Wednesday, April 1, 2009

treadmill, dear friend

And here is my treadmill. I debated joining a gym this year and decided that a treadmill would be a better use of my money. For me, having a treadmill means that I can run while Claire naps or get up early (ridiculously early) to get a run in before the school day. As a woman, the treadmill also means not getting hollered and whistled at when I run.

I still run outside occasionally and enjoy it; there are some good routes around here. You can join a Colombian running group if you like or chat with runners on Bolivar's faculty and find a partner. But if you're planning to live here for a couple of years, this might be worth your money for those rainy days. If you're a walker, this is a great option too. I purchased this treadmill in August 2008 at the Gym Shop here in Cali. The store warranty (tune-ups, repairs, parts replacement) is one year and if I work through Gym Shop to resell this to you, I think you could get the warranty extended. Gym Shop has been good about repairs: the back roller was replaced in January at no cost to me. Before I leave in June, I will have a Gym Shop technician come to check all treadmill parts for needed repair.

I consistently put forty to fifty miles a week on the treadmill and think that it's a good piece of equipment. Reviews of the Crosswalk suggest that it isn't up to an intense run but I frequently do ten or eleven mile runs on it (8 - 8:20 minute/mile) and have been happy with the speed work I get done too. I have never maxed out the speed and don't plan to since a six minute mile sounds terrifying right now.

I paid almost three times what this treadmill sells for in the States. I am not looking to recoup that but if you're thinking about buying a treadmill, please consider mine. It's in good condition and to buy new elsewhere is costly. $500

a closet shelf for you

I was wandering around the apartment looking for more stuff to hock when I looked in our Suitcase Closet. That's most of what's in there right now, but look what else I found!Christmas lights: multi-colored with programmable blinking patterns, and a string of white. It may look like they're in a big knot but each strand is actually wound in loops and tied. $10

Light bulbs. When you get to your apartment you might be surprised to find no light bulbs or fixtures (glass domes, paper covers). The little bulbs belong to night lights. $5

Light fixture: this is hanging fixture is new and was purchased when Justin and I realized we hated our kitchen's humming fluorescent light. So why is it still in a box? Good question. Might have something to do with our baby arriving and things like this getting, ahem, shelved. $15

grilling out?

We bought this grill last year from another import teacher who was on her way back to Canada. And this is pretty much where it's sat for this year, tucked between the coffee tree and the palms. We grilled twice. It worked. It's a small grill so if you're hosting a party, you'll need to grill burgers in shifts. Buy the grill and we'll throw in whatever fire starter charcoal matches we have left too. $15

wrinkle free! iron & ironing board

Another small appliance we didn't bother to bring down. You can find irons for a range of prices at Home Center or La14 or CarreFour. Or you can take my word that ours works.The iron is basic, a Black&Decker AvantSteam with six heat settings. The ironing board looks tiny compared to most boards in North America but it gets the job done. $10 for iron; $10 for board

waste baskets & a laundry hamper

I remember when we moved here I felt overwhelmed at all the stuff we had to find to set up an apartment. Things that you accumulate at home, hand-me-down junk from family and friends, leftover college relics - that stuff isn't here unless you paid to ship it.

Waste baskets: One dark blue kitchen waste basket with a lid, big enough to collect two or three days of banana peels and apple cores. Of course, in this heat, you'll want to take the trash out before it walks on its own. And two small white plastic waste baskets for a bathroom or bedroom. $5 for kitchen wastebasket; $5 for both small baskets

Laundry hamper: Large cream colored plastic mesh round hamper with a lid. We never bother with the lid but we'll find it to pass along to you. $7

Sunday, March 22, 2009

small appliances! ALL SOLD

When we moved to Colombia, we brought our own toaster, blender, and electric tea kettle. We purchased a coffee maker and microwave here. All are in good working condition but because the voltage is different in Kuwait, we'll be purchasing new appliances there.
Sometimes my kitchen counter appliances like to gab about who is overused and who gets ignored. From left to right: Oster toaster with slots big enough for a bagel, which would be great if you could buy a bagel here; Hamilton Beach blender with glass pitcher (blenders are a necessity here for all the juices you can make; extra parts are readily available and should fit most standard blenders); General Electric kettle with four cup capacity; six cup capacity Oster coffee maker with clock can be programmed to start your morning brew before you roll out of bed. $10 for the toaster; $15 for the blender; $5 for the teakettle; $25 for the coffee makerRun of the mill small Electrolux microwave. Makes a mean bag of microwave popcorn. $30

around the house

Be sure to bring a few things from home to help make your new apartment more familiar. Use your shipping allowance but do be aware that your return shipping allowance won't allow you to send as much stuff back to North America or on to your next destination. It's easy to find pictures, placemats, lamps, pillows, throws, and rugs here. And if you get out to the art fairs, you'll be able to decorate your space very nicely.

This might help you get a start.
Sheer white curtains, seven feet tall (long?) and just under five feet wide. We have four panels available. We also have one pale spring green panel of the same size available, good for one window. $10 a panelOne torchiere floor lamp with a dark bronze finish. $30 SOLDTwo small lamps with shades. Lamps seem more expensive here than in North America. You buy the base and shade separately so you can mix and match for the style you like. Or you can just buy ours, already mixed and matched. Good for a bedside or end table. $10 eachMake your couch (or tile floor) more comfortable with a few throw pillows. $10 for allYou might not have to do much work at home but when you do, why not use a rolling computer desk? Park it in a corner when you don't need it. $25Sometimes it's nice to have a bowl or basket to catch things. Chances are you'll get a few as gifts during the holidays but get a head start on your collection with these two. Cheap, cheap. $3 for bothThree candle holders. There's a great candle shop here in Colombia called Illuminata. The scents are wonderful. Buy these and I'll also give you any leftover Illuminata candles I have. $10 for all SOLD

serve me up a plate

Plan to purchase your plates, bowls and mugs here. Prices are comparable to North America though Correll dishes are more expensive.

If you enjoy hosting dinners or just like a nicely set table, bring a few serving dishes that you like. I brought down a couple of fun plates, a few favorite serving bowls and a decorative casserole.

A set for four plates, bowls and little mugs. $15 for all SOLD

Three little bowls perfect for berries and yogurt or a late night ice cream treat. $7 for all SOLD

Assorted glasses. I think we have between a dozen and sixteen glasses. All with your name on them. $7 for all Two plastic gallon pitchers. $5 for both

A set of six of each. Plain but usable. You can't ask for much more than that. $10 for all
Plastic striped serving tray and assorted party supplies: plastic plates, cups, flatware and paper napkins. We'll throw in all of our leftover disposable serving stuff. $10 for all

cooking in the kitchen

When we moved to Colombia, I packed a few of my favorite pots and pans, a baking sheet and cooling rack, and cooking utensils such as measuring spoons and cups, a mixer, favorite spoons and spatulas, and a garlic press. I suggest you do the same if you really enjoy cooking or baking.
I did find that a few things were silly to ship here, such as mixing bowls and a griddle. You can find those things, along with plastic storage containers easily and cheaply. Pots and pans are available here too for reasonable prices so if you're looking to use your shipping pounds differently just plan on purchasing those here. Or, better yet, buy mine.

Universal brand pot. Great for boiling pasta water or cooking a great soup. Also good for frying plantains. $10
Roaster. Fits a good sized chicken with room for potatoes, carrots and onions too. $10
Two plastic storage containers. Good size for flour and sugar. Or pasta and cereal or, well, whatever you want stored in plastic. $7 for both
Mixing bowls. Left to right, a glass Pyrex bowl, metal Martha Stewart, and smaller oven and microwave safe Anchor glass bowl. $5 each
Tiny Universal nonstick pan, perfect size for frying one or two eggs for a sandwich. Cheese grater with a single slice side, large and small grates, and a zester side. Blue plastic colander for pasta or rinsing fruit and smaller metal strainer good for straining fresh juice. $10 for all
Assorted kitchen utensils. Slotted spoon for fishing fried plantains from the oil. Pasta spoon, spatulas, brush, tongs, meat tenderizer, and the ever loved can opener. $20 for all
Sharp things! Two paring knives, steak knives (I think a couple were in the dish drainer when I took the picture), bread knife, corkscrew, and kitchen scissors. $15 for all

Pyrex glass pie plate, cheap cookie sheet (this is what you can find here), and two nonstick cake pans from the States. $5 for pie plate; $5 for both cake pans; $3 for cookie sheet