best time to make purchases

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Ever wonder when the best time is to make household purchases? From groceries to gas grills, turns out there is a right time. Although some purchases can’t be planned (I’m looking at you, hot water heater), waiting can pay off. — Sarah L.

Groceries: Sunday evenings
TVs: after the Super Bowl through March
Appliances: holiday weekends
Grills: September and October
Carpeting and flooring: December
Trees, shrubs: September and October
Furniture: Holiday weekends
Chairs: May and June
Mattress, box springs: May through September

Image credit: Crate and Barrel

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real life test kitchen: pasta with peas, prosciutto, and crème fraîche

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Today’s recipe comes right in time for Spring, from the pages of one of my favorite cookbooks, A Twist of the Wrist, by Nancy Silverton. This book has been a great source of lots of quick and easy meals made from easily-sourced pantry and freezer staples. (The Chicken Tonnato Salad? To. Die. For.) The recipe calls for orecchiette, whose curved shape I imagine would, as Silverton says, “capture the tiny peas” in a way orzo pasta just can’t. With orecchiette or without, I really love this dish’s simplicity: frozen peas, garlic, crème fraîche… Oh, and instead of prosciutto, I used Spanish jamon Serrano for my version — I think it’s got a nicer, more developed flavor. But whatever way you make it, it really is easy, and delicious. — Megan B.
Click for the recipe, after the jump! (more…)

From our partners
From our partners

five things we learned last week

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1) Message cookies are certified crowd-pleasers. Williams-Sonoma makes getting the look easy. Chelsea C. says: “I have these, too! I have a ball with them. And they’re always a big hit when you personalize for a friend. Love!”

2) The votes are in: You would not spend $400 on a slow cooker. DJ says: “Gracious me, no, no, no. My current super-cheap, non-programmable slow cooker works just fine.”

3) The best part of baked fish tacos? The pickled onions. Kim says: “Thanks for this recipe! I always LOVE pickled onions at restaurants and never thought to make my own (duh!) I literally just put a batch in the fridge for tomorrow! Thanks again!!”

4) Snarky accessories can be happy additions to most work environments, but only when used appropriately! Ann says: “I received the WTF stamp as my gift in the office secret santa swap last Christmas. It’s hilarious, and the person who gave it to me knows me well… but I don’t actually use it on work things. It’s a great conversation piece on my desk, though!”

5) When it comes to creating a timeless kitchen, it’s more about feeling than finishes. Jess says: “A “timeless” kitchen to me is one that has character. Our kitchen table, for instance, is a re-purposed workbench (sanded down and finished, but still showing the marks from years of wood-working), our counters are essentially slabs of wooden butcher’s block… paint colors on the cabinets and walls are neutral and we can swap out our table runner/accents/decorations in the kitchen depending on the season or mood.”

From our partners

blogwatch: where we’ve been clicking this week

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They may not work for Sarah L.’s living room, but we’re diggin’ the modern sofas by Room Service we spotted at Retro Renovation.

Vacuum your mattress this weekend! Real Simple gives us some amazing advice: Spring cleaning, with shortcut methods and uber-thorough techniques, too.

What I made created an ingenious egg cup from an upcycled fork. Great. Now we want soft boiled eggs and toast! Via BoingBoing.

Check out this DIY plywood floor mat that SugarBee crafts made for her office. Much better than those you’d find at the office supply warehouse! Via Craft.

At Good Food, they’ve got an intriguing recipe we’re dying to try: parsnip ice cream!

Check out an inspiring kitchen remodel that’s just as timeless as Martha’s, but with a decidedly more atomic flair, at Picnics in the Park.

Pretend you’re Holly Golightly (in the movie version of Tiffany’s, not the book) and build a clawfoot bathtub sofa like this one at Casa Sugar.

image courtesy of Retro Renovation

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