We’ve Been in our House Almost Ten Years!

by Mrs Money

We’ve been living in our house now for almost ten years and I cannot believe it. There were many times I wanted to sell our house and move back to Colorado, or even Michigan. Even lately I’ve felt the itch to move because our house feels small sometimes now that we have a family! Our house is around 1600 square feet and is laid out really well. We have an attic, shed, and basement for storage but really wish we had a garage. We would also love if we had a finished basement for a living area! I’d love to have all toys down there, as well as another couch and tv so we could all relax and hang out together down there. If we ever sell our house and move, we have a list of wants/needs. Some of the things include: more acreage (around five acres), wood burning fireplace, basement, and garage. Those are all things that are pretty much non-negotiable.

As of now, our plan is to stay put and try our hardest to make this house and property work for us. If you’ve ever wanted to sell your home, maybe you could try these tips as well! There are some things we’d like to do to make us love the house even more, and also to increase the value of our home. We’ve done a lot of work to our house to make it our home, and I look forward to changing and making things even better over the next few years! Some of the things we have done include:

Replace flooring in our house. We’ve replaced all the floors except the ones in our dining room and kitchen. Our house is older and many of the rooms have original pine subfloors. Those rooms had carpet and we wanted to replace the carpet with hardwood but the floors were too uneven since the house is so old. We decided to go with a laminate floor that I installed myself! We’ve been living with it for many years and been very happy with the quality and durability. Plus, I feel like hard surface floors are so much cleaner and are much better for people with allergies.

-Painted every room, some rooms multiple times. I really enjoyed painting before I had Penny. There are a few rooms in our house that I would like to repaint but they will have to wait until I have the time and energy. I’d like to repaint our office (the paint in there has been the same for many years and definitely needs a paint job), and possibly our dining room and maybe even our bedroom. It seems like since I originally painted everything I ran out of paint ideas though. I need to get re-inspired!

-Paid extra on the mortgage. We’ve been pretty faithful to add a little extra to each mortgage payment. Usually it’s only $50, but every little bit adds up! I can’t wait to get the mortgage paid off completely. We’re prioritizing saving for retirement over paying the mortgage off sooner because we believe we will get a better rate of return on our investments if we invest in our IRAs.

Some of the projects I would like to complete soonish are:

-Repaint the kitchen cabinets. Our whole kitchen could use an overhaul, but the cabinets are nice wood and I think we can get some more time out of them. I wouldn’t mind to replace the counters, possibly backsplash, and floor. We will see if we can make that work in 2017! I’d love to do a lot of the work ourselves, but some of the stuff I don’t know where to start with so we will probably consult a professional on at least some of it!

-Purge and organize the house. I feel like we generally do a good job in keeping the clutter at bay, but having growing kids means that there are always clothes and toys being outgrown. I try to keep up on this and make sure that we don’t have way too much stuff in our smallish house.

That’s basically it. Have you wanted to sell your home and then changed your mind and stayed for a lot longer than you thought you would?


Elderberry Syrup Recipe

by Mrs Money


During the winter, my family takes elderberry syrup along with other supplements to boost our immune systems. Elderberries have been known to shorten the duration of illness, and it’s a berry so it’s generally considered safe for pretty much anyone including pregnant and nursing women. I personally have taken it while pregnant and nursing.  I really enjoy making and taking the elderberry syrup. If you don’t want to make your own elderberry syrup, you can buy it here.

Elderberries (sambucus nigra) grow in the wild, and you can harvest them yourself and make the syrup if you would like.  Some of the benefits of elderberries are: cold ad flu relief, blood sugar stabilizer, natural diuretic, good for allergies, and high in antioxidants.  They are also high in vitamins A, B6 and C, which helps them boost the immune system.

I purchase my organic elderberries in bulk from Amazon. They’ve always been great quality and I like buying in bulk so I don’t have to worry about running out when I want to make it.  Sometimes I also make elderberry tea by steeping 2 teaspoons of elderberries in 10 ounces of boiling water.  I add in some raw honey and it is delicious!  Here’s how you can make your own elderberry syrup:


  • 4 cups of filtered water
  • 3/4 cup dried elderberries
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • sprinkle of nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon dried ginger
  • raw organic honey to taste (we purchase from Costco)
  1. Add 4 cups of filtered water to a medium sized pot and sprinkle in elderberries, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, and ginger.
  2. Bring mixture to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. I let mine barely bubble and check it every ten minutes.  It smells so good while it is cooking!  When it looks like the liquid has been reduced and is a little thicker than it was, turn the heat off and remove it from the burner.
  3. Let the mixture sit for awhile to cool down. After this has happened, I take my potato masher and squish the berries to release the liquid.  When done squishing berries, strain through a metal strainer into a glass container.  At this point, you can discard your elderberries.
  4. When the liquid is just warm, add honey to taste. We add between 1/2-3/4 cup of honey.  Stir to combine!

We take 1 tsp for kids and 2 tsp for adults daily as a preventative.  When illness strikes, take that dosage every two to three hours until symptoms disappear.  I actually use the elderberry syrup added to my daughter’s cod liver oil since she prefers the flavor.  She takes it with no problem and actually reminds me to give it to her if I forget!

Make sure to consume elderberry syrup within a month or so.  I have seen it mold when not consumed quickly enough, and that is why I don’t make more than one recipe at a time.  I shake mine well before dosing to the family members. The last illness we had lasted about 2 days for us, and didn’t seem to be as bad as other peoples’ symptoms and I attributed that to the elderberry syrup!

What do you do in the winter to boost your immune system?


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