Category Archives: house”keeping”

Making all the things…(Part 1)

It’s that time of year again! The air turns colder, the leaves start to crinkle, and my urge to MAKE ALL THE THINGS comes out of it’s summer hibernation.

This year we are doing handmade gifts for most of our family so I am getting started early with my research. I have college age kiddos and grade school kiddos, high school kiddos and full grown kiddos. Luckily the internet is vast and the possibilities are endless. It’s important to find gifts that people will like, that can be made inexpensively, and that are useful in some way.

Of course one person’s useful is another person’s WTF? so it’s equally important to know your audience. For example, monogrammed coasters might seem like a useful thing to make but do your friends even have coffee tables that require coasters?

I’m starting with my college peeps. This year, there are a lot of them.

College Age DIY Gifts –

  1. The Secret Book Safe – Keep your tiniest secrets hidden here, or at least your cash when you’re throwing a party for your fellow students. basic-25
  2. Study Carrel – You can’t make everyone else leave the room, but you can kind of make your own room.
  3. Managing to sleep in a room with another person can be a challenge. A sleep away kit can make all the difference. A homemade eye mask can make it seem like you are home sweet home. A small homemade fleece pillow filled with lavender, a solid set of earplugs, and your softest pillow case combine to create a cozy sleeping environment where ever you actually are. 1009-Photo-101-3_b
  4. An office in a box gifts your student with all the study necessities. Post-it’s, pencil lead, bookmarks, paperclips, highlighters, and more! Header
  5. A no-sew fleece blanket gives your student something soft to cuddle up in when they are tired and homesick.
  6. A Mason-Jar Sewing Kit is an essential gift for someone moving out on their own. After all, your sewing stuff is staying with you, so it’s not like they can just run in and grab it.
  7. Sick Day Cold Kit – Being sick away from home is the first time you really understand how much being a grown up sucks. Ease their pain a little. In a large mason jar place:
    1.  4 Emergency-C Packets.
    2.  A handful of cough drops.
    3.  A handful of throat lozenges.
    4.  2 packets of Throat Coat tea.
    5.  2 packets of Peppermint tea.
    6.  4 honey sticks.
    7.  A travel size tissue pack.
    8.  Lip balm.
    9.  Travel size menthol rub.
    10.  4 Nyquil Liquigels.
    11.  4 Dayquil Liquigels.
    12.  2 Advil packets.
    13. Chicken Soup packet.
    14. 2 saltine cracker packets.
    15. Quarters for the soda machine.
  8. Magnetic Message Boards let roommates communicate with each other and avoid awkward moments.

There are more. The internet is full of laundry kits, first aid kits, coffee lover kits, etc. Really, if you can think of it, you can turn it into a gift for someone in college.



Some days it’s just not worth chewing through the leather straps…

It’s Monday.

It started with a kick in the head from Otter. Actually it started with several kicks in the head. It would seem walking his feet up my back and dropping them on my face is the new alarm clock.

My new alarm clock doesn’t listen to reason. It doesn’t care that it is waking me up a full hour before it is supposed to, it does it anyway.

Monday continued with screaming as Otter stridently demanded we wake up and bring him downstairs. I am thinking he is sleeping in his own bed from now on.

Downstairs we were greeted with dogshit by the front door and dog pee on the couch. It would seem our incontinent dog decided to climb over the coffee table placed on the couch to restrict her access to it, so she could sit on the back of the couch and pee all over it. We have a couch cover and a waterproof cover inside so the couch isn’t ruined, but it is a giant pain in the ass.

By the time we cleaned up the shit and removed the couch cover she had already peed in the kitchen.

Now Otter is sitting in the middle of the freshly mopped floor screaming “Help me!” because he wants me to come pick him up.

Where the fuck is Tuesday already?

A morning of cuteness…

This morning Otter settled on the couch next to Monkey and watched an episode of Dirty Jobs, Monkey’s favorite show. (Lee has trained her to say that she needs to finish school and go to college so she can choose whether or not she wants to have a Dirty Job. It’s pretty funny.)

The siblings enjoyed an early morning snuggle together for about half an hour, until Otter was ready for second breakfast.

Our house is so comfy. The house is large enough that the dogs seem smaller, we seem smaller. As Devon put it, the house is actually to scale for us.

It is nice to wake up in a pleasant room with plenty of space for one’s things. For the past year we lived in a dark tiny cramped space infested with ants and owned by two people who were determined to squeeze every dime they could out of us and not give much in return. Now we live in a huge open space, well lit, with gleaming hardwood floors and spanish tile. Sunlight streams in through the many windows, skylights, and glass paned doors.

Our current landlords are kind people. They are interested in making sure we are getting everything we need, and are willing to make necessary changes and repairs quickly and efficiently. They are also really nice, I like them a lot and look forward to working with them in the future.

We are almost finished setting up our bedroom/Otter’s room. It is a large space, but hard to capture on film. Nonetheless, as pictures were requested by a certain preggosaurus, I tried. (Everyone knows, you never turn down the request of a preggosaurus.)
Here is our bed and my dresser. To give you an idea of the size of the room, our bed is a King size, and has always been the item of furniture that turns rooms into tiny spaces with no walking room. It fits neatly along one wall, next to my huge antique dresser, and leaves room for two end tables and a dog bed.

Our bathroom is through that white door there, it is green marble and burgandy paint. Mmmm…. Green and red, Lee’s and my favorite colors. Otter’s changing station and storage are located on this wall. There is still plenty of space in the center of the room, and no sense of being cramped walking between the bed and the rest of the room.

Lee’s dresser is on the wall with the crib, between the bathroom door and the door to our other room, which we have deemed the sitting/hangout room. It is larger than our bedroom. We haven’t set it up yet, but soon it will have a couch, our T.V., our Apple T.V. system, a rocking chair, and our closet in it. Off to one side is a kitchenette and laundry room, where we have set up the cats. We plan to keep water and beverages up there, along with any non communal snacks.

Downstairs we have set up the kitchen, the office, and the living room. I have a photo of the living room, but the light was too odd to get the other rooms at the moment, so you will have to wait for those.

The house is really long, so all our rooms are set up such to allow flow through the whole thing. It is pretty calming and definitely a comfortable set up.

Ah… I hear the strident tones of a certain young man. Thanks to all who responded to my Bar Exam rant, I appreciate the thoughts and insight.