Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Living Room and Hallway Paint Preview


I promised some remodeling and one of the cheapest ways to make a room look completely different is with paint! Our HUGE living room and hallway was COVERED in old granny wallpaper. Rather than taking the wallpaper down and worrying about sanding down the wall and finding defects we chose to just paint over it.

I will be honest, we haven't finished painting yet because my husband is umm laid back... Anyway we started painting before planned because 2 gallons of the paint was placed on a barstool, and in case ya'll don't understand if you do that then the paint will fall and spill!

In case of paint spillage on hard floors get a brillo! Brillo pads are awesome for getting paint off the floor, before the brillo you of course need to get the majority of the paint up using whatever method necessary (towels, mops, napkins, scoop excess paint up).

Below is a preview. We are going to refinish all the doors and make them all white since it looks great with the new paint!

DIY Duck Coop Expansion (Duck Coop Under $55)


Earlier I did a post "DIY Duck Coop Under $20" (

We loved our welsh harlequins so much that we decided to get some more hens, but this time we are starting out with ducklings so they imprint on us and are even friendlier than the ones we have! Since we are adding more ducks to the flock we needed to expand the coop.... and there were things I wanted to change even if we didn't add any more ducks!

Above is the first duck coop. It was okay but.. it had a dirt floor, the roof wasn't waterproof, we needed a new latch to make it more predator proof, and I wanted to add a window!

It cost us under $20 to build our first duck coop. The expansion of course cost more money

  • Gravel 3 bags at $3 each       $9
  • Concrete 4 bags $2.50 each   $10
  • Hardware cloth  FREE (had it on hand)
  • Tarp $12
  • Latch $1
  • Wood FREE (bought some of it for the original coop and got some free)
That means the cost to expand the coop came to $32, adding that to $20 our new expanded coop is $52 TOTAL!

Here are pictures of construction:

Now here is the completed project... obviously I'm the one taking the pictures cause I'm in NONE lol =)

Money was an issue in building the coop, we don't want the $20 egg I hear about all the time on! Our coop isn't beautiful, but I think a coat of paint will do wonders! I don't mind the look of the roof, especially since we left some of the wood showing! Our ducks also love the coop, they will see us coming out with food and go straight in! I also am sure the ducks like their window, the only change I would make is another window =)

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Our new editions: Baby Chicks


I had originally planned to title this "Our newest Editions", but last night I came home to a surprise (more about that later).  Five days ago we drove an hour and picked up 5 baby silkie chicks. We haven't named them yet so your welcome to comment suggestions =) We picked 3 white ones, a black, and the top one which is white with black. Sorry the pictures are weird, they have a red heat lamp so the glow reflects in the pictures and makes it look like there is a demon hiding in our laundry room (glow under the door).

The chicks very in friendliness. I'm not sure if that is our fault or not, it is kind of impossible to tell the white chicks apart so no idea if we are holding them equally. They have done amazing since we got them though. We drove an hour to pick them up then drove them back an hour home, had to stop for the heat lamp and plastic tub, set them up then drove out for their food, and food and water dishes... yeah, we weren't ready at all LOL. Here is there set up:

Info about silkies: 
  1. Broody breed
  2. Great Mothers
  3. Friendly
  4. Bantam
  5. Black skin
  6. A "show" bird
  7. Extra Toes
  8. Predator Prone
There is probably MUCH more to silkies than my short list but being a member it was easy for me to find breed specific information on each chicken breed. These will be my first chickens and I wanted a really friendly breed, especially since I'm not a "farmer" but just trying to become more self sufficient by urban homesteading. 

I feel the need to point out one very important fact about why I chose silkies: I have alektorophobia, for those of you who don't know that means I'm afraid of chickens. It's a long story but to shorten it, I was horrible at 3? and would get pebbles climb this SUPER TALL slide (3 ft) and throw them at a rooster, he got mad and flew up the slide and chased me pecking me the whole way back to the house... and now I'm scared of chickens, the way they follow you around and then run when you turn to see them is a bit creepy I mean come on!! So I chose silkies for their looks probably more than any other reason, I thought I might get my feet wet with a chicken that doesn't look so much like other chickens... that is right, overcoming my fears one step at a time!!

(Pictured above is how they should look full grown, picture from the blog

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Wallpapered walls 101


When we bought our house we had to see past the wallpaper and the 70's vibe. We saw the potential of the house, and now that we have moved in we are trying to bring out the potential!!

The first thing that I wanted to tackle was the our master bathroom, complete with striped orange and pink wallpaper!
(Pictured left)

The wallpaper was actually so old that it was starting to come up in the corners, which meant it took less than an hour to strip this stuff off the walls! It felt AMAZING to get so much progress so fast! Without the wallpaper the walls were revealed.... (right) There was defect in the wall that were immediately revealed. Being first time homeowners, and not having experience remodeling, I didn't realize that the walls would need sanded down. Call it putting lipstick on a pig because my walls need REDONE again (this time I will sand them down).

To the left you can see the color we have chosen for our bathroom. Our bathroom is much more complete then shown in the picture to the left and I will do an update soon =)

Friday, April 25, 2014

Ology Bodywash Review


a line by Walgreens that is is sulfate, silicone, phthalate, and paraben free; never tested on animals, plant and mineral based, 100% made in the USA, and the container is also 100% recyclable.

I actually love the toilet paper and none of the products I have tried in this line were awful!

The Ology bodywash isn't the best bodywash I have used, but it is healthier both for me and the environment than my favorite! The smell is meh, not the best but it doesn't smell bad either. My only complaint about this product is you have to shake it or its runny, then sometimes it looks like conditioner.

Overall this product is recommended just for the way its made and the cost, but I'm sure there are even better products out there.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Ology Shampoo Review


I have been using the Ology Shampoo for a while now. So far I like the shampoo, it works well on my hair but isn't overly harsh. I do find the shampoo a bit watery and since its sulfate free it doesn't really lather up. The shampoo does have a nice-ish scent though and works.

Ology is sulfate, silicone, phthalate, and paraben free. The shampoo is never tested on animals, and is plant and mineral based. Ology is also 100% made in the USA. The container is also 100% recyclable.

Honestly I will continue looking for a product I prefer, but for now this is the BEST choice I have found!

Ology has a full line of products, they are all more eco friendly than the regular store choices. I have tried a couple different products from this line and overall I think its a great line.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Kmart: One of the best CLEARANCE stores around!


It seems for many people the name Kmart brings up images of inferior goods, expensive goods, dingy lighting, horrible displays, and bad customer service. Most people I talk to always dismiss Kmart offhand, but don't be so quick to judge!

I had never shopped at Kmart prior to working there, in fact, I don't even think we have Kmarts where I am from! I was looking for a job during my summer off from college and since all of my experience is in the food service industries I decided I would look for a retail job, living in a small town the options were limited and Kmart was hiring. I applied and was hired. I don't think Kmart is anyone's dream job, if for no reason other than the pay... don't get me wrong I enjoyed working there, and I don't consider jobs as being beneath me at all, but if given the choice between Kmart and say Hollister, I would have taken Hollister (employee discount ya'll)!

Working there I got to see all the merchandise everyday, and found out really quickly how many good deals can be found there.... unfortunately I often spent quiet a bit of my check there too!! The bad thing about Kmart is you will buy things you don't NEED, the good thing? You will find things you WANT for a LOW price! I went today, I got a couple of things on clearance.

Purses $2.99

Hats .99

 Cat Toys (90% off)
Robe $3.99
Shirts $3.99
Screws .30/baggie
Roller Blades $4.00

I got a couple of other small things but really the Roller Blades alone are worth $37 each, I bought two pair so that is more than my total! I just got Roller blades and they go from cheap at $37 all the way to over a hundred! While some of their prices are high I don't think average they are super high priced, they also have sales which is when I stock up on canned dog food because they do the big can of Pedigree for $1 each.

I'm not huge one posting about stores but since this one has so much bad "press" I think I should blog and say "give it a chance"!

Oh, and as far as customer service... It can't be too bad, I worked there ;)

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

DIY Quail Cage UNDER $35


APRIL FOOLS! Just kidding, I'm seriously sharing a DIY quail coop, bet ya'll didn't know I'm turning into the regular backyard farmer chick, seriously! I found my first eggs today, from my endangered Welsh Harlequin Duck... I have to say if your going to be a small farmer/ homesteader you should start by checking out my favorite forum and get endangered animal breeds, they may or may not cost more but you know your helping out!

Now before I share with you my quail coop let me preface by saying some states do NOT allow you to keep quail, mine does but only 6. Quail are great because they require little space (1 sq ft each), are fairly quiet, and are ready for processing in 8 weeks or you can eat their eggs. I haven't ate a quail yet so I'll let you know how it is, anyway on to the cage building.

Here is the cage. Notice the different colors of wood? The frame is an old shelf I picked up at a yard sale for $1! That is right one dollar! All I had to do was move the middle shelf down to the bottom and then I had two wooden sides and a spare shelf. Using wood for some sides will save you money on hardware cloth. I used two different sizes of hardware cloth 1/4 on the sides and tops and 1/2 on the bottom. 1/2 on the bottom is important so the poop can fall through. You will also notice the cage is on 2x4s, that is to prop it up and leave room for a cat litter box $4 underneath to catch poo and pee.

My husband and I haven't built much with wood, so for us it was much easier to get a wooden frame than build one. We also used staples to secure the hardware cloth, in was very easy with a staple gun. The most difficult part of this project was cutting the hardware cloth.

Since this picture I have made a few additions. I got bird feeders at walmart for $1.50 each, I got two one for food and one for water.. I have found they don't work great however so I still manually feed and water them. I also got them a cuttlebone and gave them a plastic dish filled with sand for their enjoyment.

Cost for the Project?
Frame $1
Litter Box $4
Feeder/Waterer $3
Hardware Cloth 1/4 $12
Hardware Cloth 1/2 $14

Total: $34

Although my total was $34 yours may be more or less, I could have saved money by using 1/2 all over thus eliminated the extra $12. I had already bought the 1/4 size and didn't want to deal with returning it, although I bought two of the 1/4 so it appears I have one to return regardless... GAH!

The only other advice I have it PAINT! Hopefully you will be using you cage a long time so you want it to be attractive!