Parade of Homes

This past weekend my hubs and I attended our local parade of homes, something that the Home Builders Association in our county does each year. This year we got to tour 7 new construction homes and 1 major remodel which were spread throughout our county. It allows you to see the newest styles and trends as well as meet and talk with several different builders in one day without an appointment. We are not planning on building anytime soon. And quite possibly never. But we love to look at houses and see if there is anything that we can incorporate into our own home.

Here are a few of the observations that I made about the homes this year.

The average size of these new homes was 2,600 square feet, 3 bedrooms, and 2.5 baths. The average price of these homes was $390,000! Since I talk about money a lot on this blog it shouldn’t be a surprise that the price tags made my eyes bulge out of my head!

The most expensive house was selling for $520,000. We walked through a HALF MILLION-DOLLAR house people! The thing that struck us most about it was that it wasn’t that impressive. We felt the layout was not conducive to a family. The bedrooms were really far apart, the main living area wasn’t that big especially since it was touted as being ‘great for entertaining, and the lots in this area were right on top of each other so that all you saw from your gorgeous, big windows or your patio was the neighbors. When I personally think of spending that amount of money on a home I think of it being on a big lot with mature trees that would give us room to move about in privacy.

The smallest and least expensive home was a condo in a retirement community with a price tag of $220,000. We did like the layout and size of this home especially for the intended two-person occupancy. However, all the finishes were pretty low end and un-impressive for that amount of money.

One builder asked us if we were looking at building and we told him that it wasn’t an option because we simply couldn’t afford it. His first comment was that interest rates are very low and that he often builds homes for less than his $400,000 model. At this stage in our lives, building wouldn’t make any sense for us. We are working hard toward paying off our mortgage so why would we want to plummet backwards with a new construction? I’ll never say never, but…

Although we always enjoy making a date day out of the Parade of Homes we are content, as a family of 6, in our 4 bedroom, 1,900 square foot house. We are definitely NOT normal and are certainly not judging those that have large and/or expensive houses. To each his own. We are quite comfy and enjoy adding our personality to this house. In the end it will help us to reach the goals we have set for ourselves.

What do you think…are these homes overly large or pricey? Do you live in a large home and love it?

P.S. We were not allowed to take pictures but I would have loved to! You can see the layouts and some details on our Home Builders Assoc. webpage:

Week in Review Sept. 5-10

week in review

The good:

-Had some friends over for Labor Day.

-We replaced our bi-fold closet doors for FREE! Our boys don’t do well with closet doors (they always get pulled off) so we ‘stole’ theirs and put them in our room. Saved us about $120 and made a HUGE difference!

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-The two older kids got signed up for Fall swim lessons

-I purchased 2 gifts (one for each set of parents) for the price of 1 because I hit a 50% off sale!

-Posted 2 things on Craigslist that we no longer need/want.

-Sold a used home school book.

The bad:

-We ate out 3 times! Ugh! Once was all of us, once was the kids and I, and once was just J and I. We have not done that much in a loooong time.

-We went to a home improvement store to buy trim for one of our bedrooms and spent more than we planned on.

Things we are currently saving for:

-Trim for one of the bedrooms ($100-$150 for all doors, windows, and baseboards)

-Buying 1/2 a hog at the end of the month

-Getting our furnace and air ducts cleaned before winter

-Mini getaway for J and I in mid-October

-The other half of a hefty doctor bill.




Master Bedroom Refresh

*Disclosure: I seriously need to work on my photography skills….and not take pictures with my phone! I almost forgot pictures altogether so I guess this is better than nothing…

When we moved into this house 5 months ago, my husband and I claimed the bedroom that belonged to the previous owners son. Hence the bright blue wall…

img_1159edit I didn’t mind the other 3 walls since they were basically white, but that blue wall was a little too bright for me to handle for long.

Since this house was built in the 70’s we also have the wonderful dark trim and doors throughout. Notice the contrast between the bedroom door, which has been updated, and those closet doors!



I had already redone some nightstands to go with my vision for this room so the next project on my list was painting the walls.

First, I ripped out ALL the dark trim. That alone made the room look bigger. Sigh of relief! Then I chose my paint color Icy Waterfall by True Value that I describe as a silvery blue. I took the kids to my mom’s for the day and it was time to paint….the color didn’t look drastically different on the 3 light walls, but boy was it noticeable on that blue wall! Bye Bye!


I did 2 coats and just made it with a gallon of paint. I was literally using a brush to get every.last.drop out of the can to finish.

I bought a $20 curtain rod and hung my new curtains high on the wall to give the illusion of high ceilings. I love how much more peaceful our bedroom feels with just a few hours of work!

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The next items on my list are:

-Changing the outdated closet doors to white 6-panel doors

-Installing white outlets and light switch

-Putting new trim up

I also have a new gray quilt on my wishlist to replace our current sage green one.





Nightstand Makeover

A couple of weeks ago these were our nightstands.


Yes, those are boxes stacked next to the bed. Classy, right? These boxes replaced the nightstands that we had had for quite a few years and just weren’t working anymore. They were too small, too short, and didn’t fit my style anymore. So I sold them and ‘temporarily’ put the boxes in place…for what ended up being 4 years! We were going to build new ones and never got around to it. I looked at just buying some but they are EXPENSIVE! So we kept the boxes.

Recently our neighbor was cleaning out his basement and asked if we were interested in 2 nightstands. We went over to take a look and they were the PERFECT size! Yes!


We quickly brought them back to our garage and I got started on their makeover. It was a very easy makeover but I didn’t take any pictures during the process 🙁

  1. I gave them a quick sanding with 100 grit paper.
  2. I gave them 2 coats of paint.
  3. I gave them 3 coats of Poly-crylic.
  4. I spray painted the original hardware.


That’s it. It took me about a week for each end table just because they weren’t a priority and it was REALLY humid out so I made sure to let them dry a long time between coats. This update cost me nothing since I used paint left from other projects.


I LOVE how they look!!!! I’m so excited that they were free and am SO happy to put the boxes back in the closet where they belong:-)


Week In Review Aug 15-20

week in review

I just realized that this never got posted! Oops! I had it ready to go on Saturday, but oh well. So here is how last week went:

The good:

-We received some free lawn chairs form a friend. I spent $13 on spray paint and they look new again.

-We attended a free concert in the park

-We ate a bunch of veggies from our garden

-We made our monthly college contributions (for the 2 oldest)

-We visited the library and got 2 movies to watch.

-We spent Saturday at the Grandparents with a bunch of family. Potluck meal, fun and movies for the kids.

The bad:

-The kids and I got McDonalds after a busy morning out. We ate it while watching the Olympics.