April 8th, 2013 by vivthevip
Now that I live in a remote place translated: a shopping wasteland. I have to force myself to shop on-line. Let me remind you I hate on-line shopping- Please take this short quiz: When you order online which of these experiences is true:
A. The size is wrong
B. The color is soo off
C. Not as pictured
D. You’re thrilled it fits no returns!
E. All of the above
As a decorator I feel the need to change the decor of one room in my house about every two years. This year it is my bedroom. First I will say that of all the rooms in my house I always save the best for last. In the case of our shared sanctuary I want dramatic without sleep deprivation and my husband thinks less is more. So agreeing on color, window treatments and the lot is hard to negotiate when he says she says. So I said to my husband I want a modern graphic yet serene retreat. He responds what’s its going cost? Well it depends.
If you want a large rug under a king size bed it costs more. Now Larry has never met a rug he didn’t like – we have many nice carpets but mostly red ones and I have a different vision for the floors of our bedroom now. Carpets or area rugs are like an expensive dress you adore but have grown tired of seeing. Of course you keep it but it doesn’t get out much now.
So many carpets so many duds
First of all, if you have a queen size bed your choices are 8 x 10 which are relatively affordable and easy to find. But a king bed set needs a much larger rug underneath it to properly fit the room and give one a cozy landing in the morning or middle of the night. Most king beds are 7 feet by 7 feet…so 9 x 12 should fit the bill right? Not exactly.
But let’s back track for now. After a 4 hour search on a designer website I found one. You narrow your results by style, size and price point. So after seeing at least 2 hundred I narrowed even further to two: one lavender leopard print and another more ethereal called the fade away like a Rothko painting. I veer towards animal prints as they are timeless. My husband preferred the fade away…so I gave in and ordered said rug. I took 10 days and I ordered the “white glove service,” for an additional $90 which means they bring it in and set it up. The size was 9 x 12 and the price $899.
When it arrived suffice it to say the only white present was the truck it arrived in. “Well I guess we’ll have to go it alone” I said. Long story short lots of steps and then…the torture of having to disassemble our king bed to position the rug underneath evenly.
Once opened and unfurled we had to lift the mattress, and box springs while vacuuming the remains of old dog hair…embarrassing. Once placed under the bed, and many bruises later remorse set in.
The colors were faded to point of looking like a cheap motel…the size was rectangular not square so that most of the rug was in front of rather than squarely centering the bed and even if I had flipped said rug hubby’s side of the room is smaller than my side as there is a built in closet that lessens the space for the widest end of the 9 x 12…it was a Horror! I could already hear my husband’s voice “Why do you insist on shopping online? Next day: I say:
“I have learned my lesson,” please forgive me honey? A week later I ordered another 2 rugs smaller ones I could put together to form the perfect square round my king size lair.
This time, I read the reviews about color, shedding and quality and proceeded to place my order. Hours later I jolted- thinking what was the return policy? After checking- it turns out to be TRICKY. So I got persnickety and demanded a Full stop of my purchase. It took some doing and calling out on twitter but my will was done.
So now my floors are still unadorned. To ease the pain, I jump into a pair of red slipper Uggs that makes my descent fleece footed instead of bare footed- less jarring until Aladdin’smagic carpet arrives…..OM
January 23rd, 2013 by vivthevip
The choice of flooring when one is renovating or gutting a home as I did is a daunting one to say the least. There are so many choices, materials, and price points to consider. However for me, an interior designer and decorator, it was extremely important considering that flooring is the one aspect of design that once installed cannot be removed easily. For this home- a stilt home on a lake in a wooded beach island community – I wanted wood but not what I’ll call Northern woods i.e, Oak, Maple, Walnut. I wanted to go lighter to echo the sand and sea just minutes from my home. So I chose bamboo. I have two large dogs and some people questioned my choice. However bamboo comes in three grades: soft, medium and hard. It also comes in various shades. I chose the hardest grade and the color blonde to keep the house light and airy feeling throughout.It has endured well despite my large dogs trampling and running hard on it. It has some scratches but they are not glaring. There is a Japanese philosophy called Wabi-Sabi that says a home should embrace and age gracefully and let flaws, scratches and imperfections shine thereby achieving a Zen state of living. That said- I am also a neat nick – but not obsessively. After all, lets face it, dogs shed and Labs and my new Golden Doodle (spoiler alert) sheds too! The labs hair is now mixed with the fluffy wispy and wooly tufts of hair that if not vacuumed for more than three days are the size of tumbleweeds. Unlike other hard woods that can be damp mopped bamboo floors need a little more TLC. So I bought myself a Steam cleaner: the Bissell steam mop. It does a reasonable job of removing stains and dirt but has two glaring design problems in my opinion. First, it does not have an on/off switch and also it only comes with one cleaning cover. Hello, Bissell?, is adding an on/off switch really that costly and secondly not having two covers means once it becomes dirty or filled with stray dog hair it has to be washed and dried before further use. I next tried the Haan S170R steam cleaner a friend had and let me borrow. This one has two velcro removable cloths and did a better job but still with steam cleaning streaky floors have to be re-steamed several times over- thus making the job harder. Finally I sampled the Hoover all purpose wood and tile steamer. It is impressive looking and does a great job of sucking out dirt, But releases too much water on wood surfaces leaving small puddles and is better suited for tile and marble floors only. On twitter, I contacted Dyson maker of smart looking and well designed products. Companies respond to complaints or concerns faster on twitter than any other medium. Dyson quickly got back to me and told me they are always inventing new products and to check out their web site for more information. So in the mean time I will continue to use my Bissell or consider purchasing the Haan but it feels like settling for second best. Until then, to quote a Rhianna song, my floors may not “shine bright like a diamond” but I choose to be happy- knowing that life and love are a messy business and in this pretty City one can still dream of a clean sweep- if only for a day.
January 3rd, 2013 by vivthevip
Gold Jewelry – Is the one item that was not on most people’s Christmas wish list this year. In fact a cursory look at Jewelry stores in and around my vicinity revealed that most if not all jewelers were Not carrying gold items. When they did have a limited number of bracelets or necklaces they were prohibitively expensive. Why? Because gold these days is the only commodity that represents or backs up world currencies. Due to financial crisis around the globe paper is only worth its weight in gold….So now that I am a certain age I did an inventory of my Jewelry collection to see if it was up to what I believe a woman of my age should have in her bling arsenal. First of course is a diamond ring that makes you and your spouse proud to say we have lasted 25 years….next a good watch, a tennis bracelet, a pair of diamond and gold earrings and finally a gold statement bracelet. This bracelet for me has been my holy grail.As I have been coveting one I saw 10 years ago on a successful real estate agent who wore it simply and proudly. No fuss just the bracelet, her ring and a nice watch simply earrings and viola she was my style jewelry icon. This year I chose to rid myself of old gold items that were beginning to tarnish from lack of wear. Truth be told they no longer represented my style. So I gathered them and went to my local jeweler in hopes of trading up or at least cashing in. All of my items were 18 carat – the most prized- but FYI Gold starts at 10,12, 14, 18, & 22 carats. I consulted the gold prices on the web so as to be informed before selling. Eighteen carat is worth more than even 22 because it is the most sought after. All of my pieces were 18 carat. On that day Gold was selling at $40 per gram but the jeweler gave me about a thousand dollars less because they take a commission and they then have to insure it to send it to get melted down. So be aware that prices vary according to gold value and its carat weight minus the commission. All in all I made a profit but even with $3400 in cash the item that I wanted was double the price! So that rainbow may Not hold that pot of gold because jewelers can’t sell it- as only a few people in this economy can afford the exorbitant prices. So until I win the lotto my statement bracelet will just be over the rainbow and waiting for me, some rainy day. Until then a girl can save or forget about it and go on a great vacation instead. So to my darling husband I said: “who needs an expen$ive bracelet when you can buy two tickets to Paradise instead?” Right, I’ll book it now,” He said. A good vacation may not be worth its weight in gold but the memories are priceless. Done and Done.
October 25th, 2012 by vivthevip
Having lived around the world collecting Fabulous stuff I learned that I am a three star, no make that four star ACE Shopper. When I spied with my little eyes recently a pair of boots- a personal footwear obsession of mine since childhood-A whole nother story- But I digress….I was on a Mission from God to find the Right boot and with so many choices and price points I told my husband this would be my Christmas present. This season I wanted to add to my growing “these boots are made for walking,” collection. The hunt was on for two styles…..one smart casual; the other, G-l-a-m-o-r–o-u-s. But there were two caveats: round or square toed only (I dislike the pointy toes) bad Feng Shui and no Towering Heel please and thank you.
The first ones I considered were Tory Burch’s ankle grey suede gold logo utilitarian ones but then I thought this is a big investment and the boot Must serve double duty and these were only casual in the end. So then I turned to online shopping which I dislike immensely but will become my New Normal as I no longer live in a shoppers paradise like Miami Beach. On the West Coast of Fl. one must drive one hour to Naples for variety,quality and the high end stores we do not have here in abundance. I found a second pair of ankle strap low heeled Tori’s again in Cognac….they are not cheap and they are stylish…..BUT listen up when you are buying a quality pair of Spendy shoes I frown on and reject synthetic soles. These boots fit my first bill but at $480…Why oh Why should these boots have Synthetic Soles? These cheapen what could have been a very classic staple. Compressed rubber or whatever……Show me the Leather or return to sender. So unless I find a similar boot with real leather soles…these will be returned. But the story has a happy ending: To be brief I scoured other retailers for my next shoe wish list: the modern boot with panache – and then………I found it! or should I say it found me. I don’t know whether to talk about the boot first or tell you about what I think is my new favorite store Anthropologie. The boot wins: It is simply divine…Black suede zipper in gold in the back and wait for it…..a LUCITE heel. I’m sorry but I am a sucker for Lucite anything. I called customer service and they had a little trouble finding them….when that happens it generally means Sold Out you’re out of luck. But being plucky and knowing that these boots where my statement accessory forever. I called their corporate headquarters in Philadelphia. My call was directed to Jennifer Leary director of E-commerce for Anthropologie I left a message and hoped for the best. It was a Friday. On Tuesday morning the 23rd my phone rang and it was a 215 area code my heart jumped. Hello she said I am calling to take care of your request to purchase the Air shine boot out of stock in almost all of their stores nationwide. I told her it was boot love at first sight and I was on a mission to acquire these $600 numbers. Let me see what I can do she said, noting my desperation. I left to work the political phones and upon my return several hours later….another message. “Vivian you must be very lucky as I was able to find one last pair in your size in a warehouse outpost,” her message said. “call me with your credit card info and I will ship them to you….So if there is a shoe god I knew it all along…and I got Geppettto’s last pair…..Now that’s real Satisfaction.
July 20th, 2012 by vivthevip
This is the tail of a “Kluft foot,” and the steel knighted company who gave consumers their due. Last year when I remodeled my lakeside home I purchased a full suite of kitchen appliances. I chose stainless steal – models that were attractive and budget friendly and Frigidaire because I trusted the brand and the name. Unfortunately my fridge had a defect almost immediately and had to be replaced. Then my dishwasher broke and had to be repaired. I quickly realized that these products were not up to par and I took to social media and called Frigidaire s’ Corporate headquarters to complain. But much to my amazement and delight my husband and I received an invitation from Electrolux /Frigidaire to meet all of its unhappy customers; but more about this later… Electrolux is a European owned company so classy is as classy does. But after a lavish dinner and fine room amenities all this group of executives wanted was to hear our feedback on how to improve their products! I don’t recall ever being given vip treatment by a large company Ever. By contrast Americans companies take on customer service is: Caveat Emptor! Let me tell you how the consumer is being taken by the mattress giants.In 2010 we purchased an expensive heirloom king size mattress made by E.S. Kluft & Company based in Cucamonga, Ca. Yes Virginia there really is a Cucamonga. After 2 years of wear the mattress developed a sink hole or as the mattress companies like to refer to them ” human impressions.” I contacted the store Robb & Stuckey Intl. who found my order and gave me instructions on how to contact the KLUFT Co. henceforth my the flukt foot company. I was sent a very detailed list of requirements: original receipt exact measurements, pictures, and( my left foot.) I completed all chores in record time. Two weeks later Linda of Kluft- sent me a letter saying that they were going to dispatch Precision Mattress Inspection company. A rep came, measured ,took photos and left. Two weeks later we received a negative response. I quote said letter: No manufacturing defects identified only normal body impressions.” We regret that the Manufacturer’s warranty does not extend to the problems you describe. Not happy with that dismissal I contacted the company again and after another 2 weeks their Vp called me. He offered to send their own guy this time to re-inspect the mattress again. Mr P.. I’ll call him, drove from Tampa and again conducted the same measurements only this time actually laid down to indeed feel the sink hole. That was Monday July 15th he left assuring me at the suits in Ca. would get back to me quickly….by Thursday I had not heard so I called suit #2 only to have him tell me he had filed his report but had not followed up….hm..I’ll call the V.P. he said you should hear back today….” When the veep called this is what he said: “there is no defect in this mattress and we stand by the manufacturer’s warranty which does not extend to your problem.” All in all this endeavor which began on June 14th ended in a blow out on July 19th. Enter my Stainless steel Knight- the Eletrolux Company- a European company for starters who took quite the opposite tack- One that is remarkable and to be emulated by all American companies. Talking to their customers and seeking suggestions for improvements to their products was the only agenda. Bill Lange and a group of about 20 Fridigdaire executives from all over the southwest and even Canada came with” the buck stops here attitude,” and whats more within a week of said event were already shippping out new and improved appliances to replace the original ones! Mr Bill Lange and Eletrolux are shinning examples of what true customer service should mean going forward in this economy. Electrolux/Fridgidaire get it….too bad American companies have lost the pride of making people happy while they outsource products and jobs while protecting their sacred dividends. This tale leaves one a sinking feeling when it comes to Americas’ big business attitude while a foreign company with shinning leadership have taken the old American adage- the squeaky wheel gets the grease- to new heights. For Electrolux/Frigidaire is what we once were and could be again-a nation of widget makers who put the We and not the I in customer service.
April 20th, 2012 by vivthevip
Dear Readers, It has been two years since my last blog posting on this website. I moved from Miami Beach to a barrier island on the west coast of Florida when my husband chose to retire and be closer to grandkids and brother. We bought a lakeside house that was a complete Gut Job. It took six months – a relatively fast process but we lived in chaos while every square inch of this house was demolished.
I undertook this project because no one else would or had the vision that I did upon seeing what I called the roach motel. It had sat on the market in a rather upscale neighborhood for a very long time due to neglect and simply put it was Butt Ugly; both inside and out. Nonetheless I as a decorator knew exactly what to do with it. I turned the neighborhood eye sore into a modern, clean, light and airy space that I am extremely proud of. I designed my own kitchen, bathroom, bedrooms, media and living rooms and even designed our new swimming pool. In short it was my finest work to date. But Murphy’s Law injected itself into our lives so my victory was short-lived to put it mildly.
I will truncate my misery by saying hubby was called back to work due to his Middle East expertise and I was left alone in the woods. And now to quote a P. Diddy song “a house isn’t a home if your loved one is gone.” And so I went AWOL. While he was in a war-torn country I packed my favorite things and moved back to Miami Beach to a condo with my two labs in tow.
While my husband was gone for almost 3 months we decided mutually that the separation was necessary and what we both wanted. Living alone in the condo- even though the beach was my home proved to be my unraveling. I plunged into a very dark and deep depression and decided that what needed fixing was my appearance. So emotionally wrought and desperately insecure about my cellulite ridden knees I found a plastic surgeon that I trusted to rid my knees of fat and their droopy appearance. Mind you many years before this I had been turned down by countless doctors because they told me they would not undertake a job they could not be proud of themselves.
But all I cared about was having knees I wouldn’t have to hide… and to be able for the first time since my twenties to wear knee-baring clothing without complete and utter humiliation. And so I hired said Dr. to perform liposuction and unbeknownst to me he also decided to remove excess skin. When I awoke from this surgery I discovered much too my surprise and shock that his incision was directly above my knee and that the scars he has left me with are worse than the chubby knees I had before. People who see his handy work including other plastic surgeons are horrified and feel terribly sorry for me.
So by this time my husband and I reconciled and thankfully he loves me ugly scars and all. But dear reader this is where you hopefully can gain from my stupidity and loss. Never have any cosmetic procedure done when you are emotionally a mess. Secondly ask to see other similar operations he has performed and thirdly make sure that he is not a butcher and a sadist. So what does one do when terribly disfigured by terribly ugly horrible scars? Option 1. Laser I have had 3 treatments at $300 a pop that are supposed to remove the pigment that causes scars to darken. They are painful (like being electrocuted on purpose) and so far I have had no improvement.
Option number 2. This one was recommended by the second surgeon I consulted. He assured me that this would indeed camouflage my now hideously dark incisions. The product they recommended is called Dermablend. I googled the product and discovered that Ulta Beauty stores carry it. My husband accompanied me to the Dermablend professional who after shuddering at my scars began to assemble a color combo that would match my skin tone……and here’s the rub. I had decided to tan myself for the first time in many years hoping to minimize the gaping dark half moons that now scream “look at me”. Big mistake. For as it turns out, sun exposure actually makes scars darker and harder to conceal.
So after several different color combos we settled for the darkest one, even though it was orangey looking. Now here is what I must do if I want to conceal my wounds. First apply a primer then blend in the color and finally finish off with a “setting powder.”
Really, seriously folks, why don’t I just hire a professional make-up crew to come over every time I need to look presentable?
I am told that this product works well as long as A.) your have a fair complexion and B.) you don’t have a tan! Well, here I am living in Florida and should you have a tan and a hideous ugly scar well so sorry (we don’t have your shade)! The salesgirl laughed at that herself.
Oh! and the cost of these products is approximately $100. The kicker is the product is so waterproof that to remove it is a herculean effort. I decided my search would continue.
Now if we can remove wrinkles, and fat and lasers are used for almost all surgeries now WHY oh why I ask can’t these same lasers also remove disfiguring scars????
My next option is a whitening lotion that I apply every night at bedtime and that too has shown no improvement.
The Gestalt school of psychology states” the whole is greater than its parts:” –I disagree cause now my ugly parts- define me for all eternity .
So this is my plea on bended Knee, pardon the pun, to anyone out there in fashion and clothing design please, please make two lengths one short for those with great gams and longer lengths for those like me who even if I beg or plead will never have pretty knees. The end.
September 28th, 2010 by vivthevip
Hello, from the West Coast of Florida. As you know I moved from my beloved Miami Beach to a barrier Island that I will call Xanadu so as not to offend the locals. We moved here because my husband retired from his world traveling career and wanted to get away from it all. We now live in the woods; a woods with a beach I might add, but still the woods; wildlife included. We purchased this house sight unseen because of its location, it sits on lake. It is a stilt home as many homes here are. It was built in 1987, but the formica, linoleum, and dark brown woods make it appear more like 1967. The house has good bones but is a total T.K.O. meaning total gut job. Every room in the house is literally being stripped down to studs and nails. Did I mention we are living here while this has been going on? Yeah, now you get the picture. My two dogs are to be commended for their exceptional patience and understanding now that they are not free to roam like they used to as we have to wait for permits to put up a fence. Our lake you see has alligators; They’re homesick and so am I. Here’s why: My Closets are in Mourning!! I live in the woods, in a community where everyday is casual Friday. Meanwhile having lived around the world in large cosmopolitan cities my family and I have alot of clothes. In fact I’m telling this story out of guilt and maybe to justify that we are clothes horses. We have what one calls an investment wardrobe. Like other professionals we had to entertain alot and attend important business and cultural events. This means not only having a versatile wardrobe but one that is also ever evolving to allow the classics to be “contemporized.” We’re currently live amid construction rubble, everyday starting at 8 a.m. our crew arrives. I am directing the design as it is my hobby. But when you are living amongst contractors comments about our abundance of apparel become fodder for gossip. So the cat or should I say the clothes are out of the closet and our secret is that our closets runneth over literally. Our new house makes our joint clothing allowance per person in the eyes of outsiders look obscene. In fact one chatty and amiable fellow told me he had never seen so many clothes in one household. Xanadu has no night life at all. So our closets here need closetsbut the clothes, oy my beautiful clothes. Where do lonely wardrobe contents go for an outing? My investment wardrobe has become a loss leader; sitting idle without growth or chance to make strides. Not playing dress up makes me feel like I’ve been assigned to a hard labor camp. Before I continue this indulgent whining let me say that I count my blessings everyday. I grew up economically challenged, however being a fashionista from birth even then I could put together great looks on a shoe string budget. The Gods have been good to me. I don’t have a closet full of designer clothes(shoes and bags maybe the exception). But what my family and I do have are classics. Clothes that you can buy at national department stores on sale that are worth owning – why? because as long as you stick to classics your wardrobe will never be out- dated. Like buying stocks or art or that one must have piece from Design without reach, (furniture) you can never go wrong. So I know that in this economy my investment pieces should yield high returns. But that only happens when you live in places where they can be worn. Now they are loss leaders. Idling in my closets without potential for growth and at the present time and locale cannot even yield a happiness index. The contents of my wardrobe has faded to black. They will have no curtain call to attend. They have been benched indefinitely waiting for a new contract or gig with their owners. So whats a girly girl to do? And how can I be pretty in this “city,”? Only time will tell….stay tuned.
August 11th, 2010 by vivthevip
OK I just moved to the west coast of Florida. I have been here a mere two weeks but enough time for this city girl to observe this: are Americans as a whole getting too comfortable with their appearances? Let me explain. I chose to attend a charity function on this small island where I now reside. I went alone not knowing anyone and hoping to find women like me who are fashion conscious but not slaves to it. I do not want to appear to be catty at all really, but of the 40 women gathered their only 2 were au courant. The others may have had decent dresses or ensembles on but they all were wearing flip flops!!! Flip flops at night??? On what planet does a woman go out to an evening event with a nice dress on and don a pair of drugstore flipflops, be they high heeled or flat??? I was so stricken by the causalness of their footware that I felt like they had just left the beach and thrown on a nice dress and forgotten to change their shoes. In a non- scientific manner I would say that 9 of 10 women choose ugly and comfortable over fashion and style. When attending any event there is appropriate footwear for each occasion. The beach is yes flip flops. The grocery store perhaps a closed shoe but still a fashionable choice. Walking calls for a stylish shoe of which today their are many choices. And then evening: need I say more?? Appartenly so. Since when does anyone go to an event between the hours of 5 and 11 p.m. with comfy frompy shoes on??? It’s no wonder that Europeans can pick out Americans travelling abroad by their choice of comfortable footwear, ie. sneakers or other inappropriate shoe options. Just because one lives on an island does not give you license to abandon the rules of simple professional dress etiquette. If you are a woman no matter your age when you are attending a function at night even in the heat of summer FLIP FLOPS are a definite Faux Flop. I know that this is going to make some women angry, while others who wear 5 inch heels will laugh at my 2 and 1/2 inch specimens and say why isn’t she keeping up to their towering heights. Well my answer to that is I buy pretty shoes but not shoes that require me to get on a ladder to remove them safely. On the other hand if you only wear low and comfy shoes your lovely dress or skirt becomes a joke the minute one spies inappropriare footwear on your feet. Evening is the magic hour. Whether you’re single or married one takes time to dress and shoes do make or break an outfit. As a trained observer I flinch while also trying to contain myself. I want to go up to said woman and ask her ” can I give you a fashion footwear intervention”?? I am not judgemental; but there are rules even when we live in the tropics “mon,” that remain imprinted if you will on my fashion psyche. Night time means heels or a pair of beautiful wedges, pumps or sparkly sandals. This maxim I assure you has not changed one iota with the exception of a lovely ballet slipper preferably metalic or designer in nature. So I end this solefull diatribe much like Carey Bradshaw would- with a question. Have we become too comfortable in our own shoes?? And maybe it’s time to walk a mile in another pair just for fun and beauty please.
July 11th, 2010 by vivthevip
Well for those of you who follow this blog here’s the latest - I sold my house. For those of you who maybe new to my world, welcome, the news is I am moving to another Florida locale. At last writing I was none too happy. But low and behold, shortly after the sign went up the calls began. Three people came and went, but the second couple returned two more times and then “made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.” And just like (snap), after a mere eight days on the market we had a contract. So what does this have to do with beauty you ask? Let me explain. First I am a trained professional so I staged my home. It took 2 weeks of hard editing, decluttering and de-personalizing the entire space. The same advice I have given countless clients I had to apply to my formerly cozy home. Gone were family photos, too many collectibles and anything in closets that made them look stuffed. Winter clothes got boxed and stored as well as all miscellaneous “put-arounds” that are distracting to potential lookers and buyers. A clean slate remained but each room still retained its distinctive charm minus clutter and too many personal items. There is a fine line between sterile and homey. So make sure it is clean yet stylish at once. To achieve my results you’ll need some basic products that I couldn’t live without: 1. A good odor remover. For a fresh smelling home go to Bed Bath &Beyond and purchase an expensive bottle of Zero Odor for $12.99. I purchased two spray bottles as well as the gel form. The spray lasted almost 2 months, and it does the trick of completely eliminating odors whether they be food, dogs, or what not. The price is worth it. Secondly at your local grocery store buy several bags of scented rocks. These placed in the right rooms waft a subtle scent that is not overwhelming or faint. Finally following the rules of fend shui I left my pool fountain on all day, the sound of water brings luck they say and is relaxing to boot. I also purchased a new plant which I placed in a red pot at my entrance paired with a matching chair. In the living room I placed another architectural living plant in a corner to warm the room. Finally new bedding and a sparkling clean home does wonders to bring brightness and light; and as they say cleanliness is next godliness which is next to sold. It worked! I hired an excellent pro to come in and do the major cleaning that I had no time for. It pays off enormously. Finally after buyers leave and you get a break, I unwind with a hot soak with epsom salts at least 3 times a week de rigueur no? It is great for aches and pains and more importantly doesn’t leave a residue like other bath products. Your beauty products must be pared down and placed in a container (I used a plastic shoe holder). I placed my daily essentials like mascara, creams and concealers with maintenance products like toothpaste, eye drops etc., in this clear plastic box which simply got stored under the bathroom sink and Viola!, tidy and organized at once. Your garden should be neat and attractive just like you and your home. And finally breathe a lot as moving is the third most stressful event in ones life next to death and divorce. I was lucky because I know this freight train of change is clearly heaven sent. So take time to buy and smell some fresh flowers because the entire process can be managed successfully and pleasantly without too much pain. Hence beauty is not just limited to our physical selves but to our surroundings as well so please add beautiful touches to every room that reflect your inner spirit and true self. Because I believe that selling your home is like living in a fish bowl – your home is a reflection of self and your selling the whole package to total strangers who will” buy you and your home” or not. It takes hard work and a little divine intervention but staying true to thine self may just sell your home and make you look good too!