The Need is GREAT

Do you know what this month is?

  • Yes, it’s the month that hosts a very special day……. Thanksgiving aka Turkey Day.
  • Yes, it’s Salvage Sista’s birthday month.
  • Yes, it’s the day we all beat each other to a pulp, right after being thankful, for a $20 TV…{Black Friday}.
  • Yes, it’s National Peanut Butter Month.
  • Yes, it is the month we start the beginning of the Holiday Season.

But did you know another really important celebration this month?

National Adoption Month

National Adoption Day is celebrated on November 22nd.

According to the National Adoption Day website:

“National Adoption Day is a collective National effort, to raise awareness or more than 100,000 children in foster care waiting for permanent and loving homes.”

“Since it’s inception, this annual, one day event has made the dreams of 50,000 children come true.”

14-3249 Infographic 2014 refresh v3

Obviously, the need is GREAT!

Why we decided to adopt (cliff note version):

Our first son was getting older (5-6 at the time).  We wanted to have other children but the timing seemed off for us.

The question was there?

“Do we start again with an infant?”

Now don’t get us wrong.  Age gaps are not BAD!  Salvage Sista had significant age gaps with her siblings.  We just weren’t sure it’s what we wanted at the time.  It just didn’t seem right.

That’s when we truly felt the leading to adopt.

We attended an adoption conference to get more information.

Did we want to adopt internationally or domestic?

Each had it’s benefits and downfalls (which we may do a post on in the future).

But the need is so great here in this country.

We prayed and decided to go ahead with the domestic adoption.

Given some of the statistics above, we choose to adopt from our state.

It has been one of the greatest, wildest, stressful, emotional, challenging, teaching, and craziest rides ever.

the helper ice cream

So this month, while we think about turkey, all that we have, all that we don’t, peanut butter…..

would you think about the kid’s that need a home?

Maybe your home is the perfect home for a child in need.

BTW- If you have an adoption picture to share, use the hashtag #OneDayProject and share a caption about why you support adoption.


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The Pantry Saga Continues

When last we met, we were just starting our pantry project and added a lantern turned light.  For instructions, click HERE for the scoop.

As most who have done a remodel know, it’s a bit dusty in here.

dust 1

 So where are we at?

At press time, we have…..

  • Walls up
  • Antique window installed
  • Walls mudded
  • Texturing
  • Outlets are properly clothed (that was embarrassing!)
  • Trim painted from the ugly brown to white

For the inside paint job, we wanted to advise….

In order to save cost, we mixed paint we already had.  We used a dark grey with some white to get a color we could work with.  Guess what, it works and no paint needed to be purchased.  Can we get a YAHOOOOOOOO?

pantry painted 1


Well thanks for asking.  Here is our list………..

  • Flooring
  • Shelves
  • Decorating
  • And actually putting in our food (a pantry for food..who would have thunk?)

And for a cliff hanger…..


Back to dusting we go!

P.S. – Do you have any war remodel stories?


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Thanksgiving Tablescape – Salvage Style

I am usually not a fancy schmancy kind of gal.

I am quirky in my taste.

I like things that are kind of worn down, have character, and are not always everyone’s cup of tea….like a really worn out cabinet that I just got at an antique store for $29.  It was hand built, top wasn’t attached, cabinets askew, and …..well quirky.  (It will be shown in a future post).

Matching…not always needed.

Perfect…not so much.

New…I can take it or leave it.

So much to my surprise when at a thrift store I was attracted to an eight piece china set for $32….weird.  I NEVER look at china!

But it was beeeeeeeeeutiful! 

There was just something about it.  Ever have that?

One thing led to another and it ended up in the car…my brother gave me an early birthday present!

I thought I would show you my version of a Salvage Sister Thanksgiving Table:

thanksgiving tablescape 1


The China is from St Vincent DePaul Thrift Store – 5 different pieces/setting for 8 for $32 (yes, I know I already mentioned but ghesh..the price needed to be mentioned again!)

I have to shame myself too.  I really liked the tablecloth the china was on, but couldn’t see buying anything else so I joked with the worker if they would throw it in.  She said no they couldn’t but threw in a small leaf bowl for free.  (Not pictured because I forgot to include it-early morning picture session.)

myotts china 1

The Rose Hips from Pennington Farms (support your local farmer) $8

Mason Jar filled with raffia and a spare ribbon from a previous package (already had)

rosehips centerpiece

Pumpkins – Harry and David (you can find at your local grocery store)

Pomegranates – Were given to me, but you can find at your local grocery store as well.

Leaves – FREE

Napkins – already owned

Glasses – A wedding present

Silverware – Just our everyday silverware used.  You don’t need to have fancy schmancy silverware.

Plate Chargers – Already owned but were a Goodwill special.

The Square Quilted Cloth – Already owned sale item from Kohls some years back.

All in all, I think it’s a pretty nice table for this salvage sister girl.

Remember you don’t need to have fancy things.  You don’t need lots of money.  You don’t even need matching items.  Make the best with what you have and enjoy the people you are around!

….and the next time you are at a thrift store, look for something that shouts your name!

 thrift thursday


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How to Help a Picky Eater…EAT

Confession time…

Salvage Sister was a picky eater!

The girl who loves Brussels sprouts, broccoli, green beans, kumquats, brie, asparagus, ETC. NOW, did not necessarily like it all early on in life.

American cheese was a top favorite.

No cheddar cheese….too strong!

Ground beef only!

Plain food, please!

And the thought of going to someone’s house brought about anxiety……

“What will we have?”

Do you know any picky eaters?

Is it a struggle to get them to eat?

picky eaters

Here are some tips from this former picky eater:

  • Get them in the kitchen.  You hear this a lot because it puts the picky eater in control.  I learned to try lots of things by cooking them.
  • Learning how to cook or improve cooking.  Honestly, this is a hard one but there are times when people may not know how to cook certain items.  Be honest if you don’t know how to cook something and try to improve or get your picky eater in there to tackle it.  Canned asparagus verses grilled…no contest.  I found out sometimes I just didn’t like badly prepared food.  (America’s Test Kitchen is a great resource for consistent and good recipies.)
  • Take the fight out of the dining room.  Fix a little something different right before dinner and set it out for all, not just the picky eater, to come by and try if they want.  In this situation, everyone is not watching and they know dinner will be coming up so this isn’t their main meal.  At the same time, they are hungry and may not want to be left out of this snack fest.
  • Shopping!  Play a game where they can look for one new item to try in a certain section (cereal, produce, meat).  Shopping also allows for education….reading of ingredients, nutrition, price, etc.  You can also play another game, look for the most similar item.  If they like ham, have them pick out the closest item to that to try.
  • When going to restaurants, go somewhere that’s a stretch for them.  If they only want hamburgers, don’t go to a hamburger place… Mexican.  They will be forced to try something new on their own terms.  If the restaurant has an alternate “hamburger” menu, call ahead and ask them to help you out and say they are out today.  If the restaurant staff is good, they might even have a recommendation of something the picky eater might like.
  • Have them be part of planning the menu.  Have them scour a cookbook for something they would like to TRY.
  • And even though it is difficult, don’t avoid dinners at someone’s home.  It may give the picky eater some anxiety, but they will get through it.  Either they will learn to overcome a fear, which is never a bad thing, or they will stand their ground…. but in a socially acceptable way.  When a person is in the comforts of home, they won’t push themselves like they will somewhere else.  (DON’T tell the host to cater to the eater.  Not only is this rude, but it will not challenge the individual.  In life they will encounter circumstances that will not go their way.  If they won’t eat there, they can eat at home.)

There is a fine line between being patient and helping the picky eater through it, and a battle of wills.

Usually in a home two things happen:

-The picky eater gets their way all the time

-There is a fight all the time

Hopefully these tips provide an opportunity for the control to be shared in resolving the issue as much as possible.

One last commentary – Sneaking in certain foods may not help your cause.  It can backfire in trust and may not bring the same empowering feeling of overcoming the fear on their own terms. 

Do you have any tips for helping picky eaters?


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Creation of a Pantry

When we purchased our home, it had plenty of cabinets…

……..random cabinets.

Some were shallow, and some deep, but mostly in weird spots.

Disclaimer: Pictures up ahead are not pleasurable.  Images may not be suitable for young children (for fear they will have kitchen nightmares! 


This is the inside kitchen wall.

If you are familiar with our dining room makeover HERE, you will remember the wrought iron has been removed.   You will also see the flooring change as well.

Even though these cabinets were formed in a cross and all, they had to go.  Along with the others.


This is the view from the back of the kitchen were we again find a …….

“Oh, hello random cabinet”.

On the other side of this wall we had our refrigerator….that stuck WAY OUT!

This wall is really smack dab in the middle of the kitchen itself which is kind of weird.  We couldn’t really remove the wall or the laundry area would be in the kitchen. UGH!

We also have a very tight budget!

BTW- Don’t ya love the carpet?  We would love to give you the name and information on it but alas we don’t have it to pass along.  Sorry!  BUT we may have this available for pickup SOON!

After removing the cabinets, we knew we would be hurting for pantry space.

A plan was hatched………..

If you follow us on Instagram, you may remember this picture.

pantry tape off

Kind of looks like a crime scene…..well it really was one..a crime in home improvement!

Curious about how it will turn out? 

On the edge of your seat?

Stay tuned…………….

Next week will share more of:


Have no fear, in true Salvage Sister and Mister fashion, no cabinets were harmed in the making of this pantry.  They were safely relocated to the garage were they live a happy storage life.


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Identity Crisis

Do you remember the “football star” at your high school?  The person who was super popular and confident AND comfortable in who they were.

Then…they go off to college or get a job.

What can happen?

All of a sudden, they are not known for that skill, not known for who they were, AND not as comfortable as they once were.  The world became much bigger and competitive.

Now what?

Sometimes some are able to get back to the status they were before or better….but not always.

There is a comfort in our identity and once it’s gone or different, there is  a “Who am I?”.

Can you relate?  No?

Have you ever:


……..Started a new job?

……..Lost the ability to do something you use to be good at?

……..Had your best friend move?

……..Lost a home?

……..Lost a job?

…….Been in a group where you have been the best at something and then someone else joins and is better at it than you?

……Lost a loved one?

……Kids moved out (empty nester)?

……Dream died?

…….Home broken into?

…….Kids are on drugs?

……Spouse left?


……Loss of youth (aging)?

……A “B” on a report card, when you’ve had all “A’s”?

……You can no longer work in your same profession?

……Have a scar?

……Even a bad haircut?

And on and on!

All of these situations, and more, can cause an identity crisis.

Now that I am not a…..

-Football star


-Stay at home mom

-Perfect student



-Best _________

Who am I?

identity crisis

Anytime we have our identity rooted in something fluid, it can change, and it probably will.

When we moved, from Arizona to Oregon, we started over in a lot of ways……….

New home (all that we worked on/for in our previous home is left behind), new jobs, new friends, new church, new school (for the kids), new, new, new.  Although we lived here before, it’s been a long time and a slightly different area.  We had comfort in our 15 years in Arizona….(not temperature!) and it changed.

Good part of a change like this is  you start fresh; the bad part is you start fresh. 

No one knows the bad, ugly, and the time you walked around with toilet paper stuck to your shoe for an entire day……..BUT no one knows that you are a terrific friend, baker, or you use to be a opera singer (examples only).


So what to do…….

If you don’t have your identity deeply rooted in something NOT fluid, these changes have the potential to rock your world……….

You see the person addicted to drugs/alcohol because they are no longer the high school star.

Beautiful woman who is addicted to plastic surgery because she has to be “beautiful”.

Suicide when the realization of not being perfect was too much.  Do you know the suicide rate amount teens?  Do you known there are kids killing themselves either literally or figuratively because of one bad grade??????

Depression with the loss of your children moving away.

An affair with the loss of a job.

Do you know who you are without  __________?

If not, we believe Knowing Who’s You Are, can give a peace in the storm of this ever changing world.

Of course, depression still needs to be treated, help for drugs/alcohol addiction, new jobs to be had, etc, but in the meantime you also need:

  • HOPE (Jer 29:11)
  • Knowledge of your completeness that was given to you outside of anything you can ever do…good or bad (Romans 8:38-39)
  • Understanding of how loved you are! (Eph 2:4-5)

This is something we have to remind ourselves all the time or your world feels shaken and stirred!  Do you ever feel that your in an identity crisis?  How do you handle the changes this world throws at us?

*How do we feel that this goes with our mission here at Salvage Sister and Mister?  In making the best with what we have, having an abundant life is very much part of this mission.  It helps us spend less on things that don’t last, prioritize, and more importantly have hope in WHO’S WE ARE!  We don’t wish to offend anyone, but we also are who we are.  Our Christian faith has provided us the hope, support, and love that we need to root us in a firm foundation so that when life’s storms come (and they do), we hope to have roots that have gone deep enough to hold us strong and steady. 



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What Not to Buy on Craigslist!

We are BIG fans of:

Thrift Stores, Goodwill, Dumpster Diving, Garage Sales, The ReStore, Swaps, Consignment, and Craigslist.

You can see some of our Craigslist finds here and here.

craigslist tips

But there are some items we wouldn’t recommend buying on Craigslist:

  • Cars that require you to send money and they will ship it.  This is a scam and we have seen people who have been taken on this.  It’s terrible.
  • Health care items.  Should we expand?  Well, truth be told wheel chairs and crutches might be some exceptions, but be very careful with items that have been opened or come in contact with bodily fluids (sorry)!  Unfortunately people go this route due to financial hardships, but it’s just too risky.  There are many organizations out there that can help.  Seek them out instead of strangers online.
  • Anything you really don’t know that much about or aren’t an expert in.  If you want to buy something, say antiques, take someone with you that really knows they’re stuff.  If not, pass!  It will be incredibly difficult to spot a “too good to be true” price without sufficient knowledge.
  • Food can be a iffy choice.  Unless you know the people, it’s too risky for us.  We would lump baby formula in that category as well.
  • Tickets!  Time after time, when people talk about scams on Craigslist tickets are one of them.  It is just too hard to figure out if it’s a real ticket cause counterfeits are so good.  Most people give away or try to sell extra tickets they can’t use.
  • Anything that could have the potential to be recalled.  A big one here is baby items.

And if you are wondering what to buy, did a wonderful list, HERE.

Of course, when meeting someone for a purchase:

  • Meet in a very public place.  In fact we were just reading about Pennsylvania having the first assigned Craigslist safe spot due to the crimes occurring during transactions.  Pick a place that is filled with people and has cameras.
  • Try and take someone with you.
  • Tell someone, who’s not going with you, where and when you are meeting someone.
  • Have your phone with you.

*As always, use your own discretion when making a purchase from Craigslist.

Do you have any tips for purchasing from Craigslist?  We would love to hear them.


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Pantry Light Special

A couple of weeks back, we went to Newberg, Oregon to celebrate our 20th wedding anniversary.  In true Salvage Sister and Mister style we stopped at Goodwill.  Nothing keeps couples together like bargain hunting, right?

There were a few goodies found and this lantern was one of them (if you follow us on Instagram, you may have already seen this) for $6.99 (no sales tax in Oregon):

goodwill lantern 1

At the time, the thought was to use it on a shelf or on the fireplace mantel.  When we got home, it was too big for both spots.  Well, it sat until the “light bulb” came on…hahahaha!

As we are building a little pantry, we needed a cool light fixture.  We were looking at some lanterns, but they were at least $50 and up!  Bing!  Could we use the lantern that we already have?

Off to the home improvement store for some supplies:

lantern materials 1

For about $20 in materials we were able to turn the lantern into our pantry light fixture…Salvage Sister and Mister style.

Bonus life hack:  Did you know that you can use a can opener to open those impossible and dangerous plastic packs?

The Mister Demonstrates:

life hack plastic wrap 1


We (yes, we)……

  • Took off the top of the lantern and attached the loop (so you can hang it)
  • Attached the wire to the light socket
  • Ran the wire through
  • Screwed the socket to the fixture
  • Added the chain
  • Attached the loop to the cover plate
  • Ran the wire through the chain and then the cover plate
  • Mounted the fixture to the ceiling

lantern collage

…………and voilà…. Total cost $27.00….HALF PRICE!

lantern with light on 1

Now off to finish our pantry.  We will be posting updates so if you want to keep up, add your email to the “Get Updates” field under our picture so you won’t miss a post.

P.S. -Did you know that a hair dryer helps get those pesky price stickers off?


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Restaurant Nation

“Would you like fries with that?”

Ah, we are an eating out nation.  Who doesn’t love to go out for a nice bite to eat?  We do!  And we know we are not alone. According to, the 2014 forecast was expected to all time record.

“Driven by a stronger economy and historically high levels of pent-up demand among consumers, restaurant-industry sales are expected to hit a record high of $683.4 billion in 2014.”

This year was to have been the 5th consecutive year of sales growth.

disadvantage to eating out

As much as we love to go out to eat, at times, there are some problems with an eating out nation.

  1. Extra calories.  The food tastes delish for a reason…… BUTTER!  Yummmmm!  When you cook at home, you can make choices on calories that you don’t make at a restaurant.
  2. Cost.  Even fast food is costly.  About the cheapest meal you can have is about $5.  The average price at home is $3.75.  Realistically most are not spending $5 a person though so it’s a significant part of the budget.
  3. Treat mentality.  It’s true that we eat out more now than ever before, but it’s still exciting to go, a treat.  When you think of it as a treat, you may splurge more…… but instead of a splurge once a month, the treats are 3-5 times a week.
  4. Conversation.  The restaurants are inundated with TV’s.  It use to just be sports bars, but major restaurants have them now.  This can make it hard to connect with those you are eating with.
  5. Choices.  (Our most controversial point…entitled mentality) How can choices be a bad thing?  Not usually, but if you eat out constantly with your family, your child may never have to make do with what they have.  If kids are a custom to always getting what they want, the skill to cope with something that is not their first choice may not get developed.  Even some adults accustomed to eating out all the time, may have difficulty going to someone else’s house for dinner cause they aren’t sure what they will have.

take it or leave it

We certainly have fun eating out, but it’s always good to keep in mind some of the drawbacks in order to make better choices.

So tell us what you think?  Do you see problems with an “eating out nation” or no?


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For some reason, people have an abundance of candy this time of year….hmmmm….wonder why?

Just in case you find yourself in this predicament, we are here to help.

leftover candy


First, Storage:

Most candy is good for 4-6 (not 46) months.  Anyone ever bite into a hard piece of bubble gum?  Yeah, might need a crown after that!

If you find yourself with leftover chocolate, freezing can be a good option.  In fact some people like their chocolate right from the freezer (chocolate mints).  You just have to realize that it may change the appearance, due to blooming, so this may be just a personal stash and not given to others.  OR use those leftovers for baking!

Keep in mind, most candy should be kept in moderate temps (if not freezing chocolate).

Finally, the softer the candy the shorter the shelf life.

Second, Share:

A lot of dentists do a buy back program for Operation Gratitude for the US Military.   Contact your dentist to see if they participate and/or visit the website.  Here is a great article on this campaign.

Some homeless shelters and children’s non-profits collect leftover candy.  Contact an organization near you to see if they would like some donations.  Maybe even get a group of friends, church group, or neighbors together to participate.

Not as many people come to your door this year?  If you have some unopened bags there may be some churches who would love the donation.

Do you know any rural kids who don’t have a lot of neighbors?  Try packing up  little treat boxes for them.

Third, Food Ideas:

Chocolate is an easy ingredient to incorporate into desserts.  Add to your favorite brownies, cake, milk shake, or cookies for an added treat.  EASY PEASY!

Another fun way to use up chocolate is to melt (gently) a few complimenting flavors together.  Pour onto a baking sheet (lined with parchment or Silpat).  Once cooled, break up into bark pieces.  Now you have a nice homemade gift.

When the weather starts to get a bit warmer, or not, save your leftover candy for an Ice Cream Sundae Bar.  Chop up the pieces and now you have lots of topping options.  Invite some friends over and have a ParTay!  You’re welcome!

In just a little over a month, won’t these candies be perfect for a Ginger Bread House?

Hard candy is currently popular for infused drinks.

Any birthdays coming up?  Leftover candy can be a great way to  add decorative flair  when decorating cakes and/or cupcakes.  You can also use the candy for the treat bags for  children’s party.

 Finally, TIPS:

If you are buying candy ahead of the holiday, buy non-holiday labeled candy.  If the candy is more universal, you can use it in many other settings.

When buying the candy after the holiday, try to buy what you know you REALLY will use.  A good deal is only a good deal if it get’s used.

Have a talk with your child BEFORE hand on how much candy will be consumed/kept.  Anything after that, needs to get stored or given away.

Don’t forget to check that candy.  Often times, we feel safe, but it never hurts to be on the cautious side.

Have a wonderful and safe evening no matter what you do!



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