Stood Up By The Electrician

Here is a lovely example of how reviewing something that is bad is so much easier then reviewing something that is good. Last week I had intended on writing a review for a quote we received on finishing our basement. I had two pages written, but the service was so good and complete just for a quote that the review sounded more like an advertisement. It just wasn’t anything that would add value to anyone searching for their services because their web site and other reviewers covered it all. (It was also in need of an editor because it was bland AF.) Monday of this week I was supposed to get a quote from an electrician, well, if you’ve read the title you know where this is going.

8:30 am came and once again I was kicking myself for not putting up a note regarding the lack of working door bells. I wondered if he would park in the driveway and make his way up the side stairs just as the plumber and HVAC guys had, or maybe he’ll park in the driveway and make his way around to the front of the house just as Sam had attempted when she came to give us an estimate on our basement. (I knew who she was so I waved her in before she got too far.) Would he even park in the driveway at all?

8:40 am and I was hunting down the email with the appointment details. Yes, it was that Monday at about 8:30 am. Well, “about” leaves it a little iffy. I sat in silence at my laptop nestled between the front and side doors so I could hear anyone making their way up our squeaking steps.

8:50 am and I’m wondering if the traffic on I94 had him held up. It was a “parking lot” based on one facebook friend’s observation. The hubby even reported Waze taking him on a rather round about way to get to campus. I scowled at the temporary blinds, stuck in their down position because we put plastic over the windows to help protect against the cold snap that came through weeks ago, preventing me from seeing the comings and goings of the street. I can hardly wait to be able to see out our windows again.

8:55 am and I’m weighing my options. The appointment was going to be about an hour, I was expected at work about 10:30 and it was a 20ish minute drive there. I hadn’t eaten breakfast or packed a lunch. Should I leave a note in the door saying, “Thanks for Nothing” or call and check in like a rational human being, even though I hate making phone calls.

9:00 am I make my way back to the email and find a number to call. Paula, was apologetic, confirmed my appointment and said she’d call me back once she got a hold of the electrician.

9:05 am I get the call back. Apparently technology is to blame. The electrician had a new PC and my appointment didn’t carry over, so he was on another job in another town and I would have to reschedule. Now I’m pissed.

Really? Of all the appointments made mine got lost in the fields of data that is the cloud? What are you possibly using that the appointments in front of your face in the office don’t match the appointments in front of the face of the electrician going to the job? I could have been uber productive at work!

9:10 am I’m in a pissy mood as I pack up my laptop and lunch for the office. I even take some leftovers to make as breakfast, because Stir Fry is good any time of day even when I don’t use enough Soy Sauce.

On the one hand, accidents happen. I have lost appointments, both personally and professionally, at some point or another due to user error. On the other hand, I gave up several hours of work and being in proximity to awesome people, in hopes to give someone my money to do a job I probably could take on myself but would rather pay a professional to do. Yes, the office manager was apologetic, and there was nothing that could be done to get the electrician there at that point because neither time travel nor teleportation exists. However, a follow up email offering alternative appointments would have been appreciated, and if they had included a small discount off services for the mishap that would have been even better.

Now, I’ve got several options. I can schedule another appointment with the same service provider, I did reach out to them for a reason; they’re local, they come with good reviews, and have an excellent score with the BBB. I could reach out to other electricians, besides the one I googled Monday in anger and haven’t heard back from. Or, I could take the recommendation of a friend of a friend and call (ick) a guy who doesn’t come with a company name so I can’t do my pre-appointment scheduling research.

After a few days to chill out, I ultimately decided to give them another try. One email to Sam and Mike was scheduled to come out today. Hubby was left with a sizable list of needs, wants, and questions, here’s hoping that it gets put to good use today. If not, well our insurance premiums just went up so maybe it would be one less thing to pay for in the immediate future.



2018 Read List

We are four weeks into 2018 and I’m two books into my Goodreads Reading Challenge goal of 40. I couldn’t wait until all my unread books were unpacked so I started the year off with Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and quickly devoured the second book Siege and Storm. I started the last book in the trilogy, Ruin and Rising this morning, and will likely polish it off by the end of this weekend. No comments until I’ve read the entire series.

Knowing the challenge that awaits me, as well as a new bookcase that needs some space filled, we hit up Half Priced Books this past weekend and got some new-to-me books. Some I’ve read, others not so much. First, the books I’ve read:

Wicked / Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire
Heir of Fire by Sara J Maas
Queen of Shadows by Sara J Maas

The Throne of Glass series, as well as A Court of Wings and Ruin, by Sara J Maas were originally Kindle purchases. They have easily become favorites and it’s time to upgrade them from digital to physical copies. Wicked and Son of a Witch I owned a couple of life times (and addresses) ago. It’s nice to have a hardcover copy of both as I build out my collection of Gregory Maguire books. I may not have loved all the ones I’ve read so far, but his take on the classic tales is fascinating.

For my new-to-me books I haven’t read I picked up everything I could by Jojo Moyes. Me Before You was such a good cry and it’s about time to continue the series with After You, possibly in time for the release of the third, but that would be quite ambitious. I also found The Girl You Left Behind and The Last Letter From Your Lover. Lastly, I picked up In A Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware. After seeing it’s stunning cover, what feels like everywhere, I just had to have it. Here’s hoping it was worth the fascination.

Now for the real reason I started this blog post. Part of my 2018 “resolutions” include reading all the unread books I have. Well, now that they are all unpacked here’s the list, in no particular order, of all the (fiction) books I have that I’d like to get through this year:

Meddling Kids by Edgar Cantero
Goodbye Vitamin by Rachel Khong
Emma in the Night by Wendy Walker
Sing, Unburied, Sing by Jasmyn Ward
Manhattan Beach by Jennifer Egan
Final Girls by Riley Sager
The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
Wool by Hugh Howley
The Darkest Part of the Forest by Holly Black
One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Unforgettable by Paul McComas
The Detective by Roderick Thorp
Nothing Lasts Forever by Roderick Thorp
Armageddon in Retrospect by Kurt Vonnegut
Liminal States by Zack Parsons
Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Hiddensee by Gregory Maguire
The Alchemaster’s Apprentice by Walter Moers
The City of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
The Labyrinth of Dreaming Books by Walter Moers
Grimm’s Fairy Tales illustrated by Noel Pocock
Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski
Notes From Underground by Fyodor Dostoyevsky
Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep by Philip K Dick
The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
Bloodhound by Tamora Pierce
Step Aside Pops by Kate Beaton
Hark! A Vagrant by Kate Beaton
The Tick The Complete Edlund
Breath of Bones: A Tale of the Golem by Steve Niles, Dave Wachter, & Matt Santoro
I Am Legend by Richard Matheson
V for Vendetta by Alan Moore, David Lloyd
Code Monkey Save World by Pak, Coulton, Miyazawa, Kholinne, & Bowland
Maus by Art Spiegelman
Blue is the Warmest Color by Julie Maroh
Stephen King’s The Dark Tower – The Gunslinger Born by DAvid, Furth, LEe and Isanove
American Splendor by Harvey Pekar
Expedition by Wayne Douglas BArlowe
Poorly Drawn Lines by Reza Farazmand
The Evil Garden, The Willowdale Handcar, The Iron Tonic, The Doubtful Guest, & Amphigorey all by Edward Gorey
Billy Purgatory: I am the Devil Bird by Jesse James Freeman
Trampling in the Land of Woe by William Galaini
The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling
Blackadder 1485-1917
The Princes Bride by William Goldman
Einstein’s Dreams by Alan Lightman
The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
Tailchasers Song by Tad Williams

If my math is correct, counting the trilogy I’ve started by Bardugo, that brings my total reading list to 60 books. That’s not even including the books I’ll be accumulating from Book of the Month, or whatever other covers catch my fancy, not to mention the pre-ordered Maas book I should get in May, or even the handful of non fiction titles I’d like to read, such as Lauren Graham’s, Talking as Fast as I Can: From Gilmore Girls to Gilmore Girls (and Everything in Between). Which means I’m well on my way to reach and exceed my goal.

Now, to be completely honest, a few of these titles (Pride and Prejudice and Bloodhound to point fingers) I have tried to read on multiple occasions, and they just didn’t hold my interest. I don’t know if that was the fault of the writing or the fault of whatever life was like at those particular moments. However, I’ve lumped them in the Catch 22, no matter how much I’d like to read them, they just might not be something I can enjoyably get through, and I feel no need to take on compulsory reading.

For the few that are reading along, share what your reading or a book you love to recommend. It’s never too early to start next year’s books I have and need to read pile.

Where to put the books?

I’ve been a fan of Beauty and the Beast since it’s 1992 VHS release. Even at eight years old one of the most magnificent things about the movie was Beast’s library. Now, 27 years after it was in theaters, book lovers share memes regarding that library being their dream versus others dreaming of the prince.

In our apartment we had nine bookshelves (four tall, five short) and no wall space to add more. We debated upgrading the short ones to tall ones, but then we’d have no space for our limited collection of wall decor. It was a conundrum. When looking at houses, one of the things I looked for was the wall space to accommodate more bookshelves. With the house we ultimately purchased the possibilities are great.

Since the walls have been painted, we’ve been working on one of the first major projects for the house, “built in” bookcases. This project will do several things for our living space:

1) Give us some much need storage space for our books. Not to mention allow us to unpack said books.
2) Bring me a little closer to the dream of having my own library.
3) Help insulate an exterior wall, without actually opening up the wall.
4) Get me acquainted with new hardware (toggle bolts) and reacquainted with power tools I haven’t used since middle school wood shop.

5) Test the new years resolution to not overestimate myself. If I can successfully build this, it would instill confidence to take on other household projects. If not, I would need to start budgeting to pay other people or start calling in the generous offers of friends.

I started with Pinterest, of course, and was immediately drawn to the IKEA Billy Bookcase “hacks”. I couldn’t get enough of how people took the variety of prefab cases and made them one with their homes, from rec rooms, to offices, to living rooms, each was a bright idea come to life.

The downside to IKEA is the closest one is currently a 90 minute drive away, and I was much too antsy to wait until summer for the local one to open. However, since our new house lacked closet space and our bed frame broke when deconstructing it for the movers, the $75 shipping fee would go a long way when ordering three bookcases, a bed frame with built in storage, and a wardrobe each for the hubby and myself.

While waiting for our goods to arrive I plotted out how I wanted to approach this project. We have a 7.5 inch baseboard currently so thoroughly attached to the wall (preventing the cases from being flush) that I dented the wall trying to pry it off. Instead of causing further damage, we’d build a base so the cases go over the baseboard, and will affix the same patterned board to the front and exposed side at the base of the cases.

I toyed with the idea of putting drawers underneath the cases and utilizing what would otherwise be dead space. As useful as the extra storage may have been, I one) didn’t want the extra work, and two) didn’t want to weaken the base for the number of books that will be stored on top of it. If these shelves were being used for a dozen books and various light-weight tchotchkes the drawers would have been perfect. However, these bookshelves will house books. Lot’s of them. Some dainty and light like The Princess and the Pony, others huge and hefty like the hardcover version of The Complete Far Side: 1980 to 1994 (weighing almost 20 pounds).

The first stages of the project took longer than I hoped. First, and probably the most frustrating (not to mention embarrassing) is when cutting the pieces to make the base I mathed wronged. The saying may be “measure twice, cut once” but it doesn’t help you if you calculate the wrong lengths to start with. Along with needing to cut the longer boards shorter for the un-accounted added width of the short side boards, we also needed to trim the boards that would be used for support. The long boards were hardly a problem, but we didn’t have the best means of making sure the smaller pieces were secured to ensure a straight(ish) cut. However, hubby managed.

Next up, is we wanted to paint the backings to match the wall. We learned the hard way that you don’t paint first and then slide into place. Paint scraped off and in one case gummed up the track so bad the backing didn’t fit in properly. It took some work with a pliers and flat head screw driver to correct. Once the backings were all nailed into place (using twice the screws provided) the hubby taped up the side and put on another coat. Some peeled off when we removed the tape, but not enough to bother touching up. This is a good note if we ever attempt this again.

Third, and totally out of our control, the baseboards in our house are not readily available at the local hardware stores. Further, when removing the baseboard shoe so our base would be flush with the current baseboard, we found that the floor was built after the baseboard was installed. About ¾ of an inch of the baseboard is below the floor – no wonder I couldn’t pry it off to begin with. This leaves us needing to either custom order baseboard so our bookshelves match or potentially finding new baseboard and fastening it over the current stuff so everything matches (not to mention gets a much needed facelift). Honestly, this isn’t nearly as important as getting everything properly secured to the walls and loaded with our books.

Finally, we came to the moment of anchoring the base and shelves to the wall. The base was too narrow to fit a drill and the screws, leaving us to hand tighten 2 of the 2.5 inches until there was enough clearance for the drill. Doing it this way I realized we didn’t quite hit the mark of our pre-drilled holes, but we managed. If we were to do it again, we’d get the nails into the base and press the base side into the wall to get a more accurate marking for pilot holes, but I digress.

With the base secured to the wall, we needed to get the shelves onto the base. We attempted at first to lean the shelves and slide them on, but our space prohibited us from achieving the proper angle to pull it off. In the end it was all in the knees, we lined it up to the base, counted to three, and lifted straight up and back. OMG it was on the base! It wasn’t perfect, I didn’t take into account how far the wall bowed out so even though the shelves are on the base and the tops of the shelves are flush with the wall, a gap starts to form about a third of the way down leaving a two inch clearance from the bottom shelves and the wall. However, with the base and knowing the patch work that was done to the plaster on that wall, this doesn’t concern me in the least, so we kept moving forward.

We took a moment and set up everything needed for the last step, anchoring the shelves to the wall. We pulled out the step ladder. Un-boxed the brackets that already had the toggle bolts set up. Brought in the mini shop vac and extension cord for the mess that would be made. Then set up the drills. Our toggle bolts required a 9/16th inch pre-drilled hole. We did not have a 9/16th inch drill bit.

I looked at the time, it was just after 7pm. I did not want to go out into the cold and go to Menard’s for what felt like the hundredth time since buying our home in December. But an hour later, with smaller toggle bolts (because our drill wasn’t big enough for a 9/16th inch drill bit) and chocolate shake in our bellies, we had the means to anchor the shelves to the wall.

Jonathan took to taking apart the brackets with the too big toggle bolts and assembling the small ones while I put holes through our wall. A few moments later, holes drilled through plaster, wood lath, and a bit of insulation, I was ready to plug up the slight drafts with bolts, washers, and brackets. Now, the toggle bolts didn’t slip in nearly as easily as I expected, but wholly cow did they work wonders once they were in. Another moment and the brackets, six in all, were secured to the tops of case.

I was ecstatic. We were so much closer to making the house home! We cleaned up, and put in the shelves and just basked in our progress. It was almost nine thirty, past our usual bedtime, so we didn’t want to take on the task of filling the shelves quite yet. Figured I’d leave it to hubby the next day while I was at work.

Well, come morning, I became a little worker bee as I started pulling boxes from the side room that had become a catch all. I sorted books based on fiction or nonfiction, only pausing to make breakfast. I had to call it quits when it was time to leave for work, and there’s at least one box that still has books in it, if not more. There was an incredible surge of warmth, and pride, and confidence in getting this far, and I can hardly wait to get the rest of the books shelved, and alphabetized.

Now, as mentioned before this is not finished, but the details aren’t a priority. It is such a huge relief to finally have sentimental and personal stuff out of boxes. There’s about a dozen more to sort through, odds and ends like cables, light fixtures, and knickknacks, be we are getting there. Now that there’s room in the office, maybe, just maybe, I’ll actually be able to set up my desktop and start making the office functional instead of glorified storage. Once we get all those boxes unpacked, the major stuff where it needs to be, then we can start to worry about the details.

Closing Day

Twenty-one days ago, at 9am US Central time, the hubby and I closed on our first house. Twenty-one days ago, by about 9pm US Central time, I wanted to give the house back.

December 8th, after weeks of showing little to no outward signs of anxiety, sentimentality, fear, nervousness or any number of other emotions one might display for such a huge change, I paced. The culmination of nerves, rearing its head to explode, buzzed through my veins as my eyes flicked to the clock every few minutes, waiting to finally walk out the door and make it all official. I felt all those emotions at some point or another during the month and a half long process as we watched favorite listings sell before we could see them, as we walked house after house that just didn’t cut it up close, or through each cycle of paperwork, wait, repeat. The 8th however, they all vied for my attention at once.

We were buying a house. We were going to be home owners. We would be leaving our fifth-floor, one-bedroom, apartment, the place we called home for eight years, and trading it in for a two-story, three-bedroom, house that, if all goes well, we’ll call home for the next 40 plus. We were trading in our rent for a mortgage, paid public-parking for a two car garage. We were walking away from property managers that took care of broken exhaust fans and leaking ceilings to either figure it ourselves or pay to have someone figure it out for us.

All of that excited me. Our mortgage is less than our rent. I’d no longer have to make a trip to the parking office to pay for parking each month. I wouldn’t have to wait for maintenance to fix things when I could probably do it myself. Nor would I have to wait for maintenance to come back and clean up the mess they started.

I felt so prepared for closing day. Heck, I had the whole weekend planned out. I had the list of cleaning supplies I wanted to bring so we could clean all the surfaces before we moved in. I had a list of small projects I wanted to tackle right out the gate, like the ridiculously low handrail to the basement stairs. We had paint samples picked out for the four rooms we wanted painted before furniture was moved. I even had spreadsheets made up so we could measure each room and all the windows, and map the outlets to their switches/lights/breakers.

Closing day, we were in and out of the bank by 10am. Hardly thirty minutes later we were walking through our house for the first time without a realtor as chaperon. We moved the supplies we brought with us into the house, cleaned up a bit, and took a picture of ourselves playing the inaugural game of Othello. It was the only pic we took that first weekend.

The rest of the day was spent cleaning (but not enough), shopping (but again, not enough), and eating (probably too much). We kept getting distracted with details, things that needed to get done but probably could have waited. By the time we called it quits for the day and went back to our apartment, I never wanted to leave our fifth-floor, one-bedroom home again. It was too much. There was too much to do and not enough time, or money, our available hands when we needed/wanted them. I officially felt like I was in way over my head, and I wanted nothing more than my mommy to give me hug and make it all go away.

I didn’t want to deal with the uneven basement floor, too narrow and too steep stairs, or the doors that suffered more abuse than I can describe but are all custom sizes so there’s no quick fix. I didn’t want to look at the trim work that is so old and caked with paint the details are blurring, or the trim work that is new but poorly cut and still had the finishing nails poking out. I didn’t want to redo the poorly caulked seams of the shower or windows. I didn’t want to walk into a room and notice another spot where the previous children doodled on the floor/wall/ceiling/appliance Mostly, I didn’t want to see another thing in that house that was done so poorly I’d have to add it to my to-do list, because that list was already longer than a lifetime of Christmas wish lists.

I didn’t want the house anymore. What had I been thinking wanting it in the first place?! Then, I felt bad for not wanting it. I was the one who pushed for buying a house instead of finding a larger apartment – it just makes more fiscal sense to buy versus rent. I wanted a yard. The husband wants a dog. We both want kids. All of those things couldn’t happen with an apartment where we wanted to live. I had wanted house, but not at the end of that first day. The end of that first day and I would have happily opted to live the apartment life until the end of my life.

Twenty-one days later, the ridiculously low handrail hasn’t been fixed, though we have all the parts. The furniture has all been moved in, but the walls still need to be painted. We have yet to take measurements or learn where all the outlets/switches/lights/breakers go. Twenty-one days later we are still stumbling across odd and awkward fixes, and children’s scribbles, but I love our house. I’ve woken up every morning after that first day in awe that we own a house and excited and optimistic about the changes we want and need to make, and I can hardly wait to share the experiences.

Stay Tuned

It’s been almost a month since my last post, wow, time sure does fly when you are having fun. Things got crazy in July. If you’ve been following along on Instagram the husband and I had a bit of an adventure visiting family on the East Coast and attending a wedding in Kentucky for some really awesome friends. Even before that there were holiday shenanigans and game night with local pals.

Since then I’ve had oodles of subscriptions delivered that I need to get reviews caught up on. I’ll even be putting together a mega post on all the ones I’ve done so far, including insights on customer service, skipping and/or canceling subscriptions, and which ones are worth the bucks.

After that I’ll be quiet on the subscription front for a while as I take up the reigns as Dungeon Master for a long distance Dungeons and Dragons campaign. This will be my first time leading as DM and I am beyond exciting for the chance to work on my narrative skills and flex the imagination a bit.

Until then, subscribe on my friends!

Busy Bee, Bummed Bonnet

Sometimes plans just don’t happen like you planned them.

For the last month I’ve been getting ready for an event that I’ve partaken in the last few years. I had signs designed. New items to show case. I was getting pumped sharing and counting down to the event on facebook, which was a small part in a grand plan to help generate a larger turnout than in years past.

However, when the ducks don’t show, you can’t really line them up.

After weeks of waiting to hear from anybody else working the event and getting nothing but crickets, I had to make some tough calls this morning. Do I forfeit an entire Saturday for an event that has been underwhelming due to lack of turnout, with no promise of better attendance this year, or do I take that Saturday and have a leisurely stroll through the the farmers market with my favorite person and come home and start focusing my efforts on something that could be more advantageous?

Yeah, I picked the latter.

I let the powers-that-be know this morning that they had a vacancy. I hope they have a fantastic year. Unfortunately, with the lack of publicizing the event, it wasn’t a gamble I could convince myself to make a third time.

I spent this morning bummed out. I had been waiting to help promote this event since last year, I even had the foundation set in place months ago. Every morning for the last three weeks, not seeing the correspondence I needed to move forward, chipped at my excitement. It felt like I would be in a foul mood all week, but who has time for that?

Spending the morning sulking was more energy than I care to waste on this, so it’s time to pick myself up from this bout of disappointment, dust myself off, and carry on. Now, there is a lot to do as I prepare to shut down my Jamberry business and start up the Etsy shop once more.

For Jamberry: I’ve got to find a good home for all my Jamberry promo materials and send out thank yous to my best customers. I’ve got loads of digital files to clean out and a Facebook page to delete. Plus, there’s the sponsor to reach out to and commissions to spend.

For Etsy: I’ve got new product that needs to be listed and old product that needs updated inventory and pictures. I’ve got to verify that all the social media platforms are being fully utilized, and that links aren’t outdated. Plus, I’ve got to find more cost effective shipping methods and schedule time to regularly create and offer new items.

It will be such a treat when I’ve worked through all this decluttering and refocusing. Can hardly wait to share what’s to come.

Light Up Room

With all this makeup-ing around I figured it’s high time I get myself some proper lighting. Being renters limits options and planning a ten day road trip at the end of the month narrows them down even more with a small budget. Sure, I could have gotten any of a handful of table-top, plug-in, mirror/lamp combos that run about twenty bucks, but there is a slew of cons.

The mirrors are typically too small. Some made even smaller because of the inclusion of a magnifying mirror; I understand the purpose of them but I will never be ready for that close up. Table top means set height, and I don’t have anything high enough to not have to crouch down, unless I sit at the dining table, and I’d prefer a stationary work space to a portable one. I find it a nuisance to move my craft project to work spaces and back to storage space, why would I want to do that with my makeup?

A sizable (bigger than 12×12 inches) pre lit mirror can run from $150 to $400 plus. The lower end could be reasonable if I didn’t have to sacrifice style, but most of the options are boring or ugly. The high end options, are beautiful but way too pricy for the current budget. All of this made it necessary to think outside of the box and put the creative side of the brain to good use.

After some googling I found an 18×18 inch mirror for six bucks that would only require a trip to Target. I found three-bulb bathroom vanity lights on Amazon and picked up three for $52. I got three plugs as well ($7) to make them plug in instead of hardwired.


The biggest challenge after all that was making sure I had the right bulbs. Ones that cumulatively gave off not only enough light but the right kind of light. The easy answer is find bulbs that say daylight. It took a bit longer than one sentence for me to get there though. A popular blog that popped up when I asked the google machine suggested warm white light. Except they failed to define warm. Warm light is usually associated with soft yellow lighting, but that is arguably the worst type to apply makeup.

In this instance warm refers to the kelvin temperature. Soft lighting ranges between 2500 and 3000 kelvin, bright lighting between 3500 and 4000 kelvin, and daylight between 5000 and 6500 kelvin. Though, to the eye the soft (yellowish) light looks warmer and the daylight (whitish/blueish) looks cooler. It’s easy to get confused unless the right terminology is used.

Eventually I got it all sorted out and found 60 watt equivalent LED bulbs on Amazon that had a brightness of 800 lumens and color temperature of 5000 kelvin. It was a 16 count box and I paid less than $2 a bulb ($16.47 for the bulbs used in the vanity.)

Once I had all the supplies for the lights I skipped on over to Target to get the mirror, and then a second when I didn’t find it at the first. Unfortunately, when I didn’t find it at the second I went to the internet to investigate and found that the simple inexpensive mirror I wanted was not available for delivery or anywhere in my area for pickup. Eventually, I accepted the fact that I would have to put more into a mirror than I initially intended. In the end I found a 22.5×28.5 inch mirror with a clean white frame for $30. Not the shape I had initially planned for or the price point, but sometimes you just have to roll with it.

Now that I had all the supplies, I pulled apart one of the fixtures and had some problem solving to do. Would the 600v wire from the fixture be compatible with the 300v wire of the plug I was attaching it too? Yes! Would I need a separate housing unit to store the spliced together cords? Nope, they fit just fine inside the original fixture. The fixture was only supposed to be hung horizontally lengthwise, could I safely hang two of them vertically? Sure thing! (I got this.) Would I need to compensate for the cord keeping the fixture less than flush against the wall? A 79 cent investment and hot glue was the plan in the event that it was too unstable, but I made it work without attaching “feet” to the fixture.


About an hour of measuring out and marking up a bedroom wall, and another hour wiring the fixtures and mounting them and I had myself a functional vanity light and space for applying makeup, doing hair, and maintaining the shape of my eyebrows. Though the plugs I attached the fixtures to all had their own switch, I plugged them all into a power strip we had on hand and turn them all on and off with one click at the source instead of needing to do all three every time.

The first time I applied foundation at my new vanity I applied my usual amount and realized quickly it was way too much. I popped into the bathroom to remove the excess and realized how poorly that room was lit for putting a face together, the foundation didn’t look bad at all. For the first few applications I checked everything in the bathroom just to see how different the lighting made it. It was crazy awesome to see how easily one could apply too much color and in all the wrong places.


All together this little project cost just under $120 and it was well spent. A few notes for you and myself. First, the ribbed wire is the same as white/neutral, the smooth wire is the black/live wire. Second, I should have bought the mirror first then I would have picked out a fixture that ran the whole length of the top. Last, I am not a licensed electrician. Any wiring tips you take away from this read you use at your own risk.