Thursday, July 17, 2014

Estes SureMove Review

We recently moved all the way across the country with a 2 year old and a 6 week old. As such, we did not want to have to split drivers between a U-haul truck and the car we were bringing, and we certainly couldn't fit all of us in to the truck. Also, our funds were limited, so we wanted to do this move as cheaply as possible. We had some friends recommend Estes SureMove, and it turned out to be a great solution for us.
With Estes SureMove, you pack the front end of an empty 28 foot trailer and take up as much room as you need. You are charged by the foot, so the less room you take up the less money you spend. They park the truck trailer at your home and you have 3 days to load it up. Since we personally couldn't leave the trailer over night at our apartment, we packed everything up in just one day and the trailer was picked up that evening. Then you put up a partition and the rest of the truck is filled with commercial cargo. A driver takes the trailer to your new destination, dropping his commercial cargo along the way, and the same thing happens there: you have 3 days to unload your goods. Again, we did it all in one afternoon and the trailer was picked up that evening.

We were pleased with Estes SureMove. It wasn't perfect, but for the price it worked for us. Their customer service was pretty good, They explained everything well, and accommodated our needs (regarding trailer drop off and pick up location and times).

Our main complaint was that the trailer was really dirty on the inside, so anything touching the floor and some of the walls got really dirty, which then got our carpet dirty in our new place. Not so great. If you can, lay down some tarps or something on the floor to help prevent this.

Also, make sure you pack everything really well. Things get bumped around a lot in the trailer apparently. A few pieces of furniture that weren't covered with blankets got scratched due to the things on top moving around. But if you are a careful packer, you should have no problems.

Find them here

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Rust-oleum Cabinet Transformations

Today I will be reviewing Rust-oleum's Cabinet Transformations. This is a kit that comes in a box that allows you to easily paint your kitchen cabinets. Since my condo, which was built in the 70's, has the original cabinets still installed, our kitchen had a distinct green color. Here are some before pictures (please excuse the mess):

We have a small kitchen, so we bought the small kit, which you can get at Home Depot, Lowes or Amazon. So day 1 we took all of the cabinet doors off, washed them with soap and water, and then scrubbed them with the deglosser. In my case, the cabinets looked better already, less green. We also scrubbed the drawer fronts and the cabinets frames.

On day 2, after the deglosser had dried, we painted an initial coat of the bond coat on to all the door backs and the frames. It was starting to look great. We added more coats every few hours. The box recommends 2, maybe 3 coats to cover it all. But after 3 coats, our cabinets still looked streaky.

Rust-oleum has a money back guarantee on their box, and we were definitely not satisfied, so we gave them a call. Here's the kicker, and some advice for all of you: YOU HAVE TO GET THE BOND COAT TINTED AT THE STORE. We neglected to complete this step because it is only written in one small circle on the top of the box.

They also said the lid to the bond coat was supposed to let me know also.

There is an instructional DVD included that I did not watch. In the instructional pamphlet there is an asterisk next to the bond coat in the "Included in this Kit" list. So it is listed several places I suppose, but none of these places are very large and we completely missed it. Not to mention I wanted the pure white color, so I really didn't think I would have to do anything to it. 

Rust-oleum was nice enough (after a very firm talking to by my husband) to issue us a refund. We debated on how to proceed with our streaky cabinets. After talking to a very knowledgeable paint guy at Home Depot, we decided the best course of action was to just buy another kit and have it tinted this time. Since the bond coat is sort of like a stain and not a paint, it sounded like it would be more trouble to switch  methods at this point. 

So we went home and painted the tinted bond coat over our cabinets. They still needed 2 coats and then some in some places. But they looked so much better now!

The next step is optional: the decorative glaze. You paint this glaze on and then wipe off with the provided clothes to achieve the look you want. We tried this step with the emblem beneath our sink that we wanted to accent. This is how it looked: 

 It was not feasible to keep it just on the emblem, so we ended up doing the whole panel, and it just looked dirty. I've seen it look good on other cabinets, but for us it wasn't working. So we just painted over it again. Instead, we just used some metallic markers to emphasize the emblem.

The final step is the protective top coat. This is just a clear coat that protects your cabinets. We applied it to our cabinet backs first, like the instructions said. Apparently I used a little too much, because some dripped down to the front of the cabinets and turned yellow. If you try to pick it off, you rip the bond coat off too, so I haven't touched most of it. I think I will have to sand it and repaint.

I don't know what happened on the back either, but some of the cabinets have brown spots. 

 We updated our hinges and handles also to really give the kitchen a new look.

Overall, I might recommend this project to someone who has more experience painting than I do. As my mom said, my kitchen went from an F to a C-. Perhaps with lighter colored cabinets to begin with this product would be easier to use. Here are some pictures of the finished kitchen.

Rust-oleum did not pay me to review this product

Monday, April 16, 2012

A few YW activity ideas

Our YW group will be combining with another ward or 2 in a few weeks, and I wanted to gather a list of fun activities for the girls to do.

Scripture Dodgeball - You divide into teams and play dodgeball. As they get out they have to answer a question about the gospel, whether its church, scripture, past prophets, anything. When they get one right they can go back in.

Missionary Tag-In this game there must be an even number of players. Everyone (except for the "runner" and the "chaser") find a partner and link elbows the partners place their free hand on their hips so their free elbow sticks out. The Chaser tries to tag the runner. The runner is safe if he links with a someone. When the runner links on to someone, that persons partner (the person on the other side, must un-link and becomes the runner. Once a runner is tagged, they become the chaser.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Secret Sister Ideas

I just wanted to make a collection of Secret Sister ideas. My favorite things are when you get a little gift and a cute little saying to go with it.

  • Candle or light bulb
    • God is a little like General Electric: He lights up your path
    • Ye are the light of the world
    • A candle loses nothing by sharing it's light with another. "One of the most important ways we nourish our testimonies is by sharing them with others. Sharing our testimonies not only builds others but brings greater "light" and further blessings into our own lives." --Spencer W. Kimball
  • Aspirin
    • God is a little like aspirin: He works wonders
  • Hallmark Card
    • God is a little like Hallmark Cards: He cared enough to send the very best
  • Soap (Laundry, hand, etc...)
    • God is a little like Tide, He gets out the stains that others leave behind
  • Your body is a temple, keep it clean
    • Through the Atonement, our sins can be washed away if we repent
  • Hair Spray
    • God is a little like hair spray: He holds through all kinds of weather - hairspray
  • Alka Seltzer/Tums
    • God is a little like Alka Seltzer: Oh, what a relief He is
  • Tape
    • God is a little like Scotch Tape, you can't see Him but you know He is there!
    • He holds everything together
  • Bunny
    • God is a little like the Energizer Bunny: He just keeps going going and going...
  • Smile
    • It costs nothing, but gives much
    • A smiley face beach ball with the saying: S.M.I.L.E. --Spiritually Minded Is Life Eternal. 2 Nephi 9:39
  • Erasers
    • The atonement can erase our sins
  • Crown
    • Every girl is a princess
  • Seeds
    • Let the scriptures help you grow
    • Faith is like a little seed
    • Plant new and improved goals
  • Shampoo/Conditioner
    • Clean Head=Clean thoughts
    • Staying clean will help us return to live with Heavenly Father
    • Through the Atonement, our sins can be washed away if we repent
  • Ruler
  • Chalk
  • Lip gloss
    • Let your light so shine
  • Compass
    • "The great thing in this world is not so much where we are...but in what direction we are moving"
  • Gum
    • Stick close to your Heavenly Father
    • "Chews" your goals/friends wisely
    • "Stick" to the path that will return you to your Heavenly Father.
  • Elastic Band
    • Expand your desire to serve
  • Lifesavers
    • Be a life saver: serve
    • Heavenly Father/Jesus Christ/Prayer is a lifesaver
  • Taffy
    • "Chews" your goals/friends wisely
  • Chocolate Kiss
    • Don't let the sweet moments melt away...Remember to write in your journal
  • Red Felt Square
    • Let his presence be felt
  • Whistle
    • Whistle while you serve/work
  • R.S.V.P.
    • Read, study, visulaize ponder
  • Clothespin
    • Faith decreases our hangups. hang in there
  • Leaf
    • Let's turn over a new leaf: be a good example
  • Feather
    • Feathers are like gossip. They are easily turned loose and allowed to go where they will, and always difficult to gather back.
  • Pen
    • Draw near unto the Lord
  • Chinese handcuffs
    • Don't be trapped by Satan's snares
  • York Peppermint Patty
    • We comple"mint" you on your desire to serve the Lord
  • Rolos and Hershey's Kisses
    • "Make new friends, but keep the old. For some are silver and other are gold." (with the candy, you gave gold and silver like in the poem!)
  • Cookies
    • Friends . . .they come in all shapes and sizes and colors. Some are soft and sugarcoated. Some are snappy and full of ginger, and some are just plain nutty. We can treat ourselves to many different kinds and there is always room for one more."
  • Lotion
    • For hands that give soothing relief and comfort
    • Use often to soften the roughest of conditions
    • Read the scriptures each day and absorb the teachings in them
  • Apple/Caramel Apple Sucker
    • Like the "apple a day keeps the doctor away" remember also that daily prayers will help keep the adversary away.
  • Sunscreen
    • Protect yourself from against the influences of Satan
  • Band aid
    • Cover and heal the hurts of life with forgiveness
  • Nail Polish
    • Polish off each day with prayer
  • Q Tip
    • The tip of your beauty is charity
  • Perfume
    • The fragrance of cheerfulness is refreshing
  • Emery board
    • Although life may seem rough at times, our trials will shape our lives
  • Sponge/Cotton Balls
    • Apply repentance to your life daily
  • Curler
    • Curl up with your scriptures daily
  • Wash Ups/ Wipes
    • Wipe off any bad habits
  • Lipstick
    • Add color to your life by improving your talents
  • Foundation
    • A testimony is the foundation around which we build our lives
  • Oil
    • The gospel gives you a flow that others notice
  • Comb
    • Comb out the snarls of criticism
  • Mirror
    • A Poem of their reflection and how they should reflect the Light of Christ that they have within them
    • Remember to reflect your values and the teachings of Christ every day
  • Purse
    • Do your "purse"-onal best

And tons more are this site:
And even more here:


Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Survey Sites

When I first got married, we moved from Utah to Los Angeles for my husband's job, and I couldn't find any work for the first six months. So I figured I would make some extra cash doing online surveys. It's not very fast money, but I think it's worth it. Even when I'm working now, I find time to take surveys. When I first started, I would either get a check in the mail or a paypal payout once I had reached enough credit. More recently though, sites have been offering more options, like gift cards and other prizes. I'd like to summarize some of the sites I use for you.

PineCone Research: This site is pretty exclusive, you have to wait until they're allowing people to sign up in order to join. I really like this site though, because you get paid $3 for every survey. That's not too shabby. Also, there are many chances for you to test products. I've tested things like toilet paper, shampoo, and food products. It's pretty fun.

SurveySpot: SurveySpot is a pretty generic site. I get tons of emails from them, but only complete a few of the surveys. You get awarded points, and once you have 1000 points you can redeem them for a PayPal payout, and more recently gift cards to some online stores like Amazon, Sears, and Overstock. The surveys vary in length and difficulty and payout. But each survey you start gets you a drawing into a quarterly sweepstakes (a very popular feature). (Note: It sounds like some people have problems with getting their rewards and having their questions answered by SurveySpot's customer service. I have never had this problem however, so I feel I can recommend it)

Synovate Global Opinions Panel: I'm fairly new to this survey site, but so far I like it. I've only been a member about two months, and I just got my first $5 payout in the form of an gift card (which is my payout of choice). The surveys are kind of few and far between, but pay pretty well. Also, the site is generous and often will give out point gifts. There are several different gift cards you can choose from when you get a payout. This panel also holds a monthly sweepstakes. Click here for a list of gift cards

MySurvey: This is a another good site for surveys. You always get at least 5 points per survey, whether you qualify or not to finish it, which is a nice feature. This site has tons of different prizes to choose from, not just gift cards, which makes it unique. They have everything to choose from : baby and kid items, electronics, home and house ware items, and travel vouchers. An gift card will run you about 1100 points on this site.

J.D. Power Panel: Yes, this is that J.D. Power, but you don't just review cars for this panel (although I wouldn't mind testing them for free!). I have found the surveys here to be few and far between. I have been a member about 2 months and have made about $15, but I need $25 to cash out. I like that this panel doesn't use a points system, it straight up tells you how much cash you have from them. You can cash out with gift cards or PayPal or you can make a donation to one of several charities.

NPD Online Research: This is one of the first sites I joined before I knew much about any of these. If I knew then what I know now, I probably would not have joined. I do receive a survey every week that usually consists of the same questions. From this, I earn about 25-100 points, which you then use to enter raffles. The raffle prizes all sound really nice, but I have yet to win anything, and doubt my chances for the future. Because there is no definite payout, I would not really recommend this site, despite the ease of it's surveys.

Ipsos I-Say: This was another one of those first sites I joined, and apparently I let it go lax and no longer have an account here. They never sent me an email when a new survey was ready. However, I did fill out about 5 surveys through snail mail and earned a few bucks from them. As far as I know, they are a good company with good rewards, but if you're like me and won't ever go there without a reminder email, this may not be the panel for you.

TruePanel: This is an interesting panel that I am fairly new to. The thing that makes this site unique is the fact that a lot of the surveys require you to have a webcam. There are a lot of focus group style opportunities here that can be completed from the comfort of your home. There are also some studies where a phone call to you is required. I haven't quite got around to registering my webcam and phone number, so I haven't had the chance to do much here. Also, it looks like they only have gift card payouts to 3 different places: Amazon, Starbucks, and Endless Shoes.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Scrubbing Bubbles Mega Shower Foamer

The floor of our bathtub has a unique texture that I have the hardest time cleaning. I tried several different products and different methods of scrubbing, even leaving the tub full of bleach for hours, but nothing seemed to work, and the tub just kept getting dirtier down in those little crevices. But one day I came across a coupon and saw this product in the store, and decided to give it a go. Boy am I glad I did. I LOVE this product! It is the only thing I have found that gets my bathtub clean. It took a few times to get the tub all the way clean, but was seeing results the first time I used it and every time thereafter. Not only does it do an awesome job of cleaning, it protects the tub for 4 days (so says the label). It is also super easy to use, there is no scrubbing involved. You just have to spray it on, let it sit, and wipe it away. I don't think I could ask for anything better.

Just a little warning though: the first few times I used this, I sprayed my whole shower, which was an easy way to clean it. However, my first can of this was gone after about the 3rd use. With my second can, I have only been using it on the tub and a few other tough spots, and then using my other bathroom cleaners for the shower walls. This method is making my can of foamer last much, much longer.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


I've been wanting to this blog for a while now, so that I could share things I like with friends and family and anyone else who might like to know. This blog will be a hodgepodge of things I like, and a few that I don't. This could include anything from cleaning supplies to food to YouTube videos to something user submitted. I'm also a big fan of coupons and really good deals, so a few of those might pop up here too. So take a look around, and enjoy!