Wednesday, January 8, 2014

My January Cure - January 7 & 8

Day 5: Tuesday, January 8 

Assignment: Select a good project from your list to complete this month AND take a few "Before" photos

I am supposed to pick a project that meets the criteria below - and I think my two-part pantry project fits the bill. Part 1: Reorganize pantry. Part 2: Make and hang a curtain to hide the pantry area. 

- A project that can be completed this month, in a few hours. Probably 6-10 hours, and ongoing as fiddle with the organization. 
A project that will make a noticeable difference. Definitely! I have to look at this everyday, and a lot of my most often-used items are stored there. 
- A project that you'll be proud to share. I hope so. I am making a curtain without a sewing machine, or even a needle and thread. Hm. 
And now the to-dos.
Take a few before photos. This is real life. It looks like crap! But I am excited about finding this guy a new home.

Tell us exactly what single project you've decided to tackle in the comments below. Done!
Do your basic prep work. I made a shopping list and even a Pinterest board!

Monday, January 6, 2014

My January Cure - January 6

Today's January Cure assignment needs a bit of tailoring. 

Find a spot in your home that you rarely (maybe never!) sit in that gives you a view on a room or area that you feel is especially problematic. Take a seat on a chair (or the floor) and just observe for ten minutes. Turn off TV, radio, music and your phone - this is a quiet exercise and is most effective with focus and concentration. 

I stood in the kitchen and looked through to my living room. Also, Vanderpump Rules was on so I maybe failed this. But I couldn't miss Stassi's birthday in Cahhhh-bowwww, could I?

1. Look around the room and try to imagine what it would look like empty. Recall what it was like when you moved in. 

I just moved in and it was empty; limited imagination required.

2. Once you have done that, focus on whatever part of the room that you feel is the most problematic and imagine removing the "stuff" from that area - furniture, belongings, everything. Now, start rebuilding that area, adding back in only what feels right and looks good in your minds eye. 

Also easy. My apartment is teeny tiny, so the furniture in here can't really be changed. Also, the furniture goes where it fits, and there is rarely more than one furniture setup that would be functional. 

That being said - there are 3 problem areas: 

Bedroom - I have recently faced my pillow addiction. 12 pillows = seven on my bed + five in temporary storage on this chair. I need to figure out storage for the pillows, figure out how to fit a large armoire here, and at some point drop off all those bags of laundry. 

Yes, I drop off my laundry. Evidently I am a millionairess.  

What I want: A cute set up between the armoire and my chair, where we can perhaps sit or at least pile our clothes at the end of the day. 

Kitchen - I need space. I have absolutely no prep space. Maybe I don't cook very often, but I would at least like the option. Also, under the sink is a mess. 

What I want: A cute little kitchen cart for extra storage space and prep space, and better under the sink storage including a closed-top garbage can. 

Pantry - I rather grandly refer to the corner between my bathroom, fridge and kitchen (hard to visualize, I know) as the pantry. I have a secret guilty pleasure, and it is watching pantry organization videos on YouTube. Enjoy.

This odd little space will have to serve as a pantry, cleaning product storage, paper product storage, microwave's home and extra toiletry storage. 

So this is more of a pantry/garage. 


What I want: A neater pantry, with uniform storage to cut down on all the boxes. I'm thinking big mason jars, because I am poor. I'd love to shove the AC unit out of sight. And somehow hide all of those toiletries, because storage in the bathroom is just not an option. I think adding shelf risers, at least in the back corner, would be awesome. I would love to try making those myself.

3. Make note of what changes you envision and move forward with some additional clarity about how you truly want your home to be; what you need and what you can move forward without.

Noted! And I already have a few things on the way to help - including a kitchen cart, armoire, some storage products...more to come!

Pest update: Saw a teeny one today, an he was on his back dying. I am terrible because it made my 'effin day.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

YoCP and January Cure Update


January: Make Your List
Heading into any big project without a plan is a recipe for failure, and creating order out of chaos is certainly a big project! So the task for January is to create a roadmap of your YoCP goals.
By fulfilling the January Cure tasks below, I'll meet the YoCP task for the month as well. Awesome.

January Cure:

Day 1: Wednesday, January 2
Assignment: Make a list of projects

Here we go!

Day 2: Thursday, January 3
Assignment: Set Up an Outbox and Place One Item in It

Draft outbox is ready to go...I phoned this one in, I'll admit it. 

Also, I want to put this in the outbox. The boy brought it home. Can you put something in the outbox if you don't know what it is? 

Day 3: Friday, January 4...and the Weekend of January 5 & 6 
Assignment: Buy Flowers, Vacuum, Mop, Gather Earth Friendly Cleaners & Use Your Outbox

Flowers just weren't happening (see: my last post.) But I have some pretty fake ones on my windowsill!

Vacuum and mop? Again, see my last post. With bug repellent sprinkled everywhere, this is just going to have to wait.

Earth friendly cleaners just don't have my vote when dealing with the occasional bug and an apartment with years of accumulated dirty. But I've got plenty of cleaners on hand, and some natural products. Good to go. 

The outbox was used, but happily there were very few items in it. Most of what I had found a home, but the upcoming pantry clean up project will result in a lot more items in the outbox. 

Oh, the humanity (mine, specifically)

My plan for 2014. Meet - monkey wrench.

I returned home from an amazing holiday at home, followed by a few days skiing in Quebec. And the very morning of my arrival, I switched on my bathroom flight and saw...

(honestly, this deserves the suspense)

A cockroach running across the floor of my bathroom.

I know you just vomited. I am very sorry. But it may make you feel better to hear that I had lightning-quick reflexes and squashed that mofo.

He was small but, that doesn't matter at all. Also, I also refer to bugs as male.

So the Apartment Therapy's chore list for this weekend has had to take a backseat. Flowers are extremely low on my priority list. I had to have an ATTACK PLAN. I honestly feel like I am at war. Alone, because the boy doesn't return until next Saturday.

This is my approach to getting rid of the bugs. Thanks to here.

Anyways - my response was formulated based on common sense, irrational fear and Jolie Kerr's suggestions.

1. Called the exterminator for my building, and had the regular "preventative" service the every next day. I promised the exterminator I would be calling back for the whole nine yards, once I have approval from my management company. Basically, raising a big-ass stink.

2. Raid the Chelsea Home Depot - roach bait traps have been laid. I've scrubbed the shit out of everything in my apartment. Tried, with limited success, to fill a few holes I think they may be coming through. And sprinkled diatomaceous earth everywhere, so now this place looks like a cocaine lair.

3. Generally freak the eff out when I see a bug. 

My friends have said this is totally normal. It's New York. First floor apartment in a old building, what can you do? "At least you don't have mice!" 

This is not an acceptable approach for me. I am going to continue throwing shit fits and continue to harass my management company for full exterminator services. 

So this is sort of my own first step to the January Cure. Let's call it the low-rent version. 

Stay tuned!

2014: The Year of Less Change (please!)

2013 brought the change. Brought it hard.

Moved to New York City on January 2...
Started a new job on January 21...
Realized that the guy I met in Toronto a week before I left meant something to me, and started dating on March 24 after several visits...
My nephew arrived on September 14...
Moved into a new apartment with my boyfriend - thus, my first time living with a boy (ew!) - on December 8...

So I rang in 2014 under the stars, in -23 celsius, in a much happier and more settled spot than 2013. But, there are still plenty of unknowns. Will I stay in this job throughout 2014? Will my boyfriend be staying in New York once he graduates? 

I am giving myself a break from worrying about these things. Last year was enough. I think I deserve to enjoy my life here without wondering about how it will change. 2014 could very well be our only full year in New York City!

Anyways, this denotes a new direction for my blog. I want to document how I make our life here happy and comfortable. Most of this will be related to our cruddy little rental apartment, and the (hopeful) change from an old, slightly dirty, dark Upper West Side pre-war, to a light, happy place that we love and look forward to coming back to every night.

But I can honestly say that being here with him has already made it feel like the right place. 

The plan?

1. Follow Apartment Therapy's January Cure. Post on a semi-regular basis as I progress through the January Cure's tasks.

2. Follow Jolie Kerr's Year of the Clean Person, where relevant. I'm ready, #YoCP. That was my first time using a hashtag.

3. Stick to it! Where I organize, clean, etc...keep it clean. The boy may throw a wrench in the works here, but I will try some subtle techniques to get him on board. So far, throwing his dirty socks at him hasn't worked. 

Stay tuned!


Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Package it and overprice it, and I need it - or, Organic Avenue Juice

An Organic Avenue opened on the UES, en route from my apartment to the subway.

It may have been there for a while, but I finally stepped in last week, with my boyfriend. While he stood awkwardly among the ladies clad in yoga wear, I picked out what seemed to be the "beginner" juices. A ginger lemonade, and royal red, and a "mylk".

He had a coronary at the cash register, and then a second one when he calculated how many fully-decked hot dogs he could get for the same price. There was a moment of weakness when he reminded me that Shake Shack and Arturo's were both in the vicinity.

But I was happy, with the cute little squat bottles and the promise of enough ginger to ward off zombie flu.

How did it taste?

                                                   Master Tonic
Ginger Lemonade - it burned so much going down. The thought of subsequent burning meant this sat in the fridge at work until the cleaning lady pitched it. Thereby I avoided the guilt of throwing out $7 worth of liquid. Well done!

                                                   Royal Red Juice
Royal Red - Also a bit of a burn, but so pleasant and beautiful. I really liked this, and will try to drink it a few times a week.

                                                   Creative Cashew Hemp Mylk

Creative Cashew Hemp Mylk - First, it tastes so good. I congratulate myself on having a body that enjoys and craves healthful things. For example, in addition to this "mylk", I enjoy sleeping, which is healthful. Then, suddenly, a previously dormant tastebud kicks in and alerts you that this actually tastes like dirt. Like earth. And when you read that "organic irish moss" is involved in this, you leave this to the mercy of the cleaning lady as well.

Is there a juice cleanse in my future? Not looking likely. My fear of coconut water keeps that possibility at bay.


Sunday, January 13, 2013

Oh, Trader Joe's

Yes, late to the game. But I have seen the light, and there is no turning back.

I was shopping at Whole Foods and Eataly for my first week in the city. Well, that was mainly because my mother was visiting and paying. Once I was on my own, I started to branch out and made a trip to Trader Joe's in Chelsea (about 5 minutes walk from my apartment, lucky me.)

And I also went the next four days, in a row, until there was nothing else that I needed to purchase. So when I went on Friday, it was for a frivolous purchase that's made me very happy:

  • Alstroemeria, $3.99
I had my doubts about whether these would last, but look at how beautifully they bloomed! The only downside was a lot of ragged leaves that I had to cut away. But, that may have been my fault because I dropped these flowers on a subway grate because I was trying to balance a pile of books I'd picked up at Strand and a cup of ice cream from Eataly. Technically it was gelato, but couldn't type that without feeling like a poo.