Category Archives: HOME

For the tax preparation procrastinator

FREE TAX USA EBATESThose lucky ducks who receive fatty refunds filed as soon as you got your W2.  Those of us who have to pay up come tax time aren’t in any rush.  Well, there’s no more time for dicking around.  Tomorrow is the day.  Avoid Turbo Tax.  Some states aren’t accepting the e-filings from Turbo Tax due to wide-scale fraud perpetrated using the software to file fake returns.  I asked an accountant friend which program he used, and he recommended freetaxusa.com.  It works just like Turbotax – by prompting you with a series of inquires and totaling your refund or payment as you go, but it costs much less and is a easier to use.  Currently through Ebates, you can get 25% cash back on your freetaxusa.com purchase as well as a 10% off coupon to apply to the state filing charge of $12.95.  With applicable discounts, you can get your taxes done quickly and efficiently for about $10.  And if you are wondering if it is just too hard, I have employee wages, independent contractor income requiring a schedule C, investment earnings and losses, and a number of business write offs.  Even with all those complicating factors, I was still able to complete the assignment in less than 2 hours.  It’s not too late procrastinators.FREETAXUSA

wind machine

FANThe solution is so simple.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it before.  A working window in the bathroom is ideal, but a luxury for most.  Those of us with interior bathrooms or those blessed with glass exposure, but not openable windows must devise a strategy for airing out the bathroom.  Overhead exhaust fans don’t really cut it.  Especially if you are trying to air out a really steamy room after a nice hot shower.  I put an antique-style fan in my bathroom and love how it clears the steam, odors, and heat efficiently.  Air movement discourages the growth of mildew and mold, and the white noise provides a nice privacy buffer.  Getcha a wind machine, girl. ANTIQUE LASKO FAN

damn disconnect

TV LIESSo a few months ago, I kicked cable out of my life in the optimistic quest to provide all my entertainment needs through my computer and Roku.  At first, I felt liberated.  Fuck you Comcast.  You suck so much.  Then I started to feel disconnected.  Yes, you can watch a lot of crap on Hulu, but none of it is FRESH, FRESH, FRESH.  It is at least day-old bread, Hulu’s original programming notwithstanding (add heaping ladle of sarcasm gravy to that biscuit).  It was definitely disorienting to not be able to just flip the remote and experience live TV.  It made me anxious to think that in the face of an emergency I couldn’t find comfort in my local news (which I never watch).  And I really hated not being able to DVR and fast forward through ads.  Furthermore, tracking down my favorite shows became a part-time job and often the quality was less than stellar on those YouTube streams.  Cutting the cable also meant my computer was needed for streaming which means this site suffered because I can’t stream and post at the same time, ya’ll.  I apparently need to be bombarded with stimuli from my television and computer to find true happiness.  Last week, I walked back into the devil’s house to see what kind of contract he could offer me on my soul.  Of course those bastards have some crazy deal where they force you buy a phone line you don’t want, with a modem you don’t need, for one price for one year, and escalating price the second, complete with early termination fees, and a claim to my first born.  Trying to outfox the Comcast crooks, I asked for à la carte pricing, which amounted to about $80 more a month than their satanic triple play contract.  So I guess it’s back to 2 years of indentured cable servitude.COMCASTI’m deeply ambivalent.  When I returned home with my shiny new DVR and immediately accessed Bravo, E!, and HBO with ease, it was the technological equivalent of a warm hug.  Then I caught a glance at the redundant modem they forced on me, and I felt a wave of disgust for the vile and predatory corporation I’m supporting.  It’s like a bad marriage: can’t live with it, can’t live without it.COMCAST BE MINE

FATTRESS

BECOME YOUR DREAMI didn’t realize my mattress sucked until someone else slept on it and informed me it sucked.  I had acclimated to the suck.  I didn’t understand that this too soft, busted-ass, brokedown mattress was contributing to chronic pain I’ve been enduring.  While I wanted a new bed desperately, shopping for mattresses isn’t fun.  I don’t want to lie down where all those people have lied down before me.  I can’t actually get in my sleep position because it’s so weird, so I just lay there like a corpse staring at the ceiling reassuring the solicitous sales guy that it indeed “feels great.”  I’d rather avoid this undignified scene at the mattress shop.  CHARLOTTE TREY BUNNY BEDI recall when I stayed with my friend AMP for Pitchfork her guest bed was amazing.  She purchased through Overstock and was quite happy with the transaction.  I didn’t do a ton of online recon.  I just ordered a competitvely priced fatty 14″ from Overstock.  My queen arrived vacuum sealed in a box and expanded when I opened the packaging.  It’s firm, but giving, quiet and cool.  When I slept on my old mattress, I woke up with numb arms.  I’ve experienced no more numb arm nonsense with my new bed.  I’m sleeping so well now.  I wish I’d done this sooner.  14 INCH FOAM

Rearrange

REARRANGEHow often do you rearrange your furniture?  I make subtle seasonal alterations.  I rotate the placement of the artwork.  I shifted a bookshelf out of the bathroom and into the bedroom.  I hung six floating shelves in three rooms and installed a five stack of heavy-duty custom shelves in the bathroom.  I pulled out the heavier blankets and switched up my bedding.  A little bit of change feels and looks really fresh. Even a minor rearrange provides a good opportunity to clean, sort, donate, discard, and display.  Furthermore, hefting around furniture isn’t bad exercise if you are cooped up in the claustrophobia of cold snap.   SQUIRREL MOVES

mizz tudie denkins

I’ve been dogsitting my best friend’s dog Tudie Denkins this week.  She is a 2 lb Maltese and the sweetest most lovable little dog you could ever meet.  I’ve enjoyed having her so much.  She follows me around, sits on my lap, sleeps curled up next to me in my armpit.  She doesn’t really bark.  She definitely never bites.  She just loves and sleeps.  That’s her jam, and that’s why I agreed to keep her while my friend was away.  CAM00859In having her in my home, I’ve realized a few other things about dog ownership.  It’s unexpectedly nice to have a reason to wake up and go right outside, breathe the morning air, and take my little pal on a walk.  Ditto with the night time routine and getting outside for fresh air before bed.  Tudie’s such a little cutie that no one can resist her.  I’ve met so many new people this week because of her adorable mug.  I have to return little Tudie back to her Ma tomorrow and it will be super hard to let her go.  It’s nice to have a warm little companion.  I get it dog people.  I get it.  Woof.CAM00852

Seen

MYSTERY GIRLSFor research and curiosity’s sake, I watched the first two episodes of Tori Spelling’s new scripted series Mystery Girls.  While one might think a Jennie Garth/Tori Spelling nostalgia combo platter would be comforting, in actuality it’s just depressing (not to mention poorly written).  I’m starting to think Tori Spelling lives her whole life as though it was episodic television.  Skip Mystery Girls in favor of Cabin FeverTori and Dean’s Canadian lake cabin renovation reality show filmed last year before all the cheating drama went public.  Some of the renovation ideas are cute and clever.  The kids show up, and I was so happy to see precious Patsy.  Bear witness to the last days of Tori & Dean.  Trouble finding Cabin Fever?  That’s because the reality-renovation show’s marooned on Great American Country (yeah, apparently that’s a network).  CABIN FEVERI’ve seen Obvious Child.  Twice.  I don’t want to tell you what to think about it, but I recommend you support this movie in the theater.  We need more projects like this one funded and available in wide release.  Gaby Hoffman is everything.  I need her to doula my baby.  Jenny Slate, you were on the brink of alienating us with your conspicuous, showy, enduring display of impossibly toned abs.  OBVIOUS CHILDI finally got around to watching Orange is the New Black.  (Thanks Lisa&Paul.)  Well worth your time, but I warn you binge watching that show locked me into such an incarcerated headspace.  I’m late on the bandwagon, so I won’t bother repeating how well-written, diverse, and interesting OITNB is… just get around to it if you haven’t already.OITNB

 

Make an Ugly Chair Cute

 

I had this chair lying around in disrepair.  The loose seat needed screws, and the cushion wore a tragic 80’s country colonial hell fabric.  

Still solid and sturdy, this chair just needed a new sexy outfit.  Unscrew the seat and remove.  Gather a substantial stapler, staples, and scissors. 149“Know your colors and know your fabrics.  That’s what I tell all my little girls.”  Cut your fabric with enough extra to staple, but not so much it covers the screw holes. Staple that bitch. Screw her back together.  Flip her right side up and admire the transformation.

Dark, rich, printed fabrics are more forgiving for slobs like me.  I purchased 3/4 of a yard and had quite a bit left over intentionally.  Buy enough that you can arrange the print on the cushion as you like it.

A vast improvement, no?  I love to restore beauty.

Demeter Clarc Tidy Tips: unexpected fixes

WRAPPING DRESSER1) Old dressers wonderfully organize gift wrap, boxes, tissue, and ribbons. GIFT WRAP DRAWERPAINTED SCREW

2) If you are struggling to remove a painted-on screw, use nail polish removing pads to soften the paint and catch a groove.

NAIL POLISH REMOVER PADS

3) Use days-of-the-week pill organizers to individually house small jewelry.PILL ORGANIZER

4) Instead of plastic, just use (and reuse) one paper apple bag for all your produce purchases.  PAPER PRODUCE BAG