The most amazing desk I've ever seen looks like the Little Mermaid's work station

By on Oct 23rd

While walking home from brunch, my friend Drew (of wheat allergy questions fame) and I stumbled upon a nursery that I've always wanted to explore. So we took a detour and started wandering amongst the funky plants and trees for sale. Then we stumbled upon the coolest desk I've ever seen…

little mermaid desk

Doesn't it look like an office desk the Little Mermaid would use?

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Adorable dog beds that'll steal your heart and your attention

By on Oct 22nd

I got this email from one of our patrons, Ming

Aside from his kick-ass fireplace bed, our dog Ari has, I kid you not, four other beds scattered throughout the house, not including the rugs in front of the doors and the carpets in the dining room and great room.

But I still want these dog beds…

Crab and boat pet beds from Martha Stewart.

Crab and boat pet beds from Martha Stewart.

I know he would chew the legs and the anchors off of these beds. But they are so cute!

I remember the shopping post a long, long time ago about chic dog beds. What about a shopping post request for adorable pet beds?

You want it, you got it! Here are some adorable dog beds that I found on the interwebs…

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How to ditch your lip balm habit in 5 steps

Guestpost by Maryr on Oct 21st

I used to have a serious lip balm habit. I had to have lip balm in my purse at all times. I also had a couple of sticks around my apartment, and I would have a minor panic attack if there wasn't a Chapstick in arm's reach.

I'm a teacher, and I was so compulsive about lip balm that I would actually apply it in the middle of giving a lecture. So, that was me: standing up in front of a class of 30 students, trying to get them to converse intelligently about The Epic of Gilgamesh, and applying Chapstick Medicated at the same time. Not very professional.

At a certain point, I started to wonder if lip balm was necessary at all. For someone like me whose lip "dryness" doesn't arise from any actual medical condition or symptom, I realized lip balm was unnecessary.

Here are some recommendations for cutting out lip balm, and simplifying this one tiny aspect of life. This isn't a primer for defeating real chemical dependency, or treating a serious issue — my lip balm habit was just that, a habit. And habits can be broken.

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Living in a family-focused, cooperative housing townhome in Victoria, BC

By on Oct 21st
Easter

The co-op has a lot of community activities. Here's my daughter hitting the Easter pinata, made by one of the members who immigrated from Mexico.

The offbeat occupant: Emillie Parrish, at-home mom and food blogger
Other occupants: Husband, 6-year-old son, and 18-month-old daughter
Approximate square footage: 650-1000 sq. feet
How many bedrooms? Two
Lives in: James Bay, Victoria, BC, Canada
When did you move into this home? One year

Master bedroom

The view of downtown from our master bedroom

Let's start with the neighborhood. What's it like where you live? We live in James Bay which is a traditionally lower income neighbourhood right in downtown Victoria. However, it's really one of the best-located neighbourhoods in Victoria, with ocean-front views on three sides, and the large city park on the forth side. Within a four-block radius from my home are the government buildings, several museums, a marina, a ferry terminal, sandy and rocky beaches, a fisherman's wharf, a petting zoo, playgrounds and most of historical Victoria. We really are spoiled here.

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Workplace bullying: It happens, it sucks, and here's what you can do

Guestpost by Christina on Oct 20th
Adorably Emo

Thanks to Esther for uploading this to our Flickr Pool.

Did you know that at any given time, 10% of adult workers are being bullied on the job? Or that around 30% of us will be targets of bullying at some point during our careers?

I was the target of workplace bullying. I had been a great employee; I was even awarded Employee of the Month! After awhile, I became the person who knew the job inside and out, and could do it in my sleep. I was a little bored, but competent and content. According to the Workplace Bullying Institute, targets are usually independent, ethical, nurturing, "'go-to' veteran workers to whom new employees turn for guidance." That was me in a nutshell.

In 2003, Pamela Lutgen-Sandvik defined a cycle of Employee Emotional Abuse (aka bullying). Here's how that exact cycle played out in real life…

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Has anyone else named their house?

By on Oct 20th

conejo cottage house name sign

We are closing on a house this week (yay!), and it really sucked — I mean the whole process. Every time I've been in the house, I feel like I still can't get attached to it, and it doesn't actually feel like it is going to be OURS.

So, I am thinking of naming my house. Has anyone else named their house? Is this too antiquated, or will I confuse folks? Or are we bringing the funk to the suburbs? (Good Rick James funk, not gross funk.) -Bethany

After returning from a trip to the American south, and falling in love with the tradition of home-naming, my best friend's mom, Meg, decided to name her house. A little while later, Meg came up with "Conejo Cottage" — an apt name, since they have a lot of pet rabbits that live there.

Although, when asking her for a photo of her home name plaque, Meg told me that she's changing the name of the house to "Duckington" since there are more ducks than rabbits now… AND it was the name of the estate where her mother was born on the Chesapeake Bay.

Although, I think the more modern-day version of house-naming is to come up with a location tag on Instagram. My favorite modern home names: "Chateau du Fatty Bandits," "BooMilk's Pleasure Nest," my parents' home in Maui that we've named "The Shack," and my cousin's home in Maui called "The Moocher's Hotel."

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5 reasons why living in a trailer park is awesome

Guestpost by Jill Smith on Oct 17th
Photo courtesy of Redfin.com

Photo courtesy of Redfin.com

The past few months my fiancé and I have spent a lot of time discussing our living arrangements for after the wedding day. We currently live in a trailer park and at first it never crossed our mind to stay here any longer than necessary.

We looked at buying a house, or moving into a condo; but both of those options left us with little cash to travel and so they were ruled out.

We looked into renting an apartment but the majority of places would not take in our furry babies, and so they were ruled out.

And after several discussions we made the intentional decision to stay in our trailer park, and we are SO STOKED.

The problem is that most people can't get over the fact that we are "living in a trailer." So I would like to, on behalf of all proud trailer park residents, set the record straight on this super-awesome alternative living space…

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