER"

As you can see from the photos it truly is quite a dramatic transformation...I  do think it enhanced our home and I don't think the average person will realize that it's not real tile.

However, it wasn't all sunshine and butterflies... and there ARE some issues that we had that are worth mentioning.

1. It wasn't quite as easy to apply as we'd hoped. The sheets are thin and you             have to place them precisely.
2. Your surface (wall) needs to be completely smooth or you WILL see the                imperfections once finished and can even cause bubbling.
3. If you don't get it lined up perfectly and need to reposition it then it WILL pull     up the paint from your wall and possibly even damage the wall. This stuff is         STICKY!
4. Be certain of the color before you purchase it and put it on your walls. It's
    cheaper than actual tile but that doesn't necessarily mean it's "cheap"...and you
    want to love what's on your wall.

All said and done, I'm happy with how it turned out and the change is quite dramatic.
I would definitely recommend the peel and stick tiles if you're looking for a cheaper and less labor intensive alternative to real tile. Just be sure your walls are ready and take it slow and steady. Read the instructions and get to work :)

One final picture for you :)
This is a side by side of our kitchen the first day it was set up (this is how it looked when we bought it) and after with the tile.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

I made the final mortgage payment

On April 4,2017 I sat down at my desk, took out my payment sheet and checkbook and wrote the check for our final mortgage payment. I had looked forward to the day I'd write that final check for so long that when that day came it was almost a surreal feeling. My hand was actually a little shaky and I felt kind of nervous--how crazy is that?? I actually wrote 2 for the April payment and the actual final (May) payment which was only $75.  But, still, I didn't feel completely FREE until the check cleared the bank. When I got the text notification from the bank that the check had cleared...well, THAT'S when I got excited. I looked around at the tralace and embraced the idea that it was ours, free and clear.
I know to some, probably most, it's not much...but this little acre of land and the tralace are home.  And, when I walk through the door and look around I'm happy.

I don't know if the time will ever come that we need to refinance for some unforeseen reason but for right now, for this space of time, we own our home outright and it's a great feeling!

A photo because no blog post is complete without at least
one photo, right?
I just had to share the happy news :)

I wish you all a wonderful day!


Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Puppy birthdays!!

Holy cow...has it been a year already?? It's hard to believe a year has passed since our "boys" made their grand entrance into the world and our family.

I had preached and lectured the kids over and over again not to get attached because I was hardening my heart and we would not keep a single puppy. I have never allowed dogs in the house because it was just too much work to deal with the potty training, the messes and most of all, the hair and smell. I have always been a little grossed out when I've seen people out in public and they have pet hair on their clothes or things. I certainly didn't want to be one of those people...ewww, lol.
I guess I missed the flashing lights warning me of the karma train headed straight towards me because not only did we keep one puppy, we kept two. Poor Roscoe...I actually gave him to another family (oh, will the guilt never cease!!) because we had chosen Sam as the puppy we were keeping from day one. And we were only keeping ONE. As with every single puppy we rehomed, I asked them to please please return him to us if for some reason they decided not to keep him. I believe he was gone 7 or 8 days when the lady contacted me that he wasn't going to fit into their family because he was growling at the kids and they were terrified of him (hahahahaha--I still laugh about that because Roscoe was a cuddler then and he's a cuddler now). I don't know what was going on between their kids and our sweet Roscoe because he's never growled nor shown aggression in any way whatsoever before they took him or after. He was only 8 weeks old when they took him so your guess is as good as mine about what the issue was. I am just so thankful that they did give him back rather than trying to find someone else to take him or worse, send him to the shelter. I'll never forget how happy he was to see us the day we met the lady to bring him home. I decided right then that he was home to stay. And that's how we came to have 2 puppies.

To say that it's been a challenge is an understatement. Boy, is it an understatement! At first it was the incessant potty incidents that were the worst. Poop, pee, poop, pee, get the idea. I thought it would never end. Anything left within their reach was fair game to be chewed up destroyed.  Shoes (of course), socks, jackets, toys, home name it and they chewed it. I won't even talk about how bad the back yard got (I shudder at the memory). And then it got to the point that when we let them outside they were wandering out of our yard...disappearing for hours at a time, leaving me stressed to the point of tears. So, we finally got the backyard fenced thinking it would be the answer to our problems. And it has helped SO much. Unfortunately, Roscoe has found an escape hatch and has to be monitored constantly while outside, even in the fence.  And, a few months ago---presumably due to hormone---the fighting started. OMG...the fighting :( :( :(    With our 2 males and the male that my son kept that is here at least half the time, it was getting completely out of control. Now, we only allow one dog outside at a time and very little playtime between them inside.  Sam and Roscoe have appointments one week from today to be neutered (is it normal to feel so much guilt over taking a dog's balls away from him??) and we're hopeful that will greatly reduce the fighting for alpha status.
So, challenging? Oh, heck yeah! Worth it? ABSOFREAKINGLUTELY!  I look into their sweet little faces and my heart fills with love for them. I never thought I'd be one of "those people" and yet here I am and I wouldn't trade the furballs for anything.

So, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to our "boys" and here's to many many more!

Here are some photos of them at 2 days old and some taken yesterday on their actual birthday. Enjoy :)

This is Titan and he was the first born of the 8 puppies and
he belongs to our son, Garrett. 

This is our little Sam (Sammy, Sambo--he answers to them all)

There's our sweet Roscoe <3 
 And oh what a difference one year can's the boys "all grown up"



Sam and Roscoe playing and loving one another

Sam and Roscoe love each other so much when they
aren't fighting, lol. 





Titan hiding under the table



Monday, March 6, 2017

Our single wide mobile home tiny bathroom remodel

I know it's hard to believe after all these months but the hallway bathroom is a good 95% COMPLETE! Woohoo!! I mean, seriously...color me HAPPY!  I was to the point that I was thinking it was neeeever going to happen. To refresh your memories...we bought the tile to do the floor back in October of last year.

First, I'm going to show you photos of the bathroom "before" and I mean before we moved in...right after the home was set up. I took pictures but I did a majorly crappy job of it...I think I was just holding the camera out and clicking. I wish I could go back and kick myself and I will definitely do that as soon as time travel is available to the average person ;)

No amount of cleaning ever got this tub clean. All that
black around the edges? It never went away...EVER. I
was always mortified when company needed to shower
because I knew they'd think I was nasty and never cleaned.
But, really, I tried everything on it. I even caulked over it and it came through
so I don't know what was up with that. Maybe if I'd put the calk

I guess the drain had leaked for the previous owners and
that's the reason there was some kind of caulk around the
So, now that you've been completely disgusted but the before photos, let me disgust you even more with the "during" pics :)

This is the bathroom after we put the new vanity in a couple months ago.

We had put down these stick on tiles a few years ago when
we did the kitchen. They actually held up fairly well until
we took the old vanity out and then they began to
separate pretty rapidly. 

The bare floor

This is the cement board going down...I think he said it
was called hardie backer board and it has to go down
underneath tile.

Mr. FixIt himself...taking down the shower walls and
getting ready to take the tub out.

NEW TUB!!! We had to order the tub from Home Depot because
the only tubs we could find locally that would fit in the 54 inch
space we had were fiberglass and we really didn't want to put
another fiberglass tub in. SO, it was totally worth the wait to get
the enamel tub--It's just a basic plain tub but I love it!


Notice there are still no shower walls here? Well, that's
because we also had to order those...Because nothing
can be easy, right? lol
And, now...prepare to be dazzled. Haha...ok, probably not exactly dazzled, but hopefully, slightly impressed with the difference.

There's my very own Mr. FixIt again :) He had to cut
some of the wall away to get to the plumbing and he's
replacing it here.

How much cleaner and nicer does that look???

Remember that I did say it was 95% finished...we still
have some paint touching up as well as trim work to do.
I gave him the weekend off to go fishing because I'd been
cracking the whip on him to get it finished, lol. 

The mirror will be replaced as soon as I can find a
replacement that I like and that fits.

 My daughter in law came in the other day and made the comment that I'd ruined the remodel by adding in the pink. Well, let me tell you--I hastened to correct her..."It's not pink, it's coral".  I really wanted something that would stand out and the coral certainly does that. I picked up the flowers and vase at Hobby Lobby and the towels from Walmart. The shower curtains were ordered from Amazon. It's difficult to see in the photos but everything is so crisp and white...the walls are gray and it all came together so well!

We did not replace the toilet because honestly, it just seemed crazy to replace it just for the sake of saying it was replaced. made quite the porch decoration--It sat on our front porch for well over 2 weeks...yep, we're those neighbors, lol.
In total, we spent just under $1,000 on the bathroom and even though it was a headache it was totally worth it :)