Stuff You Didn’t Know You Needed from Target

I’ve been analyzing my buying habits lately, and I realized that not only do I buy a lot of stuff from Target, but I guy a LOT of stuff from their “Room Essentials” line (or “RE”) specifically. I think RE is targeted to college students and impoverished young adults living in their first apartments. What does it say about me that this matches my own aesthetic?

(By the way, I link to products in this post. I don’t derive any money or benefit from your clicks. I am WAY too lazy to set up some kind of affiliate situation with anyone.)

You Want To: Drink More Water

Everybody wants to drink more water, right? Stay hydrated, blah blah. I definitely feel better if I drink plenty of water, but I wasn’t drinking enough at work, even though there are multiple, filtered water dispensers available. So I examined my habits and I realized a couple of things: 1. I don’t like drinking out of the paper cups that are provided (too small, wasteful, and unpleasant-feeling). 2. I don’t like drinking out of a sports bottle, etc. (believe me, I’ve tried many different kinds and I found them all bleh). 3. I don’t like my water ice cold. 4. I DO like my water at about room temperature, or slightly colder. 5. I DO enjoy drinking water out of a glass.

So I bought this:

carafe and tumbler

That’s a plastic carafe that holds 1.3 liters of water and a 16-oz. tumbler which looks like glass but is actually made of indestructible acrylic. The carafe is on sale for like $8! The website only shows the tumbler in the 8-piece set, but I bought it all by its lonesome in my local store. This is a winning combination for me because I fill the carafe in the morning, it sits on my desk all day, the water stays clean thanks to the lid and it is the perfect temperature thanks to the air conditioning. And I get to drink out of a glass that has the perfect thickness to be comfortable and – bonus! – is a dark color that doesn’t show my lipstick as much.

You Want To: Have Soft Towels Without Using Dryer Sheets

Everybody wants soft towels, but when you use dryer sheets they leave a coating on the towels that makes them less absorbent. Or maybe you’re allergic to dryer sheets. Whatever. You need these:dryer-balls

Yes, you can find them everywhere, but I bought mine at Target, where they were really cheap. You throw these in with your towels in the dryer and they make them soft without using chemicals. Also great for putting in the dryer with pillows, puffy coats, or anything you want to be soft and lofty. Yes, you could use tennis balls, assuming you have clean, unused tennis balls just laying around for this purpose. Dryer balls are cheaper and you gotta love those little nubby things.

You Want To: Put Your Feet Up and Store Stuff at the Same Time

Check out this storage ottoman from Target: $16.99. That’s crazy! It’s not even one of those cheap-ass folding ones. Now, I wouldn’t stand on it, but it’s definitely sturdy enough to put my feet up on while also holding “stuff.” I bought the gray, because it matches the armchair in my office, but it comes in several colors (the turquoise is pretty). I bought this in my store last week. They had several models, including a slightly nicer/sturdier version starting around $24.99. But I’m all about that cheap so the under-twenty-bucks model came home with me.ottoman

You Want To: Reward Your Beloved Dog (i.e. Get Him to Chill Out for 15 F***ing Minutes)

Chandler loves these rawhide sticks wrapped in chicken skin. Sounds gross, but my goji berry that dog will do anything to get one. You can find these pretty much in any pet store, at various price points. I bought the big bag at Target forever, but lately they don’t seem to have them in stock, which makes me worry they’re not going to carry them anymore. I might have to start buying them somewhere else. rawhides

You Want To: Get a Good Night’s Sleep

I mean, who doesn’t, right? I don’t think I’ve really had a good night’s sleep in about 10 years. Starting from the time I was in late pregnancy until now, I’ve really only slept deeply when I was ill. My nights are a combination of weird dreams, hot flashes, tossing and turning, and my dog kicking me. Things that have helped: getting a new mattress, running my ceiling fan pretty high all night long, running a diffuser over night with doTERRA Serenity or OnGuard essential oil blends, and now this pillow.

pillow

Yes, these links are for Amazon, not Target. I couldn’t find a pillow I liked at Target, or Bed Bath & Beyond, for that matter. This pillow (which is on sale for a few bucks cheaper than I paid) is a great deal. I wish I’d bought it sooner! It’s memory foam, so it’s very firm, but it has that layer of cooling gel stuff on top. It also comes with its own zippered protector. Between that and the pillowcase, you can’t see the blue stuff, but you can definitely tell it’s there. It’s cool without needing to be refrigerated. It will warm up after a few hours, but basically I roll over and sleep on my other side and get a whole new cool section. Also, I never thought I’d like memory foam because it’s kind of unforgiving in a pillow. But my neck was hurting BAD, and I’m a side sleeper, so I gave it a try. The first night I slept on the pillow I wasn’t terribly impressed: the cool stuff was nice, but the pillow didn’t feel like some breakthrough in comfort or anything. BUT! The next morning, my neck pain was reduced more than half. I felt completely different. After a few nights my pain is gone! AMAZING. The memory foam is very supportive and keeps your spine aligned, I guess? I notice that I don’t sink down into it, which is nice because it prevents that feeling of suffocation that’s not conducive to sleeping anyway.

So now that I’m hydrated, well-rested, and my towels are soft and fluffy, what other problems could I possibly have?

Wanted: Christmas spirit (sorely lacking)

WTF. This is what happens when I start blogging again – I cook along at a good pace, and then a month (or more!) goes by and I don’t update, then I feel guilty. Well at least it feeds my neuroses.

I’ve been hella busy. I got put on a new project at work for a few months, plus I’ve been trying to finish all the Christmas crochet and shopping. I finally shipped off presents to my side of the family this week. Gave the present I made for my manager to her. Almost finished with what I’m making for my bestie. Once that’s done, I just need to wrap the stuff for Hubby and Bean.

I made an executive decision this year not to send any Christmas cards. I think it’s a tradition that’s just about run its course. I kept at it for soooo long but I think I’ve finally tired of it. So sue me!

We haven’t put up the Christmas tree or any decorations at all and I just can’t seem to muster any enthusiasm for it. Maybe we’ll put the tree up this weekend. Bean has informed me that she “knows the truth” about Santa Claus, which is kind of a relief. But I promised her we’d still surprise her on Christmas morning. She’s growing up so fast it makes me feel older than old.

Speaking of feeling old, the plans to have my spleen removed are off. Instead I’m going to see an interventional radiologist, I just don’t know when or exactly what they’re going to do. But anything is better than surgery and giving up my spleen I suppose.

Full post about completed projects coming soon – I have a ton of them! Until then, happy holidays!

fillion-disapproval

La la la I’m not Listening!

So WordPress is nagging me that there’s a new version available, and two of my plugins need updating, and am I getting right on it and taking care of that? No!! I mean I’ll do it…eventually. Like posting. I do it…eventually.

It’s not that I purposely make a post and then wait nearly a whole freaking month to make another one. It just happens, you know? Just like that periodontist my dentist referred me to back in oh…November? December? I dunno. I’ll make an appointment eventually.

In the meantime there is lots of stuff happening. Like: I’m starting a new job this month! And, therefore, leaving my old one! YAY! And I’m planning the Bean’s birthday party! And I’m dealing with passive-aggressive persons who seem hell-bent on bringing me down! And I have approximately five million errands and odd jobs to do during the week between jobs that I have PROMISED myself to take this time.

(I’ve never had time off between jobs before. I wanted to try it at least once.)

So, longer post later. This is just to assure the three of you out there that I haven’t forgotten this blog, or you. Let me direct you to this old post of mine about how to clean your sterling silver jewelry. It worked back then (2009) and I just used it again this weekend – guess what? It still works! YAY!

(Thanks Vauxhall Vixens for showing me this image. Perfect.)

There’s Really No Limit…

…to how dumb people are. In general, of course, but specifically, people who are trying to sell their homes. Or at least that’s the impression you get if you watch some of these HGTV shows like “Get It Sold.”

Dumb. People. Everywhere.

I mean, just for an example, I saw an episode the other day about a woman with a fairly standard townhome that had been on the market for 90 days with no offers and very little interest. She could not understand why! (Der! Duh!) Not surprisingly, she was way overpriced – she was asking more for her rundown center unit than a brand-new end unit was going for in the same subdivision. For that I blame her agent – a good agent should always keep up to date on your comparables, and help you set a competitive price. But why her agent never said anything to her about the HORRIBLE shape her house was in, I have no idea.

The front yard was full of weeds (no curb appeal); the house itself was full of temporary furniture (like folding tables), half-packed boxes, weird decorating choices, and tons of clutter; and the deck (which should have been a big selling point) was dirty and cluttered with garbage.

Well gee…I wonder why nobody wanted to even make a low-ball offer on your busted-ass mess of a house!

Sadly, this woman was very typical, and I say this from experience – I’ve known people who tried to sell a house and made some of the very same idiotic mistakes. And goodness news my husband and I looked at plenty of hot messes when we were looking to move up from our own townhome to the single family where we live now. Lucky for the woman on the show, a professional intervened and helped her not only set a reasonable price, but fix some of the crazy decor and messy non-staging that was going on.

Here’s a handy guide to what stupid people say about their messy houses, and what it really means:

“The house has character.” Translation: my house is full of broken shit, and I don’t want to spend the time/effort/money to fix it because I’m hoping you’ll buy my problems when you buy my house.

“I don’t want it to seem cold.” Translation: I don’t understand that seeing lots of personal photos and chotchkes turns people off. I’m too lazy or stupid to clear away my personal clutter and stage the house to look attractive to strangers. (Seriously – people don’t seem to get this at all. For better or worse, buyers have become conditioned by looking at lots of model homes to houses that are well-decorated but NOT covered in personal photos and artwork. Appeal to them!)

“I think buyers want to see a house that looks lived-in.” Translation: I’m too lazy to clean this place up. Guess what, Einstein? People do not look at YOUR clutter and imagine themselves living amongst it. They want to look at a house that is clean, tasteful, and uncluttered – because THEN they can imagine themselves moving in.

I’m just glad that a.) I’m not in the market to buy a house and b.) I’m not trying to sell my own house! I’d probably go insane!

New Uses for Old Items: Shoe Organizers

shoe_organizerI’ll bet you have at least one of these in your house, maybe even a few of them. They come in lots of different colors – natural, blue, pink; lots of different materials – canvas, nylon, mesh, vinyl; and several different sizes – 16 pockets, 20 pockets, there’s even a smaller version with little pockets that’s meant to be hung over a shower door. They’re all, with the exception of that last example, shoe organizers. Or at least that’s how they’re labeled! The fact is, you can use these shoe organizers for LOTS of other storage and organization tasks, anywhere you have a door with free real estate on one side. In fact, I don’t really like them for holding shoes (I prefer solid cubbies), but they work great for lots of other storage purposes:

– In the hall closet, it can hold mittens, gloves, hats, and rolled-up scarves. All those small, loose items that seem to get jumbled up on the one pathetic shelf that sits above the rod. Imagine never having to search for your gloves again! This is probably my favorite use for over-the-door shoe organizers.

– On the back of your home office door, it can hold office supplies, items that you sometimes need in your purse but don’t carry all the time (for me, these are things like tape measures and small flashlights), extra keys, and even cleaning supplies like paper towels or a microfiber duster.

– In the linen closet, you can use it to store small linens such as wash cloths or hand towels; or all those extra soap dishes/toothbrush holders/lotion dispensers that you’re not using, but are unsure where to stash. I bet you can free up a lot of under-the-sink space this way!

– On the back of your water closet or bathroom door, the pockets are unfortunately too small to store toilet paper. However, you can stash just about everything else you might need in the bathroom: soap, feminine hygeine products, extra bottles of shampoo and body wash. This is also another place where you might store your extra soap dishes or other vanity accessories that aren’t currently in use.

– In a kid’s room or baby’s room, use them to store toys, socks, diapers, wipes, etc. Hint: put items you want the little angel to be able to get herself, like her socks and toys, in the bottom few rows. Save the top rows for stuff that you want to keep out of a small child’s reach – such as diaper ointment or other potential messes and hazards.

I’ll try to update this post with some photos of my own over-door organizers in action this weekend.