Thursday, June 30, 2011

What do These Things have In Common?



They are all going in my new bedroom when we leave the Chateau Ghetto. We move out in October.



Wednesday, June 29, 2011

It's Started

C and I came home to discover a note on one of the townhouses next to us showing the home had been condemned due to Toxic Mold. We knew it was coming but it still took us by surprise. I'm not sure why though. I've spent most of the morning trying not to cry. I loved my home and I hate the feeling of being homeless. I don't know when they will get around to our house but I'm sure it will be soon. Right now we are looking for a place to rent in Las Vegas and then we are thinking about moving to Arizona. Somewhere unmoist and without mold please!



Can a House Be Condemned for Mold?


Answers below


Besides the musty smell and the damage it can do to the walls of the house, mold is one of the most dangerous infestations to have. Because of the health problems mold poses to everyone living in the area, a house can be condemned and for good reason.


o    "doughy abstraction" is Copyrighted by Flickr user: psyberartist under the Creative Commons Attribution license.

Structural Damage

o    Mold infestations, if ignored, can eventually cause rotting wood or walls. (Sound familiar?) Safety is the number one reason houses are condemned.

Health Factors

o    Some molds are extremely toxic and can cause serious health problems. Black mold, the most toxic of all of the molds, is one of the leading carcinogens in the world and also contributes to asthma, bronchitis, respiratory disease especially in children, liver problems and much more.- (This explains why the kids and I have been sick since February huh?)

Severity of the Problem

o    Small dots of mold in a kitchen or bathroom are normal, but infestation in wood, walls or carpeting is a red flag and authorities may become involved.- (Now we know how dumb are we?)

Preventing Mold

o    Exhaust fans in kitchens and bathrooms help take moisture out of the air, while hardwood floors (in place of carpeting) make mold less probable and easier to control.

Mold Laws in the United States

o    As of 2009, only five states (Texas, California, New Jersey, Maryland and New York) have laws concerning toxic mold, but they are geared towards educating the public. Because mold is often invisible to the untrained eye, usually the only way the authorities get wind of it is through a resident's sickness or structural damage to the home. All governments reserve the right to condemn a house if it is deemed hazardous.

Read more: Can a House Be Condemned for Mold? |





Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A Little Something to Help Me Sleep Better

Hi there everyone!


C and I have been sleeping on a mattress on the floor since the leg of our bedframe went through the rotted subfloor. We thought it was safer that way.  I don't know where we will end up right now but I know when I get there I want to be sleeping in a nice simple platform bed and not on the floor like the homeless people we will be.



The website I found this on says that you can make it for under $30 (for a queen). I have a king size bed so we'll see just how much it will cost.



I found this little number when I was researching platform beds



By the way if you care to check it out here is the link.






Monday, June 27, 2011

To Every Season Turn Turn Turn

After  a lot of debate and talking to professionals C and I have decided to leave the Chateau Ghetto. It has not been an easy choice. It makes my heart ache like nothing else. We have loved that house more than anything. We went through a lot there. We became a family there taking both of our children home from the hospital. We know every screw, nail, and piece of drywall in it.


We made this decision based on a few things:


1.     the rate the Chateau is falling apart versus our ability to repair it.

2.     Our unit is the 4th one from the right and the 3rd one from the left. 2 units are either side of us had the floor in the 2nd bathroom collapse and 3 of the 4 have no intention of repairing the damage choosing to walk away and let someone else deal with it.

3.     We believe that even if we had the money to fix it with the other houses still in this shape what good will it do for us to repair ours if theirs is going to leak into ours and ruin it all over again.

4.     The babies and I keep getting sick. We have been fighting off respiratory infections since February. The Pediatrician and my doctor have linked it to the moisture in the house and possible mold (there's our old friend again).

5.     It is just no longer safe. 

I have no idea where we will end up or how we will end up. I just know I will miss my dear friend/enemy for the rest of my days and I will cry as I close the door for the last time.


I will not be closing this blog however because the spirit of what we were trying to create in Le Chateau Ghetto is not dying. We will find a new place somewhere else and we will love it and some day lessons hard learned we will buy a new place and we will make a new dream there.







Thursday, June 23, 2011

Allergy Season is Here and taking Hostages

This post brought to you by Walgreens. All opinions are 100% mine.


 If you have never lived in Vegas you may not know  that Vegas is not only an Adults playground it's an Allergen's playground too! Outside my bedroom balcony is a giant Olive Tree AKA Sudden Death Tree. You'll find these monsters in all the older parts of Vegas. 20 years ago people got smart and it's now illegal to plant these nasty buggers. I am so allergic to them I have completely taken Greece and Italy off my Bucket List. Allergy Medicine is so expensive now a days but today I found a great product Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products. . Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products









This Economy Size holds 200 capsules enough for the entire season and it was at a price I could afford. You shouldn't have to sacrifice quality when it comes to getting well. They have the same active ingredients as the regular brand and they are 100% guaranteed, with the rising cost of health care who can pass up a bargain like this. Oh did I mention they worked amazingly? I took the capsules as directed and next thing I knew I could breath and even my nose and I went back to speaking! I will never buy those silly name brand pills again. I have made a permanent switch to Walgreens Brand Health & Wellness Products!

Walgreens Way to Well Fund™










Wal-Dryl Allergy Relief Capsules 


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ReFinishing Butcher Block

Simple steps you can take to keep your butcher block looking beautiful.

About Butcher Blocks

Butcher blocks have traditionally been made from pieces of maple or a similar hardwood bonded together to form a solid slab. Butcher blocks have been used for hundreds of years and recently have become popular in modern kitchen designs. More recently, butcher blocks have become available in a variety of imported hardwoods.

Historically butcher blocks were used for cutting meats. The thick hard surfaces were ideal for the heavy blows of a meat cleaver down to the slicing action of a carving knife. Today most butcher blocks serve more of an aesthetic purpose in the modern kitchen.

Unfinished Butcher Block

Care and Maintenance

Butcher blocks should be finished regularly with a mineral oil and a beeswax coating to maintain their beauty and keep the wood from warping and cracking. Modern polyurethane and varnish finishes that are used on most furniture today should not be used on butcher blocks. These finishes are hard and sit on the surface. Cutting on the butcher block will break through this barrier and allow moisture into the wood.

Butcher blocks are made from natural wood and thus suffer from the effects of moisture. Too much moisture will cause the block to swell. Too little moisture can cause the wood to dry out and shrink causing cracks. These problems can be avoided by keeping standing water and moisture (such as liquids from meats) from sitting on the surface of the block. Simply wipe the block dry when you are done.

Winter months bring dry air and this can cause the butcher block to lose moisture and dry out as well. Placement of the block near a washing machine or stove can also cause the block to dry out. Regular applications of mineral oil is the best way to ensure that your butcher block keeps from drying out. A top coat of beeswax finish not only helps to smooth the surface, it also helps to repel water.

Sanding if Necessary

When refinishing a butcher block, you may wish to sand the surface of the wood to remove old stains, scratches and marks. Sanding can also be used to remove a polyurethane or varnish finish that was applied by mistake.

A random orbital sander is ideal for the sanding process. If the wood is in rough shape you may want to start with an 80 grit sandpaper. As you sand the block smoother and smoother, it is important to "work through the grits". This means that each time you sand you use finer and finer sandpaper. Each finer grade of sandpaper will remove the scratches left by the previous grade. An example of this is to start will an 80grit sandpaper, next use 120grit, then 240grit, and finally 400 grit. If your butcher block needs only modest sanding, you can start with the 240 grit and finish with the 400 grit. Depending on your desired finish, you might skip the 400 grit sanding.

When sanding out gouges and scratches, keep in mind that if you don't sand the top evenly you will end up with "hills" and "valleys" in the top. If you concentrate your sanding on one scratch to "get it out," you will end up with a valley. Antique butcher blocks probably already suffer from this and you should probably just consider them "character marks".

Oil Protection

There are numerous oils available for butcher blocks. Some companies market them as special "Butcher Block Finishes" or "Mystery Oil". You can save some money by purchasing Food Grade Mineral Oil as this is what is really in the bottles. (not mineral spirits - this is paint thinner)

Applying Mineral Oil

You do not want to use olive oil, vegetable oil, or other organic or food-based oils. These finishes can become rancid and sticky with regular application and time. It won't hurt the block but it will cause an odor and can impart a taste to food prepared on the surface.

The mineral oil can be applied to the surface with a rag or sponge. It's very simple to apply and difficult to make a mistake. Simply wipe it on the surface and watch it soak in. When the wood won't take any more oil, you can wipe off the excess with a clean dry cloth. Don't worry about applying too much oil - more is better.

New or old butcher blocks that have become dry may need 5-10 coats. Once a block has become conditioned, regular applications of 1-2 coats on a monthly basis are recommended. A beeswax finish should then be applied for optimal performance.

Beeswax Top Coat

The beeswax topcoat is an optional addition to the re-finishing process but is well worth the time. The beeswax sits on the surface of the wood in contrast to the oil that soaks into the wood. As a result the beeswax fills in pores and gaps that thin oil can't bridge. This helps to keep moisture, bacteria, and other contaminants from getting into the wood surface.

Applying Beeswax Finish

The beeswax is an excellent natural moisture barrier. You can test this by splashing water onto the block and watching it bead up. If water sits on the surface for a long time it can cause the wax to turn white in color. The finish will typically go back to normal when it dries out. You can also wipe on more finish at any time. Remember, with a butcher block it is important to keep the oil in the wood and the water out.

To apply the finish, simply wipe it on with a clean cloth. The beeswax is a soft paste that has a similar consistency to that of a shoe polish. Excess finish can be easily buffed off with the cloth. Once the finish has had some time to dry it can be buffed to a shine. The beeswax polish also helps to add a low-luster sheen to the wood's surface. Typically, only one or two coats are needed. The finish is safe for food contact and is actually edible! It can also be used on cutting boards and for kids toys and cribs.

Regular Maintenance

Regular (monthly) applications of mineral oil followed by beeswax finish as described above should be used. Once the wood has been properly conditioned, the re-applications of these finishes will take far less time, effort and materials. The mineral oil can be applied over the beeswax finish.

Water on Wax Finish


Food Grade Mineral Oil and Beeswax butcher-block finish in 2oz and 8oz can be purchased online at We also offer a Butcher Block Care Kit that includes an 8oz bottle of Mineral Oil, 2oz can of Beeswax, a pair of Non-latex gloves, and a cotton cloth.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

RACKS and Mooby: Easter Dessert "Reveal" {mini marshmallow flowers}

RACKS and Mooby: Easter Dessert "Reveal" {mini marshmallow flowers}

These marshmallow flowers are adorable! This would be a really cute idea for any spring/summer party you attend!! And Racks and Mooby make it look so simple. Take a gander (click the image, it's a link)!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My New Wonder Tool

It slices, it dices, and I'm pretty sure will make French Fries 3 different ways but I hate French Fries so there doesn't seem to be any reason to try that out.

I picked up this little beauty at Harbor Freight Tools while I was on vacation. Yeah most people don't hang out in tool stores on vacation but I couldn't pass this up. It is normally $79.99 but I got it on sale for $24.99 thanks to a coupon I stumbled upon in the in-laws bathroom!

Yes, also weird but hey that's me!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Menu Board Pantry

My Pantry
I painted the door with 3 coats of chalkboard paint and Mandy sent me this awesome Menu Decal.

I loved this so much I painted the coat closet right next to it the same way for Family Notes.


This picture was taken before I repainted the trim because let's face it I'm a sloppy painter.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Stuck in the Middle with You

Hello out there in Blogland!


I know my posts the last few days haven't been very upbeat. Frankly that's because C, the kids, and I are in a bit of a fuddle. We are so unsure what to do with The Chateau Ghetto. We've been asking for advice from our parents, and friends, and we are even talking to a lawyer to see what our Options are.


Right now everything is in limbo. Do we short sale, do we fix it up, or do we walk away..



Any advice out there?



Wednesday, June 15, 2011

So I ran into my neighbor yesterday. He was trying to refi his house or do a loan modification. He said his townhouse appraised for $22,000! I was super shocked. Ours is in worse shape than his and we owe $88,000 left on it.

 He told me a few of the other townhouses on the other side of the street from us (our complex is separated by a street but is all the same area) have been condemned! As in freaking unfit to live in! I was like WTF...

 He also told me that the woman on the other side of him had her 2nd bathroom floor collapse as well as he did too. All around the same time ours did. By then we had a few neighbors out there talking. It turns out that the 4 townhomes in a row ours included all had floor collapse around the same time.

 10 years ago the HOA hired a roofing company. They scrapped off the old roof and just put down tar. A lot of the 198 homes ended up with major roof problems. Our finally collapsed into Goo's room about 4 years ago. They took 6 months to replace the roof but you could see the sky in Goo's room until they did. Turns out while it took the HOA so long to replace the roofs there was major structural damage done to the homes.

My point here????






Friday, June 10, 2011

Blitzkrieg Bop



Do you know what is coming in August? Well, I will tell you. It's a Blitzkrieg of  Home Improvement. Why August? I'll tell you why. We will have help for 3 whole days! There is a lot that can be done to a house in 3 full days especially when someone has tools!


So what can you plan to do with 3 days, 2 extra people, plenty of tools, and some basic supplies?


I'll tell you!


The Plan:



Living Room:

·        New Laminate flooring (floor already purchased and sitting in the bathroom)



·        New OTR Microwave installed

·        New Faucet installed

·        Install right side butcherblock countertops

·        Paint

·        install backsplash


Master Bedroom:

·        rip up old carpet

·        replace broken subfloor and level the damn thing out

·        new laminate wood floor

·        paint



·        rip out old carpet

·        new laminate wood floor

Kids Room:

·        rip up old carpet

·        new laminate wood floor



A lot of this stuff can be done before we play out our "Battle over London" with Home Improvement and as I work on them I will post about them.


Because as Bob the Builder says "Can we do it? YES WE CAN!"








Thursday, June 9, 2011

Let's Just Take a Walk!

You would have to have been hiding under a rock for the last several years to not know that the Housing Market went bust and one of the places that was hit the hardest was Las Vegas, Nevada. Over the last 2 years I have watched a lot of my friends fight to save their homes. I have seen them fight hard. In the end every single one of them have lost.


I have also seen a few of my friends just look at each other and say "I'm not willing to fight. Let's give up walk away and get a fresh start." Most of these will walk away lesson learned and in a few years buy another home. This time smaller, cheaper, and smarter.


I've been asking myself for the last few days, "Do they have the right idea?" We have worked very hard for several years painfully putting the Chateau back together. It never seems to get better. We are still missing ceilings, flooring, doors are busted, there are holes in walls were moldy chunks have been removed. I wonder should we walk away? Would it be morally repugnant? Where would we go?


As an accountant I've done the math. It makes no fiscal sense to keep our Falling Down House yet, we do. We hang on with both hands that are slowly losing their grip. Our hearts are broken, our spirits are weak. Do we continue to make our children live in a place like this? Would it be safer to leave? Is there a place or people we can turn to for help?


I have no answers just more and more questions. C doesn't seem to have any idea either. I look to him for guidance and he just lowers his head and says "I don't know Sher." He walks away and we both dream of something better, something that seems so far out of reach.


Our little girl has surgery next week to place tubes in her ears. She has had ear infections almost non-stop since February. I ask myself as most mothers do "Is this my fault?"

I have the added burden of did the house cause this? If we lived in a safer, cleaner house, one with ceilings, and one that there is nothing moldy or broken would she have had this? Would she have become hard of hearing? Would she be struggling learning how to walk and talk? Could walking away from the Chateau Ghetto have prevented her pain?


I just don't know, and not knowing is killing me….




Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Living Up to Its Name




I work my day job 8-5. By the time I get home with the babies it's usually 6pm. I try to clean up the house a bit, play with the kids and make dinner. Dinner is usually around 6:30 and the kids head upstairs by 7:00 bathed by 7:30. This leaves a half hour to snuggle, brush teeth, read books, say prayers, and talk about our day before lights out.


I've been fighting a sinus issue for the last few days so the kids and I have been getting micro waved TV dinners for our supper. Yesterday I got Goo and Gouda's done and it was time for mine. The bell dinged and I went to grab it. I smelled this horrible smell. My first thought was "what's on fire?" I looked around scared but couldn't see anything. I went to grab my dinner and that's when I noticed the microwave. It's one of those ones that mounts over the stove. It allows a heap more counterpace in our little kitchen.


Well, the Chateau Ghetto has claimed its next victim. The microwave is dead. The motor burned up and just over 2 years old.



RIP my first mother's day present….

Monday, June 6, 2011

Google Voice

I think I want to try out Google Voice. We don't get cell reception at the Chateau because of the Mountains and Nellis Air Force Base. However, a co-worker keeps telling me about how awesome this service is so I think I'm gonna try it and see.

I'll let you all know. Also if you've had great luck with it please let me know.