Sheran Memories

Crafting a Remarkable Life

July 18, 2015
by Jennifer

Laundry Room Progress

The Renovation project slowly continues. Just before we were leaving for a drive from Atlanta to upstate Massachusetts, our washer decided to die on us.

With lots of laundry to be done, this unexpected  incident helped us make some decisions regarding our water heater and laundry set up.

We have a huge 50 gallon tank sitting where the dryer once was in out laundry. IMG_2326 Laundry OldThis prevents the washer and dryer form being side by side. Unfortunately, there is not enough space on the other side of the room for our dryer so it sticks out and makes any sort of organization a challenge. We looked into relocating a water heater back into its original crawl space location, but the logistics (and price) did not make sense. A “low boy” would cost $3,000 and a tankless $4,000. Replacing the current water heater and leaving it where it stands will cost approximately $1000.

So, our only option for gaining some space to sort and fold clothes and to maximize space in the room is to stack the washer and dryer. Luckily, I had picked up a stackable dryer off a Facebook garage sale group for $75. Now, we just needed to replace the washer. We ended up getting a front loading, stackable Kenmore from the Sears scratch and dent store and this thing is cool. It senses the amount of clothes you have and adjusts the wash accordingly.New Washer

Next, we need to have the electrical moved to accommodate the dryer and then we can stack the two. We will then give the room a fresh coat of paint and new shelving to accommodate a place to sort clothes into baskets  I’ll also get a new counter top and have a place to fold. We’ll be working on this over the next few weeks! Check back in to see our progress!

June 22, 2015
by Jennifer

Mickey Matson: The Pirate’s Code DVD Review

Movie Review: Mickey Matson

I recently had the opportunity to review a family-friendly DVD, Mickey Matson: The Pirate’s Code. My kids are of varying ages but this is the type of film that would garner each of their attention. It is the classic tale of joining a secret group/club/society to battle evil. 

Mickey Matson is part of a secret society of trained teenagers who protect the country. They embark on a missionMM2_DVD to save the world from the evil plan of Admiral Ironsides, who with his crew, has taken control of a merchant ship and has developed a weapon to destroy every electronic device on earth.

When you combine family secrets, patriotism, youth training for a covert mission, pirates and technology, you are bound to interest any child or teen.
The film’s characters include competitive teens from different walks of life, a secret code, evil pirates, a backstabbing trainer and an eccentric innovator played by none other than Christopher Lloyd.
There is enough campiness to entertain the younger set and tension between good and evil to keep the attention of older tweens and parents making it a great summer family flick.
If you liked The National Treasure series, you’ll find this a similar concept that is also friendly for the whole family and more relatable for the younger set.
Enjoy this preview:

June 18, 2015
by Jennifer

Renovation Preparations and Expectations

As I mentioned in previous posts, I recently moved my blog from to this Word Press site. My focus for the blog is on crafting a remarkable life. One aspect of crafting a remarkable life is your home. So for a while, I am writing about the whole home renovation we are about to undertake. This post is an update on where we stand. And, to put it simply, we are coming along at a snails pace. I am like a kid waiting for Christmas to come as I anticipate demolition to begin, but there are so many steps to take before demolition that I was not really prepared for.

I am like a kid waiting for Christmas to come as I anticipate demolition to begin, but there are so many steps to take before demolition that I was not really prepared for.

I was somehow thinking my magic property brother would show up with a design and a concept and we’d be ready to begin. But no, when my own property brother (My brother Rick is a contractor) showed up to discuss the job, he bluntly told me the legwork is largely up to us.

I had been keeping a running Excel sheet of all the issues that needed addressing and renovations I wanted to make. I had also had several contractors and vendors come and give estimates for various aspects of the job. Now, I had to get into the details (what type of flooring, what designs, what is the look we are going for) and put dollar figures to each detail. It is easier said than done.

One hurdle we have faced is deciding where to begin with such a large renovation that will touch both the interior and exterior of the home. We decided to dip our toes in the renovation waters by starting with our laundry and downstairs bath. These are two of the least functional areas of the home, but also two projects that should be able to be completed rather quickly and relatively inexpensively.

Then, we will take on the big task of Kitchen/main level renovation. This is the project that will have the most impact and greatest return investment in the home. I have been able to make progress on a design for the kitchen. It took almost a month and I just received what I hope will be the final drawings. There was a personnel change that caused an almost three week delay. So with drawings and an initial quote in hand, I can now begin to compare prices on the cabinets, flooring, counters, backsplash and appliances. While we are undertaking this investigation, we can begin on the laundry and bath.

Our First Projects

The laundry is a decent size, but it had a large door that swung into the room taking up a lot of space. We will replace that with a barn door on the outside.

Secondly, at one point previous homeowners moved the water heater from the crawl space to the laundry room in the spot where the dryer should go. This water heater is huge! We need to replace it with a shorty and move it back into the crawl space. Once that is done, we can put the washer and dryer side by side. Then all we need is some paint, a new light and finishing touches and it will be good to go!

The downstairs bathroom is a small, full bath that my teenager will use. It needs a total redo. New tile in the shower and floor, baseboards, paint, toilet, sink, mirror and lighting. Did I mention it is small? I need to find a vanity that won’t get in the way of the door (18 inches deep). And the door frame had been busted at some point and needs to be replaced as well. So in the next week or so, we will be pricing out the materials for this job.

What do you think of our plans? Any tips? Maybe one day soon I can finally get to some demo!

June 10, 2015
by Jennifer

A New Adventure Begins

Two and a half years ago we returned to the neighborhood I grew up in to raise our family close to my parents, good schools and a thriving suburban city that is commute friendly. The homes in the neighborhood were built in the 1960s and 1970s and vary at their current state of updating to modern times.

I spent a year looking for the best buy. We looked at many houses. Some had literally not been touched since the 1960s – yellow, orange, olive and shag. Some still screamed of the 1980s and 90s. Others had been grabbed up by investors and modernized.

We found a diamond in the rough just as the market bottomed out. It was a foreclosure and it was a great deal that already has increased in equity considerably. The home sits on a corner lot, is houses away from the swim & tennis, and a short walk to the elementary and high schools, as well as my parent’s home.


On the flip side, the home needs some major updates. The outside needs painting, new siding, windows, and a front door at minimum.

Inside, the main level needs a big update. Currently the kitchen has purple Corian and laminate counters with a painted plywood backsplash. One bathroom has a 1970s orange and yellow design that needs to go. Systems need updated, new flooring and painting everywhere are other needs.

Since moving in we have replaced the roof, put in a skylight and cleared out a massively overgrown yard, planted grass, and installed a fence.

We are now ready to begin renovation. We think. Neither of us have handled a renovation on our own (though my parents were always in some stage of renovation). Aside from cosmetic changes, we have never undertaken anything like this in our previous homes. We have kids, dogs and jobs to juggle.

There are so many decisions to be made and research to conduct. It is a huge undertaking for our already overwhelming lives, but it is a chance to enhance our investment, while making a simple, functional, pleasing living space for our family.

In preparation for the renovation, I am analyzing everything we own and taking stock. My new mantra is have nothing in your home you do not find useful, to be beautiful or to bring you joy. Useless knick knacks, old toys, things we might use someday have to go. No new junk unless it fits a specific and immediate purpose. So the clearing, sorting and packing has begun.

Have nothing in your home you do not find useful, to be beautiful or to bring you joy.

I am hoping you will join us on our renovation journey! If you have any tips for us, please share in the comments below!


June 7, 2015
by Jennifer

Sheran Memories Debuts on WordPress

Greetings! I have been blogging for several years on Blogger at and JS-for web (blue)have finally decided to make the leap to Word Press. I am in the process of migrating old content over to this site and will post new posts here moving forward.

I hope you will join me as I blog about my attempts to craft a remarkable life!

For the next few months my posts will focus on the whole home renovation we are about to undertake. I thought it would be fun to capture the process step by step.

I also typically discuss topics related to raising kids in general and specifically related to developmental disability, home organization, book reviews and more.

I am launching a new Planner system called Sheran Memories Purpose and Pause planner which is currently in Beta testing and will be ready for purchase for 2016.

I look forward to connecting with you and learning from you!

Thanks for joining me!