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the ultimate “yard sale” — oprah sells her stuff for a good cause

Oprah’s had a very busy November. No, we’re not talking about receiving the Medal of Freedom from President Obama yesterday. We’re talking about the auction which just wrapped up at Kaminski Auctions of a collection of Oprah-owned antiques, furnishings, art and signed memorabilia, all gathered from her gorgeous homes in Maui, Indiana, Chicago and Santa Barbara. Over 7500 people bid on the goods which quickly sold out. Among the featured items: A Bottega Veneta steamer trunk that she stored her sweaters in (!) that sold for $10,200. In the end, the sale raised over $600k for the fund. We can’t help but wonder if Oprah was cleaning house in order to make room for some new things. A pre-redecorating purge perhaps? Stay tuned!

From our partners

could you live in a $25,000 micro home?



We often dream about packing it all in and heading to the hills or treetops to live in a small kit house. From our reseplace, we’ve found they usually require some serious dough in the end, and can end up costing as much as buying an already existing home and sprucing it up. Ian Kent hopes to change all that by introducing Nomad Micro Homes — small, DIY dwellings that only cost $25,000. While not exactly the kind place you could live in all year long (unless perhaps you were a desert dweller), the Micro homes could be great weekend getaways, guest houses or even artist or writer studios. According to the founder, if you can put together Ikea products, you can put together one of these houses in one week. (Though, if you’re like us, your Ikea skills are not so great.) With their minimalist lines and high ceilings, it’d be easy to imagine spending some quality time inside one of them. Visit Nomad Micro Homes for more information.

From our partners

post off: how spooky does your home get for halloween?

Halloween is, without question, our favorite holiday if the year. And our town’s Halloween festivities were a deciding factor in why we chose to move here. We, along with many of neighbors, take it seriously! We decorate our porches, place out mood lights, and plot out multiple costume changes — one for the daytime parade, one for the grown-ups only party and one to wear while handing out treats. But as any of you who live on the eastern seaboard know, the past two Halloweeens have been a wash out — especially last year due to being whalloped by hurricane Sandy. This year we have all our fingers and toes crossed that nothing is going to happen and we are ready to go whole hog Halloween! We pulled out our DIY snake wreath, our spooky doormat, and have draped spider webs all over our porch. We even have a plastic skeleton — affectionately called Boney — sitting our refurbed vintage glider.

As this photo from Between the Naps blog shows, we are not the only ones embracing the season. This lovely webby house is in the Atlanta area.

Do you decorate your home for Halloween? Do you lean towards the tasteful or tacky? Let us know and share a photo if you have one! You can tweet it to me with a #spookyhome hashtag!

From our partners

start ‘em young: adorable mini ikea doll furniture

As if the bouncy ball room and pervasive smell of cinnamon buns weren’t enough to please its young customers, Ikea has introduced yet another way to seduce the junior set. We spotted this Ikea doll furniture and house in the store the other day and instantly fell in love. The doll furniture set comes with a bright pink Klippan sofa, a green Lack table, a yellow lounger and a black and white rug. Who needs wooden doll house furniture? This stuff explodes with color. Since we firmly believe in instilling the art room arrangement into our young ones, we think this set would be a fine present for a little tyke. Better yet, pick this up and mix and match with others. Wonder if they’d fit in a Lundy house? See Ikea’s site to view the doll house furniture set, $13, and the playhouse, $8. They’re all Swedish, after all! Meatballs not included.

From our partners

the new nest protect is a cool & smart smoke detector — but is it worth the price?

Smoke detectors are a necessary, sometimes life-saving tool that can be, on occasion, annoying. They go off when you’re making brulee for your dinner party, chirp in the middle of the night when their batteries die, and create loud and brutal noises. These occasional blips seem like small things to suffer from when they do the job they are intended to do — a job that hopefully you’ll never need.

Now Nest, the company who is trying to reinvent the way we look at thermostats, has unveiled a new kind of smart smoke detector, Nest Protect. It is armed with an attention-getting yet calm voice that tells you what’s wrong (“There’s smoke in the bedroom,” it may say.), can be shut off with a wave of your arm (as opposed to frantic fanning with newspapers) and sends you an alert on your phone when the battery is low. It can even be set to glow like a nightlight. Oh, did we mention it’s pretty?

After watching the video below, you might think to yourself, yes, I need one of those! But then it hits. The price is $129 — not too bad, until you consider how many a typical house needs. We have seven. That’s nearly thousand bucks! Currently we are using a standard smoke detector that we paid about $30 bucks for. You can buy four of those for the price of one Nest Protect.


So tell us, what do you think: Are you willing to pay more for a better, smarter smoke detector?

P.S. A good rule of thumb is to change your smoke detector’s batteries on daylight savings time night… coming up soon on November 3nd!

From our partners