Dining Room Makeover (On a Budget)

One of the things we loved about our home is the location. You’ve heard it…


It was dated, but that’s why we were able to afford it in the first place. We knew that we would have some work to do.

So far we have done a hallway project, as you can see HERE. Since the hallway flooring connects with the dinning room, we headed there next.

Here is what we started with: 20131113_113943 And here is the after: dining room ss style 2 How did we make it Salvage Sister and Mister style?

  • Wagon chandelier was changed to a Craigslist find
  • Dining room set from Goodwill $79!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  (It even has a leaf-not pictured.)
  • The cabinet was a Kmart find many years ago.  We just changed the hardware.
  • The cake stands were Goodwill/Thrift Store finds
  • The mirror was from a friend who no longer wanted it
  • The crock was an Estate Sale score!

Even though we did purchase some flooring (from the wholesaler) and the molding, we found everything else either used or we already had it.

We also -

  • Painted the window trim instead of new trim.
  • Didn’t paint all the walls (We kept the one tan wall as is for some contrast and save $.)

We will continue to make some additional changes, including window treatments, additional trim to the window, and minor décor, but the major transformations are done.

dining room makeover

Next Project:

Our kitchen is currently being worked on, including a PANTRY!

If you want to stay up on our progress, plus other Salvage Sister & Mister posts, you can enter your email address in the get updates.  You will ONLY receive an email when we post.  Nothing else!


Continue Reading 10

Homemade Gift Rules

We are BIG, BIG, BIG fans of homemade gifts!!!

Homemade gifts are usually from the heart.

They take time to make.

Done by someone experienced, expert, or someone who has passion.

What could possibly go wrong?

A lot!

  • Receiver doesn’t use it (waste)
  • Goes to Goodwill
  • Re-gifted
  • Hurt Feelings
  • Time Wasted

Okay, we’ll leave it there, but you get the point.

6 rules for homemade gifts

To avoid these situations as much as possible, there are some basic rules to keep in mind when giving homemade gifts:

  1. More than likely if you are making homemade gifts, you are going bulk style.  If you are, you may only want to give to one member of the family.  Nothing takes away the excitement of opening a gift than everyone getting the same thing.
  2. Know the receiver.  Teens may not be into homemade apple butter.  The gift is ultimately for them to enjoy so know if they will or not.  Plus, there is nothing worse than going through the work of say canning and the receiver not even use it.
  3. Start early.  Hence why we are putting up this post now.  If you are thinking of homemade gifts, you need LOTS of time!!!!!!!!  Did we say LOTS?
  4. Don’t be cheap.  If you are just doing homemade gifts to save money this could lead to problems.  Homemade gifts can be a way to save money but it really should be the thought, not the price, that you have in mind.  Lot’s of hurt feelings can be had if everyone is giving $25 gift cards and one person walks away with a bag of bath salts.
  5. Do what you are good at.  More than likely, people are telling you what they like.  “I love your cookies.”.   Now you know what they may want.
  6. Doll it up.  PRESENTATION is huge!  If you are giving cookies, why not put them in a basket, a nice cup for milk, the recipe, and a plate?

Do you give homemade gifts?

Please make sure you leave us your tips!



Continue Reading 0


Do you ever get the notices to send away for something free and really you signed up for a subscription that is very difficult to get out of……anyone???

Yeah, there are lots of promises of free, but yet….well not so much!

But here are some things that REALLY are FREE!

some things in life are free


  • Sunsets
  • Smelling the Roses (or any beautiful flowers)
  • Playing in the Rain
  • Hugs
  • Love
  • Sunrises
  • Dancing
  • Rainbows
  • Sunshine
  • Good Night’s Rest
  • A Song in Your Heart
  • Waking Up
  • Cool Air on Your Face
  • Laughter
  • Hope
  • Second Chances
  • God’s Love
  • Forgiveness
  • Stillness
  • Friendship/Family
  • Love

And if you act now, good memories and wisdom will be included in your order.

What are some of the FREE things in your life that you enjoy?


Continue Reading 0

Granola Roll-Up

What’s for breakfast at your house?


We actually have a schedule here and it has worked for us for years!

Don’t get us wrong, we have made adjustments along the way like the death of the yogurt parfait.  (Worked when they were younger, but not filling as they grew older.)

A schedule is just a great way to streamline the morning.  It takes the guessing out and when school is in session……………. ain’t no one got time for second guessing.  Can we get an AMEN?

So here’s what it looks like here:

M- Cereal*

T- Eggs (burrito, sandwich, fried, scrambled, whatever we have time for)

W- Treat Cereal (First bowl..any after that must be “good” cereal)

Th- Oatmeal or Granola Roll-Ups (Recipe below)

F- Cereal*

S- Whatever happens based on plans

Sun – Family Breakfast/Brunch (full on waffles, bacon, etc)

*Cereal must meet “Mom” standards – Dietary Fiber 5g or higher, Protein 5 g or higher, Less than 10g of sugar examples Wheat Chex, GrapeNuts, Kashi, Mini-Wheats are just a few.

These are just a guideline for us, but it does also make shopping easier.  ALL ABOUT MAKING IT EASY!

So here is the “recipe” for………


This is a quick breakfast and can be adapted to personal preferences.

Here’s what you need -

  • Tortilla (whole wheat, regular, or whatever you use)
  • Peanut Butter (natural, creamy, chunky, almond)
  • Apples (or banana works really well too)
  • Granola (have also used Kashi too)
  • Honey, if desired
  • Nuts and raisins are also nice additions

1) Take tortilla and spread your peanut butter of choice all over in a thin layer

step 1 rollup

2) Chop up apples in small dice and add to center of burrito

step 2 rollup

3) Add granola.  If in big chucks, try to break it up a bit so the roll-up will…..roll.

step 3 rollup

4) Add honey if desired.  *We mostly do this when it’s a non-sweetened peanut butter or if the apple is on the tart side.

5) Roll up burrito style and cut in two.

granola rollup


Any favorite breakfast meals your family enjoys?


creative collection link party


Continue Reading 10

Junk in the (Mailbox) Trunk

Three items can appear each time you walk to get your mail….

BTW- Did anyone ever have, or still have, a mail slot?  We, Salvage Sister’s family growing up, use to have one in our home in Chicago.

1) THE GOOD -A letter from a friend (although a rare species), favorite magazine, package you ordered, or even a check.

2) THE BAD – BILLS, BILLS, and more BILLS!  Maybe a tax audit.  You know this kind of mail.

3) THE INDIFFERENT – Junk mail, coupons, catalogs, etc

You pretty much have a handle on the first two.  You enjoy the first and deal with the second so you have a house to live in (or car to drive).

The THIRD…ah…that’s where the problems can come in.  Sometimes this mail is “middle” mail.

The true junk (POLITICAL ADS…anyone like these?) gets thrown away/recycled BUT WE HAVE SOME IDEAS FOR YOU………………………….

  1.  If you are a crafter, there are lots of craft projects you can do like making beads, bookmarks, etc!
  2. Shred the non-glossy, black and white,paper and use it as compost.
  3. Shred the colorful paper and use it as fill for presents in gift bags.
  4. Catalogs, that you want, can be used for home decorating inspiration and they are FREE.  Catalogs that you don’t want, call the toll-free # to “opt-out”.  AND they can be great for collages and kids art projects.
  5. Paid Envelopes can be used for grocery lists.  You can put your coupons right inside, and you are ready for the store.
  6. Paper that is only printed on one side becomes scratch paper.  We have a designated spot for this in the house so it’s not all over the place.  (More on this below.)
  7. Crumble up the paper and use it as packing material for presents you are sending soon (In case you missed the signs, Christmas is coming up).
  8. Anyone into Origami?
  9. If you are a teacher or homeschool parent, here are some GREAT IDEAS!
  10. Last but not least, if you have paper punches, this is a great way to make your own confetti.  (Favorite way!)

junk mail confetti- turn junk mail into something useful

———> To cut down on junk mail, get on the National Do Not Mail List. <——–

Now onto the “middle” mail solution…………….

ORGANIZING TIP - For the next two weeks, separate your “middle” mail immediately into different categories….coupons, catalogs,  to read.  After the two weeks, have a designated spot for the items you do want to keep i.e. “This is where I will keep Restaurant Coupons” or “Catalogs to look at”.  Now pick a day to deal with these before you end up with 20 catalogs and expired coupons.

Would love to learn how you deal with your junk mail.


Continue Reading 2

9 Natural Pest Eliminators

Awhile back, we posted on our ant “situation”.  If you want to read more, which of course you should, you can read about it HERE.  But just to let you know ahead of time, we are NOT pro-ant!

Since we are not pro-ant, we needed a way to eliminate these little buggers!  But you know what else we are not fond of……… chemicals!   We want to do as much pest control naturally, if at all possible.  It’s not only a win avoiding chemicals, but it’s also a win to save $$ buying said chemicals.

Anyone else with us?

hometalk 9 natural pest eliminators

Hometalk, which is the largest home & garden knowledge hub on the web, recently reached out to us……whooohooo, to curate a board on natural pest eliminators.

We were thrilled to put this together and help others avoid chemicals and save some $$$$$.

You can find 9 Natural Pest Eliminators HERE on our Hometalk board.

There are TONS of great ideas like this and more on Hometalk so join and follow our board there.  We will be posting, pinning, and clipping tons of great ideas on “Making the most with what you got!”

P.S.- As always don’t forget to tell us what natural pest eliminators works for you and what doesn’t.  We are all about the learning process.

P.S.S.- Thank you Hometalk for allowing us to curate this board!


Continue Reading 4


We have been working on our Hallway for a few months.

There was a list of MANY things that needed to be done….

  • Flooring
  • Switches
  • Molding
  • Painting
  • Painting
  • More Painting

…………….but we kept at it.

You can check out previous posts to see what we have done, but here is the basic before and after:


hallway take 1

And here is the …………


hallway finished after

hallway finished two

And …….

hallway after picture

Why check out previous posts in this hallway series?  Well there are details on what we did and the comedy of errors along the way!

Our next DIY project?

We are finishing the dinning area so come on by to check it out.

…..Each Wednesday we will highlight a project we are working on.  Since our blog is “Making the best with what we have”, we hope to inspire those to see how you can do just that.



Continue Reading 15

What to do on Halloween?

This has been a question in our family for YEARS!

Some Christians feel this “holiday” should not be celebrated at all.  Some do.

Both The Mister and I celebrated as children, in Christian homes.

The Mister would prefer if we didn’t celebrate this day at all.  Don’t give a foothold. (Eph 4:27)

I don’t mind as long as it’s clean fun as all holidays have sketchy roots.  It’s what we do with them- what’s in our heart. (I Cor 10:23)

Sound familiar?

Many families may struggle with this as well.

christian ideas for halloween

We still don’t quite have it all figured out, and we have an 18 and 13 yr old,  but here’s what we have done in the past, or know others have done:

  • Fall Harvest Festivals at churches
  • Have a family night at our home with pizza/movies (Note-If you choose this option decide how you are going to handle the doorbell/candy situation.)
  • Get together with other families
  • Go Bowling, Roller Skating, or to the Movies (If you are avoiding scary costumes/situations, ask around to see how the businesses are setup this day)
  • Challenge your kids to come up with costumes that would be Biblical in nature (Noah and the animals)
  • Throw a party that will be appropriate (and so you know what’s going on)
  • Go outside, hand out candy as usual, and use it as a way to get to know your neighbors (maybe even play some Christian music)
  • A family “minication”..weekend getaway
  • Have a reformation celebration

As your children get older, make sure to explain to them where you are coming from and even ask for their input!

We realize this is a personal decision each family needs to make.

Whatever your decision, we would like to ask that we don’t look down upon others as they try to do what they think is right on either side (believer or non-believer).

BARGAIN ALERT…….Finally, one of the things we use to do when the kids were little is buy costumes after Halloween.  They were deeply discounted and the kids like to play dress up all year long.


Continue Reading 0

Five Minute Monogrammed Pumpkin


Super easy project ahead!

If you want a quick way to add some character to your pumpkin, this is it!

five minute monogramed pumpkin

Supplies -

  • Pumpkin
  • Sharpie
  • Pencil
  • Computer/Phone/Tablet (Unless you can draw without looking at an example.)

Yep, that’s it!

  1. Do an internet search for a monogram for the initial of your last name.
  2. Take your pumpkin and find the section you want to face front.
  3. Looking at the image from the internet, draw a similar image onto the face of the pumpkin with a pencil.
  4. Make any changes you need.
  5. Trace over the pencil with the Sharpie color of your choosing.

Well how’s that for “making the most with what you got”?

Honestly, it may take a few more minutes, but not much.  Very little time was spent searching for a monogram or getting this perfect.

If you do a Five Minute Monogrammed Pumpkin, will you show us on Instagram or Facebook?

motivational monday looly jane


Continue Reading 6

Domestic is NOT a Four Letter Word

I was in the middle of monogramming a pumpkin for our front porch……right after I had fixed a few of my sons shirts (minor alterations) and had made some cookies for my oldest (he was having some friends over for a belated birthday get together).

The house was smelling DELICIOUS and looked festive!

As I looked around, I felt great about what I had accomplished that day.  I was feeling very domestic despite the pumpkin took 5 minutes, I can’t sew much…. but enough to fix a button hole and attach some new ones….and the cookies were a modified box recipe.

But isn’t “Domestic” a four letter word?

If someone were to say a man is domestic, it’s suppose to be an insult.

Animals that are domestic(ated) are seen as pulled from their original habitat and tame.

Even women, who naturally have a nesting instinct, are viewed as not reaching their full potential.

I believe this is one of the reasons blogging is so popular among women.  It’s a place to feel validated for all the wonderful things women can……….and so willing do for those they love.

Think about it…..

Interior Designers……Paid Profession!

Chef’s……Paid Profession!

Artist…Paid Profession (well sometimes)!

Financial Advisor….Paid Profession!

Painter….Paid Profession!

Nanny…Paid Profession!

Seamstress….Paid Profession!

Maid….Paid Profession!

………I could go on and on!

Yet somehow if a women does these for her family, she is “domestic” and all the views that come with that.

Even though I have worked outside the home for a lot of years, I take great joy in the things I do for my family.  And if someone does this for their home, shouldn’t they get the same respect that someone who would get paid to do it?

Well I for one take great joy in these jobs and am not afraid to say it…..

Domestic is not a four letter word


How about you? Do you think domestic is a negative or positive word?

P.S. – The 5 minute pumpkin is coming up in the next post.

P.S.S. – Did you know it’s FREE to get our updates to your email?  Just add your email address to the “Get Updates” section right under our picture on the right side.  You will NOT get any junk mail…just a notification that a new post is up!




Continue Reading 0

Site by: