Saturday, December 31, 2011

Horse-shoe shaped kitchens (link)

Check out these horseshoe kitchens: Horseshoe Kitchens : Kitchen Remodeling : HGTV Remodels

Sometimes you have to settle for a kitchen like this, but my kitchen is a galley kitchen with doorways at both ends. I don't like being trapped in a kitchen full of people--and pets--with no way to escape...

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Sofa pillow samples (link)

Enjoy comparing the same style sofa in different colors with a variety of different-colored sofa pillows: Style a Sofa 5 Different Ways : Decorating : Home & Garden Television

Frankly, I'd start fresh with a different style and different colors, but the photos may help you decide on color combinations in your home.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Free ebooks for Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

For those of you who got an ebook reader for Christmas--or couldn't wait--

here are three of my ebooks. Or you can read them on your computer. Your choice.

Pretty Pink Planet

Lori, an agent of SOESFOL (Search Out and Establish Sentient Forms of Life) visits Prism, a popular tourist destination, to track down planet pirates and rescue aliens, if she can find and talk to them.

[No coupon code necessary]

Hot Yellow Planet

In the sequel to Pretty Pink Planet, Lori and Chiing continue their adventures, meeting up with Chameleons, Ghosters, Splurts, and other aliens and humans.

Your coupon code is UX77Y (not case-sensitive).

Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure

How we coped with selling a house--at last, looking for a new house, buying a new house that was a foreclosure and needed lots of work, and then remodeling it since it didn't even have a kitchen sink!

Your coupon code is YP83R (not case-sensitive)

Note: Coupon codes expire January 2, 2012

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Walk-in closet design ideas (link)

Here are some great and spacious walk-in closets: Walk-In Closets with Character : Interior Remodeling : HGTV Remodels

They can include shelves, drawers, doors, cubbies, niches, shoe racks, bins and baskets, seating--and color--and even fancy windows.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Christmas movie homes (link)

Enjoy these homes from the movies of the season, starting out with A Christmas Story. Check out the lamp in the window... Link: 6 Holiday Movie Homes : HGTV FrontDoor Real Estate

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Kitchen storage (link)

This HGTV webpage offers you a downloadable checklist for the most efficient kitchen storage, or you could empty your cabinets and figure it out manually; there are also some downloadable kitchen layout templates, among other things. My favorite idea for kitchen storage is a walk-in pantry, which I don't have in our new house. We do have plenty of storage room; there are even empty shelves here! But I can't see all that we have because the shelves in the front pantry (food) are too crowded. Link: Size Up Your Kitchen Storage Space : Kitchen Remodeling : HGTV Remodels

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Get an e-book for Christmas!

With e-books so easily and quickly available, they make great last minute Christmas gifts, especially if you're giving anyone a gift of a Kindle, a Nook, or one of the other choices. Adding a library along with an e-reader is a good way to show people how to use their gift.

You can include a collection of free e-books, such as my science fiction adventure, Pretty Pink Planet, available at:

[You have to ask Amazon to get it free]
And including its sequel, Hot Yellow Planet, would save them the trouble of tracking it down at:

Hidebound is a SF romance (adult content) also available on Amazon Kindle: And Smashwords:

Non-fiction is available too, such as: Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure at:

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Decorating ideas

There are some lovely decorating ideas in the January issue of Southern Living. Pink is one of my favorite colors, though I made a mistake with the pink known to visitors and family as Bepto-Bismol pink. (I had it sponge painted white.) Heather Pink by Benjamin Moore (p 81) is much more subtle.

Another idea involving books (remember the woman who collected books with red covers?) has a blue and ivory-painted secretary full of books with blue covers (p 49). That is beautiful! The same home, however, has a room full of large patterned fabrics (duvet and pillows). Too big and busy.

Their recipe selection includes a meat loaf and mashed potatoes sandwich. Much as I love meat loaf and mashed potatoes, I don't want them combined--unless it's something like Shepherd's Pie.

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas decorating and design ideas (link)

Check out these ideas for dressing up your Christmas trees, mantels, gifts, and more:

Our home is full of Christmas bows, bells, cards, etc., and the wreath on the front door is so big, I had to go out and buy a yard sign at the hardware store to put our house numbers on.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Christmas cards and newsletters

It's that time of the year. We can send cards and/or newsletters to our friends, family, and anyone who appears on our horizon. I don't usually send out Christmas newsletters, but this year we had a new and remodeled house, among other things, so there was plenty of news to share. I didn't have enough room to add pretty graphics--drat--but I put the header and footer in red. A cousin added a little picture of her grandson wishing us a Merry Christmas on hers. So cool!

I have some fun Christmas cards that I usually send, including sabre tooth kittens playing amongst a shepherd and his sheep and unicorns. Thank you, Tiger Moon Press. (She added the tigers for me.) These all go out by snail mail, btw, so I can add enclosures and use stickers from my sticker collection.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Kitchen cabinets (links)

Check out these HGTV webpages for ideas for your kitchen cabinets--types, grades, frames, storage, buying guide, ...
Link: Cabinet Types: Which Is Best for You? : Kitchen Remodeling : HGTV Remodels

Sparkle note: If you drag a treat from the box, and click on it again, Sparkle will jump up and catch it!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Glass countertops (link)

Check out the beautiful glass countertops on this HGTV webpage. The product is called ThinkGlass, and it's incredibly beautiful. I confess that I love varying shades in things and swirling patterns: The Art of ThinkGlass Square Footage

Monday, December 5, 2011

Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure (review)

I found a new review of my house ebook online:

An eBook on Buying, Remodeling, and Real Estate

Joy V. Smith’s recently released ebook, Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure, is creating a wave of comfort in today’s stormy market of defaults and foreclosures. And, it turns out, it’s also an unexpected shot in the arm for those pursuing a real estate license or a real estate continuing education.
Remodeling is a close-up account of how one woman and her family navigated the tricky sailing of selling a house, looking for and buying a new one, and, ultimately, completely renovating it. It sets the model for anyone who’s thinking of braving the daunting task of acquiring a foreclosed house and turning it into a home—even if the house came originally without a sink. It also points the way forward for those looking to have a career in real estate.
Here’s how the buyer did the story from one buyer’s point of view:

Our home was on the market for a few years because we weren’t in a hurry. We loved our house, but wanted to downsize from five acres to less than an acre. We dropped our price a few times and finally got a good offer, though it was less than our current asking price. However, it was for cash. This, of course, makes buying simpler because you don’t have to apply for a mortgage. On the other hand, we couldn’t afford to build, which we would have preferred. We were told that because of all the cheap homes on the market we could get a good deal. Right. Well, fortunately it didn’t take us very long to close, look, and buy; of course, once we sold, we didn’t have a lot of time to look at short sales, since that can take months! We found a house we liked, but it needed lots of work. Find out how we did it and what you should look for.

Remodeling: Buying and Updating a Foreclosure beckons to anyone coping with a remodeling project—whether you’re an ordinary house owner in Conneticut, an aspiring agent looking to get a real estate continuing education or an out-of-town broker trying to land a New York real estate license.

Link: TheAnalyst - Best Apple App for Real Estate Practitioners