Category Archives: shopping

ahoy, matey!

I’m so excited!! Grace from DesignSponge posted a link to an online art gallery selling prints by this amazing artist Evan B. Harris. I discovered his work a few months back but all of the paintings on his site were sold out. Thanks to the link, I was able to buy two of his prints from this other site:

Again with the no progress

While going through the website stats tonight, I noticed some strange links that people were going to from our blog. I didn’t recognize any of the link names, so I clicked on a few of them. To my surprise, they brought me to some rather….ahem….questionable material. Apparently WordPress (the service that I use to manage the blog) has this thing that I never noticed called “Possibly related posts” that shows up when you click on individual blog posts. How these links are generated I have no idea, but I just wanted to clarify that these are in no way affiliated with or written by me. Most of you probably get that already, but I know some of the readers are sort of new to the internet and might be confused by that. I just don’t want them navigating to some porn site and thinking I’m the one writing it ;) Now I need to see about possibly getting rid of that.

Other than that, not much going on here aside from some close encounters of the rodent kind. I would regale you all with tales of epic battles fought with sticks, vacuum tubes and glue traps, but I’ll spare you the details since I’d like for you all to actually visit us at some point.

Oh, actually, what am I talking about? There IS some sort of exciting news. We had a silent auction at work and I wound up getting a bunch of super fancy Anthropologie furniture. I didn’t anticipate winning so many of the things I bid on, but the way the auction was set up wasn’t conducive to a lot of planning. They just sent an email with pictures of a bunch of different items, some of which were duplicates of one another in varying conditions, and you only get one bid for each item, so it’s anyone’s guess what you’ll wind up getting. I wound up bidding on a bunch of different things, figuring I’d be lucky if I won anything at all. Instead I wound up with two armchairs and a couch! A little more than I bargained for, but I got them all for such a ridiculously small percentage of the retail price that I can’t pass it up. Here are some pics of the things I got, although there weren’t any readily available pictures on the internet of the exact color/patterns I got so you’ll just have to read the explanations.

1. The Amelie sofa (the one I got has a white frame, not black):

2. The Astrid Chair (the one I got is brown with a modern white tulip print):

3. The Antwerp Chair (the one I got is in the orange floral print from the pic above):

Good clean fun

Here’s some before pics of the patio, I’ll hopefully be updating tomorrow or Thursday with the spruced-up version:

What a great holiday weekend! That was probably the most productive four days I’ve had in years. We’re in total house mode right now, so we took advantage of our excitement and worked on projects for most of the weekend – Greg finished painting the patio and did some planting, and I worked on my craft studio and cleaned like a maniac. I took Friday off to run errands and get a jumpstart on the weekend. Between Target and Ikea, I dropped some semi-serious money, but for once I didn’t feel at all guilty, because I felt like so many of the purchases have already been put to good use and made my life so much easier. Case in point:

– a little dispenser with biodegradable bags for Porter’s leash. No more hunting around for Wawa bags and worrying that we might be caught short on the rare occasion that he poops twice
– a pop up doggie tent – Porter isn’t crazy about being tied to a desk at work so he whines every time I get up for five seconds, and random other times all day. I bought a little tent so he could have a crate-away-from-crate, and he hasn’t made a peep all day.
– a picnic basket – we already went on a lovely picnic on Sunday!
– a console table with drawers for the entranceway – So long, huge unsightly pile of junk mail, receipts and other random objects!
– divided laundry bins – I’ve already done two loads of laundry, and I hate doing laundry.

Other than working on setting up the craft studio (progress photos coming soon), I was a mopping maniac yesterday, and I owe it all to the guys at Method. As my mom says, the best way to keep your house clean is to just buy whatever it is that’s going to make the job easier. So I decided to put my somewhat neglected Method O-Mop to its best use by purchasing various accessories, and I’ve realized it’s the best thing ever. Excuse me a moment while I sing its praises and explain why it’s so great.

It’s just basically a flat rectangular mop head with velcro that you can attach different cleaning pads to. I bought some of the microfiber cloths that attach to it for sweeping (pretty much just like a swiffer), and an extra mop head. They make separate mop heads for hardwood and other types of floors, and sell different cleaning fluids for them. But it’s so easy and not icky to go back and forth between accessories, so yesterday I would vacuum up the major dust bunnies and then use the microfiber cloth to sweep up the dust (which sticks to the dry cloth via static electricity), then do a quick switch over to the mop head, back to the microfiber, back to the mop head. All you have to do is lay it down on the floor and press the mop on top of it to attach it, so you don’t even have to touch the gross mop head excessively. I’m embarrassed to say it, but I think it was *almost* fun. And the BEST part is that the mop heads are machine washable, and the cleaning stuff is all naturally made and environmentally friendly. After weeks of plaster dust sticking to every surface, it was like heaven to get out of the shower and actually be able to walk around comfortably in bare feet.

The feeling of accomplishment and cleanliness I felt made me even more excited for Cleaning Night, which Greg and I have decided to instate. See, truth be told, we live in filth here at the Passyunk Palace. With the house in such a state of disarray, cleaning just feels like polishing a turd, pardon my french. But suddenly a couple of weeks ago, my skin started to crawl at the dirt and grime everywhere. I feel like any minute I’m going to reach down and pet one of the dust bunnies thinking it’s Franny, and I’m really only *slightly* exaggerating when I say that. I’ve never really been able to stick to a schedule for anything, which is fine for some people because they don’t need one. But for me, no cleaning schedule means no cleaning, and this has led to the aforementioned dust bunnies. I’ve decided that having a clean house is really going to help me feel more balanced and relaxed, so we’ve agreed that Monday nights are going to be cleaning night so that the rest of the week we can relax in our nice clean house. So yeah, we’ll see how long that lasts.

Also, Friday was Porter’s first visit to the vet, and he did wonderfully (except for throwing up in the car on the way over). The vet said she expects him to be about sixty pounds fully grown, although she wasn’t willing to commit to my theory of him being a pointer – she seemed to think he was a third generation mutt. Some of the girls at work were saying that you can get your dog DNA tested for like $70, but that’s probably a very silly use of $70, especially considering it really doesn’t matter anyway, the important thing is that we love him no matter what he is.

On tap for this week: painting a bunch of the Ikea stuff I bought, finishing the patio, happy hour at some point, and hopefully finishing up the craft studio.

Update on the Mr. Clean Magic Eraser

Apparently it actually *is* cancer-causing. Or at least has the potential to be. I knew it was too miraculous to be true. It’s made out of melamine, which I guess is not so great for the environment – it’s what they found in the pet food that was poisoning all those cats and dogs a few years back. However, one could say that if the alternative is using a bucket of bleach, then it’s six of one, half a dozen of another. So my compromise is to use it sparingly on jobs like gross linoleum with years of gunky buildup, but I’ll stick with good old Bon Ami for light duty stuff.

Nobody doesn’t love Ikea (except Greg)

Hopefully by the end of the week my studio will be ready for furniture, so I’ve been perusing the Ikea website for furniture ideas. I had wanted to get a cheap china cabinet off Craigslist and paint it white, but I don’t think carrying a big heavy piece of furniture up two flights of stairs is the way to your husband’s heart. So I’m going to go for more lighter weight solutions, like things that can be carried up in flat boxes (even if they can’t ever be carried down again).

We have a couple of hollow-core doors leftover from our bedroom closet, so I was thinking of using one of them and propping it on two of these dressers:

On the other hand, I also love this dressing table with the huge drawer, and have been trying to rationalize a use for it in the house somewhere:

I’m also going to need a good chair:

I want to have a little reading nook too, and I LOVE this chair, which I think might be a little too modern/futuristic to put in the living room, so it would work pretty well in the craft room. I’m going to have to sit in it first, but it looks pretty comfy. The price is a little high for Ikea, so we’ll see if I can bring myself to splurge.

If not, I might stick with this one:

Of course, my dream chair is the Astrid chair from Anthropologie, or pretty much any arm chair from Anthropologie. But if $299 for the Ikea chair is a little steep, then $1300 for the Anthro chair is just plain crazy. However, I did hear a rumor about an upcoming sample sale with lots of them for auction, so maybe my dream isn’t so far out of reach…

It’s time we hung some tinsel on that evergreen bough

Your Christmas wish has come true…it’s a new Passyunk Palace post!! The reason I haven’t been posting is because we came home one day, and miraculously the entire house had been magically remodeled, repainted and decorated. Oh wait, that’s *my* Christmas wish.

Things are coming along, slowly but surely. We haven’t done too terribly much in the way of decorating for Christmas, but we did get our tree last weekend, which Greg chopped down with his own bare hands (and a saw).

A few weeks ago we got our fancy couch, which we are extremely excited about. After living with a love seat for six years, you can’t imagine how luxurious it is to be able to stretch out. The first night we had it, Greg was sitting on one end and I sat on the other, yelling things over to him like, “What’s the weather like over there? What time is it on your end of the couch? Do the toilets flush clockwise or counter-clockwise?” Where do I come up with them?

Anyway, as you can see, the couch is big enough to fit both Greg AND the sea captain:

Last weekend brought a few four-legged visitors, much to Franny’s chagrin. Shanna & Dave stayed with us and brought their two kittens, who Franny absolutely despised up until about the last fifteen minutes they were here. Then they left and she was lonely and distraught.

We also recently bought a shiny new turntable, which we’ve been doing without for some time now. At last, we can FINALLY play The Best of Bread!

Hopefully next week I’ll be posting about our new table, which this guy is hand crafting for us. I found his ad on Craigslist, and a 7-foot table and matching bench is about a third of the cost of the one we wanted from Crate and Barrell.

But in case I don’t talk to you beforehand, Merry Christmas to all!!!

the overspent American

Sorry for the lack of posting, but there’s not all that much excitement going on. I mean, clearly it’s tough to live up to the excitement of my last opus – the shelf debacle.

Halloween came and went, and although I didn’t do anything in the way of decorating for it, we did get lots of trick-or-treaters. Many were cute, but we also had the standard issues with parents demanding candy for kids who weren’t even there, or for the 6-month old in the stroller, or for themselves, and the kids who weren’t actually dressed up at all. Still, all in all it was fun, and Casey was nice enough to take this picture of us giving out candy on our stoop. In case you can’t tell, that’s a Frankenstein mask I’m holding up. And Greg is of course wearing his favorite Luchador mask – man, those things have paid for themselves many times over at this point.

In other news, we bought our first piece of grown-up furniture, a beautiful mid-century sideboard we found on Craigslist. I realized that you know you’re growing up when you start having to buy Pledge. Oh, and clearly the sideboard gets the Franny seal of approval.

In addition to our grown-up sideboard, we’re heading over to Crate and Barrel tonight to potentially use our many wedding gift cards to purchase the grown-up sofa that we’ve had our eye on for a year or so. We’ve been living with the two-seater Ikea Klippan for a few years, and although it’s served us well, it’s time to move onto a couch that I can actually stretch out on and that isn’t the cheapest couch Ikea offers.

Other than that, we’ve been working on painting the trim in the living room. The walls are all done, but the trim has proven quite tricky, mainly because in true Kate and Greg fashion, we decided to cut corners and not prime it first. “Hey, it’s white on white, no need for primer.” After a week and three coats of paint that wound up peeling off in large strips, we decided to bite the bullet and prime. I’m really hoping to have the whole downstairs finished by the holidays, although I can’t decide whether Thanksgiving counts in that scenario. After we finish the living room trim, we need to pick a color for the dining room, but first we have to wait for our wallpaper sample to so we can figure that out.