Archive for December, 2008

Looking forward to 2009

Sunday, December 28th, 2008
I'm working on getting back on a more normal schedule now that most of remodeling phase I is complete. I'm happy to say that besides a few paint touch-ups, kitchen and bath window restoration, and the back door (waiting til good weather for this), we are essentially done! Before we dig into the work necessary to start phase II (most of the original floor of the house: living room, dining room, hall and 2 small bedrooms), I'm working on Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover plan to make sure we have a substantial savings and emergency fund before we start spending on the house again. It will likely take us the next 2 months to build up the remainder of the 6-month emergency fund that I've been working on. I have about 2/3 saved so far. Our only debt is on my car, which I'd like to sell and buy one outright with cash in 2009 as well. The other goal is to buy only with my debit card. It's too easy to use CC and I know I would save more even though I pay those cards off every month. I'd also like to get a permanent position at PGE once the current project I'm leading comes closer to completion. Hopefully for a similar salary to what I make now. I'd also like to do a European vacation in 2009, but its the last priority in the current economy because I will only do this if we don't have to crack into savings or CC to go. I'd rather have the remodel done than take a fancy vacation as well. :) I also need to focus more on the Flylady system to keep the house clean and get back on the 6-day a week workout routine, instead of about 4 which it's hovering around now. Here's to a great year!

Happy Christmas!

Thursday, December 25th, 2008
Happy Christmas 2008

Christmas prep

Monday, December 22nd, 2008
We are going to have a very full house on Christmas Day due to the weather snowing some locals in and not being able to travel far. We have a "state of emergency" here in Portland, which basically means snow but very little real removal machinery to take care of it on the roads. Public transit was severly delayed today and many routes didn't run. Many of my coworkers were on outage duty at PGE today as well due to many downed lines and other ice-related problems. I need to get into work tomorrow because I made cookies and MY PEEPS NEED COOKIES! If Les Schwab is open, there is one on my route. Hopefully they can show me how to chain up, as I've never done it before. Otherwise I have to figure out which bus route to take (updated: my old Jetta's chains fit Jeremy's car, so he was able to take me in on his way to work). I have plenty of things to do to make the house people ready. Here's my short list including party prep: Plan menu Grocery store run Organize pantry Clean refrigerator to make room Get table leaf out of garage Move around furniture to accomodate large table Clean floors Clean bedrooms Clean bathrooms Make pies (Christmas Eve) Wrap presents Organize closet Hang photos As an update to the last post, I found the "Rutherford" duvet cover on eBay for $140 including shipping (its new and not irregular) . That's less than half the price of Macy's, so I decided to go for it! Here's some close-up shots of the fabric:

Arts & Crafts bedding inquiry

Friday, December 19th, 2008
Why can I not find any reasonably priced bedding that will match our bedroom theme? We found the perfect rugs but the bedding will not cooperate. I have purchased and taken back about 5 different comforters so far because they just didn't work. Here's the room before we moved the furniture in a few weeks ago: I'm looking for something with embroidery of some sort, but not frou-frou or french. Everything I find seems to be obnoxiously paisley or damask. I want something that seems sort of period appropriate, but not country or overly traditional and has to fit with the colors of our rug: sage green/beige, copper, plum, turquiose. It's a tall order. Here's a similar rug to the one in our room: This is the front-runner so far, minus all the pillows and such: Ralph Lauren "Rutherford." I checked it out in person at Macy's and it looks like a heavily aged tapestry and the colors match our scheme. However, at $299 for the duvet cover alone, its a bit over my $200 maximum. I could buy off eBay, but I never know until its in the room, and I want the option to return it. I would love an Ann Wallace or Dianne Ayers set, but I think with the embroidery, the price would be over my budget as well. The Candiff set from Target is pretty, but its out of stock, doesn't have any turquiose or plums, and the pattern is a bit busy, but more in the British arts & crafts vein: Then there's a more simple "Rosa" collection from Macy's. However, I didn't see this one in the store. THe embroidery looks gorgeous without being over the top. I'm not sure if I should do a solid color without any green or accent shades visible: Any ideas?