five things we learned last week

Bright ideas we gathered from your comments.

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1. When you’re cooking for a party crowd, there’s no such thing as a diet. As Michelle says, “Cheese and potatoes, can’t go wrong! I make two 9×13 pans and always go home with empty, clean pans.” Read crowd-pleasing recipes and share your own here.

2. Energy-efficient light bulbs are still a hot topic. Our post-off on energy-saving bulbs continues to bring in interesting and helpful comments from readers like sustainability expert Michelle, who writes: “If you prefer a ‘soft white’ light, look for a CFL with a color temperature of around 2700K. A lamp burning at a higher temp (around 4100K) will give you a ‘cool white.'” And adds, “Dimmable CFLs are now available and they are getting better everyday (though they are more expensive).” Thanks for the info! Check out more insightful comments and links from Michelle and others here.

3. Cats want Ikea. DJ says, “My cat is seated beside me, meowing non-stop with excitement. ‘Build me the Ikea jump shelf system!’ But alas for her, there is no Ikea in my state.” We’re pretty sure that a capable DIYer could put the cat climber together with shelves from a standard hardware store — any readers want to help DJ out with that? Learn more about the Ikea version here.

4. We’re all kids at heart. And we like paying kid-sized prices, too! Anne enthuses: “I do love my little red iPod Speaker…I got one before Christmas at Delight.com!” To which Tracey adds, “ipod speakers right here for $19.75.” Check out the rest of our Wacky Decor for the Kid Inside of You.

5. Taking the back way can yield greater rewards than avoiding traffic. Pencils was excited to read more about the eco-friendly barrel homes we noticed at Charles & Hudson.: “I’ve seen those barrel houses during my trips out to the Hamptons for years,” she says. “I take a ‘shortcut’ that misses a bunch of the traffic of the main artery. I’ve wanted to know their story for years.” See the rest of our blogwatch roundup here.

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