Lollipops & Laptops

The Sticky Life of a Working Mom

Tag: Home

Legal Tip of the Month: Domestic Workers

Legal Tip of the Month: Domestic Workers - Lollipops & Laptops

Running a household is a lot of responsibility. Most of us delegate out some household work to third parties like housekeepers, gardeners, or babysitters and nannies. And most people tend to pay cash for these and think nothing of the relationship. But in California, these are usually classified as domestic workers and are subject to various tax and employment laws.

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Indoor Plants for the Black Thumb

Indoor Plants for the Black Thumb - Lollipops & Laptops

Graphic via Love the Garden

When I say I’m not a green thumb, I can’t stress it enough. I kill plants faster than they die naturally. How long is a bouquet of flowers supposed to last? More than two days? Could have fooled me. I’m not really into plants, except for the whole life-giving-oxygen-provision thing. So I have happily gone about my life without them inside my house. I tried to get some fake stuff, and to be fair, I’ve recently happened upon a few decent-looking items here and here. But I started to look around our house and feel like it was looking a little, well, dead.

My colleague recently gave me a little potted bamboo plant, and after a few weeks of successfully keeping it alive in my office, I decided it would be a nice addition to the abnormally large counter space behind my sink in the kitchen. I’m happy to report that the thing is still living five months later! My new confidence of keeping living things alive (toddler and baby included) led me to do some research on plants that aren’t high maintenance.

I’m all about practicality, so I decided if I’m going to put effort into keeping anything alive in my house besides my kids, I might as well make them useful. So I focused my research on plants with air cleaning or other good qualities. Thankfully, NASA already did the work for me. Check out my list below for some mean, green, hard-to-kill, poor-air-quality-fighting machines.

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California [Kitchen] Dreaming

One of our toughest rooms in the house is our kitchen. At first glance, it’s relatively upgraded and large, with lots of storage. We replaced all the appliances when we moved in because half of them weren’t working, so that was already a considerable expense. We’ve been vacillating about additional kitchen upgrades because smaller upgrades like new counter and backsplash feel like a band aid on a bigger issue, but gutting and remodeling isn’t a financial option right now and we just wouldn’t get any real return on investment (see my tips for ideal ROI on remodeling here). Until we decide what to do in the kitchen, I’ll just fantasize about my dream kitchen. Check out my inspiration below.

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Remodeling with ROI In Mind

Home Remodeling with ROI in MindIs it just me or does it feel like everyone is remodeling their home these days? I’m a total HGTV addict—on the rare occasion that I have time to relax and turn on the television, I almost always go straight to the remodeling shows. I also follow designers and architects on social media. Not only do I love design and seeing what people with different budgets and in different locations are doing, but we moved into a new home a little over a year ago and I have many dreams about making changes. Remodeling, no matter the size of the project, is an investment, and even if you plan to live long-term in your home, you should always consider the resale value and practicality of your remodel before you move forward. Here are a few key things to consider before jumping into a remodel:

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