Sunday, October 24, 2010

Creeper. (and I don't mean that thing you roll under a car with...)

I was sitting at my desk about to get some work done when I had this strange feeling that someone was looking over my shoulder... Rather than turning around, I used the PhotoBooth application on my imac to capture my stalker!  Lo and behold....

Out with the old... In with the pretty!

Sunday's Craft Project Mission: Make pretty cork boards for over my desk.

So it's old news that I got a roomie and had to condense my bedroom, guest room, cat room, and office into one.  What else was old?  The ugly bulletin boards I had.  Well, to be fair, they weren't ugly, but they were very far from pretty.  So here's what I did.

diy bulletin boards

$5 got me 4 square cork boards.

 I glue two together, just so it was thicker... I'd hate to be poking holes in the wall unnecessarily!

pretty bulletin boards

I picked a fun material (that doesn't so much match my room, but whatev.) and cut it into a square a bit bigger then the cork.  Hot glued the top, then flipped it over...

make your own bulletin boards

Wrapped it up like a christmas present, and then got to run amuck with the hot glue gun again.

Times two, and got this.

Yes, there's an app for that.  I used the droid to make sure the boards were level before I nailed them to the wall.

creative bulletin boards

The almost finished project... there's still one thing missing...
(And for those who might be curious, I was watching Demetri Martin's Comedy Central Show courtesy of Netflix!) 

Finished Product!  Ya gotta put the knick-knacks back on the boards!  
(And yes, that is Brian Regan on the imac!) 

Happy Sunday!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Move over Miley.

A dear friend and I have a coffee date about once a week.  This is not just any normal "Hey let's meet at starbucks and pay tons of money for coffee" coffee date.  This is a "Hey see you on gchat tomorrow morning before work!"  We both sit at our desks, in separate cities about 2 hours away from each other, sipping the coffee of our choice, tapping messages back and forth, courtesy of the lovely google chat.

This week, we discussed this:

Now, seriously... his facial expressions, awesome.  His cute and charming demeanor, terrific.  But they way he wiggles about when Miley sings "Moving my hips like Yeahhhhh," fabulous.  Happy Thursday everyone.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Virtual Sign Rider Example

Hey ya'll, please excuse this blog post.  I'm being lazy tonight (at 11:35pm) and instead of creating a sample blog to show my company what I was thinking when I proposed we have Virtual Sign Riders, I decided to just post a mock of it on here.  I apologize for my tardiness in posting something creative and witty... I will be back next week!  In the mean time... if you are still sticking around and reading, check this out, and if you really want, let me know what you think!

A Virtual Sign Rider:

This is one of my favorite ideas that would be absolutely priceless!  I was driving down the road last week when I noticed a 2-10 sign rider hanging on a “For Sale” sign in the front yard of a house, and I began thinking… These days agents are doing more than just put a sign in the front yard of a home and hope it sells.  They are online advertising it everywhere.  Most of them are now even creating specific websites for each property.  We need to offer “Virtual Sign Riders.” 

That is just the copy of our sign rider from our "Get the Edge" flier because it is all that I currently have, but we could have something like this (although more professional than my quick mock-up) that agents could paste into the webpages of homes offering a 2-10 HBW warranty.  Our Virtual Sign Rider can be inserted into their page through a simple HTML code.  When a visitor clicks on the image there can be a link to a page that explains home warranties and why it is being offered.  (The information that is in the "Why brochure" would be great information to put on this page.  It needs to be a page that is specifically targeted toward home buyers, not agents.  Because every warranty offered is different in each state or because of the selected option, it is much more simple to just have the launch site be something generic.  I wouldn't link it directly to the page.  By linking to a separate "Home Buyers" page first, you can track how much traffic you are actually receiving from the Virtual Sign Rider, rather than normal visits.  You could then include the link, or even have links to each state's warranty.

This could also be something we make available as just a button with the 2-10 logo on it.  Agents could put a 2-10 HBW button on their websites, or even their facebook pages.  We have been asking agents to link to us on their sites, this would be a way that stands out more than them just saying "Preferred Vendors: 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty"  

The directions and HTML code could be made available through our agent portal as another tool for agents to use.

Again, I'm going to stress, they stick them in the ground in front of the house, why wouldn't they put them on their listing pages?!  This is a great way to increase our traffic and make our logo more visible. Plus, if homeowners are frequently seeing our Virtual Sign Rider on a bunch of listing webpages, who do you think they will pick when it comes time to decide on a warranty?  Recognition is EVERYTHING!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Row, Row, Row your... curtains?

YEARS ago (I capitalized years because it was many more than 3)... anyway YEARS ago I inherited my grandfathers row boat oars.  This man used to spend his free time out rowing around the Albemarle Sound fishing and crabbing and protecting me from the vicious geese that seemed to take a liking to me.  When he passed away, wow, over 10 years ago, I believe his oars were sent to my family's cottage, and sat there collecting dust.  About four years ago I asked my mom if I could have them, honestly not sure why I wanted them.  The oars came to my new house and sat on my back deck for three and a half years, not only collecting dust but tons of spiderwebs!

This past month I came home from visiting a friend in Richmond and felt inspired after seeing her super cute house.  I had gotten lazy with my projects and crafts.  After spending some time in her well decorated, totally crafty, Martha-Stewart-Would-Be-Impressed home, I felt like I needed to do something!

I walked out on my deck and saw the oars sitting in the corner.  I sanded them down but left them a bit rugged.  I found some random shelf hooks at ikea to hang the oars.  But I decided they needed more of a purpose than just hanging over a door... they were going to become curtain rods!  I went to the material store and bought some inexpensive burlap and some rope.  I'm no sewer, which I'm not proud of, so I had the lady cut them the length I thought I needed.  Instead of sewing the top of the curtains, I just cut holes for the rope to be the "curtain hooks."  It's supposed to look rustic, so who cares if there are holes and rope holding the curtains up?!

Next, I added a little flair.  The whole project looked nice, but it still needed something.  The wacky ikea shelving system had a hole, where you were supposed to nail the shelf to the shelf holder.  I decided to add some starfish and buttons to it!

I took photos of the entire process, which I think my macbok ate.  I will keep looking for the photos, but in the mean time you can take a look at the finished product.  Let me know what you think!  I'm sure my grandfather would be laughing, knowing that his rowboat oars are now curtain rods! :-)

diy burlap curtains with creative rods

oars as curtain rods with burlap curtains

Saturday, October 9, 2010

I totally wear hats.

So these past couple weeks I have been working on "Project: Getting a roommate." Finding the roommate was the simple part. One of my oldest friends in the world moved into my guest room last weekend. The toughest part of the project was getting the house cleaned and orderly before she got here! My house is kind of like a "Suz Museum" where everything is linked to some kind of memory. I may seem like a total knick-knacker but a lot of this junk has some kind of sentimental value. One thing I discovered as I tried to clean out my bedroom was that I have a lot of hats! (Honestly, this was no surprise at all, but when I took them all off the hat rack to decide which to keep and which to toss I realized just how many hats I actually have!)

With my love for hats, of course I love the latest Target commercial. Check it out:

And in response to the commercial, and to my cleaning and procrastinating and organizing:

I totally wear hats.

Monday, October 4, 2010

This is how I said Thank You.

In the midst of our monsoon last week, in between wearing my rain boots and building an ark, my kitchen sprung a leak.  I was boiling eggs when I noticed Rockie, my boy cat, staring at the ceiling.  At first glance it wasn't a big deal, and then I noticed a three foot stain stretching across the ceiling near my bay windows.  The water that was dripping from the ceiling was coming from a hook that was holding a cute pottery barn lantern.  When I removed the hook and lantern the drip quickly became Niagara Falls.  It filled up a couple bowls and a huge spaghetti pot with water!

At this point I had no clue what to do.  My dad was in North Carolina, my mom was on the other side of Chesapeake (which was a good ocean away!), and I was all alone.  I ran next door and rang my neighbor's doorbell.  This man is the nicest man ever.  In the middle of the storm he comes out and puts a tarp over my roof.  I helped him tie it down and secure it in the crazy 45mph wind gusts.  But we both were completely drenched!

In hopes of making up for all his generosity I decided to make him and his family a delicious chicken chili dinner.   This isn't just any chicken chili, this is my famous, award winning chili.  I am so thankful to have such wonderful neighbors.  Being a single girl and having more cooking and crafting skills than home improvement skills, it's comforting to know that people are still nice enough to help each other out. 

"Count the Really Good Blessings Twice"
Cookies for their little girls!
My chili tastes better than it looks!

Let's go with the title...

It's 12:30 AM.  I went to bed about an hour ago, but haven't been able to sleep, so I decided to write.

With a lack of topics, let's go with the title of this blog... two cats and chloe!  My little family has an issue... one that has been plaguing us for well over a year now.  It's a topic of conversation that makes people cringe, and I honestly think there is a social stigma that causes people to judge my household.

We have fleas.  This is not something I'm proud of.  And it's not something that I'm happy about.  It's also not something that I willingly go around telling folks, HOWEVER, I'm desperate to get rid of these horrible, blood sucking, parasites that have taken up residence on my pets and in my home.  These quick little [insert obscenity of choice here, because when it's just me and the fleas I call them something that is definitely R rated!] Anyway- these quick little [bugs] have moved in, and do not plan on leaving any time soon.

I've tried flea treatments: All of the animals are currently being treated with Frontline.  The cats have been sprayed with a magic flea spray.  There was the night that my mom and I decided to bath the cats with Dawn dish soap. (Let me just briefly tell you that it ended in projectile kitty cat butt juices.  It was awful!)  The house was bombed.  And then the house was sprayed.  I have vacuumed and vacuumed and vacuumed again.

None of this has worked.

The cats are indoor cats.  Chloe must bring them into the house.

I'm about to wave the white flag and let the flea circus begin.  Maybe I can charge people to come in a see the show... then we'd cash out on a flea market!  But [lame] jokes aside, I'm sick and tired of these bugs.  And I just got a roommate two days ago.  It's totally not fair for her to live in such nonsense and buggy filth!

So I'm writing in hopes that one day a reader will find this blog, leave a comment, and fill me in on the top-secret secret of how to kick the fleas out of the house!  Please- help a girl (and her pets) (and her roommate) out!