Thursday, January 17, 2019

Our Ceiling fans broke

I know there have been a lot of home improvement posts as I have been trying to get us caught up on the blog for the stuff we did in 2018 that never got recorded, but alas, we had a few hic-ups already in 2019 which bar more posts.

The original ceiling fans we bought for the condo were crap. The one in little dudes room stopped working 5 months after it was installed. We put a box fan in his room with intentions of replacing it this year before summer.... but then, as fate would have it, our bedroom fan just crapped out on us.

We have noticed a little noise from the fan a few months ago when we turned it off to clean it, but it went away. Well Hubs turned it off to clean it this month and I turned it back on later that night to the inevitable pop.

So we decided to replace all three with the old brand I installed in my original condo... How did I remember which brand I bought 8 years ago? Because Hubs would often hit the heavy logo'd pull chain on a regular basis. So when he decided the brand he picked was crap, he just googled photos of fans until he found the logo and then told me to find something like I did in the old place.

The result were three LED ceiling fans that give off more light (which is a bonus for little dudes room), and get this... they were cheaper than the crap we originally installed and paid WAY more for. Needless to say we are now forever "fans" of Hampton Bay.

$258.50 for all three fans and hubs installed them since they were going where the other three fans were.

  • We originally paid $382.52 for ceiling fans that broke. 

Monday, January 14, 2019

2018 Annual Goals - How we did

We posted some lofty goals for 2018 and now its time to look back and see where we are at with meeting them.

Goals for 2018

  1. Be more purposefully with our spending - I'm not sure if we actually accomplished this one. We tend to be good for a month or two, but then slack off... kind of like updating the blog (lol).
  2. Track our finances with more detail -nope, didn't happen. I think we got better this year than last, but we can still work on this.
  3. Replenish our savings accounts- pretty good. We will need to top a few off with our hopeful tax return though.
  4. Roxy Fund - done and at $1,000
  5. Medical Fund - done and back to $1,000
  6. Vacation Fund - Hoping the tax return will re-set it for 2019. We had it back to where it was, but then we didn't cash flow our vacations this year either, so we need $800 to get it back to $1500. 
  7. Clean up some savings accounts - We did. we consolidated others, but Capitol One 360 won't let me re-name them to use them for other things....  and I think they are trying to force close some accounts. I mean I guess they didn't intend for someone to have 17 savings accounts, but they have a purpose. I just don't appreciate not being able to re-name them.
  8. Maintain at least 15% of our income going towards retirement. 16.6% if you count matches... 13.66 without matches.... 10.9 % if you don't count social security. 
  9. Spend less money on stuff (outside of the reno) then we did last year.  I don't think this happened because we embraced the world that is REI.... and spent more there then we did last year on all our discretionary purposes.
  10. Finish the rest of the home improvement projects. hahahahahahhahaha no.... this did not happen.  but we got 5 out of 9 done.
    1. I need to paint our ceiling and sand it ------ Done
    2. I need to paint our living room / kitchen / dinning room area. -----------Done
    3. I need to get the rest of our bedroom closet purchased, built and assembled... -------Done
    4. We need to replace interior and exterior doors -------Done
    5. Finally unpack the rest of the boxes in the house. ------- Done

Not Done:
Paint doors and trims....
Put in new flooring
Install baseboards (and paint them).
After that, we can purchase the built ins for the living room... and assemble and install them...

All in all considering we had a three year old, I think we did a good job on the list where the remodel is concerned.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Doors Doors and more doors

Since we were a little remiss in posting in 2018, I have a few home improvement updates to share with you all. The first being, we replace our doors... ALL of them.

The front door didn't close correctly and bugs were running into the light outside our door and crawling under our door to die in our house and attract ants... I even had a gecko find its way under my door. The thing was one good kick away from falling off.

So, what did we replace it with? a steel door and frame. It's awesome. We can put up magnets on the back and hang little dude's art up on the walls that he brings home from pre-school.

We again selected Home Depot for our doors because I'm a fan of lifetime warranties since we plan to be here for a total of 8-10 years, plus we weren't allowed to replace the front door ourselves per the HOA policy.

What it cost: Front Door:
  • Installation materials and molding for around the door: $94.59
  • Front Door: $280.68
  • Haul away of old door: $35.00
  • Labor: $392.00
  • Credit for measure: $-50.00
  • Tax: $29.08
Total: $746.35

We then replaced the bathroom, our double bedroom doors, and the door to little dudes room. We needed the inside doors replaced because the jams were so old in the bathroom that the whole thing warped and would sometimes lock little people inside...  We didn't do a door to cover the laundry room... because the only thing home depot carries in a size wide enough for the space is a mirrored slider door... which hubs doesn't like... so we are back to the drawing board there, but that will be a latter project.

What it cost: the rest of the doors:
  • Installation materials: $105.91
  • Single door: $151.96
  • Double door: $379.32
  • Single door: $151.96
  • Labor: 498.00 for the two single doors
  • Labor: 373.51 for the double master doors
  • sales tax: $61.16
Total: 1,721.82

The largest cost was labor, but we didn't know what we were going to get with how old everything was... and it was a good thing we paid for their labor and didn't DIY this ourselves. Despite the professional measure, the master double doors were very difficult to replace because the entry way wasn't really the size that they measured. However their crew was able to still install the doors by modifying materials and swapping out trim.

I still need to paint everything, but New doors! It is so nice to be able to lock the bathroom on purpose then get stuck inside...




Monday, January 7, 2019

What we spent in 2018

Yes, we fell off the blog-o-sphere... again...

but I did track all of our spending for 2018 and that is always the goal. When I was first compared the numbers between 2017 and 2018, I was a little concerned when we more than doubled our discretionary spending for the year...

BUT, because I kept track, I couldn't really argue with how we spent our money, and I think there were a lot our purchases we held off for a while and decided to bite the bullet so to speak.

We explored the great outdoors, journeyed to preschool, moved office buildings for work, and experienced the world with a three year old!


But here we go. What we spent money on in 2018!

Giving: 

  • Church: $10,679.00 
    • (Tithe plus fast offerings)
  • American Cancer Society $210.00

Groceries: $4,271.83 (up $134.13 from 2017)

  • Monthly average $355.99
  • Sometimes included house products, other times it didn't. Some months we spent more, other months less, but this is where we ended up!
Eating Out / Family activities: $1,497.44 (up $64.16 from 2017)
  • Mostly consisted of eating out, but something going to the movies, or a family outing went into this category. 
Gasoline / Toll Fees / Car Washes: $2,665.79 (down $425.93 from 2017)
  • Gas for Escort: $1,593.86
  • Gas for Camry: $1,546.55 (but my work reimbursed me $599.75) $946.80
    • This year I actually tracked how much my work reimbursed me for driving for work, and applied that $$$$$ back towards automotive savings each month. We didn't do this in 2017.
  • Tolls, Car washes, etc: $133.45
Car Maintenance / Insurance / Registration:
  • Camry: $3,502.31 (up $2,043.18 from 2017)
    • Evap ESV Valve, headlights, carbon canister, vapor control valve, oil change; Oil Filter, spark plugs, fuel system check, rear catalytic converter (plus swap on front catalytic converter), (2) radiator hoses, coolant, (2) tires, (2) power steering return hoses
  • Ford Escort: $1,327.98 (down $874.88 from 2017) 
    • Headlights, fluid stuff, bulbs; alternator, oil change
  • Car Insurance: $1,694.25
  • Car Registration Camry: $133.00 
  • Car Registration Escort: ??? (we might have forgotten to list the registration in the spending report. )
Little Dude: $1,081.17 (everything but clothes, doctors, and daycare! booya)
  •  $ 15.00 haircut
  •  $ 30.12 poop helpers 
  •  $ 151.43  pull ups 
  •  $ 25.00 Miralax 
  •  $ 5.92 baby soap 
  •  $ 90.24 New Big Boy Mattress 
  •  $ 63.37  Paw Patrol Bedding
  •  $ 15.00 Bed liner 
  •  $ 1.99 Paw Patrol 
  •  $ 4.00 lunchables 
  •  $ 23.00 dvd 
  •  $ 24.11  Dad weekend
  •  $ 15.94 Headphones 
  •  $ 19.98 Coloring stuff 
  •  $ 36.00 legos 
  •  $ 12.34  Bow and Arrow & Crossbow
  •  $ 2.14 flash cards 
  •  $ 5.15 seeds 
  •  $ 12.87 binki toy 
  •  $ 62.00 games 
  •  $ 133.15  Birthday 
  •  $ 23.00 dvds 
  •  $ 5.00 pictures 
  •  $ 33.40 School pictures 
  •  $ 75.00 teacher gifts 
  •  $ 20.00 Easter Eli 
  •  $ 176.02  Christmas 
Daycare: $10,417.00 (He's a "5-day" friend)

Clothing: If it wasn't for a "gift" like mother's day or me shopping with my fun money and we bought clothes, it's listed here. In 2017, we didn't itemize Little Dudes spending by category, but we know we spent less with the cousin clothing swap. Little dude had two older male cousins, and another younger male cousin. This year we did a clothing swap. He gets the clothes from his older cousins, and we have been giving his younger things in exchange. It's worked out great this year. We only had to buys some basics and bottoms mostly, but its also a way for us to pass along Eli's wardrobe to another.   

I'm also hoping to go on a little clothes buying halt for myself in 2019. But we'll see how that goes.

  • Me: $644.63 (up $161.74 from 2017)
    • This was mostly basics.
  • Hubs: $1,187.67 (up $640.60 from 2017)
    • He bought an $800 suit... and it looks yummy on him!
  • Little Dude: $144.27
    • $101 in clothes
    • $43.27 in shoes
    • We only bought Pj's and odds and ends this year from some thrift stores to help round out when seasons didn't match the sizes.
Doctors / Dental / Medical: $2,286.49 (down $300.88 from 2017)
  • Co-pays, dental work, OTC, Prescriptions, etc. 
Pup: $366.48 (down $362.86 from 2017)

Internet: $767.88 (down $12.55 from 2017)

Cell phones: $529.84 (down $73.03 from 2017)
  • $35 car holder
  • $122.97 Phone & case
  • $106.50 Cables, SD card reader, Case, and shield protectors
  • $265.37 trac-phone minute/data cards (two phones)
    • so $22 a month for two phones when you remove the odds and ends.
Fun Money: $956.00 (about $40 a month, each)

Audible: $179.40

Netflix: $213.11

Electricity: $912.31 (down $33.92 from 2017)
Vacations / Travel: $1,661.45 (up $1,020.60 from 2017)
  • $548.65 Utah Summer Trip 
    • 133.22 gas| 170.38 food | 245.07 Costco pills, hike gear and Walmart
  • $910.64 Oregon Family Wedding
    • 182.36 Rental Car; 130 plane; 145.47 - State park fees, entertainment, keepsakes; $54.59 food; 39.60 gas, $284.70 hotel, $73.92 airport parking
  • $202.16 Work plane trip - TB Reimburse
Gifts: $2,246.54 (up $586.69 from 2017) 
  • The increase was mostly Christmas. I was acting Supervisor at work for 7 weeks (gal from the office was out on extended leave) and we had extra $$$$ coming in. We hosted hub's parents for a week and we lumped a lot of extra holiday treats and shopping in this section. 
  • We shopped for larger families this year in our swap a B-I-L tradition.
  • We also had to replace a lot of items for the holidays due to the rodent issue we didn't blog about... but let's just say two rats moved into our outdoor shed and got into everything but our tree and ornaments.
Housing:
  • HOA: $4,305.00
  • Mortage: $9,169.00
  • Insurance and Prop Tax: $4,030.67
  • Renovation: $12,474.64
    • Paint, closets, front door, interior doors, New shower/tub
REI/Outdoors: $2,385.20
We spent so much money at REI and on hiking gear that I tracked it separately.. 

 $ 528.82 REI hammock, clothes 
 $ 114.84 REI - Sleeping Bag 
 $ 384.07 Hiking Shoes/Pants 
 $ 54.47          Hiking Pants - Me
 $91.35          Hiking
 $ 327.37 REI - Backpacks and Bladders 
 $ 83.81          REI light and hammock 
 $ 45.87          REI???? 
 $ 27.65          REI - Top/Compass 
 $ 48.37          REI adventure pass
 $ (59.08) REI 
 $ 315.52 REI (Pants, shirts) 
 $ 144.76 REI (Pants, shirts) 
 $ (105.52)  REI
 $ 129.24 REI (Replacement boots, shirt for hubs, butt pads 
 $ 59.93          Water Filter/ Hiking 
 $ 125.95 REI (New pack after return, rain jacket, blatter hose covers,  
 $ 67.78          Hub's no soda 3 month reward (cook set)



Discretionary: $3,724.38
This is everything else we spent money on for all of 2018.
 $ 237.70  Movies, OC Fair, Entertainment downloads 
 $ 22.66 Walmart- 3 measuring cups, ethernet cable 
 $ 3.38 Craft Supplies 
 $ 18.48  Hard Drive storage case
 $ 111.98  Turbo Tax 
 $ 82.00 Haircuts 
 $ 7.63 Walmart (Sink Plugs, Card) 
 $ 31.51 Walmart (Woolite, truffles, 2 dish scrubbers, 2 spatulas,   
 $ 21.54 Casters for Kitchen Shelves 
 $ 12.15  canning bands/lids
 $ 60.00 lipsense 
 $ 10.80 Running Hip Pack 
 $ 8.51  Workout Gloves
 $ 9.22 2lb Walking Weights 
 $ 6.44  Shampoo
 $ 23.12 Cups 
 $ 33.82 Batteries 
 $ 50.54  box fan, storage bins
 $ 62.84 watch, CD, and magnetic clips 
 $ 18.80 Soap - Keith 
 $ 46.86 Soap - Me 
 $ 16.88 Sunglass clip ons 
 $ 88.51 House supplies 
32.31 swim suit 
29.99 Bulk Hot Sauce
 $ 19.13 Pool and Swim Stuff 
 $ 14.50 costco 
 $ 34.33 Aldi 
 $ 361.98  Portable AC Unit 
 $ 16.50 Cast Iorn Skillet 
 $ 5.17 Handle for skillet 
 $ 16.16 Shoe Goo; sunglasses 
 $ 43.89  make up brushes, microwave bulb,spatula with thermometer, pill case
 $ 16.16 Kohls halloween shirts 
 $ 35.41 Trashcan, hygiene items, plant 
 $ 38.47 Woolite, Walmart pantry, and Eli sick foods 
 $ 51.97   rat repellers, baking soda, hard drive case 
 $ 29.15  Home depot- Rat bait stuff
 $ 21.93 expanding foam 
 $ 39.37  Frying pan and target
 $ 18.60  Glow sticks - halloween
 $ 28.96 Target? 
 $32.31 Shower curtain and house supplies 
 $ 32.30 Sweat Pants, 2 pillows xmas, 2 sets of pillow cases 
 $ 4.93 (2) wooden spoons 
 $ 28.19 Propel 
 $ 5.86  White board + deoderant
 $ 88.61 Christmas Replacement Decorations 
 $ 11.67 Car Seat Travel Cover 
 $ 50.00 roku 
 $ 22.00  tupperware
 $ 11.71 Tool 
 $22.85 Dry cleaning 
 $ 54.64 Cameras 
 $ 19.86 Mints, alarm 
 $ 11.25 expoxi 
 $ 32.55  Fridge handle
 $ 35.00  zip locks
 $ 19.98 Fitbit bands 
 $ 58.99  Keyboard (for Work)
 $ 30.00 CPU Mount (For Work) 
 $ 73.86 Amazon - Computer Mouse, keyboard, foot and hand lotion 
 $ 141.63  printer/ink cartridges 
 $ 34.85 laminator / lamination pouches 
 $ 38.98 Headphones and purse clip 
 $ 16.31 MousePad 
$586.61  plants and gardening (including cacti)
$420.09  Walmart and Amazon odds and ends
















Wednesday, January 2, 2019

2019 housing Comps - 2 bedroom

Each year we pick a benchmark property to compare the cost of living difference between owning and renting an apartment in our general area. As I mentioned in my last post, we have been hypothetically using my old apartment complex for our base numbers for 2018, and a number of years (See Housing Comps - 2 bedroom).

Being a natural "shopper" I browse the internet each year in search for comparable housing situations just in case something better comes our way.

The current hypothetical unit from last year is now renting for $2015- $2,125 a month, plus a $35 pet rent. Thankfully our dog is not on the restricted breeds list. Now, this apartment is not in the city we live in, but it is commutable distance to all of our jobs and its been a deal for a while year after year. But I pulled some local numbers too from the city we currently live in:
  • Option B (closest distance wise to our current home) $2,161 + $50 pet rent 
    • ($600 security, $500 pet deposit)
  • Option C: $2,035 - 2510 + $50 pet rent 
    • ($600 security, plus $500 pet deposit)
  • Option D: $2,030 + $50 pet rent 
    • ($500 security, $500 pet deposit)
Additionally, I actually found two units available for rent in our complex. Since I like to talk full disclosure, the rent for these two places was $1,700 and $1,875 a month, with the pricier unit closer to our actual living conditions than the cheaper one. Both of these units are owned by private individuals, have no AC, are on the top floor, and have a no pets policy. I'm going to be honest here.... we would not actually rent here.

  • Parking is not ideal. No carports, or garages
  • There are no amenities (pool, gym, etc)
  • There is no AC
  • Rental units have no upgrades and are stuck with original infrastructure, including backwards windows which are not efficient and do nothing for sounds. 
You might ask why we would OWN a place we wouldn't rent:
  • It is within our budget and will ultimately makes us enough $$$ to afford a detached home. 
  • As the OWNERS we can modify the floor plan to suit our needs (AKA built ins for more space, tearing out closets, fixing flooring, replacing appliances, etc.)... and we can improve the property like doors and windows for security, more comfortable temps and less noise from neighbors.... 
All of that combined makes the short commute to my work, proximity to a public park, etc worth it.
  • Even more so, when I hated our bathroom shower even after re-surfacing the tub, we replaced it (blog to come on that project). Hubs doesn't have to duck to shower now at a full 6 foot 5 (find an apartment that will do that), and I can soak in a deeper tub at the end of a long day.
  • another big thing was our windows and doors were horrible (backwards with jams on the doors that didn't seal properly). The front door didn't actually close well in the jam, and the previous landlord wouldn't even fix the heater... The house was cold, the sound from the neighbors was horrible.... so we did something about it. New windows not only provided temperature regulation, but now I can't hear the kids running around outside, and our home is well insulated now and not freezing in winter, or hot in the summer since they also reflect the heat from coming into our home...

When I hear the renter horror stories from those who deal with an individual landlord, I want to run for the hills and to the nearest apartment complex. So with that all being said, no we wouldn't rent here, but I wanted to include those numbers as a reference point because even those rates are higher than last year.

To make a long story shorter, we are going to keep using my "old" apartment as a baseline for our comparison. The $2,015 unit was right along a major 4 lane road, the other 2 "open units" were for $2,125.00, but i'm using the cheapest option there for our base.

Costs Associated with Apartment 

We don't include electric bills below since we'd have to pay for those at either place and both units had Electric stoves, but my HOA fee includes water, gas, and trash so those will be listed in the apartment costs. 

Security and Pet deposits were already paid in hypothetical 2017 ($400.00 + Pet Deposit $400.00), and these are refundable if you live there for 2 years, so if we ever "move apartments" we get this cash back. We will also assume the Washer and Dryer we "hypothetically bought" in

I also slightly increased the utility bills. My first estimate was for 1 person, based on 8+ years ago pricing... and we are a family of three. My numbers will likely be much lower than in reality, but I needed to adjust them somewhat.

We will also assume our now 6 year old washer and dryer (that we hypothetically purchased at the beginning of in 2012) will continue to function, thus eliminating the need for the coin operated laundry rooms at the apartment complex.

Monthly:

  • Trash: $20 a month
  • Water: $100 a month
  • Gas: $50 a month
  • Rent: $2,015 a month
  • Renters Insurance: $15 a month
  • Pet Rent: $35 a month


Total: $2,235.00 x 12 months = $26,820.00

Costs Associated with Apartment 

Monthly:

  • Mortgage: $764.00
  • HOA: $367.50
  • Property Taxes: $285.00 
  • Homeowners & Earthquake Insurance: $51
Total: $1,467.50 x 12 months = $17,610.00

Owning my condo is $9,210.00 cheaper than renting, and that's before the almost $3,000 in equity I gain through just making the minimum on my payments.

  • How is my mortgage so cheap for a high cost of living area? Well, I bought a dump of a condo at near the bottom of the market 10 years ago, renovated it, and held onto it for 8 years before I SOLD IT.  We then turned around and dropped $160,000 from the sale of the first place and used it as our down payment to help us buy our new fixer-upper. So we are living and renovating it bit by bit and doing what we can ourselves while also paying others for their expertise since we have a three year old along for the ride.
We have spent a lot more on repairs and remodel since we bought the unit, but I promise, updates will follow. 

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

2018 living in our condo savings

I'm a firm believer that owning property is a good financial move if your planning to stay in one place for 8-10 years... and I wanted to prove it to myself. When I first bought my original condo at 23, I made a point to compare and track the different costs between renting, and owning... and I was shocked to find how much we saved by owning our residence.

So, each year we review how much it would cost us to rent a similar sized apartment, verses living in our condo. It's been awhile since I have updated our blog, but we have diligently collected our research and tracked our expenses despite failing as usual to actually post content on this space.

For 2018, we relied on our 2017 "apartment cost summary," which included a few things:


  • I picked an apartment in a different city... however it was the same commute distance to our jobs. AND it WAS the city our day care is in, and it was a complex I used to live in so I was familiar with the "would I really live there" mentality. 

We "hypothetically" got a 2 bedroom there for $1905 ($400 deposit)  + $35 in pet rent ($400 deposit)

  • The security deposit is full refundable if you live there at least 2 years... and we'd got a garage to make up for the modifications with some storage.
  • We also assumed our "6 year old washer and dryer" (that we hypothetically purchased at the beginning of in 2012) would continue to function, thus eliminating the need for the coin operated laundry rooms at the apartment complex. 

Costs Associated with Apartment for 2018
We don't include electric bills below since we'd have to pay for those at either place, but my HOA fee includes water, gas, and trash so those will be listed in the apartment costs (the trash, water, gas amounts are based on actual #s from like 10 years ago, so I admit, they are low balled and not fully accurate)... and we assumed that our rent wouldn't go up for the 18 months this place was used as a benchmark.

Initial costs: 

  • Deposit: $400.00 (18 month / 24 months for it to be refunded - paid in 2017) 
  • Pet Deposit: $400.00 (18 month / 24 months for it to be refunded -  paid in 2017)

Monthly:
Trash: $15 a month
Water: $60 a month
Gas: $35 a month
Rent: $1,905 a month
Renters Insurance: $11.00 a month
Pet Rent: $35 a month

Hypothetical Annual Expenses: $24,732.00

Costs Associated with OWNING our Condo
Since we are still in the major "repairs and upgrades" mode to our condo, we are tracking all improvement expenses separately. Don't worry, they are contributing to our "in the hole" amount, but we don't want to count these costs TWICE in our housing expenses, so this is just basic operating costs. I figure in an apartment, I wouldn't be living with part of my house having no flooring... so those costs aren't listed here since that's a choice I'm making while we live AND renovate it at the same time. 

Monthly Mortgage: $764.00 (we round up $0.14 a month)
Monthly HOA: $350.00 - $367.50 (we had an increase in fees 1/2 way through the year)

  • Mortgage: $9,169.00
  • HOA: $4,305.00
  • Insurance: $612.00 (Earthquake and Homeowners)
  • Property Taxes: $3,418.67

TOTAL: $17,504.67

That means it was $7,227.33 CHEAPER to own our condo THAN rent an apartment... and that's with me skewing numbers in favor of RENTING...

I haven't blogged it yet, but that was what it cost us to put in a NEW shower/tub combo when we realized re-surfacing was not the solution! That's crazy!

Monday, August 6, 2018

It's been so long since I updated the blog...

We are still here... Just not regularly posting content to the blog apparently. I've still been tracking our finances each month and keeping everything in my spreadsheet, but I haven't had time to re-post everything for you all here on the blog.

Each year I strive for balance, and eventually i'll get there. We did replace our doors throughout the condo, including our front door with a new steel door and got our new lock on it that's a digital pad so we don't lock ourselves out of the house if we forget the keys, but we've been in a bit of a summer holding pattern. Work got REALLY busy for me this spring and summer. I moved into a new work facility, had 2 grand re-openings, added new programs, and just finished my last "large scale" city event that i'm in charge of for the year, so with all of that behind me now, I'm hoping to finish painting those new doors we put in and get some pictures up here on the blog, eventually.

Once the doors are painted, then we can get our floors re-done.

While we wanted to do consistent flooring throughout our home (tile), unfortunately we would have to pack up everything we own and put it in a storage unit and move out for a while because we don't have a garage to store everything in... so instead, we are going to re-tile everything but our master, (which we will eventually put carpet in) so we can put all of our furniture in our room and will likely get a hotel for a couple of days because my mom wasn't thrilled with letting us stay a couple days at her place while our floors were done.  So, floors eventually.

We are also considering replacing our whole shower/tub combo. We paid to have it resurfaced, but we think we are going to quote out a replacement because our shower knobs (not the decorative ones, but the stuff that connects to the pipes), really needs replacement and the enclosure is just crappy.

So we might replace the shower/tub first, then do the floors...

and we will probably pay someone to put in the base boards too... I just don't think we have the time with a toddler running around the place and hubs isn't that great with a caulking gun... but this is still to be determined. It might be a slow long process of mine.

Now for a photo dump of highlights from the last few months!


I gardened this year.... all from Seeds.... :) We have to hand water everything but we grew zucchini, tomatoes, radishes, spinach, basil, strawberries, sunflowers, and a few other things that's didn't take off.



We have spent a ridiculous amount of money at REI this year... and we have taken up the great outdoors... hiking, walks, and hubs hopes to climb a mountain later in the month and do a peak. 




I won a couple of professional awards at work in my field :)


Roxy is still well and with us and occasionally enjoys hammock time with us when we set it up.

Little dude is rocking being 3 with awesomeness. He started a new summer camp program and starts preschool this fall at a new place and it's amazing and in the city I work for, which is just awesome and cuts my commute to drop and pick him up!