Search This Blog


Monday, February 8, 2016

Exciting News!

Hi all!

We brought Belle our blue merle Sheltie with us on this trip.  She was expecting and due while we were gone.  Although my 22 year old son stayed home this trip, he has a full time job that keeps him busy and away from home from 7:00 in the morning until around 6:00 at night.  He takes care of the dogs normally while we are gone, but I did not want him to have to deal with puppies too!

So we loaded a large crate and a very large Belle the morning we left.  That was this past Wednesday.  Thursday evening she decided to bless us with 5 warm, squiggling little pups.  We ended up with two blue merles (1 male and 1 female), two trip colors (1 male and 1 female) and one that I believe is called a cryptic blue.  She is trip color like dad, but on her nose, one ear and a couple spots on her back are blue merle.  They are all adorable!

All of them are doing very well.  Belle is a super mom and did not need any assistance and she actually seems to be enjoying the trip.  You can see how adorable they are in the couple of pictures here.

Now we get to watch them grow while on the road.  This will be a new experience for us, and Belle, so I will share some photos occasionally to show you how they are doing.

Stop in again soon!

Vacation GC Giveaway Update

Hey neighbors!

We have just added a $5 Boston Market GC to the giveaway!  I know, I know, so far most have been food oriented, but I promise we will be adding some new ones.  Be sure to comment and then leave some comments on our non-giveaway posts to gain more entries.  Who knows how many cards we will add.  Keep checking in to see!

We are presently in Alabama.  We have stopped in Tennessee, Georgia, and we are headed to Louisiana before heading back into Florida.  My daughters will be going on a 5 day Southern Gospel Music cruise, while my husband and I spend those 5 days in Orlando.

Thanks for stopping in.  You can find the post to enter, HERE.

Have a GREAT week!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Transform Your Loft/Attic from Beast to Beauty

Loft conversion is one of those daunting jobs on a lot of homeowner’s lists. People often acquire property even if the loft isn’t all that pleasant. Guests won’t see it, so why worry too much about it? We’re just going to use it to store junk anyway, right?

Many dream of converting their loft into a space they will use, but the task seems so large. The tragedy is that a loft has so much potential. You could have a whole new room! If you’ve been putting off the task, here’s some advice that we hope will get you on the track.

Decide what you want to use it for

The whole task is so much easier when you have a clear goal in mind. If one bathroom in your house isn’t enough, you could get yourself a second one, even better than the first! If you still want to keep the space for storage, then why not making it more presentable? You could convert a loft filled with dusty books into a personal library. Telling your friends you have a library at home is a lot nicer than complaining about the dank attic. It could be the greatest home addition you’ll ever make!

Make room!

The least pleasant task is often the clearing out of the loft. If it’s been left for years, as many lofts are, there may be several problems lurking. Wooden materials may have rotted, or become splintery. The dust will be everywhere, and it will be thick. Insulation materials could be falling apart, leaving a lot of rubbish everywhere. There’s also all that junk you’ve put up there yourself to consider!

Get yourself the right equipment. Tough gloves, safety masks, and torches are a must. Comb through your belongings and get rid of the things you no longer need. Carefully remove any excess wood and plastic, and prepare it for the trash. If you end up with a huge amount of stuff you want to get rid of, hire a leading rubbish removal service to assist you.

Talk to a professional builder

The lofts in many houses were often built without fun use in mind. The structure may only be enough to support the roof. You may need to get professional advice if you want to install new systems in there. They will be able to provide safety advice, and will know how to build around plumbing and heating systems you may have up there.

Let there be light!

Many lofts/aeeics aren’t well lit. A single, weak bulb is usually what I have to deal with! Torches are good, but when working you may need both hands. A great way to deal with this is to get yourself a portable LED light. These allow for hands-free, powerful lighting. Best of all, LED is very energy efficient. Just don’t look directly into them!

It may be tempting to consider installing a window. Letting some natural light in could help inspire your building and design plans. It might be best to leave the window for last, though. You might end up building one exactly where you want to build something else later!

#Dogwood52 Photography Challenge - Week 5!

Hello Neighbors!

This is Modesty here.  Some of you may know, but I am in the process of starting a small photography business.  The beginning of this year I decided I wanted to start participating in one of the photography challenges, and after looking at several of them available I went with the #Dogwood52 Photography Challenge.  There is a different assignment each week that is in one of three categories (portrait, landscape, and artistic impression).  I have enjoyed it tremendously so far, and look forward to the coming challenges.  I will be sharing each week's photo/s here for you all to see, and I would love your thoughts on them.  If you're interested in seeing some of my other photographs, you can visit my website at  Feel free to share photos, but please link back and give credit to Memories by Modesty.

Week 5 - Black and White Landscape 

Friday, February 5, 2016

Great Tips For Increasing Your Home's Value

As always, the property market is fast-paced and lucrative. I’m sure you know someone who’s had a pretty interesting experience with the property trade, for better or worse. Like an increasing number of people, you might be looking to turn a profit from a home you own. There are a lot of ways you can secure a good price. Here’s how to touch up your home for maximum profits.

Source: Flickr
The first thing you need to do is scan for any major pitfalls. Forget the ugly wallpaper that’s always been in the guest room. You need to make sure that this home serves its basic function as a home. It may be worth hiring a home inspector, as they’ll know exactly what to look for. Faults in the electricals and insulation are the biggest things which can bring down the value of a home. Other fundamental areas like the plumbing shouldn’t be ignored. Getting these jobs out of the way first will also help you draw up a more accurate budget for the whole project. You may have to call in services like Restorationeze to take care of water damage. These aren’t cheap, so make sure you know what you have to spend.
Next up, try to do whatever you can to increase broadband speed. A home’s internet access is now being dubbed the fourth utility, along with gas, water and electricity. Broadband speed is already a big addition a lot of people consider when selling. This is only going to become more and more prevalent, so make sure your broadband keeps up with standards. Look around for superfast options. These make use of cable and fibre optics, and aim to give users the smoothest experience possible. If your area has poor reception, then consider a satellite broadband option. This will involve fitting a dish to your roof, so make sure you do all your budgeting beforehand. There are other, simpler steps you can take to improve the Wi-Fi in your home.

Source: Pixabay
Finally, spend some time on the garden. This isn’t going to be at the very top of many house hunter’s lists. However, if you looked around a home and saw that the garden was grossly neglected, you’d be pretty turned off buying it wouldn’t you? Having a feature in the garden can often be the tipping point for people looking to buy. You might want to have it landscaped to have a sunken area of the turf, and buy a fire pit. Or, if you think your home will attract families, set up a climbing frame or treehouse for the kids. A focal point as simple as a modest statue may be enough to bump up the value of your home.
There you have some of the most important tips to increasing the overall value of a property. The work doesn’t stop there though! There are a variety of other things you can utilise in order to improve the value of your home. Keep working at it, and you’ll get the sale you want!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Why Your Family Home Needs a Garage

If you don’t have a garage on your premises already you might want to change that. There are so many advantages to having a garage as a family. You’ll benefit from the extra space and visual appeal it offers the home. It’s one of those great home additions you’ll be glad you made in the long-term. If you’re still unsure then check out these reasons why you might need a garage for your family home.

Somewhere to Keep the Car
The main reason a lot of people have for getting or wanting a garage is to have somewhere to keep the car. Being outside all the time leaves your vehicle exposed to the elements and the potential of crime. But, with a garage, you don’t have any of those problems. You can keep it safe behind your Carteck garage door, and know that it’s safe and sound. Your vehicle is an important part of your life, and you need to make sure you look after it. By having a garage you ensure the car is protected and will last much longer.
Let’s be honest, we could all do with a little more storage space these days. We tend to be hoarders, and here never seems to be space to keep everything we want. That’s why any chance of extra storage space is something you need to seize with both hands! Well, the good news is that one of the major advantages of having a garage is the storage space it offers you. Think about how much stuff you need to store, then how much space a garage offers. It’s a no-brainer really, so you need to think about having one built as soon as possible.
Increases Value
Look at ways you can improve your home for the future and how you can increase value. This is something you should always keep one eye on when it comes to your property. And the good news is that a garage can help to increase the value of your home. It provides a functional purpose, as well as looking great, and this is always the best way to add value. By adding a garage to your property, you stand to increase its appeal and value. This is essential for the future when you may be looking to sell your home.
These days we lead such busy and hectic lives that we need to try to be as efficient as possible. And a garage, believe it or not, can help with efficiency in a number of ways. For one thing, it acts as a barrier between parts of the home and the outside world. So it can be instrumental for preserving heat in that respect. But it also presents a level of convenience to you as well. You see, you need to look at how you can add efficiency to your life. You can exit the home directly into the garage and be in the car in mere seconds. Plus, because the car hasn’t been kept outside it’s likely to start much more quickly.

Aesthetic Appeal
You should always be looking for ways to improve the visual aesthetic of your home. You could do this through painting, decorating and repair work. But you can also do it by way of extensions. A lot of people choose to have a conservatory or something added to the home. So, instead, your extension should be a garage. This will add a lot of aesthetic appeal to your home, and will certainly draw the eye. Think about how much more grand the front of your property will look with a garage added. The goal is to make sure you are happy with the way your home looks, but also to make other people notice too!
Protect Against the Weather
A further obvious benefit of having a garage on the premises is that it protects against the weather. Leaving things externally can cause a negative impact in harsh conditions. But sometimes it just isn’t possible to store them inside. So you need to make sure you do what you can to keep hold of them. And putting them in the garage is a great way of offering protection. It doesn’t matter whether you’re storing possessions or your car. You just need to keep them safe from the weather. It’s great to be able to have a garage that allows you to do this. So, make sure, once you get one, that you make the most of it.
If you have space on your property, you need to get a garage for your family home. There are so many advantages to having a garage, as you can see from this list. It’s important to keep your family’s best interests at heart at all times. And the addition of a garage can have a hugely positive effect on family life. You need to start making plans to facilitate this as soon as you possibly can.


Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Amazing Home Additions You'll be Glad You Made

You can and should be thinking about additions you want to make to your home. There are so many different things you can do to your home. So, take a look at these suggestions and consider making them; you certainly won’t regret it.
Wood Burning Stove
If you’re looking for a trendy and effective way to heat your home, you should go for a wood burning stove. This is a brilliant addition to every home and is a modern, trendy alternative to an open fire. A wood burner looks amazing and can be customized to fit in with any room and any design. If you want to make it as energy efficient as possible, you need to get a fan. So take a look at this log burner fan review and use it to help you choose the best fan. This will circulate the heat much better around the room and make the stove more efficient.

Power Shower
Have you ever climbed into the shower and turned it on only to be greeted with a dribble of weak, tepid water? Let’s be honest, we’ve probably all been there before. The problem here is obvious - no power. If you are experiencing this problem, then the solution is to get a power shower. This will fix all of your shower based problems. Now you’ll be greeted by a jet stream of hot and sprightly water. Standing under a power shower is an excellent way of enjoying a wonderful and massaging experience when you get under the shower.
Electric Gate
Think about the cool customizations you can make to your home. Things that will look great but also serve a functional purpose, and raise the value of your house as well. One of the best things you can do to achieve this is to get an electric gate installed on your premises. This will most likely work best as a front gate that you can use to access your property. This looks brilliant, but it also provides an important safety function for the property. There are plenty of different electronic gates you can choose from so make sure you make the right choice.
There are a lot of scenarios in which you could probably do with a study in the home. This is essential for having a place to work and study. If you have a spare room in your home, you might think about turning it into a study. It’s great to have somewhere you can relax and have some peace and quiet, but also to have somewhere to work away from the office. If you’re serious about having one you need to make sure it’s kitted out. So, have a think about the sorts of things you want to see in the study, and then you need to go and get the relevant things.
I often think it’s worth doing what you can to get your home the way you want it. At the end of the day, it belongs to you, so you need to be happy with it. Adding customizations and extras to the property is a great way of making sure it stays as ‘yours’. Follow the ideas on this list, and use them to make sure you are happier with your home.

Why Not Build Your Own Home?

There is a reason that it is difficult to find the perfect home out there. Price is generally one barrier. The truth is that real estate is just getting more expensive all the time. Secondly, finding the right home for you and your family is difficult because it is someone else’s home! Most home buyers start off spending money on a home and then having to spend a lot more to make it into the home of their dreams. Any way you look at it, that is an expensive way of doing business. It is also a costly, time consuming and messy way of getting the home that is right for you. Instead, why not build your own house? Here’s how it can be done.

Decide on your budget.

Work out exactly how much you have to spend. If you have savings or investments it might be time to call them in. Do you have members of the family who are happy to invest in your project? That could be a smart way of keeping business in the family. One solution might be to look at a multigenerational project. Talk to your bank or building society. See how much you are able to borrow. There will be special loans tailored to self build or home build projects. Typically they’ll pay a portion of the money upfront and pay the balance in stages as the house is signed off.

Look for a piece of land

You will need somewhere to build your house. Look around and see what is on the market. It could be worth advertising yourself. You might know someone who is willing to subdivide a section and allow you to build. You will have to get outline planning consent and then later down the track you will have to submit detailed plans. Typically if a plot of land already has planning, it will be more expensive.

Choose a house design

This is where the fun part starts. You will need to start to consider what your needs are. It is fairly straightforward to buy a set of plans, but you should make sure that they are going to cover you as far as regulations are concerned. Do they come with specification for foundations and wiring etc? The House Plan Shop can offer you a comprehensive range of designs to suit all budgets and tastes. Being able to view your plans in 3d will help to give you an idea of the space inside.

Talk to a contractor

Talk to a contractor to see how much it will cost to build your new home. You will be better off if you use a registered and reputable builder. They should be able to offer you a fixed price with a guarantee for completion. That means any overrun will be their liability and the price you will agree will not change. Make sure you know what is covered by the costs. Allow for extras that you will have to pay for such as heating systems, carpets, floor, curtains and kitchen and bathrooms. These items can be costly and it will pay to know how much you need to save.

With everything agreed and in place you will be able to take a step back. Let the process happen. Project manage it by all means if you can, but allow the professionals to do their work. Hopefully in a few months from now you will be getting ready to move into your new home.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Why Your Child Could Benefit From A Dog

Of course every kid wants a dog! They also might like a few cats, some tropical fish and a snake or reptile in your house. One or two might enjoy the idea of owning a dragon or a dinosaur. Kid’s ideas of what makes a perfect pet can be pretty wild. If you have ever thought about giving in to their demands, you might like to think about how getting a dog can actually benefit children in very real ways.

Dogs encourage responsibility.

Any child wanting a dog is going to say they will do everything they can to make it possible. Many parents take this with a pinch of salt, but it often happens to be true. Owning a dog brings a great sense of responsibility and pride into the life of a child.That is going to help them grow and mature. It takes the focus off them as the small person in the family and also develops skills of empathy and patience.

A child’s patience will be encouraged and even stretched. Early delight at the owning of a dog often comes with their first real understanding of responsibility. Bathing, feeding and cleaning can all be challenging. It can be really healthy for you as a parent to let this happen. Make sure that you take some time to agree on a list of chores and day to day tasks that your children will undertake.

It is often surprising how quickly they rise to the challenge. This allows a child to build up self- esteem and confidence. These are qualities that will serve them well and help them grow into mature young people.

Dogs encourage fitness.

Your dog will need and thrive on exercise.Allowing your child to take responsibility for this means that both dog and child have the perfect excuse for staying fit and healthy. Dogs do need a lot of exercise, and you might feel that it is too much to leave dog walks to your children. If you have a fenced in yard though they could spend plenty of time outside, playing catch or just running around thus giving the dog exercise.

Exercise and fitness have very real physical health benefits for both child and dog. At the same time they will provide mental stimulation. This can be a real boost for a child who might not be outgoing for example. It will allow them to develop trust and even self-confidence.

Obedience classes

Dog training classes are the perfect opportunity for your child to step up to their new role. They will have sense of pride as well as a new understanding of patience! They will develop skills that will help them in their own learning.

The truth is that getting a dog might seem like a bit of a nuisance to a busy adult. That is really a very small part of the picture. It could be that move might just be the start of a child ready to grow into a well-rounded, young person. One with a whole new level of confidence and responsibility, not to mention a loyal best friend.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Vacation GC Giveaway Update!

Hey neighbors!

We are leaving on the trip Wednesday.  So, if you don't mind we are going to extend this one a little longer so I can add some gift cards from the actual trip.  So far, Subway and Chick-fil-a.  Keep commenting and entering!  Also, if the Rafflecopter form seemed confusing listing a $5 Subway GC, that has been corrected.  I am going to be adding several more $5 GC as we go along.

Enter HERE.

We have a few giveaways going on and plan to add more so keep watching!

What To Do If You’ve Got A Pest Infestation

We’re coming to the end of the winter, which means that soon spring will be here. While that’s a good thing as it means we can spend more time outside, instead of cooped up indoors. There’s one downside to spring, and that’s that all the pests come out. The chances are that over the winter, pests may have taken shelter in your home, without you even realizing it. Most pests hibernate during the winter, and so you would have no idea that they were there. However, as the weather starts to warm up, you may become more aware of their presence.

Be it rodents, insects or bats, it’s important that should you notice pests in your home, that you know what to do. This is especially important if you have little ones at home, as children and pests just don’t mix. Pests can harm children, can spread diseases, and cause all sorts of other problems. So the sooner they’re dealt with, the better.


Know what you need to look out for

The most important thing when it comes to dealing with pests is knowing what to look for. While it may be obvious that some pests live in your property, others you’ll need to look out for the signs of to spot. For example, if you have a bee or wasp nest in your home - in the walls, roof or attic, you may be able to hear the insects moving around. However, if you have rodents in your home, the only sign of them you may find could be droppings. Another way you can spot mice and rats, and other rodents is by looking for their nests. Using a torch, look around your home, checking in dark corners, cupboards, and any small holes. If you spot a nest, this is a sign that you may have a serious rodent problem on your hands.

What to do if you spot pests

Now you know how to spot them, the next step is to learn how to deal with them. If you have found that your property does have pests living in it, the most important thing is not to panic. Whatever you do, don’t rush into trying to remove the pests yourself, stay calm and think carefully about the best way to fix the problem. While you can eliminate some pests yourself, such as rodents, for a large scale problem it’s best to contact a pest control company. Some pests can be handled by pest control while others need to be dealt with by the local authority. To find out more visit and read the info there. Here you should be able to find out everything that you need to know about pest control, and who can deal with your specific problem.

Prevent pests returning

The most important thing that you can do once the pests have been removed is prevent them from returning. To do this, go around your home looking for any cracks or holes in the exterior walls or roof, as this is often, how insects and rodents get in. Store your rubbish in sealed containers, and make sure that no food is left outside. The number one cause of pests is food that’s been left outside. For all the best tips for pest-proofing your home, check out

So there you have it, several things that you need to know about dealing with a pest infestation.

Keep Your Feet Warm With Wolverine Socks! #Giveaway

Do any of you (or a family member) have a job that requires you to be outside a lot? Or maybe not even a job, just something you enjoy doing outside, even in the winter? If the answer is yes, then I have a product you need! Wolverine is a name well-known for their quality work boots and hiking boots, but I recently discovered they also offer socks. I expected coming from Wolverine the quality would be good, and I was right!

I received two packs of the Hunter Wool Over-The-Calf Boot Socks for review. These are a blend of acrylic and merino wool, so they have the cozy warmth of wool, perfect for being outside in the winter here in the midwest! These socks also have moisture wicking, which means that if your husband puts these on for a construction or farm job, or maybe just to work in the backyard, his feet will stay dry. I love the insulation these socks provide (yes, I tried them out myself, even though they're technically guy's socks). I've tried a lot of different socks with my boots for winter wear, and these are by far the best I've ever worn. When J put a pair on, he was immediately a fan. In fact, he didn't take them off the rest of the day! He loves how comfortable and warm they are.

Another feature of these socks I really like is the ribbed top, which helps the socks stay up. If you've ever worn a pair of boots and had your socks slide down inside, you know why this is so important! These Wolverine socks actually do stay up where they're supposed to be, which means comfort in more ways than just being warm. These are also very thick and cushioned, offering your feet some extra support. I can't get over how comfortable these socks are!

They're even a little higher than my tall boots!
Wolverine is giving one of our readers 2 pairs of Hunter Wool Over-The-Calf Boot Socks!!

How To Help Your Teens Get Into A Good College

Do you remember going on college tours, selecting a few to apply to, then starting the daunting process of applying?  Filling in college applications can be one of the most stressful times of high school life. As parents, it’s only natural that we want to help our kids when it comes to their college applications. However, many of us don’t know the best ways to go about it.

The most important thing when it comes to college applications is to start helping your child prepare early. The earlier they start thinking about college, the better. Ideally, once your child turns 14, you should start talking about the possibility of college with them. It’s important that you get an idea of whether your child wants to attend college. So that you can do everything possible to give them the best chance.

college application.jpg

For everything that you need to know about helping your teen get into a good college, keep reading.

Get them into a good school

This is something that you need to think about as soon as your child starts middle school. If you want them to have a good chance of getting into a high profile college, they need to get the best education possible. If the school that they’re in is a good school, then there’s no need to stress. However, if the education that they’re receiving has room for improvement, it might be wise to think about looking for a new school. Or, if you believe you can give them a better education at home, homeschooling could be ideal.

Help your teen find work experience

One of the most important things when it comes to getting your teen into college is ensuring that they have plenty of experience. As well as encouraging them to get a Saturday job, it’s also worth helping them to find work experience. Regardless of whether they know what career path they want to go down or not, helping them to find work experience is crucial. Ask them if there are any fields that interest them, and find work experience in one of those. Explain that when it comes to applying for college, the more experience they have, the better.

Give them all the support they need with applications

When it comes to applying to colleges, it’s crucial that they get their applications right. Instead of leaving your teen to get on with their applications by themselves, give them lots of support. This means helping them to come up with a unique way to fill in their application.  Reading through every one with them, and doing whatever you can to make the process easier. There are some students who should hire college coaches, as this helps to make applying easier, and doubles their chances of success. If you think that your child could benefit from the help of a college coach, do some research and find a good one to hire.

Take them to open days and college tours

Make sure that you take your child to a range of college tours and open days. So that they get an idea of what college life is like. It’s great to give your teen a little inspiration for why they need to work hard at school. Aim to take your teen to at least three college open days, so that they get and idea of what their options are.
To help make applying to college easier for your child, take note of the tips above.