Monday, August 19, 2013


Hey there! I’ve been doing things. Not, you know, writing, but things. So the Hubs and I have been discussing THE FUTURE. And doing all kinds of grownup things.  Like possibly buying a house. And/or  having a kid. (Note for any family reading this: we are in the planning stages, not in the creating stages of the kids thing. Don’t get too excited yet).  We looked into buying a house, but decided that this was not the moment, so extended our lease another year.

Anyway, as I obsess over things I had, incidentally, come up with a plan already about how to integrate a nursery into our home. Since the den/library was already in the large bedroom and we were in the small one, we would just divide the large room in two with a clever curtain and a rug and… voila! Except. Then one of the shelves fell off of the wall. Wall-mounted shelf, properly mounted, fell right the hell out of the wall, taking a tiny bit of wall with it. So I re-evaluated the whole baby-in-the-same-room-as-bookshelves thing. Later, I was reading about the whole Montessori thing and thought a 100% baby-proofed room would be a good plan.  And then… thinking about it…. For the first few months, the kid will be in our room… no room for that in the 10x10 bedroom. So the Hubs suggests that we switch rooms, making the 11x14 ours and the 10x10 the library/den/future nursery. So… I worked out a floor plan for that. Then we did nothing about it for 6 months (those of you who are regulars here know this is an integral part of my process). 

Then, last weekend, the Hubs says “Let’s do the room switch this weekend”. And I look at him and go “Sure!” So we did. We moved all the stuff out of the den into the living room, took the remaining shelves out of the walls, and Rug Doctored the carpet in the den. Waited for it to dry. Moved all the stuff from the small bedroom to the new, large bedroom and thought “wow, look at all the space we have for activities!” Rug Doctored the carpet in the bedroom/hallway. Went to sleep as we waited for it to dry.  

In the morning, I took a photo of my lotus mural so I could get a large photo of it printed and framed to put in our new bedroom. Then we left the house for a bit because if you’ve ever seen 2 rooms worth of stuff packed into one room… well, it looks like a “furniture edition” of Hoarders. It stressed me out. And I like confined spaces.  Finally, we removed the stuff from the living room back to the new den and felt SO GOOD about ourselves… or you know… worked on not getting into petty arguments over where to put a book shelf. It was day 3, we were tired, it happens.

So now, we basically have 2 new rooms to decorate. Yay and boo. To be fair, neither of the spaces were ever “finished” to begin with, so it’s not a major loss. Just in time, Apartment Therapy decided to do an “August Cure” where you focus on one room! (I joined a week late. Le shrug.) So…. I have plans for this bedroom. Big, green-and-gray plans. Involving furniture! And paint! (Not painted furniture). And draperies!  You’ll be getting a “before” picture in the next post, along with some teasers of what’s going to be happening re: decorating the bedroom. So excited!

Monday, July 8, 2013

Plants - a short-term commitment

Hi! I’m still alive, I’m here, I swear! I just… got busy. And kind of depressed (maybe we’ll go into that someday. I’m not feeling up to it just now).

Mostly I was busy? Let’s go with that. So busy, in fact, that we kind of let the porch get entirely out of hand and the landlords left us a note about it on our door. Because they don’t believe in mail. And…. Maybe it was a little justified.

I killed the plants. Again. We need new patio furniture. Or, you know, ACTUAL patio furniture. Also we gave up on sweeping the damned leaves off the porch for a few weeks (months).

Plants: You know how some people are so good with plants, they seem to have a green thumb? I have a black thumb. I’ve kept a little desk plant alive at my office for a year now. That’s a lifetime record for a potted plant. And I think it’s due more to the plant’s tenacity than my care. You go, little plant!

Our porch gets NO direct sunlight. Which is maybe good in a porch? But bad for plants. I keep trying to buy  “shade” plants, but mostly that’s gone badly. I had rosemary originally that my dad bought me because “you CAN’T kill this stuff”. Um, no. YOU can’t kill this stuff. I was clearly up to the challenge.

Then I got night-blooming jasmine because, hey, night-blooming must not be too keen on sunlight, right? Nope, turns out it needs lots during the day.

Then I got what I REALLY wanted, which was lavender. That died the fastest. So I looked up shade plants and was told that Arabian Jasmine was a shade varietal and would looove the shade. I love Jasmine, so I got them. And killed them. Apparently, they also like water. And attention.

Ok, I need a live plant that needs no sunlight, little water, and only passing attention. I settled on… Ficus Trees! I figure that if they can survive in a dentist’s waiting room, they’ve got a shot on my porch. After almost an hour of sweeping up those damn leaves (the big trees around our complex dump them on the ground) and planting the trees in the pots we have with some shade-loving impatiens for color… it looks nice. I like it. 

The pot to the left are back-up flowers. In case the main
flowers die. Really, the odds aren't good for any of them.
Now I just need to refinish the table and get some actual outdoor chairs (instead of unloved, starting-to-rot, falling apart at the seams wooden dining chairs) and I think we’ll be in business!

Friday, January 25, 2013

Update -- Things WERE done last year...

I wanted to show you my beautiful new contact-paper-covered shelves in the bathroom. But contact paper is a bitch. It’s a bitch to cut and a bitch and a half to apply. So I’m not done applying it. I’m planning on tackling it tonight. 

In the meantime, I thought I’d share this neato link to design*sponge where my home-blogging hero, Danielof Manhattan-Nest is sharing cleaning tips. Cheap, mostly green cleaning tips. The man is a legend.

Also, I realized that sometime last year, I made a list of everything that was wonky in our apartment, kind of like the list I made this year for Apartment Therapy’s January Cure. So I thought I’d share it with you and tell you what has (and hasn’t) been done to make my little world a better place in the past year. Or you can just go read Daniel’s post. That’s ok too.

This list probably tells you more about me than I want you to know, honestly. My husband teases me about my "lists". And "spreadsheets". And "flowcharts". Basically, if there's a way to organize information, I'm all over it.

Major Issue 1.1:
The house is too cluttered and thus cannot be dusted/vacuumed easily nor as often as it should be.
Root Causes of Issue 1.1:
1.       We leave dirty clothes around the house. Sometimes, we leave clean clothes around the house. –This still happens. Less with clean clothes now.
2.       We do not go through paper often enough. –This is probably my biggest tidying failing right here. I have GOT to go thru mail.
3.       We do not pick up paper as soon as it falls on the ground. – We DID stop that! (Because, as I said, “Damnit husband, we’re supposed to be grown-ups.” He responded that it was mostly me leaving this shit around, but regardless, there’s less now).
4.       The couch is sloppy. –FIXED! My parents lovingly donated their cast-off couches when they got new ones. Score!
5.       My desk and desk chair have become a repository of “stuff”. – Ongoing battle
Major Issue 1.2:
Not everything has a place that is it supposed to be, creating the look of excess clutter.
Root Causes of Issue 1.2:
1.       I leave too many makeup products on the counter. –Sort of fixed? I got 2 makeup bags and loaded all my most-used products into them so that I can easily transfer the whole mess tidily into a drawer.
2.       We have too many knick knacks stored on shelves with a stated purpose. –Probably still true. Getting better.
3.       We have too few devoted knick-knack shelves –I recant this. I am renouncing “knick-knack shelves”.
4.       I leave my shoes around. –Still true.
5.       There isn’t a set place for my purse/work bag/gym bag to go. –Ahem, still true. I have GOT to set up a landing strip.
6.       The floor pillows currently look like clutter. – FIXED! They are stored away for the rare occasion that we need floor pillows.
Major Issue 1.3:
The storage space that we do have is not being used to its fullest potential, thereby creating a more chaotic look than necessary.
Root Cause of Issue 1.3:    
1.       The amp/rockband equipment clutter up the living room. –This was fixed, then I bought a new set for the hubs for Christmas. But I do have a plan.
2.       The storage area in the office closet has not been reorganized since we moved in. –This is still true. Out of sight, out of mind, I should probably toss most of it, honestly. But I’m a craft hoarder.
3.       We have things in the kitchen cabinets that do not belong there. –Fixed!
4.       The linen closet has become a complete shambles. –Fixed! (Or it was. I TELL the hubs what the system is, and he nods, and then the system disappears. Maybe I need to label the shelves…)
5.       The storage area under the left bathroom sink is untidy. –FIXED! Pinterest to the rescue on that one. Tossed a tension rod in a cabinet and hung all the cleaning supply bottles on it. Magic!
6.       My makeup drawer is a mess. –Better, due to the aforementioned cosmetic bags. Still, not great.

So.... I've handled 7 of 17 things. In a year and a half. Le sigh. Well, thankfully, this blog is more expositional than inspirational (Or it's intended to be. Bless you if you're even less organized, you have a special place in my heart. Next to the cookies). Anyway. I never claimed to be perfect. But if I could just get things to look "perfect", just for a minute, that'd be fine.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Excuses (and some progress)

I have 4 reasons (excuses) why I haven’t updated my blog this week. 

  1. I’ve been sick.
  2. We had a funeral on Friday.
  3. I drove 450 miles yesterday. In mostly LA traffic (if you have never had the pleasure, it means I literally drove at 30mph on a freeway for 70 miles). I felt like doing nothing when I got home. So we tried out the Italian place across the street. They’re “known” for their pizza. Don’t know why, it ain’t that great- the cheese is especially lackluster. Now, I didn’t mind, as I was on my second glass of wine in 30 minutes when the food got there, so anything was just fine. But the hubs, he was not impressed. And it wasn’t particularly cheap. Or fast. Now, you can almost never have something that is great value, fast AND well made… but you can usually get 2 out of 3. This hit 0 out of 3.
  4.  I don’t think apartment therapy realized just how many cabinets I’m in possession of when it suggested emptying them and cleaning them out. My kitchen is small, but it is ALL cabinets. I have 14 cabinet doors in my kitchen. 14. But I’m working on it! So far, I’ve gotten thru… 4. Ok, so I *may* need to work a little bit faster. But I’ve got myself a catch-up list (of, a-hem, 42 items totaling and estimated 16 hours and 12 minutes of work) , so hopefully later this week you will be inundated with content.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

January "Cure", my @ss

Getting your shit together is HARD. I myself managed to get a massive ear infection that wiped out my energy almost completely. I did manage to clean the fridge inside and out AND do the top pantry cabinet, so that was a good accomplishment (I’ll share photos later. Probably.).

But, um…. I seem to be behind on this January Cure situation.  Mostly because I had a January Illness (hello, irony, party of 1- actually, it's January. It's not remotely ironic that I got sick. I almost ALWAYS catch something in January). I made a list of all the shit I’m behind on. 

Catch-Up Projects:
Day 3: floors
-mop kitchen
-mop bathroom
-deep clean living room rug

Day 7: invites
-create an invite and invite people over for February

Day 8: kitchen
- clean oven
-clean stove
-clean & organize drawers
- clean food storage shelves & organize (1/2 done)
-clean sink
-clean flatware/glassware shelves

Day 9: landing strip
- purchase coat hanger (or hooks & mount to back of changing table)
-purchase recycle mail bin
-mount coat hanger
-get tall side table (or move filing cabinet next to door.. or hang a shelf?)
- make a landing strip (it’s a place to put your KEYS DOWN, not the other kind of landing strip)

Day 10: work on your project
-clean the windows
-decide on a paper and/or give up and hang curtains

I think I need to extend the January Cure by 2 days to account for January Illness. Also, I really don’t want to invite people over in February. It’s a short month, and my birthday’s right in the middle of it. Which also, while we’re on it, I don’t really want to celebrate my birthday anymore. The last 2 birthdays were pretty sad and while maybe I can con my friends into throwing me a party this year (because I threw parties for 2 of them), if I have to plan my own birthday, it’s going to involve a book, a blanket, and liberal administration of vodka sodas. Oh, and a guest list of 1.