Recent Posts

It's Harry Potter's birthday & you'll want to see this Potterphile party

On this day in 1980, a wizard named Harry Potter was born. To honor his birthday, we're sharing this MAGICAL Harry Potter bridal shower over on our sister site, Offbeat Bride. But I figured y'all might want to take a peek, too, since it's such good inspiration for any Hogwarts-inspired Potterphile parties you might be planning.

How community theater changed my life

One day in fall 2010, my roommate Grace turned to me and asked if I wanted to audition with her for an all-female Shakespeare troupe she had found advertised on Craigslist. I immediately said yes. I had no idea then that that one "yes" would end up changing my life…

Recent Home

23 fun & useful dorm decor items to max out your space

If you're starting to think about heading back to college in a month or so, you might be researching how to maximize the teeny tiny space that is your (likely shared) dorm room. I found some super kicky and useful dorm decor to get your brainstorming into high gear, including a few more fun items.

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16 places to find cheaper furniture (other than at Ikea)

Whether you're just starting out in furnishing a new apartment or just don't want to spend a ton on furniture, you probably plan to hit up your nearest Ikea. But as you graduate to midrange furniture pricing, there are actually a lot of options. Here are a few places to find cheaper furniture stores and home decor haunts that are both big names and smaller, more niche boutiques.

Woodgrain housewares to give your place that Midcentury feel

Offbeat home decor may have new trends coming and going, but woodgrain details always come back strong. I scrounged up some new faves for woodgrain on both expected AND unexpected items in your house. Think wallets, glasses, fans, gaming controllers, and some contact paper to cover anything left over in your house.

Let's get to shopping for mid-century-inspired woody goodness…

The North remembers these Game of Thrones gifts (to commemorate the end!)

If you're keeping up with the final seasons of Game of Thrones, you know there are only TWO episodes left (or zero, depending on when you're reading this). Either way, the end is nigh and the The North remembers. Winter truly is coming and all we'll have left will be our memories and whatever loot we can snag before it's lost to the next TV show that ensnares our hearts.

Recent Life

How community theater changed my life

One day in fall 2010, my roommate Grace turned to me and asked if I wanted to audition with her for an all-female Shakespeare troupe she had found advertised on Craigslist. I immediately said yes. I had no idea then that that one "yes" would end up changing my life…

What to pack for a loved one's hospital stay

In the past few years, my partner has had to stay in the hospital twice, and both times, I stayed with them. They have one more surgery coming up which will, hopefully, be the last one. There's plenty of advice on how to pack for them, but this time, I'm determined to get it right and pack sensibly for my own stay. Here's how I'm doing it…

Recent Food

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Delicious ways to use Trader Joe's umami seasoning at every meal

If you're unfamiliar with the savory glory that is "umami," you're not alone. It's one of the basic five tastes (like sweet, sour, bitter, and salty) but definitely the least known. Trader Joe's rolled out a version of the flavor in a handy sprinkly seasoning. I think a lot of us went out, bought it, and then didn't have a clue how to use it. So I did some digging and came up with some ideas on how to cook using Trader Joe's umami seasoning.

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It's dangerous to snack alone, take these: geeky candy gifts to perk up your nerdy pals

Are you surrounded by hungry geeks who need candy right now?! Maybe you're having an RPG party, game night, geektastic birthday that needs fun candy or maybe you want to send a gift to a nerdy pal who needs a little love. No matter the occasion, I scrounged up some truly adorable and geeky candy gifts that you can snag for only a few galleons or sickles.

Gather your gold and grab a gift worthy of adventuring…

17 gingerbread house fails that made the sugary housing market crash

Not every gingerbread house attempt turns out as sweet and pretty as the one above. Sometimes the sweet turns sour and you end up pouring icing over the wreckage and calling it a day. Not all of us are meant to be baked good architects (myself included!) but most of these are pretty hilarious in their chaos. Let's revel in the holiday spirit of trying our best. It's the thought that counts and it all tastes yummy in the end, right?

Reader favorite raw vegan holiday menu recipes

Once upon a time, we talked about how to create a raw vegan holiday menu for Thanksgiving and the other winter holidays. Our readers, adept as they are in specialty diets, came hard with raw vegan holiday recipes that I am jonesing to try. From pumpkin pie to mezze plates to green bean casserole, you'll be shocked at what traditional dishes can be just as delish in raw vegan form.

Recent People

How to navigate your kids through that rigid gender concept phase

Categorizing the world (including based on gender) is a really important developmental phase and one that kids shouldn't be shamed for. However, introducing kids to many incarnations of gender is important. Kids categorizing and gendering items and people is based on what they see around them. I know this phase can be REALLY hard for a lot of gender-bending parents. Here are my tips for getting through this phase…

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Yep, there's a safe child's car seat that fits in your pocket(!)

I was introduced to a truly neat, seriously overdue concept: a super safe child safety seat that condenses down to the size of a medium cup of coffee. It weighs less than a pound, secures in about 20 seconds, and is perfect for traveling, cabs and other rideshares, and for keeping on hand whenever you need it.

A tale of unconditional love this Father's Day

Father's Day is this weekend and that can always be a complicated time for a lot of us.

But here's a tale of divergent personalities coming back together to celebrate a birthday (and father's day!) with love and compassion.

Recent Pets

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Keep your dog leashed: thoughts from one friendly pet owner to another

Where signs clearly say, “All dogs on leash," folks can’t help but release them. I get it. There’s nothing like seeing your four-legged friend filled with joy as they bound freely through the field or trot proudly down the path.

But here's why I'm asking for everyone to keep their dogs leashed in those areas. It's for a few reasons…

My cat medication hack (that I stole from dog owners!)

My cat has diabetes and has to be given food and a shot every 12 hours. It's a pretty smooth process unless I can't be around at that 12-hour time and have to do a big schedule adjustment. Or worse, I'm on a 5:30am and 5:30pm schedule where I'm giving a sleepy shot and forget to write it down. Either way, I needed a solution that let me keep track of the fact that I gave her the shot. I stole this idea from a dog owner…

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I tried out a space-age automatic cleaning kitty litter box to see if it was worth the hype

I own two kitties who love to crap. All the time. I recently got the chance to try out a product I'd been eyeballing FOREVER: a Litter-Robot! Yep, one of those fancy-pants automated litter box cleaning machines. Plus it's the really nice kind that isn't cheap and it shows.

I decided to give it a whirl to see if a robo-litter box from the future was the better way I was seeking.

This Instagram of dogs eating gently is your new relaxation happy place

You haven't reached the end of the internet until you've seen this relaxing Instagram account where sweet and mild-mannered pooches eat treats, noms, and fuds gently… oh so gently. They're so sweet and so relaxing and ZZzzzzzz…

For fans of cute-ass puppies (and maybe ASMR for some of y'all?), this feed of gently scarfing dogs will be your new happy place. Get away from the news, from work, from your whole damned stressful life for five minutes while you remember that dogs are too good for this world…

Recent Do It Yourself

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Crafting projects + charities = DIY for good

We've been talking about the hurdles of learning to sew recently and got a great comment that made me think: can charities + crafting = DIY for good? If you're learning to sew, quilt, crochet, whatever, is there a way to donate your crafted items to a charity who needs them? Sees like a no-brainer. I decided to find out.

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Bollocks, Pulp Fiction, & Oregon Trail: 9 subversive cross-stitch patterns

When you're more about the LOLs and less about the "live laugh love," these are the subversive cross-stitch patterns for you. Most are DIY patterns you can download, but a few are available to purchase completed, so you can find something no matter your skill level.

From bollocks to Pulp Fiction to IT Crowd references to Oregon Trail, the cross-stitch market has gone hilarious…

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Intimidated by learning to sew? These are the resources you need (with reader advice!)

Back in the day we had a great discussion about sewing anxiety from a reader who wanted to learn but didn't know where to start. Our amazing readers stepped up to the plate to offer some great sewing advice on where to start and how to wrangle a needle and thread. (My favorite resource is Threadbanger on YouTube!) I pulled some of my favorite comments so that we can share in their collective sewing knowledge and start making clothes, totes, costumes, and whatever strikes your fabric fancy.

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How to carve an everlasting jack-o-lantern (from a foam pumpkin!)

I've loved holiday-specific crafts my entire life: gingerbread house building, Easter egg dying, and most especially, pumpkin carving. I moved to Louisiana seven years ago. The first few years I was down here I'd carve a real pumpkin, and due to humidity it would be moldy in three days or less no matter what I did to try to preserve it. That's when I discovered foam pumpkin carving!

Recent Shopping

23 fun & useful dorm decor items to max out your space

If you're starting to think about heading back to college in a month or so, you might be researching how to maximize the teeny tiny space that is your (likely shared) dorm room. I found some super kicky and useful dorm decor to get your brainstorming into high gear, including a few more fun items.

1.8k

16 places to find cheaper furniture (other than at Ikea)

Whether you're just starting out in furnishing a new apartment or just don't want to spend a ton on furniture, you probably plan to hit up your nearest Ikea. But as you graduate to midrange furniture pricing, there are actually a lot of options. Here are a few places to find cheaper furniture stores and home decor haunts that are both big names and smaller, more niche boutiques.

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