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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

is a closet update a worthy house investment?

So I've done it again.  I've removed the wire shelving, which many of you know that I disdain with a passion, from yet another closet.   Last time it was my son's closet.  This time it's the guest room closet.  I'm slowly but surely going to work my way around to every closet in the house.....she says while shaking her fist in the air.

I've decided to revamp the closet with beadboard wallpaper, wood shelving and new closet rods.  A friend of mine recently asked me if I thought a project like this was a worthy house investment.  She asked this because she would really like to update her closet, but there is a big possibility that she may be moving and selling in the somewhat near future.  My answer was an emphatic YES it's a worthy house investment.  And then I gave her a laundry list of reasons to support my answer. 

Is a closet update a worthy house investment?

1.  A closet update/renovation is a relatively small expense.  I mean, sure it can get expensive.....any home improvement project can.......but it doesn't have to break the bank.  Small expense + big improvement = a house least it does in my book.

2.  While you're thinking about the future.......the possibility that you might be selling and're currently living with a situation, a closet, that you absolutely hate.  And on top of that you're living with a closet you hate that you are completely capable both physically and financially to do something about.

3.  I get that whole but this isn't my "forever" home way of thinking, but in the end I think life's too short to pine away for someday when you have today to make your dreams a reality. 

4.  Sure an updated closet isn't as important to potential buyers as say, an updated kitchen or bathroom, but don't be fooled into thinking that you're the only homeowner that loves a well designed, organized closet.  A closet update will most definitely be attractive to potential buyers should you decided to sell.  And add that updated closet to your updated kitchen and bathroom and now you're tipping the scales in your favor. 

5.  Every improvement you make to your home can't be measured in investment dollars.  Some improvements won't necessarily pay you back financially but might just help you get your home sold faster.......and that's worth something isn't it?   It's often organization improvements, like nice closet shelving, that make your home stand out from the rest.

You all know I'm living in my fifth house, not too inventive in the blog name category over here, so you know I've been on the buying and selling side a number of times.  While I kept my list of pros to five I could honestly go on and on, but I'm curious to know what you all think?  Do you think a closet update a worthy house investment?

Monday, March 23, 2015

book club - i am having so much fun here without you

So hey, happy Monday friends!  If you're new here, let me start by letting you know this isn't a book review blog, although I very much enjoy reading.  I even set up a little nook in my bedroom just for me to get lost in the pages of a book.  I love reading so much that when my girlfriend Cassie asked me to join a little blogger book club last year I just couldn't refuse.  We read one book a month, take turns choosing books for the group to read, and then once a month post our reviews of that month's book on our blogs.   So if you're visiting Our Fifth House for the house stuff and could care less about the book worries at all.  I usually post my monthly reviews on Sunday evening, but last night I had the worst headache.  And because I'm already behind posting my review of February's chosen book I decided not to wait to next Sunday.  Hope you don't mind. 

February's book was I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You by Courtney Maum.  I totally love the cover!  

book review  - I Am Having So Much Fun Here Without You

However the story............not so much.  So basically this is the story of a married man who has an affair.  The premise of the story is pretty darn typical in that we've seen this happen so many times books, in real life.  Man cheats on his wife......the wife finds out........the cheating man then decides he doesn't want his marriage to end.  Trying to repair a marriage after you have had an extramarital affair, in my opinion, is like trying to superglue your wedding china back together after you threw it on a hardwood floor.  It's almost impossible to pick up the pieces after so much damage has been done.  And this book, this story, explores that scenario in a very real to life way.  In many ways I found this story so close to real life that it left me feeling a little depressed.  It probably didn't help that the main character (the cheating man) wasn't very likable.  Not so much so because he was a cheater but because he was just so. darn. selfish.

I will say, the setting if nothing else kept me entertained.  It's hard not to enjoy a story set in Paris and London.  What I mostly pulled away from this book was confirmation that what I believe about marriage is true - love is a verb, it's an action word, it's something you choose to do every day, it's not a noun, it's not a place you can fall in and out of, it's you deciding on a daily basis to put someone else's feelings above your own, and when you decide to stop choosing love........that is when a marriage falls apart.  Maybe that's naive......but that's what I know to be true.    

I can't say this book was a favorite.  I will say I think Courtney Maum is a great writer.  Sometimes the stories that stick with you aren't the ones that leave you inspired, they're the ones that make you think.  For that reason I think it's a worthy read. 

What are your thoughts?  Have you read this book?  What was the last book you read that really made you stop and think?  One that kind of got under skin? 

Read the other book club reviews of this book here:   Cassie, Kirby, Katie

Next month's book is The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.  I already finished it and can't wait to share my review! 

Curious about what our club has read in the past?  Scroll down on the sidebar to the left for a list with clickable links to those reviews.  

Thursday, March 19, 2015

dark chocolate sunbutter bunnies

So I recently found out I'm allergic to peanuts, almonds, cashews......kale, garlic, eggs.......all dairy but goat's milk, bell pepper, ginger.......I mean I could keep going but I think you get the point. 
Readjusting your diet around food allergies and sensitivities can be kind of daunting.  With Easter quickly approaching the one thing that has been slapping me in the face everywhere I go are those darn delicious Reese's peanut butter eggs!!!!!!!!!!!!   It's like they are taunting me!   The struggle is so real!  I have a major soft spot in my heart for anyone with food allergies because it's a hard road to travel sometimes.  

Not to be defeated I played around in the kitchen and came up with a pretty tasty alternative using sunflower seed butter and allergy free dark chocolate chips.  These little bunnies are not only quite delicious, but they also don't have all the added crap that prepackaged candies tends to have in them.  Dare I say that these yummy treats are "healthy"?! 

dark chocolate sunflower seed bunnies

These are so easy to make!  You don't have to use a bunny mold, but who doesn't love a chocolate bunny for Easter?  You can buy one online here or pick one up at your local craft store. 

1 cup Enjoy Life Dark Chocolate Morsels - (these are dairy, nut and soy free) & Target sells this brand now! 
1 tbsp. + 1tsp. coconut oil 
1/2 cup organic sunflower seed butter 
2 1/2 tbsp. grade b maple syrup 
2 tsp. coconut flour

Melt the chocolate and coconut oil in a double boiler or microwave at 30 second intervals stirring between until mixed and totally melted.  Fill each bunny about halfway and use a butter knife to coat the sides.  Stick tray in the freezer for a few minutes to allow the melted chocolate to set.  Then mix together the sunflower seed butter, maple syrup & coconut flour.  Pull tray out of freezer and add about 1/2 a tsp. of the sunbutter mixture to each bunny. Use a fork or butter knife to smoosh the butter down. Then pour the remaining chocolate over the top and stick the tray back into the freezer to set for about 15 minutes.   Pull out your tray and carefully pop your bunnies out and enjoy!  

chocolate sunbutter bunnies - dairy free - gluten free - nut free

They're soooooo good!  And they would look adorable in an Easter brunch table setting! 

allergy friendly homemade easter candies - chocolate sunbutter bunnies

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