Avoid Getting Taken by a Roofing Contractor

roof leak repaired by local company

Here’s My Experience with a Roofer and How You Can Avoid Being Scammed Like I Was.

I  was recently scammed on a roof repair by a local contractor.  This has given me an idea to create a series of articles to protect home owners from being scammed by random contractors.

Scamming is Big Business

These days more people get scammed than ever before on normal everyday home repairs, renovations, additions, roof repairs, etc. A lot of it has to do with how many elderly people we now have in America. They make an ideal target for a shady contractor looking to make as much as he can will delivering as little as possible in return.

As a result, I will be releasing articles related to  hiring contractors for various types of home projects as I have a chance to research them.

For now, I’ll share a few things I’ve learned to avoid getting scammed in the future by a roofer.

roof leak repaired by local company
My beautiful home in Arizona

My Experience 

My story goes like this:

I had a leak, contacted a roofer which I found by searching “roofing contractor near me” on Google. Well, I selected one of the sites that was down towards the bottom of the page and the website looked good.  Little did I know that this was not a company, but just some guy who had built a website and was doing the work out of his pickup truck.

He showed up, gave me a quote for a simple patch repair and was going to reseal a leak that was coming through one of the pipes coming out of my roof.

He did the initial repair in under 30 minutes and I thought this was the last of it. I paid him, and he left.

Now, a few days later it rained and my roof continued to leak. I’m glad I didn’t repair the drywall damage because by this time  it would have been ruined by the fresh water which was seeping through my roof.

Damage in the hallway leading to the bedrooms. This was the original leak.

So, I called the guy back and he came back out to assess the repair. He then said there was another location near the area he had “repaired” which was still leaking. Additionally, he mentioned that I really needed to replace my roof as there were likely other areas that would be causing trouble soon. He then repaired this other trouble-spot.  He charged me double what he had the first time because he said this patch repair was over a larger area and more time and materials were used than he had to on the first leak. Nonetheless, I paid thinking this would surely be the last of it….


Next time it rained, I had 4 leaks in my roof. Leaks which were never there before. So now, (I think you can see where this is going) the guy comes back out and tells me I need to replace my roof. He quoted me $10,000 for a new roof and said he could have it completed in under a week. I told him absolutely not and explained I was very unhappy with my experience up to this point.

Nonetheless, I then found a local licensed roofing contractor by searching Yelp! for contractors with the best reviews and came across www.estrellaroofing.com. I told the Estrella roofer (who I think was the owner) what I had been through. They were able to complete a repairs on my roof that proved to stand up during the last storm and one other light rain. The cost was right about what I had paid the scam roofer previously which was $300.

Bottom line, be sure you can trust your contractor to believe what he’s saying and to competently complete the work he promises to do.

So without further ado, here are a few tips when hiring a roofer. Hope this helps some of you.

My Tips to Avoid Getting Scammed by a Roofer


 You have to do your due diligence and that requires doing research. There are many ways to research the roof repair marketplace to determine the best one. Information is now more readily available than ever to help you in your quest to gather enough information to help you to make a good choice..

 Have Your Roof Inspected By a Professional Roofer

The first consideration is to determine the extent of your roofing problems and if you need roof repairs or if you need a full roof replacement. Getting a professional assessment of your roof’s condition does not mean you blindly take whatever a roofer says as gospel. You need to ask the right questions and understand enough about the answers to be able to make the right determination yourself. Here are some questions you will need to ask any roofer you are interviewing.

Here are some other tips:

  • Ask for a contractor’s license and look it up(in Arizona a roofer must have a contractors license actively registered with the Register of Contractors )
  • Ask for referrals of other people in your area
  • Find out if they are bonded and insured
  • Check with the BBB
  • Research them on Yelp!
  • Always get more than one assessment  of your roof’s condition and quote

Also, I came across this while doing some basic research on the topic, turns out contractors or scammers will locate to an area where recent storm damage has caused issues to roofs and prey on the people in those communities: 

Hope you have found this article helps you avoid being scammed out of your hard earned money. Stay tuned for my future articles on avoiding shady contractors when it comes to home renovations. 

Enjoying the Season – Preparing for Holidays

fall leaves

I’m a big fan of making lists.  It helps me be productive and prioritize what I’d like to do.  Being out of school for a few years now, having goals and check lists helps me feel like I’m accomplishing something and growing.

But sometimes, I need to put aside the to do lists.  I’ve been reminded of that this fall when I’ve been pretty worn out most nights when I get home and just can’t seem to check off all the things I want to do.

I’ve been trying to shift my focus from quantity to quality, and I received some inspiration from ‘Peach and Humble’s Autumn on Purpose’ at just the right time.  This week’s newsletter included this:

For the last several years, I have been creating seasonal bucket lists packed with things I wanted to do before the season ended.  They were always fun things like “bake an apple pie” or “go the pumpkin patch” but they were a checklist of tasks, nonetheless.  More things-to-do stacked on top of my already long list of things-to-do.  And even though I wanted to do all of these bucket list items, I noticed I was starting to check off fewer and fewer tasks as the years went on.  Then, without fail, I would feel guilty and as though we had somehow missed the season because we didn’t finish our list.

I read that and had an immediate “aha” moment.  I do the same thing every season and inevitably feel the same mixture of guilt and disappointment as each new season approached.  The solution?? Focus on a few simple traditions that you absolutely love to keep around as your seasonal rituals.  red leaf

I love taking the focus away from trying to accomplish every single thing you associate with a holiday or time of year and shifting it instead to a few simple traditions that bring you a lot of joy. This means finding ways to avoid the typical holiday shopping, and “hustle & bustle”. I usually off-set some of this chaos by doing most of my shopping online on my laptop laying in bed; a little each night and over the period of a week I’m done. As for decking the halls, this year I am going to likely get some ideas online to change things up a bit and go with some decor styles that my husband will find impressive.

I started making a mental list of my favorite fall traditions, and I almost immediately had about ten things.  And I thought — no — that’s the opposite of what I’m supposed to be doing with this exercise! Remember  — less is more!!

After some deliberation, I narrowed my special fall traditions list to the following:

  • Watch the Great Pumpkin (preferably while snuggling with beagles)
  • Bake something delicious
  • Enjoy the changing colors (snap pictures as desired)
  • Go apple/pumpkin picking

Everything else is icing on the cake.

In summary, goals and check lists have their place, but if I really want to enjoy a season, I need to allow myself to be fully present in it.  And that means not having a list of goals and expectations.  Wish me luck as I try this out the rest of autumn.

P.S. It’s not too late to check out Peach and Humble’s Autumn on Purpose series.  Sign up to receive a weekly inspirational newsletter in your inbox.

What are your favorite fall traditions?  

Rustic Home Decor


So you want to make your kitchen into something more exciting huh? Well, the best tips that make any kitchen interesting is all in the detail. What’s hot this year? Word has it that rustic kitchens are making a big comeback. Here are some tips that you’ll want to note and what to avoid. There are important rules to stick to, so I’ll cover them as well. Let get started!

Your kitchen décor must look authentic

The very first rule is to stick to a theme. Don’t mix and match found stuff, especially with cabinets! This will make your kitchen look cheesy and unconvincing. Here’s a little story for you to exemplify my point. In the early 1990s, when Las Vegas started to undergo a family-friendly transformation, they hired ex-Disney Imagineers. The result was stunningly impressive but had no clear boundaries in holding a select theme.

This is what made the new Las Vegas overwhelming at sensory perception. In short, too many cooks in the kitchen! With a disgruntled army of ex-Disney artists on-hand with a blank check to do whatever they wanted, it was disastrous. Not only did each hotel have its’ own theme, they each broke that rule several times over. Stick to a theme and embellish the parts that work well. For more inspiration, check this link for an authentic rustic Disney look.

It’s all about color

color ideas for rustic home decoration

Color plays a huge role in rustic design but it’s not supposed to be bright and shiny. Rustic is the gradual aged-down look of cabinets that contain traces of color that have faded over time. It doesn’t mean that your kitchen should look like the Santa Cruz Mystery Spot, nothing like that! Think more along the lines of Pantone colors. If you have no idea, check this link out: https://www.pantone.com/color-finder

  • Natural wood grain

Natural wood is beautiful all by itself but very old wood cabinets have a raised and lowered texture grain. This is because of the different rings you see in the grain all age differently. Every year a new layer is added, thus the wood grain you see all varies in subtle color. You can enhance this by scrubbing-down new wood cabinets with a BBQ grill scrubber. This is a wire brush that helps remove the existing varnish and allows softer layers to be brushed away.

When a texture is satisfactory to you, it can be finished off with a light stain and varnish mixture. This is ¼ wood stain of your choice with wood varnish mixed together. The varnish is supposed to be translucent with a little bit is color showing through. The first layers can be wiped away so deeper layers are progressively darker.

  • Red color and stain

Go to the Pantone color chart and choose two colors of red. The real secret here is to choose any two that are together on a ‘chip’. This is what a Pantone card is called and is either one color higher or lower. Used the darker color mixed into a stain mix that brings-out darker cracks. Then the lighter color can be dry-brushed on top for a refreshing aged look. Your paint must match the stain that’s used, so it should be oil-to-oil-based.

  • Patina green

This is nearly the same as above, but using a patina-green which appeals to you. Once again you need to pick two colors that are side by side to each other.One must be lighter while the other is darker. The closer you get to the color Patina that comes from aged brass or bronze is best. Then finish-off the coloration using the same process as above.

  • Aged blue-grey

This is a classic colonial frontier color that was popular in many country kitchens. It made a crossover into rustic since it fits well into a color scheme like this. The secret is to allow the blue to remain visible in the cracks and darker edges of your cabinets. The grey day brushing is to add the aged down effect. The blue should be soft like a baby blue but grey can be any choice you like.

Wood beams add depth

Wood beams add depth for kitchen

Make a search for any rustic kitchen and you’ll see plenty of wood beams. Don’t make the mistake of using fake polyurethane foam wood beams since they never look real. Here is a great example that you can do better than what these guys did. https://www.myvintageporch.com/diy-faux-wood-beams/

In a nutshell, it’s three pieces of cheap pine wood that are glued together to create a channel shape. These can be aged down by sanding, using a BBQ grill wire scrubber, and anything that gives it a natural one-piece appearance. Fill in any connecting gaps with tinted wood putty. Using various sizes helps create more depth, especially if you have a tall kitchen ceiling. Using the natural wood grain coloring techniques mentioned earlier helps give the beam realism.

The classic stone wall

kitchen classic stone wall ideas

Rustic kitchens need stonework to pull-off the final look of a log cabin-like kitchen feeling. You can buy ready-made ceramic stones that are glued to your wall for this. Natural brick or rounded stones are good they should appear to have a purpose. Here’s why-

  • The arched oven top

Take a look at lots of old-style rustic brick ovens and you’ll see the same kind of pattern. There’s always a supporting beam above the top that’s arched. This is how brickwork can support the weight over an oven or cooking area. Some kitchens also incorporate a tile backsplash behind the back of the arch. But this is optional depending on your taste. These stone slabs or bricks come in a kit that uses a special grout adhesive that helps them stick better.

  • An open doorway

Doorways are nice transitional decorations that help complete the illusion from one room to another. If you decide to have a doorway covered with brickwork or stonework, you need to be extra careful around the edges so that the joining areas look natural. This is one task where you may need to strip-down the door frame to the baseboards. If there are gaps you’ll need to add smaller broken pieces to fill them in.

  • Make a stone map

What works best is to draw on the wall or arched support is to have stones or brick-shaped drawn first. This can help you map out where the main bricks or stones are going. If your pieces match-up, you’ll be doing fine. Just know the size you have before you start drawing. You can always break up larger pieces into smaller ones to fill in odd-shaped gaps. The rest is finished off with filler grout and stains.

Kitchen Cabinetry Tips for a Farmhouse Kitchen

Kitchen Cabinetry Tips for a Farmhouse Kitchen

Kitchen cabinets are the first things that visitors will see in your kitchen. You can go with a rustic flair, modern minimalist, vintage, distressed wood style or the classic black or white cabinetry.

talking in kitchen

Options are widely varied. That’s why it is important to get the look and feel you are envisioning into reality. Research and create mood boards that will help you in redesign a lot easier and simpler.

Farmhouse living is very different from city living. That’s why to meet the traditional activities of farmhouse living, this décor style was intended for expansive families. Community engagement with a feeling of inviting neighborliness gives a high measure of comfort. The kitchen cabinet becomes one of the key features of the genuine farmhouse style– straightforward, useful and pragmatic.

Characteristics of the Farmhouse Kitchen cabinet

1. Laid back and cozy feel

Generally, farmhouse kitchen style is characterized as having a feeling of comfort and solace. This feeling takes us back to a time of wholesome family dinners and rural day to day living. Farmhouse style is easygoing and less formal compared to country style.

Image from Shorpy.com

2. Modest design

Farmhouse style kitchen cabinets have a simple and straightforward design. This style is portrayed by a basic and direct outline.

open kitchen area

Not at all like country kitchen cabinets, which are overwhelming with details and ornamentation, farmhouse style kitchen cabinets have simple lines which are complemented with plain trims and framing.

3. Ingenuous materials

The farmhouse style kitchen models itself from nature and targets to adapt the outdoors by using natural or ingenuous materials like hardwood.

4. Homely and rustic appeal

Farmhouse kitchen cabinets gives off a rustic appeal. Rustic vibe reminds us of provincial and rural living. Furthermore, rustic aesthetics give off rough finishes and unpolished materials which richly embodies this style.

rustic sink

5. Reclaimed wood and vintage touches

Reclaimed wood is commonly utilized to accentuate farmhouse style kitchen cabinets.

6. Textured finish

The main identifier common to farmhouse style kitchens are unpolished and textured materials. The aesthetic of unpolished and rough material is common to raw materials.

types of cabinets
Image from Home123.com

The combination of textured and polished materials in farmhouse kitchen gives off that depth and homely vibe. This mix of textures can be achieved by incorporating glass inserts, reclaimed wood accents and trims.

7. White and light hues

The most common colors of farmhouse style kitchen cupboards are breezy and brilliant. This makes white and light tones as the primary choice for farmhouse style kitchen.

8. Popular styles

Many aspects of farmhouse cabinetry will include popular styles that will be appealing to homeowners. There are many styles that you can choose from but the ones that have more impact on farmhouse cabinet style will be specific by design. Here are great styles you might want to check out.


The principal material for farmhouse style cabinets are natural solid wood. Current kitchen cabinets make use of synthetics such as laminates and thermofoil. Farmhouse style cabinets plentifully utilize  wood throughout its layout. This is in light of the fact that the farmhouse kitchen style is inclined towards a laid back cozy aura mixing in the fresh outdoors through the natural wood.

Quality hardwood, for example, cherry, maple, and oak are the most popular options for farmhouse kitchen cabinets. In general, cherry is for the craftsman kitchen and oak is equivalent to country style kitchen, while pine is most loved for farmhouse kitchen.

Pine is a type of softwood that has characteristic light yellow shading. In contrast with hardwood, pine easily dents. In most cases, to fortify its strength and quality, it is subjected to pressure treatment. Common types of pine utilized for farmhouse kitchen cabinets are Eastern white pine and Western white pine. Its unique knotty aesthetic makes it ideal for that provincial vibe and a popular easy choice for designers. Pine has a natural yellowish tinge to its wood. Some treat it with wood stains to effect a different tone. A great characteristic of Pine is that it takes on finishes quite well.


1. Re-purposing

This technique gives life to otherwise old and worn materials. The time worn look of the material boosts the rugged appeal of the farmhouse kitchen. Re-purposing makes use of reclaimed wood or distressed wood which are salvaged pieces of lumber. These are used to create new pieces of furniture, cabinets and embellishments. Reclaimed wood can be used in a farmhouse style kitchen setting in so many ways. Whether for cabinet doors or for open shelving units, distressed wood provides for a more rustic appeal. It can also be used

2. Paint

For farmhouse style kitchen, paint is basic, plain and smooth. The goal is for a more straightforward, easygoing and casual aesthetic. This works complementary to rural styles and rough textures. Farmhouse kitchen style does not associate itself with fancy and ornate designs and finish of the country style. A more desired effect is the distressed vibe which creates a weathered, authentic look that goes well with vintage decor.

3. Unfinished or Raw texture

A popular finish for the farmhouse kitchen fixtures is the raw, unpolished look. This is often used to effect a rugged vibe inherent in most farmhouse kitchen styles. MOst woods used for farmhouse projects look wonderful and tasteful in unpolished finish with clear coating that highlights its natural wood grains.

4. Staining

A technique called staining enhances the beautiful natural grains of wood. It is a great finishing option to use for farmhouse style cabinets. Medium to Dim stains are perfect to give wood a whole new feel and texture.

Most common styles of farmhouse kitchen cabinets

1. Shaker cabinet doors

best Shaker cabinet doors

Shaker-style doors are unique since they are often 5 pieces of wood that are immediately iconic looking. Four pieces form a frame with an inset piece that creates the center. The centerpiece is often recessed and is set back further so just the frame immediately stands-out. The wooden surfaces can be natural or painted with handles that are added for an antique look.

2. Beadboard cabinet doors

best Beadboard cabinet doors

Beadboard is a distinct type of wood that has grooved lines that are cut into the surface. They run vertically along with each piece with 1-inch or 2-inch spacing between each groove. It’s a classic look that farmhouse kitchens are known for. The frame of this cabinet door is also four pieces with the beadboard set into each frame. Cabinets of this style look better with knobs handles rather than looped handles.

3. Chicken wire cabinet doors

best Chicken wire cabinet doors

What kitchen doesn’t have more of a farmhouse look than to add chicken wire inset into the cabinet door frames? This is an addition that does need to be added if you are having your kitchen cabinets redone or refurbished. Real chicken wire is then cut to size and added to the center of each cabinet frame. It can be sandwiched between two layers of glass or attached to a backboard frame.

4. Glass cabinet doors

best Glass cabinet doors

Glass cabinet frame doors are classy but old-fashioned since they are also related to French-colonial kitchen designs. These frames often include decorative glass, etched glass, frosted glass, or individual framed glass sections within a frame. More often than not, glass frames are clear so they offer a view into the cabinet itself. Classier cabinets will include etched glass or beveled edges.

5. Rustic

rustic sink

6. Vintage

best vintage cabinet doors

7. Modern

best modern cabinet doors

8. Grayscale and White Cabinets with Black Accents

best Grayscale and White Cabinets with Black Accents

Trending farmhouse cabinetry

Some people might say that farmhouse kitchens are on their way out. But the good news is that some new trends are making this style a bit more exciting. Here are three hot trends that are making country kitchens a bit modern while sticking with farmhouse-style tradition.

1. Contemporary shaker cabinets

The new example of shaker cabinets will include a lovely satin-gloss or high gloss to their smooth surfaces. These not only make your kitchen hold onto the farmhouse feel but it gives a direct contemporary feel. Even the knobs and handles can be updated for something a bit more modern. This is a great refreshing update if you want to give your kitchen a fresh new look, without losing the farmhouse feel.

2. Black and white cabinets

Farmhouse cabinets that are boring-looking can get a fresh updated look with a combination of black and white. This works especially well if you use a high gloss finish that is long-lasting Items in your kitchen that may include islands, hanging kitchen cabinets, and countertop cabinets that can have a combination of black and white spaced throughout. It’s better to choose a paint that is enamel or oil paint.

3. Rustic is still hot

While overhead wood beams are always an iconic visual touch used for country-style farmhouse kitchens, cabinet doors are included too. They can be just as gnarly for texture but should be sealed to prevent splinters or slivers. Wood cabinet frames can be refinished by stripping paint and then using s wire brush along the wood grain. The best wire brush to use is often a BBQ grill cleaning brush. It will scratch away at the wood revealing wood grain.

After this, you brush the wood until you have the right texture. These cabinets should be blown-off and then sealed using a matt lacquer that will soak into the wood. The wood can be stained further to bring out the wood grain detail by adding stain into the deeper parts of the grain. After two coats these cabinet doors will be sealed enough to last for several years. Handles and knobs can be returned to the original spot where they were drilled.

Must-Have Cooking Tools and Gadgets

Must-Have Cooking Tools and Gadgets

Great Kitchen Tools Under 50 Bucks

You might not realize that a successful cooking experience depends on a lot more than having a good recipe and high-quality ingredients. That’s why we’ve provided this list of tools, utensils, and other accessories that will help make your life just a little easier in the kitchen or on the grill. If you’re unsure whether any of these products would be worth it, give it a try. You might find that investing in a helpful kitchen tool pays for itself in the time and energy you’ll be saving!

Wifi Meat Thermometer

Long gone are the days of hovering near a smoker or grill to manually check the temperature. This handy grilling accessory will send an alert to your smartphone once the meat reaches a pre-set temperature. Its large digital display and wireless technology help take some of the hassle out of grilling so you can focus on the good stuff. For a complete review of other WiFi thermometers check the full review completed by the Meat Geeks.

Buy here for $50

Stainless Steel Herb Scissors

stainless steel herb scissors

If you’re clumsy with knives or not very comfortable handling sharp edges, investing in a pair of herb snippers designed just like scissors can be a helpful, safe alternative. A set of five blades and a portable safety cover that makes them safe for travel. Simply place a small handful of herbs between the blades and cut like a piece of paper. You’ll find that your cuts are straighter, evenly sized, quicker, and safer for the whole family.

Buy here for $8

Silicone Snap and Strain Colander Accessory

strainerAvailable in black, red, and green, this snap-on strainer comes with special clips that fit most standard size pots. You’d be surprised at the amount of space you’ll save in your cabinets when you trade in your old, bulky colanders for a snap-on. Despite its compact, lightweight size, the portable strainer is ideal for pasta, vegetables, even more dense foods like sliced potatoes. Not only that, but it’s dishwasher safe, completely reusable, and, of course, heat-resistant.

Buy here for $11

Bottle Opener Multi-Tool 2-Pack

bottle opener

This handy pack of two innovative multi-functional bottle openers will eliminate the need for different-sized bottle openers. With different compartments made for twist caps, pull-tabs, classic beer caps, even jar caps, you can open any bottle or jar with ease. Great for those suffering from joint stiffness in addition to those just looking to clear up space in a cluttered kitchen drawer. These bottle openers claim they can not only protect your hands but also save time and space by combining all the different types of can openers or cap removers you can think of.

Buy here for $15

How Clutter Affects Us

How Clutter Affects Us

Clutter Can Be Bringing You Down, And You May Not Even Know It

Clutter is more than having a little too much “stuff” in your home. It is not about having too little space or not enough time to keep your belongings organized.

Being surrounded by clutter usually originates from an inability to throw things away. Over time, if left unchecked, what started as “a few too many things” can grow into compulsive hoarding.

Living surrounded by clutter is very different to being a collector of something. Scientific evidence shows that clutter or hoarding can be a symptom of a specific internal mental disorganization. It is a subtle form of procrastination and usually comes at the expense of a functional living space.

Home Clutter

You may think that the messy piles of papers gathering dust on your desk, and your kitchen filled with unused knick-knacks, are worlds apart from hoarders who cannot access rooms in their house due to stacks of newspapers going back to 1972. However, studies indicate that all of these traits derive from the same place.

Because de-cluttering is a cognitive process, hoarders are usually good at justifying why something should be kept. Perhaps it’s by putting additional nostalgic or emotional value upon items, making them harder to part with. Or maybe it’s due to the practical reasons why something may come in useful someday.  From mementos, to clothing, to gadgets, hoarders are very good at not throwing anything away.

Many times it’s unintentional. The classic example of this is when you use your garage for  a storage area. After a while, you can end up with a hoarders paradise: two old fridges, that old sectional, mattress and kitchen table you didn’t want to put on the curb. It’s time to let go!

What’s the Big Deal Anyways?

So, it may be messy, but is there really any harm? Well, yes. Clutter can be very bad for both your physical and mental health.


Firstly, clutter can be a real safety concern. Excessive amounts of clutter can harbor mold, mildew, and accumulate dust, causing respiratory issues. A home filled with flammable stacks of magazines, or cardboard boxes of documents, or old electrical devices, is more of a fire hazard. Narrowing passageways become more difficult to traverse and can cause injury. All of this leads to an unhealthy living space.

An uncluttered environment is not only very important for your physical wellbeing, it can have a drastic impact on your mental state too. Living with clutter has been found to raise levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, leading to heightened anxiety, fatigue, and depression.

Living in a home filled with clutter with inevitably lead to disorganization. Time will be wasted looking for lost things. Frantic searches for keys can become a daily occurrence. In addition, costs can mount up as lost items need to be replaced. If bills are mislaid, late fees on overdue payments can arise. All of this causes more stress unnecessarily.

Clutter can also be distracting

Clutter can also be distracting. You may not realize it, but constantly being surrounded by excessive clutter can get in the way of your ability to focus. Piles of laundry, stacks of papers, junk drawers crammed to excess, all of this may be over-stimulating your visual cortex causing you to be more distracted.

Donate to a charity shop. Throw out old newspapers. Go through those storage boxes. Call up a hauling company who can haul away all your stuff. Buy a Bagster from your local Home Depot. Or contact a company like AZ Junk who will do both: haul away unwanted items, or pickup your Bagster. Not only will your home be a more pleasant place to spend time, your physical and mental health with greatly benefit from removing the clutter from your life.

DIY Chalkboard

DIY Chalkboard

A couple weekends ago, I was able to get my craft on…and it felt amazing! I have a bride this summer that was wanting to have a chalkboard for her ceremony. I knew this was something I could make!

I asked my dad if he was interested in a father son daughter project and of course he was up for it. I went out and purchased all of the materials and was super excited to get started.

The last father daughter project we did together was probably back in school making some school project. I remember doing a cotton gin for school which was pretty much awesome. Then we had to make a car in junior high that ran off of batteries (I had an unfair advantage because my dad is a mechanic:)) It was always a good time.

I asked my dad if he remembered making my mom a dishwasher…..not that kind of dishwasher. My mom would always tell us what she wanted for Christmas and then we would tell Dad and he would help us get it. This one particular year, she wanted a dishwasher. Well, that was pretty much not happening considering the cost was crazy. So, being the smart ass  good humored person that he is, he made a doll out of wood that would hold scrub brush and a sponge. Mom laughed so it was totally worth it.

For the chalkboard, I definitely needed help. I have used a drill before, but never for anything other than just putting in a screw. I never had to drill the hole first. It was quite a learning experience. Apparently, I drilled in the hole a bit crooked so my dad had to fix it…whatever. You live and you learn;)


Miss M was able to help with the painting which she was super excited about! We put two coats on of the chalkboard paint and waited for it to dry. While that was drying, we hung out with the family and enjoyed some time together.


Finally, when the paint was dry, we put it all together. It was my first time using a air staple gun…PS AMAZING! I am not sure why I would ever need to OWN one per se, but I want one. So easy and so fun!

The hinges were spray painted with some paint Dad had around for car parts, so that dried really quick:) Then it was time to put it all together…hinges, chain…ta da!


I had to touch up some spots on the stained part of the wood, but it was super easy and I am absolutely in love with it. Miss M even got to test it out to make sure it really was a chalkboard:)

All pictures were taken with my phone so I realize they are not the best quality:) I cannot wait to use this in a wedding and take some good pictures of it!! Thanks for stopping by!

Slight setback in the training

Slight setback in the training

I think I may have done too much. Running on a broken toe may not have been such a grand idea, but I was too stubborn to stop right after I started. I am still running, but doing the AdvoCare Can You 24 Level 2 videos was killing my toe because of the pushups and lunges.

When running, you can easily manipulate your stride and the placement of your foot when it hits the ground…when doing a pushup, the only way to not “hit the ground” is to have your toes just right…and it wasn’t working.

So, back to the drawing board. I am still running…in fact, doing the C25k program with the ladies in town has made me realize just how ready I am to start running again. I even had a wedding to set up for on Saturday morning and still went and ran beforehand which definitely proved to me that I was serious. If I can squeeze it in, I am going to. It feels so good.

I will register this week for the half in Vegas. So excited to see my long lost friends out there that I have missed so much since we moved. It is going to be amazing to see them all again as well as achieve this goal.

I will say, I am super blessed that my daughter is active and enjoys being active. Each time we go to run, she goes with. She doesn’t always last the whole time, but it is just nice that she is out there with me and keeping me motivated.

This coming holiday weekend is a busy one. A ton of graduation parties to go to, one to decorate for, and then a cake to bake for another. Cant wait to show those off. Meanwhile, I have a few hats to make for newborn twin girls, and of course, a few shirts.

It doesn’t get much better than that:) A busy week yet again. A small setback, but not the end. Having to slow down only makes me want it more. I am definitely going to fulfill this dream and going to tackle it one mile at a time.

Where have I been?

Where have I been?

Where have I been? I feel super guilty that I have been so busy and not been able to blog much at all lately. I know that the reasons are good, but I also miss it. Like….a lot! I miss the relationships that I was building. I miss the excitement of finding out something I created was featured. I miss getting excited about all the new people I was interacting with. I miss it all. But… I have been so busy.

Let me back up a bit. Last September, (yeah, that long ago), I was back in Illinois for a friend’s wedding. While helping her with all the planning, I had to go to this little place called Kreative Rentals to meet with her decorators. I walked into the showroom and literally said “Oh my…this is my heaven!” There are vases, floral, linens, and more…it’s a crafty girls’ dream! Well, the owners at the time were apparently looking to sell and mentioned it to me. So of course, I told the hubs! I was giddy, I was pumped, and I was freaking out! If I bought this business, that would mean that the hubs would go back to Germany, and I would stay here in my little hometown in Illinois with Miss M….alone. Lots of decisions to think about. I already wanted to stay here because Germany and I didn’t get along very well. It was either rainy or thinking about being rainy the entire time I was living there…and well…that wears on a person. I was going to miss my hubs like crazy. I already knew that. But it is temporary.

So the planning (and panicking) began. I was getting things ready to own the business, already meeting with new clients, and getting very excited about this new adventure. All the while, I was still crocheting for friends, family and others, making wedding gifts with and for friends, and of course, spending time with the little one as she ventured into her new school.

I ended up buying the business on December 14, 2012 and it has been great. Doing Bridal Fairs in the local area, and meeting with some amazing clients has been a dream!

There are times where I get really scared that I messed up and made the wrong decision and that maybe it will hurt our marriage…but then I remember that the majority of our relationship has been apart. Either him working crazy stupid hours, or deployed…so it’s not much different…except now I have my family around to help out when needed. Which thankfully they are here because I have needed them a lot.

Back to the blogging. I continued doing the Fantabulous Friday’s so that I could still see what everyone was doing. But, then I ran out of time. I didn’t want my blog to ever just be a linky party blog and so I stopped because that was all I had time for. I currently have 33 brides/events that I am decorating for 2013 and a few for 2014 already lined up. It is very exciting, but also very time-consuming. No two weddings are the same so it’s not like you can just pick a package and walk away from it. You have to plan and re-plan and organize each individual one. I FREAKING LOVE IT THOUGH!

I just got done making hair pieces for a bride and her bridal party and I love the way they turned out. I am hoping to share them with you soon after I get them to her.

The hubs is going to be looking soon (I hope) for a job back here and then we can all be together again…including the cat. I can’t believe I actually miss that little cat.:) But I definitely do.

I hope you all will still check back in from time to time and see what I have been up to and hopefully there will be lots to share with you once wedding season starts! I miss you all and thank you for the continued support.

Fantabulous Friday #43

Fantabulous Friday

Happy Friday!! Welcome to Fantabulous Friday #43! I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and New Years. I took some time away to spend with family and get some much needed rest! It was fantastic! I cannot wait to see what everyone has been up to over the holidays!

I have decided to show off the featured posts on my Facebook Page throughout the day! If you are not following me on Facebook, you can do that here and then you can see if you were featured from last week and then of course grab a button here!!

What amazing projects have you been working on this week?? Link them up!!

Make sure you don’t miss anything!