Happy Blogiversary

One year ago this month, we were……….

  • In Arizona
  • The Mister was flying to Oregon to interview for a job
  • Praying about a potential move
  • Packing up a home we lived in for 12 years in 2 weeks
  • Saying goodbye to friends we had over the 15 years in Arizona.
  • Finishing current employment
  • Future Engineer’s 17 Birthday
  • Our 19th Wedding Anniversary
  • Making arrangements to sell our home and the updates it needed
  • AND for some crazy reason it seemed like a great time to hit “Publish“!!!

Yep, why not start a blog????

To be honest, we had been working on starting this blog since January 2013.

(BTW- When someone says start a blog in 10 minutes…..question it or be prepared to pay.  That is unless you know a LOT about code or just want a free site.)

But when it actually came down to it, we didn’t get our first post up until September.

And to call it a post is being generous, but as you can see……..

…….we were a little busy!!!!

Sometimes on a journey you think upon where you want to be………..and that’s important.  Setting and achieving goals is how to move forward.  But today we are focusing on how far we have come.

rick warren quote 2

-Last year we weren’t on Instagram, and today we have over 800 followers!

-Last year we didn’t have a Facebook page, but today we have almost 300 connections!

-This time last year, Twitter was just a name and now we have almost 1000 following us.

-Last year we had never heard of Hometalk, Google+, and  Bloglovin and now we are active on all 3.

Today as we reflect on our one year blogiversary we have learned ….

  • Photography and image size has improved over the year
  • We now have a menu at the top to search a topic easily
  • Received our first check
  • We have learned some code
  • Readership is increasing
  • Advertisers
  • Install widgets
  • ETC…….

Overall we have just learned so much!!!!!!!!!!!!

(And that’s just on the blog.  In our day-to-day life we have started new jobs, lived in temporary housing, started new schools,, sold a home, purchased a home, and on and on it goes.)

But the biggest lesson from blogging is the incredible people that we have meet…….What a blessing this online community is….you all are!!!!!!!

Thanks for coming along for the journey!!

We can’t wait to see what this year holds.


When you are on one of life’s journeys, do you remember to reflect on just how far you’ve come?



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Deciding Between Salvaged vs New Items

Do you think we are biased in this heavy hitting battle between Salvaged vs New?

After all, the site is called Salvaged Sister and Mister, right?

If you’ve been a reader of our site long, you will see that we do have some new in our home like our flooring that is being installed by the talented Mister AND lots of salvaged.

So how do we decide between these two contenders?

And for the point of this discussion, we are referring to salvaged as materials/items that would be free, used, or even in a trash bin.  Yep, we are those people.

Here are our 5 deciding factors in this battle……………….

salvaged vs new

1) Cost

Cost is a HUGGGGGGE factor for us.  It’s not the only factor, but it’s a biggie.

We are always on the lookout for something we can use at thrift stores, Goodwill, Craigslist, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, friends giveaway piles, or even the side of a curb, hence this site.

With that said, salvaged isn’t always the cheapest way to go.

Right now salvaged is big business.  There are many items out there that are VERY expensive, one of a kind, salvaged pieces.  These are great as they keep the item from being tossed, but it might not be in our price point.

Depending on your bottom line you may say go for it.  And we say yahoooooo!  We are thrilled knowing that material/items are being used once again!


2) Availability

Used materials are a shot in the dark.

Once, when at the local ReStore there was a beautiful, brand new, Craftsman style door.  What are the chances?

If you go often enough and are on a constant look out, you will get a feel for each store and your general area.  But really, there is a lot of mystery and that’s part of the “jackpot” thrill of it all.

For planning, that makes it very difficult.

This is why we choose to purchase our flooring for our home.

We knew the general ReStore stock and it would really be a long shot to come up with flooring that we liked in the amount of stock we needed to do it Salvaged style.


3) Time

Time is money right?

So how much time do you have to devote to waiting the availability game?

When we first purchased the home, we had some seriously ugly, old, and smelly carpet.  We never had new carpet in our previous home so we decided this was worth the investment especially since our kids are older.

We had a small window of time to get this done before we would move all of our stuff in so the search for used was pretty much out.

We did however contact as many people as possible to do it the cheapest way possible (back to reason #1).


4) Style

Should this have been #1?  It’s pretty darn important cause we ain’t got time for ugly stuff!

There’s a reason why some people don’t like used or salvaged materials.  There are just some very ugly items out there!!!

But here’s the salvaged question………..

Can it be made into something beautiful?

If the bones (core) of what you found is in your style wheelhouse, a little cosmetic work could spiff it up a bit.

For example, a floral couch that is a steal, in excellent condition, and the shape fits your home could get a slip cover.

Between the cost of the couch and a slip cover chances are it’s still cheaper than a new one and still kept with the style that you already have.

Paint is another great resource to turning a salvaged item around.

When looking for items you can salvage, look at the core of the item.  If the core says you, then the outside can too.


 5) Durability

Depending on the length of time you are will use the item can make a big difference here.

How long will you need this item to hold up?

Used, generally, has some life taken off of it already.

New, has never been “lived in” and may even come with a warranty.

New often can have the upper hand in this round, but wait ……

What about a really beautiful antique table?

Ahhhhh, yes, there are salvaged (used) pieces that are investment purchases as well.  And to be honest some things in the past are just made better than the present.

Looks like we have a tie.

Best bet…….look at the quality of the piece,  AND the length of time you plan on having it, to decide between salvaged or new.


Lots of times, based on these 5 factors, we do choose salvaged….BUT not ALL the time though.

How about you?



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Rolling on the River

Listen to our story……..
spray painting the cabinet
I left so many jobs in this house
Workin The Mister every night and day
And I never lost one minute of sleeping
Worrying ’bout all that has to be done
Big wheel keep on turning
Salvage Sister keep on burning
And we’re rolling, rolling
Rolling on the river
Rafting the Rogue River

How many times do you feel like there is just WAY too much to do?

Never gets done does it?

Always something…laundry, groceries, cooking, cleaning, and don’t get started on PAPER!

Well sometimes you just need to step back and Roll down the River……

the mister rafting

About a 30 minute drive from the house, we went to the upper part of the Rogue River……….. Lost Creek Dam to Shady Cove in Oregon.

We made a reservation with Rapid Pleasure Rafting in Shady Cove.

They had a large raft for 4-8 people or one for 2-4 people.  The smaller was cheaper but also better for us to manage.


After you get your raft, you are then driven to just below the Lost Creek Dam, with life jackets, ready to raft down the beautiful river.

This is a calm part of the river.  The rapids are Class I-II depending on the water level (we understand).

***Be Warned – The water is COLD at first, you’ll get use to it.

It takes about 3 hours to go down, depending on if you make any stops along the way.

future engineer rafting

This is a great beginner area since the rapids are very gentle but still fun.  It’s a great way to cool off on a hot summer day.

After you get back to Shady Cove, you are picked up by the rafting company and taken back to the store or you can walk to it as it’s just a block away.

If you haven’t been rafting before there are always guided trips to go down with professionals if you feel more comfortable.

A must after rafting is Phil’s Frosty right up the road.  They have a full menu and very tasty Umpqua Ice Cream with local flavor like Blackberry Revel and Huckleberry Cheesecake.

phils frosty building

So if you get the Southern Oregon area, go rolling, rolling, rolling down the river.

Rapid Pleasure Rafting Company
7725 Rogue River Drive
Shady Cove, OR
541-878-2500 or 541-878-2585
Phil’s Frosty
22161 Oregon 62
Shady Cove, OR 97539
the helper ice cream

**We were NOT compensated for this post.  These are just our own opinions.


Not everyone may live close to a river, but what do you do to get away from it all?


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Wordy Wednesday – DIY Hallway Update

Okay, “Wordless Wednesday” was a good concept, for someone who doesn’t write or speak.  Get a picture that signifies your week and post it to your blog.  Simple, if you have nothing to say (what were we thinking?).

Well, it was tried, here, here, and here (this one wasn’t too bad, right?).


So introducing……………………



Don’t be!

It’s just the same amount of words just a different name!

We didn’t want to get sued for false advertising.

“They said it was Wordless Wednesday but there were words.”

We don’t have time for a lawsuit!

In our last few WW posts (see we don’t even have to change the acronym), we were showing the progress of our hallway DIY project.

There has been GREAT PROGRESS!

Come on in and take a look around……..

hallway take 1


This was the way the floor has been since we’ve moved in.  There was NASTY  carpet so we just pulled it up until we got our tax refund.  We knew flooring would be part of our budget at that time.

installing flooring

The Mister installed some linoleum underneath to even out the floor into the dining room and entry area.  We just picked this up for a couple of dollars at the ReStore.  WE LOVE THAT PLACE!

Then the flooring we picked out went over it.

The Mister had never installed this particular type of flooring. He had installed the floating laminate before but this needed to be nailed in.

They said rent a staple gun however we were going to need to do this project here and there with work scheduled being what they are.  Too expensive to keep renting so what to do?

Alas, YouTube.

We pulled up a few videos and someone showed how to angle your own nail gun into the groove.  The Mister was sold.  And we saved some moolah!  Whooohooo!

After a couple of test pieces, he was ready to rock and roll!

Drum roll please………………………………..

hall floor done


We also had progress on the hall cabinet as well…..

hall cabinet sanded

Now it’s all painted.

painted hall cabinet

 Disclaimer (cause you know how we feel about being sued)-Obviously, we had to paint the cabinet before the flooring was installed.

The hallway project continues with-

1) Painting of the doors for the cabinet

2) Molding

3) Light switch/outlet cover changes

4) Bedroom doors (new if possible/ReStore)

5) Paint Trim

6) Carpet to Flooring Seems (The Mister is researching on YouTube for this.)

We hope you will come back and see us for our next installment of WW and see how our Hallway is coming along.

BTW- If you need to get something accomplished write a series on a blog about it.  The heat is on!


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The Vacation Road Paved With Good Intentions

You walk into the stores right now and what do you see?  Yep, Fall is everywhere.

Back to school shopping, kids returning to their classrooms, pumpkins, and leaves.


BUT WAIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Wasn’t I just at the beach?” 


“What happened?”

Now it’s just a bunch of pictures in a camera or phone, right?

preserving vacation photos

Don’t take the road of good intentions.  Make a U-Turn and stop at Shutterfly to preserve those memories before life gets in the fast lane again.

Shutterfly Photo Books 300x600

If you have never done a Photo Book with them, you are in for a treat.  They are super easy to make.

1) Pick cover

2) Upload Pics

3) Arrange and Write Captions

4) Badabingbadaboom you’re done.

Sometimes you think you might scrapbook the whole entire year with every wonderful detail of what was said and done, no one I know mind you, and then well it sits there.  Anyone?

Don’t let your vacation sit in your phone.  Give it life in a Photo Book for everyone to remember the great times you had this summer.



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Southern Oregon Kite Festival

“Let’s Go Fly a Kite” lyrics were going through my head all day long as we attended the 22nd Annual Southern Oregon Kite Festival in Brookings, OR.

22nd annual kite festival

We had the choice to stay in town, with temps being around 100 (we thought we left Arizona!), or go to the Oregon Coast.  Tough choice right?

The event is held all weekend long, but we were only able to attend the Sunday portion of the program.  With that being said, it was worth going to even just the one day.

The free festival is held right next to the beach at the Port of Brookings Harbor.

We pulled into a parking spot right by the beach, but they also had free shuttles running as well.

When we arrived there was some talk about the wind not being strong enough.  Not sure if that was true or not cause it was one heck of a show.   These flyers and kites were AMAZING!

Kite Collage from Kite Festival

The flyers that participated in the event are some of the best in the country.  They provide wonderful entertainment and artistry as many of them make their own kites.  Some even have SALVAGED material.  They are speaking our language!

During the weekend there was an auction, which we were not able to attend, as well as a pancake breakfast.  We did get to see the flyers, eat some fair type food, and enjoy the beach.  Who could ask for more?


brookings oregon sunset


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Hallway Progress – Dinosaur, Old Man Yelling, and MORE!

Did we already mention how many mistakes we made before we entered the house?

Well, the biggest was obviously trying to paint too many cabinets too fast!!!!!

So after the staples were pulled out of the floor, in the hallway, to get ready for our new floor, AND DID YOU SEE THE FLOORING, the cabinet needed to be sanded and then we will start all over again.

Here is what we started with…


painted cabinet error painted cabinet before

Well, scraping paint off isn’t the most fun thing in the world.

scraping paint pic


Or is it….

pic in paint 4

Did you meet Pete the Pterosaurus Flying Dinosaur?

pic in paint 3

And Mr. Grumpy Pants “Get off my lawn!”

pictures in paint

Hello My Grizzly!

pic in paint 2

“Pikachu you are looking a little pale.”

mr despicable

This guy is just Despicable!

pic in paint

And apparently this guy just thinks everything is soooooo funny!

Yeah, The Mister loved getting these text messages. 

Hey, if you have to do it, you might as well have some fun, right?  That’s the motto around here, making the most with what we got.  I made the most of that mistake!

Here’s the cabinet all ready to be painted…

sanded cabinet

We will be painting this and then laying the flooring next in this hallway remodel.

What did we learn-

1) Don’t crazily go into your new to you home and paint cabinets willy-nilly!

2) If you make a mistake, you might as well have some fun with it.  I once heard a Pastor say it he could get a good story out of something the experience would be worth it.

3) Sign up for our “Get Updates” so you will never miss these important life lessons.

4) Share this on FB or Twitter for everyone to see how crazy we are learn from our mistakes.


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Campfire Chili

Picture being in the great outdoors….

There is a cool breeze as the trees sway. 

You can hear the water from the creek below.

 The bugs are chirping their “It’s Nighttime” song. 

No cell phones ringing.

 It is so relaxing!

And then……………

Sniff, sniff, sniff…

Hey, what’s that smell?

Oh, that smells good.

Smells like garlic and onion.

Oh, now my tummy is growling.

Hey, what are they cooking over there?

Yep, it’s Campfire Chili!!

campfire chili 1


Yields 4 (If you are feeding teens, maybe 3)
Prep Time
Not much
Cook Time
The longer it sits the better but be careful of a “too hot” fire that will burn the bottom
Total Time
About 30-1 hr (Hey it’s camping there is no exact timing…relax.)
1 pound of beef
1 can of tomato sauce
2 cans of diced tomatoes
1-2 cans of chili beans (or pinto beans)
1-2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 to 1 onion diced
Chili powder to taste
Cumin (about 1.2 the amount of the chili powder)
A little oil
And any toppings you like (cheese, onions, sour cream)
  1. Get your fire going.
  2. Add a swirl of oil to the bottom of a dutch oven pot (just enough to have a thin layer on bottom of pot).
  3. Add diced onion.  Cook a minute or two and then add garlic.  Stir and make sure garlic doesn’t burn.
  4. Look up and see your camping neighbors who are all wondering what time dinner is.
  5. Add beef and cook until done.
  6. Add remaining ingredients.
  7. Stir often, with the same utensil that you’ve used all along cause you don’t want a lot of dirty dishes, making sure the chili doesn’t burn on the bottom.
  8. Simmer until the flavors have become one, looking on from your camp chair.
  9. Serve, you may need to double this cause of #4.  Top with any toppings you remembered to bring along.
  10. Finally, take a picture, with no make up on, for all the world to see!!
  • This is camping, make it easy on yourself and don’t stress out if you forgot something.  It will all work out in the end.  And if it doesn’t you will have a good story out of it.
  • If you burn the bottom, don’t stir the bottom in.  Leave the burnt crust on the bottom and the top part will be just fine.
  • When using raw meat, we use it one the first night or two so that if your ice melts faster than anticipated, your meat won’t be tossed.  Save hot dogs and items that don’t go bad quickly for later meals.
  • Always taste your food as you go along so you are happy with spices and such.
  • Precut the garlic and onion before you go.
By Salvage Sister
You can read more about camping HERE, HERE, and HERE.
Let us know your favorite camp food.  We love to learn what everyone else is making.  Be warned, we might just show up for dinner at the campground.


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10 Reason I Go Camping

Is this you?

camping funny

I have to admit, this was me.

My family didn’t camp when I was younger.  I was the bottom of 5 children and quite a bit younger than my siblings.  The boys went camping, with my Dad, in the scouts.  By the time I came around, no one went anymore.  Oh, and we lived in the middle of the city in Chicago.

Now, we did do some low maintenance cabins and such.  I remember them fondly, LOOKING BACK.  At the time, I was very afraid of the, what seemed to be, HUGE spiders (daddy long legs)!  And hotels seemed just so much more fun….THE POOLS!!

But then……

I married a camper.

My hubby grew up camping with his family in Oregon.

I now have two boys who love camping as well, as you may have read HERE.

So what’s a girl to do?

Now I will admit there are times where I am tempted to just send the boys on their way for a guys weekend.  “You guys can bond.”  Sometime I do, but most times, I go and here’s why………

camp fire


Hiking, biking, water sports, and more can be found out there.  They are a great workout and generally you are doing them with other people, not in a hotel workout room, which makes it more fun.


When I am on a regular hotel vacation my standards don’t change nearly as much as they do when camping.  No makeup, spit cherries seeds on the ground, and easy paper plate dinners.  There is an element that you are dirty, or going to be, anyways so “If the food falls on the ground, Oh well!” attitude.  This, I think the boys love the most.


I push myself a little harder.  If the trail seems a little harder, I am going to go and try.  I’m not going to be the only one that didn’t make it.  I also believe my boys can see that I am going a little outside my comfort zone and hope they will as well (like maybe antique store with their mom).


There are a lot of things that can go wrong on a camping trip.  If for instance, your son gets stung a bunch of times, husband falls on some rocks, another son burns his hand, and you inadvertently fall over the handle of your bike, there’s plenty of time to be compassionate toward each other.  Not that we would know or anything.  But seriously, when I need to stop, my kids  stop and wait.  I think that it’s good for them to learn how to wait for others.


Member the spiders I was talking about.  Yeah, I still don’t like them.  In fact, I could do without a lot of bugs to be honest.  The more I go camping, the better this becomes.  In fact, many years ago, on a “glamping” type trip, I got freaked out about a spider The Mister hit with a stick.  I couldn’t see where it went and had nightmares all night.  Believe me, this is a story that will go down in family history.  The last time we went camping, I think I had a dead spider (be it small) on our little mattress thing we sleep and I was like oh well!  For me, that is one step toward conquering this fear.  But even if spiders aren’t it, there are other fears that get conquered in the great outdoors like heights, dark, water, wildlife, hot dogs.


There can be a lot of down time in camping.  Sitting around the camp fire, sitting by the lake, sitting after a meal, sitting after a bike ride, etc.  It’s a great time to enjoy nature, your family, and God.  When we are still we can hear the voice of God.

Speaking of enjoying nature….


Let’s face it, camping is in some awesome parts of the world.  You are surrounded by amazing birds, flowers, sunsets, sunrises, trees, lakes, rivers, on and on.  You can hear the birds in the morning and the insects at night.  It’s peaceful.  You can see a short video we took on our most recent trip, HERE.

nature pic natural bridge area


Yeah, you can’t match this kind of unplug anywhere else.  When you go on a trip, you have your cell phones to take pictures and guess why, free internet from the hotel.  When you go camping, no free internet.  In fact, no internet in a lot of places.  All we could do was take pictures!  NO EMAIL, NO FACEBOOK, NO INSTAGRAM!  Sorry guys..love ya but need a break every now and again.


You can’t beat the cost.  We have a VERY OLD pop up tent trailer!!!  It was $300 10 years ago old.  If you break that down plus the cost per night of the spot and gas, we paid about $25/night.  Plus, we didn’t have the air on or use the water at  home so there is savings there.  Can’t beat that!  And if I went on a traditional trip (in a hotel) we would have all the eating out expenses.


Camping is something that brings you close together as a family.  I don’t know if it’s the fresh air, games, injuries, no electronics, or what.  The stories we can tell from these trips are invaluable to me.

camping family


So the next time someone wants to go camping and you say, “At the Hilton?”  try to face your fears and give camping a try!


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Build Your Community

Have you ever been in a situation where you really admired someone and wanted to get to know them but they didn’t have time for you?  What about putting energy into a friendship that seemed one sided? 

Sometimes we are just looking for a place to belong.

In the blogging world. one thing that gets stated over and over again is to build your….


Also known as building your tribe, circle, etc!

This is the magic pill answer to growing your blog.  BUT, even if you aren’t a blogger, the principles remain the same for any situation from a stay at home mom to an entrepreneur.

How do you build your community?



We have decided to do a little series on this so there will be more to come.  Whoohooo!

The first thing we will talk about are the three types of people you need in your life (blogging or not)……

Mentor - This is someone you really want to learn from.  In the blogging world, this is a superstar that you have followed for years and years.  You subscribe to their emails, like their FB page, and follow them on Twitter but why?  They may never know you are there.  You do it to learn from them!!!  They are ones that set a standard that you hope to aspire to.  In non-blogging terms this is a person who makes friends easily, the guy that got the promotion, or someone who is ready to retire at 50.  These are people you admire in some way so you want to study, interview, and learn something from them.  You may, or may not, actually become friends with this person but you don’t have to.  The point is to learn.

**** Don’t build them up too far cause no one can live up to perfection.  Be open to friendship but don’t make that a priority.  They may only be there for you to learn something from and putting more energy to that will keep you from other people in your life.

FriendThis is someone who reciprocates what you put out.  Both people want to be there for each other in some way.  In blogging it means you visit each others sites, comments, likes, etc.  Outside of blogging, it’s just someone you connect with and they seem equally ready to build the relationship in some way.  We will talk about the various degrees of this another time.

Student - A student is someone in your  life that you are helping.  They view you as the mentor.  You are teaching them something that you have of value.  And guess what, everyone has something they can teach.  The people in this category will be ones that are asking you questions.  They want to learn something from you so teach them what you know.

**Students often admire the mentor  so be careful of guiding them without getting into power or ego.  They also can confuse mentoring with friendship so make sure to set clear boundaries of what you have time/energy/desire for.  Make it clear, from the beginning, so there are no hard feelings.

By having these three categories of people in your life you are…..

-Learning/Growing from the Mentor

-Feeling Supported by Friend(s)

-You are Helping/Giving to the Student (which helps you get the focus of yourself for awhile)

Today’s assignment…

Write down these three categories.  Now take a certain area like blogging, your job, neighborhood, small group, etc and plug people in.  Are you in balance?  Are you spending energy on people that don’t want to be part of your community?  Are you learning, supported, and giving back?


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