Category Archives: shopping haul

I’m Not Wearing Pants at the Moment

True, I’m not wearing pants. It’s my way of letting the world know that our window blinds were installed yesterday! Finally, I can lounge around the house in my skivvies without putting on a peep show for my neighbors. The sidewalk in front of our house sees a fair amount of traffic- parents with strollers, dog walkers, bikers, and joggers–including the boys’ cross country team from a nearby high school.

We installed vertical blinds in the upstairs bedrooms and a different types of cellular shades on the main floor. We chose the top-down/bottom-up style to allow the greatest amount of natural light into the rooms while still providing enough privacy to prance around naked inside the house.

Pics and video soon!

To clarify, we do not actually prance around or even sit at our desks naked and if we did, I would not put it on YouTube. I will post pics or videos of our blinds, though.

You’re welcome.

Since some of you are bound to ask, we bought the blinds from a Big Box store and paid them to do the measuring and the install. In all, we covered 16 windows, so the flat fee the store charged for measuring and installing turned out to be a pretty good deal. And now we don’t have to devote any of our weekend time to covering the windows, which is good because we’re on something like week 7 of bathroom demo. *DIY sigh*

The By-Gone Bee, Your New Source for Vintage Housewares

By Gone Bee Etsy shopeThis is the kind of thing I think about doing, but makes Hubs go into convulsions, so I’m pleased to that my friend Emily of The Happy Home is doing it instead. She’s just launched an Etsy shop, The By-Gone Bee, that sells vintages housewares and prints. Given that she’ll be scouring the LA area for finds, she’s sure to stock a cool inventory. Who knows? Maybe she’ll even get her own show on HGTV one of these days.

What’s the Deal with Men and Their Underwear?

Warning: sponsored content below. Also beware of violent behavior in the video. My husband thought my treatment of his underwear was very aggressive, but I’m sure your opinion will vary.

It’s not that I need everything nice and new and all matchy-matchy in our house now, but after more than three years of living with my parents, we’re making a bit of a fresh start. What better way to start off fresh than with new underwear?

Apparently there’s one in every couple, but in a male/female couple my research indicates it’s almost always the male. The man who cannot part with his ratty old undies. The guy who looks longingly at a limp gray pair of what used to be tighty whiteys and cannot toss them* aside.

“We went through college together,” he sniffed sadly as I ripped the seams apart.


What’s the deal with men and their underpants?


As we were preparing to transition to our new place, I met someone from the Jockey team and shared my vision, my dream that my husband’s old skivvies would get “lost in the move.” Moved by my passion on the topic, the kind soul passed along a gift certificate so that I could set my husband up in style. Well, as noted in the video, I invited my husband to choose the new undies with me, but apparently he would have felt like a traitor to his current stock, so I did it alone.

I went on my virtual shopping trip earlier this week. I was surprised by the variety of styles available for men.

jockey underwear

Uh, no.

Yeah, I skipped the bikinis and thongs, but I didn’t go all tighty whitey, either. My shopping haul included boxer briefs, sporty things, and other styles. Okay, I may have snuck a pair of women’s exercise pants in, too. What? They were on clearance.

Nothing says “fresh start” like new drawers in your new drawers. After I return from the Blissdom conference it’s out with the old and in with the new. I can’t wait.

And tell me, does your partner have an underwear thing, too?


*It? Them? Why do we call a single article of clothing a pair?

 Thanks to Jockey for partnering with me on this very special project.


shattered dishIf a picture says a thousand words, then this photo will tell you a lot about why I am able to resist the allure of shiny new objects and am (often) happy enough with hand-me-downs. We haven’t even finished unpacking all of our boxes and I’ve already broken a one of our new plates. By the way, the plate broke when a mug I was washing slipped out of my hand. It wasn’t anything exciting. Like this.

We gave our old dishes away when we cleared out our previous house. It wasn’t quite a set given that they were the ones we purchased when DH and I first moved in together back in the late 1980s. We lost a bowl here, a saucer there, but we had enough to keep going.

When does one traditionally buy a new set of plates? Is that the kind of purchase that is tied to redecorating? A life event? Or is there a period of time that passes when it is suddenly acceptable to start fresh?

At any rate, our start is suddenly a little less fresh. One the bright side, I still have table settings for 15.75 people. If only my dining room table could fit them all.

What a Difference a Year Makes

A year ago we were on the hunt for a house in our current school district. We searched for months. I was a modern day Goldilocks looking for a place to settle down, only nothing felt just right. Every house we visited seemed too old (and overpriced), or in the wrong neighborhood (and overpriced), or lovely and updated, but overpriced. We saw a few low priced short sales and foreclosure houses, but those were in such a state of neglect that we didn’t give them a second look.

A trip to to the store to check out new appliances for a house we had not yet found, let alone bought, seemed like a flight of fancy, so I indulged myself further with a visit to the store’s Santa.


It turned out Santa was wrong. We didn’t find a house by the end of 2010. It took until the spring of 2011 before we found The One. It was old and musty, but it was priced right. It had potential. And we could afford to bring out that potential*.

Santa’s elves, disguised as Abt delivery men, are paying a visit to our house this week. Turns out a houseful of appliances weighs too much for Santa’s reindeer.

Do you think they’ll bring cookies? I’ll be happy as long as they don’t mess up our fabulous newly sanded, shiny wood floor.


living room new floor

Here’s a similar view from earlier this year. The worn green carpeting was actually a gift from the owners. It protected the hardwood floors for the last 30-40 years.

Green carpet dining room

 * Mostly. I think. Ask me once we finish paying for all this work. And some furniture.

Home Improvement, Self Improvement

While I’m working on our house, I figured it’s also a good time to work on myself and since the reno budget doesn’t have a “liposuction” line item, I’m trying to exercise at least 3-4 times a week and I joined Weight Watchers. It turns out one of my builders is on it, too. I signed on for a 20-week session with a local group. If nothing else, this will keep some of my stress eating and my holiday eating in check. In theory, the Plan A reno will be over before my session is

Earlier this year  WW came out with a new point system that’s much friendlier to short people (me) who only have a little bit of weight to lose (also me). I once flirted with the old system after seeing a colleague do well on it, but she was at least 10 inches taller than me and was trying to drop 80 or so pounds. She had a decent amount of points each day, but when we calculated my allowance, it seemed I would only be able to enjoy bread, water and air.

I have some research to do to acclimate to the Points Plus system and integrate it into my thinking and my diet. But I know this, vegetables and fruits are free. So when I wanted a snack yesterday and didn’t care to write it in my little food journal, I figured I’d snack on cauliflower. Without dip. Because surely the dip wouldn’t be free and then I’d have to do those point calculations.

So I nibbled on a few florettes (I’m a big veggie fan. Also a big cookie and chocolate fan, which is my downfall). That got boring quickly. Then I steamed the head of cauliflower and nibbled on a few more. Then I grabbed a chunk of a giant cookie my son and I baked the day before.

This might not bode well for my success* with the program.

Here are a few foodie finds from a recent garage sale shopping haul:


*The program allows for bonus points each week that can be used for little snacks like the bit of cookie. I lost more than 2 pounds my first week.

Disclosure: I have no official relationship with Weight Watchers beyond the fat (ha!) check I wrote them for the 20 week session.

Are you on Weight Watchers or some fitness plan? Any tips? My goal is to lose a total of 10-12 pounds.