Archive for Downey’s House


Thought Soup

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I usually don’t post a lot of ‘techie’ stuff on this blog. I’m considering starting another blog for this type of thing. But I DID want to at least mention it.

Let me back up, first. I started blogging as a way to get the word out about the t-shirts and gifts that I design for CafePress and Zazzle. That was almost two years ago. I really didn’t know too much about blogging and such, so I jumped in with a free blogger account. I’ve been pretty happy with it.

But, once I opened the restaurant, I got a blog started over there. And I used WordPress. I love it! It’s on my own domain, and it’s much easier to tweak things. I have since used WordPress to set up an affiliate site or two. And I’m getting better at it! I’ve learned so much…how to install wordpress, playing with themes, and so on. I recently did two things with WordPress, and they’ve made me very happy.

First, I actually PURCHASED a theme. I purchased the Flexx theme from iThemes. I love it! It’s very easy to change the layout, colors and pics. Easy peasy. I also found a plug in for automatic updating. I loved it so much, I actually donated to the author (which is something I can’t afford to do as much as I would like). Here’s the link to the plug in.

Now, am I going to break up with blogger? Nah, I don’t think so. It’s worked for me so far, and I guess I’m sort of attached. I have, however, re-directed links to my own site. So, you can also find this stuff at

Just a little mention of regular life: The new menu starts at Downey’s House on Tuesday, so I’ve been busy! I’m printing them up today. It’s been a crazy couple of weeks trying to get the menu together, programming it into our POS system, and making sure we have all our i’s and t’s dotted and crossed. On top of it all, the girls and I are headed down to Florida on Wednesday. Packing? Haven’t even really thought about it yet.

I also (finally) finished reading Dead Until Dark. I really, really enjoyed it…even though it took me much longer than it should have to read it. I bought the next 2 books to read while we’re in Florida. Hopefully I get enough ‘me’ time when we’re there. If you watched True Blood, the book and the show are pretty similar. But I was surprised that there wasn’t any mention of Tara (the bartender). I’m not going to spoil anything for anybody, so I’ll just say that there WERE differences in the book versus the series. But I think that both are very good.

OK, the girls are complaining that everything is ‘Booooorrrrriiiiinnnnnnnggggg!’ How about an exciting trip to Staples, girls? (OH, that makes me thing of a quick side note: I have always loved the smell of office supply stores. I’m strange. I love the smell of toner and paper. It makes me happy. We walked into Staples yesterday and Becca, with a smile on her face, said ‘Mom, mmmmmmm…it smells GOOD in here! Poor thing.)

Wow…this post really did go just about everywhere. Like I’ve mentioned before, sometimes I just can’t focus :) Have a great day!


Happy Steak and BJ Day

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Yup, that’s what today is. Steak and BJ day. You can learn more about it at their website To sum it up, it’s the male version of Valentine’s Day.

Here in Pittsburgh, it also happens to be Parade Day. This is the day, in the past (and I’m stressing IN THE PAST, because it’s different now), that I would find my husband the most inebriated. He’s Irish. Plain and simple. They would start with beer and donuts at 8:00, head to the parade, then take the bus back into Carnegie. Carnegie was a mecca for Parade Day Partiers. Lots of bars, one of them being an Irish Pub. And we lived in Carnegie. It was the perfect storm.

Me? I’ve never been to the parade. I’m not much for a) being out in the cold – and it’s usually cold on parade day and b) large crowds of drunken people. I just don’t have the patience.

So, Steak and BJ day combined with Parade Day? That’s drinking, hanging out with buddies, steak and a blow job. That’s the perfect day for most guys I know. Now my guy? He won’t be going to the parade this year. He’ll be working at Downey’s House, keeping the fun going. He will get to hang out with his buddies a bit, but he won’t be drinking. As for the steak and BJ? He might eat a steak at the restaurant.

But he doesn’t get home until 4:00 in the morning. That’s when I’m sleeping.

Sorry, babe.

Categories : Downey's House, drink, humor
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Show Me The Money

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You know, the past year has been crazy for us…especially financially.

It all worked out OK in our heads. Tony will quit his job, we’ll still have one more paycheck on its way. We’ll turn the restaurant around in 2 weeks (which we did!), open up and get right back into making money. We tapped ourselves out in order to get the money to purchase the restaurant. A second mortgage, emptying out the 401K, plus another small loan got us our money to purchase Downey’s House.

There were a few things that we didn’t really factor in. Like new signs. And deposits for the utility companies. And, oh yeah. The first food order. Most of these things ended up on our personal credit cards. Some of that stuff is still on there. Plus, we really had to live off credit cards for about a month. But hey, you’ve got to take a risk to get where you want to go sometimes.

Well, I’ve decided that I need to get that credit card stuff in order. I have amounts on four different cards, just sort of floating around. So, I went to this site I heard about, and you can get instant approval credit cards right online. It’s nice to see all of the different deals, right there on one site. Me, I’m a fan of zero percent interest. I don’t need a lot of bells and whistles like cash back or airline miles. I’m gonna get all of this in order – and paid off (hopefully) quickly. The restaurant has been doing well, and Tony is happier than a fat kid in the Twinkie factory.

So, now that it’s been almost 1 year, I’m feeling settled. Not so crazy and scattered. And I’m takin’ care of business.

Categories : Downey's House, money
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You: The Peeping Tom Seeing My Morning

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I don’t really know if my family and friends know what happens during a typical Heather morning. I can’t imagine that they do know. So, just in case anybody cares (and to make myself feel a little better), here’s how my morning went. Today was an easy one, because we didn’t have to leave the house at all. Well, just a quick run to the bus stop. So, here it goes:

  • 4:30 am – Wake up to see 3 year old in front of my face, asking for milk. Realize that I’m in Becca’s bed, and fell asleep around 9:15.
  • 5:00 am – Think that it’s a good idea to wake up and get some stuff done. And I actually wake up.
  • 5:00-5:45 – Spend some quality time with the husband, who has not gone to bed yet. He also thinks that it is currently still THURSDAY. I continue to correct him, telling him that it’s FRIDAY.
  • 5:45-6:00 – Watch 15 minutes of the news. Wish I looked as good as Sonni Abatta.
  • 6:00-6:25 – Watch ‘The Office.’ Laugh. It was a good one.
  • 6:25-7:00 – Make large pot of coffee. Check e-mail. Log in the numbers from the restaurant last night. Prepare deposit. Figure out the change order. Update our POS system for Friday specials.
  • 7:00-7:05 – Drink more coffee. Smoke another cigarette
  • 7:05-7:06 – Start vacuuming a plethora of nerds candy from the family room. Realize that it’s 7:06, and decide I need to shower
  • 7:06 – 7:35 – Wake Becca. Iron her outfit. Wake her again. Brush teeth, shower, greet crazy-haired Chloe, help Becca into her tights and dress. Come downstairs. Finish vacuuming aforementioned nerds.
  • 7:36 – Yell upstairs for everybody to hurry – we have 19 minutes
  • 7:36-7:55 – Pack a lunch, make a waffle, drink more coffee, have a smoke, find missing glove for Becca, brush Becca’s hair, grab almost-forgotten library book for Becca. Pack one pretty-looking sweetheart and one bed-head, pajama-clad, slipper-wearing sweetheart into car for 1 block ride to bus stop (it was cold!)
  • 8:05-8:10 – Turn show on for Chloe, sit down to write blog post for Downey’s House
  • 8:10-8:11 – Get Chloe a banana
  • 8:11-8:30 – Finish blog post, check some forums and twitter. See that CafePress is down. Complain about it on twitter
  • 8:30-8:31 – Put another television show on for Chloe
  • 8:31-8:45 – Hang out with Chloe, tickling her until she begs me to stop
  • 8:45-9:05 – Finish up with checking sales and stats online. Look up code numbers for the liquor I’m about to order
  • 9:05-9:06 – Get Chloe some strawberries
  • 9:06-9:15 – Order the liquor, enter amount into Quickbooks
  • 9:15-9:45 – Help Chloe make Kool-Aid for her ‘Lemonade Stand.’ A lemonade stand where there are two customers: Me and a small stuffed bear. Play lemonade stand.
  • 9:45-9:55 – Start dusting and cleaning the glass in the family room. Decide I’m not in the mood to really do much more cleaning right now.
  • 9:55-10:05 – Spend 10 minutes searching for a copy of our new menu that Tony wrote revisions on. Finally give up, and hope I remember the revisions.
  • 10:05-10:10 – Take phone call from the restaurant
  • 10:10-10:11 – Start menu revisions
  • 10:11-10:12 – Cut up an apple for Chloe
  • 10:12-10:20 – Work on the revisions some more
  • 10:20-10:22 – Help Chloe in the potty
  • 10:22-10:30 – Finish with the revisions. Hope I got them all.
  • 10:30-10:33 – Re-wash the laundry I left in the washing machine overnight. Freshen up clothes in dryer
  • 10:33-11:00 – Print up a copy of the fixed menu. Remember that I also need employment apps printed up. Do that. Deal with my desktop and what my security scan found.
  • 11:00-11:20 – Fold the laundry with Chloe. Yes, it takes that long.
  • 11:20-11:23 – Sit down to sign our corporate tax returns
  • 11:23-11:24 – Get Chloe some carrots
  • 11:24-11:30 – Decide to boil some eggs. Smoke a cigarette
  • 11:30-11:45 – Fart around on the internet. Still annoyed that CafePress is farked up.
  • 11:45-11:50 – Sew up the back of Chloe’s Build-A-Bear
  • 11:50-12:00 – Get the eggs from the stove. Decide to write this post.
  • 12:00-12:03 – Make toast for Chloe
  • 12:03-12:10 – Continue with post
  • 12:10-12:11 – Get a hard boiled egg for Chloe
  • 12:11-12:16 – Continue with post
  • 12:16-12:17 – Make witty remark on Twitter. Well, I thought it was witty
  • 12:17-12:20 – More blog post
  • 12:20-12:22 – Get Chloe some Kool-Aid
  • 12:22-12:30 (now) more blog post.

So, there’s my morning so far. The thrilling life of a work-at-home-business-owner-mom. You know, throughout this time line, there’s the conversations I have with Chloe. Well, they’re not really conversations. It’s more like a question and answer period. That lasts, um, all day. These kinds of mornings are actually my favorite. I get some business stuff accomplished, get some housework (sort of) accomplished, I get to be social with my online friends, and I get to hang out with my Chloe.

Now, I’m gonna go and make myself some egg salad. I did sneak a granola bar in sometime around 8:00. But I’m hungry!

Want to follow me on twitter? I’m at


Suze Orman Can Kiss My Arse

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A few weeks ago I saw Suze Orman on Oprah. Of course, I was watching the repeat from earlier in the day. Usually it’s on at 4:00 – right when we get home from the bus stop. I was watching it at 2:00 am. Why wasn’t I sleeping? I can’t really remember, but I digress…

Good ol’ Suze was dishing her regular financial advice. Before I saw this segment on Oprah, she already annoyed me. I’m not quite sure what it is about her, but I just get that feeling that I want to either a) punch her right in the face or 2) embarrass the crap out of her. On this particular Oprah show, she was talking about dealing with the crappy economy. Saving your cash. Watch your spending. Blah, blah, blah. I was just about to doze off when she said (and I’m paraphrasing here) “You know what I’d like everybody to do. For one month, don’t go out to eat at restaurants.”

Bitch, please.

If I had been in the audience I would have stood up and said those exact words. Does she realize what she just said? Thousands of small business owners’ jaws just dropped open. Waiters, waitresses, bartenders and cooks everywhere probably had much more vulgar things to say than me. (Have you ever hung out in a kitchen?) Just who in the hell does she think she is? There are plenty of people around who work in restaurants. As stated in this blog post I read recently the food service industry is the third largest employer.

I wonder if Suze stopped going to restaurants.

I’ll bet you somebody, somewhere wouldn’t be very nice to her food.

Just sayin’

So, stuff it Suze. Didn’t you used to work in a restaurant? All these people losing their jobs? Wanna know where they’re going to look for a job? A restaurant.

I need to stop now.


Categories : Downey's House
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