Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Luxury Laundry Room

Now that I've finally received the fashionable washer and dryer I've been pining after, I can complete my plans for our laundry room.  I had been thinking about fixing up this room for a while, since "designer laundry rooms" have come into vogue (drool) in the world of home decorating, and because it is a relatively small, easy, and affordable room (appliances aside) to tackle.

Here is a little visual wish list I put together:

  1. A vintage Lux laundry detergent poster is a fun laundry-themed art choice, which also bears the bonus of my family name.
  2. I've been wanting one of these rolling library stools forever.  They are super sturdy and better than those folding styles in my opinion. I love the classic retro design, and remember these being at the public library when I was a child... ah nostalgia!  They come in red, but because it lacks the same car paint sheen as my washer/dryer, I think I'd pick the stainless steel instead.
  3. I absolutely NEED this wall shelf/cubby/coat rack.  Perfect for hanging coats, purses, and dog leashes, which typically pile up on our built in kitchen desk area.  Our laundry room is located between our garage and kitchen, so it also serves as our back entryway.  I originally was wanting this, but I don't think our laundry room is wide enough for it.  This is also a cute option, but we don't really need it, as I already have an accordion drying rack mounted over our utility sink (for drip purposes).  It also only comes in white, not that you couldn't paint it.
  4. New red laundry baskets.  These have proved difficult to locate, the ones in the photo were sold out and from a UK retailer.  I guess I'll have to check the 99 Cents Stores.
  5. I want some of these candy store style jars to put on the shelf or in the cubbies and fill with dog treats.  The laundry room is also the dogs dining room, where we keep their place mats, water bowls and food dishes on the floor.
One of the ideas that are swimming around in my head are making two of these DIY clothespin chandeliers.  We have two recessed canned lights in out laundry room, but I did determine that we would have to move the location of them out slightly, as they are currently in the path of opening cupboard doors should we hang chandeliers.  Another thought is getting some of these to fill with HE powder detergent and a scoop.  I love the look, but I'm not entirely sure it would be practical really.  There really is no need for any of the supplies to be kept out.  Our laundry room has tons of storage, one wall with floor to ceiling cabinets, a pantry of sorts which house supplies from Costco, and seasonal decorating crap, like all my various vases and apothecary jars when I'm not using them.  There is also built in drop down ironing board on one wall.  Then there is upper cabinets across the wall with the utility sink and the washer/dryer, as well as a cupboard below the utility sink.  It's actually nice to have all that hidden storage, but not when you want to display some of the items stylishly.  Perhaps I could remove the doors off the center cabinet, or put glass doors on it to display the laundry soap.  Lastly we have a Sparkletts water cooler in there, and though I previously passed on the stainless steel stand for a few dollars more a month, with our new appliances I'm considering the frivolous stylish upgrade!

Christmas came early!

Today our gorgeous new LG front loading Wild Cherry Red washer and dryers were delivered!!  My Christmas present from Aron!  I will never complain about doing laundry again!!

We got a killer deal on these, but not without a lot of effort.  I had almost resigned myself to not getting them, but after writing this letter to the Home Depot (which fully explains the obstacle) the problem was resolved.

To whom it may concern

     I am taking the time to write this letter to express my extreme dissatisfaction with your company and the poor customer service I received on the dates of  Monday November 28th 2011 and Tuesday November 29th 2011 at the Home Depot store located at 2745 Teller Road in Thousand Oaks, California.
     On the afternoon of Monday the 28th I went to your store with the intention of purchasing a new kitchen sink, faucet, garbage disposal, and washer/dryer.  The LG Electronics Front load washer (item #WM2350HRC) and dryer (item #WM2550HRCA) in Wild Cherry Red were on sale for the price of $549.00 each, that being the final day.  After returning home to get my husband's assistance and checking the owner verified listing on google for store hours (listed as 6am-10pm), I drove over 25 miles from my home with my husband to purchase the appliances in-store before the sale price was revoked.  I arrived at 9 pm to find that the listed store hours were incorrect and the store had closed.
     The following day I returned to this location for a third time, hoping that the store might make an exception and honor the sale price, as I had arrived after store hours only due to negligence on Home Depot's part in updating the online information of the owner verified listing.  When I arrived in the appliance department, the price was no longer sale, and back to original retail.  I enlisted the help of the employee in the department explaining my situation and inquiring if anything could be done, and was rudely told that nothing could be done without any inquiry to management at my request.  I then left to check with customer service to see if I could speak with a manager.  As I was leaving the employee made a sarcastic remark to her co-worker regarding the interaction.
     When I arrived at customer service I again explained the situation and was able to show the woman helping a photo I had taken on my phone of the washer/dryer combo with the sale offers the night before, and the internet listing with the incorrect store hours.  She then told me that she could get us the price, and seemed helpful at first, but after it became crowded at customer service she suddenly became impatient with us.  She got off the phone with the manager and told us it was out of stock (even though the models were still on the floor and being offered at the regular price again) and there was nothing she could do.  I asked to speak with the manager and she got on the phone and told him to come up there and deal with this because "we were starting to irritate her." 
     The manager then arrived to help us with a sigh.  He also said that nothing could be done and the item was out of stock, and that they were discontinuing that model.  I then asked if they were out of stock and discontinuing it, then why was the model still on display and offered again at the original price, which he did not have an explanation for.  I then inquired if we could purchase the floor model, which seemed a reasonable and logical request being that they were not restocking the model, to which he contradicted his earlier statement, telling me wasn't entirely sure whether or not the item was being discontinued and no he could not do that.
     While I am frustrated at my wasted time, effort, and gas and while I am disappointed at Home Depot's inability to honor a the customer, the worst offense was be treated so poorly by multiple employees adding insult to injury.  I was treated not as a valued customer, but an inconvenience.
     Because the (non)service I received from the beginning to end of my shopping experience goes completely against several of Home Depot Inc.'s core values (listed below for your reference.)  

4. Excellent customer service:
Along with our quality products, service, price and selection, we must go the extra mile to give customers knowledgeable advice about merchandise and to help them use those products to their maximum benefit.

5. Building strong relationships:
Strong relationships are built on trust, honesty and integrity. We listen and respond to the needs of customers, associates, communities and vendors, treating them as partners
     I would appreciate if Home Depot would take this opportunity to redeem themselves as a reputable company that actually practices the values they claim to have, by crediting this letter with a response.  
Sarah Marderosian

Within 2 days I received a call from the Home Depot offering us the washer and dryer at the Black Friday advertised price, along with excellent customer service in which they allowed us to pay for and finalize the deal over the phone, instead of having to return to the store a fourth time.  The corporate office even followed up with a phone call to make sure the outcome was to my satisfaction.  I was only expecting a lame apology and paltry gift card at most, so I was more than thrilled with the company's response, and it certainly improved their standing with me.  It really pays to take the time to write a letter when you experience a situation like this, as I think very few people bother with such things nowadays.   I believe most companies are likely to set things straight when you do.  In the least, it will make you feel better and help you get out any anger and frustration.

It also should not go without mentioning that this washer and dryer was one of the few material things I had put on my manifestation board (portion pictured below).  I honestly think this is one of the key reasons they manifested, despite the many obstacles up until receiving them, a real testament to the power of positive thinking, setting goals, and manifesting things in your life.  I plan on doing a separate post on this topic soon, as I think it is appropriate timing with the new year approaching.

Ordinarily, I may not have chosen the red pair, but only the red and the white were offered at the super sale price.  They do look fabulous with our brick red walls and red spanish tile in the laundry room so I think it was a good choice (I never would have chosen white anyways, but perhaps chrome if it was available).  If we ever move, I'll just paint our new laundry room red.  Anyways, I couldn't be happier.  Yay for shiny new appliances!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Vegan Snickers

What you'll need:

  • medjool dates
  • natural peanut butter
  • carob chips
  • raw agave nectar or honey
  • shredded coconut


1. Pit all the medjool dates.  You may need a knife for this, and it's ok to stretch the openings a bit as the dates are sticky and moldable, so you can squeeze them back to being nearly closed at the ends after stuffing.

2.  Stuff each date with a dab of the peanut butter (I prefer Smart Balance because it is creamy, but note that it has more than just peanuts and salt, they have also added natural non-hydrogenated oils for the smooth consistancy and evaporated cane juice and molasses for sweetening) and several carob chips each.

3.  Take 2 plates and squeeze the agave nectar on one, and spread some coconut on the other.  Then roll each date in the agave nectar first then the coconut.

4. Place the finished dates in a tupperware container and freeze.

5. Enjoy out of the freezer.

I was relayed this recipe from one of my spin teachers who eats a strict vegan diet.  While a fun size Snickers has 72 calories, these have about 125 each, however this is a natural alternative the processed candy bars.  They really do mimic a candy bar flavor and texture and I find them quite delicious!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween is over, you can take off your mask now.

Best Halloween season ever:

  • Went to Knotts Scary Farm with my best friends
  • OD'd on horror movies
  • Read Stephen King's Firestarter and Cujo
  • Trick or Treated at Disneyland
  • Created another awesome costume
  • Attended Spike TV's Scream Awards and After Party at Universal Studios
  • Wore 2 different costumes on three occasions
  • Threw a Party
  • Reveled in all the good television (Dexter, American Horror Story, The Walking Dead)
  • Completed multiple Halloween DIY Projects
  • Consumed excessive amounts of pizza, candy, and alcohol

Me as a kangaroo (or Pikachu according to most children).

My friend (Minnie) Anne's brick.

Space Mountain Ghost Galaxy

My Halloween Costume

Cute shoes I'll probably wear all year.

Perfect hair and professional makeup for Scream.

My 0.5 seconds of fame.

Time to pack it up and get out the tree.

Hope you all had a Happy Halloween and thanks to my new readers for following me!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Deck the Halls

I make a terrible blogger because I'm so bad at documentation.  I always get so caught up in the moment I forget to take photos.  I like to say I live in the moment, not in the memory.  So besides my friend and I forgetting to take photos of each other in our costumes before the Scream Awards (there was no phones or cameras allowed inside, and only later did we realize how many people totally disregarded this rule, as should have we)  I also completely forgot to take any photos of my lovely spread at my annual Scary Movie party.  So before this Halloween Month is over I thought I should at least share some of the decor I've put out this season.

These terra cotta ceramic pumpkins go great with our mexican tiles on the porch.

I always like to break out any Halloween related books for the coffee table.  There's a black owl hiding in the cage, which is actually a votive holder I found at Target in the candle section, not marketed as a Halloween item.  The "urn" is an antique vase.

This candle holder from Pier 1 is also not an actual Halloween decoration, but with some black crows it transforms into one.  My dog Domino must have seen a ghost!

This is "Lumpy" which I acquired at Knotts Halloween Haunt this year, and little Michael Myers which I purchased at Rob Zombie's Halloween Town in Burbank.  I also had gotten a little Jason which was given away as one of my party prizes.

And "Mrs. Slim Goodbody" was a gift several years ago from a dear friend.

A severed hand from my Halloween costume has served many purposes this year from smuggling snacks and liquor, to holding a bar of soap in the bathroom.

Some of the blood jar votives I posted about previously.

My dining table looks like Halloween barfed on it.  It's kind of hard t make this room look spooky because it's so light and full of warm wood.

I found the skeleton lights in the dollar section of Target, which turned my Halloween tree into a lamp.

I love these ornaments that are reminiscent of the characters in Tim Burtons Nightmare Before Christmas.  They sell them at Pier 1 and I always pick up a few new ones when they go on sale after Halloween.  Speaking of Tim Burton, tomorrow is the last day to see his exhibit at LACMA in Los Angeles, so if you have the chance do go!  It was everything I dreamed of and more, Tim Burton is such a visonary!

A somewhat failed attempt at photographing the illuminated votive jars.

Here's kind of the aftermath of part of my party spread.

I had a great bar setup too, but alas I did not capture it.  I can't believe I'm going to have to tear this all down the day after tomorrow.  I have a few more Halloween posts coming though.  I plan to dress up tomorrow (AND TAKE PICTURES!!) even though I have absolutely nothing planned.  I wish we got trick or treaters, but we don't.  Our street is way to dark and all the kiddies here go to Malibu West.

Happy Halloween everybody!!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Green Halloween: New Uses for Old Things

I've been washing and saving jars instead of recycling them because of this great idea for halloween votive holders I got from Creepy Cupcakes.  I made about ten this year and I want to keep making them in various sizes for future years, because they look great in cluttered groupings, on windowsills or lighting entry paths and porch steps.  With the flameless candles you can do so without the worry of burning down your home.  Costco has a great set of remote control operated ones I've been smitten with this Halloween season, as it makes it so easy to turn them all off before retiring to bed.

They look amazing and grimy when flickering in the dark, though I wasn't able to photograph them well to show this.  The look is very reminiscent of something you'd find in the kitchen of the the farm house in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre or the basement in American Horror Story.  You can add body parts, bugs, or even nails inside along with the candles to up the creepy factor.

Another item I've been hoarding is the plastic zippered bags that linens come in. Of course these are a bit harder to come by, unless you are one to redecorate your bedrooms frequently, so I've asked for friends and family to save these for me.  These nifty little storage bags work great for me to package my homemade Halloween costumes each year.  I can keep everything together and ready to go, should I wear it again, or loan it to a friend in need.  I spend so much time on my costumes, it makes sense to preserve them this way for future wear, or even archival purposes.  The clear card slots are perfect for sliding in a photo of you in the costume, and the end result is just like a costume shop product for purchase, only better.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Bloody Cracked Nail Manicure

I will be wearing the syringe gloves as part of my costume, so I suppose it doesn't matter what my nails look like.  But I'm a stickler for details, therefore had to give myself a special matching manicure.

I've played around with the new Sally Hansen Crackle polish before, and while I'm not crazy about it for everyday, I think it makes great monster nails.  The white over red gives a really nice bloody cracked effect.  I've also thought black crackle polish paired over one of those army green shades would make great zombie (or witch) nails. 

For this manicure I used 2 coats of Essie Fishnet Stocking (my bridal shade), followed by one coat of the Sally Hansens Crackle overcoat in white.  You have to work fast with the crackle, and try to get it not too thin, nor thick.  The end result is to die for! 

Happy Halloween!!!

Blood Splatter Application: Costume Sneak Peak Part II

So yesterday I went about applying blood to my costume.  I tried several different techniques, flinging drops and splatters from the paint brush, pouring large pools of blood, making drips, and wiping my bloodied glove as if someone (or something) was clawing at the garments.  I used Spirit Halloweens Blood Bath theatrical blood.  It had a nice thick dark realistic consistency that got lighter as it spread much like real blood.  The downside is that after drying the blood looks matte and not as deep red and lovely as in the photos (almost more burgundy), which has been a problem in the past with other dyes and food colorings as well.  I'm thinking maybe if I paint over it with glossy Mode Podge, I can get back some of the wet look to it.  I'll have to pick some up tomorrow.

I'm feeling a little defeated still about the contact debacle, because I have done so much advanced planning, and yet everything is not going as planned.  I looked into getting contacts at a local location, but I would still have to wait 5 days to get them after a fitting, so it's too late.  I'm sure once I get my makeup done I won't even miss the contacts.  The artists at the Mac Hollywood and Highland store are brilliant.  

Still I've been second guessing my blood splatter and wish I could start over.  I feel like I got a little overzealous in some places, but is that even possible when talking about bloodied garments?  I think I'm just being a bit morose.

And I always thought I had blue eyes!

So I ordered my halloween contacts over a month ago, but didn't bother trying them out until tonight and was sorely disappointed.  The color is called "zombie grey"and I was expecting something like this:

But here is a before and after of me wearing the contacts:

Can you tell the difference?  My husband didn't even know I had them in!  I don't know what to do now, as I don't have enough time to order a new pair and get them before Saturday.  I don't think I'll wear these though, it seems like a lot of trouble wearing uncomfortable contacts for so little drama.  I looked in my email for my order information, but it was deleted long ago, and I can't remember which online store I got them from to complain.  They probably would have made me blind anyways so maybe I'm better off not wearing them.

Halloween Bootlegging

Or "bootlimbing" or "How to Smuggle Booze Into an Awards Show"

Step One: Make incision.

Step Two: pull out innards, hollowing out a section of the limb.

Step Three: Choose your poison

Step Four: Fill the void.

Step Five: Dress the wound.

Step Six: transport in inconspicuously clear bag.

Happy Halloween!!!  18 days and counting!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Scream 2011 Costume Sneak Peek

So I know I was off to a great start with the Halloween themed blogging, then I kind of dropped off and I apologize.  I've just had so much going on.  We adopted a new dog, then there was Mickeys Halloween Party (so much fun), afterwards I caught a cold, I've been loaded down with work, and I've had a lot of horror themed television watching to do.  Obviously I have several posts to catch up on.

The other endeavor that has been eating up my time is finishing up my costume for the Scream Awards on Saturday.  I've gotten casted seats and here is a description of my original costume:

"A deceptive siren posing as an angel of mercy, offering the afflicted an end to their pain and suffering, who is really an agent of satan, harvesting souls for hell."

I've completed all of the sewing and construction, have my contacts and my makeup appointment booked, and most of my accessories.  This is all I have left to be completely ready:

  • blood splatter garments
  • get contact solution and eye drops/test out contacts (to see if I can even stand having them in)
  • buy tights
  • test hair style
So anyways, without further ado, here is a sneak peek of my Freddy-meets-Evil-Nurse gloves:

I was really pleased with the way these turned out.  They have really great movement and look extra creepy and sinister which is exactly what I was going for.

The Scream Awards premier on Spike TV on October 18th.  Vote for your favorites here.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

To Die For: Skeletal fashion you WOULD be caught dead in

Let's face it, skulls and bones are never going to go away in fashion.  As a designer I've actually gotten very sick of the skull/skeleton/ribcage icon, as the more popular it's become, the pieces have become, generic, ugly, and down right tacky.  However there are still some beautiful ways to wear bones without looking like an Affliction/Ed Hardy fashion victim or a death obsessed teenager.

DSQUARED2 Fall 2010

DSQUARED2 Fall 2010

I love love love DSQUARED2's Fall 2010 collection.  I actually managed to get my hands on the glitter booties in silver, but unfortunately they were too large and I was unable to obtain the correct size.  Woe is me.  The spinal heel is even more macabre!

Sakadit Road skeleton bracelet

This Sakadit Road skeleton bracelet is gorgeous!

Rodarte for Target 2009 sequin skeleton dress

I loved Rodarte's Target collection, and this was one of the three dresses I had to have.  Because of the price point the ribs are screened on the sequins and the back is plain fabric, but it is still a great cheap dress.

Vivienne Westwood skeleton earrings

Delphina Delettrez special order skeleton hand bracelet

Low Luv X Erin Wasson bone cross necklace

Givenchy bones leather cuff

I would love to own any of this jewelry, but the Delphina Delettrez skeleton hand bracelet is definitely the statement piece.

And I would KILL for this  Alexander McQueen feather-fringe skull box clutch.  Wouldn't you?