space make it count

As I have said many times I love love home improvement. Easter weekend the project was to cap the 6 sprinkler heads in this tiny area (not sure who made that decision) but they are no longer and it took me all of 5 minutes. Second cover up the mud pit and turn it into something usable. So here it is, fire pit area complete and all it took was 15 bags of gravel and a few chairs. Firepit we had. I look forward to less doggie prints on the floors. Yes these spoiled babies make a mess.

I hope you like it. Bring on summer cause I’m over this rain for real.

The Past and the Present

me pregnant with deac

I received this picture today from a young lady who I have known since she was little. I don’t remember taking this but I was pregnant with my youngest son who is now 23. I have no idea what was going on with the hair cut (so bad) but the dress is cute. I look so young and innocent, wow how that has changed. I think 25 was a turning point in my life as I decided that I was going to go back to college and finish my degree because I had 2 little lives I was about to set and example for. Best decision ever, 20 years later both my young men are also college grads.

If I could go back in time I certainly would do some things different as a parent but moving forward I need to learn to stop being the helper enabler). I tend to always think about how can I make their lives easier and this often leads to frustration when I feel like I am not being appreciated. Which makes me ask myself do I need to feel appreciated, I guess so. This year I turn 50, oh my god I said it out loud, ha and someone once said if you expect nothing from others you will never be disappointed so for the second half of my journey I am going to continue to try and learn to appreciate and acknowledge myself and all that I am.

 

Vegi meals 

In order to switch up our meal planning, I have starting adding one vegetarian meal a week. So far all of them have been great. These are red velvet waffles and oh man were they good. I simply used a boxed red velvet cake mix but added one egg, vanilla, and cocoa powder.  Be aware don’t overfill the waffle maker or you will have a lava flow out of the side. Yep I did this ha. Top with berries and whip cream before serving, delicious


I also did a cauliflower and garbanzo bean curry and a vegi pot pie that was legit. This week is corn and potato soup. I’ll post the recipe if its good. Don’t want you trying something not taste tested…  

Racism in unexpected places

My oldest child is a Uber driver and has met some fantastic and fascinating people. Last night was one of his more interesting experiences. He went to pick up a rider and she refused to get in the car because he was black. Ok the problem with this is so was she, wtf? Has she lost her damn mind? It is already hard for young brown men to deal with stigma from other races but this is over the top.  Little did this woman know my son has his bachelor’s degree, is buying a house at 25, and was a decorated college athlete.

As he was telling me this my first reaction was for him to say well you can ride with my 50% white gene if you don’t like the black ones but instead I reiterated to him that ignorant people come in all shapes and colors.

In 2017 it amazes me we still deal with such stupidity but the one bright spot is she walked her ass in the pouring rain to wherever she was headed while my son was warm and dry in his brand new car….

Paint It

I have repeatedly stated how much I love paint therapy, that’s what I call it anyway. Those yellow UGLY oak cabinets are no more. Sunday was the one day in the last month that it didn’t rain so I took full advantage and re-did my bathroom cabinets in a chocolate brown. They look darker in the photo I think because of the light but they are beautiful.

People listen to me, a can of paint is the cheapest way to change the look of an entire room and if you hate it just paint it again, there not a rule saying you can only have 2 coats of paint on a wall. I am not a professional and my saw horse is an old adjustable ironing board that works fantastic. You can move it up and down and it folds away after you are done. It helps that General Finishes makes milk paint. This stuff it ridiculously easy. No sanding, yes you heard me no sanding. You wipe down the cabinets with tsp and you are ready to paint.

They are not paying me to say this but I wish they would ha.. I spend the next few weeks after finishing doing some small touch up and sealing but this is just because you don’t always see areas until the cabinets are hung.

Be BOLD and Go Paint. You won’t regret it, that is everyone except my mother.

Mom please don’t paint I will help you. 


Plan and conquer

For a year we have been planning and saving to have the builder grade carpet in our living room and kitchen with a solid surface hand scraped laminate.  Yes laminate. I researched the maintenence of wood, engineered, and laminate. All wood must eventually be sanded and refinished, if you have animals scratches are a concern also, which peanut and daisy qualify. 

Let me say as much as I love diy this was not a job I wanted to do. The tearing up of the sub floor in the kitchen did not sound fun and you tube proved it. The tools needed to cut, scrape, hammer, and fit also were alot. The flooring company did a great job but you all know I got a 30% discount cause im cheap and attended the home show just for this bargain. The young man who did the work had immigrated here from Russia and at 18 started his own business showing the value of diversity in the US. Hope you love it as much as I do ​

Lessons From a Very Smart Woman


I was raised by a very smart, independent mother. Although her and my dad were married for 20 years and she was a stay at home mom before divorcing, she taught me life lessons that all woman should follow:

  1. Go to school, no one can take away your education
    1. My story- graduated with a bachelors in Computer Information
      Systems at age 37
    2. My 4 year old and a 2 year old went to night classes with me
    3. Doesn’t matter how long it takes or how difficult keep at it
  2. No job is beneath you
    1. My story- starting out at 14 working in the fields topping corn
    2. I was 4 foot 2 and couldn’t reach the tassels but they found me a job
    3. I learned a valuable lesson that hard labor was NOT what I wanted to do in life
  3. Never depend on a partner for financial support
    1. My story- I have NEVER not had a job (or at times 2 or 3) that allowed me to pay my own bills
    2. Sometimes I didn’t know how I was going to eat and pay my bills so I worked at food places (figure it out)
    3. A partner (man or woman) should be a companion who helps in the process but you should not depend on anyone else to take care of you
      1. What if they leave, what you gonna do then?
      2. This ensures you are self-sufficient and self-aware
    4. If you need help don’t be too proud to ask for it
      1. Example: the Wic program provided milk for my young boys for a year at no cost
    5. Create a budget and use the envelope system (Dave Ramsey tells you how to do this today but my mom did this before Dave was born)
      1. My story- I have a spreadsheet that shows where every dollar of my money goes every payday
      2. A meal plan will save you hundreds of dollars because you actually plan your lunch and dinner rather than guessing every day what to eat and you shop for only those ingredients
      3. The meal plan we created when our boys were at home saved us over $400 a month in groceries
      4. Put money away for emergencies- it will happen and items do break even if it’s 10 a week, the dog will get sick and the car will need new tires
      5. Plan for fun- put money away to reward yourself for doing great- date night, movie, or even a pedicure, it doesn’t have to be big but budget for it then you’re not mad when there’s nothing left at the end of the month
    6. Don’t finance if at all possible and never lease
      1. My story- I am still a work in progress on this one
        • We all know cars are not cheap and most of the time we can’t afford what we want to drive
        • Never buy a new vehicle, always buy used so someone else pays the depreciation
  1. It is possible to find great used cars with low miles at a very discounted price and don’t be afraid to ask for a lower price
    • Dealerships are in business to make money and they have some wiggle room regardless of what they tell you
    • As a woman you need to do your research because salesmen think you are stupid (sorry but true) so when you go in with nada book values and fair market pricing they can’t help but talk to you differently
    • My husband in 28 years has never bought any of our vehicles because I love the satisfaction of getting a good deal (he usually leaves when the money talk starts, and don’t be afraid to walk away)
  2. I have made up my own rule on this one, if you have to finance make double payments and try to pay the car off in 1 year or 2 at the most
  • When you lease you are making rent payments essentially and never gaining ownership of anything and the interest charges would make you pass out if you knew what they are
  1. Make a vision board not resolutions
    1. My story- I cut out pictures, quotes, or anything else I want to accomplish each year
      • These can be goals, wants, needs, anything really
      • Post them on a bulletin board and be specific about what you want to achieve
      • Put it in a place you see it everyday
        1. Mine is on the wall by the bed in my room
  1. This puts it out in the universe and helps it come to fruition
    • Don’t believe it try it what do you have to lose
    • I did this with my son’s house and his starter home was almost identical to the photo I had on my board
  2. If everything isn’t done at the end of the year that’s ok but I guarantee it will be more than you ever thought was possible without it

Make 2017 Great

 

 

 

Thankful for the Obamas

I will steer clear of any political opinions but we all have to admit that the Obamas brought some flair, style, dignity, and family values to the whitehouse. They did things (like rapping about education) and god forbid wore shorts Go michelle. It has been refreshing and I will miss the diversity and perspective we have witnessed. Thank you for not fearing to be bold and take actions of clemency and pardons that were long overdue. HOPE

New Year, Get After It

Long time between posts but it’s been crazy, this flu virus sent my entire household to the ER for dehydration and now trying to knock out the cold season. We got 12 inches of snow in Portland which shuts down the city and shows me all the crazies. People abandon their cars on the freeway, what? I grew up with snow so it’s hard for me to fathom that people have no common sense, ugh you can freeze by walking, stay in your car and run the heater intermittent til help arrives, duh…. also been working hard on the 2017 vision board, lots of goals to accomplish this year. Each one offers an opportunity to improve and we are never to old to reach for the stars. Get after it