Learn from my Experience

Our apartment was broken into in July. Everyone was ok, but all of our electronics and my jewelry box – including both of my grandmothers’ wedding rings – were stolen. I did have renter’s insurance, but I’ve learned a few lessons in the claims process. So to all you renters out there, I impart my hard-earned knowledge (I imagine this could also apply to homeowners, but never having owned a home or homeowners’ insurance, I really can’t say):

1) Have renter’s insurance. This is key, even if you think you live in a safe neighborhood with an alarm and a 2 ton guard dog, you could still have a fire or flood. Renter’s insurance is usually pretty cheap. Mine was $13 per month.

2) Spend the extra money on replacement coverage (which I did not). Otherwise, your insurance company will take their low-balled value of your items and subtract depreciation (probably about 30%, depending on your items).

3) If you live with someone to whom you are not married, you should each have renter’s insurance or be sure your roommate/live-in partner’s stuff is covered under your policy. Preferably, get this assurance in writing from your insurance company. Do not take your agent’s word that “they can’t technically prove whose stuff belongs to whom” for granted. Unless you really don’t care about your roommate’s possessions…

4) If you own something particularly expensive or priceless (i.e. jewelry, antiques, family heirlooms) get it appraised and specifically added to your policy.

5) Keep detailed records of everything you own that you may need to claim. Ideally, you should have:

  • Receipt
  • Picture of the item, including a picture of the serial number or other identifying information (e.g. engraving on jewelry)
  • Owner’s manual or other documentation of the item (i.e. model number, brand, etc – the receipt may not identify this)
When making a claim, you will need to provide documentation of your asset. You probably won’t need everything I listed, but the more support you have, the better. The serial numbers can also be helpful to have if the police ever find your item. Final tip on documentation:
  • Store your electronic documentation (pictures, word files with descriptions, etc.) on a cloud service – Shutterfly, google docs, facebook (you can make them private to you only). This way, if your computer gets stolen/your house burns down, you could still access your documentation.
It may seem a little paranoid, or you may feel like nothing will every happen to your stuff, but with a little preparation you will have one less thing to stress about if something bad does happen. Stay safe out there, friends!
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Entryway decor

I did a little decorating in the entryway since April:

Left to Right:

3 photos of St. Louis eateries – Eat Right, Courtesy Diner and one unidentified gotten at the Midwest Salute to the Masters in 1994

Skeleton keys I framed. Not sure how the keys came under my possession.

Photo of the MacArthur Bridge in St. Louis in the 1930s. Taken from St. Louis Magazine and framed.

Pinteresting…

I ❤ Pinterest! It’s been over-blogged I’m sure, but it is fabulous!

Some favorite images:

Happy Pintresting!

I’m still alive…

I’m back! Short story, I’ve been uninspired to blog lately, but a lot of things have been going on lately – working crazy hours, adopting a kitten, having our apartment robbed…you know, the usual. Don’t really want to get into it, but needless to say, things have been a little hectic!

On a lighter note, I finally tried a product I’d been thinking about for years:

Dry Shampoo! A little somewhat unnecessary backstory: I have greasy hair. Hot, right? Thanks to my Dad, I have super-straight, somewhat thin hair. Most days, it’s a blessing because I don’t have to straight iron and it doesn’t take long to blow-dry. However, whenever I want curls or to skip a day’s wash, it’s super annoying. This morning, I woke up super late and didn’t wash my hair (don’t worry, I still showered). It was in a pony-tail all day, but when I got home, it looked super gross.

Exhibit A:

So I thought I’d try the dry shampoo I’d purchased a few weeks ago.

In process (also handy if I ever need gray hair for a costume):

Also, that black spot is on the mirror, not my forehead.

And the after:

Overall, pretty decent. My roots are a little light, but I think that may also be due to needing my roots touched up! I think I’ll use this on late mornings, but still put my hair up.

Here’s to more sleeping in and a good week!

Just Sew You Know…

I’ve totally been MIA lately. Work sucks and so do my eating and working out habits. Nothing much to report. Tonight, however, I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do since January: I taught myself how to use a sewing machine!

For my birthday (in January), the boyfriend bought me a sewing machine. He went with the Singer “Simple,” which was an excellent call. So finally tonight I plugged in the machine and busted out the instructional DVD.

It was surprisingly simple. There were a few missteps with the bobbin and getting thread tangled but I made some good stitches on my practice fabric (which had been used in my 2009 Halloween costume – I was Jem).

I was so thrilled by my success that I decided I would fix the hem that had completely fallen out of black work skirt. I had some trouble with getting the thread tangled and keeping the hem even. It’s a lot harder to sew something that’s already a loop of fabric instead of two small pieces of cloth sandwiched together. Who would have guessed? The skirt hem is kind of a hot mess, but since it’s black on black and at the knees, pretty unnoticeable.

Either way, I’m pretty excited that I actually figured this out instead of letting it sit in the office collecting dust forever. Consider me someone who officially knows how to work (the most basic) a sewing machine!

The Much Promised Sobriety Post

Remember, kids, smoking is bad for you

In what seems like a long time ago, I decided to give up drinking for Lent. My last drink was on Saturday, March 5 (otherwise known as St Louis Mardi Gras) and my next drink was Saturday, April 23. By my count, that’s a full 49 days of stone-cold sobriety.

I thought it would be really difficult to do. It was surprisingly easy. Luckily, for the majority of this time, I was so busy I didn’t have the time or energy to go out. Sure, there were some nights that would have been a lot more fun with a drink or two, but I was already committed.

I often felt guilty when not drinking or eating at an establishment. I almost always tried to order food (which wasn’t super healthy either) but sometimes it was not an option. Usually, I was with others who were drinking my share and then some, and I don’t take up too much space, so I guess I was just being Midwestern.

The best thing about sobriety was not having to worry about being hungover the next morning. And not worrying how I was going to get home at night (almost wanted a cop to pull me over!).

The worst thing about sobriety was getting hassled by friends. Some didn’t understand. Some kept trying to find ways for me to “cheat.” One (non-Catholic) in particular tried to tell me that drinking was healthy and there for not an appropriate thing to give up. Totally missing the point.

Now on the other side of sobriety a few weeks, I know that I am not an alcoholic (yay!), but I do have a poor ability to keep it in moderation sometimes. I won’t stop drinking, but it is something I look to work on.

Remotivating

So my Royal Wedding come-down was so bad, I’ve been balled up in a dark room for the past two weeks. I mean, I need more Kate Middleton For the Win!

Ok, so I wasn’t “recuperating” for the past two weeks. Work has been fairly stressful, we went to Cleveland, I went to Chicago, and I just served on a jury. Spring is busy!

JW and I went to Cleveland for his cousin’s wedding. A few comments:

Having grown up in close proximity to my first cousins, it is totally baffling to me to have not seen your cousin since his sister’s wedding seven years ago, and to have him not recognize you in the hotel lobby (sober). Cleveland is very cold. Even in May.  It’s nice by the lake though. I was somewhat underwhelmed by the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame.

Sorry I’m not sorry, jogger who ran into my shot.

Last week I went to Chicago for a work event and stayed the weekend. The work event was supposed to be motivating and celebrating those in my position at work from all over the region (there’s a lot of us). I was less than thrilled about it, but it was much better than I was expecting. They certainly know the way to our hearts (free booze). Over the weekend, I stayed with my lovely friend, Alli, and spent some quality time with some other Chicagoans as well, specifically Ms. Liz, who I haven’t seen in ages and really miss sharing a wall with her.

It was cold and rainy all weekend, so the best thing we could do was to see Bridesmaids! This movie was f-ing hilarious! Love it, love it, love it!

So anyway, all this work stress and travelling has been wreaking havoc on my health and fitness goals. The only plus was doing  fair amount of walking while I was in Chicago. I need to remotivate myself. So, in the vein of public declaration being the best motivator, here are my goals for the next few months:

1) Lose 15 pounds (this will probably take longer than a few months)

2) Be strong enough to do a real, proper-form push-up.

3) Be able to run a full mile without stopping (yes, this is something I cannot do currently, I’m ashamed to say)

Aaaand, go!