Wait, when did this happen? Apparently, at least a year ago, which is when 3 Stinky Boys & Me wrote about Kmart’s line of modern furniture. I confess, Kmart is not on my radar as a shopping destination — I couldn’t even tell you where the nearest one is to my house. And while I’d personally rather have the “real thing” as opposed to a knock-off, I’m all for more people getting the option to branch out from bland, and I would have been all over this stuff in my 20s. A faux Tulip chair is a little under $160, you can get two plastic side chairs for just $171, and a chrome-based clamshell rocking chair knock-off is about $130. A lot of the modern offerings can be found if you seplace the Kmart site for “Baxton Studio.” I also just seplaceed on “modern,” and here’s what I found: some fun (and a couple dorky) housewares from Atlas Homewares, including modern drawer pulls and Frank Lloyd Wright-esque house numbers. — Mary T.
Since I’m guessing there’s a good chunk of you readers out there who will be wishing you had grilling weather for the big game, I present the solution to your problem: bring the wood smoke indoors! No more grilling your brats on the deck in sub-zero temperatures! Cameron’s stovetop smoker is a pretty basic, yet highly effective cooking device — a stainless steel roasting pan in which you sprinkle wood chips (mesquite, hickory, and applewood, to name a few), top with a drip pan and rack, add your protein of choice, and then just slide the lid closed (make sure it’s tight). Place on your range over medium and go! A slight wisp of smoke should rise from the smoker, but not too much — it’s more like incense than a campfire. Not only is it the most effective way to stay warm indoors while smoking meats, but it’s a great way to add a ton of flavor to food without adding any salt, sugar, or fat. I love pork tenderloin smoked and then sliced thin for sandwiches, and tofu and veggies turn into something other-worldly with a touch o’ the wood. You can find them online at Amazon for $49 (or $35 for the small model), or if you’re desperate to get one by Sunday, they’re pretty easy to find at moderately well-stocked kitchen stores. — Megan B.
If you’re fans of They Might Be Giants, you’re now humming the song “Birdhouse In Your Soul.” Well, I have a secret to tell: now you can have your very own glowing little friend who watches over you from the outlet, too. The Blue Canary Night Light was created by Brock Tice in homage to the song (and for his new daughter). You can read about it here or here, not to put too fine a point on it. But what really will put a bee in your bonnet is that you can purchase the Blue Canary Night Light at Amazon for $14.99. And even if you don’t want one for yourself, read the Amazon reviews. They are nearly as entertaining as TMBG themselves! — Mary T.
Nothing can top what you see in the photo. You see, I have a pretty big thing for French Bulldogs, and I’ve been wanting one forever. But our crazy work schedules and two needy cats just don’t have room for a dog yet. So, my husband surprised me with a custom painting of my favorite Frenchie ever (who was later the ring bearer at our wedding, BTW) instead. We were lucky enough to have a talented friend who could do something cool — with my favorite flowers, and lots of imagery significant to our relationship in some way. If you’re thinking about doing something similar, you’ve still got time. Take a favorite photo and have it printed on a canvas, or if you’re talented (unlike yours truly), create a special artwork of your own. It’s probably going to be impossible, but at some point, I’d like to try and give my husband a gift that’s just as amazingly cool, unique and romantic as my painting — and that’s where you come in. What trinket did you receive that knocked you off your feet? Did you surprise your paramour with something super-cool and unique? I’m sure I’m not the only one who could use a little creative inspiration… — Megan B.
1) Portland residents give Portlandia a thumbs up. Our very own Ginny F. reports from the field: â€œAs a new Portlander, I am totally digging this show. The bird thing, as well as most of the other sketches, seem right on with what Iâ€™ve noticed around here. (Almost bought a skirt with a bird on it at Saturday Market this summer). I am so bummed I missed tonightâ€™s episode. It looks like Amazon has them for free though. (At least the first one.)
2) While planning a weekly menu sounds great, most of us are flexible when it comes to meals. Megan B. asked how much planning goes into your meals, and youâ€™d like to, but many tend to keep options around and cook on the fly. ModFruGal says, â€œIâ€™m exactly the same, well stocked pantry/freezer so I can mix it up. I love to be organized, but I canâ€™t commit that far ahead on food.â€
3) You love the simplicity and usability of list making tool Teux Deux. Planners rejoice! The sleek and simple program design of the tool makes it easy to keep those tasks straight and get them done. Krista says: â€œI love Teux Deux! Iâ€™ve been using it for months â€“ I have it set up as my home page so that every time I open a window or tab I am reminded of what is on the agenda for the day. I love the clean minimalism of it and it is so satisfying to cross items off the list once theyâ€™re done.â€
4) Ninjas make apt replacements for v-day chocolates? You say yes. Katie D. introduced the Pocket Ninja as her stuffed animal of choice for Valentineâ€™s Day and we have some fans. Jennifer says: â€œEqual parts deadly and adorable.â€ HAHAHAHAHA I love it, and they ARE adorable. â€œ
Image courtesy of Kletia Garies.