babyfishmouth's Profile

Display Name: babyfishmouth
Member Since: 6/18/09

Latest Comments...

Get a dog with a lot of energy, and live somewhere where you can't just open the door and let the dog out. I love hanging out in bed in the morning, I do. With my coffee and my laptop. Especially when it's 30 degrees. But once you have to get up, put on the layers to face the weather, and get your butt out there, you might as well walk for 60 minutes as for 10. When it gets warmer we run (harder to do when you're wearing a turtleneck, a hoodie sweatshirt and a parka). Exercising in the morning is the #1 way to eliminate all the excuses you'll come up with during the day (legitimate or not)


From Couch Potato to Fitness Nut, in Two Easy Steps
2/14/14 02:37 PM

Can you put the table up against the back of the sofa (with 2 chairs on the long side opposite and one on each end)? That way both pieces can be off the wall which will give you room for your storage pieces, and you can also use the table as a sofa table.


Arrangement Ideas for Small Living/Dining Room? Good Questions
8/12/13 11:23 AM

Dallas CL is a mixed bag. The biggest downside is that there is very little on there that's interesting. The second biggest downside is that everything is extremely overpriced - like someone asking $250 for a 5-year old sofa from the room store that probably wouldn't be picked up if it was left out on the curb. There's a lot of that going on. Every once in a while you find a truly unique treasure, and every once in a while you find something that's not all that unique, but it's what you need and it's being offered at a reasonable price. The people are a mixed bag too - I have been stood up several times; I have had a lady drive from 25 miles away and then declare something was "too big" even though I put the exact measurements in the ad; and I've had someone have me wait around on them for 2 hours, then show up and offer me half what I was asking (and it was a big ticket item). If you're going to low-ball me, please do it before you take up my time waiting for you. But most people are very nice, haggle in advance if they are going to haggle, and show up when they say they will. It seems like the best thing to do here is to use your phone number, because you will get spam and you will wait around a long time for a reply if you use email. Although I do specify NO TEXTS in my ads because I don't have unlimited texts and people will go back and forth with you asking 20 questions.


What's Your City's Craigslist Culture?
7/3/13 09:57 AM

#2. You will probably spend more time lounging and watching tv than sitting at the dining table, so allocate the larger share of the room to that purpose.


Space Planning Advice for Combo Living/Dining Room? Good Questions
7/2/13 05:11 PM

I agree that the best "out of the way" place for the tv is on the wall with the stairs. Then, because you don't want your tv to be the focal point, and because the fireplace is in too awkward a location to be a focal point, you need a focal point. I suggest making the entire wall with the fireplace and patio doors the focal point. Please tell me you are ditching those vertical blinds. Since I don't know your style - and I don't know whether there is a neighbor's window 10 feet away from those doors - I can't really tell whether you need curtains or not. I don't normally think curtains work well on sliding doors - it depends on how much traffic you are going to be having go in and out. I think the best thing would be to create a really pretty patio and "bring the outside in." If you need privacy, put up something outside, (lattice, hanging plants, etc) rather than curtains. Yes, eventually you would want to change out the doors for nicer french doors, and eventually you would want to resurface the fireplace with perhaps a material that has more of the "feel" of your patio. In the meantime, paint the fireplace brick the same color as the wall, if you want it to kind of disappear. I would ditch the mantle and just hang art (or something) over the fireplace, maybe a large photograph or botanical that continues whatever motif you are going to have going on on the patio.


How To Deal with Awkward Fireplace Location? Good Questions
4/16/13 07:43 AM

I am horrified by the idea of suddenly, as an adult, coming down with an allergy to my pets. I didn't know that was possible, but now I have brand new material for nightmares.

She's very lucky it worked out. It probably didn't hurt that she has a sibling who is rather well-connected in virtual circles.

A year or so ago there was a sorta-popular blogger who gave up her dogs who she had previously blogged as if they were her BABIES, for no really well-reasoned explanation. I suspected it was because she could get a better, larger apartment if they shed the pets. That is to say, I am sympathetic (although still duly paranoid) about having to give up your pets for medical reasons. I think those people deserve preference from the rescue/placement services, but I guess it really doesn't make a difference to the pet.


Giving Up Your Pets: A Happy Ending
4/8/13 07:51 PM

"brighter, sunnier and more cheerful" depends on the kind of natural light you get. If you are south-facing, then white will look really brilliant. If you are north-facing, white isn't going to get you all that much impact. It will probably look just as dull as your current color. If you don't get natural light, you're going to have to either opt for a different (more moody, less sunny-and-cheerful, motif) or you are going to have to pull some design stunts, other than just paint color. I personally do not know those design stunts and, as someone who lives in a side-by-side duplex with only one room that gets full-on south-facing light (the rest is north and east, but the east is significantly blocked by the 2-story building next door) I would LOVE to see people with cred chime in on what paint colors/design tricks will cheer up rooms that don't get a lot of natural light. Besides lamps. Got plenty of those. Check.


Tips to Brighten My Living Room? Good Questions
4/8/13 07:43 PM

I see this through my parents' eyes. They sold the house I grew up in - a 4-bedroom ranch with a pool and lots of potential for upgrades. They wanted to move out to a wilderness area by the lake. They did, and 14 years later, they are tired of all the work that this wilderness plot requires of them. They want to move somewhere closer to town. A one-story with 4 bedrooms. Something exactly like the property they left behind 14 years ago. All that money they've thrown into the wilderness could have paid for some awesome upgrades to that house. Alas...


The Home That Got Away
3/25/13 07:17 PM

I have seen this discussion on AT a billion times. And I still don't understand how people think that washing dishes by hand is more earth-friendly than a dishwasher. I imagine that those people who are uber-vigilant, and soak their dishes in the sink all at once rather than running a little water here and a little water there, can claim some kind of savings. But, look, I am 100% positive that I use more water to wash out one large, greasy pot (that won't fit in my dishwasher) than it takes to run the whole thing. That's because it takes several minutes for my tap water to get hot, then I have to scrub and rinse several times if I have caked-on gunk. These days, dishwashers are pretty efficient when it comes to water. They fill up and do the whole wash with one load of water, then re-load the water for the rinse. What you hear going on in there is not just an open hose running water in there throughout the whole cycle.

I live alone but work from home, so I use my dishes three times a day, at least. The dishwasher fills up after about 3 days, especially when I have prep bowls and empty storage containers cycling in and out as well. I have a small kitchen, without a lot of counter space to spare to stack up dishes. Nor do I want to keep things in the side of the sink I use for food prep (the side with the disposal). The other side of the sink holds a dishrack with things that I use and wash on a daily basis - the coffee pot, my little cutting board, and a large measuring cup I use to fill things that need to be filled with water (dog bowls, coffee maker, Brita, etc).

For those who have small-ish kitchens, where exactly do you stack up your dishes so that you can still have counter space and use of the sink while you prepare your meals? For anyone who has dogs, I recommend not going with the bucket on the floor idea.


My Life Without a Dishwasher Renters Solutions
3/25/13 04:09 PM

I work from home. Sure, I get distracted sometimes. I may work 3 hours on a Tuesday, because I run an errand to Target, take my dogs to the vet and get lost on the blogs. But I usually work 4 hours or more on both Saturday and Sunday - because I got my Target and vet out of the way on Tuesday. It works out. The difference is whether how you get paid. If you just get a salary and aren't monitored on an output basis, you live at the whim of your employer and they may change their mind. I am an independent contractor. I get paid when I finish the project. Also, I don't get benefits. And you pay higher taxes vis-a-vis the self-employment tax.

I think employers who will start going this way are not likely to keep the telecommuters on the payroll, but will use them as independent contractors. That's going to be a big drawback for people who want the security of a salary and benefits. Hopefully it will also end up being a push for a single payer healthcare system, and some tax reform.


A Work-From-Home Mini Manifesto
3/21/13 08:12 PM

@cinnabunni - I live in Dallas. We have no state income taxes, but six foot tall tree roaches are plentiful. Especially in older neighborhoods (> 50 years) where there are old trees. There is no going "green" with organic pesticides on those suckers, you have to use the real stuff. But once you figure out what to do you can have it under control. I only found about 5 of them in my house last summer, and only one of them was still alive. But it is a pain to move all my stuff every spring so I can re-spray without poisoning myself and my animals.

As for floor cleaning before moving in, I have done that, only to have the movers ruin the whole thing. Especially if you are moving cross country and your stuff is coming off a van line where it has been moved on and off trucks several times, your boxes are going to be really dirty.


Your New Rental: 5 Spots To Clean Well
3/21/13 11:27 AM

I also recommend spraying/setting baits for bugs when the place is empty. I know, no one wants to think about bugs in a new home that's *clean* but where I live, we have those 6-foot-tall tree roaches that come in your house, not because it's dirty, but - I dunno, just cuz? they want to enjoy the air conditioning? probably to look for water? Anyway, they come in, no matter how clean your house is. So, I spray under the cabinets, around pipes, around doors and windows - oh, and the furnace and hot water heater. Much easier to do this before you have food and dishes in the cabinets.


Your New Rental: 5 Spots To Clean Well
3/20/13 05:32 PM

Why not just sell what you can and make a donation to your charity of choice if you want to? The people who end up with your treasures will be just as happy to get them at a yard sale, thrift store or consignment, whatever. You could get more bang for your buck if you have decent stuff. Your proposal will avoid the hassle of a yard sale, if that's what you're after.


Selling vs. Donating:
What Do You Do with Your Old Stuff?

3/20/13 12:04 PM

Vacuuming in the middle of the night is totally unreasonable. And obnoxious. Do it on your day off, or during some part of your day, before or after you leave for work. There is no conceivable work schedule that cuts you off from any reasonable hour of the day. If you get home at midnight, go to sleep and vacuum at 2 pm the next day. If you get home at 4 am and sleep, vacuum at 6 pm that night. If you're a renter vacuuming at 1 am you will probably get evicted (unless the landlord is a family member). If you own, then it will obviously be harder for your neighbors to do anything about it, but it's still obnoxious.


Communication Solutions: Smart Ways to Kindly Make Neighbor Requests Renters Solutions
3/13/13 06:48 PM

I think you need an island or a work table in the kitchen. Because if you don't, there is a lot of valuable space in that "L" of the kitchen that is going to go to waste. It doesn't work so well to just toss a bistro table and chairs in the middle of that, something that resembles an island - square or rectangular, with a work top and with seating not all around but only on the side(s) that face out of the kitchen space - will be better. You could use that as additional counter space as well as a desk (provided you're using a tablet or laptop), then that would free up the entire rest of the space for a living area.


How To Fit Sitting Area into Tiny Apartment? Good Questions
3/13/13 06:36 PM

My neighbor got upset with me because there is cat poop in her bushes (which, I assume, is a problem because her dogs go after it, just like mine do). She has decided that is my fault because I have a cat that goes out at night (to hang with the 14 neighborhood feral cats from which he spawned). To show her displeasure she has (anonymously) put dog poop and dirty diapers on my front porch. I only know about her real complaint because the landlord mentioned it to me.

Note that as a "don't"


Communication Solutions: Smart Ways to Kindly Make Neighbor Requests Renters Solutions
3/12/13 05:18 PM

I think it will be hard to do a room divider if you keep that giant rug (although I do like the rug), because the rug tends to unify the space you are trying to break up. If you keep the rug, you are likely going to need to use curtains as a divider, but frankly you should consider the Expedit route because it will give you a ton of storage for your miscellaneous stuff. Get two 4x4 units - that way they are not too tall and the light can still get over to the living area (also, fill the top cubbies sparingly so that light gets through that level as well). Put one unit on each side of the room, perpendicular to the wall, so that you create a "doorway" into your bedroom space in the middle. This should leave you about a 3-foot opening for the doorway if the measurements are accurate, or you could do one 4x4 and one 4x2 if you want a bigger opening. The reason for having 2 is so that you can use one to hide your bed, and the other will give you a space to hide your bicycles on the wall opposite your bed.


Layout Ideas for 500 Square Foot Studio? Good Questions
3/8/13 10:29 AM

Packing a box a day is kind of a waste of time and energy, operationally. If you're going to pull out the tape and bubble wrap, etc., you might as well do it as infrequently as possible. Also, when you have multiple boxes open and being packed at once, you can change up the arrangements to get the best fit. Choose a weekend (or 2-day period), I'd say about 2 weeks out from your move, when you will pack as much as you possibly can. Resolve that you aren't going to be doing a lot of cooking in the last 2 or 3 weeks, so you can pack most of your kitchen items and cook books. Doing this 2 weeks out will give you enough time to find extra boxes if you need them, make additional trips to the goodwill, etc. But don't do it too close to moving day, because I assure you there will be plenty of other things that come up in those final days that you will want to have time for, particularly if you are saying goodbye to family and friends. On the other hand, packing too far ahead of time means that you are pulling things out of closets, drawers and cabinets that will now have to be plunked down in boxes in the middle of the room, which will make things tight unless you have an abundance of space. There isn't much point in keeping the decorative items on the bookshelves if there is going to be a stack of cardboard boxes blocking the bookshelves in the first place. Frankly, you need to disassemble/empty/dust/shrink wrap furniture to the extent possible before you fill your space with boxes, because you aren't going to be able to get to it easily it once that happens. Word to the wise, though, don't assemble or pack wardrobe boxes until the very last, because they take up an ungodly amount of space.

Use the time far ahead of your move to go through everything you've got, make the decisions on keep/trash/donate/sell, and cull through the minutia. Because I assure you, it will take you 5 minutes to pack 3 boxes of books, but you will spend 2 days filtering through the drawer full of rubber bands, paper clips and pennies.


A Box A Day:
Ridiculously Optimistic Moving Goals

3/7/13 04:07 PM

Packing a box a day is kind of a waste of time and energy, operationally. If you're going to pull out the tape and bubble wrap, etc., you might as well do it as infrequently as possible. Also, when you have multiple boxes open and being packed at once, you can change up the arrangements to get the best fit. Choose a weekend (or 2-day period), I'd say about 2 weeks out from your move, when you will pack as much as you possibly can. Resolve that you aren't going to be doing a lot of cooking in the last 2 or 3 weeks, so you can pack most of your kitchen items and cook books. Doing this 2 weeks out will give you enough time to find extra boxes if you need them, make additional trips to the goodwill, etc. But don't do it too close to moving day, because I assure you there will be plenty of other things that come up in those final days that you will want to have time for, particularly if you are saying goodbye to family and friends. On the other hand, packing too far ahead of time means that you are pulling things out of closets, drawers and cabinets that will now have to be plunked down in boxes in the middle of the room, which will make things tight unless you have an abundance of space. There isn't much point in keeping the decorative items on the bookshelves if there is going to be a stack of cardboard boxes blocking the bookshelves in the first place. Frankly, you need to disassemble/empty/dust/shrink wrap furniture to the extent possible before you fill your space with boxes, because you aren't going to be able to get to it easily it once that happens. Word to the wise, though, don't assemble or pack wardrobe boxes until the very last, because they take up an ungodly amount of space.

Use the time far ahead of your move to go through everything you've got, make the decisions on keep/trash/donate/sell, and cull through the minutia. Because I assure you, it will take you 5 minutes to pack 3 boxes of books, but you will spend 2 days filtering through the drawer full of rubber bands, paper clips and pennies.


A Box A Day:
Ridiculously Optimistic Moving Goals

3/7/13 04:07 PM

I was going to say put it on a rolling cart and move it out of the way, but you might as well just get one of the full size mobile ones in that case. Most modern dishwashers will not make your water bill go crazy, especially if your current practice is to wash a couple of plates/glasses at a time rather than wait and stack up a sink full before you do one big wash. More likely to have an impact on your electric bill, but you can skip the heated dry and that seems to make a difference (your dishes will be a little spotty, but it cuts a lot of time off the cycle)


Countertop Dishwashers Renters Solutions
3/6/13 10:33 AM