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Showing posts with label homemaking. Show all posts
Showing posts with label homemaking. Show all posts

Friday, May 11, 2018

I ordered those meal plan boxes. Here is how it went.

Last week I subscribed to two meal delivery, make the food yourself, including chop up a lot of veggies meal plans. One was Hello Fresh, the other is Home Chef.

Imma start by saying that 4 out of 5 meals are delicious! What I didn't like is the Asian fusion type of meals.  I am very picky about ethnic foods.  I don't want American Fusion versions, I want the real thing, but anyway.  I ordered 2 meals from Hello Fresh, and four Meals from Home Chef. 

Hello Fresh was set to arrive Monday, and Home Chef Tuesday.  I was really perturbed to know that my meals from Hello Fresh went on the truck at 4am and at 7pm had not arrived yet.  I was concerned about spoilage, and the fact that my dinner that night was pretty much cheese...  But it finally came at 7:45 and I cooked the Asian fusion dish, (Pineapple pork rice bowls) and it was OK.  Just OK.   The next day, the Home Chef box showed up super early but I went ahead and cooked the final Hello Fresh meal (Little Ears Pasta)... it was soooo good, and generous servings.  My family of big eaters ate this for two days. (we had a 4 meal plan and hubby was out of town, but we basically got 5 decent servings out of it. 


I have made two threeHome Chef meals so far.  Pork Tenderloin was very basic and a few more steps than I like to take.  The Asain meatballs once again missed the true Asian mark, but they were still surprisingly good. Stuffed poblano peppers (stuffed with jerk chicken thigh) was one of the best things I had ever tasted, but the 90 minutes I stood standing between the island, stove, and oven, on a Friday night, made me question my sanity. 

I didn't cancel fast enough to not get Home Chef meals next week and it is costing about $150 to get 16 servings... 4 meals for 4 people for next week.

I put Hello Fresh on hold to think about it for a minute.. It is $69 for two meals for 4 people so that is a little bit less.... by about a dollar a serving.

Want to try it yourself?  Here are coupons:

Notes from the peanut gallery:

Hubby on everything he has been home to eat or taste: This is delicious, thank you. 

21 year old daughter: Not bad... I can say it is a much more diverse menu than I would eat on my own. 

23 year old son; nom nom nom (seconds) nom nom nom (finished the dishes for lunch the next day) nom nom nom. 

Me.  I hate chopping vegies.  I hate browning meat. I hate cooking.  Hey this is good.  Can I do this cheaper?  Maybe, maybe not.

Maybe I will try this one next.

Try AmazonFresh Free Trial

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Progress report on house decorating

My bed arrived.... adjustable type... with those new Purple mattresses...  they really do take the stress off of pressure points.

My stools arrived.  Twice. They got lost in the mail the first time, then by the time they got found and got here they were mostly dented up.  Fortunately, there was one in excellent condition because the second set they sent had one dented stool, so between the two shipments, I got a set of 4 nice stools.

My custom cabinets for each side of the fireplace arrived.  I had they custom made and may have a bench/shoe storage thing made for the mudroom.  I am happy with them, but the jury is out on how country they look.... do they throw my style off too much?  I can have the doors changed.

Also, we are starting to put mirrors and artwork in place, not hung, just mostly in place.  I like the stuff here even better than at the old house because the walls are not as expansive for the sake of being dramatic, so everything looks better in this more intimate scale.

Sunday, January 07, 2018

This is going to take a while

This is our second weekend in the new house, and well, all of our things are IN the house, for the most part... and the basement, and the garage.  I think I will post photos of the first floor every week as things pull together.

Great room from kitchen

Dining room

Kitchen from great room

There are 3 main rooms on the first floor, plus my office (guest room) and his office.  I am seriously overwhelmed right now pulling all of this together.... and they will probably come together at the same time as they are kind of connected.  We shall see. 

What is going well?  The pantry is on point!  

more to see later. 

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Walked through

We did the walkthrough of the house this morning and outside of a couple minor inconveniences, everything is in tip-top shape.  I am very excited and I can't sleep... at all. For the second night in a row.  I'd better figure it out though because I am in for a solid week of non-stop work between the shows I am costuming and getting the house together, so I need my sleep.

I am going to do my darndest to blog the process of putting the house together.... but I tend to hyperfocus on what I am doing and forget.  But I will try.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

1 week to go

Paperwork. check.
Inspections. check.
New bed purchase.check

Closing date one week from today....  can. wait.

The photo is taken from down the street, so you can't see the yard and grass, but it is in!

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

So close... so annoyed.

So last night, 10 days before we are set to close at the new house, my realtor, who I am friends with and was shopping with, received a call from the lender (30 minutes after work hours had ended) who wove a story, telling my realtor that the builder was behind and my husband had approved a later closing date.

Lies. My husband was out of town and had not spoken to him.  Also, we had been in contact with the builder and their rep assured us they were on schedule.  He was trying to get the realtor to OK a later closing date.

Nope. Long story short... we communicated with husband, with the builder, and back with the lender.  From what we could surmise, they wanted the holiday off, but they knew the closing date going in and chose the final appraisal date... they could have done it two days earlier, signed the paperwork and gone about their lives.

When my husband was done writing his note, and my realtor was done pushing back, they changed their tune.

They had better not try me.  We need to close on time... the same day we set six months ago when we signed the contract on the house.

We are almost to the finish line.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Lots of time on my hands, lots of planning

We really dislike the builder-grade light fixtures
So, I'd love to be working on my book right now since I don't have usual household chores since I am staying with my inlaws... but while I have time on my hands, it is not uninterrupted, so working on a focussed project would be problematic.  But, I have been planning... a lot.

I have a neat plan for my pantry. I've got some ideas for my limited basement storage.  I have a craft closet I need to get together. I also have to build a tiny workshop in the garage... but not too big because we WILL be parking in there.

Add to the fact that we have given ourselves a year to get the house in order and decorated before we start working on building out the basement. AHHHH... it's going to be crazy, but also fun, and also I am going to love collaborating with my husband on some things...  And I believe I am going to record and blog about the projects.

Oh, and don't let me forget my booths.  My store spaces have been a little neglected with limited access to my inventory, but I will also need to spend a few hours a day on that too.

So... look out.  In just over 2 weeks I will be moving into my new home and we will be having a ball with the process.  You are invited.

Thursday, December 07, 2017

Can't wait to move in

They poured the driveway yesterday. 
I honestly thought I was going to be complaining throughout the entire building process.  I know I did last time.  So either this process is way easier, or I am more mature, or both.

The best of it: 

  • The process has been transparent
  • They have kept on schedule
  • Communication has been timely and clear

The worst of it:

  • We were told we would be picking out our specific type of countertop, but it was more like, going to the granite yard and saying yes to what was there... there wasn't really anything to pick from, and they were all low on the type of granite the builder and I agreed upon.  If I changed it, it would cause an avalanche of problems...  

And that is the only problem we have had... except, I am getting a bad feeling about them trying to move our closing date.  I hope not. We shall see.  As of right now, we have 3 weeks and 1 day to go.
We have been living with my In-laws for 3.5 weeks.

Meanwhile, I have been looking at closet organization systems, from the pantry to the master closet. There are a few furniture pieces I need to buy. And I have been shopping online for items we need that are on sale right now cuz...Christmas.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

On Pods and Dumpster Fires

I did it.  (WE) did it.  ... mostly me. .. and my bestie. We got packed up and moved out of my house and got it spanking clean in time for closing.  It was hard.  I worked hard... My body is angry... and I am a bit disgruntled and happy all at the same time.

Who am I disgruntled at?

My family kinda got on my nerves as I did all the packing (yes I did) and all of the planning, only to get criticized when we did not have enough storage or a big enough dumpster.  More help would have meant another set of eyes to help measure stuff and more things packed in advance to help make decisions better.  It would have meant that the movers would have done more work on moving day(s) and there would have been left work for the grumbling family members.  I will say that when the time came they got down to it though.

PODS.  The jury is out on this company. But, I was given a 3 hour delivery time, and it turned into a six hour delivery time because they failed to mention that each pod would have a 3 hour deliver time...  I hate it when people impose on my time like that.  I would have not used them if I had known.  Folks need to deliver when they say!

Pick up of pods and delivery of an additional pod was also troublesome, for the same reasons, and then one of the pod pick up people was dismissive and hostile, and purposely tipped my POD to the side a good 15-18 degrees... to my horror.  My piano and other case furniture was in that pod, and my piano was on the side it was tipped toward. I said to him, why did you tip it?  He replied, "apparently, it raided and there was water on top.  I tipped it so I don't get wet."  When we he going to get wet?  Was water going to come off it while he was in the cab of his truck?  That was ridiculous.  He also said "well, I didn't load it", and when he realized how hostile that sounded, he softened to "your piano will be fine" and got in his truck and left. help me God.

And then there was the insurance issue.  After my first two PODS had arrived but before they were loaded I remembered that my home-owner insurance was ending since my house was being sold and since there was 5-6 weeks before closing on the new house, that my items would not be insured.  I called PODS who had sold me container only insurance to ask about it, and they said, yes, we have item insurance, but you have to ask for it before your containers are delivered because you could break items and then request insurance.  HOLD THE PHONE!!  You mean to tell me you could sell me insurance to protect your container, and then not tell me about the upgrade to full insurance and then turn me down once I think about it because my container is delivered... grrrr...  I called my personal insurance company and got insured under renters insurance since I am staying somewhere temporarily.

Crossed fingers that everything is in good shape and is delivered relatively on time.

And on the 4th day (of moving) there was JUNK.  Once the important stuff was all moved out, I literally wanted to set fire to the rest, but since the house was sold, that would be bad cuz it would burn the house down.  I had hired someone to haul off junk, but my son's friend (son from another mutha) insisted on a dumpster... thankfully, I listened. Here is my review for Bin There Dump That:

 I was moving out of my house I'd lived in for 16 years.  Needless to say, I had a lot more junk than I ever imagined.  I hadn't called a dumpster company because of my tight deadline in getting my storage units loaded and getting out of the house for the new owners, but it was unavoidable.  Bin There Dump that was able to deliver Saturday Morning and pick up before 7 am on Monday.  (They came exactly when they said, which is more than I can say for the storage container company) Packing the dumpster full was easy because of the walk-in doors, and all of their employees were incredibly friendly and light-hearted.  This speaks to a great company culture!  I don't know when I will have to clean out a house again but I will be calling Bin There Dump That... It doesn't hurt that the name is so catchy!
This one is fuzzy, but my favorite room in the house.

Yup... they were so good I Yelped it.  The only thing I regret was not getting a bigger dumpster.  We had to get creative with getting all the "garbage" disposed of.  My kids really enjoyed destroying dressers and small furniture items.  My daughter does have a bit of batter's elbow right now.  Yes, she destroyed things with a bat. Fun. ...Ps.  Always get one size bigger than you think you need the price difference is negligible.

So here I am, staying with my in-laws and thankful that my anxiety over it was unfounded. It is going great and I am making myself useful because they have several projects that need doing.  I am glad to help, and my room is so comfy by the way... My only complaint (if I was going to complain) is 24-7 news channel... I am getting a little shell-shocked by it.  But I have 13 books to read in these next few weeks, so I am good.

Monday, November 06, 2017

Still packing.

I hate packing, but I actually love it.

I like the challenge of getting as much stuff into a single box, which is important if you are about to store your items in a limited space. Basically, I mix soft goods with hard goods and breakables.
So for example, a box with 4 vases is packed with a sheet set and pillowcases.  My 4 pencil lamps are packed with throw pillows. Dishes are packed with washcloths and towels... Stuff like that.  As I got to the fine crystal last night, I had to choose between t-shirts and the mail drawer.  I ended up packing my mail up with my crystal.. everything is nice and cushy!.
Because we are using limited storage, I am also keeping the box size as uniform as possible to make sure the items are packed tightly. You can see the boxes piling up above.

I have a few more days of hard work to move out of this house and into my in-laws (pray for me) until our house is ready.

My life really does change fast and often, doesn't it?

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Selling a house to a sibling

Gonna be leaving this beauty for a new home soon. 
Did I mention that my sibling is purchasing my existing house? For me, that's really weird for several reasons.

1. You don't get to sell and walk away... you will be visiting this house for the foreseeable future, so we put a lot more money into the home prep with that in mind... .that we actually cared to make sure nothing broke or there were no existing problems in the home that my sibling would have to deal with. (Even though we weren't positive they would actually buy.)

2. I will continually be visiting this house, that I owned for 15 years for the foreseeable future, and I will have to knock and not just march into a bedroom because it is not mine.

3. The awkwardness of selling something valuable to a relative. We're already super awkward people, so this did not help. We pretty much just got realtors and let them handle it... rarely even mentioning the house to each other (really awkward, right). And of course, we accepted a lower price than we would have from anyone else.

It's almost over.  The only thing left is the report from their banker's appraiser. After the inspection report, we were asked to fix 3 minor things, meaning the stuff we did beforehand probably was the right thing to do!

Our next stop is to move 1 months worth of clothes into the in-law's house and move out of here in the next 3 weeks.  Then 3-5 more weeks and our new home will be ready.  Siding, brick, and stone are going on this week!

ps.  I am still irritated by life in general. The house(s) issue is just a great distractor.

Friday, September 22, 2017

Making progress on the new house

Fingers crossed for an offer completed on the current house.

Progress on the new house.

I just remembered that my current house was framed on the 4th of July and we moved in on the 31st, and surprisingly, there has been no real structural issues in this house.  I don't expect the new house to go up quite that fast, we still have 3 months to go, but I still have a feeling the builder is going to offer us an earlier closing... of course, we will need to have the current house sold first.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Oh poop, Hurricaine Irma and a new house build

I wasn't really worried about the state of the house. It was in the beginning stages and I knew that anything that blew down could be put back up. What I was worried about was the projectiles that a house in progress could cause on the rest of the neighborhood.

The good news is that only a couple pieces of wood blew away and did not ruin anyone else's house that I know of. The bad news is that the construction workers probably needed a fresh toilet.


At home, we in the NE suburbs of ATL lost trees in the neighborhood.  My yard is a mess. A shutter is kinda in a precarious position and we lost power for an hour. Most of our friends and family lost power for 24 hours. Some lost power for two whole days... one person is still out. 

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Old and New

As my old house gets closer to ready to sell, I am becoming nostalgic as it is a particularly beautiful home.  So why am I moving?  It doesn't work well for us as a family.
My "old" two story foyer at Christmastime

It doesn't work for a 4 car family. We have to constantly shuffle around cars every morning and evening. You could say that it only temporary as my children will fly the coop before long, but whenever my grown family will come home to visit or whenever we have visitors, we will have the same annoying problem.
Photo of "old" great room

Another reason it doesn't work is it doesn't flow to fit the way we live. We walk in, kick off our shoes, put down our bags and go about our business... the foyer door and kitchen door become littered with, shoes, and bags, and mail and stuff like that, and with 4 adults in the house, it gets a bit overwhelming to stay on top of.  With a proper mud room and foyer closet, the new house will hopefully work better with the way we use the house.

Finally, we needed to move because I was having a safety issue with the stairs.  I have very big feet (and the stairs are quite small) and a numbness problem with my leg. I had taken to falling on the stairs regularly. My first inclination was to get a first-floor master, but instead, we are getting an upstairs laundry room, right outside the master closet, so that will mean I don't have to carry clothes up and down the stairs. Plus the new stairs are bigger and wider.

On the negative side, the old house is far more dramatic than the new house with its two story foyer and great room and soaring ceilings, but we just don't live for that anymore.

The new house, on the other hand, feels so low maintenance. The type of counters and tiles, the wall to wall hardwood floors I have chosen, and the simplicity of design. All in all, it will be smaller than the old home, but the two main floors are bigger in the square footage because there are not two story rooms which can cause a loss of square footage.

Btw, my realtor friend took aerial photos of the house in progress... Isn't that cool?

Monday, August 28, 2017

Getting a house ready for sale is a nightmare

Getting a house ready for sale is a nightmare, and makes me really crazy.  So far I have replaced flooring.  Had painters do the deck, some minor facade repair, and interior painting.  Now I am looking at fixing the front porch, and it's a bit more money than I expected.  Ugh.  I don't want to sell a house with issues, but I also don't want to pay much more to sell the house... what to do, what to do? So far, I am just practicing being mean and difficult with the people who sell the services.

In the meanwhile, we are building another house, thankfully far enough away to not be obsessive about always being there.  They are kinda nickel-and-diming us too. I mean after you've paid a sizeable non-refundable deposit. Why does a couple of minor changes mean you have to pay an additional non-refundable deposit?  Are my changes so egregious that no one in their right mind would want them if the sale fell through? It's not that it is a lot of money, it is that it is getting insulting.

So anyway, my current house is starting to look dreamy and I am remembering what I love about it, though still ready to let it go. And the new house is coming along.  The garages are done and plumbing is stubbed.  I will put some photos below.




Sunday, July 19, 2015

Purging and simplifying

At the end of my last post I mentioned that being in a small apartment made me want to simplify at home.  After being in this house for 15 years and raising my kids, and homeschooling them here, I have accumulated more stuff than a girl can possibly need.  Even after giving away a lot of the homeschool curriculum and such, I am still overwhelmed with stuff.  Having the spare apartment in NYC makes that crystal clear when I come home.

So I have been home in Atlanta for just over two weeks and working on costuming a show.  It opened this weekend, and I am finally coming up for air.  Right before I started sewing, immediately after I got home, I cut the contents of my closet by 2/3.  I kept 1/3 of the items in my closet.  It was quite a feat, but I had to do it while I was still excited about it.  Since then, I have not done laundry, but have had something quite decent to wear every day, and could probably squeeze out 2 or 3 more outfits before I had to wear winter clothes or something exceedingly fancy.  So, I now know I did the right thing by paring down my closet!

I have spent all of last few weeks furiously sewing for Cabaret.  I am so pleased that so many people are mentioning the costumes in their comments and reviews.  We are so proud!  The show is definitely rated age 16+, I'd probably say 18+.  It is of course about a seedy night club and the happenings of people involved in it as Hitler came to power.  Suggestiveness, scant costumes, and violence.... but it is more than anything else, historical, and a reminder that if we look away from atrocities happening to other people, we are also perpetrators... AND it is just a matter of time before those horrors are turned on us.

I haven't had the time to take photos of costumes and did not get permission from the actors, so I will be posting costume photos later.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

This weeks art: Wreathmaking

I have formulated an art concept that is going to take  up numerous panels, I think, and take ages to complete. I will try to get a panel done a week.

In the meantime, I created this wreath this week.  It started out as the small white wreath make with that deco mesh, and I decided it was too small.  So I went and made a bigger wreath out of Burlap, and I liked it, but not it was a little plain.

Finally I got some wire and attached the two wreaths.  I am happy with the outcome.


Sunday, August 24, 2014

Children are happily deposited at college

The kids are at their respective colleges and I am in the process of reclaiming and reorganizing our home.  As this is the youngest one's 2nd year at college, I feel comfortable infringing into their space a little, where necessary, and working to make the house work best for my husband and myself.

For example, my son pretty much has the entire basement to himself, and I will be reclaiming the exercise room as a storage room to get rid of clutter all over the house.  I am also thinking of claiming an area for sewing, and of course what exercise equipment I don't give away, will go in the large space outside his bedroom. I will also be putting some of my daughters items in said storage room to make her room more presentable and buying a bigger bed for her room for the occasional guest when she is not here.  (Not really planning any guests... ever, but it is nice to know I have an extra clean bedroom if the need arises.)

In the meanwhile, I posted about the set up of the kids dorm rooms on my website. You can find them here. and here.

I will be posting soon about the re-organized areas of our home.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Pinterest makes you feel inadequate (Cleaning my pantry)

I told my daughter my plans to clean the lower portion of the pantry today, and explained that I was inspired by Pinterest.  She replied, "Pinterest makes you feel inadequate"...  "It is a whole site of things people do better than you", she continued.  "Besides, your plans sound a bit anal-retentive", she spat.  Clearly, Pinterest has struck a nerve with her, and she disapproved of my plans to have a Pinterest-worthy pantry.

I forgot to take a before picture, but here is the during: 

All the stuff on the floor of the pantry. 
This is all the brooms and such that were also in the fray.

There were crushed laundry baskets from the dollar store that I tried to organize with before, when I organized with only dollar store items, but these things were so flimsy that they just flattened and fell

Friday, March 22, 2013

Ohhhh, Pinterest

In preparation for having an empty nest, I have been organizing and cleaning out.  I tend to make a lot of purchases on clearance sales, and so I buy things pretty cheaply, in anticipation of need.  Of course, I haven't used everything I have purchased- not so much to be embarrassed about it, but enough to have surplus.

So as I sort and eliminate, and clean, and organize, I have found Pinterest to be very useful.  Just browsing the pictures gives me plenty to brainstorm about, and helps me figure out how I will organize items so that I will know where everything is, and I can consume it before buying anything new.

I have to say it has worked very well.  My linen closet (actually toiletry closet) is done. Under all sinks are done.  My school supplies organized. My daughter's room is done.  I just did our kitchen medicine cabinet.

I am very happy.

On the downside, Pinterest has also tempted me to start sewing, and to completely switch rooms in the house.  I am moving my office out of the bedroom, making the room more peaceful, and  giving me a dedicated place to work.  My daughter has already been consolidated back to one room, instead of two, and the guest room is being moved to her sewing room/computer room.  So while the site has been useful in giving me tons of ideas for organization, it has also given me a lot more work to do.


Ps.  Thanks to Pinterest, I have found these this type of containers to be very useful.