Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Is Air Duct Cleaning Worth It?

We recently had our air ducts cleaned and I wanted to share my experience because so many of you asked about the process and the results and the cost! To preface, we live in the Kanas City area in a home that was built 7.5 years ago (as of July 2019). We have a single-family home in the suburbs consisting of 3100 sq. ft. of living space, and 1500 sq. ft. of basement space. They cleaned every duct in our entire home. This post or service was NOT sponsored, I'm just sharing our personal experience!
We ultimately decided to get this done because this house was a new build over 7 years ago. Many homes on our street were constructed after it was built, which means lots of construction debris around. We also had our basement finished 2 years ago, which is more construction in the home. My son has been having allergy issues and I always just felt like our home looked dusty, even after dusting. I've also just read/heard it's a good thing to do for your air quality. I really also just wanted a baseline since we are the original owners of the home.

This particular company, Duct Doctor, uses a patented truck for all of their systems and output. Kind of handy! I found them online, called the service line, got an appt. set up, they showed up and did the rest!
They started by removing all of the return air vent and floor vent covers so they could get their large hoses inside to suck everything out. You will be surprised when you really start looking at how many vents you have in your home! The floor vents are easy to pick up and vacuum out just on your own. Gross right? And we have a newer home and no pets! All of these vents get cleaned inside and out!
This company was careful about covering their shoes and covering the areas where the hoses connected. The whole process takes about 3-4 hours, so you will need to be home!
This company provides before and after pictures which I really like. It seems everything was very transparent. This pics are grainy and dark because I had to take screenshots of them and then transfer over.

A few bullet points:

>They told me that my humidifier dial was turned up. They turned it down for me and told me to keep it off in the summer! I appreciated that!

>They changed out our air filter. Despite what the "months" say on the filter, they recommend we change ours every month for optimal air quality.

>They recommend this service every 3-5 years. Now that we have had it done, and we don't have pets or construction going on, I will probably only consider doing it about every 10 years.

>This company charges by square footage, not by the number of vents. Our total cost was $549.

>They did tell me they work with home builders in my area to clean the vents after new builds now. They did not offer this service when we moved in over 7 years ago. Check with your builder to see if your home has been done before spending to do it again!

Have we seen changes? Would we do it again?

>I would do this again mostly because now I have peace of mind about what was lurking in the walls of our home and no longer is! They told me your home is only as clean as the inside despite how often you clean.

>I do feel our home looks less dusty. We pump our heat and air all year long, so I like knowing our vents aren't blowing out all that gunk anymore!

>This is a pricey thing to do, I don't deny that. It took me a few years to bite the bullet and have it done. I feel good about just doing it and not having to do it again for a long time. We spend so much time in our home, I just want to feel we are living the best we can.

Let me know if you have any additional questions! xo

Friday, June 21, 2019

Explore Kansas City: Louisburg Cider Mill In the Summer!

Country roads! Local products! No lines! Cider Donuts! A friend recently reminded me that Louisburg Cider Mill, a local cider mill and country store, operates in all year long, not just in the fall! Cider donuts and cider slushes and apple cider seem like a good idea all the time!
Just a few miles down the road off 69 Highway sits this farm/mill in Louisburg, KS. It's easy to spot. The place was quiet in the summer, unlike the fall, which is a bit refreshing because there are no lines. The place feels down home and family orientated and sort of old-timey.

We came on a Friday morning and the parking lot only had a few cars and we only saw one other family grabbing donuts and cider slushes. There are, however, still fresh donuts and friendly smiles inside the country store!
There are tables and benches to enjoy your treats. There is something sweet about being out in the country, while not being far from home.
We bought a dozen donuts for the three of us because we knew Dad would want some later on! And let's be honest, we all needed at least three!
The kids picked out some Lost Trail Sodas that are made on site. The offer so many flavors, it's hard to choose! You can even assemble your own 4 or 6 pack!
The small country store offers all kinds of jams, dips, apple butter, pancake mixes, sodas, candy, apple cider, tea towels, and all things gift worthy. I picked up some dill dip mix to keep on hand!

The kids have already requested to go back for slushes and root beer floats the next time we go! You can see a full list of activities hosted by the cider mill on their website. It's fun to think outside the "seasons" box we tend to live in! Let's make cider donuts in the summer a thing!

Friday, June 14, 2019

Explore Kansas City: Shop Scoobie Boutique

In an effort to bring you more things Kansas City, I'm going to be sharing more of the places I visit! I attended a grand opening event at a local boutique that just opened in The Shops of Prairie Village. It's called Shop Scoobie and it is adorable! This part of town, these shops and restaurants, and dreamy neighborhoods make Prairie Village a place to check out!
The aesthetic of the shop is so good! Full of bright light and pattern and small enough that is feels cozy and intimate. It screams boutique! A great shopping experience!
There are two dressing rooms located in the shop as well as a large bathroom. Good lighting, big mirrors, and helpful employees make try-ons easy!
 And can we talk about this wallpaper in the bathroom?  I need this in my laundry room I think!!
What a fun opening event! If you need a special occasion dress, vacation outfit, or just some pretty clothes for your wardrobe, check out Shop Scoobie in the Shops of Prairie Village!

The owner, Sarah, is as kind as she is adorable! You can also purchase items online at Shop Scoobie!

Thursday, June 13, 2019

Explore KC - Wild Rose Equine Center Trail Ride

For Mother's Day last year, we decided to take a family horseback ride! We found a Groupon for a ride for four at a local equine center (it was about 40 minutes from our house) called Wild Rose Equine Center and we all LOVED the experience! My kids had never been on a full size horse before, so this was crazy exciting for them!
The Wild Rose Equine Center is located in the middle of the country in Dearborn, MO. We booked our time slot online and it was confirmed through email. The equine center was not busy when we went which was so nice! It is also not huge and overwhelming. A very family friendly place!
We arrived a little early and one of the employees walked us around the grounds. The have cows and donkeys and many horses. She told us about how the ranch functions and we got to pet all the animals. It was kind of a fun little bonus tour! I just started asking questions! I want to teach my kids that that's how you learn!
We were signed up for a 1 hour guided trail ride. Our guide made it fun for the kids and the scenery was so pretty! The staff makes sure everyone is comfortable on their horse and allowed time for the horses to drink water and for everyone to take photos. Our kids never felt scared! They loved it and didn't want it to stop!

It's hard to ride a horse, even on a walking horse, for an hour! Ha! These kids did great! They teach you basics on how to hold the reigns and turn your horse. They also teach you how to lean forward when going uphill and to lean backward going downhill to help with balance.
My kids have already requested to go back again! I would highly recommend the Wild Rose Equine Center! They also offer riding lessons if interested. These are the kind of experiences kids remember, so get out there and try something new!

Wednesday, June 12, 2019

Grilled Peaches with Cinnamon & Honey

Happy summer! It's grilling season! My family loves to eat grilled peaches for dessert this time of year! Peaches are readily available and inexpensive and simple to prepare!
Simply wash your peaches and cut them in half (throw the pit out). Brush the insides with melted butter. Sprinkle a generous amount of cinnamon on top of the butter. Turn your grill up to 400 degrees and start sizzling!
I don't turn mine. I just leave them face down on the grill until they start to get grill marks and feel soft and juicy! Remove the peaches from the grill and add a drizzle of honey on top.
Serve alone (the healthiest option), or serve with your favorite ice cream (the best way)! Ha! We found this new triple vanilla ice cream and it was delicious! I also think butter pecan or cinnamon ice cream would be perfect!
The perfect summer treat to serve up to your family or guests! I hope you're summer is off to the best start! xo

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Painted Tile Around Fireplace

Hello! A new DIY coming at you! This one required very little effort to get maximum impact! Love when that happens! We recently painted our entire first floor white. During that process I also started thinking about how I could change up our fireplace a little. We have lived in our home for 7 years and I'm having the urge to switch things up! I always consult my mom and my sister and we discussed painting the fireplace black to give the area some contrast! It's done and we LOVE it!
Here is the before pic. It's not terrible at all. The fireplace and mantel is large scale which I love, but the tile surround is sort of cheap and builder grade, nothing fantastic. Our fireplace is a flip-the-switch gas fireplace that we do use often in the winter. My sister thought that painting the tile around the fireplace would make that actually look bigger if it was all the same color.
When my sister had her house repainted recently, her painters painted right over her existing tile so I knew it could be done! Items needed for this project...painters tape (I use Frog Tape), primer, paint, paintbrush, roller. First up, I cleaned the tile with soap and water and let it dry. Then I started taping. I decided to leave the tile on the step unpainted. I added two coats of primer, allowing drying time in between. I used a small brush to make sure the grout and the edges were covered.
I used Behr primer from Home Depot. The primer stuck to the tile with no problems. In doing some research on painting tile, I read that a lot of people sanded the tile before added primer and paint. I decided to skip that step and have no regrets!
Then I added two coats of paint. I used the color Tricorn Black, but had it mixed in Behr paint. I used an eggshell finish. I used a small brush for the grout and edges again and then rolled the rest. This is after one coat of black paint.

After the two coats of black, I started to carefully remove the painters tape. For the most part, the tape worked great! I did have to use the brush to do a few touch ups. The fireplace is SO MUCH MORE DRAMATIC now! I just love it! Even my 11 year old son told me how much he loved it and he doesn't care about any of this stuff! Ha!
I love white, but I also love the contrast of black and white and how well black can ground a space. It keeps everything from being too sweet. This project took absolutely no time at all! Minimal effort, maximum impact!
In case you are curious, I wanted to show you my sister's before and after to show you the impact a little paint can have on a space! This was a photo from the house when they bought it.
And this is what her fireplace area looks like after a little paint. Crazy, right!
I had a hard time finding a lot of inspiration pics and blog posts for this project, so I hope this helps some of you if you are thinking about it! I'm so glad we just went for it!