Aug 31, 2009 What's Going On
OK, not me. I’m actually in the same smelly clothes I was in yesterday, hauling out garbage and moving around furniture. But while I’ve been working hard transforming my house, Karen from Simply Amusing Designs has been working hard to transform my site!
I’m sure there will be bugs to work out over the next few days, so I apologize if the site is down or if something doesn’t work quite the way it’s supposed to. Frankly I won’t have time to pay attention to it for a little while – I don’t even have time this morning to make a video! But I hope you like the new look as much as I do.
Aug 30, 2009 What's Going On
I have the same routine every time the kids and The Ass go away for a few days: I pull everything out of closets, make a huge mess, and put everything away organized. And that’s exactly what I had planned to do this time. But then this morning I woke up with a crazy idea.
See, we moved into this big old brownstone three years ago and lived in the middle of a massive renovation for the first year (boy was that fun, especially with kids). The money dried up around the time the top two floors were finishing up, and for the next two years we lived on those two floors of the house, which were supposed to be all bedrooms. We’ve been using the top floor for bedrooms and the floor under that for the living room, dining room, and kitchen (a really gross kitchen left over from when it was a rental). The floor below that is used for storage (it’s a disaster), and the bottom floor is where the kitchen, living room and dining room are supposed to eventually be.
Whenever we’ve had extra money we’ve had things done bit-by-bit on the bottom floor. It’s 80% done – it pretty much just needs the big ticket stuff: cabinets, counters, and appliances. It’s going to be a while before we can afford those. But this morning, I got a crazy idea: why not move our crappy little appliances down there and start using the bottom floor? That way we can put all of the bedrooms where they’re supposed to be and finally settle in!
There were a few problems. First, while we have a fridge and stove to move from the gross kitchen to the downstairs, we don’t have a kitchen sink to use. The one upstairs is part of a really disgusting old countertop that will hopefully be going into the trash in a few days. So I’d have to buy some kind of stand-alone kitchen sink to use until we buy the real stuff (and who knows when the hell that will be?). Second, I’m just not sure that I can get a kitchen set up down there and move all of the bedrooms in the next two days (the fam comes home on Wednesday morning). And third, I had to convince The Ass that this was a good idea. I called him this morning as soon as the idea hit me.
He of course wanted to wait and see what happens over the next few months. I wanted to cry. All we’ve been doing is waiting and seeing and so far, money has not fallen from the sky to complete the renovation. At least this way we’d be living in the whole house, more or less (there’s nothing to do about the parlour floor right now, it’s really that bad – all of our extra stuff is just piled up in there in a great big dirty heap). And using a temporary kitchen downstairs can’t be much worse than using a gross little kitchen upstairs.
He really wasn’t buying it – I think he was leaning towards no, towards more waiting and seeing. And then I brought out the big guns: I reminded him that there’s probably a couple more months of grilling left, and now he’d be able to prep, grill, and eat all on the same floor. Up until now he’s had to do the prep two floors up, and keep running down to the backyard. He was silent for a long time after I mentioned grilling, and I had to bite my lip not to say anything. I think that put things over the top. He was ready to talk $$$.
We settled on an $800 budget – that seems like a reasonable amount to spend for a temporary set-up. Unfortunately, I had to spend over $300 on an IKEA sink that could be set up quickly, leaving just a little more than $400 for labor – as handy as I like to think I am, I can’t hook up gas stoves or sinks, and I can’t move furniture and appliances all over the house all by myself. But I think I’ve got it taken care of – the guys should be coming tomorrow.
So, I’ve got tonight to get things ready. I’ve already put together the cabinet and sink (I’ll let the guys drill the hole for the faucet tomorrow). I’ve got to empty out the two big pantries that will be going down to the new kitchen – since we won’t have cabinets or drawers, everything for the kitchen will have to go in those. And I’m going to clean out the fridge tonight so that there will be less to empty tomorrow for moving it.
Getting all of this done in two days is going to be tough. And I sit here asking myself why I’m doing it. I could have just lazed around and played Rock Band and watched TV while everybody else was in Florida. But this stuff gets done while I’m here alone. No kids under foot, no schedules to keep, nobody to worry about but myself.
So, I’ve got until Wednesday morning to turn this into a usable kitchen, living room, and dining room. Wish me luck!
Aug 29, 2009 Amy in the Morning
[kaltura-widget wid="hnuple5eao" width="400" height="365" addpermission="" editpermission="" /]
Aug 28, 2009 Amy in the Morning
[kaltura-widget wid="3zgdg48wf4" width="400" height="365" addpermission="" editpermission="" /]
Aug 27, 2009 Around NYC
When a carnival sets up in the parking lot of your kids’ summer camp, it’s hard to say no when they beg to go. At least it was for me. Despite being a complete and total rip-off (aren’t they all?) the kids had a fantastic time. And I had the best $5 funnel cake I’ve ever had.
Tags: Aviator Sports
Aug 27, 2009 What's Going On
I really don’t like school shopping. My son is entering third grade this year, so I’ve been through this enough times to know a few things for absolute certain:
- I will not be able to get everything at one store. No matter which ring I throw my hat into, that store will be out of at least one thing, and I will have to go to a second – or even a third – store.
- No matter what time of day I go, the store will be crowded, the lines will be long, and the cashiers will be harried.
- I will have to ask for help finding at least three things. I have no idea which aisle Post-It notes are in. Construction paper is never with the paper. Neither is loose-leaf.
- I will forget my cloth shopping bags and the folders will rip through the plastic bags.
- I will buy the high-quality name-brand supplies, while many other parents will go to The Dollar Store and buy the paper you can’t erase on and non-washable markers. Why do I care? Because the classroom shares almost all of the supplies.
- I will stare at the 10-pack of glue, calculating how much I would be saving if I were buying all of these supplies in bulk.
Well, the Kindergarten teachers have done this year what I’ve always thought all of the classes should do: they requested we bring in $30 per child and not buy any supplies ourselves. That way they can get exactly what they need, and save money by buying bulk. Hallelujah. I know I spent way more than $30 when my son was in Kindergarten. May all of the other grades follow their lead next year.
But that still left a bunch of supplies needed for my son. For the past few years I’ve been doing more and more of my shopping online. My groceries get ordered online, delivered to my door and carried upstairs. Impulse purchases have always been way too easy with Amazon Prime, but now I get all of our drug-store type supplies there and a lot of our non-perishable grocery supplies too. Zappos.com is a wondrous thing. Why has it never occurred to me to do back-to-school shopping online?
So, 90-minutes and five websites later, I’m done. After checking out shipping options and spot-checking a few prices, I settled on Amazon.com (choosing only from Amazon Prime items) and Staples.com (free shipping over $50 – since I needed printer ink, that was easy!). I know that I got the best prices I could have gotten online taking everything into consideration. Could I have done better in the store? Maybe. But I would have had to go to the store! Instead, I know that everything is in-stock, and it’s all going to be here more than a week before school starts. And I got to watch Daily Show reruns while I shopped.
Customer service has undoubtedly gone down (of course, so has the behavior of the customers). I have to pay to park at my local Target and I’m not even allowed to take the cart back to my car. Traffic in Brooklyn often sucks. I’m having a hard time justifying shopping offline anymore.
Aug 27, 2009 Amy in the Morning
[kaltura-widget wid="a6ao8d7gma" width="400" height="365" addpermission="" editpermission="" /]
Aug 25, 2009 Amy in the Morning
[kaltura-widget wid="ew7gfqfkkk" width="400" height="365" addpermission="" editpermission="" /]