Category Archives: Home

Couch in the Kitchen

The All-Star and I decided to use a bit of our wedding dough to purchase some grown-up furniture for our new rented space. We’d been using the same old hand-me-down couches for years and we felt we were ready for a “sofa & loveseat” and some end tables to match. We even splurged on the matching ottoman/coffee table. And we were happier than pigs in poop… Until the furniture arrived that is. We discovered that due to the odd shape of our living room, there was no way that the sofa would fit through the door. GASP! Of course, instead of sending it back and paying the ridiculous restocking fee, we told the delivery men to leave it and began to think of way to mischievously get the sofa in there. I’m not going to get into any of the details but let’s just say the sofa is still not in the living room. There are possible plans with the landlord in the works but I’m not counting chickens. And so the sofa stayed, wrapped in it’s black travel blanket without a hope in the world of getting sat upon anytime soon. That is until yesterday when I decided it was taking up useful space and we should just set it up where it does fit…in the kitchen. WELL, the end result actually looks great. I love having a couch in the kitchen. I can take a comfy seat while I’m waiting for water to boil. I can enjoy my morning coffee and internet surfing facing slight south-east. When we have friends over we can serve some appetizers there. It’s actually a PERFECT spot for sitting. So I’m happy it all worked out. Eventually the sofa may actually make it’s way to the promise land that is the living room. But for now, I’m enjoying the fact that I pushed my original desire aside and made due with what we’ve got.

Ain't no couch fitting through this door

Ain’t no couch fitting through this door

A fortunate solution

A fortunate solution

Watching The All-Star cook breakfast  for me while I blog

Watching The All-Star cook breakfast for me while I blog

Life can be that way sometimes (or maybe even a lot of times.) You think you need things to be one way, but the truth is you just want it that way, and the reality is that there can be a whole lot of ways and maybe even better ones than you first expected. It’s a good lesson for me. I have a tendency to get a little cranky freak out when things aren’t as I want them. Now I’ll remember to look outside the box for alternative solutions. I may find myself even more comfortable than I’d intended to be!

Laura

A Hurricane of Home Improvements

Not really, but anyway…

We have a hutch that we keep all our nice glasses  in. It’s always been somewhat of a focal point in our many apartments… I actually really like it, except that it has this ugly metal hardware on it.

ugly hardware

Aren’t those terrible?! We are definitely not going for the industrial look over here!

So some time ago I removed the hardware, but this made the door a little difficult to open and there were equally as ugly hole marks where the screws had once been.

screw holes

Terrible. And what pretty knob requires four screws??

So today while attempting to think of way to hang a curtain without a curtain rod, I decided to take on the ugly hardware instead.

more ugly hardware

Seriously, what is up with those???

Luckily we had some paint from a previous “project” at our Tustin apartment.  (And by project I mean, mending a hole in the wall.  It’s a long story. Don’t judge.)

paint

I think that did the trick…

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They aren’t perfect but definitely an improvement. I’m happy with the results. 🙂

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hutch

Here are a few other things I did to keep myself busy today. . .

A terracotta plate candle dish for the coffee table!

candle dish

And a shower curtain “head board.”

shower curtain head board

What do you think??

I’ve got to do something with this stuff I have left over from our many apartments .

Reuse baby!! And not a penny spent!

Laura

A Home is Where the Heart is

I love this house. So quaint and quiet. And complete with a black cat.

carmel house

I could live there…

I dream of the day when my bed no longer occupies the floor of a rented apartment. Where the walls are mine to paint freely or knock down. Where there’s a yard just waiting to be dug up and planted with tasty nutrition and flowering happiness! Where there will be pets and children and family and friends and the welcome sign hangs for all who enter to come and enjoy in the heart I’ve created.

Aaa. It’s good to dream. Dreams bring us one step closer to reality!

Laura

Green and Efficient Cleaning

There’s nothing like the feeling I get from a clean room. Knowing that everything is tidy and no chores are left to be done is a beautiful thing… and an intricate part of my path to wellness.  But lately I have a battling relationship with my broom and spray bottle. Partly because I’m slowly moving away from chemical cleaning products but was unsure of what to replace them with. But also because I’ve just been lazy busy. Either way, I’m growing tired of knowing there is work to be done and can’t stand seeing any kind of mess in my way so I’m buckling down and starting a chore schedule.  I’ve never really scheduled my chores before, or at least not since I was a kid. And I’m not too good at sticking to a schedule that no one but myself is making sure I follow. (Actually, I don’t think I’m very good at it when there is someone either.) Regardless…it’s time for change and change I shall attempt.

Here’s how I figured out my new cleaning routine:

Task #1:

Find the tools with which to clean

TLC offers the 10 Green Home Cleaning Tips with instructions on how to use “The Fantastic Four cleaners” (vinegar, salt, lemon juice, and baking soda) for every room in your house. These ingredients are not only safe for your family and your environment but they are a heck of a lot cheaper and sometimes more effective then their toxic counterparts. Add a broom, some spray bottles, a few old rags, and a bucket and I’ve got myself a defense against any dust or dirt that dares to settle on my surroundings.

Task #2:

Learn how to clean

I’m actually pretty good at deep cleaning but I my skills haven’t been helping me so much on the day-to-day. I found the help I needed on Curbly.com in badbadivy’s post  “Clean like a maid.” She taught me “top to bottom” and “left to right.” Two obvious cleaning techniques that I obviously needed to be reminded of. She also recommended cleaning on a weekly schedule.

Task #3

Set a schedule to clean

If my life were anything close to a set schedule right now, this would be an easier task, but since I’m not always sure of where I may be on any given day, it’s difficult to designate a specific day for cleaning. So I designated every day. To each day I assigned a set of chores based on difficulty and expected necessity. I wrote it all down in a journal and then downloaded the Chore Checklist app to my phone so I can check off accomplished tasks and set reminders as needed.

So that’s my new goal. I’m hoping for the best. I figure if I start doing a little bit each day than it won’t take up too much of my time and I won’t really have to do much “deep cleaning.” It’s an effort. I’ll let you know how it goes.

Happy Dusting!

Laura

String up the Lights!

It’s difficult being away from family at this time before the holidays.  I wish they could see how I’ve decorated my home and share with them warm meals and other festive goodies.  Luckily this year I’ll be flying back to New York this Christmas Eve and the following morning will be just as it was before I moved to another state.

It’s odd living in California in the winter time.  For years, the holidays meant it was cold outside and taking a walk down an illuminated street was accompanied by a warm cup of cocoa and a few layers of wool.  As crazy as it sounds, I do miss the cold, however nice it is to not have to bundle up all the time.  In fact, one of the coolest parts about this sunny side of the country is Christmas on the water.  My Florida family have been telling me about this for years.  Decorated boat parades and Christmas light contests.  It was not until I traveled 3000 miles away from my norm that I was able to take part in this fantastic holiday tradition.

Last night, after some delicious sushi and Saki, The All-Star and I drove down to Naples in Long Beach to enjoy some of their festive flare.  The temperature of the air was probably 60º which was the first “hooray” in my book.

Here’s a little bit about Naples for those who don’t know….  Many of the homes are on canals which run throughout this little part of town.  What makes it so unique (for me) is that the front of the homes are on the canals instead of the backyards, (which is what I’m used to), and there’s a sidewalk between the water and the properties with little bridges to walk and drive over and for boats to pass under.  It’s a very cool part of town.  Over the summer The All-Star and I kayaked through this area, not realizing at the time we were actually looking at the front of these beautiful beach dwellings.

So last night was the judging contest for this year’s “California Dreamin'” Christmas theme.  There were lots of folks walking up and down the canals and connecting streets, admiring the hard work of these most fortunate home owners.  A very cool sight to see.  I have to say that although I certainly do miss Christmas in New York, (not a whole lot beats that Rockefeller tree), seeing this light show on the water does get me into the holiday spirit.  How lucky I am to be able to experience both sides this year…the cold weather with the love of my family to keep me warm, and the warm weather with the excitement of the holidays to bring joy into my heart!

Happy Holidays!

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Laura