Recent Posts

The 3 ingredients to achieve the perfect work-life blend

I achieved a life goal at the age of 27, my dream job. Then I quickly discovered how unsustainable it was to channel so much of myself into work. I was told there was balance to be found. It was my introduction to the mythical concept of work-life balance, and I become obsessed with finding the right balance.

In my quest for balance I came across a transformative idea: it's not about the balance, it's all about the blend! Here are the three ingredients to my perfect work-life blend…

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How do you explain that your fur baby is more than "just a pet"?

I chose not to have human children and instead to have the four legged furry kind. A lot of people have a hard time understanding for me she is not just a pet she is FAMILY. Most of the time I can choose to ignore the people who say "it's just a dog." But, after losing my fur baby, I cannot ignore them anymore. How do I accept their caring when they don't get it? How do I help them get it? Or should I even bother to try?

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Retired boobs: How I learned to relax and love my non-self-supporting breasts

Can I share something a little personal with you? My boobs aren't "perfect." They are healthy and reliable. I nursed my two children with them. They have always been there when I needed them. But, I have had an adversarial relationship with bras. Nothing ever fit quite right — even after several professional bra fittings.

Recent Home

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How can I get a packrat to stop giving me stuff?

My mother saves everything. I have spent the last decade trying to fight my own packrat tendencies. But I'm pregnant with the first grandchild, and now am receiving lots of stuff from her. Is there any graceful way to communicate that I don't want to take on curation of a family museum? Or do I have to store it for another 30 years, until she won't notice that I threw it out/donated it?

The ultimate list of interior design styles for home decor n00bs

When it comes to decorating, there is an enormous number of interior styles to choose from. Designers and decoration enthusiasts have come up with a seemingly endless list of possible style combinations — and they often given a precise name — which could be confusing to many people.

So let's start with the basics… Here's a list of the most prevalent decorative styles and what might they look and feel like in your home. That way you can start narrowing down to the perfect style for you!

Recent Life

The 3 ingredients to achieve the perfect work-life blend

I achieved a life goal at the age of 27, my dream job. Then I quickly discovered how unsustainable it was to channel so much of myself into work. I was told there was balance to be found. It was my introduction to the mythical concept of work-life balance, and I become obsessed with finding the right balance.

In my quest for balance I came across a transformative idea: it's not about the balance, it's all about the blend! Here are the three ingredients to my perfect work-life blend…

1.3k

Retired boobs: How I learned to relax and love my non-self-supporting breasts

Can I share something a little personal with you? My boobs aren't "perfect." They are healthy and reliable. I nursed my two children with them. They have always been there when I needed them. But, I have had an adversarial relationship with bras. Nothing ever fit quite right — even after several professional bra fittings.

1.2k

The Simpsons-themed BBBQ (the extra B stands for baby shower)

When Ken and Erika first met through mutual friends, one of the only things Erika knew about Ken was that he loved The Simpsons. That was enough for her; she decided she liked him already. Fast forward a few more years and Erika and Ken are about to be parents. Before life becomes all about baby, Erika and Ken wanted to throw a co-ed baby shower that reflected their favourite thing: The Simpsons.

This isn't any ordinary party, though, this is the ultimate DIY baby shower that will have any Simpsons fan in awe…

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How to play Cards Against Humanity as a baby shower game

I wanted to show off the awesome way that Ken and Erika and their guests played a large-scale game of Cards Against Humanity as an hilarious baby shower game!

(Psst: While these cards are hilariously baby-themed, you could easily change this to fit any party theme: birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, bar mitzvahs… This game is always a winner.)

Recent Food

Ain't no shame in the calorie counting game: How to erase guilty feelings about eating at parties!

It's the start of the summer party season for the US. Which means tons of BBQ meat, beers, margaritas and CAKE! You can't have a party without cake! The perfect time for all that anxiety in your gut to start rising up about your food choices, and just how "good" you've been the last weeks. (I'll talk in a minute about how "being good" actually means nothing, by the way.) But if you're like me, and have made the choice to start logging your food intake, calorie counting and parties can lead to a lot of anxiety.

Staple Sauce: My fool-proof (usually) marinara sauce recipe

I started dating someone who had never before been exposed to home-cooked food. The bar was set so low, and his appreciation was (and still is) so genuine, I that I felt no fear when trying out new things in the kitchen. So with that being said, here is one of the first recipes I tried on him when we decided to make homemade pizza.

I started with a family recipe and tweaked it until it fit my taste. This recipe is a great one to start with because it's simple and once you become comfortable with the bare bones, you can add or substitute ingredients until it becomes what you want.

3 easy breakfast recipes to serve a crowd

Having guests over is very unfun if you're stuck cooking for a large crowd in the kitchen. I'm always looking for ways to make food ahead of time so I can get to more socializing and less stirring on the fly. Here are my go-to easy breakfast recipes to serve a crowd, emphasis on EASY. Let's see what we're serving up…

Recent People

1.8k

How can I get a packrat to stop giving me stuff?

My mother saves everything. I have spent the last decade trying to fight my own packrat tendencies. But I'm pregnant with the first grandchild, and now am receiving lots of stuff from her. Is there any graceful way to communicate that I don't want to take on curation of a family museum? Or do I have to store it for another 30 years, until she won't notice that I threw it out/donated it?

2.8k

I hate being pregnant and it's totally okay

I hate being pregnant.

There. I said it.

Does it mean that I’m going to hate motherhood? Absolutely NOT! Since the moment I found out I was pregnant, I was anxiously awaiting the arrival of my child. I just haven’t enjoyed the journey of pregnancy.

Let’s face it, pregnancy isn’t all about “glowing” and the occasional bout of heartburn. Well, maybe it is for some people but it definitely hasn’t been for me.

1.6k

What unexpected things did you want when you were new parents?

I understand how useful those are (I intend to help buy a duffle bag and stuff it full of diapers!) but I wanted to know if there were any items or helpful suggestions that would be useful for me to give or do for new parents. What "strange" or "unusual" items will be useful for the new parents? What unexpected items did you not have that you wish you did have when you were new parents?

How do you keep the peace at joint family gatherings?

Our families are pretty different — liberal vs republican, generational differences, religious vs atheist — and once the drinks start flowing, it's hard to manage the interactions. The whole thing makes me super anxious, and I don't even want to have a birthday party for our kid because it will mean bringing the families together.

How do you manage different families? How do you keep the peace and still enjoy yourself at joint gatherings?

1.8k

Are there any magical alternatives to a baby showers?

I am knocked up for the first time, and my friends are all asking when they can throw me a baby shower. The thing is, I'm excited about my growing foetus, but I really, really hate baby showers. Do you have any magical alternatives to a baby shower that would allow my friends to celebrate, but wouldn't have the term "baby shower" in the title?

Recent Pets

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How do you explain that your fur baby is more than "just a pet"?

I chose not to have human children and instead to have the four legged furry kind. A lot of people have a hard time understanding for me she is not just a pet she is FAMILY. Most of the time I can choose to ignore the people who say "it's just a dog." But, after losing my fur baby, I cannot ignore them anymore. How do I accept their caring when they don't get it? How do I help them get it? Or should I even bother to try?

1.2k

4 myth-busting reality checks about fostering an animal

Fostering an animal means taking a homeless animal from a shelter or rescue and giving it a home with you until it gets adopted. It's such a needed, life-saving process that a lot of people have questions and misconceptions about. I'm here to address them…

3 reasons guinea pigs are the perfect offbeat apartment pets

I've had all kinds of pets over the years — from cats, to goldfish, and everything in between. No matter how many other animals I've loved since then, I've always come back to guinea pigs. They're a little more interesting than your run-of-the-mill hamster (in my humble opinion), and have a hell of a lot of personality. Best of all, they make a great addition to apartments or rental homes where it might not be feasible to adopt non-caged pets like dogs or cats.

Here's why…

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A clever (and pretty!) way to keep cats away from breakables

My cats like jumping up onto high shelves. Unfortunately, that's where I prefer to keep my delicate collectables and assorted breakable things. Figurines, souvenirs, glassware, picture frames — all things a cat might knock off a shelf. But after finding some left-over perfume bottles, I came up with a way to stop the "Catzilla" moments that I dreaded.

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9 tips for getting pets and babies to live together harmoniously

Six months after adopting Molly-Gator, a new baby herself, we were pregnant and realizing that my refusal to part with my animals was an anomaly among new parents, and relinquishing one's pets was part and partial to the nesting process. So, if you are a pet owner and expecting a child, fear not! It can work. Don't let pressures from friends, family, or the man on the street tell you any different. There are just some things you must keep in mind…

Recent Do It Yourself

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How to stay happily married while renovating

Huh? Is this really a serious issue? Unfortunately, it is. And I have been asked about it multiple times, since my wife and I have completed four separate renovations and, even though we went through some tough spells, we're still happily married.

Here's what we learned along the way, and what we did to remain happily married while renovating…

How to make pour-over coffee at home and on a budget

Pour-over coffee is excellent, but the brew methods can be somewhat complicated and require specialized equipment. But, by using some ingenuity and household items, you too can make great pour-over coffee at home! Here's my cheaper, DIY alternative that will allow you to create a great pour-over coffee experience without the extra cost…

How to paint an animal skull

To answer the question of "how to paint an animal skull," I turned to former Offbeat Home editor and, in my mind, the goddess of dead animal bones, Cat Rocketship! Sure enough, she had an answer AND happened to be wearing a "crown of animal bones" as she wrote her advice…

Recent Shopping

Water bottles that are also hydration trackers

I often get dehydrated. I had the thought the other day… My FitBit reminds me to get enough steps a day, what if there was a water bottle that did the same! Fortunately, it's already been invented. Hydration trackers are a thing, and I'm debating getting one. But which one…

Great pictures and good karma: 8 awesome tips for buying and selling on Craigslist

I am trying to do a little redecorating, and, since I have no budget for furniture, I have been making great use out of Craigslist. My plan is to use the money that I earn from the things I sell to purchase some used furniture that will fit my current décor and lifestyle. I've picked up quite a few tips over my years using Craigslist. Here are some of my best…

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