Archive | September, 2015

September 11, 2001- Never Forget

11 Sep

Today, hug your loved ones. And remember, there are those, who cannot. Play outside with your children, today. And remember, there are those, who cannot. Turn the TV off and sit with your family, for dinner, tonight. And remember, there are those, who cannot. Give in to the “One more story”, at bedtime. Kiss your babies and snuggle with them a little bit longer, tonight. And remember, there are those, who cannot. 


            GenX Mama

GenX Mama

Wordless Wednesday 

9 Sep

It’s coming… 


My AWESOME DIY, New to Me, Ceiling Fan Redo

8 Sep

         I LOVE DIY projects! I have literally, THOUSANDS, of pins on my Pinterest page. Meals, party planning, renovation ideas, etc. Of course, like many people, I’m pinning many of these projects to do when hell freezes over on a rainy day. But, I had to share with y’all, my latest project, that I am quite pleased with myself about! 

The ceiling fan in the master bedroom was a joke. It came with the house. The light fixture had 3 lights that had a globe cover to it and did not put out much light. Our room always felt dark. The fan itself was horrible. It was set on high speed, but the motor was starting to crap out, making high speed look and feel like low speed. Seriously. Molassis dripped faster than this fan went! The Dude and I knew we had to replace it. Several weeks ago, we went to one of the big box home improvement stores to window shop for a new fan. We found one we liked, to the tune of $110.00. It was pretty, shiny and new. But, for now, outside our budget. We figured, now that we found one we liked, we could start saving for it and maybe get it in a month or so. 

I belong to several local classified FB pages. I am a big believer of one person’s junk is another person’s treasure. And you can find some great deals!  A few days after our shopping trip, someone posted an ad of a ceiling fan they were getting rid of. Nothing wrong with it, they upgrading to a different style. This is the picture that was posted with the ad:

The ad read: 52 inch pewter ceilling fan. Works great just upgraded to something bigger.

          The ad read: 52 inch pewter ceilling fan. Works great just upgraded to something bigger.

Beautiful, right? Best part? THEY WERE ONLY ASKING $40.00!!!! $40.00 PEOPLE! I was the first to respond, sent a PM and picked it up a few hours later. The only problem with it was the pewter color. Our room decor is cherry furniture, wrought iron, style. While the style would look great, the pewter color would not work. Well, there’s nothing that a good ole’ can of spray paint won’t fix! 

I love spray paint. Seriously. Love it. It’s an inexpensive, easy fix to many things. I knew I could spray paint it with my fav color, Oil Rubbed Bronze. Rustoleum has a great line of spray paints, with tons of colors to choose from. I especially love their Universal Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze. I’ve used this on many projects over the years. Works great and has a nice finish to it. Even better, it has primer and paint in one.

Rustoleum Universal Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze

Rustoleum Universal Metallic Oil Rubbed Bronze

I set to work on my project. I already had a spare can of spray paint at home, so that saved about $6.00! First, I removed all the globe lights off, (well, for the sake of honesty, The Dude did this for me. I could have, but he was being a sweetie and helped me out). There is a large, surround light globe on it, but that would have required taking apart the entire fan, so to save time, I covered that part with newspaper and painters tape. IMG_7874

Next, I covered the electrical sockets and wires with painters tape. Make sure to do this! You don’t want any paint messing up the electrical parts. Also, make sure to remove any stickers that are on the fixture. Then I started spraying! Making sure to to light, even sprays, to avoid any drips. You don’t want to spray heavily. This can make it look uneven. Keep a light finger on the trigger. Let it dry. You may have to do a couple of coats, but when I looked carefully, I only found a couple areas that I had missed, so a full second coat was not needed. 

Looking good!

                          Looking good!

We ended up waiting about a week before putting installing it. I wanted to make sure that it was fully dry. And it was also just finding the time for The Dude to hang it. Oh, but it was worth the wait! Check it out!


                                                                   LOVE IT!



Doesn’t it look great!!!!!! The fan is very powerful and our room is so much brighter with the open lights! And it was only $40.00! So, let’s break it down:

Ceiling fan purchased from FB local classified ad – $40.00

Rustoleum Universal Metallic Spray Paint – $0.00 (since we already had a can)

Installation – $0.00 (because The Dude rocks!)

Time for taking apart lights, painting, and installation – About 3 hours total over a 9 day period

Final cost – $40.00 for a beautiful, new to me, ceiling fan

Money saved by doing DIY instead of purchasing new – $70.00

Gen X Mama’s Wallet – HAPPY!

Just shows, with a little time and effort, anything can be made new again! Do you have a DIY project you are particularly proud of? Share it and post a picture in the comments below!

7 Sep

How I (FINALLY) Cut The Cable Cord And Saved

       For YEARS, I have wanted to do away with cable. I mean, YEARS! But, everytime I approached the subject, I was beaten to a pulp talked out of it by The Dude and the X kids. We had 200+ channels, yet only watched a handful of them, most shows being watched on network channels, that would be free anyway. But then, when we got DVR service about 8 or 9 years ago, I fell in love! DVR! I could record HOURS of crap and watch all the time! I was never going to give up cable now! I can record automatically all the Law and Order SVU reruns. All the Friends reruns. It was great! But, man, was I paying for it! To the tune of about $130 a month!! Insane, right? However, we have always had cable and this just was a regular bill we always had to pay. We became numb to it.

When our financial situation started to change a couple of years ago, we started to reevaluate our bills. Cutting costs wherever we could. Groceries, entertainment, etc. I finally started taking a hard look at the cable bill. That $130/month just kept glaring at me. I called the cable demons company to see about lowering the bill. I wanted to cancel the premium movie channels. That would save about $30/month. Then they offered ALL those channels with a special price of $10/month for a year! SOLD! I was saving $20/month but had to commit to another year of service. But, we barely ever watched those channels!

It was in November of 2014 that I really started rethinking the cable thing. Technology has introduced some neat gadgets. I started doing my research and made up my mind that come January, when our contract was up, I was canceling our service. This was the reaction from my family…



Despite their wails and protests, I was determined. I knew there would be some upfront costs, but that we would recoup them within a couple of months. First step was to buy an antennae. Antennas have come a long way since the rabbit ears and freaky metal contraptions on your roof days. We purchased a flat, indoor HDTV antennae from Wal-Mart for $40. It’s signal reaches up to 60 miles. We put this in our attic. Next we needed a streaming device. A streaming device can keep 100’s of apps in one area. There are also Blu Ray players that allow you to stream content, as well as Smart TV’s. With any of these options, you need to connect to the Wifi in your house. We have 3 TVs in our house. Family room, Master bedroom and the kids playroom. You have to have a streaming device for each television. The kids have a Wii in the playroom, that can stream several apps, so I started doing my research for the other two televisions. There are quite a few options. This article, from Digital Trends, lists the best options for steaming media devices. We decided to go with the Roku 3, for our family room television and the Roku Stick, for the master bedroom. Both give you a couple thousand app choices, but the Roku 3 is more powerful, which we thought would be better for the main family television. Plus, the remote has a headphone jack, which is great when you get tired of listening to Pokemon all the time (which is Lil’ E’s fav show). When we purchased the Roku 3, it was $140. A bit steep, but I knew the money would be recouped within 2 months. The Roku Stick was a great deal at $39.99. It is slower than the more powerful Roku 3, but the master tv is not used as often, so it was something I could overlook.

Now that we had our streaming capabilites, we needed channels to stream. Netflix is a great option, at $7.99 a month. 1000’s of movies and television shows are offered. What’s even better is that there are no commercials! And just to add the cherry on top, Netflix has come out with some fantastic series of their own! Down side is that you have to wait several months for your favorite shows last seasons episodes to be added. Hulu was the next channel we subscribed to. What I love about Hulu is that it airs most of my shows newest episodes the day after they are aired. At $7.99 a month, it is another great option. However, you do have to “suffer” through commercials. Hulu has just rolled out a new commercial free plan for $11.99 a month, but personally, I would rather watch a few minutes of commercials than pay the additional money.We have subscribed to  Amazon Prime for a couple of years, mainly for the free 2 day shipping. The bonus to this membership is the automatic subscription to their Amazon Prime Instant Video. Again, 1000’s of movie and television show options. Amazon Prime membership is $99 a year. Breaking down, that is $8.25 a month. However, since we get the free 2 day shipping option and other perks from the membership, I would calculate that the streaming part breaks down to about $5 a month.

There are a few down sides to cutting the cable cord, of course. CBS has an app but has gotten greedy and requires a $5.99 a month subscription to it. This really bums me out, since there are several shows on CBS that I enjoy. There are quite a few apps that you need a cable company log in, to watch. If you are a huge sports fan, ESPN does have an app. However, you need a cable log in to watch it. There is a way to get these cable log in apps. GENX MAMA CONDONES ANY QUESTIONABLE/ILLEGAL ACTIVITY (I have to put that in there)! If you know someone, family member or friend, who is willing to let you hack into their cable account, share their cable account log in information, you can get all the apps you want.

There is also the DVR issue. TiVo has been a favorite DVR choice for years. Their products run from $49.99-$199.99. There is a $14.99 a month subscription fee for their services. Or, you can pay a 1 time $499.99 fee for life. That’s the life of the product, not your life. I have heard really great things about TiVo, but I’m just not willing to spend the extra money for the subscription. I have another option that I am trying to figure out. We still have a VCR (yeah, you know Gen X Mama likes it old skool!). It is hooked up to the family room television and we can watch movies on it, but I have tried, unsuccessfully, to record shows. I’m not sure what I am doing wrong, if it’s the digital thing or what. I am still trying to figure it out. I’ll keep y’all updated with any success.

So, let’s break it down…

Cable was costing us $130 a month, $1560 a year

Initial investment in equipment (antennae, Roku 3, Roku Streaming Stick), $220. We recouped this initial investment in less than 2 months.

Monthly subscriptions to Netflix, Hulu and Amazon Prime Instant Video, $20.98 a month, $251.76 a year.

$130.00 – $20.98 = $109.02/month savings

$1560.00 – $251.76 = $1308.24/yearly savings

WOW! I am quite impressed! There is also the immense satisfaction of not being tethered to the cable cord. It’s quite freeing, actually.

Bottom line, there are so many options now to enjoy tv without the high cost of cable. Better yet, turn the tv off and go enjoy the great outdoors!

GenX Mama

GenX Mama

Wordless Wednesday…Organized Mamas…HELP!

2 Sep
Organizing Mamas...HELP!

Organizing Mamas…HELP!

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