Free Coloring Page for Grown Ups

Coloring Book for Grown Ups

Are you a part of the growing trend of adults who use coloring as a way to release stress?

My youngest daughter has discovered coloring is a great relaxation activity. So, I’m always on the hunt for free pages that are geared towards adults. (no duckies and clowns!)

Erin Condren has joined the coloring book trend and is offering a free coloring page for grown ups.

Try it! You may find your new zen activity!

If you enjoy it, you can actually get the Erin Condren Coloring Book and Sketch Pad for just $2 (regularly $12)!

To get that price, you need to be new to Erin Condren and you need to shop through my referral link. Shopping through this link will get you a $10 credit. Your $10 credit code will be emailed to you.

The regular cost of the adult coloring book is $12. Apply your $10 credit and get it for only $2!

How I Saved Over $10,000 On Our Kitchen Remodel {And You Can Too!}

How I Saved on Kitchen Remodel

One year ago we became the third generation to own the “family home.” This move was in the works for quite some time before it ever happened.

When you purchase a home that has been in your husband’s family for three generations, you walk the tightrope of wanting to create a home that is uniquely yours while at the same time maintaining those features that hold familiar memories.

I agonized over remodeling the kitchen. The cabinets were original and had been custom built on-site. The tile floors were Pete’s grandmother’s pride. But there was no insulation in the wall behind the cabinets, the floor plan didn’t quite work for our family, and most of the appliances were outdated.

Then I saw this listing on Craig’s List:

Craigs List Cabinets

In case you can’t read my screenshot of the Craig’s Listing: The sellers had just paid $10,000 for these cabinets and had them partially installed before realizing the doors were a different shade of white from the bases. The store from which they ordered the cabinets offered to install all new cabinets and let them sell the mismatched ones.

Y’all. It was destiny. They were the EXACT cabinets I would order if I were purchasing new cabinets. The remodel was on!

We negotiated on the price and purchased the cabinets for just $3,000. By purchasing our cabinets off Craig’s List we saved $7,000 on our cabinets.

Purchasing our cabinets off Craig’s List was the start of our savings. But there were several lessons we learned about remodeling our kitchen using Craig’s List you’ll want to read.

Kitchen Cabinet Roll Out Drawers

Our Craig’s List cabinets even came with roll out drawers!

Now that we had the cabinets and saw the potential for savings, we then set about trying to figure out how we could save money on the rest of the remodel.

The first thing we did was to try to figure out what we could sell in the kitchen to help raise money.

I started with recycling scrap metal. It was a quick and easy $40. Might not sound like much, but it was exactly what I needed. Read on and you’ll see why.

I then removed the cute cabinet drawer pulls and sold them on Craig’s List. Another $30.

The refrigerator was gorgeous. It was stainless steel and the popular french door style. Unfortunately it would not fit with the new cabinet layout.

Refrigerator Sold on Craigs List

We were able to sell the refrigerator for $400.

Bookshelf Built in Refrigerator Nook
We changed the location of the refrigerator in the new layout. We now have a bookshelf where the old refrigerator was.

We started out our remodel with $680 that we had raised by selling what we could salvage in the old kitchen.

No, it doesn’t seem like a lot, but we were able to stretch it and create a gorgeous kitchen by buying used where we could.

The $30 I made off selling the old kitchen cabinet drawer pulls was just enough to purchase these cabinet knobs I found on Craig’s List.

Kitchen Cabinet Knobs

I met up with a lady in the parking lot of a Safeway and bought a bag of 33 brushed nickel knobs. That was less than a dollar a knob. The same knobs at Lowe’s?

Kitchen Knobs

$3.48 per knob!!!! Had I purchased those same 33 knobs at Lowe’s, I would have paid $114.84! I saved $84.84 by buying our knobs on Craig’s List.

Here’s where you should probably read 9 Tips to Search Craig’s List Like a Pro. You’ll learn about search terms, which was really important when it came to these knobs, because everyone calls them something different. Knobs, pulls, drawer pulls, kitchen hardware…. seriously.

I searched Craig’s List for months for the bin pulls I had my heart set on. Alas, we struck out and had to purchase them new. I purchased them from Overstock for just $39.50 for a pack of 25. The $40 I made from selling the scrap metal was just enough to pay for these. This is the second item I was able to purchase in full using funds we had made off selling items from the old kitchen.

Scratch and Dent Dishwasher

Our dishwasher we actually bought a few months before the remodel started. The old dishwasher wasn’t cutting it and I found one at a scratch and dent sale for only $350 – 50% off the price since there was a slight defect. We then were able to submit it for an Energy Star Rebate, and got $50 back!

By purchasing a dishwasher with a small defect we saved another $400.

Old Stove Before Remodel

Perhaps my favorite purchase was our “New to Us” Electrolux dual fuel stove.

Range Purchased Off Craigs List

I struck out several times trying to find a stove I would love. We even drove over an hour away to look at one only to find it wasn’t even close to what was advertised on Craig’s List.

The listing for this stove popped up and within an hour I was looking at it and paying for it.

Here’s the beauty of this stove – it is so new it is actually still under warranty!!!! The couple we bought it from had purchased it a year before they started a remodel. The plans for their remodel included a cooktop and wall ovens – which meant they had to sell their stove.

I paid $1,000 for the stove. If I had purchased it new with the extended warranty, I would have paid $2700!

Finally, we agonized over keeping the GE Monogram range hood. Check out the shape. No one who has ever cooked in this kitchen has escaped banging their head on the corner.Old GE Monogram Range Hood

However, no one can deny it is stylish, complemented the rest of the stainless steel in the kitchen, and most importantly, saved us $2,000.

Kitchen Remodel
While I’m not a fan of the shape of the range hood, it does look nice in the kitchen.

Saving money on a kitchen remodel means compromise. Would I have preferred a pop-up down draft hood that wasn’t a danger to our foreheads? Yes. But the budget was our top priority. Since a fully functional $2,000 hood was already in place, we decided the savings were worth it.

When evaluating your kitchen remodel, figure out what you can keep to save money.

Here’s the breakdown of our savings:

Cabinets Purchased from Craig’s List – $7,000 savings
Cabinet Knobs Purchased from Craig’s List – $84.84 savings and no money out of pocket
Cabinet Bin Pulls Purchased from Overstock – $40 no money out of pocket
Scratch and Dent Dishwasher Purchase – $400 savings
Electrolux Dual Fuel Stove Purchased from Craig’s List – $1,700 savings
Living with the Dangerous Cornered Range Hood – $2,000 savings
TOTAL SAVINGS: $11,224.84

AND HERE’S OUR NEW KITCHEN:

Kitchen After

Kitchen Remodel Craigs List After

Save on Your Next Kitchen Remodel

10 Lessons I Learned About Remodeling a Kitchen Using Craig’s List

10 Lessons for Remodeling Using Craigs List

In an effort to both save money and upcycle materials, we recently remodeled our kitchen using Craig’s List finds.

While we were able to save $10,000 on our remodel, there were definite lessons we learned.

1. IT TAKES TIME

You will need time to find everything you need and/or want for your kitchen if you are relying on Craig’s List finds.

It was 16 months between the time we found the perfect kitchen cabinets on Craig’s List to the time they were actually installed in our home.

16 months.

This is where you really need to embrace the hunt. New items are listed every day and trust me when I say there is good stuff out there just waiting for the right buyer. Patience and persistence will be required to find just the right items.

Make sure you know these 9 Tips for Searching Craig’s List like a pro and you will be well on your way to the kitchen (or bath, or dining room, or laundry room…) of your dreams.

2. YOU MAY NEED STORAGE

While we waited to start work on our kitchen, we needed a place to put our cabinets before we installed them. For us, it meant the cabinets lived in one side of the garage and a car was parked outside.

My best advice to you is to have a plan for where your purchases will be stored and make sure you will be able to live with the arrangements for an extended period of time.

3. YOU MAY NEED TO KISS A FEW FROGS BEFORE FINDING YOUR PRINCE

Not everything on Craig’s List is “as advertised.” In fact, there are a lot of items that might look great in a picture, that aren’t so great in real life. And not everyone fully discloses the truth.

We found a stove I really, really wanted because I just knew from the description it was going to be absolutely perfect. The listing was an hour away in Denver. We found a Saturday to drive up and take a look.

Once we arrived, we found the stove was not at all as advertised and ended up walking away.

While we were disappointed, it is part of the process. After all, once you install something in your kitchen, you will want to live with it for a long time. Make sure it is something you can truly live with for an extended period of time.

This was when I learned to ask for more pictures if the ones in the listing weren’t clear enough. Motivated sellers won’t hesitate to snap a few more and send them to you.

Range Purchased Off Craigs List
It took several tries, but we finally found the perfect stove on Craig’s List

4. MEASURE, MEASURE, MEASURE

You need to know the exact measurements of your kitchen, as well as the exact measurements of your Craig’s List purchase to make sure everything will fit.

This was a HUGE fail on my part.

When we purchased our cabinets off Craig’s List, I was given the measurements of all the cabinets from the seller.

Only they weren’t all the correct measurements. I was told the measurement for the sink base was 33 inches.

It wasn’t. It was only 30 inches.

When did we discover this? Upon installation. I never double checked the measurements!!!

Fortunately, it didn’t really affect the layout of the kitchen. However, if more than one cabinet had been a different size from what I was told it was, it could have potentially blown the entire kitchen layout.

While it didn’t affect the layout of the kitchen, it did mean I had to purchase a special sized sink at full cost. It also meant I could only purchase a sink with one basin – not the two basin sink I really wanted.

The moral of the story is you must measure everything and be precise in your measurements in order for the layout of your kitchen to really work.

Kitchen Remodel Using Cabinets Found on Craigs List
Although I didn’t measure the sink base, it all worked out in the end.

5. CONSIDER HOW YOU WILL GET YOUR PURCHASES HOME

This is another case where you need to measure your purchases.

Remodeling a kitchen using Craig’s List means you will have many oversized purchases that won’t fit into the trunk of a car.

We ended up renting a U-haul to pick up the cabinets we purchased. It wasn’t a large expense, but it was an expense.

6. KNOW WHEN TO HIRE A PROFESSIONAL

The installation of the kitchen cabinets was beyond our capabilities. Our home was built in the 50s and the floor is no longer level and the walls all have a bit of wave to them.

We are good at a lot of things, but construction projects are not one of them. Hanging pictures is about the only home improvement project we can truly say we’ve mastered.

Hiring a contractor to help with the installation of the kitchen meant a professional finish job that will last.

Craigs List Kitchen Cabinets
Our kitchen remodel in progress.

7. COUNT THE PARTS

Again, this is a lesson we learned so that you don’t have to.

When we went to install the kitchen cabinets, we realized we were missing an entire drawer! Luckily, we had hired a professional to do the kitchen install. He was able to craft one and a crisis was averted.

But if you take the time to make sure you have all the parts when making your Craig’s List purchase, you will be ahead of the game!

8. DO YOUR RESEARCH BEFORE MAKING A PURCHASE

One of the items we needed for our new kitchen layout was a new stove.

Any time a listing for a stove that met my specifications came up on Craig’s List, I immediately researched the product reviews for that particular stove.

This research project allowed me to identify any known flaws with the product. Did 150 people complain about the noisiness of the internal fan? Chance are the stove you just found on Craig’s List will have a noisy internal fan.

9. BE WILLING TO CLEAN

Wouldn’t you think if you were trying to sell something you’d clean it first?

Not so much.

Do a fair assessment of your find – is this surface grime or is it indicative of an appliance that was not cared for?

Surface grime you can deal with, neglect you can’t.

Inside the Craigs List Stove We Purchased for Our Kitchen Remodel
The interior of our new stove needed cleaning.

10. NEGOTIATE BUT DON’T INSULT (AND DON’T EXPECT A MIRACLE)

When I negotiate, I always start by asking, “Is this the best you can do on the price?”

If you have a price in mind that you are willing to pay, give the seller some incentive to take your offer. For example, you might have the cash with you and the ability to haul off your purchase right then. This could entice a seller to take your offer.

Please note: When the seller states in their listing that the price is non-negotiable, they mean it. HOWEVER, that doesn’t mean you can’t tell them the price you are willing to pay. Leave them with your contact information and let them know if they haven’t sold by the end of the week, the month, the whatever timeframe, that your offer will be good for that time period.

You never know if your offer will look good after the listing has lingered with no buyers.

Kitchen Remodel

Using Craig’s List saved us a substantial amount on our remodel, and we are pleased with the results. My hope is that you will take what we learned and use it to upcycle materials for your next remodel project!

How to Buy Scratch and Dent Appliances (And Save 50 to 60%!)

How to Buy Scratch and Dent AppliancesDid you know you can save up to 50 to 60% off your next appliance purchase when you learn how to buy scratch and dent appliances?

When we remodeled our last kitchen, I bought a brand spankin’ new fridge from Sears. They delivered it to our house a week or two before it was installed.

While we waited for it to be installed, it lived in the garage, where all the workmen were working.

Once it was installed I noticed there was a dent in the front. It was down low and not highly visible, but the fact remained, I had purchased a brand new fridge and it had a dent right in front!

No one would claim responsibility.

Sears claimed it could have been damaged while it lived in the garage or when my contractor installed it.  (True. I never inspected it when it was delivered and I turned down their installation service since the kitchen wasn’t ready for it to be installed.)

The contractor claimed it could have been damaged at the manufacturer or when Sears delivered it. (True. Again, did I mention I did a dumb thing and I never inspected it when it was delivered???)

All that to say, I lived with a fridge that I had paid full price for but it had a small dent in the front.

And ya know what? I was the only one who ever really noticed.

That’s when I learned that I was a-ok with an appliance with a dent in it – but I sure as heck would never pay full price for one again!

When we started the remodel on the kitchen of the family homestead, I became the expert on buying scratch and dent appliances. Like my new dishwasher.

Scratch and Dent Dishwasher

Can you find the imperfection? Would you have found it if I hadn’t told you there was one?

Dishwasher with Scratch

That rub on the control panel does not bother me one bit. I’m more focused on the fact it holds more dishes than the last dishwasher, it is far quieter to run, and it is more energy efficient – saving me on my water and electric bill.

And I was able to get the dishwasher at 50% below retail price – even though it was brand new – all because of that little rub.

Where to Find Scratch and Dent Appliances

While there are stores that specialize in and only carry scratch and dent appliances, you don’t need to live near one to purchase a scratch and dent appliance.

You can find scratch and dent appliances at ANY store that carries major appliances. Sears, Lowes, Home Depot, Best Buy, and any others will all have a scratch and dent section.

If you can’t locate the section on your own, just ask a salesperson. The store is looking to offload these damaged goods, so they are more than happy to help you find them.

Be Prepared to Shop Around

In order to find the right size and style for your kitchen, you may need to shop around and check the selection at several different stores before finding the right appliance.

Unless you need an appliance right away, this process could take several weeks. You’ll need to hunt to locate an appliance that has the correct specifications and the least amount of noticeable damage.

Don’t be discouraged during this process. It is like a scavenger hunt. And when you find the right appliance at a steep discount, I promise you will be doing a happy dance in the end.

Scratch and Dent Department

The Greater the Defect, The Greater the Discount

Makes sense, doesn’t it? If you are looking for a freezer for your garage, who cares if there is a big old dent in the front – as long as it runs. Am I right? Besides, odds are your 16 year old driver could hit the brake a little too late and you’ll end up with a big old dent in the front anyway.

But not all scratch and dent appliances have dents in the front. There are many, many appliances you’ll find where the dents are in the sides or the back. Or the scratches in the stainless steel are so low, they may as well be non-existent. These may not be discounted to the same degree, but they will still save you a significant amount of money.

If you are shopping for your kitchen, you may want to narrow your search to an appliance where the imperfection is in the sides or the back. These appliances do exist! You just may need to take the extra time and effort to locate them.

Prices are Negotiable

Why are Americans so put off by negotiating? You are about to spend your hard earned dollars on a product the store would love to get rid of.

It never hurts to ask for a steeper discount!

I usually ask, “Is this the best you can do on the price?” If you are an artful negotiator, you could then throw in a few extra comments about the condition and perhaps make it appear like you are actually doing them a favor by offering to take damaged goods off their hands.

On our dishwasher purchase, I was able to get an additional $50 taken off the price, simply because I asked for a steeper discount. HOLLA!

Ask About Warranties

Depending on where you buy your appliance, it may be eligible for a warranty. It is risky to buy a damaged appliance, so this is a huge benefit if your appliance is warrantied.

If the appliance you are buying is a return, most stores will have refurbished the appliance and will offer a warranty to guarantee the operability of the appliance.

Have you purchased a scratch and dent appliance?

FREE Erin Condren Wellness Journal & Budget Book | Just Pay Shipping!

Erin Condren Budget Book Wellness Journal

I adore Erin Condren products. They are so cute they make you happy to get organized.

No lie.

This year she released two new products that will help get your new year off to a great start!

The Wellness Journal is perfect for logging your fitness and healthy eating goals. And the Budget Book will make it easy to keep your finances in order.

Here’s the GREAT NEWS! If you are new to Erin Condren, you can get her new Budget Book and Wellness Journal for $1 plus shipping.

First you need to use this link to sign up for their newsletter and promotion. Then, you will receive an email within about 48 hours for $10 off your first purchase.

Once you have your code, head over to Erin Condren’s site.

Add the Wellness Journal and the Budget Book to your cart. You can find them under “Accessories”. Your total will be $11.00. Use the coupon code you were sent to take $10 off your order.

The total cost of both books after coupon code is just $1!  You just pay the shipping!

Although I’m showing you how to get these 2 books for $1, you may find you want to use your credit on a life planner. It is probably the most awesome organizational product on the market. My life planner makes me happy – which is saying a lot since I’m chronically allergic to organization.

2016 is your year to get organized!

Use These 9 Tips to Search Craigslist Like a Pro

Tips to Search Craigslist

Oh how I love my Craigslist. I’ve used it to remodel my kitchen. I used it to save 50% off a set of snow tires. I’ve used it to create an exercise room.

Ok, so maybe I actually have just an exercise corner – not a room. Indulge me.

The point here is, Craigslist can save you a bundle of money and makes it not only easy to “upcycle” but to “upgrade.”

Before you go hunting down your own Craigslist treasure, you’ll want to read these 9 tips to search Craigslist like a pro.

Tip 1. USE KEYWORDS

This is where you need to think about exactly what you want.

Let’s say you need a set of adjustable weight dumbbells. That’s what you’ll want to search first.

Next, you’ll want to look up just dumbbells. Then, you’ll want to look up weights. Keep going and try exercise equipment.

To search Craigslist like a pro you need to think of taking your very specific search and working out to a general search. You might know that you want a Herman Miller Aeron C for your desk, so that would be your first keyword search. The seller might know they have a desk chair but have no idea people are really excited by a Herman Miller chair. So your next search might be desk chair.

Tip 2. USE MISSPELLINGS

I’m of the opinion you never 100% learn to spell. There are always those words that present a challenge.

For example, avocado always trips me up. Shouldn’t it be avacado? That’s how I say it.

Anywho.

When you are searching Craigslist like a pro, you’ll want to search as many misspellings for your keyword as you can possibly imagine.

Here are some examples of common Craigslist misspellings:

6 Common Craigslist Misspellings

Need an armoire? Try armoir, armwore, armiore. Searching for a dresser? You’ll also need to look for a dressor. Or, you might find a great table when you search tabel. Is it a dining room table? Or is it a dinning room table?

You get the picture.

Tip 3. SEARCH BY GALLERY

The default search on Craigslist takes you to a classified style list. It has the title but no picture. Craigslist pros want to see the photo listings – not have to click on each one.

That’s where gallery view comes in.

Craigslist Gallery View

Type in your keyword. When your results pull up, click on the Gallery View button to be able to see at a glance if the listing is something you want to investigate further.

Awesome, yes?

 Tip 4. SEARCH BY MAP

The awesomeness doesn’t end with gallery view. Now you can also search Craigslist by map.

Search Craigslist by Map

This view makes me giddy. You can see exactly where the listing is located!

Again, you’ll want to enter your keyword into the search bar. Then, when the search results are returned, you’ll want to click on the “MAP” button.

Once it pulls up the map, hover over the number. If there are multiple listings, Craigslist will drill down to that particular area and show you a new, more detailed map of those listings.

Listings may be more appealing based on their proximity to you. Or, they might be more appealing based on their proximity to the more ritzy parts of town.

Tip 5. USE THE | IN YOUR SEARCH

Let’s say you are looking for furniture for your kiddo’s room. And you know you need either a bunk bed or a trundle bed.

Take a little looksy at  your keyboard. See the key above the enter key? That’s where you will find the | key.

Into the Craigslist search bar enter bunk bed | trundle bed. Your search results will now show you all the bunk bed and trundle bed listings all at once.

Tip 6. USE THE – (MINUS SIGN) IN YOUR SEARCH

Now let’s say you’re a Pottery Barn fan. And you just want to see what Pottery Barn items are out there.

Except you just bought a Pottery Barn bed. So you know you don’t need one of those.

In the search bar enter Pottery Barn -bed. Craigslist will filter out any results that include the word “bed”.

Tip 7. USE QUOTATION MARKS

So a curious thing happened when you searched for bunk beds. You learned there is a RV/trailer/5th wheel known as a bunk.

To make sure those trailers don’t show up in your search results, you’ll want to search for “bunk beds” using the quotation marks around your search term. That tells Craigslist you just want to see bunk beds.

Tip 8. SET A MINIMUM AMOUNT ABOVE $1

Dealers and scammers post their listings at $1. They do this so if you set your view to show from the lowest price to the highest, you will automatically be shown their listings first.

Make it a habit to set your minimum price to 2 to filter those listings out.

Craigslist minimum price

Tip 9. USE AN APP

There was a time when I was obsessed with finding a dual fuel range. (other search terms: duel fuel range, dual fuel stove, duel fuel stove, “dual fuel”, “dual fuel” -truck)

Instead of spending every free moment popping onto the computer to see if a new listing was up, I used the cPro app for my iPhone.

While the free functionality of the cPro app is good, I did spend the $2.99 for the notifications.

For $2.99 I found the perfect range and saved $2,000. I’d say it was worth the investment, wouldn’t you?

So tell me fellow Craigslist pros, what did I miss?

FREE Online Class: Perfect Pizza at Home

perfect pizza at home

Learn how to make Perfect Pizza at Home with this FREE online class!

You’ll get 5 online lessons that you can watch whenever it fits into your schedule.

During this class, you’ll learn how to make 5 different doughs including a gluten-free one!

Family pizza and movie night has always been a hit in our house. We love to each be able to customize our own pizzas according to our own tastes.