Kitchen redesign, part 1

Well I’ve been tinkering around the kitchen for months. A little here, a bit there. A rail for to hang stuff:

I promise, this'll be less crappy. Sometime.

And now, after a trip to Ikea this morning? A new cookbook/microwave/stuff holder, and a blue “garden-ness holder”:


Ahhhhh. That’s better. I’m in love. I’ve wanted to see how an Expedit on wheels would work in my kitchen. And it works perfectly! Best yet; this was in the as-is section of the store, so not only was it discounted, it was fully assembled! A special shout out to a neighbor that was passing by when I got home & brought it up the stairs for me. Yayz!

I still need to hang up the shelves (that I so artfully plopped in front of the fridge) . And buy a something to hold the larger plant pots. And maybe get a butcher block top for the new Expedit “banquet”. Then there’s always the new faucet I picked up during the Memorial Day sales, to replace the one that I stripped during my hose-to-sink trials.

So much to do….


What is Acrymax? Why should I care?

Energy Star.  Mmm, rebates.  But every time I think of doing something eco-friendly to my pad I realize that right now I probably would need to win the  lottery to do the things I’m dying to do (solar tube!  Tankless water heater!  Rooftop garden….)

Well, today I bit the bullet — because it seems that this is the year for bullet biting — and decided to get my roof coated.  Because they say that coated roofs are more energy efficient (“they” in this case being the NYTimes.  I’ll run with that.)  Since I love me some saving money, I have been wanting to get my roof coated for awhile now.

Today, I heard the clangy-jangle of roofers at my neighbor’s house.  They were clearing out his gutters, and when I saw them I trotted downstairs to ask if they did coated/white roofs.  They said they did “modified bitumen roofing“, which reflects heat and is Energy Star compliant.  The reflective goop is called Acrymax, and they could do it for half of what they usually charge, since they were in the neighborhood and had the stuff on their truck.

I said yes.

It took them about 20 minutes to coat the roof, using a spray-hose-nozzle thing.  It’ll take a day or two to dry, then the guys said they’d come back and take a picture for me so I could post it here.  Yayz!  Extra added bonus: they said that my roof was “very well done” and everything was “sealed tight”, which makes this the third contracting team that has complimented my roof.  I can haz happy.

Aaaaand so since I have no roof picture, here’s a few photos of plants.

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$25 bucks equals a groovy closet!

I love the closets in my bedrooms.  They’re not walk-ins, but they’re large enough for me to duck into and grab things from the far corners.  But I’ve had a huge “making do” drawer thingy from IKEA gakking up prime real estate in my bedroom; fine enough for awhile, but I’ve been jonesing to pretty things up for over a year now.  Plus, it blocks the gorgeous view of the closet shelf thang that my friend put up for me.  And we can’t block the pretty now, can we?  No, we can’t.

So, after obsessing for months doing my due diligence in the ol’ research department, I finally chose a few add-ons to the closet brand I’d started with.  This brand lets you hang stuff up on their track system, but since nothing really fit just-so in the spaces that way, I decided to go with floor models.  And I’m not too bummed.  In fact, I’m kinda digging the outcome.

Not to shabby for shelling out $25, right?  Actually it’s more like $22, since one piece was about ten bucks and the other was about 12.  Okay, so it’d be $34 if I count the three-stack piece I’ve had for awhile now (and had been using…well, to stash crap in the closet.)  The acid-trip baskets are from my scrounging around Target during their Missoni blowout.  I do love acid trips!  To look at, not to be on.  I’m guessing.  Let’s just say an actual acid trip is something I’m not dying to try out.  Blergh.  Give me Pink Floyd and Steppenwolf straight up, thank you.

Ahh.  I feel so much better with a sorted closet.  I can see my stuff!  The socks and dedicates are in my dresser, the sweaters and jeans are with the rest of my “heading out into the world” clothes, and I ended up spending at least a third of what I’d figured it would cost if I went with other items.  Huzzah!

On a side note, my hangers face in two different directions.  That’s because I’m testing myself; about a month ago I hung everything the “wrong” way (hanger hook opening out front instead of out to the back).  If I wear the item, it gets reversed to it’s just and right position.  At the end of this year… it’s hardcore Osoji, bitches!  Word, I’ll be rockin’ it old-school, cleaning out all the old — in this case all the stuff that has a hanger facing the wrong direction — and booting it out the door.  Yeah, I am feeling a bit unsettled about what could be The Great Pitchout, but I’ll be a big girl.  Probably.  Big girls cry, yes?

What have I learned, now that I can see what’s going on in there?

* I have a shitton of grey stuff.

* I have the fashion sense of a 5-year-old, with the sparkles, fringe, metallics and patterns.

* I buy stuff based on my knee-jerk reaction just like I do for the house, instead of trying to figure out if pieces go with what I’ve already got.

* Considering what I’ve got hanging on the door, I’m apparently in a Stripes Period.

The only one who doesn’t love the new closet?  Miss Z.  She’s not even happy about the pink jingleball that I rolled out to entice her to love the new.  Z loved being able to crawl into the pile o’ baskets & bags at the bottom of my closet.  No longer, Miss.  Sorry.

She’s not speaking to me at the moment.  She’ll come around.  Right?

I have always been the optimistic type.

As my cinema themed (yes, there’s a theme. Somewhere.) ManCave slowly comes into being, I like to think I make good choices. Sure.

Tonight though? Iffy. Thought I have loved this print/canvas-art thing for a while, I don’t think I put enough thought into the storage of said item…during a screening I’m attending for my critic gig. Oops.

But it was $13, from $40. I couldn’t walk away!


Tonight’s screening should be interesting. I just hope it won’t be a pain for my nearby press-mates.

My bad.

[UPDATE: I got it home!!! And it’s all in one piece, and it’s not ripped or covered in escalator grease from the Metro. And how gross is that slimy stuff, anyway?

I am trying to figure out exactly where in the ManCave it will live, and when I do I will post a shiny new pic.

Oh, and BTW, there’s a sticker-tag thing on the back that says $59.95. So I did save $27, I saved $47. Yaaaay!]

I Feel Sorry For The Lamp (or, how I shop Holiday Clearance)

Rudolphs. I'm guessing that when you have a herd of Rudolphs they become Rudolphi?

Mmm.  Nothing is better than the holidays…except for the moment of time immediately after when all holiday stuff goes on super-deep discount.  Just so I don’t get distracted by the cornucopia of holiday goodness (I’m looking at you, former self during post-Halloween 2010), I make a list of stuff I need.  So I don’t come home with a bag of crap I’ll never use/that will suck storage space from my already threadbare supply.

This year’s list:

  • Bows for the front stair/stoop railing.
  • Garland for said railing.
  • Pop-up tape.
  • 3M sticky-hooky things.
  • A fake Xmas tree around 3-4′ tall, preferably unlit, preferably silver, gold, multicolor or purple.
  • Maybe a 2nd Xmas tree for upstairs.  Let’s make with the Jolly for 2012, y’all.
  • New tuppers that make better use of what little storage I’ve got, to replace the one ginormous but awkward Xmas tupper I’ve had for years

What I ended up with:

  • Two Xmas trees; one purple (yayz!) and one turquoise (huh?).  Both under 3′ apiece.
  • Bows for the rail
  • Window cling things, candy-cane shaped.
  • Window cling things, solid color jello-like clings in the shape of cats with Santa hats.  Because NOTHING says sexy singleton like cats with Santa hats on your windows.  Come get me, fellas.  Line’s to your right.
  • Santa kitchen towel.  See above.
  • Mini-stuffed reindeer ornament.  From Starbucks, so it’s classy.  Ahem.
  • 3 Solar-powered “crackle sphere” multicolored LED lights.  Because I’ll use them in the backyard once it’s fenced.  Sure I will.
  • 5 LED snowflakes with suction cups that allow ’em to be attached anywhere.  Anywhere smooth.  Which rules out just about everywhere except the fridge.  Or my brand-new(ish) flatscreen tv.  One of those items probably isn’t the best idea…so I guess I’ll have to find something else for the fridge.
  • Two tuppers that fit the storage shelving-unit thingy perfectly, freeing up space in the under-the-stairs thingy.
  • Approximately 12 zillion boxes of Christmas Kleenex/Puffs, aluminum foil, Ziploc freezer bags and containers.  Because nothing says summertime better than Santa holding the pasta salad.
  • Three bottle/squeezies of watermelon-flavored Colgate toothpaste for kids, in holiday packaging.  From this moment forward, Christmas will now and forevermore mean watermelon-flavored toothpaste.
  • The Rudolphs.  More on them in a bit.

Yep.  Kinda proud of myself for having the sheer force of will that kept me from going batshit crazy during the holiday sale this year.  Oh who am I kidding?  I went absolutely crazy, running up and down the aisles, caught up in the moment with a bunch of hardcore bargain-hunters.  How could I resist joining in?  Let me rephrase that; how, with my total and complete lack of self control, could I resist joining in?

Hello. My name is Denise, and I have a problem....
...I understand that's the first step.

Sure, I now have enough paper & plastic goods for the rest of the year, all bought at about a buck apiece (or, in the case of the tissues, 82 cents apiece).  Plus, one of the bargain-hunters floated me some of her coupons for said items, so they were even cheaper.  But I can’t help thinking I lost it a bit.  Especially when I look at my Swamp Room and see the ginormous wad of stash.  Don’t bother calling Hoarders for me, they’re already appalled.

My pièce de résistance of this holiday shopping catastrophe are the Rudolphs.  Cute little buggers, aren’t they?  So, you may be thinking, I’m guessing she bought three because she has three levels/three areas she wants to showcase ’em/some sort of plan somewhere in here bb-rattling-in-a-tuna-can brain?

You’d be wrong.  I bought them for the same reason I buy a lot of things: I Feel Sorry For The Lamp.  You know, the IKEA commercial where a poor little lamp with tons of good years left (*nif*) gets tossed aside (*gulp*) LIKE SO MUCH TRASH, TO GET RAINED ON AND SO IT CRIES AND YOU’D NEVER KNOW BECAUSE IT’S RAINING AND THE LAMP DOES TOO HAVE FEELINGS GODDAMMIT!

Anyway, so yeah.  I buy things to save their lives.  Poor little misfit toys.  So what if they “don’t work”?  (Oh yes, they have a battery receptacle on their little tushies don’cha know.  They be classin’.)  I’ll bet they want to be dentists.    They were 48 cents, marked down from $14.99.  And we all know what that means.  That means they’re one step away from being tossed into The Can.

There there.  Don’t worry boys.  You’re safe with me.  *dashes away tear*

Christmas 2012 will be the best Christmas ever.  For me, for Zoe…and most especially, for the Rudolphi.  It’s a fucking Christmas miracle, and it’s beautiful.

Tweaking the deck from Summer clearance

Finally, a bit of color on the deck! Man I love the end of season sales…. 75% off? Yes, please!

So, I picked up a kids sized Adirondack Chair. Because it’s cute, because it doesn’t overwhelm the deck, and because my tuchas fits in it perfectly. (That it matches the table I picked up earlier in the season? Bonus.)

I’m also loving the tall umbrella, since it has so many colors, yet isn’t too busy. But it is tiny; it’s a 5′ umbrella, and it’s so tall it’s not the best as far as shade. But the 9′ size was too big…what I’d like to find is a 7′. But for $12? I can handle it for now.

I know that I’ll have to take it all down tonight, pre-Irene, but for now I just like looking at my under $50 deck design. Hooray for stores that over order! I thank you.

Hooking up.

Thanks to the IKEA as-is department, I have a rail! And I used it to hang up the little pig kitchen stuff I’ve been grabbing up (thanks, HomeGoods).

I also put up a Grundtal tp holder, but mounted it vertically, so I can use it as a paper towel holder.

Now I feel a little more put together. For me, that’s a big thing.

Next up? Another rail – maybe the thinner ones, so I can hang up the little wire baskets and get ’em off the counter….