Yesterday was the final episode of Season 4 for the Buffering the Vampire Slayer podcast, and I now that I will have a hole in my life on Wednesdays until they come back in September, I wanted to do a roundup of the Buffy merch hanging out on my wishlist.
Girl Gang Tee
I live for Slayer (the band) and slayer (the chosen one) mashups! I have a different mashup tee that seems to have disappeared from the Internet entirely, and I would love this one too.
As part of my ongoing “small-improvements-can-have-big-impacts” updates to the house, I made a few changes to our hallway closet that have really improved its functionality.
The refresh actually began when I discovered that a mouse had been having a grand old time in the closet eating all the kids’ leftover halloween candy. It had left… evidence. In addition to setting out mousetraps around the house, I pulled everything out of the closet — all our bins, sheets, towels, and rags — and commenced washing it all and reassessing what really needed to be in there.
(The mouse was dispatched and we took some measures to help ensure it doesn’t happen again.)
I was able to get rid of some old blackout curtains we hadn’t use since we moved out of our old apartment, and I moved our sheets from the hallway into the specific bedrooms to which they belong. This made a big difference in the number of things I actually needed to fit in the closet.
I ordered a bunch of glossy white IKEA bins to replace the mismatched dollar store bins I’d had in there previously. I also committed to “folding” our towels in little jelly rolls versus flat-folding, which made it easier to choose a single towel without upending the whole stack.
The crowning achievement was purchasing a battery-powered motion-sensor light for the ceiling. There isn’t a hardwired light source in the closet, so previously you were at the mercy of the ambient light in the house or the horrible fluorescent hallway light that doesn’t do a great job illuminating the contents of the closet. The motion-sensor light automatically turns on when you open the door, stays on for a length of time, then shuts itself off once the door is closed and it doesn’t sense any more movement. It has been a GAME-CHANGER. I marvel every time I open the closet and can actually see what’s in there.
In the future, I would like to drywall the closet (the back “wall” pictured in orange/brown above is the back of the fiberglass shower enclosure) and build actual shelves in there so we can stop using the wire shelving rack and have a more solid, built-in solution. For now, though, this is working much better than what we had before!
One of the very first things we updated in our house after we bought it were the outlets and switches, taking them from the original dirty-looking almond to bright white. I think my dad thought I was bananas to focus on those right away, but it made such a huge difference in how fresh and modern the house looked.
Similarly, our house came with low-quality, bright brass doorknobs and I’ve been dying to switch them out for matte black knobs for years. After we got our tax return this year, I finally decided to go through with it.
I settled on the Schlage Bowery in Matte Black. We only have seven interior doorknobs total, so while this could be a pricey project for a larger house with more rooms, our grand total (with tax) was $173.
The knobs arrived while I was at work, and rather than let them sit on the porch all day, I took my lunch break and rushed home to put them inside. I decided to open one of boxes just to make sure they were what I ordered. Once the box was open, it looked so pretty that I decided I would install just one of them to see how it looked. After installing the hallway closet knob, I got so overwhelmed with joy that I had a very difficult time going back to work to finish out my workday. All I could think about were my beautiful new doorknobs!
I had to wait until the following afternoon to install the rest of them, and it was 100% worth it. I am over the moon about them. They have lived up to all of my matte black doorknob dreams!
Here’s a before and after:
I was a little worried that this would end up like many of the other home “improvement” projects I start, were the end result is actually worse than what I started with (see also: pink bathroom vanity I’m currently in the process of un-doing), but I’ve been really pleasantly surprised. The keyed knobs are easy to unlock and they feel so much sturdier than the brass knobs. I love them! For the other improvement projects, we’re looking into hiring a custom home builder since this is a very old house that needs a lot of updating. Look forward to my upcoming posts for the rest of our home journey!