Monday, June 18, 2012

What's in a Name?

One would think the hardest part about taking the leap into blogland would be the whole putting your business out into the universe and fear of being judged part, but not for me. I've been talking about starting one for months and in true me fashion, bought a bunch of books, got a web hosting service I have no idea how to use, signed up for an online course I never took - twice, and OBSESSED about what the heck to call the thing.  Blog 1.0 was supposed to be about reinventing myself at 30 and changing professions seven years into a hard fought and successful legal career. How could I possibly sum that up into two or three pithy words that would be remotely interesting to anyone? Blog 2.0 was supposed to be about finding a creative outlet and my burgeoning interest in home decor, and I thought, DIY projects. 

Here I'll pause with a side note about the DIY bit – let's just say I quickly found out that my interest in DIY is generally hypothetical.   99% percent of the projects I was interested in either required proximity to a craft store (not too many of those in Brooklyn), space to work (again, not too much of that in Brooklyn), walls that aren't made of whatever they made buildings out of in NYC and patience (and I have little to none of that). Suffice to say, each and every project I attempted wound up abandoned or the cost of shipping supplies or calling in the super to patch up the fist size hole I created in the wall negated the joy of DIY. And so I've moved on. On to finding reasonably priced ways to satisfy my higher-end tastes with the use of knowledgeable professionals where necessary. If it can't be sewed, taped, glued or creatively placed, I may just have to hire someone to do it. Aside from the whole, no time, no space, no patience thing, I'm slightly ashamed to say that my anal retention does not lend itself to the imperfections that sometimes come with DIY.  Character flaw, I know and one that I am endeavoring to improve upon.  Until then though, I'll continue to lurk in the land of DIY and collect information that may or may not one day prove useful. Kind of like all the stuff I read in the tabloids. But I remain hopeful.

In any case, now with Blog 3.0 I decided that the name thing had become yet another source of procrastination and I put WAY to many expectations on a few little words. So why Penny Heaven? All boiled down, the blog's about finding my happy place (in life and at home) and Penny Heaven is what my Grandmother (also my best childhood friend) named her apartment. She lived upstairs on the third floor of our house and it was my favorite space. Ever. And so Penny Heaven it is.

Promised soon-to-be hubby that I'd take some before picks of the Jersey house, including the real Penny Heaven, so that we can document the home-buying and renovation process. But since I don't have any yet and a mid-week trip to Jersey's out of the question, I leave you with a little Penny Heaven nostalgia for now:

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Step One (of many)

So yesterday was step one of many on what I’ll call “Project Big House” for now.  To sum up, although the soon-to-be hubs and I (more on that later) love our digs in the ever so lovely Park Slope, the plan (I always have a plan) is to head back to my hometown and, more specifically, my childhood home in Montclair, NJ.  Sounds simple, right? But no, as anyone who knows me knows, nothing with me is ever simple.  Ever.  My mom is actually still living, quite happily, I’ll add, in said childhood home, and as much as I love my mom (affectionately known to all who love me, and her, as “Little Debbie”), neither soon-to-be hubs nor I or Little Debbie have any interest in starting off our newly wedded bliss under the same roof.

Which leads me back to the purpose of this post.  Finding somewhere else for Little Debbie to go so that all parties can live happily-ever-after under separate roofs.  Sounds harsh, I know, but I promise it’s not.  By some weird twist of fate, she’s ready to downsize at more or less the same time we’re looking to upgrade, AND somehow I’ve managed to sprinkle some of that “Montclair is the best place EVER” dust on soon-to-be hubs and he’s miraculously, and not too reluctantly, willing to embark on this move to the burbs adventure with me.  Oh, and did I mention that before we actually move in, I want to almost completely gut reno the house from soup to nuts?  Like I said, nothing is ever simple. 

So being the planner that I am, I started looking a full year in advance for a condo for Little Debbie given the fact that there are probably 65 units in the whole town that could possibly meet my dear mother’s exacting requirements: out door space, two bedrooms, walking distance to town center, door man, elevator, parking, basically the works).    As luck would have it, or not, we struck real estate gold much sooner than expected and now find ourselves under contract as first time home buyers, a year before our planned move(s) and about a month before our wedding.  Yeah, like I said, not simple.  We didn’t hit all of her must’s but we came pretty darn close and Little Debbie is psyched, to say the least.

The plan for not driving eachother nuts with all these plans and giant life changes has thus far been to divide and conquer.  Thankfully with my legal background and soon-to-be hubs’ financial background, the division of labor was fairly obvious and so far, pre-wedding and pre-closing tantrums have been kept to a minimum.  We’ll see if that remains the case after our inspection report comes in.   Stay tuned.