April 21, 2010

Down With the Committee

Good grief...

Even though this photo speaks for itself, I have to explain the back ground story behind this horror.

My parents are renovating their house right now, more immediately their guest bathroom (http://morgandesigninc.blogspot.com/2010/04/less-talk-more-action.html) So as my Dad was pulling out the toilet fixture a few days ago, he moved it to just outside their front door, until he goes to the dump this week. Sunday night, friends announced that they were stopping by for some coffee and good laughs, and just before they arrived, my Dad remembered the toilet! In an act of desperation, my Mom quickly threw a hosta in the toilet to lessen the devastation to the eye.

My parents live in a somewhat gated community, with outlandish rules and regulations. Spring time is the time of year when the committee sets foot on the streets, and seeks out any deviations to these regulations (I’m not kidding.) I can just picture their faces when they walk past my parents house with a flowerbed toilet on display at their front door! My Dad says that my Mom likes to ‘look for a fight’ with these committee members. My Mom simply calls it ‘challenging them’.

April 11, 2010

Less Talk, More Action!




1. Moen, “Quinn” faucet chrome, $219.99
2. American Standard, Cadet 3 toilet set, $219.99
3. Euro Craft Marble and Granite, Marble Crema Marfil, $ LOTS.

Last Saturday, I went shopping with my Mom for her powder room, which has recently been completely gutted. We went out to look for many different things for the bathroom, and ended up almost purchasing everything she needs. We purchased the following items: counter top, sink, toilet, faucet, mirror, light fixture, soap dispenser and even the towels. It was a long day, but we got so much done - how did we do it? The key to our productive shopping spree was this: preparation and just picking something. My Mom and I had spent a few weeks emailing each other photos of possible items, and before we even left in the morning we had a basic understanding of what we wanted (at least for the big purchases). Now the second, 'just picking something', may seem simple but it is not that easy for some people (hint hint Mom hint hint). Acting on your gut instinct can be a scary thing, but you have to learn to trust yourself and your decisions. How many times have you found the perfect 'something', still insisted on looking at a million more - but ended up buying the first choice anyways? Instincts - we have them for a reason. Also, pick your battles. While looking for a toilet, we were both overwhelmed by all the choices. But to me, a toilet is a toilet. As long as it is a brand I trust (I usually rely on American Standard), then it should be an easy choice.

And on top of being productive, we had a great time! Or at least I did. We went to a bunch of my favourite stores for bathroom renovations: Home Depot (http://www.homedepot.ca/), Rona (http://www.rona.ca/), Home Sense (http://www.homesense.ca/), Splashes (http://www.splashesonline.com/), and Euro Craft Marble and Granite (http://eurocraftmarble.com/). They are all well priced, and about half of them have employees that are actually helpful (not mentioning any names, of course).

The only downfall to the day was the ‘Great Tape Measure Hunt of 2010’. As I stole my husband’s $25 tape measure and ran out the door, he shouted to me to not lose it. Well, we lost it. We spent the last hour of our crusade retracing out steps and revisiting all the stores again. We did not find it, but are pleased that someone in the Colwood/Langford District got a free tape measure. My husband – not so pleased.

April 7, 2010

The 5 Minute Warning

Sometimes it's the little things

You've just received the call. Aunt Sally is in the neighbourhood, and is stopping by for a quick visit. You have 5 minutes to clean your house - panic time!

But there are a few quick things you can do to tidy up your house before she arrives that will make a drastic difference. First, remember to only clean the areas of the house that she might actually be in. Will she really insist on looking in your master bedroom? Probably not. Will she be stripping down and taking a shower in the upstairs bathroom? Let's hope not.

3 minutes - Grab an empty laundry basket and run around the main rooms, scooping up everything that is horribly out of place. This includes the cable bill on the dining room table, the wet bath towel on the staircase banister, and the pair of wellies in the middle of the living room (What? Just my house??)

1 minute - After you've cleared away some of the clutter, and ditched the basket in a bedroom, grab a paper towel and some Windex and wipe down all things shinny. Things like the kitchen faucet and the mirror in the guest bathroom (she will most likely use the bathroom during her visit, so make sure to make it sparkle).

At this point, start keeping an eye on the driveway, if you can. There are few things more embarrassing that being CAUGHT doing the mad clean.

1 minute - Tidy the worst spot. For me, this is right by the front door where everyone piles their shoes in a big pile and throws their keys and cell phones on the small table. Right angles are your friend. It is funny how a table can look so much neater if the wicker basket on top is lined up right.

If you have any time after this, put on the kettle, and set up the tea cups. And most importantly - never apologize for the mess. You probably see your house in a worse light than Aunt Sally will, and apologizing will. Be proud of your house! You work hard on it every day - you might as well enjoy it!