Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Flaky Fridge Frustration, HELP!

Ladies that live together seem to get in sync.  I know this because my Flaky Fridge and I have synced up and are both aging and going through a change.  Flaky Fridge is showing her age and she is slowing down.  For a year or so I haven't been using the bottom crisper drawer for anything except water since it would freeze anything else. So, she has cold feet like I do...but recently she has really been freezing....water in the drawer that is. I gave up using that drawer totally and started poking water bottles willy nilly where I could find a spot. 
There are days the bottom drawer chills perfectly, but those, like days that I feel like the old me, are few and far between.  From time to time she takes iceberg lettuce from just a name  to the real deal....i.e. complete lettuce loss.  We have been struggling to keep the top of the fridge cool enough not to lose milk but yet warm enough not to freeze the rest of our food.  A couple of days ago, Flaky Fridge decided that we would like our milk and juice from the top shelf slushy.  I am not totally against this but I do believe she is not so subtly trying to tell me she is ready to move on.
 I don't blame her.  She has kept her cool for years as the Big Dumb Jock stood guzzling gallons of milk and juice with her doors wide open.  She has tolerated the sticky fingers and cramming drawers full inflicted by a young Mini.  Her tolerance for having her doors hung on and slammed has been unfailing.   She has only recently begun showing her age with age spots on her door and yellowed handles obviously from thinning skin and too harsh cleanings with Clorox over the years.  Guess that is akin to tanning with iodine and baby oil for me.

With this in mind I have been looking at and researching new refrigerators for several weeks now.  It has been many years since I purchased a refrigerator so I first had to overcome sticker shock.  I have driven cars that didn't cost any more than some of these new cool girls!  Having said that, you will understand why I want to be absolutely sure to invite the right lady into my kitchen for what hopefully will be a long, long time. 
I have had a side by side for years but I am really liking the french door option for my new girl.  I love the idea of seeing everything without bending and moving things all around to get to the back.  Right now I am so overwhelmed!  I think part of it is there are so many options and models but the other part is I have been reading reviews.  Based on the reviews there just isn't a good fridge out there! 
Outside of the the whole concept of buying a reliable refrigerator, I have some space restrictions that keep me from purchasing the dreamily big 32 cu ft. models (I am so lusting for them).  Since all my other appliances are white, I will also be skipping the stainless options so that narrows the field of contenders some.

I got so discouraged I just gave up until a couple of days ago, but with the new slush option on our Flaky Fridge I feel the need to get on with the decision.  I have read SO many reviews about condensation issues with the ice makers in french door w/ice and water in the door refrigerators that I am considering forgoing my beloved crushed ice in favor of just an ice maker in the freezer.
So, I need your help.  If you are the proud owner of a loving, chilling french door refrigerator that you could recommend, I would really love to hear about her.  If you own a drippy drama queen of an icebox, please let me know about her too  There is only room for one drama queen here and I have that all locked up. 

Fingers crossed that she doesn't sneeze before I can send her off somewhere to warm up and suffer from puddles!  Thanks for any feedback you can provide.

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Out with the REALLY, REALLY Old - Closet Makeover

For a while now I have been living in denial of needing planning on a major closet overhaul.  I have managed to be way too, ahem, busy to take on this project but after Christmas I did a bit of after Christmas shopping for myself.  When I drug in all my shopping booty I didn't even want to put it in that dark hole I called a closet.  I wish I could say that was what pushed me into action, but it wasn't.

The final straw came the second week of January when I visited my friend Tammy for our very late Christmas.  I was showing off a pic of some new shoes I had bought, when she wanted to show me some of her shoes.  Yay, this gave me an excuse to snoop  take a peak at someone else's closet without having to ask straight up. 

The Bandalinos that started the whole thing!

When I walked in and saw how organized her closet was, all covert recon I was conducting went out the window and I confessed what a disaster I was living with.  I had major organizational lust.  I think I have mentioned this before, but her house to just TOO neat (there is something not right there,  I can never find any dust bunnies), She was already making me look bad but a neat closet was more than I could take.  I asked where her 10 lb clothes know the clothes for when you are 10 lbs bigger or smaller.  Her reply, I don't keep those.  What?  I thought everybody had 3 sets of clothing.  Oh boy, this was going to be more of an ordeal than I realized.

We were headed out shopping that day so I thought I would pick up some cute baskets or bins to help "inspire" me to start the big clean up.  Tammy's response was that I didn't need to buy anything I need to go home and get on with the purging before she showed up and did it.   I mean if that happened how would she know all the very important items I needed to keep?  Plus, we are kind of competitive and I couldn't have her having a neater closet than mine so, it was on.

I came home and wandered in to see if my closet was really THAT  bad.  I took a really hard look and determined it was WAY WORSE than bad.  One of the goodies that caught my eye was a purple corduroy cape.  My mother made it for me when I was a junior in HIGH SCHOOL.  That's right, it was more than 30 yrs old!  Another oldie was the dress I was wearing when I found out I was pregnant with BDJ (he is turning 24 in March)!    I think I may be a bit of a hoarder.  My first thought about the cape was I can't get rid of that, mom made it.  When I relayed this to my mother expecting to hear her say "you can't get rid of that" what I heard was "good grief, I hated that thing back then, especially after you wore it constantly for 2 yrs, get rid of it!"  Okay, so much for sentimental attachment holding me back.  I guess I should also consider turning loose the jeans Wonder Hubby wore on our first date or the first clothes he ever bought me.   Maybe my closet should only have items from this century in it.

So, I came up with a plan.  I wanted to strip everything out, lay wood flooring, change the lighting and start over.  Since the place was such a disaster if didn't take a lot of coercing to get Wonder Hubby on board.  We were running errands the next day and picked up the flooring and a new light fixture.  Tammy didn't really understand how to motivate me,  that I needed some skin (aka money) in the game to really get serious.  Now, I was ready.

Day One.  This is what the dumping grounds closet looked like before I started.  There should have been an ENTER IF YOU DARE sign above the door.

View from the door

Straight ahead view from door .....sadly my end of the closet :(

I can't believe I am actually showing this mess, but I am hoping the humiliation will keep me motivated to never have another secret like this one.

The long rod at the end opposite the door end

One of the first things i discovered was that Wonder Hubby is a clothes hog and had 4 of the six racks in the closet.  That is just wrong! you see the hulking big gun cabinet at the end?  That's right 4 racks, one storage unit and a big flippin gun cabinet eating up valuable closet space.  I laid down the law to Wonder Hubby and said he could go or the cabinet could go.  He said goodbye to the cabinet on Friday :)

View from back of close toward door end and  closet unit  :(

Shoes, shoes, everywhere shoes......I hated the looking up and down and under to find my shoes.

I was so excited to get rid of this awful carpet.

We also determined I am not the only hoarder in the house. Wonder Hubby keeps everything too.  How about 27 yr old softball jerseys?  Yep they had to go.

View from door end of Wonder Hubby's side

This "hall" light just wasn't cutting it anymore as closet lighting.....gotta go.

This was the disaster recovery staging area.  Day one I purged my side of the closet and divided into summer (which is now stored in the attic in bins), donation, and THIS STUFF IS TRASH.  ]

This pile is Goodwill bound and it is only a small part...none of Wonder Hubby's in the pile yet!

I thought I would struggle with the sorting but I was in my groove.  I pruned with a chainsaw and showed no mercy.  I tossed anything that didn't fit perfectly or that I did not LOVE.  I had serious concerns that I would  be naked when I finished.

The most time consuming part was trying on everything.

Day Two was Wonder Hubby's time to purge.  Getting him started was like trying to set up a NASA launch mission.  Getting him to purge was darn near impossible.  Everything he touched was "really comfortable" or "really good to work around the house in."  When I pointed out that he should keep only enough shirts to match the amount of "work around the house" he does or plans to do he quickly loosened his grip on shirts!  Figures.

After the Great Purge of 2013 it was time to get to the fun stuff.  We had to disassemble the closet built ins and rip out the old carpet

Almost empty
The worst part was pulling up tack strip and nails....well the worse part was the dust and dirt that are in said carpet.  Yuck!  I cannot wait until there isn't carpet anywhere in my house.

Yes, I really do like ripping out stuff!

Finally empty and ready to get started.
First change was a new light  being able to move the lights.

Putting down underlayment. My hoarding paid off and I had just enough left in the attic, $25.00 saved.
For some reason (probably because we were getting tired) I failed to get any pictures of installing the flooring.  

Measuring and adding quarter round
By the end of day two (day 1 for the two of us)  we had purged, ripped out the carpet, installed new floor and re-assembled the closet units. all we had to do was temporarily hang up all the clothes on our bed and we could sleep.  

Day 3 for me Day 2 for Wonder Hubby! lol  

We added all the quarter round and two new shelves and I began to reload the closet.  I wanted to rearrange a bit and take back some of the space Wonder Hubby had crept into with his "comfortable" clothes.  

My end of the closet view from the door.  

On this shelf on this side of the closet I have my winter non-everyday shoes and boots and all my handbags.  

Fully loaded again.....I still have to add some  cute little canvas bins for the t-s and things on the bottom area and for socks.
Wonder Hubby's side

The photo above is taken from the back of the closet  toward the door end.  Finally, the hulking big gun cabinet is gone!  We removed the shoe rack on the back of the door and put up a pegboard for belts, scarves and necklaces behind the door.  This allowed me to put my ironing board on the back of the door and be able to iron inside the closet which is what I had in mind when we built the house.  I added a floor shoe rack.  I wasn't sure how I felt about giving up so much hard fought for floor space but I am loving using this rack for my everyday shoes.

Above the shoe rack we put up a full length mirror but I wasn't looking all that awesome and decided to skip that pic!  I think I am going to paint something inspirational  above it.  The inspiration that keeps coming to mind is this quote from the character Aibileen Clark in The Help,  "You is kind. You is smart. You is important."   I just keep thinking it would be nice to see something like that while you get dressed, especially during swimsuit season (it just might shift my focus from those problems areas)!

Eventually I will get around to adding bins and baskets and make it all pretty and matchy but for now I am so excited about being able to find things and get dressed (really dressed!) that I had to share. 
UPDATE:  I am happy to report that the closet has been complete and in use for over a month now and it still looks great!  Wonder Hubby and I both are so thrilled that we won't leave a stray sock anywhere now :)

Thanks for wading through my decades of clothes closet makeover!

Wow Us Wednesday

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Happy Smooch Day Table

Hello all!  I hope you all are enjoying a happy, productive week this week.  I have been really dragging my feet on doing anything for Valentine's Day.  Last weekend Mini really made me feel guilty about my lack of interest in V-Day.  Strange, since she is usually so anti-girl/emotional stuff and very non-commercial holiday.  Guess having a sweet boyfriend that spoils her has made her rethink her stance. Teeheehee

I have finally managed to put together a sweet simple Valentine's Day table.  Normally I prepare a nice dinner and some type of yummy dessert and that will be our plan for tomorrow.  I am planning grilled fish and what I hope turns out to be spectacular chocolate cream filled mini heart cakes for dessert (I will let you know how that goes).
In the meantime please tour my table.

A white tablecloth is topped with red and white gingham and a heart patterned table topper as the base.  Red square and white square plates that were gifts from Wonder Hubby years back are place setting dishes.

The napkin rings were made last year and are two types of ribbon and adorable little velvet hearts.  I love how to texture of the napkins mimics the gingham.
The milk glass dishes will hold ice cream balls to accompany mini heart cakes on the Valentine's plates.  I am so glad I requested to receive these from my Grandmothers dish collection.
My coffee can makeover turns up a part of the centerpiece.  Love the polka dots!

Birds eye view. 


I had to toss in at least one piece of Fiesta!   It is the oh so obvious heart shaped bowl below.

I had to use my new love on the table.  I have been eyeing this Mosser cake plate for at least a year.  My dad really surprised me when he gave it to me for Christmas :)  I was/am one happy girl.  I love that it is square, red and, oh heck I just love it!

Now I just need to add some chocolate and we are all set for Smooch Day!

While we are celebrating V-Day and love I wanted to share what I did/saw yesterday. 
I had to pick up my buddy Tammy for a day of junkin yesterday and she wanted to share a new collection she has with me.  This chick finds the coolest stuff! 
It seems that she was recently at a yard sale and saw a box filled with postcards and old Valentines that the owner planned to throw away.  So she ended up with all of them. 
 I would have never thought to really look at them but she did.  Good thing she did too, these Valentine cards are adorable and date back to the 1930's!  She has them displayed in a photo album.  I took just a few photos to share with you. 
 I just love these!  The graphics and the wording are wonderful.
 I must apologize, it never dawned on me to turn the book when I took pics so you will have to view with your head turned (duh I know, but I was just in a rush to go junkin and not thinking).

 Thanks for stopping by.  Wishing you a Happy Smooch Day!
I did actually complete the mini cakes.  White Almond with White Almond Frosting....even though I am in NO DANGER of being recruited into a band of traveling cake decorators I thought they turned out pretty well for 5 yes 5 hours of work! 

I am joining