Recent Posts

1.2k

I changed my last name and now I regret it. What should I do?

When I got married, I didn't want to keep my name because I grew up with an abusive father. My husband is deeply connected to his last name and didn't want to change, so I took his name. Now I hate that I changed my name because I associate it with his parents, and they aren't very good people, and I feel stuck. Any advice?

Elevate your #shelfie game with these rad shelves & shelf decor

I love perusing the #shelfie tag on Instagram. It's always full of color-coordinated books and interesting trinkets and lighting. So if you're like me and want to up your #shelfie game, these shelves and the decor to go with them are for you. From weird and wild vases to rockin' candles to nerdy bookends, let's go shopping for some new decor to store all your stuff…

I'm pregnant and in a metal band: how do I protect baby's hearing?

I'm an audio engineer and an electric violinist for a metal band, and just found out that I'm pregnant. It's early days, but do I need to cancel gigs after a certain point? As an engineer, I experience up to 105db at work, but generally staying under 90db. As a musician, though, I'm onstage next to drum kits and loud amps, including my own, for an average set of 50 minutes. Is there anything I can do to keep them safe without cancelling gigs?

Illuminate your next garden party with these glowing summer party lights

UK readers: this one's for you! We've partnered with a seriously fun company that sells every kind of light you can imagine — from lighted bottle coolers to cool patio lights to sleek and modern lighting for your home. We decided to highlight a few of our favorites for a roundup of summer party lights for your summer BBQs and chic evening soirees indoors or outdoors.

Here are some to peruse…

These photos of moms & babes nursing in protest of family separation will inspire you

For the past two Saturdays, a group of mamas and babies have gathered outside of the ICE detention center in Portland, OR to breast/bottle feed their babies in protest of the Trump administration policies that have separated roughly 2,000 children from their parents.

They were invited to hold the line during the nationwide Families Belong Together march on June 30th and decided to make it a weekly event until meaningful change happens in regards to ICE…

Recent Home

Elevate your #shelfie game with these rad shelves & shelf decor

I love perusing the #shelfie tag on Instagram. It's always full of color-coordinated books and interesting trinkets and lighting. So if you're like me and want to up your #shelfie game, these shelves and the decor to go with them are for you. From weird and wild vases to rockin' candles to nerdy bookends, let's go shopping for some new decor to store all your stuff…

How to waterproof canvas shoes the easy way

If you've got a pair of canvas shoes that you really love, you probably want them to last. I just nabbed this pair of rainbow shoes from Target recently and they're already showing some wear. Sadface. There are a couple of really easy ways to waterproof canvas shoes to keep them more resistant to rain and the elements: beeswax and my preferred way, Scotchguard. Here are both methods to try on your fave pair…

These area rugs are made for walking (from Scandinavia to Morocco to the moon!)

Area rugs are going through some fun trends right now: Moroccan influences, Scandinavian trends, distressed prints, and color is finally coming back (not that neutrals are ever wrong). I rounded up some of my current favorite pretty area rugs with color, textures, and loads of diverse looks to match your stuff.

Are you in the market for an area rug? See if your future stomping grounds are in this list…

Lounge-y hammocks for everyone from babies to kitties to grown-ass adults

When it's hot outside and all you want to do is sit in the shade with a big ol' margarita, is there a better way to go than swinging in a hammock? I think the answer is no. Whether you're an adult looking to spoon in a cocoon, a baby in need of a cuddly swing, or a cat looking for yet another place to lounge (don't you have enough beds?! Nope.), there's a hammock for you.

Let's peruse some ultra lounge-y hammocks for everyone on your summer gift list…

Recent Life

How I find ways to express my offbeat self in my onbeat career

I'm a total Offbeater in an Onbeat career. I'm the business interface and management for a group of engineers in Tech in the Silicon Valley. And unless you can break the sound barrier on amazing code, your work clothes had better be "business casual." Since I am the business interface, I find myself even more pigeonholed into looking more "corporate" than I'd prefer. I find little ways to express my offbeatness though…

Yep, there actually are cute laptop bags out there to carry all your crap

If you've found yourself on your first day at your big new job (or preparing for school in the fall!) with a hideous briefcase a la Andie in The Devil Wears Prada, worry not. There are tons of cute laptop bags from which to choose so that you can look chic and fully prepared at the same time.

Let's find a new home for your goodies, lappies, and electronics…

1.0k

How do I address problematic issues within my favorite shows and pop culture?

One of my friends will find a way in which they feel a show is bigoted (e.g. "Steven Universe is racist") and suddenly it's the only thing they can talk about re: that show. They'll interrupt any conversation about it with "but you shouldn't like that, it's bigoted."

I understand the importance of keeping social justice topics in mind while consuming media, and obviously I can't tell them to stop because this is important to them, but sometimes I just want to gush about my favorite lesbian aliens. Help?

Recent Food

Is ugly produce your path to food budget bliss?

We all know there's a big problem with food waste. So if you're not the type to fuss too much about picking the perfect apple in the stack at the grocery store, a new food delivery service might be the solution for you AND for the environment. You may have already seen friends posting on social media about a company called Imperfect Produce, a CSA-style program that delivers just slightly bruised or weird-looking veggies to you. They're still tasty, but just not quite as pretty as you may be used to.

1.2k

Your microbiome and you! How to feed it a healthy diet

Three years ago, I decided I needed to re-haul my diet. I was slowly gaining weight, no matter how much I exercised. I had a host of health issues, including eczema, vitamin deficiencies, and food sensitivities. I had lots of chronic pain, and caught every single cold and flu that came home from school with my kids. It got to a point where I began to wonder what was wrong with me. Why was my body fighting against me?

That's when I got interested in feeding my microbiome. WAIT! HOLD ON A MINUTE… WHAT IS A MICROBIOME?

1.1k

19 super easy meal ideas from readers' go-to recipe files

Back in the summer, we featured a call-out to readers for their favorite super-easy lunches and dinners and you delivered. You gave us a ton of awesome lunch and dinner ideas! Let's face it, we're also tired after work, amirite? I've divided them into categories: grains and stuff, easy pastas, salads and greens, and sandwiches and toasts.

There are a lot of super easy meal ideas to be had here…

Let's get spicy: reader-favorite cooking spices & flavor staples

Way back in the day we called upon our Offbeat Homies to pony up their favorite garlic and onion alternatives for those of us who can't eat them. Sad, I know, but there ARE a ton of delish cooking spices that slay when it comes to amping up flavor in recipes. I decided to cull a bunch of those helpful reader comments into a roundup of reader favorite spices that will take your cooking game up a few notches.

Disney: Magical gluten-free vegetarian land? Yep, here's how!

My husband, Tom, and I recently vacationed in Orlando, Florida and went to Disney World! Pause for magical reaction. I am a gluten-free vegetarian (Tom is also a vegetarian, but can eat the wheat), so you KNOW it's tough to eat and travel.

There was a lot of internet advice that mentioned dining as a gluten-free vegetarian in Disney is so easy, and Disney is so accommodating. I was dubious, but guess what — The internet can be right sometimes! Here are just some of the vegetarian and gluten-free Disney yummies I got to enjoy on the trip…

Recent People

I'm pregnant and in a metal band: how do I protect baby's hearing?

I'm an audio engineer and an electric violinist for a metal band, and just found out that I'm pregnant. It's early days, but do I need to cancel gigs after a certain point? As an engineer, I experience up to 105db at work, but generally staying under 90db. As a musician, though, I'm onstage next to drum kits and loud amps, including my own, for an average set of 50 minutes. Is there anything I can do to keep them safe without cancelling gigs?

These photos of moms & babes nursing in protest of family separation will inspire you

For the past two Saturdays, a group of mamas and babies have gathered outside of the ICE detention center in Portland, OR to breast/bottle feed their babies in protest of the Trump administration policies that have separated roughly 2,000 children from their parents.

They were invited to hold the line during the nationwide Families Belong Together march on June 30th and decided to make it a weekly event until meaningful change happens in regards to ICE…

A love letter to my postpartum angel, my sister

I never had much of a meaning for the term "angel" until my sister arrived in my bedroom at five in the morning after a seven-hour drive to be by my side right after I had just given birth for the first time. I felt guilty for pulling the alarm, but I was scared and confused and anxious — and she got it. She has two kids of her own, a partner, and a crazy work schedule… but she was there.

I'm graduating and want to move: but who will care for my ailing parents?

I am a 22-year-old woman graduating from undergrad in a few short weeks. My parents are in their 50s and 60s and both have had a lot of health complications. They're relatively stable, but because I'm their only child and I went to college locally, they have always relied on me for everything from helping with heavy household chores to emergency hospital visits. I know that I owe it to myself to live the life I want, which isn't really possible where my parents reside, but at the thought of moving away, all I can think about is who would help them do all those things if I wasn't there.

How do I make this choice without being selfish?

Recent Pets

3.8k

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…

1.1k

I tried a a pet camera to spy on my kitties and it was comedy gold

I was able to get my hands on a fancy-pants pet camera (Thanks, Ariel!) that had wifi, night vision, two-way audio, motion detection, a phone app, notifications, and even a treat dispenser!

But this wasn't just a webcam — this was supposed to be a state-of-the-art surveillance swat team of a camera that also allows me to taunt coo at my kitties while rewarding them for chilling out in front of the camera. Here's how my pet camera trial went down…

This epic doggy dream house has everything a pooch needs

Insta-famous pooch Eggnog the Bulldog lives the high life with his amazing doggy dream house. It's fully equipped with a hydration station, a ramp up to her humans' bed, a hidey hole with sleeping cushions, color changing, Alexa-driven lights, a storage area for all her toys, and has her name right on it. It is truly a ramp house of which puppy dreams are made.

Recent Do It Yourself

How to waterproof canvas shoes the easy way

If you've got a pair of canvas shoes that you really love, you probably want them to last. I just nabbed this pair of rainbow shoes from Target recently and they're already showing some wear. Sadface. There are a couple of really easy ways to waterproof canvas shoes to keep them more resistant to rain and the elements: beeswax and my preferred way, Scotchguard. Here are both methods to try on your fave pair…

May the Fourth be with these spinning BB-8 heels (with a tutorial!)

It's that time of the galactic year again: May the Fourth be with you! Sure, you're probably already inundated with merch from the new Star Wars rebooted universe, but this DIY tutorial HAD to be shared. Why? Because it's for spinning BB-8 heels. Seriously, the heels are BB-8 from Star Wars: The Force Awakens and they SPIN.

Your walls and floors will never be the same once they meet these funky & fun wall stencils

Wallpaper is making a comeback big time, wall decals are hot, but my favorite way to make a surface my own is with stencils. You can use any paint color combinations you want, layer stencils on top of other stencils, and have total control over the placement of the imagery. Win! Have you investigated the sheer amount of wall stencils you can nab online? Use 'em on the walls, on the floor (for a faux tile look or in place of a carpet!), or on a big piece of wood or canvas as artwork.

Here are a few of my fave funky and chic wall stencils to try out on your big blank walls and floors…

Where can I find more subversive and offbeat stickers for scrapbooking?

"I’m starting to get into scrapbooking, and am wondering if there is any place or website that has offbeat stickers and designs? Some of the stickers sold for scrapbooking are too sweet for my taste." Great question! If you've been searching "scrapbook stickers" and only seeing happy-sappy and precious ones, that's no surprise. There are a lot of cooler and more offbeat stickers out there, you just have to dig a little outside of the scrapbook market. Here are are some of my favorite sites to find more unique, subversive, and offbeat stickers to illustrate your adventures…

1.1k

8 DIY dollar store design hacks on the cheap

This honeycomb painted wall was DIYed with paint stirrers and diluted paint to create that gradient effect. It's just one of the zillion ways you can grab something from your local dollar store to craft up a cheap and cheerful design or organization project.

Here are eight of my favorite ways to turn a cheapo dollar store item into something way more useful and stylish…

Recent Shopping

Elevate your #shelfie game with these rad shelves & shelf decor

I love perusing the #shelfie tag on Instagram. It's always full of color-coordinated books and interesting trinkets and lighting. So if you're like me and want to up your #shelfie game, these shelves and the decor to go with them are for you. From weird and wild vases to rockin' candles to nerdy bookends, let's go shopping for some new decor to store all your stuff…

Illuminate your next garden party with these glowing summer party lights

UK readers: this one's for you! We've partnered with a seriously fun company that sells every kind of light you can imagine — from lighted bottle coolers to cool patio lights to sleek and modern lighting for your home. We decided to highlight a few of our favorites for a roundup of summer party lights for your summer BBQs and chic evening soirees indoors or outdoors.

Here are some to peruse…

Yep, there actually are cute laptop bags out there to carry all your crap

If you've found yourself on your first day at your big new job (or preparing for school in the fall!) with a hideous briefcase a la Andie in The Devil Wears Prada, worry not. There are tons of cute laptop bags from which to choose so that you can look chic and fully prepared at the same time.

Let's find a new home for your goodies, lappies, and electronics…

Tiny worlds reside in these intricate resin rings

I love a good cocktail ring, especially when I know it will catch people's eye and make them want to comment. And seriously, how could you NOT comment if you saw one of these intricate resin rings with tiny worlds inside? Whether you've got a friend with a hobby, are into whimsical mushrooms, or love a paper crane that lasts forever, these rings stand out. Here are some of my favorites for gifting (or keeping for myself!)…

These area rugs are made for walking (from Scandinavia to Morocco to the moon!)

Area rugs are going through some fun trends right now: Moroccan influences, Scandinavian trends, distressed prints, and color is finally coming back (not that neutrals are ever wrong). I rounded up some of my current favorite pretty area rugs with color, textures, and loads of diverse looks to match your stuff.

Are you in the market for an area rug? See if your future stomping grounds are in this list…

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