Freeform Katia

June 16, 2008

my new laundry center — Maytag Epic-Z

Filed under: house, pretty little things, projects — Tags: , , , , , , — freeformkatia @ 10:13 am

The saga started at the beginning of May when my dryer finally died. The thing was old and came with the house when we moved in, as did the newer heavy duty top loading washing machine. While the dryer served me faithfully, it finally overheated and gave up the ghost… and it was not going to do anymore drying for me. Ever. Kaput.

Not having a dryer when you have 4 people’s laundry (two of those people being small children — and you know, they generate a lot of dirty clothes) to do can put a small kink in the laundry workflow: sort, wash… find-clothes-lines-and-clothes-pins-and-then-stand-in-the-backyard-at-6am-to-hang-the-clothes-up -to-dry?!? No thanks. Especially when I refuse to hang anyone’s intimates out there — because no one, especially my neighbours, needs to see my skivvies! Not that my skivvies are that interesting… but really, some things are just best not shared with your neighbours.

On the Memorial Day weekend we found ourselves at Lowes, taking advantage of the sales. What did we want: a new stackable washer/dryer combo and a new upright freezer. Might as go whole hog, right?

Of course NOTHING is ever that easy. We got wrong information from Lowes about how to install the dryer; we were sent the wrong stacking kit; we were scheduled to receive our washer/dryer and freezer twice… at one point during the process after all the appliances had arrived I not only had no functioning dryer, I had no functioning washing machine or freezer.

By this Saturday, 6 weeks after my dryer broke, we were back in business:

laundry project 2008

Ain’t it all so pretty?!?

Now, for the part where Maytag should give me free laundry detergent for life: this set, the Epic Z washer and dryer is awesome. I am in love. One of the things that “sold” this house for me was the fact that the laundry centre was on the main floor — in a closet off the kitchen. Bad part: the washer that came with the house was very very noisy. But now…. not only is the new Maytag washer super-quiet to the extent where I keep going to check on it as to whether or not it’s actually washing my clothes, I believe it’s getting my clothes CLEANER — while at the same time using less energy, less water, and less detergent. It’s a no brainer. My washer also has a MaxExtract feature, so the clothes are practically dry when they come out… meaning LESS drying time! Save more energy! Save the world! Sorry, getting carried away. The dryer also rocks my world, and I’m not a huge fan of dryers. I can stuff a massive amount of laundry in to it and everything comes out perfectly.

I love the fact that I can stack these machines. I’m 5’8″ tall and can easily reach the top controls on the dryer. And while my toddler can reach the controls on the washer, Maytag has smartly included a “lock controls” feature.

So, now that I’ve achieved my Domestic Goddess Laundry Centre Dream what about ya’ll? Front loaders or top loaders? Upstairs or down? What would your laundry centre dream be? Don’t be shy!!


May 21, 2008

did you know about this?

Filed under: house — Tags: , , , , , — freeformkatia @ 12:38 pm

All I need is 1 or 2 days of sunny, warm weather.

Japanese lily bud

peony bud

I am so very excited that my backyard & garden will actually look like something this summer. Something more then a pile of dirt and weeds. Let’s just say I’m growing a lot of mint to make some kickin’ mojitos. Ya’ll are invited.

March 31, 2008

playing in the dirt

Filed under: garden, house — Tags: , , , , , , , — freeformkatia @ 11:45 am

One of the things I love about spring is that I can once again get out into my garden and play in the dirt. I was trying to explain this to Maja as we were planting pansies on Saturday afternoon — I was instructing her on how to dig a hole for the pansy and then to smush the dirt back around it. Maja refused to join in and just sat on the edge of the garden refusing to get dirty. She has much to learn.

The beginning of May will mark 8 years that I’ve been in Philadelphia. This summer will be the second year where I will have a backyard that I can spend time in — the first summer I could spend time in a backyard was at our old house. Anyway, I’m looking forward to it.

As a reminder, here are some shots of our backyard when we first moved in and of our re-do in progress from last fall:

backyard 2006 & 2007

On Saturday afternoon we headed up to our favourite gardening store, Primex. I was in search of a forsythia shrub and a miniature flowering weeping cherry tree. And to my utter delight we were able to get both!

Richard and Maja planted the tree together on Sunday morning.

tree planting

The tree is a Snow Fountain Weeping Cherry. It will eventually look like this, growing to a height of 8-10 ft. (it’s probably around 6ft. right now). We chose this tree because we wanted something small that was visually interesting. This tree (providing it thrives) will give us white blossoms in the spring, green leaves in the summer, and orange leaves in the fall. You can also see our new Forsythia Lynwood Gold in the top photo. I don’t intend to let the forsythia get too bushy, I want height instead of width. The tree, too, will require some strategic pruning so that the weeping branches don’t overtake my wee garden.

Now we just need a new fence.

March 4, 2008


Filed under: house, projects — Tags: , , — freeformkatia @ 12:52 pm

So, when I last spoke of our renovations I promised some pictures.

Here is what the computer area looks like. Note the paneling that is falling off the walls — it has been this way since we bought the house. Richard went at it with some screws and the caulking gun last night, and now it looks much better. I don’t know what’s up with the framing on the ceiling… but Richard guesses that there once was a closet there. I have been instructed not to think about it too much and to not stare at it too much. sigh. So, these walls have not been painted.

3rd floor back room -- BEFORE

Here’s a shot of the other side of this (very small) room. I have painted these walls — taking advantage of the paneling, I did the same paint job that I did in Maja’s room when we first moved in. You can see it better in the larger version of the photo, but essentially the panels are painted the same colour, but I alternated between flat and gloss.

3rd floor back room -- before

I was hoping to have all the painting done by tomorrow evening so that Richard could move all the furniture upstairs and we could air out the room while Madeleine and I are away visiting a friend this weekend… but I don’t think that’s going to get done. I still have 2 walls to paint and the trim to paint… and it’s Tuesday! Well, I guess I can try.

February 27, 2008


Filed under: house — Tags: , — freeformkatia @ 2:57 pm

We’re currently in the process of actually making PROGRESS on the house. Of course, now that I’ve actually said that out loud it’s probably all going to go to hell in a handbasket.

This has all come about recently because the ban on toilet flushing in our house after Madeleine goes to sleep is beginning to wear on me. Now the logical question you might pose next is: wha? Well to explain, Madeleine’s crib is up against the bathroom wall, the same wall the toilet is on. So, if you flush the toilette then the baby wakes up. Not so fun. This is also difficult to explain tactfully to the babysitter.

In the past week we’ve begun the process, therefore, of moving Madeleine upstairs in to her own room on the third floor. What about the bunkbeds, you ask? In due time. Patience. Maybe in a 1.5 years… when she’s ready to move to a big-girl bed. Back to the move: This is not an easy task as the stuff that is currently occupying that room is out of control. It’s the room where we dump things that have been designated as “deal with that later” — and then when later never comes but guests do we hurriedly shove the items elsewhere. This is not an effective way of dealing with things.

The other issue we were facing was that we had a set of great bookshelves that we bought from Ikea in 2006, but the line was discontinued. So, we couldn’t add to the bookshelves… and we didn’t want to get rid of them because we spent a lot of money on them. And we didn’t want to buy yet ANOTHER set of bookshelves that wouldn’t match… Then this past weekend, as luck would have it we were able to add to the set when we took a chance and looked on Craigslist to see if anyone was selling the shelves we wanted… lo and behold! A moving sale… perfect. Exactly what we needed and for about 1/2 the price if we could have bought it new.

Stars are beginning to align.

For the past 2 weeks I’ve been tidying up the back room, which has involved filling many garbage bags with stuff and forcing me to go through the filing cabinets and examine boxes of things that at one point I thought were important (you never know when you might need that map to the Louvre that you picked up during your trip to Paris in 2002!) but now realize just isn’t. Hello, by the time I go back to the Louvre they’ll either have changed the entire layout, moved the building, or I’ll have lost the damn map anyway. The spare bed has been moved out (sorry family! there are other plans… a Murphy bed); the shelving unit is almost cleared off. Next up: the desk.

Tonight I will paint at least 2 walls! Perhaps this weekend the desk (with computer) will be moved over so that I can fix and subsequently paint the remaining two walls. Then when the smell of paint has evaporated we can move Madeleine upstairs. yea!

Once Madeleine is upstairs on the 3rd floor, Richard and I can do some work on the first floor without worrying that we’ll wake Mads up with noise. Richard actually has already started caulking the joints on the vestibule that he built earlier this winter… so it’s not like we haven’t been doing anything.

Progress is slow, but we are making progress. I will try and take some pictures so I’ll have some befores and afters to show off.

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