Category Archives: Vlog

It’s A Buyer’s Market, After All

A year ago, I started filming what was to be my last episode of Property Sluts while I was at the Disney Social Media Moms Celebration. You see, shortly before heading to Orlando we placed a bid on a small ranch house that we thought we’d top off with a second story. A chain-smoking window had lived in what we termed The Smokin’ House for decades, so it smelled like an ashtray, and her brother-in-law had started building a “master bath” in the middle of the family room (without a permit) in the hopes of passing off that space as a master bedroom. It was a wreck.

Needless to say our bid was low. The night before we left town our agent called with a counter offer. As I remember it, we tried to put him off until we got back because nerves are running high before a family trip even without the pressure over whether to pay more than we intended for a house.

But we caved and countered. They accepted.

Shortly after our return and another tour of the house with a professional in tow, we cancelled our contract.

Thank goodness.

The house sold 2-3 months later for less than what we would have paid.

I was giving up hope for finding a house. We talked about renting. And then we saw and bought Casa de Renovation and I finally got to finish my video, the all-singing Property Sluts finale featuring an all-star cast on mombloggers, It’s a Buyer’s Market, After All.

I heard a real estate report that said prices are down the levels last seen in 2000, so the buyer’s market continues. This stinks if you want to sell, but if you’re ready to buy, you’re in luck.

Selfish Mom:
We’ve seen houses big and some houses small,
We’ve seen moldy basements and shower stalls.
Though the market is weak, sellers price like it’s the peak, but it’s a buyer’s market after all.

MacaroniKidNYC, Honest and Truly, Jen Rab, SAHM Reviews, and Dancing Hot Dogs:
Chorus:
It’s a buyer’s market after all,
It’s a buyer’s market after all,
It’s a buyer’s market after all,
It’s a buyer’s market after all.

Sweet Life, Rock and Roll Mama:
Interest rates are low, but the prices are high,
Even for estate sales where the owners have died.
The recession isn’t nice, you may need to cut your price
Cuz it’s buyer’s market after all.

Classy Mommy, Me:
Chorus

Same Old Shannon, French Foodie Mom, A Savings Wow:
The housing supply now exceeds demand,
So if you want to sell give your buyer a hand.
Though it’s hard to admit, makes you feel like sh*t, it’s a buyer’s market after all.

Moen MotionSense Touchless Faucet Earns a Golden Hammer Award

Golden Hammer from Reluctant RenovatorWe’re awarding our first Golden Hammer! It’s an honor we give to recognize excellence in product design, innovation or customer service. The new Moen MotionSense Faucet earned this award due its innovative functionality–it’s touchless! (And pretty.)

MotionSense is great for families and foodies.

It’s perfect for the home cook who finds herself elbow deep in ground turkey as she’s mixing up meatballs or burgers and doesn’t want to touch the faucet with her germy hands.

It’s also great for young children who can’t reach the faucet handle and want to wash hands or get a drink of water.

And it’s pretty useful when washing dishes by hand. Water on. Water off.

Watch the video to learn more about the MotionSense and see it in action. (Seriously, peeps. It’s less than 2 minutes long. If you can’t find the time, you need to read this.)

The MotionSense is EPA WaterSense certified.  It will be available in the fall of 2012 at finer kitchen design outlets later this year. Look for a less expensive version with the same technology at your favorite Big Box in 2013. Chrome, oil rubbed bronze, and “spot resist” stainless finishes will be available with a price of around $650 depending on the finish.

moen motionsense faucet

Stayed tuned for more eye-catching favorites from my time at KBIS, the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show. MotionSense is the only Golden Hammer recipient from the show, but there will be more Golden Hammers awarded in the coming months, as well as a few Rusty Nail awards, the GH’s evil twin.

No compensation was received for this post. The MotionSense was my top family-friendly pick from the Kitchen and Bath Industry Show.

All Washed Up in the Laundry Room

We split a useless old mother-in law kitchen on the second floor of our house and into our master bathroom and an upstairs laundry room. It’s great not having to lug basket after basket of laundry down two long flights of stairs to the basement and then back up.

I show off the highlights of the new space in the video.

 

I’m glad we were able to re-use the old kitchen cabinets. DH brought them upstairs and I had kinda shoved them into the space with the original white laminated top, which fit the cabinets, but was too small for the nook in the laundry room. This was too sloppy looking for my GC, so at his urging, I bought a new budget friendly top and he framed it all out, calling it his Chanukah gift to me. I still need to paint or stain the cabinets, to complete the look, but believe me, it’s so much nicer than my makeshift attempt to fill the space.

As noted in the video, I think our Whirlpool Cabrio is too large. It does a fine job of cleaning the clothes, I just wish wish we’d one with a slightly smaller model. If there’s interest, I’ll provide a more in depth review of the machine.

Speaking of laundry, I heard the siren song of beeps (rather annoying tones, actually) calling me upstairs to finish off a load. Until there’s a machine that sorts, folds and puts away the clothes, I think laundry will always be a drag. DO you have any tips to make it fun?

Our Most Revealing Bathroom Post Yet: The Shower Video

I showed you bits of the master bathroom and took you on a photo tour of our fabulous shower, but you demanded more. And today, I’m bringing it.

 

Disclosure: Kohler provided their products at a discount. Our plumber did not.

Flush with Excitement about our Master Bathroom

dual-flush toilet by KohlerYou’ve seen the shower in photos and soon enough you’ll see it in action. With me inside. Remember when I said of the translucent light shining through the bathroom door, “that is one light that you’d want to go into?” Well here’s a peek behind it.

I mentioned that the lighting in the master bathroom is tricky, so I’m starting with the easiest spot, the commode enclave, resting spot of our Kohler Persuade Dual-Flush Compact Elongated Bowl Toilet with its Brevia seat.

The Persuade is a sleek toilet that fits with our bathroom’s modern vibe. Not only does it look nice, it cleans up well. The smooth surface means fewer nooks and crannies to clean out (moms of boys, you know what I’m talking about).

It’s cool inside and out. Take a peek:

Dual-flush means it’s got a low water flush and a super low water flush (1.6 and 0.8 gallons respectively). Unlike other dual-flush toilets I’ve experienced where you have to flush twice or always use the big flush, the Persuade does a good job with the 0.8 gallon flush, even if you think the situation might require the 1.6 gallon flush, if you know what I mean.

Depress the small button for the smaller flush and so on.

Kohler persuade toilet flus buttons

The Kohler Persuade has earned the EPA’s certification as a “WaterSense” product. The EPA has a cool tool to calculate how much money and water you can save by going green in your bathroom.

Speaking of green, which rhymes with clean, perhaps it’s because of the low amount of water that sits in the bowl, but the Persuade is very easy to get clean and keep clean. This is super handy because apparently I’m the only person in the whole damn house who knows A) what a toilet brush is and B) how to use it.

The one down side of the toilet is that if it gets clogged, it might require a plumber as opposed to an old skool plunger to clear the pipes. I’ll share how I learned that little lesson in a future post.
Disclosure: Kohler provided a product discount. All toilet cleaning services are provided by my husband and me. Per our color coordinator’s recommendation, Benjamin Moore provided Smoked Oyster  Aura Bath and Spa paint for our bathroom; more about that later.

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.

Whatever.

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.