Thursday, April 30, 2009

Pub Set Options for My Living Area

Entertaining in my little bungalow has not been without its challenges thus far, but I have been able to manage with my little counter and stools, patio parties and casual meals around the living room coffee table.

Despite this, I have been keeping my eye out for a cute, bistro or pub set to add a dining area to my living area, without having the space necessary for a full dining set. I have seen various sets at department stores and IKEA that I like, and some have even been in the 'affordable' price range. Of course, the problem exists that when you have 0 disposable income, that window of what is affordable becomes irrelevant.

This is where I turn to my travel points! I have been cashing in Aeroplan miles for Home Hardware gift cards for a year now. It essentially turns the points into cash that I can use for paint, tools, and other 'home stuff'. Additionally, by waiting for Home Hardware promotions, I get the gift cards at a "discount", so I save some miles I ordinarily would've spent on the card, for future rewards.
Air Miles have been a different story though, and thus far, I have only redeemed them for travel, because I often feel the 'mile value' of other rewards is too high. Until today! While browsing Air for flight rewards, I came across these two lovely two pub sets.
Air Miles 5 Piece Pub Set
5 Piece Pub Set
This pub set could be mine for only 3000 miles, and it is very similar to sets I have seen in department stores and considered purchasing in the past. It would provide both additional seating to my living room, and a functional area for small meals, enjoying a few drinks or playing cards. I can also "afford" it with my 3300 miles.

Air Miles Tula Pub Set
Tula 5 Piece Pub Set
For 3400 miles, I LOVE this "Tula" set! I especially like that the stools tuck under the table for easy storage and they are padded! I also feel like this set has a little more style, and may not exude that 'picked up at Wal-Mart' feel.
I will have to keep on saving though for the Tula. I am still 100 miles short and without Westjet offering miles for flights anymore, I am not racking these up at the pace I once was.
I also think that I have to pay some tax or something on reward purchases. Does anyone know??

What do you think? Do you collect travel miles and how do you like to redeem them? Is 3000-3400 miles too many to spend on a pub set?

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Garden is Done and Ready to Plant!

My yard before the garden After two days of digging and shovelling, my garden is finally done and ready to plant!!

You will remember that this is what is looked like, after I cleared the brush.

I spent Satuday afternoon removing at least one yard of gravel (you can see a small section of it at the far left of the picture). I was feeling it before I was even done and blister was well on its way! Ouch!

By dinnertime, a thunderstorm was well on its way, and after a full night of rain, the ground was soft on Sunday. I removed the remaining gravel and decided next time I take on this kind of task, I'll wait for a good rainstorm! Not sure how or where to dispose of the gravel, it is now on a pile between my garage and my garden, destined to be a walkway and possibly a patio.
Leveled garden plot with gravel removedFilling garden in with topsoil after laying down newspaper

Before removing the remainder of the gravel, I measured out the exact dimensions of my soon-to-be garden - 7' x 7'. I staked out the corners and removed the rest of the gravel. After leveling the area, I laid down newspaper to prevent weeds from coming up. I bought a half yard of 50-50 topsoil and compost a few weeks ago from the yard materials reclamation area at the dump. I moved the topsoil into the garden, leveling it as I went.

Several hours and several yards of gravel and dirt moved later, my garden was almost done! I have really ugly patio stones between my deck and garage, and since I had to remove them to make room for the gravel anyway, I decided to make a small retaining wall with them. Notice the giant pile of gravel next to my garage in the photo! Okay, maybe giant is an exaggeration, but it feel like it when you move it all with one shovel.
Finished garden and gravel pileFinished garden ready to plant

All I need now is warm weather, and I will be able to plant my veggies! For now, however, Fergie has the right idea - I'm beat and need a rest!

Fergie lounging on the floorSad about my blister

Friday, April 24, 2009

Goal Setting - Be SMART

Grow Your Business With SMART Goals I am just home from another incredibly inspiring Pampered Chef Team Meeting! Wow! Why can't my 'real job' be as exhilarating as these evenings?! The mood is always so light, the food delicious (and plentiful), and the energy so contagious!

Among our 'homework', we are to set our business' goal for the next 90 days. In fact, our director gave us this beautiful, little flowerpot and Forget-Me-Not seeds to remind us to nurture and grow our business. How sweet eh?!

Since, I came home from my last Pampered Chef workshop full of energy, there was also a lot of confusion about where to direct it. With my radio broken in my car (go figure), I drove home in silence tonight, and I was really able to think about where I want to go with my Pampered Chef business.

I turned around in my head everything I want to do with my Pampered Chef income; pave my driveway, buy a printer, pay down some student debt, save money. These are all goals, but what do I strive for first or how do I capture this? Then, I decided to try applying the "SMART" approach we use at my 'real job' .

SMART goals are:
  • Specific

  • Measurable

  • Attainable

  • Realistic

  • Timely

Specific: I already know what I want to get out of PC. More money so I can buy a printer and pave my driveway, in addition to some of that other good stuff.

Measurable: If I need $3000 for the above, then I know exactly how many shows I need to book to generate this income. If I am not on target for a month, I will know if I need to get more bookings.

Attainable: While I have not yet had five shows in one month, I know that I have the time on my calender and energy personally to successfully hold five shows per month. This is do-able, yet still a challenge, because I will need to actively pursue bookings.

Realistic: Along those same lines, while five shows will be a challenge and I will be busy, it is possible for me to achieve. Ten would not be, especially since I want to provide excellent service and support to my hosts.

Timely: For me, there really isn't a better time than spring and summer to let my business take off. If I move out the 90 day window to 120 (end of August), this is the latest I want to achieve my goal. By fall, the real life will take over again, so 'end of summer' is my deadline.

After thinking these through, I came up with my goal:

By making three contacts a day, successfully coaching my hosts and holding five shows per month, I will earn enough income to purchase a new printer, pave my driveway and paint my spare room by the end of summer.

It's so clear now, not only WHAT I want, but HOW I am going to get it. I even recorded it on my phone to listen to daily and posted it at my workspace, on my kitchen fridge and bathroom mirror (all places that I will see daily to remind me to get going). What aspects of your life could use SMART goals?

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Good Day, Mamma E!

I wanted to write one final note today to let you know how I spent the remainder of my Earth Day.

While I am on my computer, I did leave the TV and radio off when I got home this evening. I also spent the rest of the evening flipping through a few books, including a great recipe book I borrowed from a friend on the weekend - Lunch Box: Creative Recipes for Everyday Lunches
by Marie Breton and Isabelle Emond.

Curried Chicken and Rice Salad and Broccoli and Apple SoupI had read elsewhere you could save broccoli stalks for soups. Intrigued by this, I had several stalks in my crisper, and I decided that tonight was as good a time as any to try making broccoli soup. Since I'm not a big fan of 'cream' soups, I liked the "Broccoli and Apple Soup" recipe in Lunch Box. I substituted skim milk to reduce some of the fat content (and its all I have), and I was pretty happy with the outcome. Tomorrow's lunch will be the test to decide if I really like the recipe. The soup is on the right in this picture.

Making soup also reminds me that my blender, while adequate for making smoothies in university, has met its match when it comes to pureeing soups. Another item to start saving for (or maybe a future earning opportunity with Pampered Chef.. hmmm!)

Anyway, back to this photo. The salad on the left is a chicken and rice salad with curried yogourt dressing, also adapted from the book. I assembled this gem last night after dinner (I am loving all this time in my kitchen, making great food)! I believe that with any cold salad recipe, you really need it to sit for at least 12 hours or more for the flavours to 'cure'. Often this means that lunch becomes a little adventure, because it is the first time I really get to try (and hopefully enjoy) these new recipes. I was delighted with this salad!

My recipe included:
  • 1-2 C Diced or shredded chicken
  • 1-2 C 5 Grain Rice (or any rice or pasta - I LOVE the 5 Grain Rice blend from The Bulk Barn because is keeps me full all day)
  • 1/2 C Celery, diced
  • 1/2 C raisins and/or cranberries
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 unpeeled apple, diced
  • half handful of sliced almonds
  • 1 Tbsp curry
  • 3/4 C plain yogourt
  • 1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
  • Maybe nutmeg or another spice would 'sweeten' the recipe up a little more.. still need to figure that out
Mix the salad ingredients together. Mix the dressing together, then pour onto salad. Toss to coat. Refrigerate before serving.

Finally, anyone familiar with Pampered Chef (wow - 2 mentions in one post!) will recognize the small, square bowls above and the caddy. Shameless product plug? You know it! If anyone likes this bowl and caddy set, which is fabulous for summer entertaining with dips and toppings , you can get them for 60% off in May!! Ask me how!

Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth DayWhat are you doing for the earth today?

I woke up pondering this thought this morning as soon as I realized it was Earth Day. I have been thinking about this all morning as I get ready for work.

I thought back to my 1 Million Acts of Green post. I had only committed to 17 acts on George's list. Surely, there must be more than 17 things I do on a daily basis that are 'green'. In actuality, I think that many of my environmentally friendly practices, I do without even thinking- turning the light off when I leave a room, separating my garbage, turning the heat down when I travel.

Certainly, I have much room for improvement. I have started to read Sophie Uliano's Gorgeously Green
(I will write more about it another day), and while I am not very far in the book, I have completed my 'Lifestyle Checklist'. I have opportunity to improve, namely the following are items that I plan to address:
  • Do I know what's in my beauty products and read the labels (hmm chemicals arn't good for my face?)

  • Is my water heater wrapped ?

  • Do you have a garden ? Was a no, but I plan to start one!

  • Do you know about native plants? Also my intention to learn

  • Do you wash your car at home? Check your tire pressure weekly?
Other times, I find my beliefs to be challenged by practices that may be more 'green'. For instance, I will not switch to organic or non-"factory farmed" meats. Foremost, the definition of the latter is grossly exaggerated and in my opinion, all meat is non-factory farmed. Am I ignorant? No, I grew up on a farm and I appreciate and understand the measures that my neighbours take to raise beef and poultry, and they are nowhere close to the scary images PITA would like to lead the public to believe. Enough about that.
I already strive to buy only Ontario-grown produce (strawberries are my one weakness), so in many cases there is so much carbon emitted from transporting organic produce to our grocery stores, I think it defeats the purpose. Organic cotton clothes and bed linens? I think that this may become a case of affordability for me.

My success with sticking to the new Acts I committed to in January, such as not going through the drive-thru, boycotting plastic water bottles (I even scolded an upper manager for choosing Figi water over the table water at a meeting), and bringing a thermal mug for coffee everyday, have inspired me to push myself to do more.

I will be shopping for paints free of volatile organic compounds (VOC) when I paint my spare room. I plan to check out the Habitat for Humanity Restore for used building materials. I purchased my garden topsoil from the dump's landscaping materials recovery centre, and I will get my mulch there this year also. I hope to use a rain barrel this summer to water my plants.
What are you doing today for Earth Day? What changes can you make in your lifestyle to be gorgeously green?

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Adventures of Savvy Cargirl Continue!

It is rare that my ability when I have car trouble comes close to being savvy, but this weekend some my car know-how surfaced - in the form of a flat tire.

I immediately knew something was wrong with my tire, when I was heading to the train station on Saturday. With the warm weather, I had my windows down, so the strange 'clack' noise coming from my front, driver's side was very audible and not normal. A moment later, there was a pop and then nothing. Noticing that the road and pavement was even, I had a gut feeling that I had either run over or had just lost something that was wedged in my tire and there was now a giant, gaping hole in my tire.

I parked at the train station, preoccupied by catching the train to the city. Assuming that my little Jetta's brakes had not suddenly decided to act like air brakes, the hiss from my deflating tire was unmistakable. I strategically moved my car to a location that would be easily accessible for a tow truck and headed to the city.

In hindsight, I should've dealt with the tire right then. I could still drive on it (for a very short distance), and there was an Active Green & Ross and a Canadian Tire around the corner. Failing to do so, I was met with the flattest tire I have ever seen, when I returned from the city. Anticipating this, I had already placed a call to CAA, but I decided to try my luck at changing it anyway. Before I knew it, the spare tire was on and I was yacking to the CAA girl about how empowering it is to change your own flat!

"I know," she exclaimed! "Doesn't it feel amazing?! Good for you! " She asked. Does it ever! I definately stood a little taller, as I explained to the Active Green & Ross guy that I needed a bit of air and someone to look at my old tire.

One note about this - they were booked for the day and would not be able to fix my tire. He gratefully offered to check my spare, make sure the pressure and lug nuts (bolts that hold your tire on) were tight and safe. My spare is a real tire, as opposed to a donut, so I was safe to drive on it until I could get mine fixed. With my past, negative Canadian Tire battery experience fresh in my mind, I decided to wait until Active Green & Ross could fit me in, rather than go to Canadian Tire.

If I could make a recommendation for all women drivers out there, especially the single and fabulous ladies that spend multiple hours a week in your car - learn to change a tire! In fact, learn to check the oil, change your windshield washer fluid, learn all the basic maintenance tasks to keep your car running and on the road, especially if it is older and/or high in mileage. Also, consider CAA. It has saved me many headaches and paid for itself over and over again! They even have Car Advice for Women here.

Have you ever been incredibly empowered by a similar experience? Do you have any great recommendations for women driving?

Saturday, April 18, 2009

The Great Hedge Gets Trimmed Down to Size!

Overgrown hedge before I returned home last weekend to a brush pile in my backyard. My neighbours had decided to trim 'our' hedge back. Let me assure you, this was long overdue! The hedge had become so overgrown that was dangerously leaning into my yard, and trimming it had become a daunting task for me. It would take years with a hand trimmer!

The brush pile after trimming the hedge I couldn't help but feel a little guilty that my neighbours took on this big chore themselves. The pile of brush was HUGE! It took up nearly half of my backyard, and they already had most of the small stuff raked and bagged. Maybe it was an Easter blessing, but I am pretty lucky to have such helpful neighbours! In return, I happily volunteered to take away the piles of brush. A borrowed truck yesterday and two dumploads later, and my backyard was clear. I took advantage of the opportunity further, by bringing home a load of compost/topsoil mix from the recycling facility next to the dump.

Neat and tidy border hedgeYou can see that in some places the hedge was trimmed back at least two feet. I may have lost a small amount of privacy, but the sacrifice will be more than worth it when the hedge fills out again, in a clean and controlled fashion! It may take a year, because the trim was so intense, but I also love the extra space I have gained in my backyard! More room for flowerbeds and my garden (which I am planning for the bare spot , which was once a sandbox, in the middle of the photo)!

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Day Off!

Friday. 20 Degrees. I am taking vacation! This is the first really, nice day of spring in Southern Ontario, so I think my home and I deserve to make the most out of it!

Sleeping in would waste half the day, but I still let myself turn off my alarm and sleep until 7:30am. It was actually P&F (Penny & Fergie)'s decision that I wake up. They have this quirky behaviour of sitting outside my bedroom door and squeaking, rather than meowing, when they feel its time to get up. That's another post though.

Homemade oatmeal pancakes with strawberries and yogourtIt was so nice to enjoy a delightfully slow breakfast (homemade oatmeal pancakes, strawberries and yogourt..mmm) and coffee, while reading my blogroll. After being reminded again that I am a Profile 3 Paycheque to Paycheque woman (thanks FB), I am sitting down to restart my monthly budget.

There will undoubtedly be several more posts today. Big day ahead - a few dump trips, cleaning, some PC business and hopefully putting grass seed down.


Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Graduation, 3 Years Ago.. Debt, Still Here

On May 1, I will have my 3 year anniversary in my current job. 3 YEARS! I don't know why it evokes some fear within me, because I never doubted that I would be in this job for less than five years. Yet, it seems like I only just graduated from University and that it really can't be 3 years ago!

Maybe this fear has to do with the massive weight that sits at the bottom of my online-banking screen - Mastercard Line of Credit  !! <Enter terrifying horror movie sound effect here>

Wait, let me clarify. The scary part is not the LOC itself. Debt is healthy, correct? What scares me to no end is the fact that the number has not moved down in the past three years. In fact, it is actually bigger now than it was when I graduated (due to a poor self-directed decision that it was better to use LOC to pay down government student loan due to LOC low interest rate - bad decision because interest on government student loans is tax deductible).

SO, in the past 3 years, I have managed to get away with only paying the interest. Not only did I get away with this, but I took advantage of it and made zero effort to pay it down. To say that this weighs me down enormously now, would be a gross understatement.

So I am considering putting all this out here in the public, which I know my mom is completely disapproving of as she reads this. However, I have reached the conclusion that debt is like any addiction; the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Furthermore, the "Smart Cookies" always rave about money clubs and the importance of talking through our financial woes to find solutions, rather than viewing finances as taboo conversation. My final reason? Accountability. Fabulously Broke in the City has inspired me to track my repayment progress through my blog. Hopefully, this will serve as a regular reminder to stick to my plan and my budget, so I can achieve my goal.

That being said, I am still absorbing some of the numbers that I just calculated, and I think this is going to take some time to get comfortable with.  Plus, I need to find a really cool tracking meter or something for my sidebar. Stay tuned... 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

My New Composter

My new compost binLast year, when I considered making a composter in my backyard, I had the incorrect assumption I had to buy a special bin or container to create this rotting, organic mecca.
Realizing this was entirely false, I set about making my composting bin this weekend. 

Gayla Trail has been blogging You Grow Girl for many years now, but I didn't discover her until I came across her book, by the same name, at the library. She mentions that you can make any container into a composter. After cleaning out my garage recently, I decided that a forgotten garbage pail from the previous owner
s was destined to be my compost bin. It was missing the lid, but I found another orphaned lid and decided that with a cement block on top, I had everything I needed.

Here is what I used to make my compost bin:
  • Plastic garbage bin and lid
  • Drill with 5/8" bit
  • Newspaper
  • Dry organics or 'browns' (dried leaves and grass clippings, twigs, straw)
  • "Wet" organics or 'greens" (kitchen scraps, coffee grounds, grass clippings)
*NOTE* Do NOT put meat, dairy, animal droppings, oils or fats in your compost bin. This will attract rodents and pests and may make the compost smell really nasty.
Old, empty garbage pail soon to be a compost bin

Drill holes in the bin to allow compost to breathe

Here is what I did, or you can check out step-by-step tips on You Grow Girl:
  1. Rinse out the can. It wasn't too dirty to begin with, but who knows what was in it in the past. "Clean" compost will be better for your plants also.
  2. Drill holes in the bottom and sides of the can for drainage and so the compost can 'breathe'.
  3. I placed my bin in an unused corner of my backyard and up on cement blocks to allow air to circulate beneathe it. 
  4. Rip newspaper in 1 inch wide strips and place in the bottom. Top with a layer of dried leaves (about six inches deep), followed by the 'wet' kitchen scraps.
  5. Lightly sprinkle water on top. You want enough to make the compost damp, but the contents should not be 'floating'. In springtime, Mother Nature will also help with this process naturally. 
That was it! Easy-peasy (this is my new favourite word)!! 

Every few weeks, I will need to turn or 'aerate' the compost with a shovel or pitchfork. I also read to bury kitchen scraps in the bin as you add them, and this will speed up the microbial process.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Happy Easter!

Happy Easter everyone!

Hopefully you find yourself with wonderful weather to enjoy get-togethers with family and friends. We have been blessed with sunny days and a warmer forecast to come!

Here are the Easter "brownie baskets" I made for my Brownie unit for "Easter party" this week. Homemade two-bite brownies with cream cheese and coconut frosting, tinted green with a drop or two of food colouring, and candy eggs. So easy and so fun to make!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Real Owners of This House

Fergie and Penny on their window chair
Check out who has made the chair by the window their new home! They sleep on this chair everyday!! I am not confident that they use the back of it yet to be able to lay down and watch birds, but I am happy that they have found a new bed that is not mine!

If I ever get back to finishing my office (and locate some budget to do so), it is now my intention to make a great spot for them next to the screen door. There are piles of birds, rabbits and other critters in my back yard, and Fergie and Penn
y will spend the whole day in front of the door watching. 

Fergie snacking on his new basket of cat grass
The cat grass that I planted for them has also reached the length where they can ravage it, and they wasted no time investigating the basket when I set it out.

Ahhhh.. little monsters, but they can be so cute sometimes!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Touch of Spring

My spring wreath
While we have been getting blasted with a freak snow storm the past two days, I thought it might be the perfect time to post a picture of my new, colourful spring wreath. Inspired by Sunday's beautiful and warm spring day, I grabbed my grapevine wreath and finally decided it was time to add some colour to it. This is the final result, and all for the low cost of $2 (for the pink flowers and ribbon from Dollarama)! The grapevine came from along a fence at my parents' farm, and I dug the fake grape leaves out of my costume box (toga costume from high school, I think)! It sounds cheesy, but it brightens not only my door, but also a dull day when I return from the office!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

My New Mop

Merch Media Inc Microfiber Mop This is my new mop. I bought it yesterday from a promo girl doing a direct sale demo next to the pharmacy aisle in Wal-Mart. Merch Media Inc. is the name on the package.

I admit, I am sometimes a sucker for these types of promotions. Like I will NEVER find a similar microfiber product that will do as good a job!? I was impressed by the way it cleaned up the crayon off the hard wood and tiles, but I don't make it a habit to draw on my floors with crayons. The line that got me? The sales girl claimed she had four cats, two dogs and a rabbit, and the microfiber mop cleaned up all the hair, dander, dust and pollen with ease.

That was the hook. Cat hair, gone? Count me in! The girl used the old informercial classic- "For today only, you can own the Microfiber Mop for.." Apparently, they normally sell for $59, but I bought mine for the low, low price of $39! When I arrived home, it dawned on me that Wal-Mart would never sell a product for more, so the likelihood that the price will stay at $39 or less? Pretty high, in my opinion!

So did I get a deal? I'm not sure yet. A forty-dollar mop wasn't on the top of my 'must-have' list, but I have been keeping my eyes open for tactics to reduce the amount of cat hair in my house. Furthermore, I recently ran out of wet and dry Swiffer clothes. The wet ones worked well in the bathroom and kitchen, so I would've spent nearly $20 to replace them.

I put the mop to the test when I got home, but I am still undecided. It definately picked up a lot of dirt, and once wet, it cleaned the bathroom and kitchen floors very well. I'm not as convinced that the velcro will last 300 washes (the lifetime claim the girl made), and I found the handle didn't stay tight at the length that I wanted.

Norwex Microfiber mopI did ask for a comparison to Norwex, the direct sales company that totes microfiber as the core of its product line. It was obvious, she had no idea who Norwex was or knowledge of their product. It looks very similar to their mop, but I would be interested to know how durable and sturdy the Norwex mop is. Price-wise, I believe that Norwex is also more expensive.

Does anyone else use microfiber? Do you have a mop? Where did you get it? I'd be interested to hearing your experiences.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Reevaluating and Determing What My Goals Really Are

I am completely energized. I spent today attending a Pampered Chef training and then spent almost two hours at the gym reflecting on my 'next steps'.

Having attended my fair share of training sessions and meetings for a variety of reasons, I thought today's session was excellent, and I assure you, I do not make that comment often. The training was enthusiastic and the group was engaged. I was engaged! Yet, as the afternoon wound down, I felt that fear creeping into the back of my mind- how will I maintain this energy? Once I leave the safety of the meeting room, how to I keep my enthusiasm and ensure I put the ideas into action?

Scanning the evaluation form, my fear was solidified when I got half-way down the page: "What 3 goals will be most impactful to your business in the next 90 days?"

Goals? Impactful? 90 days? When I got to the gym, my mind was still lingering on my goals for my business.

My reasons for getting into direct sales was quite easy - money. Money, however, doesn't motivate me. The motivators were on my vision board, and the main one, was my house. (Hence the connection to here). Until now, I thought my motivators were my goals - change the electrical, renovate the basement, have fabulous shoes, etc. I realized today, that if I am to achieve these goals, I need to break them down into smaller goals. It seems SO simple, yet I have been too focused on the big picture, to determine how to navigate through it.

This lead me to David Allen's "Getting Things Done".
I took a day-long workshop last fall, and it changed my worklife. Why not implement it in my home life? David suggests breaking large tasks (in this case, goals) down into their smaller steps. A simple example? I want to read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer & Annie Burrows. HOW do I do that?

1) Get the book. In this case, it has a hold on it at the library for 4 months.

2) Request the first available copy.

3) Pick it up when available.

4) Read the first page, then the first chapter.... and so on.

SOOOOOO... all this rambling, I am going to do a "mind sweep". I am going to write down EVERYTHING that is on my mind. All the little things I want to do, and I have been thinking I should start. Outside of work, I suspect that most items on my brain are either Pampered Chef or house related. Then I will be able to determine the steps to reach my short-term goals.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Shower Door Repair

I finally fixed my shower door last night! It's only been loose for about a year and falling off/off its hinges for 3 months. I had good intentions two months ago to fix the door.

MEXX shower installation parts
I even made two trips to Home Depot, the first resulted in me leaving with a large plastic bag of replacement parts and the second confirmed that the part I needed was, indeed, not included in the bag of parts. There are only 2 moving components on my shower door, and they are the same component consisting of three parts. I swear the part I needed was the only one missing in the bag of hardware. MEXX Canada's Aftermarket Customer Support informed me its "factory installed" and they sent me the part I needed.

On a somewhat unrelated note - I also learned that the parts bag I recieved was the installation parts for a brand new shower. I have a feeling that Home Depot "warranties" several of these installation bundles....

The broken MEXX Shower partSo these are the parts I needed. They arrived over a month ago, so at 10 o'clock last night, I decided it was finally time to install them. It was also only a matter of time before my pet monsters discovered they could push the door in and wreck havoc in my shower.

Shower door off its hingesI went to the trouble to get a stubby-handled screwdriverAdd Image from my neighbour, but upon closer examination with her and later when I set to work, I realized that it would be much more efficient just to take the door off.

Holy nasty soak bathroom scum!

The shower door part I replacedAnyway, here is the part I needed to replace. 2 screws - three of them were broken, one on the bottom, two on the top. Easy -peasy. Hanging the door again proved to be a little more challenging and might have been easier with an extra set of hands, but I managed.

Shower doors good as new again
So it's all fixed again! No more wet bathroom floors or fumbling around with the door!
As a bonus, it's also clean. The nasty bathroom scum that I found when I took the door off was enough to turn my stomach just a little! Thank goodness for Comet!

On another note, I moved my living room around last night. Penny and Fergie had become accustomed to lying on the back of my parents' couch to watch the birds out the window, and I didn't have anywhere in my house that allowed them this luxary. It looks goofy, but hopefully they will find the chair in the window a decent substitute until I get the office finished. Then they will be able to lay in front of the screen door and watch the birds in my back yard.

Does your pet or pets have a favourite lounge area in your home?