Sunday, October 28, 2007

Think Green. Think Bamboo.

I am not sure why I didn't blog about this before, but my dear friend April started her own company this summer called Naturally Bamboo. Her collection is not very big at this moment (shirts, pants, socks, & totes), but it is expanding all the time. As she gets more business she can add more items. She runs every step of this business from picking out the design & fabric & the partners she does business with to fulfilling the orders & shipping them out. There is no warehouse involved and it is not someone else's line that she is selling. This is her business from the ground up.

She works with a company that does fair-trade, so even though the shirts are being made in China, they are getting paid a fair wage.

She has gotten different samples of fabrics to make sure she has the fabric she wants. So, she buys the fabric form one company and then another company makes the clothes, etc. There seems to be a lot of work involved for her in starting up this company from the ground up in every way. She even made sure that she is using an ISP & web design company that uses solar power. She wanted to make sure that every part of her company is as green as possible.

She seems to be adding stuff every day. It was only a month ago that she only had 2 colors of t-shirts and no socks and she didn't have XXL then either and now she does.

She has been getting a lot of interest locally for her product. And she already has her product on Think Pink Collection , which is based in the Cities. 30% of her sales on that site go to Breast Cancer Research (her husband's mom died of breast cancer.)

So, if anyone is looking for an idea for a Christmas present for me. I would like a t-shirt from her line. (Size L, & color does not matter, I like them all.) And if more than one person gets me a shirt from her business, that is ok with me. They are so versatile and can be work with anything.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Updates on the Housing Situation

We are lowering our price again to try to generate some interest and get it coming up again on people's saved searches. Our next open house will be next Saturday. Our realtors now also have a deal with a bank that will offer a 0% origination fee on the purchase of our house, in addition to the $2K realtor bonus and our commission.

Oconomowoc #6 - Great size for a yard. Enough space. Not sure on the ceiling height in the basement. Dated, but workable. Old windows & no CA. So, it needs updating. Has storage shed, playground, & hot tub & tree lined yard. Might be a good place if they come down on the price.

Oconomowoc #7 - A 1-car double deep garage does not mean 2 car to most people. Small lot & shared driveway. Very cute & updated inside. Lack of outdoor space means we are not interested.

Oconomowoc #8 - Small lot. Very dated. No DW & no space for one. Yikes! Lots of rooms in basement, but smallish room upstairs. Too many cons. Not interested.

Oconomowoc #9 - Updated 2-story with MFS, CA, & fenced in yard. Nice lot size. Small bedrooms & only a partial basement. Updated kitchen. Maybe.

We have now looked at all the houses in Oconomowoc in my saved search. We will now move onto another suburb.

House Count: 23

Sunday, October 21, 2007

This Week's House Hunt/Sell

Oconomowoc #4 - Enough space, fenced in yard, slanted Roof/walls making it hard for Andy to get uspatirs. Not interested

Oconomowoc #5 - Enough Space, gravel driveway with plenty of park but no garage even though they put garagin listing. Not interested.

Vernon #1- plenty of yard, has a cellar :( , out in the middle of nowhere, Not Interested.

These ones below, we just went to the houses & examined the exterior & yard to see if we could rule out that way.

New Berlin #1 - Nice yard, everything looks ok, we'll have to check the insde on this one.

New Berlin #2 - Kinda small yard, but is fenced in, Andy doesn't like the gigantic pine tree in the front yard, possible maybe.

New Berlin #3 - Nice lot size, has CA & garden shed, on a busy street. Probably not.

New Berlin #4 - Has a for sale sign out from (then remove your listing!!!!)

New Berlin #5 - gravel driveway, crappy exterior, busy street, bad location, Not interested.

As for our house, had one person come to the open house and one call for more info. Still have not sold it yet. I still worry it will never sell. We sent the realtor an email telling him we want to drop the price again. Grrrr!

Tomorrow, Isabel & I have appointments with the realtor to visit 3 more houses in Oconomowoc and one on Tuesday. Then I will have seen all the houses on my saved search list in Oconomowoc.

Also found out that 2 on my saved list in Cedarburg & Grafton have offers on them. So, they are out. Also, MF #2 also has an offer on it.

House Count - 19 (that we have seen either exterior or interior/exterior)

Ok - off to mom's night out.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

This Week's House Updates

** This will be updated throughout the weekend as more things occur **
*** All updated now***

Well, here's what is going on:

House Selling

Today (Saturday) there is an open house from 1-3pm (it's over now and we are just waiting for a call from our realtor.) We had a friend of a friend go there today and tour it (unknowing to our realtor) to see how good of a job he does and what she thought of how it was presented.
** Our realtor's partner called and said two groups went through (one was our plant I am assuming, so that only means on possibly interested party). He said the feedback was good and didn't say much else and that we'll get a call once we hear from the buyer's realtor about the private tour (below.)

*** Found out that the party that seemed the most interested was out plant. Guess this week was a bust. The other party thought maybe the house was too big for them.

Also, right now there should be a private showing of or home. We got the call to approve a showing from 3-4pm. So, let's cross our fingers. It would just be such a stress relief to get an offer on our house. Even if it is contingent. I would like it to be a straight out offer, but we'll take a contingent one. If and when we get an offer, we will be more agressively looking at homes.

*** Feedback from private showing - they are not interested. It's not what they are looking for.

House Buying

Earlier This Week

Menomonee Falls #1 - Sounded good on paper, but seller's realtor told ours it needed $60-$100K worth of work. Andy went there to check out the exterior before we hauled everyone there to see all of it. Just on the exterior he could see that it needed a new roof, nt just new shingles, but new framing, and as a result of a falling roof it needed a new chimney. So, you can just imagine the work inside too. So, no thanks.

Today - Saturday

Oconomowoc #3 - decent amount of space, stainless in the kitchen, clean and move-in condition, has separate circuit box in garage just for garage, but has small kitchen and small yard. It is a maybe. We'll keep it on the list.

Tomorrow - Sunday

Hartland/Delafield #1 - I put both because it's kinda right in both. Anyways, it's bank-owned and the price seems too good to be true so I called that realtor and the price is accurate. We drove by today and it looks great from the outside. Tomorrow AM we get to see the inside.
** Well, just got a call from our realtor. This house was not meant for us. They dropped the price so much that they already got two non-contingent offers above the new asking price. We would have to be contingent and wouldn't have been able to go over the price. So, it was not meant to be.

Cedarburg #1 - Hardly any yard, very outdated kitchen and bathrooms, weird light switches that would need to be replaced, outdated scary light fixtures, no central air, lots of room & a big garage. Asking too much for the amount of updates needed. Not interested.

Grafton #1 - Went there, saw the outside and then found out an offer was accepted last night. Another one it wasn't meant to be I guess.

Grafton #2 - Nicely cared for, big updated kitchen, nice yard & landscaping, nice deck, low basement ceiling, maybe not enough space. A strong maybe.

After all of these, our house total is at: 11

I have probably 60 or so houses saved in my search that we have not viewed (these are among them).......but we are only looking at the ones right now that sound like what we are looking for on paper.

I just wish that when we talk to our realtor later today, that he has some really good news for us.

I have to be honest that I am worried there will 8 more months of waiting for our house to sell and looking at houses that we will never buy. I just get so stressed about this house situation. My fear is that our house will never sell and then we will be right where we were last April/May (we have to move out of hear on May 31), which was Andy looking for a job (would have to be in MN then) and us living in Medford. It would not be the worst thing in the world to move back, but it's not fun living in limbo. I was initially resistant to moving at all, but decided to take the risk and convinced myself to be positive about change.

But the planner in me has such a hard time with things not being lined up and having no plans. The only real plan we have is that we have to move out of the lake house rental on May 31. I feel completly out of control in all of this. I can't make anyone buy my house.

I should go take a nap now. I get sleepy when I get stressed.

*** I started getting an eye twitch today (I get that when I am very stressed.) Not cool. Right now I have our realtors doing some homework for us. We have 2 from the same agency, but since the locations are are looking at can be an hour apart, they are each taking their respecive locations. East side realtor (ESR) is going to do some reeseach on Menomonee Falls House #2. And I asked West side realtor (WSR) to set us up with a weekly appointment to see a house in this town. I gave her the one I want for this week, which will be Oconomowoc #4.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Updated Food Blog

I have been putting some recipes lately on the food blog. Just thought I would let you know that. They are all baked good (muffins, cake, pancakes.)

House Hunt/Sale Update

Home Sale Update
Well, last weekend's open house was a bust. My neighbor said a bunch of people drove through but no one actually stopped & went in. Our realtors are now offering a bonus to any realtor that brings in an offer, to see if that will get some interest. I posted a finder's fee offer on Craigslist and sent it to a bunch of friends. We have open houses set for this Saturday & next Saturday. I also made a vflyer and that gets posted to a bunch of websites and posted it on as well.

House Hunt Update
Isabel & I went to two open houses this past weekend. And here are my thoughts:
Oconomowoc #2 - awful realtor, tiny closets and bedrooms, whole house is dated, great garage and nice location down a DE rd. That all said - not interested.
Brookfield #1 - plenty of updates (MFE, CA, new appliances), plenty of floor space, nice yard & great garage & storage shed, but the wall on the 2nd floor only go halfway up straight and then are slanted with the roof and that won't work t all for tall guy. Not interested.

We have tours for all 3 of us to go to one in Menomonee Falls (this place might be going to a short sale soon, so there might be no wiggle room on price and I think we need it to wiggle) and another one in Grafton (this place has load of character, but I don't know if the lot will be too small for us and the houses too close together.)

So - nothing promising on either buying or selling.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Getting a Workout

Well, today it was on my calendar -- I was going to go to the Y and take a class. I haven't taken a fitness class in a long time. And a cardio class was very long, yoga classes were not quite as long ago.

I kept wanting to get stuff done before we went and time was passing quickly and I almost let myself convince myself I didn't have time to do it, but I went.

I dropped Isabel off at kidcare, her first time. I wasn't too nervous about it because the aerobics studio is right across the hall from Kidcare.

I took Cardio Stretch. After it was over I found out the instructor was subbing in and the regular instructor would be back next week. So, I am not sure I experienced the real class. I guess I will find out next week.

I kept up and the instructor offered low-impact and hi-impact versions of moves. So, I did some of each. The class numbers were small.....only about 8 of us chubby mommies. It was an hour long and I made it.

I think it was good for me and I think I will keep doing a class. I need the class to push me, otherwise I will fall into a routine, plus being scheduledlike that is good for me too.

I sweat ALL Over. My shins were even sweating. I don't remember the last times my shins sweat. Every square inch of my body was covered in sweat.

I feel good, but it's only been 2 1/2 hour after the class. We'll see how I feel tomorrow when the delayed-onset muscle soreness sets in. I think I might also like to try water aerobics again, but I think I need to wait a week since Andy won't be home (has his class) on Monday night.

A Great Bra Fit

So, like a lot of other people, I like to watch "What Not To Wear" and from time to time I learn something and I change that about how I do my hair, makeup or clothes. Well, the newest thing I finally did was get a really good fitting bra for me.

I have always bought nice bras from Victoria's Secret or Frederick's of Hollywood, but this time I was looking for something to hold these D's up in place and not have the strap cutting into my shoulder.

And what I learned was to look for thicker straps for the larger breasted woman. So, I finally did that. I looked around a few place, including my favorites, and nothing was jumping out as what I wanted. Then I went to and I was even able to put "comfort straps" into my search criteria. It was nice. They have good prices. Right now all their Playtex bras are $13.99, which is basically half price. I thought I would start with two different ones and try them out. I never wore Playtex before.

Well, they are wonderful. They fit so comfotably. There is no cutting in on my shoulders and the deflated, now slightly lower, empty size D's are held up into place. I am very happy with my purchase.

I also bought a 2-pack of Hanes Body Creations micorfiber panties. They are the kind that have no VPL. I haven't worn then yet, so I can't attest to is they live up to their claims. But I do like that I get 2 pairs for less than I bought one pair at VS.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Home Search

Well, our home search isn't starting out too great here. Here is the status.

Thiensville #1 - Too short of ceilings, not interested.
Cedarburg #1 - A dump! And on the corner of 2 busy streets, not interested.
Oconomowoc #1 - Sold. (I think. I just checked the realtor website and it was taken off and we were supposed to tour in 45 minutes. I am waiting for the realtor to call me back to confirm.)

Nothing else lined up to view. Maybe I will take Isabel out with me to an open house this weekend if there is one at a place on our list. Andy has a motorcycle class, so he is gone all day both days.

As for our house - no offers yet - plenty of positive interest though. There is another realtor tour this Thursday and another open house this weekend & and an ad going in the Star Trib for the open house on Saturday.

Sometimes I think our house is never going to sell and we are going to end up moving back. Everyone who tours our places, loves it, but they are ALL in the same boat - they need to sell their house. It's all very frustrating.