Monthly Archives: May 2011

Our Housemoon Getaway

We’re heading up to Kohler, Wisconsin this weekend for our housemoon. Kohler resortWhat is a housemoon? you ask. It’s the last hurrah before becoming homeowners. The last  worry-free getaway we will ever take–no cares about flooding or burglars or the house burning down in our absence, just a chance to enjoy and be present with our family.

Newlyweds get their honeymoons and “babymoons” are all the rage with parents-to-be, so why shouldn’t homeowners-to-be celebrate?

Kohler is the perfect place for a housemoon as visitors can relax and scope out the latest and greatest ideas for kitchen and bath renovations. If the name sounds familiar it’s because, yes, it’s that Kohler, the one whose name you know from your own abode. Faucets, tubs, toilets…they make it all.

We will be guests of the Kohler PR team at the American Club Resort, where the younger members of our family will enjoy Kohler Kidz Package goodies and the older ones will revel and relax in the Kohler Waters Spa.

Hubs and I visited Kohler years ago taking part in the free factory tour. I’m a factory tour geek and witnessing the production of large cast-iron bathtubs did not disappoint (molten iron!). This time, however, in fitting with our renovation mojo (and kids who are too young for the tour), we’ll be spending time at the Design Center soaking up all the planing, design and product information we can.

After the stress of the contract negotiations and house inspection (I’m not kidding when I say we’ll never head out of town again without worrying about flooding), I’m looking forward to a relaxing and inspiring weekend. And I’m crossing my fingers for a smooth closing just around the corner.

Stay tuned. We’ll soon be sharing some American Club goodness with our readers in the form of a giveaway. I’ll be writing a review of the resort over at The Vacation Gals, and will use this space to share what we learn about kitchen and bath trends.

Wii Games Wii Won’t be Playing in our new Home

Is this why my boys want PS3?

Oh wait, they’re not real.

Geek House: One Book, One Idea

As we’re thinking about renovation, design and decor, we’re perusing a lot of books. We don’t have time for full reports on all of them, but we’re trying to share at least one stand-out idea per book. This week, we’re looking a Geek House: 10 Hardwares hacking projects for around the home by Barry and Marcia Press. Written in 2005, which is to say it’s hopelessly out of date, the book provides tips on DIY tech projects for nearly every room in the house.

I’d love instructions for hacking a 1950’s phonograph/radio console combo to play MP3s. How cool would that be. Hmmm. And then we could get our 1928 player piano to do the same (though unlike the console, it lacks speakers, so maybe not?)

Groupon for Home and Garden

Daily deals are all the rage right now and the trend is growing. This morning I learned about Groupon’s new Chicago Home and Garden Deals. Score! I look forward to seeing what great deals come along through this. That said, before committing to anything, I’d want to check out the service provider on Angie’s List or even Yelp.

I use an deal aggregator, called Deal Radar Chicago, that sends me a single daily email featuring dozens of Chicago’s best deals. It’s so much more convenient than having various emails from different deal sites fill my already overstuffed inbox.

After checking the day’s features I head to the home products and services section, (though I may stop at the food section. Hubs and I enjoyed a lovely, filling and inexpensive meal at the Himalayan last weekend thanks to Groupon).

As noted above, I’m a bit suspicious about some of the offers given lack of information about the provider’s background and the sense that for some types of jobs, it could be easy to pull a bait and switch. I feel most confident of the deals that come through Angie’s List (these are included in my Deal Radar emails), because these come with ratings attached. You needn’t be members of Angie’s List to buy these offers, but List members receive a deeper discount.

What’s your favorite service? (She asks despite the fact that this blog has not yet launched and she’s talking into the wind.)

Rain, Rain Go Away


Mother Nature’s initial housewarming was a cold, windy and rainy day for our house inspection. That made it difficult to get the best look around the outside areas including the roof, but we learned a few things from the inclement weather. Enough to give me bad dreams about the vacant house each time it rains.*

And it’s been raining just about every other day

*For example, a neighbor’s house is just a few feet away and has their gutter downspouts aimed directly at the foundation of “our” house. I wonder how they will react if we buy them a housewarming gift–rain barrels.

Spouse Vs. House: Would You Let Your Significant Other Decorate Without You?

When I first heard about TLC’s new show, Spouse vs. House, I thought it was going to be like that show Me or the Dog. You know, either he finishes everything on his “honey-do” list or he gets booted. But no, it’s even crazier.

Spouse vs. House is a home makeover show with a twist. In a nutshell:

  • Couple wants to update their house.
  • TLC give couple a chunk of money to remodel or redecorate.
  • The money comes with strings attached. One member of the couple must move out for three weeks, during which time they are not supposed to have contact with each other.
  • The person who stays home with the money gets to make all of the decorating choices.

Would you do this?

I would not.

Not ever.

Not even for $25,000, which seems to be the going rate on the show.

You?