Monday, August 30, 2010

my first freecycle!

Okay, it shouldn't really be called "mine" because my sister did it for me, but it's my item!

For my old apartment's galley kitchen, I got a kitchen cart from Target.  I loved this thing.  Narrow enough that I could easily move around it, but wide enough to provide much needed counter space.  It was maybe too country-ish for my taste, but had a drop-leaf side that a Parsons console wouldn't - and that was key for rolling out pie doughs or party prep when I needed even more counter space.  And it was $100-120.  Love it.  I used this thing happily for about 5 years.

My GHI also has a galley kitchen, but the previous owner had added a shelf on the opposite wall.  No need for my cart.  For a while, I had it hanging out on the wall between the kitchen and the living area.  But then I got a new-to-me flatscreen TV and put that on a bookcase and moved the dresser to that wall.  The cart went upstairs to the scary spare room.  And as soon as it went up there, I wanted it out of the house.  It's still very functional, but just not for my house.

My sister told me to put it on Freecycle.  Brilliant!  But...I didn't take pictures.  And the weeks slipped by.

I randomly looked at Freecycle one day and a woman was asking for a kitchen cart!  I emailed her and offered mine and sent a picture from Target's website.  She said it was perfect and would come by on Saturday to pick it up.  Saturday rolled around and her ride fell through so she couldn't get it.  I was so bummed.  And now the cart was back in my living room.

The weeks went by.

Finally, Friday night my sister was at my house because her husband was teaching a yoga class at their's.  She pulled out her camera and took a few pictures of my cart and posted it on Freecycle this morning.  And someone responded!  She's was ready for immediate pickup, but I'm at work.  I responed that I'd be home after 8 (may be earlier, but I wanted to be safe) or I could leave it outside tomorrow.  She responded that that works.   Not really sure which one, but I guess if she doesn't come by tonight I'll just leave it out tomorrow.  But I'm so excited!

Here are the pictures my sister took.  The pink blur in the second and third pictures is my niece, Emerson.

Update: the woman emailed me yesterday afternoon to let me know that she had picked it up around 11am.  How sweet!

Friday, August 27, 2010

yes, please!

Making It Lovely alerted me to Twig & Thistle's post about Liberty's printed suitcases

I would be quite happy if the one in the bottom left corner showed up on my doorstep.

And I'll also take the matching sheets.  They'd be perfect in my bedroom.


couches, low furniture and other random musings

The other night I stopped off at Macy's on my way home.  My best friend's newborn's baptism is on Sunday and while I think I have the right dress for it, I needed a few accessories.  The mall closest to me is old and poorly set up so instead of parking in the front and wandering throughout, I drove around to the back so I could park right next to the entrance to Macy's, which put me at the basement.  Which means that as I went to the escalator to take me up to the women's department, I passed the furniture department.  Which meant couches!

I had found the Chloe Metro couch online a while ago.  Probably before I even bought my house.  I frequently scour the internet looking for new and different items and I vaguely remember someone talking favorably about Macy's furniture on a Washington Post chat.  So that's probably what prompted that search.

It's a very pretty couch - feminine, tufted but with streamlined arms.  Very much a "me" couch.  Even better? It's only $900. Right now it's on sale for $700. Can't beat that with a bat.

And I've had it in my head that maybe this is the year I finally get a new couch and get rid of the one that was my dad's from the 1960's.  I know he bought it from a department store, but I can't remember which one.  It was moderately priced so very well could have been Macy's.

So I took the time to do a sit test on the Chloe.  It's a nice couch.  The velvet is soft and it's actually polyester so I imagine would be not horrible to spot-clean.  It's a pretty shade of cream and seems long enough to curl up on for a nap (I was in a dress so didn't fully stretch out.  Though I so would).  And the cushions are comfortable enough for napping. 

But it's low.  Too low for me.  My knees went up above my thighs when I sat down on the couch and I kinda had to haul myself out of it.  Not terribly graceful, especially since I was in a dress.  And when I entertain, I do usually wear a dress and like to at least pretend I'm graceful.  I might look graceful sitting on this couch with my ankles demurely crossed, but I sure won't when I practically fall into the couch.  You know?  And then I'm 5'5".  My legs are a little long for my height, but not ridiculously so.  What happens when I have taller guests?

I'm crossing this couch off my list.  A little sad about that as it's such a pretty couch and such a great deal.  If you aren't as anti-low furniture as I am, you should definitely check it out.  And send me a picture if you buy it!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

it's all about the benjamins, baby

The $8,000 housing credit definitely put a fire under me last year to buy a house.  I felt ready emotionally and I was definitely ready to move out of my neighborhood, this was just the push I needed.

Too bad I didn't have that same fire when it came time to file my amended tax return!  I just mailed it in yesterday.  Seriously?  WTF was my problem?  I'll just chalk it up to this whole year getting away from me.  I feel like I blinked and suddenly it was August.

But I did it!  And in 6-8 weeks (or 3-4 months as the woman at H&R Block said it took her son's check to arrive), I'll get one of these babies in my mailbox:

Maybe I'll cash it in for 80 of the new $100 bills.  They're kinda pretty and definitely trippy:

And then I can just run around town with a pocket full of Benjamins!

update on TV stand

The other weekend I finally moved my books out of my bedroom and into the Ikea bookcase in my spare room.  So exciting.  It also freed up one of my 2-shelf white bookcases.  I have three of these.  In my old apartment, they sat in the window nooks.  Before last weekend, I was using one as a TV stand, one as a lingerie chest in my bedroom and the third held other random books.  But now I don't need that third one for books and since it's identical to the one in my living room, I brought it down and now have my TV straddling to the two.  I'm able to get rid of the stool-as-DVD player-stand, which is so nice, and the width of it all is really pleasing.

Last night I settled down to watch So You Think You Can Dance and fill up the space in the second bookcase. I pulled all of the cookbooks out of the one bookcase and then grabbed all of my colored vases from the kitchen where they're half hidden on a high shelf. The really large green vase I just got on Tuesday at Marshall's - $15! Love it.

I first identified my anchor pieces:  two large vases - the new green one and the amber glass one that's I got at Pier One at least 10 years ago, the black binders full of printed-out recipes and the magazine holder (swiped from my landing strip - in theory it's just a placeholder).  I then arranged my DVDS, cookbooks and smaller decorative pieces around them, moving things around to find the right balance of color, height and weight.  It was a lot harder than I thought it would be - I kept wishing I had SOMETHING else.  But I don't want to sink a lot of money into this since the bookcases themselves are just a placeholder.  So I made do with what I have and I think the final product is pretty nice!

I think my favorite part is being able to showcase some of my decorative items, like the little chess set that was my mom's? my dad's? but has been sitting in a drawer for at least 5 years

Or some of my souveniers, like the teapot with the Bermuda landscape or my Fortnum and Mason tea caddy

There's definitely room for improvement, but I love that it's a move in the right direction.