Nothing is hidden from Mommy's eyes in this efficiency.
I see all.
I hear all.
I know all!
Happy Thursday, everyone!
In 2006, our lives changed. We both worked in real estate. And then the bubble popped. We had our first daughter. And I became a stay-at-home-Mom.
To survive, we cut our expenses. We cancelled the cable and house phone. No more eating out. No more trips to the mall.
It may seem extreme, but we didn't suffer. And here's why: we weren't just cheap. We were Beach Cheap.
This is our journey, sprinkled with tips that will take you from Cheap to Beach Chic, by way of BEACH CHEAP.
And here is my finished product! I let them sit in the molds overnight, then wrap in plastic wrap. They need to cure for about two weeks, then they are ready to use. And it smells SO good!
And that's as far as we've gotten. lol. Dave's plan has six baby-steps. And it works. And it's simple, but NOT easy. I totally recommend his book. And we are both looking forward to continuing with the rest of the steps. One day, we will move beyond Beach Cheap and become truly Beach Chic.
Ben and I visited a few Chick-fil-A's in our area, watching the interaction between team-members and customers. We were impressed. Chick-fil-A seemed to focus on making people feel special (such as by placing fresh flowers on the tables).
The employees were better than polite. They were courteous. You won't hear, "You're welcome." in Chick-fil-A, rather, they say, "My pleasure." And it makes you feel fantastic. Valuable. Important.
We read Truett Cathy's books and researched his charities. We were impressed again. Here, finally, was a Godly man who had his priorities in the right order.
At last, we had found a company who truly put their "principles before profits." The fact that the stores are closed on Sunday was/is very important to us. We believe that God designed human beings to need a break. He gave us the Sabbath to rest, to connect with Him, and to be with our families.
On the Saturday before Labor Day, 2008, Ben and I sat together at the computer and filled out the "Expression of Interest Form." Then, on Labor Day, we wrote essays and filled out the Operator Application. Well, Ben did, and I helped by distracting our daughter and keeping the office quiet. (Our old house even had an office. *sigh*)
On September 29, 2008, God blessed us with a management position at the Rivercity Marketplace Chick-fil-A with long-time operator Chuck Campbell. (Near Jacksonville International Airport) We jumped at the opportunity. During his time there, Ben has learned a lot about Chick-fil-A. He works with a wonderful tight-knit family of team-members. Since he has been working there, the store has improved, profitability has increased, and they even made the top 20% in the Raving Fan Index, which is a measure of customer satisfaction.
We are nearing Ben's one-year anniversary at Chick-fil-A, and we hope to hear from the company soon regarding progress on Ben's file or an interview or something. God-willing, it will be something good.
This is the kitchen/dining/office from the corner by the TV. On the left (outside the photo) is the entry door. You can see the door to the bathroom on the right (left of fridge). We have a full-size range/oven, a full-size sink, and a regular-size dishwasher. The fridge is full-size as well.
The main inconvenience is the lack of counter space. Anything on the table is within toddler-reach. If I need the table for rolling out pie crust or something like that, I do it during my daughter's bath time. Haha. If you look closely, you can see my laptop on the table and our daughter watching home videos on it.
I stood in the same spot by the TV, turned to my right, and took this photo of the bedroom. These pictures were taken last December, soon after we moved in. At the time, my daughter was sleeping on this sleeper sofa, but she outgrew it. We moved a twin bed in and put it right next to our queen sized bed. Now the curtains separate the rooms inbetween our daughter's bed and this sleeper-loveseat-couch thing.
This is our closet. Seriously. I also have two long dresses that I hang in the laundry room. My daughter and I share the tall chest of drawers and my husband and I share the other chest of drawers. Our shoes are piled onto the white wire racks inbetween. You can sort of see the window above the shoes and the A/C unit in the window. The closet shelf is great because it has storage space above it.
One lesson I've learned: Waste No Space.
This is the dining/office area, taken from the bathroom door. The room had few lights, but large windows, so we use a lot of lamps at night. The diaper bag is kept on the back of the front door.
This is the living room, taken from the kitchen. You can kinda see the chest of drawers that I use for storage-- linens, tools, office stuff, kitchen stuff. Anything I don't have room for gets put in that chest of drawers on the left. The unit on the far right holds more office stuff and anything we don't want our toddler getting into. I had some storage bins and put them to use on top of the unit on the right and also on top of the fridge.
The photos of the bathroom didn't turn out well. The main thing in the bathroom is that every available wall space is hung with shelves. And we are highly selective about what "things" we keep in our house. With space being at a premium, it is easy to weed out (put into storage or throw away) the stuff we don't use/don't like/ don't need. I suppose that's Lesson #2.