Monthly Archives: September 2010

Making it mine

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One of the first things I did when we bought the house was go around and replace (most of) the switch plates and plug plates. I’m not sure why, but it bothers me to think about someone else touching the switch plates in my house. I don’t know why because it never bothered me in the townhouse, but that could be because I knew I was renting it. This one is ours.

Anyway, I was browsing Etsy recently and came across this shop! I was very excited, especially with the price! I immediately picked out switch plates for the bathroom and our bedroom, three of the rooms we use the most.

I bought two plates for the bathroom, since there are switches next to each door, the one from the hallway and the one leading into our bedroom.
Here is what I picked!

As a reminder, this is what the shower curtain looks like in our bathroom:

I just LOVE how the motifs are similar and the colors are almost identical! As a side note, I would like to paint the bathroom, probably that yummy red-orange color of the tree, but for now I’m happy with the beige the previous owners left it.

Our bedroom had a decorative switch plate that just didn’t go with our decor.

Which, as a reminder, looks like this:

I knew I’d never find a switch plate that matched the lovely teal that is on 3 of the 4 walls in our room, so I went with the dark brown. I love it!

I think it matches very well, it’s simple, and the contrast with the teal wall makes it stand out all the more! One thing that is bothering me, however, is the fact that the switches are ivory and the design is white…but that will be a honey do project for the near future! It’s easy enough to fix anyway.



What do you think?

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Sisters

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When I came home this afternoon, this is what I found.

Clarabelle and Hermione haven’t always gotten along. When Clarabelle first arrived, Hermione was very upset with me, hissing and hiding all day. I felt terrible.
Clarabelle was so sick, she didn’t care, at first. By the time Hermione came around, Clarabelle was feeling better.
They will occasionally groom each other; Clarabelle will more often groom Hermione than the other way around.
I have no idea whose idea this was, or who arrived first. My guess would be Hermione curled up with Clarabelle, but I will never know for sure.
Either way, I think it’s safe to say that these sisters have bonded.
And that makes me feel all warm inside!

I’m flipping out

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I had an interview today. Of course, I can’t give details, but I can tell you this. I have never wanted a job more.

This job is exactly what I want to do, except it’s not in a library, and there are no books. But there is everything else I want: kids, programming, games, homework help…it’s perfect.

I find out next week and I’d start on (or around) Oct. 1. So now I wait.

Storage solutions

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Ahh, peace and quiet. It’s something we haven’t had much of in the past 3 months or so, since we decided we were going to buy a house. But (most of) the boxes are unpacked, the visitors are gone (for now!) and it’s just Geoff and I. Well, tonight it’s just me, but usually it’s just Geoff and I!
Of course, all these little things, along with a kitty with raging conjunctivitis who is forced to wear the cone of shame, I’ve just not gotten around to blogging because, at the end of the day, I just want to relax!
Kind of like this:

Without the cone, of course. Poor thing, I’m not sure which is more irritating to her, the (presumably) itchy eye, or the collar that prevents her from doing pretty much everything and causes Hermione to hiss at her! Poor thing.

Anyway, I recently had two big boxes of stuff in my kitchen. Stuff we needed, but stuff we didn’t have the room to store! See, we had an awesome island in the middle of the other kitchen, so our appliances and pots and pans just expanded to fill the space. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my new kitchen, but it has a little less storage, so it’s taking a little getting used to. Those two boxes were stressing me out and I didn’t know what to do with them!
Well, a little repurposing (read: stealing) of a cart from Geoff’s office helped store our plastic storage containers!

I’m bound and determined to keep these in order this time around. Aren’t we all?

That took care of our plastic storage, but not the few larger, awkward (and needed) appliances! I’m talking a blender, food processor and all it’s attachments, for example. This time it was Craigslist to the rescue!

This microwave cart is perfect for this corner of our kitchen. It’s in great shape and was only $40. I may later replace the hardware with something a little more to my taste, but for now I’m not worried. Although, you may notice that there is no microwave on said microwave cart. We’re working on it!
In case you were wondering, living without a microwave is…interesting. It makes reheating take a little longer, but if you have some patience, mashed potatoes reheated on the stove…

or chicken heated in the stove really isn’t that bad!

One of the things I love about most about my kitchen is the sink! We went from having a double sink to having just one, and I have to say, it’s helped me keep the kitchen much cleaner. When the sink fills up, it’s time to load the dishwasher, and most of the stuff fits into the dishwasher in one load!

This was before dinner, so it’s not as clean at the moment. But the dishwasher is running, and it was clean for a bit, which made me happy!

Freecycle 101

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So, you know how I love Freecycle? Well, I have had a couple people ask me about Freecycle, how it works and how I score such awesome things (they don’t say it that way, but that’s what they mean, of course.)

I first heard about Freecycle a couple years ago from a friend who mentioned it in passing. I didn’t think much of it, and didn’t really get into using Freecycle until I was in Alabama and had to furnish an apartment with stuff I didn’t plan on keeping, since I knew I was moving again. Anyway, I managed to find a few things on Freecycle (some of which I turned around and sold on Craigslist, score!) and thus my love of Freecycle was born. Or fed. Whatever.

How to join Freecycle
So! Freecycle 101. How does it work? Well, I’m glad you asked! Freecycle is a resource where everything that is offered is free. Hence the name. The first step to finding a Freecycle group in your area is to go to the Freecycle website and enter your city. Depending on the area you live in, a Freecycle group may be set up differently. For example, in a small area like Paul, Idaho, you will find that there is one group for several nearby cities. In Seattle, there are several groups for the different areas of Seattle. In my case, I’m involved in the East and Central King County Freecycle groups. You just want to choose the one that is closest to you.
Once you’ve determined which group to join, click the link that Freecycle will provide. For all the groups I’ve been part of, it’s as simple as joining a Yahoo group. You can set the email up so you can get a daily digest, an email every time something new is posted or no email, and just check the site. I recommend the daily digest, personally.
Receiving free items
Now, because this is free, I must warn you, it’s sometimes difficult to find something good. Often, posts requesting random items or offering random things (recently I saw one for broken bathroom tiles!) come through. Sometimes there will be something good, but often if you don’t jump on it quickly, it will be taken before you get a chance. Also, keep in mind that you will often have to travel to get your items. As a rule, I will only drive about 30 minutes to get something (it is free, after all!) but I will try to schedule a pick-up while I’m already in the area. The nice thing about both collecting and giving things away on Freecycle is that you don’t have to meet the person, so I often find that they will leave it outside with a sign and I can just grab it and go. I did this with a free litter box a couple weeks ago! (A nice, covered one, too!)
Asking for items
So when you see something good on Freecycle, email about it, but don’t be too disappointed if it doesn’t work out. What I’ve discovered works best, is asking for items. When I was down in Alabama I wanted a coffee table. I scoured Freecycle for a bit, but hadn’t found anything yet, so I took a chance and asked. What I have discovered, is that people may have a coffee table lying around that they don’t think to put up on Freecycle. When I posted that ad I was able to get a fairly decent wicker coffee table (that the kitty decided she needed to sharpen her claws on).
When I asked for my free couch, I had several responses, most of which included pictures. I was able to sort through the pictures and emails and choose the couch I wanted. This was much better than just waiting for a couch to come up on Freecycle…I had my pick!
My newest Freecycle request (which I haven’t heard back from yet) is a microwave. I’ve had one offer already, for a small, working microwave that won’t be ready for a couple weeks (the owners are redoing their kitchen).
Of course, you can’t be too picky, and it’s important to remember that these items are free. I saw a request for an iPhone the other day, and I had to laugh at it. When I think about putting things on Freecycle it’s usually after I have attempted to sell it on Craigslist (hey, I’m poor!)
Giving items away on Freecycle
Freecycle is an excellent way to give items away that you can’t sell. For example, the other day I was trying to sell the extra comforter and extra twin-sized “bed in a bag” we had lying around. I just didn’t want to move it, and I knew we wouldn’t need the twin sheet set. I put it on Freecycle and it was gone within hours of moderator approval! I was shocked! Best of all, I left it on my doorstep and headed out…by the time I came home, it was gone! People can’t pass up free, plus it made me feel good helping someone out.
The most important thing to remember is, don’t be picky, and don’t expect a lot. These things are free, after all, but with a little luck and a lot of weeding, you should be able to find some half-way decent items. Our couch will work very well until we can afford another one, be it in a year or 5 years. When I’m through with the microwave or first Freecycle couch, I will put it up on Freecycle for another person to use. Ahh, the circle of life.

My new love

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We have a nice, big family room in the new house, and I love it. Unfortunately, I don’t love the fact that we have seating for about three people. We did inherit a futon from Geoff’s mom, which is currently residing in the office, but I wanted something that looked a little more formal than a futon, even if it is just for the family room.

Since we had a truck rented for moving anyway, I decided to look on craigslist for a suitable couch.  I also posted a request on Freecycle, hoping to get a free couch instead of having to buy one.
We were in luck! I was able to find this sectional which also includes a sleeper section, so we have more than enough room to have parties and guests, which is always nice.

The best part is, this couch is very comfortable for napping on! Don’t worry, I’ve tested it out already. The couch may not be a color I would have picked, but it was free, and it will work for us until we have they money to buy new furniture! In the meantime, my other Freecycle couch resides in the front room! As for the black futon that the first couch replaced…I sold it on Craigslist yesterday!

Home, sweet home!

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Our last guest left on Sunday, so it’s (finally) been just Geoff and I in the new house! While I loved having my dad and Geoff’s best friend here, I’m also loving getting used to the house on my own.

We are, for the most part, unpacked. Some rooms look better than others. Our bedroom is one that is unpacked and lived-in already! With the exception of a box of stuff and those bags of clothes in the corner (which are going to be donated), this room is ready!
For those of you (if there were any) who questioned our brown and teal room, rest assured, there was a reason for those colors!

We found these at Bed, Bath and Beyond, and used my babysitting money to buy them. I wanted something new and different for the bedroom, but Geoff wasn’t so sure. When we both found and agreed on these I knew there was hope for color!

Our guest room was the first one I was able to put together! As soon as the bed was in there I made it, put a lamp on the bed side table (that one won’t stay, but I needed something!) and put Geoff’s childhood dresser in there as well.

I absolutely love my guest room. I love the way everything matches, and how good it looks. It has even already had a guest; my dad slept there while he was here. He didn’t seem to mind the color scheme.

Geoff has adapted to his orange office very well. It feels a little small with the desk and a futon in there, but I do like the layout and, of course, the orange! Life’s too short for beige.

Lest you think all our rooms are in good shape, let me set you straight!

The front room (or living room) still has boxes in it that I haven’t had the patience to go through, yet. It doesn’t even have pictures hung up, but we will get there. Our kitchen also has a couple boxes, but I am working on finding extra storage for our plastic reusable containers, which I am determined to keep organized this time!

For a week into living here, I think we’re in good shape, what do you think?