Thursday, July 26, 2007

More on the Ugly Truth

I was having lunch today with my friends, including Linda who manages the huge Dania down at Southcenter. I was telling her about the not-so-great furniture construction we found under the chipped veneer on the Ralph Lauren table (this is a table that retails for $3,000, with it's "clearance" marked at $999).

She just kept nodding her head and saying that a lot of furniture is now made like that. Forget heirloom quality construction, it's all for show.

So... In light of finding good quality at "reasonable" prices - here's a shout-out to my friends Rene and Teresa of McKinnon Furniture. This is the real deal, quality made and local to boot!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Next Road Trip

Christian and I are going to explore.... South Lake Union. It should be interesting, there has been a lot of new development there that sort of bleeds up towards Capitol Hill. "Uncle Carl" (Antique Liquidators), we are coming to see you!

I am thinking we need to give South Lake Union a new moniker: SoLaU perhaps?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


I've just completed replacing all of the major appliances in my kitchen It's been time for a while, but like many other things, I was daunted by the process. I finally bit the bullet and went to Crossroads Appliance and nabbed Les, a well informed salesman who managed me through the process. Soooooo many choices! It was helpful to have a budget in mind and be aware of priorities for options as they all cost more green! I had no bell and whistle requirements for the dishwasher.....but thought having a microwave with 2 shelves was a swell upgrade. Then there is the fridge...gosh when I think about what I have been limping along with all these years. Who knew having a freezer on the bottom was such a luxury, not to mention actual lighting, frost control, clear shelves, and the ultimate treat, counter depth. Made my head spin. When all was said and done I was happy with my choices and on Friday the happy truck arrived with skilled worker bees who took the old stuff away and installed the new. That event took half a day but made me realize the true value in paying for take away and installation by the pros. . Now of course I have upset the apple cart, and the kitchen needs to be painted and a few other items need next homes, but all and all it was an upgrade well worth the effort. Next the bathroom....argghhhhhh.

The Ugly Truth

On Saturday, our feature article on Outlet Shopping was published . One of the interesting things about our work out in the community is how other businesses perceive our coverage.

The Macy's Outlet at Southcenter did not want the photographer to take any shots of the store, because they felt it wouldn't represent Macy's the way they want people to think of them.

Hmmm..... If that's the case, why go to market with an outlet? If your goal is to project a quality image, or high-end image, or whatever your stated idea is, shouldn't ALL of your activities reflect this goal? In other words, even if you have a outlet center, wouldn't you want to create the impression that it all fits within your messaging?

If it doesn't - why not?

Conversely, the Restoration Hardware Outlet did a great job of continuing their public message AND they were moving their overstocks, out-of-dates, etc. So, it can be done successfully, it just takes thought and effort.

Score one for Restoration Hardware.

It's a Girl Thing

Last summer we lived through a kitchen remodel, and now we are enjoying our new and improved life. The layout of the new kitchen has really improved the way we function and makes it a lot easier to accomplish simple daily tasks like making kid lunches and putting away the dishes.

Well, one of our drawers is dedicated to kid cups and plates. It's low to the ground and out of the way of the regular kitchen activity. It also has been causing some problems lately.

For some reason, kid dishes tend to multiply when no one is looking. Oh sure, it starts out innocently enough - keepsake cups from places like Red Robin are added to the collection on a semi-regular basis. Before you know it, the drawer is overflowing with lids, straws, plates and cups galore.


So, it came as no surprise to find that one of the larger cups decided to bail out of the drawer. But it fell BEHIND the drawer. Well that's an easy enough fix - pull the drawer off the glides, remove the offending cup (throw said cup away) and reinstall the drawer.

The problem with nifty new things, we learned, is that it is not always easy to put it all back together. Low tech drawers simply slide along the edge of the opening, fancy new drawers need to be connected to the super-smooth glides that keep one from ever slamming a drawer shut.

Didn't work.

Had to do SOMETHING! And the thought of asking for a service call for a silly thing like attaching a drawer seemed a bit excessive. After spending a good 15 minutes trying all sorts of connection approaches, I pulled deep from my reservoir of inner resources... Ah ha!

Two minutes later, mission accomplished. My tool of choice? My M-A-C powder compact, of course! It comes with a handy mirror which works for both bronzer application AND home improvement needs.

Once I placed the mirror on the ground, I could see exactly where the glide connection needed to be make under the drawer, and things were fixed in a jiffy.