Then There Was Light Saturday, Mar 28 2015 

I love old houses, they exude character and charm, but lack in many modern amenities, such as the closet light fixture. I have not wanted to have a light fixture installed and have been looking for a long time for a nice plug-in corded light. I have found many corded lights, but I was having a hard time finding one with the switch on the socket. Most corded lights either have no switch or the switch is down on the cord, which doesn’t work for my purpose — that was until I found The Color Cord Company. This is a perfect solution for those that rent and can’t add hard wired lighting — added bonus, the cord comes in fun colors! Brass Pendant Corded LightCloset LightPendant Plug-in Light

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Air Plant Terrariums and Vases Monday, Dec 1 2014 

I stumbled on light bulb terrariums on one of my internet searches and I decided to make some. As it turns out it takes a bit more work to remove the innards of a light bulb than I wanted to do, and after removing the innards the entrance hole is still quite small. I found a nice alternative — glass ornaments.

air plant terrarium / bayareaassistant.com

Supply List:

Tillandsia’s (air plants)

Glass ornaments (tops removed) and other suitable containers

Sand and/or perlite

Rubber bumpers (sold at hardware stores)

Small figures and ornaments such as: rocks, shells, twigs, moss

Tweezers

Chopsticks

Cardboard or a funnel

Supplies / bayareaassistant.com

How to make the terrariums:

First, water your Tillandsia and let it dry. Now take your container, and if it is round add the bumpers to where you want the bottom to be. This will keep your container stabilized. Then fill the container about a third of the way up with sand or perlite using a funnel or a flexible piece of cardboard. Add your Tillandsia and figures. Use your tweezers and chopsticks to position the plant and the figures. It’s that easy. Now go be creative!

light bulb terrarium / bayareaassistant.com

Here is where to find information on caring for air plants 

terrarium vase / bayareaassistant.com

DIY Ornaments Sunday, Nov 30 2014 

DIY Ornaments / Bayareaassistant.com
Here is an easy, fun craft that you can do with your kids — Snow Ornaments with miniature figures. They will look great on your Christmas tree or lined up on your mantle, and they make great gifts.

Here is what you need to make these cute little ornaments: Supplies / bayareaassistant.com

Clear glass ornaments (available at craft stores)

Perlite (available at garden stores)

Small animals or figures (available at toy stores and/or craft stores)

Rubber bumpers (available at hardware stores)

Tweezers and/or chopsticks

Small soft brush on a wire (available at most drugstores in the cleaning isle)

Funnel or cardboard

Ribbon

bayareaassistant.comTake the ornament and add 4 bumpers to the bottom of the glass so the ornament will stand upright.













bayareaassistant.comNext, remove the top of the ornament and add the Perlite about 1/3 of the way up the ornament. Use a funnel or some cardboard to pour the Perlite in the ornament.

















making the horse ornament / bayareaassistant.comNow place your desired figure or small animal in the ornament. Once you get the figure in, use the tweezers or the chopsticks to position your figure. Once the figure is positioned, slightly tap the ornament to make sure the figure is stable. Once the figure is stable use your brush on the wire to clean off the dust from the inside of the ornament. If the figure falls over just reposition it.




German Shepherd Ornament / bayareaassistant.comPlace the top back on the ornament. Once the top is back on, you can add a ribbon to the top if you desire.

It’s Rough Out There Thursday, Apr 10 2014 

Cottage I manage a duplex in Berkeley for my family and see first hand how hard renting in the San Francisco Bay Area has become – for many it is harder than finding a good job. The Open Houses are packed with people, sometimes up to 50 applicants for one apartment (I hear in San Francisco the numbers are much higher), and the number of emails and inquiries are triple that.   After selecting the renter, I always send the other applicants an email to let them know they didn’t get the apartment. This past rental, several prospective tenants wanted to know if there was anything they could have done to improve their chances, and with some it was just a numbers game, but for others there were things they could have done that may have improved their chances.   Here are my tips:   It’s in the Details This is similar to finding and applying for a job. Read the rental Ad and follow any instructions listed in the Ad (how to contact, application/showing process, etc.) Pay attention to the details of the rental such as: vacancy, items included (parking, utilities, laundry), lease or month-to-month, pets allowed. Remember this is a very competitive process and the way you communicate with the landlord/rental agency may be considered in the end.  If the Ad is fairly descriptive and the rental process is outlined you should save your questions for the showing. Is it a Match? After reviewing the listing, make sure it works for your needs. If you need a place for six months, don’t waste time with a place that wants a one year lease, if you need a garage don’t waste time with a place that only has street parking, if you have a pet and the place does not take pets don’t waste time on it, etc. Also, check out the neighborhood of the apartment, either by using maps online or by going in person, but don’t bother the current occupants of the unit, you don’t want to be seen as pushy.   Be Flexible If the listing provides information on a public showing try to make it to the listed showing. Most landlords are overwhelmed with responses and they don’t need to and don’t have time to have several showings for an apartment.   Be Prepared Bring with you a current credit report that includes your credit score. Provide an explanation if your score is low. Bring proof of income (pay stubs, letter from current employer, etc.). If you don’t have a job but have plenty of funds, bring proof (bank statements, etc.). Bring the information you will need to fill out the application or bring an application that you have pre-filled out. The information you may need is: current and past employers, current and past residences, personal references, credit report, proof of income, and bring a pen. If you can, you might want to bring letters from current or past landlords or neighbors attesting to the type of tenant you are, this is especially useful if you are a dog owner.   Pets If you have a pet and pets are allowed, bring a pet resume (include a picture of the pet if you are not bringing the pet to the Open House) and references. Landords will want to know the pet is not going to be a problem. The San Francisco SPCA provides information for tenants on how to put together a  Pet Resume.   At the Showing When going to the showing make sure you park on the street and are considerate of the neighbors, you don’t want to be seen as pushy or entitled. Once there, take your time and really look at the place. I don’t suggest asking for an application or turning over your personal documents until you have spent some time looking at the unit and have asked some questions about the place. You want to clearly communicate your interest in the unit, so tell the landlord a little about yourself and the people/pets that would be living at the unit, and how it is the right place for you (be brief, especially if there are others waiting to speak to the landlord). Mention anything that might enhance the property for example, you like to garden and take pride in where you live.   It seems like a lot of work, but if you put a packet together you will be able to use it for multiple places, and it may make the difference in getting the place you want. Most landlords want hassle-free, low maintenance tenants, and the more you can convey that to the landlord, the more likely you will be chosen. Good luck in your search!

Make the Move Wednesday, Feb 12 2014 

Art Care Sunday, Jan 19 2014 

Keep it Covered Wednesday, Nov 28 2012 

I found this by accident when I was in the Crate and Barrel Outlet store a few weeks ago. It was only $1.50 — a great value. I use this microwave cover all the time.  How did I live without it? It saves on plastic wrap that always stuck to the food and it saves on microwave clean up. Every office and home should have a few of these covers.  Office microwaves get a lot of use, and unfortunately not much in the way of clean up. If you have an office microwave you know what I’m talking about. The microwave cover is vented to let steam out, yet protects against splatters, and it is dishwasher safe. You can find it here.

What Your Contractor Really Means via Houzz.Com Sunday, Oct 14 2012 

Container Gardening Tips via Houzz.Com Sunday, Jul 15 2012 

DIY Shelving via Houzz.Com Monday, Jun 18 2012 

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