Wednesday, January 28, 2015

10 Home Decor Tips to Sell Your Home

Mike offers ten tips to make it easier to sell your house on FabNest.

If you hired a home stager or an interior designer, what 10 Home Decor Tips to Sell Your Home would they suggest? What can you do to make your home stand out? Before you actually put your home up for sale, go to some open houses in your neighborhood. I suspect, after just a few visits to homes on the market, you’ll have some answers to your question.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Food & Wine America's Best Doughnuts

Voodoo Doughnut; Portland, OR

The brainchild of two local Portlandia types, this cult doughnut shop specializes in wacky flavors and unexpected toppings—from Froot Loops to bubble-gum dust. Its namesake doughnut is a chocolate-frosted yeast variety that's shaped like a voodoo doll, filled with raspberry jam and stabbed with a pretzel stake.

How to Care for Your Mattress and Foundation

Your bed is likely the piece of furniture on which you spend the most time during a given week. Even if you only get an average of six hours of sleep per night, that still means you spend more time on your bed than working at a full-time job. Keeping that in mind, it should be clear why it’s so important to take good care of both your mattress and the box spring or bed frame.

Read on to get some easy-to-follow pointers.

Go By Instructions Provided by a Retailer or Manufacturer

You’re about to learn things that will apply to most mattresses and support structures regardless of brand. However, if you’re provided with special instructions when you purchase a mattress, those should take priority, especially if you’ve bought a variety that is made from a certain type of fabric or one that has a specific type of springs or foam inside.

Lightly Clean Your Bed Frame Every Month

No matter if your bed’s foundation is made of metal or wood, get into the habit of wiping dust off it every month. Not only should that be helpful if someone sleeping on it is prone to allergies, but dust and other residue can permanently tarnish the foundation if they stay on the surface for too long.

Simply take a damp cloth and wipe every part of the foundation’s surface you can reach. After you’ve done that, dry it thoroughly. Excess moisture can cause a metal frame to rust, and a wood frame to get warped.

When you make time and effort to maintain your bed frame, it can hold up well through years of use.

Turn and Flip Your Mattress

This tip is easily one that requires at least one other person to help you, but it’s important to rotate and flip your mattress regularly so it’ll wear evenly. We like to rotate from head to toe every 6 months and flip the mattress once a year.

Freshen Your Mattress

You should freshen your mattress at least once a year. Even if you wash your sheets regularly your mattress can become a bit stale over time. Mix a cup of baking soda with a few drops of lemon essential oil. Then put it in a sifter to sprinkle on the mattress’ surface. After about an hour, vacuum the baking soda up.

Cover Your Mattress

From dust mites to messy mishaps, it’s important to correctly protect your mattress by using a waterproof mattress protector. On top of the mattress cover you can use a comfy pad or topper so it doesn’t feel like you are sleeping on vinyl.

Avoid Eating and Drinking in Bed

Breakfast in bed is a nice treat every once in a while, and sometimes it’s necessary for people who are sick or injured, but in general, don’t become too comfortable with the idea of eating or drinking when you’re in bed.

Liquids are especially dangerous because they can quickly sink down into the fibers and become impossible to remove. Also, if you eat something that has a very strong aroma when you’re in bed, that odor can bind to the fabric and be very bothersome to sleepers with sensitive noses. If you need to spot-clean your mattress, do so with a mild upholstery shampoo, warm water and a sponge, then let the area air dry.

Don’t forget to air your pillows and wash your pillow covers monthly! Hopefully these sensible and easy care tips will help you rest easier at night knowing you’re being proactive about maintaining your mattress and its framework.

BIO: James works in construction and blogs in his free time at Homey Improvements. He also enjoys hiking, photography, and buying new gadgets. Follow him on Twitter @DIYfolks.

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Design Trends for 2015 Part 2

From GulfNews comes Design Diary: Interior trends for 2015 from Dubai-based interior designer Pratyush Sarup. He lets us in on the world of interior design and advises "Live in style."

Colour is BIG
“No more beiges and browns,” says Nada Debs, the leading lady of Middle Eastern interior design as she lays down the colour charts. The links between fashion and interiors cannot be felt any strong than through colour and patterns. Pantone, the leader in colour trends has already pin-pointed the hottest colour for 2015 — the deep Marsala. Not surprisingly, the colour — very visible in blocks and print, across the red carpets of late 2014 — now seeps, as is customary, into interiors. Be bold and swathe an accent wall in this decadent shade or nod to the trend with statement furniture upholstered in the colour of the year. Accessories in metallic hues are sure to add depth to the colour, however you choose to play with it. According to Bullard, bursts of green will punctuate the rich wine colour for added drama. (This the first time I've read that Marsala is a "decadent shade."

Live openly
“In recent years, people have taken the idea of open-plan living to heart and this trend will continue to inform home renovators and designers” says Kelly Hoppen OBE . Homes as we knew them — built with lots of separate rooms that all had a specific purpose — have slowly given way to open-plan spaces. The shift that started with the open-plan kitchen is ideal for people who do not have much space to work. It has now become very fashionable to combine people’s living rooms and work spaces, getting rid of their studies altogether. Not a particular fan of fickle trends, Hoppen has particular affinity for this one as it genuinely changes how we perceive and enjoy spaces.

Light it up
“Focus on lighting design is becoming a very important aspect of the entire design language,” says Debs. Rightly so, for it’s usually illumination that has the power to make any space look warm or cold. Investing in motion-detecting LED lights and recessed LED strip lights would be a good place to start but a big lighting industry trend is to marry industrial materials with crafts and modern technology in a minimalistic manner. Luxe lighting companies like Preciosa and Lasvit are employing cutting edge LED technology to breathe life into their hand-crafted artisan glass chandeliers. Beirut based lighting company PSLAB has refined metal forging to create stunning, minimal light pieces.

The ‘70s
“I see a strong revival of the 1970s and 80s aesthetic,” says Hollywood designer Martyn Lawrence Bullard. True to the era, lounging styles of that time are re-interpreted with deep upholstery in organic shapes, marble tables in geometric shapes. This trend also marks the return of brass, tin and metal as the go-to material for everything from bathroom fixtures to coffee tables, chandeliers, decorative accessories and even cutlery. Texture will be key to this revivalist trend and will be seen on everything from fabrics to rugs and wallpaper. The humble embossed tin tiles get an all-star make-over as the material of choice to clad walls, ceilings even flat surfaced furniture like bed head-boards. For a more subtle approach invest in fabric-backed wallpaper that echoes texture from nature such as silk and limestone.

Traditions revisited
“We will see traditional handicrafts reinvented in a modern, minimalist fashion,” says Debs, herself a strong voice for the movement. For 2015, expect to see traditional patterns, designs and even construction techniques updated. Not only does this trend revive flagging crafts, it gives the craftsmen recognition and incentive to continue on their path that the industrial revolution all but eroded. Bold features in crafts from the world over, will receive a refined flourish thanks to new-age detailing. Applied in a simplified, modern manner, regional design vocabularies will find universal appeal.

Understated Luxury
“I feel this New Year is bringing along a strong desire for authenticity,” emphasises the Paris design darling Stéphanie Coutas . With the upward looking stock markets, our love for luxury finishes is back but in a more sombre fashion. High gloss and crystal-decked surfaces are now matte. Instead of an entire piece making a bold statement, its noble materials such as brass, silver and mother of pearl in harmony with mass-produced man-made materials such as concrete and acrylic that are making a luxe statement. It’s now the finishing touches — the handles, the knobs, the trims and tiles — where you will find that luxurious flourish. The real worthy of luxury has moved from ostentatious, expensive labels to respect for craftsmanship and original pieces.

Pratyush Sarup edits the design site You can follow the site on twitter @DesignCarrot.

Design Trends For 2015 Part 1

The Texas magazine Design made Simple starts the New Year with some ideas.

Beautiful indigo blue is making a splash in home décor and works with many different design styles. Much of the color inspiration for 2015 is drawn from nature making designs feel comfortable and natural.

Look for a more relaxed outlook in carpets and area rugs with distressed and striated patterns. Hardwoods are getting more relaxed too with reclaimed looks. For vinyl, styles that look like wood are popular for 2015.

In cabinetry, convenience is the name of the game for 2015. Clever and functional tools make busy lives a little bit easier. There are also more open concept cabinets and shelving available that show off beautiful dishes and accessories.

Beauty and function combine in 2015’s lighting trends. Outdoor lighting that accents architectural features is becoming more and more popular and will help highlight the beauty of a home’s exterior well into the night.

Monday, December 22, 2014

How To Choose An Electrical Contractor

Here's another "How to..." article from RenovatingNYC. The first was Why You Should Hire A Licensed Contractor on the importance of hiring a licensed professional. 

It’s tempting to let cost dictate your decision making but you might find that a contractor with a low estimate relative to other bidders may be unlicensed or uninsured. 

What are the first steps when choosing an electrical contractor? It’s important to determine your needs, verify potential bidders, and choose someone you can trust and feel will do the job well. It can feel a little overwhelming, but performing thorough due diligence is critical in all project hiring.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Mike Blogs on FabNest: 15 Ways to Decorate Your Home for the Holidays

Today is the week before Christmas, which means if you haven’t decorated your home for the holidays, you are running out of time. We are here to help with some simple, last minute ways to make your home friendly to Santa Claus.

Continue reading on FabNest...

Thursday, December 18, 2014

The 5 Hottest Home Design Trends For 2015

Business Insider's Elena Holodny tells us to expect these to be The 5 Hottest Home Design Trends For 2015:
  1. Gold Fixtures - "In 2015, homeowners will no longer be limited to silver or stainless steel fixtures, and will feel free to mix and max finish colors, or go bold with all gold," according to the Zillow Digs report.
  2. Cowhide - Without a doubt, there is nothing more "sophisticated" than the cowhide rug.
  3. Wallpaper - "Wallpaper is coming back in a big way," says Zillow Digs designer Jamie Beckwith of Beckwith Interiors.
  4. Blue Accent Colors - Blue will be the most popular accent color for interior decorating, and — believe it or not — it also happens to be the perfect complement to Marsala, the 2015 Pantone Color of the Year, according to the Zillow Digs designers.
  5. Modern/Mid-century Modern elements. - Last but not least, a throwback to modern design elements of the 1950s through the 1970s. So that couch you saw on that 1970s family-style sitcom is officially trendy today. 

100% Cowhide Rugs

Home Accents Today reveals that Zuo Modern will introduce 100% cowhide rugs in seven dramatic, geometric patterns. The rugs, from the Pure Collection, will be on display in Zuo’s Atlanta and Las Vegas showrooms.
From the line, the Nevada rug showcases a square patchwork pattern in contrasting colors ranging from dark coffee to a bunt caramel into creamy beige with a warm white center. The Alaska rug has slim, rectangular mosaic tile designs with variations from dark espresso to soft black to a burnt sienna and warm gray center. The Utah rug incorporates a classic parquet pattern with white, vanilla and peach colors mixed with espresso, chocolate and bronze.
All rugs are available in the standard 5x8 size.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Pantone Reveals Color of the Year for 2015: PANTONE 18-1438 Marsala

Pantone, an X-Rite company and the global color authority, today announced PANTONE® 18-1438 Marsala, a naturally robust and earthy wine red, as the Color of the Year for 2015.

"While PANTONE 18-3224 Radiant Orchid, the captivating 2014 color of the year, encouraged creativity and innovation, Marsala enriches our mind, body and soul, exuding confidence and stability," said Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute®.

"Much like the fortified wine that gives Marsala its name, this tasteful hue embodies the satisfying richness of a fulfilling meal, while its grounding red-brown roots emanate a sophisticated, natural earthiness. This hearty, yet stylish tone is universally appealing and translates easily to fashion, beauty, industrial design, home furnishings and interiors."

Marsala for Fashion

Marsala was a hit on the Spring 2015 runways with fashion designers featured in thePANTONE Fashion Color Report Spring 2015; Daniel Silverstain, Hervé Léger by Max Azria and Dennis Basso incorporated the hue into their collections. The impactful, full-bodied qualities of Marsala make for an elegant statement color when the color is used on its own or as a compelling accent when paired with many other colors.

With the ever-growing popularity of floral prints and striping, variations of this hue will undoubtedly carry into men’s and women’s clothing throughout next year. Marsala is also a popular choice for jewelry and fashion accessories, including handbags, hats, footwear and the burgeoning market of wearable technology.
This highly varietal shade combines dramatically with neutrals, including warmer taupes and grays. Because of its burnished undertones, sultry Marsala is highly compatible with amber, umber and golden yellows, greens in both turquoise and teal, and blues in the more vibrant range.

Marsala for Beauty

An incredibly versatile color for beauty, Marsala is an appealing and sophisticated shade that’s flattering against many skin tones.

Marsala pairs exquisitely with monochromatic mixes of peachy pinks, and sparkles against antiqued gold metallics, offering an assortment of lipstick and blush options. Marsala illuminates a range of smoky-neutral color combinations, making it a captivating eye shadow color that can be worn from morning until night. Add an overlay of bronze for a dramatic look that suits any eye color, or use Marsala as a go-to finishing touch on nails.

Marsala for Interiors

Complex and full-bodied without overpowering, Marsala provides a unifying element for interior spaces. Add elegance to any room by incorporating this rich and welcoming hue in accent pieces, accessories and paint. Marsala’s plush characteristics are enhanced when the color is applied to textured surfaces, making it an ideal choice for rugs and upholstered living room furniture.

Nurturing and fulfilling, Marsala is a natural fit for the kitchen and dining room – making it ideal for tabletop, small appliances and linens throughout the home. The hue will be especially prominent in striping and floral patterns found in printed placemats, dinnerware, bedding and throws.

Marsala for Graphic Design

A rich contrasting color, Marsala is ideal for use in graphic design and packaging. Eye-catching, but not overwhelming or bright, consumers are immediately drawn to the hue, making it an alluring shade at point-of-purchase. As packaging becomes increasingly more artistic, Marsala will be a natural fit for both high- and low-tech materials, including on-shelf periodicals as well as printed assets, like calendars and stationery.

Why PANTONE Marsala is the Color of 2015

Enjoy a chat with Leatrice Eiseman, Executive Director,Pantone Color Institute and David Shah, Editorial Director as they discuss Marsala, the PANTONE Color of the Year 2015 and how this rich and enriching shade can be applied throughout all areas of design.

Watch the video 

Monday, December 08, 2014

RMLS Has Our Listing

Our house is up now for sale on RMLS: #14025421

Charming Alameda cottage with formal living and dining rooms. The gas fireplace is centered between original built-in book shelves. Hardwood floors on main floor. Upstairs is being used as office, but could be master suite by adding bath. Kitchen has been updated. Private back yard with decks and privacy. The neighborhood is wonderful and the homes and the street are beautiful. This is a treasure waiting for your buyer.

This is exciting!

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Residential Architecture 101: Wood Veneer

Architect Bob Borson explains veneer terms:

Don’t know what a flitch is? Then this post is definitely for you. When talking wood veneer (a thin slice of wood), a flitch is a stack of sheets of veneer all cut in sequence. If you lay them up side by side with the same side up on all of them, this is a flitch match. If you flip every other sheet of a flitch, it is book matching … got it? Pretty clear isn’t it? No, it isn’t, and I think I just made it worse.
Let’s back up a bit and start with the different cuts of wood – how you cut the wood has everything to do with how the pattern of the wood appears in the finished product. In my world, there are three main cuts –
  • Plain Sawn,
  • Quarter Sawn, and
  • Rift Sawn
Read the rest at Life of an Architect

Friday, December 05, 2014

5 Great Interior Design Solutions for Small Spaces

RJ Diaz at RenovatingNYC excerpts this article that originally appeared on on August 29, 2014

No space? No problem! Keeping a smaller home looking spick and span while also maximising its functionality doesn’t need to be a daunting task. By following a few key rules for how to best utilise the space available to you, it is easy to get your home feeling cosy and comfortable. Whether you’re a cash-strapped student or a family of four hoping to transform the tiny extra room, these clever tricks for getting the most out of small space interiors will get you on your way.

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Do People Buy Houses This Close to Christmas?

Do people buy houses this close to Christmas? We are about to find out. We have been told, "Yes they do!" Some people love to shop in December for a major purchase. That’s why you see TV car ads showing big red Christmas bows on expensive autos bought by romantic husbands hoping to surprise their wives with the best Christmas present ever. There’s no need to wait until after New Years or even spring if you are not in need to sell quickly.

Here are some things you can do to make your home more appealing during December and get that house sold by Christmas. These are some of the things we are doing:

1.    Be agile! You want to be ready at the drop of a hat to show your home to potential buyers. That means any holiday parties may be out so you don’t have to worry about post-party cleanup. Just say to friends and family that you are trying to sell your house. “Why not celebrate at your house?”
2.    Put up your decorations, if you want, but stay on the conservative side. You don’t want so many lights that the house can be seen from space. Potential buyers will experience a warm feeling with some decorations. You want them to get excited about spending holidays in their house. A huge Christmas tree could be wrong if it makes your house to appear small.
3.    Get the price right, maybe just a little under the market. The last thing you want is the house to sit on the market which could lead to a price reduction.
4.    Make sure to hire a knowledgeable agent who knows the area your house is in. Buyers like to know what the schools are like and how close; how close is shopping, parks and access to the freeway, etc.
5.    If you are looking to sell your home quickly and are not sure you have the time to look for an agent and prepare your home to be ready to show buyers you may want to consider an all cash offer. A reputable cash home buyer will offer you an all cash offer for your home as is. You can have your home sold before Christmas and close shortly after in some cases you may even be able to close before Christmas.

Our house goes on the market Monday for $449,000. Patsy McKelligon of (W)here Inc. is our realtor. Next stop Mexico!

Monday, December 01, 2014

Mike Discusses 8 Paver Ideas for the Patio on FabNest

Here are 8 paver ideas for your patio. What are pavers? Pavers are interlocking concrete stones that can be uniquely customized to fit your, walkway, patio, and pool deck design.

Read more at FabNest

Thursday, November 20, 2014

A Buyer's Guide to Leather Sofas and the Questions to Ask When Buying One

Buying a new sofa can be an overwhelming process, especially with so many styles and colours available, where do you start? This article will assist you in purchasing the perfect leather sofa for your home.

Choosing the colour
One of the first considerations you should make is practicality. If you have pets or a young family, then you probably won’t fancy spending your spare time wiping finger marks or dogs fur from a cream or white leather sofa. Black is a very versatile option, easy to maintain and fits well with the majority of décor styles. A brown leather sofa made from aniline leather, brings an element of comfort and homeliness to a living room, and a red leather sofa can create a very striking counterpoint to neutral or light décor. You can accentuate polished wooden flooring with a cream leather sofa; this can be accessorized with a variety of colorful cushions. 
Choosing the style
It is worth remembering that you will have to live with your sofa for the next few years so choose a style that will age well and match any future trends, for example, in 3 years time are you still going to love that yellow low backed sofa? With a wealth of styles available it can complicated to choose a leather sofa that everyone in your home is happy with. If you prefer sofas with higher backs and elegant low back designs in beautiful two toned antique colors then a traditional leather sofa is for you. Chesterfield Leather Sofas are a great choice if you’re looking for a sofa that is both classic and timeless. If you like modern décor, a contemporary sofa might be a better choice, these are available in a wide range of shapes and sizes. 

Choosing a leather type 
Full Grain

Full grain remains natural and is the most desirable of all leathers. The prominent markings from bug bites, a scar from a fence, or the usual little wrinkles that occur on the leather are evident. These natural markings provide the hide with a host of unique characteristics.

Top Grain

If you hear or see the words “top grain”, the reference is to where the leather was cut rather than its grade. Do not confuse full grain with top grain, which basically means that it has not been split. When shopping for your leather sofa, make sure that the back of the sofa, cushions and any large areas were cut from the top grain of the leather and not from vinyl fabrics.


Aniline leather has been labeled with various names such as naked aniline, true aniline, and aniline full grain, all of them being exactly same. Aniline is basically leather that has been dyed right the way through. The spongy feel of aniline leather allows it to breathe effectively, which in turn increases its durability. It’s worth remembering that: the softer the leather feels, the higher its grade.


When searching for a leather sofa that suits your unique needs you may hear the word “antiqued” this is a leather that has been dyed twice, first in a lighter shade of color, and then in a darker shade that will provide variation and a unique antique appearance. This process is also known as distressed leather.

Ask the following questions when shopping:
  1. Is the leather finished or unfinished?
  2. Is the leather top-grain? If it isn’t, it won’t be as durable as you think.
  3. Is the whole sofa made of leather, or is some of it vinyl? Don’t be fooled.
  4. How has the frame been constructed? Is it built to last?
Author byline:

This guide was contributed by David at Thomas Lloyd

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Tidy Up Tired-Looking Furniture with These Top Tips

Found on

With the holiday season just around the corner, now is the perfect time to clean your furniture so it’ll look good as new for gatherings with relatives and friends, not to mention, it’s good to have ready knowledge of how to clean your furniture when little elves with sticky fingers come to play! Fortunately, there’s no need to cut into your gift shopping budget and splurge on professional cleaning services. Keep reading to learn some easy ways to freshen up furniture without spending a fortune.

Survey the Stains

Most couches and soft armchairs naturally get stained during use. Although it’s ideal to handle a stain immediately after an accident happens, it’s also crucial to treat each stain appropriately. Oil-based stains will require chemical cleaning agents, but stains caused by food, beverages and dirt usually respond well if you use a portable steam cleaner on them.

Bring Out the Baking Soda

Baking soda is probably one of the cheapest cleaners you keep on hand at home, but it’s also one of the most versatile. There are a huge number of ways to use baking soda to clean surfaces ranging from stainless steel to walls that have been scribbled on with crayons.

As far as furniture though, use equal parts of water and baking soda toothpaste to scrub water rings off of wooden coffee tables. The trick also works well for brightening dull wood cabinets. If you don’t get the desired results after the first attempt, do two treatments.

Make Your Own Furniture Polish

Give wood a gorgeous gleam by polishing it with a homemade mixture created from a cup of cold pressed olive oil and a half cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. Put the ingredients in a glass jar, then shake it gently to combine them. Apply a small bit to wood furniture using a very soft cloth.

Wipe the Right Way

When wiping furniture, always go in the direction of the grain, using the softest lint-free cloth you can find. If tackling a new spill on upholstery, resist the urge to scrub it frantically. That could cause the substance to sink deeper into the fibers. Instead, blot it carefully to soak up the excess.

Remove Residue

Hard furniture can look dingy if it’s covered with grease and grime. Residue build-up can happen over time, but it’s easy to remove. Mix two parts white vinegar with one part water and get to work.

If you notice white rings appearing on the surface, they’re grease remnants. Get rid of them by grabbing the jar of mayonnaise from your fridge and dab the condiment lightly on the affected portions. Then, cover them with a soft cloth for a few hours, and finally wipe them away.

Get Rid of Spots on Leather Furniture

Leather furniture is a great investment, but it’s no more immune to getting stained and spotted than furniture covered with fabric. Remove ink stains from leather by using a cotton swab that’s been dipped in alcohol. You may need to leave the surface damp overnight, then wipe it with a soft cloth in the morning.

Handle other types of spots on leather by mixing equal parts cream of tartar and lemon juice. You’ll create a paste that can be gently worked into the soiled leather. If a stain is severe, let the paste sit on the material for a couple hours before cleaning it away.

The holiday season is traditionally a time when people invite others into their homes to share good times. If you’re planning on doing the same, there’s no need to stress about the condition of your furniture. The tips you’ve just read could help you fix it in a flash.

BIO: James works in construction and blogs in his free time at Homey Improvements. He also enjoys hiking, photography, and buying new gadgets. Follow him on Twitter @DIYfolks.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

From Mike: 5 Tips to Rock Your Sofa

Mike writes at Fabnest:

How many times have you been corrected when asked, “How is your day and you say good?” And there reply is, “You mean well.” I know, proper from improper can be a real pain.
This diction analogy is similar when talking about couch vs sofa.  One word that is never used by interior designers is “couch.” A couch is a sofa. Sofas have gone by many names: Chesterfield, divan, settee, davenport, daveno, couch, but now only sofa.

Read the rest at Fabnest:

Thursday, November 06, 2014

Mike Interviews Classic Woodwork Inc.

Classic Woodwork Inc is a high-end residential woodwork contractor based in Montreal. Recently, Simon Lacroix reached out to me via LinkedIn and introduced himself and his company to let me know about their work in NYC. I thought an introduction to his company was worthy of a post here on RenovatingNYC.

Monday, November 03, 2014

Uttermost Rugs

Estelle, Red
Rugs Collection
By Uttermost

Mike Published On FabNest

These Towels You Wouldn’t Dare Throw on the Floor


What is one of the nicest parts of staying at a resort in the vacation spot you love? Some may say it’s the sunsets glinting off the water. Some may say it is the relaxation you feel when you fall asleep in a hammock to the sound of the surf. Some may say it’s the chance of finding exotic dining places. For me it’s the luxurious towels found in fine resorts. They are big, fluffy, super absorbent and smell like a sun filled meadow. When you have finished drying your naked body, you don’t just toss them on the floor in the corner for the maid, but hang them carefully on the hook located on the bathroom door.

Read More at FabNest

Friday, October 31, 2014

Gardening Advice For Halloween

The Fresh Dirt on Perking Up Your Garden

Psst! What’s the dish, the dirt, the down low, the buzz? You know the chit chat, the chin music, the scuttlebutt on perking up my garden?

When you ask that way, I remember my antenna twitching, my ears tuned in. I tumbled to the news that boiling water kills weeds. Kills weeds I say better than any poisonous product bought off the shells. Douse a weed with boiling water and the weed falls harder than a dame for George Clooney on s moonlit night in Italy.

What else?

I hear, from sources, sources that remain in the shadows. Darker than sleeping in the coffin, that keeping mud off the rugs that Jimmy heisted requires little booties on your shoes, when you step inside from the garden. Mud inside? Fuhgeddaboudit.

You are not shortchanging me, are you? I got some pull, I can dish the dirt, too.

Yeah, give me some.

Between you and me, we got to be careful. Careful when we bury stuff. Take that hydrangea, the blue flowers means the soil is acidic. That’s where we buried all that aluminum. The heist. You remember?

Yeah, my mind is a safe! The pink one. What’s wrong there? 

No aluminum! Pine needles would work, they’re acid. 

My head. My head is pounding, from all this talk. 

You need an aspirin. By the way, pal, did you know that aspirin will strengthen plants, like garlic strengthens the breath of Louie the mouth? Just add 1 ½ aspirins to two gallons of water. Every three weeks, you do this, you got them plants fighting off disease like Jimmy the rope fought off marriage with Lucille.  

Did you hear about Monty the twitch? Yeah, Monty the twitch is now Monty the pause. He got the garden. First thing you know, he’s not twitching anymore. He’s relaxed. He pauses like an old dog with a bad nose sniffing trees. Nothing. Nothing bothers the guy, I tell you.

Did you hear about my girl, Theresa? Theresa. Sixteen year-old Theresa. I caught her and her boyfriend lip-locking the other night. You know how dark it is back there behind the house. Lip locking. Yeah we both used to do it, but not my daughter. Anyways, I nipped that in the bud. Hung up some lights. Now after Theresa is in bed, me and Martha sit out there by the garden. No, not lip locking!

We got the place fixed up real nice. We added some of those wind chimes we see at the beach. No, not the big booming kind. The kind that are quiet-like.

What do you want with wind chimes that are quiet? Makes no sense.

To you maybe. We can hear them. These would be nice for Monty the pause. Calm.

The wife, Martha, brought home some bird houses and a bird feeder, Year a bird feeder. That ok with you? Al right. We put them up in the garden. We sit out in the evening and just watch the birds. It’s cheap entertainment.