Sunday, January 29, 2006

Movers Come Tomorrow

Well the last preparations are taking place. I'm taking down all the pictures and putting them in the same area. The curtains have come down in the living room and dining room. The food is being given away as we speak, and I'm ready for the movers to come tomorrow. I'll probably won't have internet access for awhile, so unfortunately I won't be posting frequently. I'll post updates as I can get to a computer.
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Thursday, January 26, 2006

Finding a New Home

We didn't go on a house hunting trip to find a new place to live, so we will be temporarily homeless. We are hoping that we can find a place in a week, which may seem like very little time to some. Actually the key is to do research a head of time, so you just go down looking at places. If you have a list of places available and it is just picking from a list, it is a lot less stressful. We have searched many apartment websites like:
Apartments.com
ForRent.com
Apartmentguide.com
Rent.com

Although the best thing to do is search "Apartments in (---Area---)"

Another good search would be for property managers in the area. They are in charge of renting houses and condos. Typically a person who rents out a place would either put an ad in the paper or go through a property manager. When you find a few in the area you are looking at, go ahead and email them. Let them know when you are moving to the area and what you are looking for. Make sure to include location of your work and time you'd be willing to commute, minimum size requirements your family needs, and budget. You can tell them things you are willing to pay extra for as well. I usually email them so they have my wording on what I want, and I will follow up with a call a day or two before I leave. Then when I get there they should have a good listing for me to look at.

So far we have about a dozen different places in our really interested pile, so then we just drive by and check out the home and location. Be sure to drive around the neighborhood so you get an idea of the area. Be aware that some places look completely different on the internet than in person, so an actual visit is important.
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Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Treasure Chest Craft Project

I was working on a birthday gift for my friend's daughter's 1st birthday. They really don't have room for toys or anything. She asked to help make contributions to her college fund. So I made them up this cute little treasure chest they can use as a piggy bank for her college fund.

Before:
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Unfinished Wood Chest

After:
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College Fund Chest

To do this project you will need:

Unfinished Wood Chest
Faux Gold Paint Kit
Paint Brushes (if your kit doesn't include them)
Decorative Paper or Ribbon
Scissors
Printer (although you can write it out in marker if you have nice handwriting)
Double Sided Tape
Mod Pouge

Most of these can be found at any local craft store.

First you paint the wood chest with the faux gold paint kit according to the directions. Make sure it dries completely between each step.

Now add strips of ribbon or the decorative paper to accessories. Use the double sided tape to hold it on. The Mod Pouge will make it a little more permanent later.

To personalize it, you can either print out the child's name and purpose (like College Fund), or you can write it on a strip of paper. Attach the paper strip to the chest using double sided tape as before. This step can be skipped if you'd like.

Finally, mix up a small amount of the Mod Pouge with a couple drops of the remaining gold paint. Apply two coats of the Mod Pouge, making sure to dry thoroughly between coats.
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Monday, January 23, 2006

1 Week Til Movers Come

Our movers come next Monday to start packing. This weekend we cleaned out the storage shed we rented and got rid of extra furniture. Today I'm buying some storage containers and organizing everything. Tomorrow I will be brave and sort through crap in the kids room.

I think my daughter is excited about the move. She has been going around the house singing "I like to move it move it, I like to MOVE IT", its a song from Madagascar.

While I'm out shopping today I'm going to pick up some cleaning supplies. I'm going to try the new Mr. Clean Magic Reach. I am paying maids to come and clean my house to perfection, but they ask I dust, sweep the floors, and wash the walls. Now washing walls is my least favorite task. So I'm thinking if this Magic Reach thing works half as good as the Mr. Clean Magic Erase then I'll be good. Now I know it is for bathrooms, but I can't help but think it will work. I will let you know how my experiment turns out.

One last thing....Happy Birthday Tara!!!
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Saturday, January 21, 2006

More Knit Hats

I've finished 3 more hats, and I bought some yarn yesterday to make a fourth. I'm making all these hats for my husband's grandma. She is going through chemo right now and just loved the hat I made her for Christmas. She gave me money to make her some more hats. I love to knit, so it didn't take much to talk me into making more.
The pattern for these hats vary slightly. I used a size 8 needle for most of them and I casted on about 70 (depending on the gauge I sometimes did more or less). I made the hats to fit a 24 inch around head. I did a ribbing for two inches, then knit all around (in the circular). I made it to measure 8 inches tall from the bottom and started finishing as follows:
Round 1: k5, k2tog
Round 2: knit
Round 3: k4, k2tog
Round 4: knit
Round 5: k3, k2tog
Round 6: knit
Round 7: k2, k2tog
Round 8: knit
Round 9: k1, K2tog
Round 10:knit
Round 11: k2tog
Leave a long tall of extra yarn and put it through the remaining stitches with either a crochet hook or tapestry needle. Pull tight to close the hole and weave in all your ends.

This is a very basic hat pattern and can be played around with a bit for fun.

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Friday, January 20, 2006

Checklist

Here is my checklist of things to do before the movers come. Now I must remind you that we are fortunate to have the movers pack for us, so if you don't have that luxury then you will probably have a much longer list.

Inventory everything we own

Make sure important paperwork is in the fireproof safe

Organize my paperwork around my desk

Figure out what needs to go in storage containers

Buy storage containers to organize clutter

Get medical records

Notify the kids school we are moving

Get school records

Gather unmovable items and give them away

Get vehicles checked up for long drive

Register our camper at the DMV

Cancel cable company (and any other local utilities)

Wipe down outside stuff and check for spider webs

Buy cleaning supplies

Pack for move

Clean

Take down curtains and pictures and put it all in one pile

Throw out ANYTHING unnecessary

Go through books and get rid of those we don't need

Give things to Goodwill that we couldn't give away

Eat up all our food, and give what is left to family with the most kids

That should do it for me. I know my husband has his own list of things to do, mostly it is for work.
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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Packing

Now that it is getting closer to our move date, it is time to worry about packing. Earlier I discussed things not to pack, now I'm going to help you pack so that you can find things once you get to your new home.

First you need to group common things you have throughout your house. Decorations, wall hangings, toys, curtains, paperwork, small electronics and other stuff you see around your house. Now stand back and look to see that only things left in each room would make since there. You may not remember having your linens in a chest in the kid's room.

Labeling the boxes are just as important. I'm very lucky because I have people pack for me. This is not a good thing when a lazy packer doesn't feel like labeling. One of the first moves I made, I had a mover label 12 boxes "Crafts". Now this was a big shocker to me, I know I have a lot of craft supplies but 12 boxes worth! WOW! After opening them I found only 4 had actual craft supplies, the others had anything from towels to kids toys. So for now on that is a something I supervise a little more heavily.

There is nothing like getting to your new place and realize, "Hey I forgot we had that extra sofa set". Things that blend in, or are not used often in your current house may be forgotten when you are house hunting for your move. I highly recommend taking pictures of each room in your house, even closets, to better help you plan the layout of your new place. This is also a great tool if you have insurance for your move. It is always nice to show them that your dining room table did not look that scratched up before the move.

This beings me to my next point, inventory. When you do have all the boxes packed and you are loading up the truck, make sure you write down how many boxes you have. It is even a good idea to number them. With a numbering system you can have a sheet of paper with a more detailed description of what is inside. This helps you find things a lot fast and make sure that nothing got lost in the move. Of course, this doesn't mean you can't say that huge ugly sweater Aunt Elma gave you for Christmas got lost.

Finally, make sure you write down all the information you can find on valuable things. Your computer for example, write down the brand, model number, serial number, and anything else you can find. This is a great way to verify to your insurance company that you really did have a nice computer, stereo system, flat screen TV, ect. It also helps file a report if it turns up missing in the move.
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Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Birthday Cake

My best friend's daughter is turning one and having a party at the end of the month. She asked me to make her a cake for her, so I thought I'd practise first. She is having a clown themed party, and I copied the clown from the party supplies she bought.

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Now the trick to doing a basic shape like this is to print the image you want and trace the back of it. This way you have a mirror image of the picture. Now you take a sheet of wax paper and lay it on top of your tracing. Using clear piping gel trace the image onto the wax paper. Turn the wax paper (gel side down) onto the cake and go over the lines with a paint brush (the kind you find in kids watercolor sets works best). Now you just color the image in with your icing or even colored piping gel if you'd like.

You can get the clear piping gel at Joann's, as well as a basic cake decorating kit.


Wilton Piping Gel 10 Oz.
Wilton Piping Gel






Wilton Student Cake Decorating Kit
Wilton Student Cake Decorating Kit

The student kit is for those taking the Wilton classes, but is also great on its own. It comes with some tips and a practise board so you can get the hang of how to do it.
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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Cleaning Before the Move

Before you start packing your belongings, it is a good idea to wipe everything down. It may seem silly and a waste of time, but there is nothing worse than finding surprises in your boxes when you open them. If your boxes sit in storage for even a couple of days, then they will be susceptible to rodents hanging looking for anything that smells like food. You may also get a nasty smell in a box if something you neglected to wipe down goes bad. Also its a great idea to wipe down things from outside in case there is a bug's nest in your things. Nothing is more unpleasant than to find a family of spiders in your box.
There is also a list of things that are not wise to pack:
Batteries
Light bulbs
Liquids
Anything flammable
Anything in a pressurized can (shaving cream, hair spray, ect.)
Foods that aren't factory sealed or will go bad

Also don't forget to empty out gasoline from small engines (lawn mower, gas powered tools, ect.), and if you have a scuba tank take it to a dive shop to release some of the pressure.

The big fear is if things expand or contract due to extreme temperatures.

These are just some basic guidelines to follow, if there is any question about if or how to move something contact your movers or local moving store like U-haul.
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Friday, January 13, 2006

Scarf

I finished a scarf for my mom the other day. It is a long skinny white scarf with a belled edge. It is made out of baby yarn because she says that is very popular back home. I made her a really cool scarf once, cost her a pretty penny for the yarn. She had it in her coat and left it at a restaurant one night. Someone returned the coat, but kept the scarf. She is still upset about that scarf and has since been on a crazy hunt to find that yarn again. In the mean time this is a get by scarf, but still very lovely.

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I'm not sure how well you see the edge, but to get the bell effect you just cast on twice as many stitches as you need, knit for an inch or as long as desired. Then decrease by k2tog the whole way across. Then at the end increase ever stitch and then knit an inch or desired length.
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Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Calendars

I just wanted to share a good deal that I got recently. I got some calendars from Woot.com for only $8, the calendars were a dollar each and $5 for shipping. The catch is that you don't get to pick the calendars, it is random from the list they had. I'm pretty lucky usually, and this time was no exception. I received a Hobbit calendar which has pretty cool pictures on it that go with my dining room/office area. I got a Ziggy weekly planner calendar, which I actually needed. Then I got a poker daily calendar with a poker tip every day. This is the best of all of them because my husband loves poker, he just isn't very good at it. This makes him very popular with the guys who host poker nights lol.

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Woot.com is an unususal website because it only sells one thing at a time. Everyday they change the thing they sell. Usually they are a great deal, but not always so do your research before buying. They often sell out of the really cool things fast, they post the item of the day at midnight in the Central time zone. It is a fun site, but be careful not to get carried away.
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Friday, January 06, 2006

Moving Budget

Every move is unique as far as budgeting goes, but there are some basics that are important to remember in your budget.
Deposit(s)- If you are going to rent an apartment or a house you will need a deposit. This is usually about $500 for an apartment or equal to your monthly rent if you are renting a house. You will also be expected to give the first month's rent, and occasionally the last month's rent as well. You will also need deposit money for a storage unit if you plan on renting one.
Transportation - Weather you drive or fly, you need to get to your new home somehow. If you are driving don't forget to budget food and snacks for the road trip. If you are going more the 5 hours it is a good idea to budget enough money for a hotel in case you get tired or road conditions aren't great.
Hotel- You may need to stay in a hotel while your things are in transit or waiting for your new place to become available.
Moving Company - If you are moving yourself, or hiring someone to do it for you, it is best to call a couple of companies for quotes on boxes, truck, services, and any other things you will need for your move. Include mileage and est. how much weight you have, most companies have simple calculators for you to use.
Food- With all your cooking equipment packed, you will need to eat a lot of fast food and/or convenience foods. If you have a special diet you may need to budget more to accommodate your needs.
Bills- Just because your address changes doesn't mean you don't have to pay your bills on time. Make a couple of every bill that comes in the mail for a month and then you will know when, who, and how much.

That is just the beginning, as I said everybody's budget will be different. I just wanted to give you an idea on what kinds of things to remember to calculate into your moving budget.
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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Moving

Well now that the holidays are over we are focusing on our move. Although our move date keeps changing, it seems that now we are moving the last week of Jan. We are moving to Virginia, hopefully the weather will be nicer there. We have lived in VA before, so we have some old friends there. We also have some friends moving to the area after we get there.
Luckily, we get movers provided for us to pack up our stuff and move it. The down side is we didn't get to make a trip to find a place to live since our move date kept getting pushed back. Over the years I've learned not to stress out over the moves, what happens will happen and in the end everything will work out.
I'm telling you all this, because this month's theme on my blog will be how to make a move go smoothly. I know most don't get professional movers to take care of everything for you, but I have lots of tips to help you along.
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Monday, January 02, 2006

Happy New Year

Just wanted to wish everyone a Happy New Year. We had a wonderful year because my husband has been home all year, no long trips for him. We actually have been lucky with that for the past couple of years. Things are up in the air for us right now. We were suppose to move in the middle of the month, and right now those plans are on hold. We still might move, but it is not likely.
We had a great time visiting my husband's cousin. She was very nice. Unfortunately her husband wasn't there, but she told us a lot about him. She seemed very proud of him and all he has done, which I think is really cool. Not many people admire their spouses much anymore. The kids were a little bored, but they were good anyways.
Yesterday we woke up to a little winter wonderland. It snowed a bit overnight, but not to much. The kids made a snowman, which they were so excited about. They also got excited about the snow cones they got.

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