Tuesday, November 26, 2013

My Dedication

Where have I been?  Life – let me tell you, has gotten the most of me lately.

I’ve been attempting the biggest DIY of all – Life. Parenting. Working. Being a person. Blogging.

Night after night, I put the kids to bed. I clean up the messy house.  I sit down and grab my laptop.  I WANT to blog. I want to write to you all… but I pull up my work instead. The “day” job. Except it’s now the day and night job.  Don’t get me wrong I LOVE MY JOB… more than a person should love their job because it’s actually consuming my life.  But, I’m okay with that.

But, PBJstories.com is taking a small hit. I don’t have the time to DIY all weekend, instead I’m playing games with the kids, teaching my son how to sound out words so we can read together, and trying to get baby girl to take her first steps.

I want this blog to be more than just start-to-finish DIY project tutorials.  I want you all to know me. To live with me. But when it comes time to write a post, I can’t get myself to write one that isn’t a complete DIY tutorial.  However, I have to make a decision right now.  Do I continue PBJstories.com?  Do I let you all live with me…and that means sharing what our days are like in this crazy filled home with me and my two kids.  Stories about how Jackson changes his outfits at least 5 times a day into new creative and fun super hero costumes…because right now – that’s my life.  That’s the stories of PB&J.  Or, do I keep trying to push the fact I only publish posts that are full complete DIY project tutorials.  Though, as readers of PBJstories.com may realize, those are happening less and less.

I’m curious to hear what you think.  What do you enjoy reading?  I mean don’t get me wrong, Jackson is HILARIOUS and I’m sure you’ll agree!  Will you keep me in your inbox if I share more PB&J stories, if it means more blog posts?  Or do you visit just for the DIY tutorials?

If you follow me on Instagram you already get a REALLY big insight to our lives – these kids crack me up.
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#thesekids  Smile

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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

The MUST HAVE DIY Tool for your Garage–and the chance to win one!

I’m often asked what I think my favorite tool is… I usually think of one of my saw’s because they’re a big intimidating piece that I love I know how to use.  But truth be told – my drill is my GO-TO-TOOL.  I use it in almost every single project I do around the house. 

I flipped through a few pages of my blog to put together a quick list of my favorite DIY projects that I used a drill during and I realized honestly, 99% of projects I’ve used a drill.
PBJstories favorite diy projects
Super Easy Picture Shelf
Kitchen Pantry Shelves
Hide-Away Printer
DIY Wood Headboard
Reclaimed Wood Table Top
Reclaimed Wood Vase

A year ago I upgraded my 12v drill kit up to the 18v kit and I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEE the amped up power!

Honestly, a drill is one of the most useful tools to have on hand. 
Turns out, Ryobi agrees with me.  So we’ve teamed up and they’re giving away a
Ryobi ONE+ 18-Volt Lithium-Ion Drill and Impact Driver Combo Kit!!!
Yup. I’m pumped!!!
Ryobi Giveaway on PBJstories.com

This is the perfect chance to start off your DIY power tool collection with a tool you’ll use all the time! Or maybe you already know how awesome drills are, well this is your time to upgrade to the powerful and convenient Ryobi ONE+ 18V Drill.   Or maybe you already have one of your own and it’s the perfect chance to score one to give as a Christmas present! Either way – I suggest you join… now!

Join via the Rafflecopter below (email readers have to click thru to join)

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Monday, November 4, 2013

Hiring the Pro’s for Home Maintenance

A couple weeks ago I mentioned I brought on some help to do some home maintenance that was in much need.  After 3 years of living in our home I realized how bad our siding, trim and vinyl fence had become of filth, grime and new colonies of icky things. 

before and after of power washing
HomeAdvisor.com was my go-to source to help me finding the best of the best to come power wash our home.  Did you know that power washing your home is actually a project amateur DIY’ers can do way more damage than good.  HomeAdvisor.com had some great tips to ask companies when speaking with them to make sure I felt safe and secure with the job they’d do.  But, that’s only if you want to hear if for yourself because HomeAdvisor only selects the best of the best for their suggested pro’s. 

Here’s a little snapshot of the amount of information their site can provide about the job you’re looking for:
Powerwashing tips
If you’re not familiar with HomeAdvisor.com just a quick wrap up:
Any home maintenance type of project that you need to hire pro’s for…you can ask for help finding the right Pro company for you.  You put in a request for whatever task you’re looking for and they’ll reply with a handful of companies that meet your requirements and have the highest recommendations.
You can research your project and find the average cost, and whatever information you may need to know about it first.

I was really pleased with the company I selected because of the results.  But to be to be honest I was a little nervous at first, the morning of project day I received a call from the team asking “if I really want my fence washed?” He was asking because one of his power washers broke and he was going to have to go purchase a new one before heading my way if I wanted both the house and fence done. I was a little thrown off by this, and asserted him that Yes, I very much want my fence washed.  He arrived about three hours late, but with a new power washer. 

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They jumped on the project right away…. it was kinda cool to see.  First they sprayed the home and fence with a chemical mix to break up all the ickiness.  Then followed up with the power wash of water to clean the surface.  Ready for some action shots?

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Watching them up on the ladder freaked me out, I could not have done that!

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MY GOODNESS ---- do you SEE that line of clean?! Goosebumps just thinking how bad it was before. (stop judging me)

Here’s a line of before/after shots in case you’re wondering if power washing your home is worth it:

BEFORE:
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AFTER: 
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BEFORE:
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AFTER:
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BEFORE:
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AFTER: DSC_0089b
Here is one spot I was a little disappointed with…our front porch column was filthy just like the rest. 

Here’s the BEFORE:
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AND AFTER:
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I understand since it was a painted surface power washing can do this if the paint is chipping prior too it.  However, I was disappointed with the team because they didn’t “warn” me when taking me on a tour of the results.  They didn’t say anything about it actually.  I just felt they should have provided an explanation at least.

Overall I’m pleased with the job, and the company even though there were a few faults.  But that is with the company, my overall experience with HomeAdvisor.com was wonderful and will be my number one source for finding the pro’s.

Let me know if you think you’ll be adding this to your bookmark list and using them for your next pro project!

I was compensated for the value of the project and for my information about HomeAdvisor.com.  However all opinions are mine – in fact I had this post written before the opportunity came to work with HomeAdvisor!
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