Today I am sharing my "date jar" that I made for Jake and I.

I don't know about you but I get stir crazy! If I am stuck at home for too many days in a row I have to get out, go do something.

We also don't always have tons of ideas on the drop of a hat, or the money to blow.

I started googling cheap & creative date ideas and I came up with an idea.

I bought some popsicle sticks at Walmart (super cheap I might add) and cleaned an old jam jar. I also grabbed some string, a notebook, paper & a sharpie.

I opened the notebook and started to put down my date ideas. 

I numbered them and put information that pertained to that idea. 

For example, for my idea rollerskating I wrote the closest rollerskating location and the price.

The plan is to eventually color code the sticks as well; A color for low cost, high cost, warm weather, cold weather, lots of planning, & little planning. 

Did you get all of that?  
Some of the Date ideas:
1. Road Trip
2. Bake a cake
3. Farmer's Market
4. Scary Movie Night (we love Zombie movies!)
5. 20 questions
6. Watch sunset/sunrise
7. Swimming
8. Rollerskating
9. Movie
10. Walk
11. Picnic
12. Camping
13. Fishing
14. Open mic night
15. Laser Tag
16. Sledding
17. Volunteer
18. Paint
19. Rock Climbing
20. Tandem Bike Ride
Referencing my last post, Plumbing, our house had flooded. By the time we got the water turned off and started scooping water out it was late. 

 Jake and I were tired and irritable but something needed to be done.
So naturally, I called my mom. I'm a momma's girl.

Our carpet and tile still had about an inch of standing water; we had to get someone out. Our State Farm agent sent out Complete Restoration to work with us on the water extraction.

Complete Restoration brought in machines to soak up the majority of the water; we had hoses running out our windows and through doors that ran back to their huge truck. 

It took several hours to suck up water. They took off baseboards and drilled holes in the drywall underneath so that they could test how much water got in the walls and to dry it out. They also brought in large industrial fans to dry out the rooms. 
The fans run for 3-5 days along with another machine that is used to take humidity out of the air. 
The water extraction team was great at getting the water up the first couple of days.

They did forget about their fans though. We figured they would come back and turn them off when they thought it was done but we ended up having to call and remind them.

The constant running of the fans for those couple of days shot the electricity bill in the air; $343.60; usually around $100-$150 in winter months.

Lucky for us State Farm was great, they included that excess electric bill amount in our claim deductible ($1,290.00.
My first post is a, “learn from my plumbing mistake/inexperience” post. 


I am.

We bought a cute home but an old home about a year ago. When I say old I mean old. 1930s old. Yup.

We signed late May of last year. I was so excited to start moving in that I took Jake's mom, Corina, to bring over some boxes.
Because of the goober that I am I had to go around and do a happy dance in each of my “new” rooms.

 Imagine a spunky red head dancing from room to room; it makes the next part better... 

Now imagine, since we have our "imagination hats" on, the thudding halt, draw drop and eye widening as I come to my guest bedroom and find grass, 

let me repeat, GRASS,
growing out of my carpet. 

I had to pluck it out. 

At this point I was trying to decide wether to laugh or cry. 
I ended up doing this kind of insane hysterical hyena outburst. 
I may have been partially mad.

Jake and I aren’t by any means rich. 
We make good enough money, the bills get paid and mouths get fed but we don’t necessarily always have money in our savings account. 

This was one of those times.

We called out a plumber who ended up ripping out the carpet just to say that he wasn’t sure where the leak was or if there was one. He thought water may have been tracked in...along with grass seed?

Life went back to normal. 

Moving to a house was a big adjustment; we went from living in a 1 bedroom basement apartment to a 5 bedroom, two level home. We didn’t need really go in that guest bedroom. 

Next thing I know I noticed some fungus growing out of the baseboard in the room one day with a little wetness to which I just peeled off and thought, “that probably isn’t good” and went back to my chores. 

Let me just pause to say that I know that I’m gross. 
Well aware.
I am also busy.
 I work 9am-7pm (five to six days a week on varying days) and Jake works 11pm-7:30am. 

We finally did call a plumber back in.
 I decided it was kinda a good idea once I pushed against the wall and my finger went through. 
Super strength?
...not really. 

I used a regular knife, to which Jake about kicked my butt, to saw up the drywall about a 1 1/2 to 2 feet from the baseboard. After to pulling out all the insulation I found the problem. We had an abandoned pipe which had froze and burst to make the cap leak.

This little leak mind you caused our monthly water bill to go from $99.00...

 to $235.00, 


to $324.00, 


*I did later take my plumbing bill into my city utility office; They gave me a credit on my water bill since it was a plumbing issue. I didn't owe anything on my next water bill and I had a $2.30 deduction on the bill afterwords

The plumber sawed off the end of the pipe, replaced the cap and welded it back on. 

It cost us $189.00 for the repair. 

He gave us a discount because I found the leak and had made it accessible myself. 
Then we had a ridiculously cold winter. 

The smart thing to do, for those reading, would have been to re-insulate and drywall the gapping open wall. We didn’t do that, because that would  have been the smart thing to do. 

Side note; you will soon realize that I am super sarcastic. I apologize ahead of time.

The cap froze and burst a second time

Are we learning life lessons here? 



This time we didn’t find out until a lot more damage was done. 
We bought and extra heater to put in that room which caused the frozen water to thaw and flood over morning/afternoon.

I came home to Jake yelling out the door to me that we had a "problem" and that I had better come in and help.

My sweet hubby, "problem"? ha more like catastrophe!
Lets just say its good he found it.

I would have been the one scream hysterically running around like a chicken with my head cut off. 
Lucky neighbors, huh?

It flooded 3 rooms!

We called a plumber out again, I different one named Don Henrie, and he advised us to get a “shark bite” for us to replace the cap ourselves. 


Jake and I were doing a happy dance at our handy-ness. Sadly it was short lived when we realized we had acquired several other leaks when we turned the water back on.

By the way if you by a home, know how to turn off your water. VERY IMPORTANT.

Don Henrie, our plumber, came out and did twice the work as the first guy and charged us $150.00
Love him!
Summing it up: 

1st: Make home repairs a priority; if you know something is up, find it and call in a professional. Don’t take no for an answer if you/they can’t find it the first time.

Trust your gut!

2nd: Understand that the cost now (especially for something like plumbing, electrical etc.) will be more cost effective than to fix it later.

3rd: Find a professional you like! Don’t be afraid to get recommendations from your neighbors and give recommendations when you find someone great. Develop a good repor with that individual.

4rth: Going to say it again; know how to turn off your water! If you have a leak you will save so much money in water/damages by stopping your water right away.

Your lever/knob should be in your water closet, where your water heater etc are.