Friday, May 29, 2009

It's all seemingly possible

The floor guy came this morning and gave me a great price. Not to mention we can stay in our house during the time they are working. Phew! I really didn't want to head to a hotel. A good price, easy work style, this may be too good to be true. . .

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Renovated Kitchen Slide Show

The Washington Post has a slide show of all the renovated kitchens they have featured. Check it out here.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Got Requests?

Since it's pretty slow at DC Rowhouse right now (as we wait for the kitchen/downstairs remodel to start), I am taking requests. Need ideas for a room? Decor? Remodel ideas?

I have a mountain of ideas and items stored in my head and I only have used a small fraction! Tap into those at:

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dates are used for a reason . . .

Last week I scheduled an estimate with a flooring company for the work on the downstairs. This was on Wednesday May 20th. He asked what day the following week worked best: Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. I asked if Friday worked. He said sure, took my information and hung up. I came home on Friday (the 22nd) to find two messages from him and his card in my door. Apparently, he thought I meant the 22nd and I thought he meant the 29th. I felt terrible. Thankfully, he's willing to come back.

Today's lesson: confirm the actual DATE not just the day.

Monday, May 25, 2009

I heart rewards

I have a Chase credit card, which gives me rewards (yay!). I forget about it all the time and rarely redeem them. I remembered this perk the other day when I was sweating trying not to buy buy buy and ended up feeling down about it. Until . . . I remembered the rewards. I redeemed my "points" for $85 in Target gift cards! Now, I have to wait for them to arrive in the mail. Until then. . .I can plan how to spend them. Yard? Living Room? DC Rowhouse is in for some new duds!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Summer Inspiration

I've been dreaming of making an outdoor bar for awhile thanks to this amazing inspiration by This Old House Magazine. Not sure I would like the sink in there, but the whole thing is just darling.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Steal this look. . . for less

I love (LOVE) Potterybarn. This month's obsession is dedicated to the sea urchin salt and pepper shaker:

But although I deeply love Potterybarn, I don't always love thier prices. I decided to see if I could replicate this look (using the shakers as my centerpiece) for less:

Check out the savings if you were to set a table for four the DC Rowhouse way:

Potterybarn bowls ($60 for four) vs. the sea-shaped cereal bowls at Kohls ($27.96 for four) = savings of $32.04

Potterybarn chargers ($144 for six) vs. Target chargers ($26.99) = savings of $87.01

White dinner and salad plates from Ikea for four ($35.92) instead of the potterybarn great white ($56)= savings of $20.08

Wine glasses from Target ($14.99) versus Potterybarn ($66) = $51.01 in savings

Hemstitch napkins from Target ($14.99) versus Potterybarn ($54) = $39.01 in savings!

A total savings of $229.15. You all know what I'll be buying this weekend. . .

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Chicks in the City?

We all know of the recent "movement" towards growing food at home. It's economically and ecologically responsible, and it can be pretty fun too. I can't wait to expand the small patch at DC Rowhouse into a more versatille garden. Eventually, we'll leave DC Rowhouse and head to a place where we can have a larger patch of earth to grow food and maybe even get a barnyard pet or two. . . or six. According to the washingtonpost, chickens are the new fad and people are raising them in thier small urban yards.

If I had to choose, I would get the Araucana Chickens:

Why? Because they lay colored eggs of course:

Monday, May 18, 2009

Get Home & Garden Magazines for 42 cents and issue!!!

This weekend, in the airport, I did my usual thing and picked up a magazine at the stand for around $5. I read it and enjoyed it, but wondered why I didn't just subscribe and save myself a bundle. You usually see ads for 50% off the retail price if you buy a year's subscription. The other bonus is that is comes in the mail - and who doesn't like to get mail? Who? No one. It's fun, carefree and allows you to spend some quiet time oohing and aahing over the pages.

This morning, I headed over to (my go-to online shopping place) and perused the magazine section. I added Country Living and House Beautiful to my cart at $10 a pop for a year, 79% off the newsstand price. Not too shabby. Upon check-out I noticed a $10 credit in my cart. Huh? I was getting TWO magazine for $10 a year. $5 each. So, essentially paying 42 cents for each issue. WOAH! It turns out, they are giving a $5 credit for eligible magazines if you buy a subscription today.

What are you waiting for? Head on over!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Be Nosey... Anywhere!

If you're like me (and I know you probably are) you like to know how much houses cost in your neighborhood...or anywhere really. When I visit new places I always check out the homes and think about how much they cost. can! Zillow has made an Iphone app so you can snoop with ease!

The Zillow app will tell you the current price (if it's for sale), an estimated value, property tax info. Essentially everything you need to know.

Oh, and it's FREE!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Do you have a Mitch?

When we first moved into the house we were warned that a neighborhood guy would come by and ask if he could do some yard work. The warning was we were NEVER to pay him beforehand, only after he completed the work.

Before we had a lawn mower he would come by and mow the yard for ten bucks. That was fine with me. Or, he would come by and rake and sweep the front. Again, ten bucks. Sometimes he would ask for eight - depending on. . . I have no idea.

We made the mistake of paying him before hand (oh, and when I say "we" - I really don't mean me at all, I'm just being polite. . . which I just erased by writing this side note) and you can guess what happened? Um, yeah, he essentially ran away. It was three weeks later he finally did the work - though we had to ask him about 35 times.

This weekend, we tackled the house cleaning and I have to admit I was pretty darn cranky about it. Strapped with my portable vacuum, I was working the stairs when I heard a knock on the door. I shut the vacuum off and opened the door to see Mitch standing there. Needless to say, I was not in the best of moods:

Me: "Hi"

Mitch: "Yeah, uh, Happy Mother's Day. I was wondering if you wanted me to mow the sidewalk patch in front".

Me: "Oh, I was actually going to do it later".

Mitch: "Oh. OK. I was just checkin'. See ya".

I looked over his shoulder to see knee high "grass" and was pretty embarrassed. Though I had planned on mowing it later in the day - it wasn't priority numero uno. Well, seeing it bumped it up the list.

Eventually I mowed the back yard and proceeded to wheel the mower around to the front. I plowed down the "grass" in a few easy passes and cleaned up a few stray pieces of trash in my steps. I glanced down the street and noticed the rest of the patched needed mowing. What the hell, I like to mow - It will be fun, I thought. I headed towards the next patch and noticed two figures sitting in front of a house across the street glaring at me. It was Mitch. I assume he was a little peeved I was taking away potential profits - but hey, I was being neighborly. I pressed the prime button and went to start the mover. Nothing. I tried again. And, again. At this point I was convinced his dagger eyes were tampering with my machinery. About eight tries in, it started right up and I proceeded to mow down two patches, clean up some more trash, and quickly walked back around to the back to put the mower away.

I don't anticipate Mitch to come around anytime soon. . .but then again, nothing has ever stopped him before.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Have you heard of Vertical Gardens?

Living in the city poses some problems for me. It's great to be able to walk to many great restaurants and have a convenience store within a five minute walk. But, I grew up in New Hampshire and have always enjoyed gardening and eating fresh from the vine. I remember when I was little my folks and I started a small garden in the backyard and it was all very exciting to watch grow and eventually harvest at the end.

DC Rowhouse has a pretty big yard for a city place. It is about 45x15, with about 525 square feet of grass. Technically, we could plant a pretty nice garden back there. There is a family who has created a whole garden on a 1/5 acre of land and even sells their organic produce to local restaurants. I think there is a video on their site Path to Freedom, which talks about the whole idea. It's truly amazing to see what they are accomplishing. They even have animals! Check out their yard:

It's clear we can make an amazing garden in our space. The problem is we like the open space to entertain. It's like having a whole other house in the warm weather. However, I also love the idea of having a bigger garden. Right now we have herbs, tomatoes, and some strawberries growing in containers on the deck. My solution? To start a "vertical garden". Go ahead and head to google images and search for "vertical garden". It's pretty outstanding. Check out this pic from Treehugger:

I could easily build two vertical gardens on our deck. Smith & Hawken (I know, two posts in a row with them in it!) have a pre-made one:

Though, I feel like I could build something for less. What do you think? Have you tried to garden vertically?

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Lawn Bowling

My husband Dan's birthday was on Monday. One of his gifts from me was this amazing Smith & Hawken lawn bowling set. I felt a little guilty buying it. Mainly, because I wanted it form myself. But, that's a bonus of marriage (what's mine is yours and yours is mine, right?). I gave to him saying, "I saw this and thought YOU would love it", all the while trying to restrain from ripping into the package.

With the dimensions of our yard it seemed like the perfect idea, and it worked out perfectly! At our BBQ last Friday evening (thankfully it occurred during the only 5 rainless hours we have had recently) it was enjoyed by young and . . . a little older.

Last year we had the grass put down at the end of the summer so having it all set to go this year has really added a lot - it's like having another room outside!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

What the Tweet?

A few weeks ago I bought an Iphone. I can honestly say it has changed my life. I'm not quite sure it is wholly for the better - but it has shaken things up over here at DC Rowhouse. The continued use of the Internet, ability to find ANYTHING, and let's not forget the level feature on the phone (though I have no idea why that would be necessary or a good idea for people - like me - who are not exactly graceful with tools). Well, you get the point.

In my quest for modernization I began to think about Twitter. My realization is that I have no idea what it is. I just don't get it. While I understand having a constant stream of "texts" from CNN would be beneficial, I'm just not sure what Twitter can provide that say, Facebook, cannot.
I suppose, it would be pretty awesome for my kitchen contractor to "tweet" me with updates throughout the day:
"Fridge cabinet is in"
"Corner cabinet is up"
"Broke water pipe"
But, then again, what can't wait until I get home? Well, maybe the water pipe.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Weekend Blues

I had plans for this weekend. Big plans. Plans that included sealing the fence and perhaps buying a circular saw. Did this happen. NoooooooooOOoooo. Captain Rainshowers has descended upon DC and seems to be enjoying himself - enough to stay through next weekend. Though I did get accomplish all I had planned for Saturday. My day went like this: wake up at 10am, watch TV and eat until 2pm, go back to bed until 5pm, watch TV and eat, back to bed. If you noticed none of this included showering or getting out of my jammies, you would be correct in your observations. I'm ashamed. But, clearly not enough to keep it to myself.

One thing that also did not happen was part taking in the great IKEA Kitchen sale of 2009. Or, so I thought. So, with the "deal" we would save 10% off our kitchen (to get more savings you have to buy the appliances and I'm just not going to go that route). We would then have to haul it all to our storage facility, then haul it back to the house later. It really doesn't seem worth it. But, today I check the IKEA site crossing my fingers that their sales were low and there would be an extension. It was like playing go-fish (Do you have an extension? Got what I wanted!!!!). Anyway, it is now going until May 10th - an additional week. Perhaps we can purchase now and pick up later? I don't know. I'll let you know.

Injuries Obtained

  • Sprained Toe/Foot: 1
  • Blood Blisters: 2
  • Splinters under fingernail: 1
  • Bird Shit on me: 1
  • Eye Injuries: 3
  • Burns: 0
  • Falls off ladder: 0 (this is because we don't have a ladder yet)
  • Headaches: too many to itemize
  • Broken Bones: 0
  • Bandages Needed: 5
  • Electric Shocks: 2
  • Stiches: 0
  • Bruises: way too many