It All Falls Down

Consider it our home’s hangnail. A big, ugly, rusting floodlight protruding off the back corner of our sunroom. A good idea in theory – cast light across the beautiful backyard, right? – but pretty crappy in reality. The thing buzzed like a giant, vibrating cellphone and the sickly blue light that it gave off was totally unnecessary (thanks to three other, more attractive lights in the back). In the 18 months we’ve lived here it’s been used, um, never.

Sunday morning = time for it to go. With my barely-tall-enough ladder I teetered while managing to unscrew it from the exterior wall and snip & cap the wire. But I couldn’t reach the part where it was hooked to the underside of the roof. So, up to the roof I went to play home improvement monkey.

John on Roof

After a dizzying 20 minutes of laying on my stomach over the edge of the roof, I got one pesky screw out and the light came crashin’ down (onto some old cardboard boxes from Target that we stacked below to cushion the fall- thanks Target). After a brief victory dance it was time for a little clean-up (both of the fallen light, and my roof-stained clothes).

Final score: John – 1, Hangnail – 0.



Hooked Up

I’m not so much a clean freak as an organizational freak. I’m a firm believer that everything should have a designated place or you’re destined to end up with unorganized piles of clutter all over the house. So I’ve always been partial to storage systems with specific functions in mind- take our rolling laundry storage caddy for instance (see our home video for live action coverage of it).

Another equally hardworking organizational system would have to be this fantastic “portable mudroom” that you can put anywhere to instantly create a place to hang coats, backpacks, purses, scarves, dog leashes, and anything else you shed when you come inside. There’s even a handy place to sit down to remove your shoes (with hidden storage underneath the seat). What will the folks at Pottery Barn think of next?

But since we don’t have $1279 (!) to spare, we decided to see if we could get a similar effect for less. A lot less. So we headed to our favorite neighborhood Target, where we picked up a handsome brown leather ottoman with hidden storage under the seat ($79) and a nice dark wood wall mounting coat rack ($19) with six big double hooks for hanging everything we could possibly be wearing when we come in out of the cold. For under $100 we couldn’t be more pleased with the portable mudroom we created.