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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Empire Today Sucks! #EmpireTodaySucks

The linoleum  at the family room, hallway, and kitchen of the new house that we bought  have seen better days so my husband and I planned on  tiling it .  At first, we  planned on doing it ourselves but then we wanted  for it to get done quicker so we  said that we  would hire a company to do it.  We contacted  Empire Today because they sound  promising.  Some of my husband's co-worker said that they know  some people who had their floors done by Empire Today and they were fast.  
 So in June 2, we had  a sales representative from them came to our house to give us an estimate. After she measure everything, she came up with $9,210 which made me cringe!  I wasn't planning on spending that much for it.  So when we told her that  we  will shop around, she   told us that she can  work worth the price so she applied some discounts and the price came down to $7 thousand and some.  It was still high for us so we said, we will shop around.  She told us that she is required to   talk to her boss before leaving so they talked about the pricing and the boss said that they can do $5,000.  We did not buy yet, we want to make sure that we are getting a good deal.  
 After thinking about it overnight, my husband said that we should offer $4,500 and to our surprised, they agreed.  Sp we were excited as the  agent said that the job could be done  in two days.  We thought it is great as we want to move in as soon as the floors are done.  On June 4th, the lady came down  at our home again so we could sign the contract.  We decided to get the grout so we ended up with $5,100.  We  paid the 10% ($510), signed the contract and wait for the  scheduled date to work on it.  She scheduled us for June 8-9.  She told us that  the contractors are supped to call us on the 7th to confirm.  The day came, I couldn't leave the house because I was waiting for the call.  Noontime  came, I texted my husband and said that I never received the call.  He followed up with with the lady and he found out that our order got misplaced that's why I never got the call.   So the lady straightened it out for us, she confirmed that  our schedule will be June 9 and 10th, I thought great, they  are ruining my birthday!   
 Came June 9th, we went to the house early because they said they will show up as early as 8 am.  A couple of hours of waiting have passed and nobody came, I texted my husband to  follow up again.  I also texted the lady and she told me that the contractors are on its way.  I waited patiently, they came around 11 am.  Upon introducing themselves, he presented me with a bill of $90 and I told him that everything is settled and that we don't owe them anything.  He had to call his boss because they were instructed to collect it first before starting. Again, I told him we don't awe   them anything.  He called his boss and found out I was right.  
So after  all that, it is 12  noon already and they started unloading the materials.  They thought that they were ju0st laying the tiles without  stripping off the old floors so I showed them the contract that stated that they have to removed the old floors.  So they started to removed the flooring at  the family room, when they  reach to the kitchen, the linoleum there is  a little harder to strip so they  suggested to just lay the tiles on top of it.  I told them that I have to ask my husband.  I asked him to talk to to my husband which he did but by the time all that is going on, it is already 1 pm and they were ready to leave.  The guy told me that he is a single parent that he had to take his daughter to an orthodontist.  There's nothing I can do but to say okay.  They said that they are coming back early the next day.  I asked them to  put some of the materials inside because I was  concern that it might get stolen outside.  They brought the tiles and adhesive  inside and left the  grout and wall board outside.   My husband had a hunch that they are not planning to come back and he was right.
  On June 10th,   we went early to the house  to wait for them.  It was my birthday and we  cancelled our plans for that day since we wanted ou0r floors to get done.  As we waited, the contractor called and said that they  won't be able to come back because his partner's had a family emergency.  So we called the Installation manager and he told us that he will call back but he never did.  My husband then called the customer service but nobody answered.  We waited until 12 hoping that the manager sent someone but nothing.  By this time, we are  so frustrated already.  I texted the  sales agent and let her know how disappointed I was of the situation and she couldn't believe what I was saying because she said that  mostly, she get praises for  the installation.  She then  communicated  with the installation manager who never got back to us and she was informed that it would be re-scheduled  the next week.  
Normally, before we make a big purchase, my husband would  read reviews first before making a decision.  I think, he was  so beat  with the project that we did (refinishing wood floors) that he  jumped on the wagon to just  let Empire Today do the job without  reading any reviews.  June 12, Sunday, my husband decided to investigate.  That's when we  discovered that a lot of customers have the same problems as us.  I was already feeling so dismayed at this time but  my husband said that we will give them another chance to redeem  themselves.

By Monday, the installation manager finally  called us and said that we are re-scheduled on June 15-16.  We went to the house  yesterday and was glad that at 9 am, they arrived and there's 4 of them. I thought, great, they might be able to  knock this out today.  To my disappointment once again, they walked around the house and  told me that they were told that the floor is already ready that  the only thing they need to do is lay the tiles on the floor so they did not bring their tools.  That excuse did not make sense to me because  what contractor goes on the job with them?  Right off the bat, I knew they didn't want to do the job.  They left after ten minutes and told me that they are  coming back the next morning bright and early, again  I gave them the benefit of the doubt.  

We went to the house this morning, waited till 10 am and I was already  aggravated that no one showed up.  So I let my husband know, he called the installation manager but he did not answer.  He then called the customer service and he was told that they thought that the contractor  got done working at our home yesterday.  My husband  stopped being  Mr. Nice Guy and  let them  know how  disappointed we are that we just want to cancel the whole thing.  I also texted  the sales agent and let her know that  I am done dealing with this crappy transaction.  She  then communicated with the installation manager and was told that  the contractor is on its way.  I waited till noon and nobody showed up so I texted her that  I don't think somebody is coming.  I told her that I wish the installation manager would call us back and communicate with us.  By this time, I was livid already.  I said we  will just cancel.  She called me and apologize an  said that she is still waiting  for the manager to call her back and let her know what  they plan to do.  

The manager  finally called my husband and asked for another  chance.  He told my husband that  he is going to send  a team to  finish it tomorrow.  We will see, if not, cancellation is the best option for us.  We  can just do it ourselves.  Maybe save us  some money in doing so.  Empire Today sucks big time!  I don't recommend this company.  They have poor communication, poor customer service, and caused us major delay on our schedule!

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Hardwood Floors Almost Finished

We underestimated how long  refinishing hardwood floors takes especially that 75% of the house is hardwood.  HUbby and I took on this project anticipating that we would get be done in few weeks and here it is a month have gone by and we are still working on it.  We were actuially done with the last process last week but when it  dried out, we didn't like the  semi gloss poly urethane that my husband used so now he is re-coating it with the gloss finish polyurethane.  
According to the  articles he  read online, semi gloss is the way to go when you have pets so that scratches is not very visible.  The issue I have with the semi gloss is that, it looks like we did not refinish it at all so I was disappointed.  Hubby decided to re-coat it since he is not  satisfied of the semi gloss finish as well.  Another issue is that, it makes the  floor  looks so dark.
Here's how it looks after the semi gloss finish was applied.  It looks very dull to me.  It also shows all the imperfections that  hubby and I made when we were sanding the floors.
When my husband  put the polyurethane  on the stained floors, he was wearing a mask because the smell was unbearable.  It also said that it can  cause cancer when  exposed with thescent for a long time so we were all outside except him.  To make it dry faster, we used  stand fans to help the process.  This Ozeri 360 Oscillation tower fan, with Micro-Blade noise reduction technology was a great  help for our project.   
Unlike the other fan that we got, this one is very  easy to assemble especially the  base at the bottom.  You don't need any tools to assemble it.  I love that this fan oscillates at 60, 90, 120, or 360 degrees for partial to complete air circulation with 3 whisper quiet speed settings.
It utilizes advanced cylindrical motion technology with over 200 staggered micro-blades to generate airflow at the lowest possible noise factor.  The sophisticated space-saving design will surly  enhance room d├ęcor.  MY son is always  fascinated with the multi-colored LCD that displays all fan functions and the room temperature.
The extended range remote control and fan control buttons provide easy access to all features, it icludes the 8-hour programmable timer.  You can get this fan at Amazon for $70.34 with free shipping.  Now that the heat of the sun is super intense, these fans are a great addition to any home.
Here's how  the gloss finish looks like.  It makes the  wood floors looks lighter because the shine   catches the l natural lights from the windows.  It cost us  a little more to re-ciat the floors but I am happy we did it because it makes a big difference.  
Thanks to my hardworking husband.  We save thousands of dollars doing this project by ourselves.
I can't wait to move in.  We just need to wait for the polyurethane to completely cure before we can settle  in and occupy our new home sweet home.

Disclosure: The owner of this blog was NOT financially compensated to write this review.  I was provided with the product/s mentioned  to help me  facilitate this review but  opinions are my own.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Leaving some of My Flowers Here

I have so many plants here in my garden that I want to transfer to our new home but  I can't because  I am not sure if they survive if I dig them out.  This pink roses are starting to bloom and  I will surely miss their sweet frangrance during the summer.  
 Another plant that I love when  in bloom is this clematis.  I was going to dig it out but I was worried that it won't survive so I will just leave it here.  I hope that the new owner of this house in the future will appreciate its beauty,.
I will truly miss all the plants I have planted in this house.  I poured sweat on these babies wqhen I was planting them lol.

Simple Ways To Help Your Garden Bloom

Our gardens can add so much to our home. They are very important when it comes to increasing a home's curb appeal. And they also create a peaceful environment in which your kids can play, and you and your partner can relax. But it takes a lot of hard work to get your garden up to such a high quality! You can’t just expect your garden to stay looking great. If you leave it for too long, it will become overgrown and look like a jungle! So it is very important to roll up your sleeves and get stuck into some gardening. Don’t worry, though; looking after your garden doesn’t have to mean a lot of hard toil. There are many simple ways you can transform your garden into a tranquil haven. Here are some of the best ways.

Take Care of Your Lawn

If you have a lawned area, this will need to be taken care of. Don’t leave the grass to grow, as this can look very untidy. The grass won’t grow through the winter, but during summer, you will need to mow it regularly. At least once a week if possible. Keeping the grass trim will improve the look of your garden and also make it safer for kids to play on. If your lawn has some brown patches on it, it could be worth buying some grass seeds from your local garden center. Once you have planted the seeds, it is a good idea to feed them frequently with plant food. Don’t forget to water them either!

Sort out Your Boundaries

How do you separate your garden from your neighbors’? With a hedge or a fence? Whichever method you use, make sure it is well-maintained. If your boundaries look shabby, your whole garden will look run down. You should prune any hedges once a year. The best time to do this is during the spring. If you need to fix some fencing, you will be able to buy materials in your nearest DIY or garden store. It is very common for weeds to grow up around a fence or hedge, so make sure you get rid of these as soon as you notice them. Many gardeners are starting to add place brick walls around their borders, as they are quite low maintenance. And you can use different materials to create decorative walls. Not sure about the best material for your wall? You can find it at

Create Paths

If your garden is big enough, think about laying down a path through a lawned area. Paths can also cut through flower beds. There are loads of different materials you can use for paths. The most common are paving stones, pebbles, and wooden boards. If you don’t feel confident about creating a path yourself, call a local builder in to help you out. One of the best things about paths is that they encourage people to keep off your lawn. If too many people are walking across your lawn, the grass can die, and you will have to keep on sowing grass seeds on a regular basis.

Plant Seasonal Flowers

To make sure your garden blooms all year round, make sure you sow plenty of seasonal flowers and plants. This means that you will have blossoming flowers every season. If you plant seeds that will give you flowers of different colors and heights, then you will be creating a very pretty display of flowers. Don’t forget to have one month of the year set aside so you can leave the soil fallow. Most gardeners wait until winter for this, as there aren’t many plants that flower during the season. This will help the ground to regain any lost nutrients. After this month, sow all your seeds so that you can begin your next year of beautiful flowers!

Trees and Shrubs

Adding trees and shrubs is a very inexpensive way to add some sophistication to your garden. You can pick up young ones in garden centers or buy seeds to grow them completely from scratch. One thing to bear in mind is that they can be quite difficult to grow from seeds, so many people choose to buy seedlings or the young plants. Trees will need to be pruned once a year if they are evergreens. Most shrubs don’t need much pruning, but it will depend on the species you buy. If you are thinking about buying trees for your garden, consider buying fruit trees. There is nothing quite like enjoying an apple that you have grown in your very own garden!

Create A Seating Area

Creating a seating area is a great way to encourage you to use your garden more. During the summer, it will give you somewhere to enjoy al fresco dining and barbecues. Patios and decking are the best types of flooring to add to your garden. You can stand your garden furniture in these areas without the worry of them being too wobbly, which is often a problem when they are placed on lawns! You can even add decorations to your patio or decking and add cool features like brick pizza ovens and bird baths.

Encourage Local Wildlife

If you encourage local wildlife to visit your garden, you will be creating a unique environment in your garden. Bees are very important to help pollinate your flowers. You can attract them to your garden by planting certain species of plants. The more flowers you have, the more butterflies will visit your garden as well! You should also include bird boxes and baths to help the local bird population flourish. During the winter months, don’t forget to leave some bird seed out to help your feathered friends survive the cold weather. If you have a pond, look out for frogs, newts, and wrens. Your kids will love spotting all this interesting wildlife!

If you follow these tips, you can have a fabulous garden in just a couple of months. And it will create a great space for your family to enjoy!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Almost Done with our Flooring Project

After three weeks of  working on the house, we finally  finished sanding all the wood floors.  Sanding all of it was the hardest part.  We underestimated how much time it would take to do it but  glad it is done.  Here are the  sanded wood floors,  here is how it looks like on it's raw form.
Home Office, originally a  bedroom with a closet and  half bath.
Home Office
Dining Room
Dining Room
Living Room
 Stairs to the second floor.  
The hallways upstairs, we removed the  railing for a while.
Guest room with a walk-in closet
the other side of the guest room
Rylie's  bedroom
Walk in closet to Rylie's bedroom
Master Bedroom
Master bedroom's  Bathroom
Master's bedroom - window side
EJ's bedroom
EJ's bedroom 
Now that all that sanding is done, hubby started  staining last Friday and was able to  finished yesterday.  I did not help him do this  process because I concentrated on cleaning the walls and getting rid of all the dusts inside the house!  
 Now that stain is in the floors, we can see all the imperfections in it, scratches that the  sander failed to smooth out but it's okay.
 All the rooms, hallways, and closets are stained , now we wait  for it to  fully dry and we will start applying the polyurethane on it as a finall stage.  
I was hoping for a lighter color than this but hubby liked a darker color so  this one is okay.  Polyurethane stinks so  we will have to wear a respirator to do it.  I hope that we could finish this within this week,  keeping my finger's crossed.  We were looking forward on moving  this Memorial weekend but  it is unlikely to happen.  We will see.

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A work-at-home-mom (WAHM) with  two  lovely kids and a loving husband.  Passionate in writing about  family, product reviews, and  other related articles.  A Mom, a Wife,  a Blogger/Writer, rolled into one.

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