Saturday, February 28, 2015

Chris Kauffman blog...Reader survery

          I have had a lot of time to really think about my blog lately...what is it's purpose?
Where is it headed? What will I post about especially during these lean times when projects are few and far between. I started this blog to show and share decorating projects and then to share my DIY projects, just to share and for feedback...good or bad, mostly it has been a great experience.

I started this blog way back before Pinterest and way before instagram and twitter, blogging was just could make some money with advertising and that was a bonus but it wasn't the goal.

I recently went to a blogger media event and it was great to reconnect with other bloggers that I respect and admire and that understand the journey of writing a long term blog. Turns out I am not alone with the way I am feeling about blogs, about my blogging and about sponsors and partnerships with brands.

                               thought I'd throw a little selfie in here just in case you forget what I look like...hi!

I feel like the blogging world has changed a lot in the last few years...Many years ago...going on 8 years, I started blogging to share to connect and for fun, today I see a whole other community of bloggers, ones who are mainly blogging for income (I didn't see that one coming)...of course making an income is one would shame anyone for trying to make money and that is not my intent, we all need money to survive and heck we certainly need money to keep these blogs going after all...these projects don't pay for themselves for the most part...but I think it's caused a shift in the way some blogs come can feel like a numbers game, it's a touchy subject and it can alienate readers and no one wants to do that.

I don't want to get caught up in that, for me that's not what I want...we tell our kids not to worry about likes on their selfies or followers on their instagram when I hear people buy followers it truly makes me sounds like a popularity contest that I am not willing to sign up for.

I know it is a tricky balance, no one wants to sell their soul to the devil for success or for money & I know I hate it when a blog/blogger I follow and really enjoy makes the change into mainly a promotional blog and they leave behind all of what made me visit and follow their blogs in the first place.
  I too have over the last 1 1/2 years started to embrace the occasional sponsored post. As many bloggers I do get approached to review and promote lots of products and brands... and because most of the time the products aren't an authentic fit for me I don't usually participate...when it is something I feel strongly or positively about I am happy to be a part of sponsored posts or reviews and it is a great perk of having a blog at this stage of the game.
Currently things I review and promote about are 90% personally endorsed no compensation and max 10% sponsored.

I have slowed down my blog posts as I really want to have an interesting post to share that is worth publishing, I don't want to scramble together a little bit of content just to keep posts coming, however I am planning to make a change to the frequency of my posts. You don't want me to blather on the way I used to about any old thing I'm sure for that you can always follow my on Instagram here  please let me know you followed from my blog I would love to follow you back.

I am hoping that you can help me out to show me where I should take this blog by completing this quick survey to give me some information I really need to best serve you... click here to take the survey. Please feel free to leave addiditonal question and comments on this post if you like.
* I am so grateful for all of the responses sadly the survey is closed for now. thank you 

I look forward to your answers...thank you for taking time to answer a few questions.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Living with LED bulbs, a year in review...

Last year I started a partnership with Home Depot, they so kindly offered to send me enough LED bulbs to switch out 97% of our lights to LED...I wasn't sure if I would like them but I had nothing to lose by trying them...
I would have to say as a family we are kind of picky with our lighting well my husband likes a warm amber/orange light and I tend to like a warm white light.

You can find my original post HERE 

After living with LED bulbs for a year I am 100% a convert. 
I bought a new lamp yesterday and I was bummed all I had were my old left over bulbs from before the switch, I will have to go grab an LED bulb soon. 

One of the things I have definitely noticed is that I have not changed out a burnt out bulb this entire year....prior to the switch I was changing kitchen pot lights on the regular... talk about annoying, I have to get out a full ladder to change those. 

The lighting I selected was warm white, not cold at all...but there are many versions of light to suit your preference. There is a great display at Home Depot so you can see all the options and choose what you like. 

The two brands I have been able to test drive are the Philips and the Cree bulbs...I give both an A+

SO how did it impact my electric bill....I was expecting a big change...but I think it is tough to say really how much these bulbs saved us in consumption...The cost of electricity has gone up...and in general our consumption has gone up. But that can be that we use electricity differently now. 
Our bill isn't broken up into usage...have you really read your electric bill is confusing to say the least...I just get the bill gasp and pay I what it is.

2013 February $83.77 for electricity = $172.39 (after all the fun add ons)

2014 February $95.31 for electricity = $207.26 (after all the fun add ons)

2015 February $98.44 for electricity = $238.99 (after all the fun add ons)

By fun add ons I mean retirement funds, delivery, taxes etc...let's just say I sure am glad we switched out our bulbs to LED because I am sure it would have been much worse. 
I think our increase in consumption is due to charging all of our iPhone's and devices, I also put in an automatic lighting for outside that is a night of lighting, maybe I should be done with that. 
It is what it is I guess...we are not big energy savers, well I am but the rest of my family is not.

In conclusion I love the LED bulbs, I am glad we have them, I love the lighting and I love that they last and last...and although in a 12 month period they don't show to have saved us obvious amounts of $ I know they are right for the environment and in the long run they do make a difference. 

 *I was given the bulbs by Home Depot this is a sponsored post but the opinions are mine 100%

Thursday, February 12, 2015

linen closet organization

 This is the first house we have bought that has a linen closet...I can't blame anyone for that because I had them removed at the building stage to create more room in the bedrooms in both of our first two homes. But this home had a real spot for a linen closet a big linen closet compared to the usual one skinny door closet.
I recently wanted to get a second vacuum, I mean I love my Dyson but it is heavy for me to carry up and down the stairs especially since my ankle sprains so I looked for a cordless vacuum. I tried one for just over a year but it didn't stand up nor could it replace my Dyson so I started to research other options. I really wanted another Dyson but I found a Hoover Air cordless vacuum that had really long battery power and it seemed to have the features I was looking for. I wanted this new vacuum for our main floor that is mostly wood floors. I found the Hoover Air cordless at Lowes for a really great price about $200 less than the Dyson so I figured it was worth a try so I bought it. So far so good but I still wonder how I would like the Dyson cordless stick vac.

There was more than enough room for the new smaller vacuum in the main floor pantry closet as it was, but I had to make space in the upstairs linen closet to keep the Dyson because there was no way to fit it in there.
Truthfully my linen closet was a massive mess, so many unused linens and things I didn't even know were in there. I was ruthless and cleaned it out. Somehow I can keep the rest of the house tidy but give me a closet and it will be a mess.
Notice my sad 20 year old ironing board...don't you like the blue paint tape floor protection sad. I went into Target and found a nicer newer ironing board, it was about time.

 Here is how this space looked when we moved in. Yes that's right, subfloor, raw railings and no doors on the closet.
Looking better with some flooring these things take time... to be truthful I still need to do a sanding and another top coat up here...I sure am dragging my feet.
 Stained floors, finished railings. I think adding doors to this closet was going to be $300 through the builder and as a DIY project it was only $100 with hardware and trim. Stay tuned because in the spring I have plans for that little hallway that leads to my kids rooms.
So much prettier, in fact I love this upstairs hall.
 Here is how I adjusted/customized the closet to fit our Dyson.
 I trimmed down the shelves and added this end piece with pocket holes, this was made so easy with those corner clamps I simply used a multi saw to trim off the excess shelf braces and filled all the damage.
 I thought it was worth switching out the metal brackets to these nice Ikea brackets I actually had laying around. The metal ones were functional but adding pretty brackets is an easy way to up the design appeal.

 I edged all the shelves with cheap pine, this cost about $20 and makes this closet look much more finished and substantial and it adds another 1/2" of shelf depth.
 Everything got a fresh prime and paint.

I love it when I finally get to finishing a space even a space as over looked as the linen closet.