DIY End of Driveway Fence

Here's one way to keep your kids a little safer this summer. You could buy an end of driveway fence for around $100, or you could make a driveway fence for about $20.  This is an incredibly easy DIY that will give you peace of mind that bikes, balls, and kids will most likely stay out of the street. Of course I'm still out there watching like a hawk, but you get the idea. It's easy to put up and easy to take down, so why not have a one around for added peace of mind.

 You need:
1 roll of 3' tall fencing (Home Depot)
1 - 10" length of 3/4" conduit (cut down to size)
1 - 10" length of 3/4" class 200 PVC pipe (cut down to size)
2 - 3/4" PVC caps
2 - 3/4" PVC pressure slip/ edge adapter
2 - 3/4" PVC threaded plugs
Approximately 8 zip ties

Pound the PVC pipe into the ground.

 Insert the conduit into the PVC pipe in the ground on both ends. Stretch the fencing across to the desired length and fasten with zip ties. 

When you want to remove the fence, just pull it out and cap off the PVC pipe.
That's it!



doTerra Essential Oil GIVEAWAY!!!!!!

We are beyond excited to host an amazing doTerra essential oil giveaway!  By entering this giveaway you have the chance to win a bottle of Frankincense!!  This is liquid gold people!  It is truly one of the most incredible essential oils.

When in Doubt... use Frankincense!

At the bottom of this post you can enter this incredible giveaway!

We first want to thank Misty, our new friend, who has made this giveaway possible.  Steph and I are firm believers that these oils work.  We have both used them ourselves and have used them on our darling children.  There are so many wonderful health benefits that can be found from these natural and pure products.  

Below Misty has given some GREAT insight into essential oils and proves that they are truly for everyone.

 The most common question I get is “what exactly are essential oils?” "Essential oils are the volatile liquids that are distilled from plants (including their respective parts such as the seeds, bark, leaves, stems, roots, flowers, fruit, etc.). These essential oils embody the regenerating, oxygenating and immune-strengthening properties of plants. The oils are so small in molecular size that they can quickly penetrate the skin and are also lipid soluble and capable of penetrating cell membranes, even if the membrane has hardened because of an oxygen deficiency. Every cell of the body can be affected by essential oils within 20 minutes. Essential oils are antibacterial, anticancer, antifungal, anti-infectious, antimicrobial, antitumor, antiparasitic, antiviral and antiseptic. They have been shown to destroy all tested bacteria and viruses while simultaneously restoring balance to the body" - Modern Essentials.

With countless essential oils on the market, it’s important to know that all essential oils are not created equal – in fact, most come bearing caution labels (do not take internally, for aromatic use only, do not use undiluted on the skin, etc.) because the bottle contains an altered product. Most essential oil companies will fill their bottles with synthetic fillers and chemicals to keep costs low and in turn drastically altering the life-changing benefits the essential oil once had. Because doTERRA set out to have the safest, most effective essential oils available, all their oils are distilled from contracted global growers where the plant naturally grows indigenous then they are sent out to a third party testing facility to undergo 7 different purity and safety tests – oils that contain no contaminants are given doTERRA’s prestigious Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade essential oil label. Because of the safety and purity, doTERRA’s essential oils are safe for all members of the family including babies, pregnant women and pets to use aromatically, undiluted topically (with the exception of some “hot” oils such as oregano that are recommended to be diluted to minimize skin sensitivity) and internally. Essential oil usage should always be researched by using www.everythingessential.me , an amazing resource to look up different health concerns, essential oil recommendations, and how to use the oils. The Modern Essentials book (available for purchase online) is also an extremely valuable tool that goes in depth on each essential oil and various health concerns. You can easily save time and money by treating health concerns, making homemade products, cooking and cleaning with essential oils just by using the natural properties of the oils. doTERRA has changed countless lives including my own – thanks to someone sharing doTERRA with me, I am no longer dependent on my asthma inhalers and medication. I’m forever grateful for the gifts of the Earth and those who are working to spread the message of natural wellness through teaching and sharing doTERRA.  Choose to change your life.

And just to convince you a little more... here is an awesome little clip that will teach you all about the most incredible Frankincense essential oil.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Misty Totzke


DIY: How to Refinish Harwood Floors

After much study, and a few quotes from companies telling us they could refinish our floors for somewhere around $1,500.00 (about $3.50 /sf), we decided to tackle the job ourselves to save some cash. It was probably one of the best decisions we made because it wasn't as difficult as we imagined and yes, it did save us a lot of cash. This project cost us about $370 total. We learned a few things along the way, so here we go.

Before Pictures:

Supplies: Total cost - $370.

Floor Drum Sander with two sets of 36 grit, 60 grit, and 80 grit sand paper
Wood Filler
Putty Knife
Painters Tape
Ear Plugs
Safety Glasses
Painters Plastic
Stain (we chose Provincial from Minwax - oil based)
Polyurethane (we chose Parks Pro Finish satin gloss - oil based)
Natural Bristle Brush
Lambswool Applicator
Knee Pads
Mineral Spirits
Clean Rags

Tool options for detail sanding (use 60 or 80 grit sand paper):

Angle Grinder with backing pad
Detail Sander
Orbital Palm Sander
Quarter Sheet Palm Sander
Paint Scraper

We started out with an orbital sander and then quickly realized it would take forever to sand our floors with this. We went back to Home Depot and rented a drum sander. The employee told us that 8 out of 10 people who rent an orbital sander come back and rent a drum sander. Save yourself the trouble and just get the drum sander. People avoid the drum sander out of fear that they will sand waves into their floors. We figured out how to avoid this mistake and we will get into soon.

Tape all your edges off carefully and hang plastic sheets wherever possible. Whatever you don't cover, you will have to clean later because of all the dust from sanding. We moved our table into our sunroom. Our fridge and oven went into the family room (sorta convenient when you want a glass of milk with your movie). We kept the dishwasher in place but removed the bottom cover so we could reach far under it.

How to sand hardwood floors with a drum sander:
  • Sand along grain with 36 grit
  • Vacuum
  • Sand along grain with 60 grit
  • Vacuum
  • Sand along grain with 80 grit
  • Vacuum
  • Fill in holes and cracks with wood filler
  • Sand along grain with 80 grit
  • Vacuum
  • Wipe up remaining dust with a rag and Mineral Spirits or paint thinner

To avoid bumps in the floor with a drum sander, follow a few simple steps. The sanding drum is constantly rotating whether in the raised position or lowered position.  So, the trick is to be in forward or backward motion whenever the drum is in contact with the floor.  This means that every time you raise or lower the drum, first make sure the machine is already moving in the direction of sanding.  Also, remember to course-correct only when the sanding drum is in its raised position; this will help you keep the machine balanced and avoid uneven sanding.  Here is a helpful video.

How to sand under toe kick, along edges, and in corners:

With the center of the floors sanded, we just have to sand the detail areas such as corners or under cabinet toe kicks. You can rent an edger that is made specifically for the edges and toe kicks, or you can try any of the detail sanding tool options we mentioned above. We chose the angle grinder because it was very fast and it fit perfectly under the toe kicks. Keep in mind that with an angle grinder, the following can happen: uneven sanding, swirl marks, burn marks if you don't change pads often, and lots of dust. However, for us it worked out really well. We practiced sanding techniques in an unnoticeable area and discovered that swift sanding strokes with the grinder at a slight angle worked best.  Using this grinder saved us a lot of time and money.

 First coat of stain. Spread it evenly and go with the grain or else you will have to sand it again (we had some trouble and had to sand things down again).  Use two people when staining.  The first person applies the stain, the second wipes up the excess. Read the back of the can for more directions.

Second coat of stain for a darker color.

It was a miracle we could walk on the kitchen floor briefly to load some dishes in the dishwasher.

Apply the first coat of polyurethane. Keep it thin and apply with the grain. Use a natural bristle brush around the edges and use the lambs wool for the center. Avoid stirring or working the polyurethane too much as bubbles may form. Follow the directions on the back of the can.

Lightly sand the first coat down according to the directions on the can. We used 120 grit sandpaper.

Wipe up the dust with mineral spirits.

Apply the second coat of polyurethane. We worked at night so everything could dry in our sleep. We had the windows open and fans going to keep the air fresh. 

All done! I love my floors now! They actually feel clean and they look amazing. Next up, cabinets (maybe)!