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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.

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.


i’m back!

Blog, I have neglected you the past few days.

Well, Phil and I went to Spokane for a very quick trip this past weekend and before and after that we were busy with trip-related things. We left Friday and got back Monday–a quick trip for a friend’s wedding, and it was really fun! It wouldn’t be such a quick trip if nearly 2 days of it weren’t spent traveling, but with Spokane that’s the way it goes. I wish they would offer a direct flight there, but it’s not a busy enough route, and it’s so far. Next time we visit we’ll just have to take a week or so :). Oh, but it snowed while we were there; it was so pretty on all the evergreens.

The well water is working great still. The only issue is that it is still pretty chlorine-y from when they shocked the well when they drilled it. But the smell is dwindling down, so that’s good. I’m still not going to drink it yet, but I don’t mind showering in it now. And oh boy, does a full shower feel great! The water pressure is higher now too!

I really should get some holiday shopping done… but I still haven’t gotten any presents yet! Oy! Next thing I know it will be December, and both of my parents’ birthdays are in December as well. We’ve just been so busy. But I’ll fit it in somewhere. At least I did make some bows to put on the windows of our house. Nothing elaborate but they were quick and easy. Such a cheap way to decorate a little too.

well updates

So, they drilled and they drilled. Supposedly the average in our area for well depth is 150-250… don’t you just love it when you’re above average ;). They went 300 feet and got a mere 1 gallon per minute. Bah!

Oh well. Our pump guy Walter said that will be enough for us since we will have 300-400 gallons saved up in the well at any given time, but we will still have to be a little conservative about our water usage so we don’t run it dry. There goes my dream of doing laundry, running the dishwasher, taking a shower, and running a sprinkler system at the same time. Haha, just kidding. We should be fine. We don’t use that much water and we are only 2 people. And we can take full showers again!

It was pricier than we had hoped because they had to drill so far down (and we haven’t gotten the pump bill yet…) but I’m just glad we are getting it done and we know God promises to supply all our needs, so we are just trusting Him. I would have rather spent the money on a bathroom remodel or a fancy vacation to Europe, but hey, I’m really blessed to have water again soon!

As I promised, here are some pictures I snapped of the process. It was messy, but thankfully they protected some of our yard with their barrier they set up and laid down big mats for the truck tires to sit on.






Well drilling, let’s go!

Yayy! Finally we got someone to commit to come out to drill our well. We kept trying to get up with people and they wouldn’t get back to us, or they are so busy they can’t fit us in for weeks! How frustrating. But, on the bright side, we had plenty of time to save up to pay for the new well. And now a company is going to come out Monday to drill it, woo!

We have had this tank hooked up to the house in the mean time. But the water is limited.

I can’t wait to take long, luxurious, 15-minute showers again :). And do laundry at my own house, like royalty! Oh, oh, and run the dishwasher! What a privilege! We have been washing dishes by hand and doing laundry at my parents’ house. Showers have either been short, Navy-style, or taken at the gym (or a kind friend or family member’s house). And cleaning tasks like mopping have been put on hold.

Living on less water sure has made us thankful that we don’t have to do that all the time.

This will be my first time witnessing a well being drilled, so I really have no idea what it will be like. So, I’ll update you with pictures along the way :).