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free? yes, please!

You may have heard it said that nothing in life is free. Well, people that say that obviously have never heard of the free gift of salvation through Christ, and they clearly have not spent any time on Craigslist.

Lately, I’ve been semi-obsessively checking the Free list on Craigslist everyday (sometimes a few times a day). Why, you ask? Well, because among the heaps of old mattresses and free kittens, there occasionally are some very useful things that people need gone ASAP!


Just last week, we scored some free wood, a free rustic wooden table top (which is going to be a sweet coffee table that I’ll be posting soon), a free work bench, and a free buffet cabinet that I’m going to paint. Bounty!

The real scores are when people are moving tomorrow and they just need someone to haul their crap away. This happened to us when we were about to move across the country and needed to get rid of an old bike, an art table, and some area rugs.

Also, check on Sundays for yardsale extras that people don’t want to bother to drive to Good Will.

You have to be ready to hop in the car at a moment’s notice to be the first one there, and don’t even bother trying for most things across town–just go for things you can get to in 10 minutes or less or you probably won’t get anything, since most of the time it’s first come, first served. But, once in a while, you can get some pretty nice things that just need a little elbow grease or paint and they are good as new–for FREE! Just make sure to watch out for things that could have bedbugs and the like. No thanks.

Our neighbor recently picked up a free mower that just needed a little tune up and is working like a charm.

I think Craigslist is such an awesome resource and has really revolutionized the way we can buy and sell things, or in this case, learn about free things! It is a great chance to be a good steward, keep something out of the landfill, and give it new life.

Have you scored anything for free on Craigslist?

before & after: vinyl tile

You really see the benefits of being a good steward when you go to sell your house. I’m talking a cold, hard cash reward for making it nicer than it was when you bought it.

Our first house in NC was built in 1960, and a lot of it was still dated (wallpaper, old linoleum, and other “vintage features”). It also really just needed some TLC and cleaning, since it was unoccupied for about a year before we bought it.

Before we moved in, we ripped up the old, gross, and sticky carpet (I do NOT want to know why it was sticky) and refinished the beautiful old hardwoods hiding underneath. If you ever have this opportunity in an older home, I recommend it, as long as the hardwoods don’t have too many major/deep stains. When we went to sell the home, the real estate agent we worked with said the hardwoods were probably the one thing we did that added the most value. Score!

But, the other half of the house still had these awesome mismatched floors (the puppy makes it bearable–get it? His name is Bear!):

Well, before we put the house on the market in the fall of 2013, we just knew we had to update those bad boys. As with all home improvement projects, we wondered why we didn’t do them a long time ago so we could enjoy them.

Since our floors were kind of uneven (consequence of an old house), we decided to go with a vinyl tile, since they are flexible and forgiving, and also easy to cut. BUT, when they are in, they look almost exactly like real tile! It’s sort of a nifty new invention–you still use grout between them. Plus, did I mention they are very affordable?

So, we began our tiling adventure. It took a long time to do approximately half our little house, but we made it!

The bathroom, half way done, and already so much better. Goodbye, 70s “stone floor” linoleum!
photo 1

Phil placing tiles in the dining area:
photo 2

Phil trapped in the kitchen! Did I mention he is amazing and cleaned years of mysterious stickiness off the floor from under the fridge before we put in the tile?
photo 4

After putting in the tile and grouting it, we finished up with new white quarter-round trim and new silver-tone transition strips to the hardwood floors.

As you can see, it was a much needed update! I’m confident this vinyl tile, costing us some hundreds, helped us get thousands more when we sold the house. A little hard work really paid off!

Have you done last minute improvements before selling a house?

a new house, a new home

Well, hello again. After a brief intermission (the year 2013), I am back on the blog!

I guess the reason is, I’ve been thinking a lot about stewardship again lately, and then I thought, “Hey, wait… I used to have a blog of loosely themed posts around that topic!”

So, where did I leave off?

–Moved to WA with hubby
–Bought a new house (and waited for it to be built)
–Lived with in-laws while house was built
–Learned how to (sort of) enjoy (or deal with) a real winter
–Enjoyed having a relationship with God no matter where we lived!

–The snow thawed, and we watched our house go up (going to check out the progress with flashlights every night!)
–We moved into our new house in March
–Have been enjoying getting settled, putting in a lawn, and making it a home!

It’s funny how we moved from a house built in 1960 to a brand new house, but it needs work and stewarding all the same. Especially because we opted to do a lot of things ourselves instead of paying more for upgrades.

So, in the weeks and months to come, I’ll be posting a lot about our house adventures!

How long have you lived in your abode? Are you still coming up with new projects? 🙂

cleaning like a maid.

I found this post about how to clean like a maid, written by a former professional. I like some of the tips, so I thought I’d share. If only I could get really motivated to clean the whole house, and then not get distracted halfway though and stop to do something else. 🙂

how to clean like a maid

Anybody have any good cleaning tips? I’m loving our DustBuster to pick up black doggy hair. And I recently put baking soda and vinegar down the kitchen drains and it seemed to make them fresher.


rooted_tail copy

Here it is, our handcrafted jewelry store! We officially launched Rooted (and by officially, I mean Facebook officially, just like when all relationships get serious) on Thursday night, and we got just under 100 likes to our Facebook page in the first 24 hours. It was exciting. We are really thankful for all our friends and family and their support.

Oh, right, the links! 🙂

Here’s our website for our store of handcrafted jewelry.

And here’s our Facebook page.

Orders have started pouring in even faster than we anticipated. It’s all very exciting! Phil is so good at bending the wires (after 8 years of orthodontic lab work bending retainers and appliances he is extremely accurate!), and I am loving working on all the web-related stuff and packaging.


So far, we are really digging Storenvy, where we are selling our necklaces. It’s kind of like Etsy, but not exclusively handmade/vintage stuff, and instead of charging fees, they are free. We like free! And I just like their whole atmosphere and their support, etc. I think they are going to grow. So, it’s a nice place for us to start.

So, that’s what’s been keeping us busy lately, on top of everything else we do. But who doesn’t love to be busy doing something they enjoy?

dollar tree is great.

I haven’t been updating as much lately, but that’s because… Phil and I are working to start a business! We are really excited and we want to have the online store running this week. We will be selling handmade jewelry. I’ll provide a link when it’s launched!

We are really looking forward to having our own business, no matter the forecast on small businesses. Thankfully God can cause us to prosper. I’m excited to see where it goes!

In other news, the chlorine is clearing out of our water so hopefully in the next week or two we will be able to drink it after it gets tested!

And yesterday I had an awesome time at dollar tree. It’s amazing how much you can get for just over $28… 27 items to be exact! 🙂 I got us a couple of cute stockings for just a dollar, and now I just need to find a tiny one for Bear 🙂


As you can see, I put a bow on mine so you could tell she’s a gingerbread WOman. I also scored a $1 wreath and a $1 red flowered garland to wrap around it to make a new holiday wreath for the front door. Not too terribly shabby for $2.