Thursday, July 5, 2012

Excitement in the Bedroom

Get your mind out of the gutter - this is a different kind of excitement.
Last night (at 4:12 AM, according to Dana) our bed broke:
Dana disassembling the bed this afternoon

We only got it a few months ago, but it was second-hand from Ikea and we could see it had already been repaired with glue once. But it was a steal ($400 for the bed, two dressers and two nightstands) so we bought it anyway.
Looks comfy! Until it falls apart while you're sleeping in it.

Our rule of thumb for Ikea furniture was to avoid anything that had to hold your body weight. Looks like that rule was borne out today.

Any suggestions for where to buy a new bed?

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Naked No More

We're slowly but surely getting window treatments installed.
When we moved in, the kitchen windows and sliding glass door were totally bare. We've since sewn a curtain for the window over the kitchen sink and hung Ikea curtains over the sliding glass door.
The three windows in the living room, plus all the windows in the bedrooms and bathroom had paper shades. These are probably the least expensive option possible - they're made of pleated paper that you just stick on to the window frame, "customizable" in that you can cut them to the proper width with scissors, they don't raise or lower with a cord but you could fold them up from the bottom and hold them at that length with the included plastic clips.

We thought for a long time about what we wanted to put in instead. We looked at vinyl blinds, metal blinds, and curtains. Our windows are original to the house (1969) so the stock sizes we found wouldn't fit. And since we have double-hung sash windows, where the bottom pane slides up to open, we didn't have a lot of depth available either.

We finally decided to go with cordless, light-filtering cellular blinds.

  • Cordless: Recommended anywhere there might be kids around since there's no danger from the cords
  • Light-Filtering: We like a dark bedroom
  • Cellular: Give a little bit of energy-efficiency and block some sound
After reviewing dozens of samples, we placed our order. Dana got some little spacers, which we spray-painted to blend with the window trim. These allowed us to hide the screws that went into the outer piece of trim. 

They do stick out a little from the frame, but this positioning won't get in the way when we open the window.

Many thanks to Nadine for this housewarming gift!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mi Casa, Sue Casa

Last week we were lucky enough to have our first extended houseguest - my mom!

She had a three-day conference downtown and instead of driving in every day, she stayed with us and took the bus downtown. Slick!
Of course, we weren't just going to let her stay here for free. We put her to work.

A few weeks ago we went to Ikea and got curtains and a rod for our sliding-glass door in the dining room. They came unhemmed, and we got them hung up but hadn't gotten around to using the iron-on hemming strips that came with the curtains. Instead Sue trimmed the panels, zig-zagged the raw edges, and sewed up a nice little hem.

Thanks, mom! Come back any time.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Leaf me alone!

Dear Dana and Emily of 2012,
Remember how last year was the first year you had to take care of the lawn? Remember how it took forever for the leaves to fall? And how the weather was off-and-on warm and cool? So you didn't rake the leaves right away?
This year, remember a couple of things to make this task easier:

  1. Keep the grass shorter going into the fall. The long grass meant that raking the leaves was almost more like combing the leaves.
  2. Rakes are for suckers. Leaf blowers for the win! But seriously, get the leaves into a few piles and then suck them up and dump them into the biodegradable leaf bags the county makes you use.
  3. Buy lots of the stupid biodegradable bags. in 2011 you used 12 just to do the front yard. And hopefully someone will invent bags that are easier to open. Those oversized grocery bags are a pain.
  4. Don't worry about the leaves that are still up on the trees all over the neighborhood. You have to start somewhere, right? And who knows if those leaves are ever going to fall?
  5. Save your pennies and get a mulching mower! Or, better, hire some poor sucker to do it for you.
Dana and Emily of 2011

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Let there be light!

I couldn't resist the pun. While I was off looking at quilts in St. Cloud, Dana was hard at work at home. Thankfully he had some help from his brother Nick and Nick's father-in-law, Mike, a licensed electrician. Not a bad guy to have in the extended family!

When we moved in, there was no overhead light in any of the three bedrooms or in the living room. There were outlets in each room that were controlled by a switch on the wall, so we plugged in floor lamps and made do. In our bedroom, we had a fan for air circulation and white noise, too.
Don't need you guys anymore!

Sunday afternoon, I came home to this:

Fans in the master bedroom and living room, with separate switches for the fan and the light. Lights in the guest bedroom and office. The boys even used 3-strand wire so we could go in and put fans in there, too.

The lights were a cheapo two-pack from Home Depot. The fans we got from Amazon. Dana made a run to Home Depot for a few miscellaneous pieces for the installation - switches, switchplates, that sort of thing. So we put about $250 into materials ourselves, and Mike guesses he used another $75 in materials that he had on hand.

The best part about having family help for something like this? We could pay Mike double what he asked for and we still got a screaming deal. We had gotten a couple of quotes for this work and they would have charged more than a thousand bucks. Mike, you're a hero! And we owe Nick dinner, too. Thanks guys!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The little things

Before we bought it, out house had been remodeled but not lived in since. So it was finished, but not really finished. Little things were missing: cabinet pulls, towel rods, stuff that you need to have but you wouldn't necessarily need to have right away.
So one of the decisions we got to make was about toilet paper holders. So exciting, right? And who knew there were so many options?

Most toilet paper holders have a spring-loaded center like this:

but I've found that having to deal with that little contraption leads, all too often, to an empty roll on the holder with the full roll sitting forlornly on the counter.

We went with this one instead:

The trick? It pivots on one end, so you can put a new roll on with one hand. It's a little thing, and a little silly even to put much thought into, but I love this toilet paper holder!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Blissful silence

Even in our second visit to the house, I remember remarking that the fan in the full bathroom was loud. But I took it as a sign that it was moving a lot of air.
But lately, the fan had started to sound like this:
A rumbling, screeching, grinding that could be heard throughout the house.
Dana was able to clean it out, lubricate the works, and it was a little better. For a little while. But we knew that the fan would need to be replaced sooner rather than later.

We looked around and found this guy from Panasonic:
FV-07VQL2 - Ceiling Insert Fans
The answer to our prayers

The problem? This fan sits in the attic. The cramped, fiberglass-filled attic. And the quotes we got to install it were $200 or more.

Enter my hero:
No superhero in tights has ever been this sexy
First Dana pulled out the old fan. I'm not surprised this was making that noise. Might it have been original to the house?
Then, with about 18 trips up and down the ladder, measuring twice (and cutting twice), the new fan was in. 

Here's some of what happened in the attic:
Dana looked at this and knew what to do. What a rockstar!
And just 1 afternoon later, we have a fan, with a light, that sounds like a whisper.