Disclosure: I received this WORX Drill in order to review it.  All opinions are my own.

Growing up, it was just me, mom and my sister.  That meant many tasks fell onto my shoulders.  I learned at a fairly young age how to use tools, mow the lawn, attempt to fix broken things and to tackle DIY projects on behalf of my mom.  After marrying my wife, we ended up with 2 girls.  Years later we added two boys but they are just now reaching the age where they (the boys) can really start to help me.  Honestly, Benjamin is just now showing an interest in learning these things.  But I digress.  All that was to say, I am comfortable around tools, do the bulk of the manual labor at home and now do DIY projects on behalf of my wife…like building climbing equipment in the woods.  During all my years of tinkering, building and DIY-ing a good cordless drill has been my constant companion.  Though I’ve had many great drills over the years, I’ve had one common complaint about all of them.  The constant switching of bits or having to lug around a second driver to get the jobs done.  Then this little fella showed up at my house.

WORX drill #ad

The WORX 20v Switchdriver is my favorite drill so far and I am not saying that because they sent it to me free of charge.  Why? Here are some of the standout features of my WORX Drill.

Rotating dual chucks make switching between bits faster than ever

Precise electronic torque control prevents the stripping of screws

Features 2 powerful and lightweight MaxLithium batteries

Variable 2-speed gearing tackles all common drilling & driving functions

1/4″ hex quick-change chucks for easy bit change-out

But if you’re like me, you could care less what the company says about the product you want to hear how your buddy used it to build his wife the most awesome pallet board sign EVER! Or how some other dude used it to build his dream deck.  Watch my video to learn all about it.

Hopefully you watched my little video but if not here’s the breakdown.  The WORX Drill boasts a true hands-free, quick change, rotating dual chuck that lets you flip back and forth between drill and driver with ease.  Wanna see?  Watch my video!  You can do it with just one hand.  My new drill is going be my best friend as I finish building a playground in our woods.   The downside of the quick change chuck is that you have to have hex-head driver bits and drill bits, which means older drill bits won’t work in it.  Anyone whose tried to use two drills at once knows this is going to be a lot easier.  I’m stoked to have it and would like to try out some other WORX products.

You ready to do some DIY?  Enter below for a chance to win your own WORX Drill.

Cliff: An accomplished author, in that I drink a lot of coffee, look at obscure websites, own a copy of Microsoft Word and know what an Oxford comma is. Hobbies include mocking Ab Lounger ads on Craigslist and napping. Former Marine, mail carrier and dental chair technician, now I spend my days trying to live up to my wife and dog\'s expectations of me and show my kids how to live life well.

I absolutely love the look of barn doors.  However, when I starting looking at them and saw how much they cost, I was pretty discouraged.  They averaged $300-$400 and that is definitely not in the budget, especially when we would still need to buy the track for it!  So I dragged my hubby to Home Depot and we looked for materials to build our own.  We considered just using 1x 6’s but then a Home Depot associate suggested using 1×6 8 ft. Tongue and Groove boards since they were a few dollars cheaper.  He helped us pull some down and put them together and we really liked the look it gave, plus my hubby liked the fact that they locked together and would provide more stability for the door.  We also bought some 1×4’s to hold them together and give the barn door look.  We ended up spending about $55 on the wood.  We picked up two black iron gate handles(one for each side of the door) at $10 a piece.

We cut the boards to the length we needed and attached the tongue and groove panels together.  I stained them along with the 1×4’s with Minwax Special Walnut.  We then screwed the cut 1×4’s to the panels, attached the handles and voila!  We had our custom barn door for about $75!  We then turned our attention to the metal track for the door.  Again, I was shocked at the prices!  Home Depot had them for $179.  Way more than we wanted to pay.  So I turned to eBay.  I was happy to find dozens of vendors and styles there to choose from.  We found one we loved for $66.59, less than half of the one in Home Depot!  The only downside, which we knew from reading the reviews, was that the tracks use metric measurements so we had to modify the installation a little.  But for such a huge savings, it was well worth it!

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I am so so happy with how it turned out! It transformed the look of whole area since this doorway is seen as soon a s you walk in our front door.  The door itself was a pretty easy project.  It took about 2 hours total with sanding, cutting, staining and assembly.  The track installation took about an hour and a half due to the modifications we had to make.  Now I want my hubby to make one for our master bedroom closet 🙂

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

The people we bought our house from had  done some work to the kitchen.  I appreciated this but never felt like the flow worked really well.  The refrigerator was right inside the doorway to the kitchen on the left with a wall cabinet on the right.  This made for a cramped, tight squeeze.  Here’s a pic to show what I mean.

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The counters were granite but they were tiles not a a slab.  The grout was really dirty and the tiles showed every smudge.

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The cabinets themselves were in pretty good shape and replacing them wasn’t in our budget.  However, the paint was chipping and peeling in many spots.

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The one thing we really needed was more storage.  With a family of 8, I was really missing having a pantry.  I started brainstorming to think of ways we could reconfigure the kitchen ourselves on a small budget.  Here are a few more pics to show what we started with. Please excuse the messy cabinets.  We had already removed a lot of the doors to paint.

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We finally decided that we would cut out an opening in the wall that the fridge was on and frame in a box for the fridge to recess into.  We would removes the bar and extend the the wall out a bit and create a pantry next to the refrigerator.  This would give me an additional 3 feet of floor space which would allow for an island to make up for the lost counter space.  We decided to paint the cabinets and create faux butcher block counters using the same table tops from Lowes that we used in our bathroom remodel.  I really liked the backsplash so we wanted to keep that.

I started by sanding down the cabinets and doors.  This was a royal pain but we felt it was necessary.  We used the electric sander on the door and drawer fronts and I did the cabinet bases by hand with good old sandpaper.  Thankfully, my oldest was around to help 🙂

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We decided to splurge and purchase a paint sprayer to paint the cabinet doors.   We bought the HomeRight C800766 Finish Max Fine Finish Sprayer and I highly recommend it!  It was a lifesaver and I wish we had gotten one years ago!  It made it so much easier and it will come in handy when we re-stain the deck in the spring!

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I decided on a blueish gray color.  I didn’t want anything too dark but the off white that the cabinets had been was too light,  It showed every little speck and splatter.

WhileIi worked on that, my awesome hubby started on the wall cutout.  First he tore off the older countertops and pulled up the bar.  We saved one of the cabinets to re-use as our island base.

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He then started knocking out the hole for the new addition.

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This is when it tarted to get a little chaotic.

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While he worked on the framing, I started on the island.  As I said, we used one of the old cabinets as a base.  I screwed a wood base onto the top of the cabinet with about a foot hang over on each side.  I still wanted a place for the little kids to sit so I made sure there was enough of an overhang for a stool on each end of the island.

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We put a piece of cement board on top of that as a base for tile.  Since the butcher block is not super heat resistant, I wanted a counter that I I could put hot dishes on and tile was an easy, economical choice.  We chose 12×25 tiles to reduce the number of grout lines.

My hubby is amazing and he worked on the kitchen every free minute he had.  By the end of day 3, he had the new addition framed, dry walled and painted.  He made shelves for the pantry out of strips of wood and plywood. At 3 feet by 2 1/2 feet, the pantry gives me so much storage!

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I took on the faux butcher block counters.  We again used the pre-cut table tops from Lowes.  We paid about $85 for the tops and another $15 for trim pieces. MUCH cheaper than new granite or even laminate.  I wanted them darker so I stained them a dark walnut color.

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After much research, we decided to use a regular clear coat on the top of the counters.  Some sites said to use a “food safe” sealer but I found a lot of info saying that as long as you aren’t cutting on the counters (which we don’t plan on doing), regular clear coat was fine.  I ended up putting on 4 coats.

I wanted new oil rubbed bronze hardware to go with the wood so I sold our old hardware and found a GREAT deal online on hinges and pulls.  I got 15 Cabinet Pulls, 6  Cabinet Cup Pulls and 16 hinges for $52!  If you’ve priced hardware lately, you know what a deal this was!  The cup pulls alone were $3.99 a piece at Lowes.  We changed out the hardware, glued down the new counters and installed a folding door on the new pantry.  After a lot of hard work and aching muscles, we were done.  Here’s the finished product!

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I absolutely LOVE it!  Recessing the refrigerator made a huge difference. It feels so much bigger and I have a ton of new storage.  The corner with the fridge is no longer crowded.

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The counters turned out really nice and they are so much easier to clean.

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I’m also really happy with how the island turned out.  I used remnants of a few pallets we had left over from our pallet wall project as well of pieces of plywood cut into strips.

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Since I took these pictures, I painted the bar stools a burgundy color.  It adds a nice pop of color to the kitchen.

My brother made this wall cling for above the pantry.

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Here are a few more pics.

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Forgot to mention, we did a temp patch of the floors using stained plywood cut into strips.  We plan on replacing the floors eventually so we didn’t want to spend a lot of money on something that would get torn back up.  It actually blends in better now that I have clear coated it. The dining area feels so much bigger with the island gone.

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The only thing we want to do is take out the yucky florescent light and replace it with a small ceiling fan with light.

In all we spent about $590 total, including: paint, hardware, tile, grout, wood, drywall, nails, stain, tabletops for counter, pantry door, and misc odds and ends.  Not bad for a kitchen redo!

This post ended up being really long!  If you stuck it out, thanks!

 

Belinda is a wife, mom, blogger, and Brand Ambassador. She has six children including 5 boys and 1 girl. Belinda enjoys reading, photography, crafts and DIY projects, and watching her boys play soccer. You may contact Belinda at mudpiesand tiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Belinda

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the PetSafe® product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

 

The PetSafe®  Sliding Glass Pet Door is a great time saver. It’s designed to be installed as part of a sliding glass door and to be nearly permanent but without cutting a hole in your wall or door. The PetSafe® Sliding Glass Pet Door takes up a chunk of space and, with a narrower slider like we have, makes it awkward to exit carrying a full tray of raw steaks. It is an equally daunting task to take a plate full of hotdogs successfully through the door while the PetSafe addition is installed. Despite it’s limitations, the door is a marvelous idea. Once it is installed, it is one of those things that seems ridiculously simple, like it should have been invented 30 years ago. The door comes in two pieces along with mounting hardware. Designed to become part of the glass door and a permanent addition with its own locking hardware, the dog door doesn’t require any holes in walls. It slips into the slider rails. The spring-loaded top secures the piece in place.

PetSafe®  #ad

We are not totally sure we want a dog door in the location where our slider is, but with the PetSafe® Sliding Glass Pet Door, we can afford to put it in and take it back out — I have not drilled a single hole for mounting. The spring top holds the door in place. I put it on the screen track rather than the glass track, so the glass door can still be locked behind the dog door. I didn’t put any of the weather sealing on the door and it isn’t as weather tight as it would be by following the manufacturer’s recommendations. The huge benefit of the door would be to renters who have a dog or cat that they want to let in and out. It took me about two minutes to install the dog door and it shouldn’t affect your security deposit.

PetSafe®  #ad
The rubber dog door has a magnetic bottom clasp that stays closed in the wind, but allows your animal to get through. There is a second locking plastic door which can be installed when the dog door isn’t in use. I wasn’t sure if our six-month-old puppy would figure out how to use the door. Dutch isn’t the sharpest tack in the box, but he’s a good boy. I started with him outside and me inside. I opened the dog door with my hand, but he seemed hesitant.

 

I then used a dog treat to lure him in, then back out. Then I left a treat on the carpet just inside the door. It took about 20 minutes for him to gain the courage to use the Pet Safe door, but by day two, he was an old pro. He now wanders in and out the door to check out the scene from the back porch.

PetSafe®  #ad

The PetSafe® Sliding Glass Pet Door may not be the answer for everyone, but if you are averse to putting a hole in a perfectly good wall in order to install a doggy door, it’s a viable option.  Looking for a different kind of door?  Check out the full selection of doors they have available on their website.

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen

Disclosure: I was not financially compensated for this post. I received a sample of the product for review purposes. The opinions are my own, based on my personal experience with the product.

After a long day, there is just something awesome about soaking in a warm bath.  Let me make that statement more honest… after a long day and after we wrangle 4 kids to bed then I love to sometimes soak in a pretty hot bath =) .  It is difficult to find the time to soak in the bath, but sometimes I manage to get it done and it feels amazing.  Even Cliff enjoys it from time to time.  When I was offered the book Homemade Bath Bombs, Salts and Scrubs to review I jumped at the chance!

DIY Bath Bombs book #ad

Though compact, this book actually contains over 300 recipes to make your own all-natural bath bombs, scrubs and more.  Looking through it with my daughters, we saw many recipes that would be great for making and giving as Christmas gifts and birthday gifts! And it’s not all about just luxurious baths, it has recipes for bathing products that can alleviate the pain from sun burn, help with allergies and aid in healing common colds!  This little book really offers a wealth of knowledge!

I was happy to learn it was available in a physical book (like I received) or an eBook.  Making even the book easy to gift to friends and family.  Also, while some of the recipes called for exotic ingredients like flower petals, many called for common ingredients like sugar and essential oils.

Remember you can learn more about this book or order your Homemade Bath Bombs book today.

Meanwhile enter below for a chance to win a copy of this book!

 

Kristen: Kristen is a wife, mom, blogger and Brand Ambassador. She has four children; 2 boys and 2 girls. Kristen enjoys her role as a stay-at-home mother. Her oldest children are home-schooled. Her interests include gardening, coffee, reading, cooking and finding new ways to be eco-friendly. You may contact Kristen at mudpiesandtiaras at gmail dot com. Click here to meet Kristen