Mini Cactus Garden


Cactus are supposed to be easy to care for, right?  I hope so, because I just finished building a little cactus garden that I’m planning on bringing to work to brighten up my boring cubicle. If my track record means anything, they will probably be dead by the end of the week, but my fingers are crossed that they will make it. Luckily, one of my cube mates is a master gardener, so I’m hoping she will give me tips on how to keep these cuties alive and well. Cactus-1

I think they have a fair chance at surviving, because I did a lot of research on how to properly build a terrarium.  I used three layers of organic material– a bottom layer of rocks, a middle layer of horticultural charcoal, and and a top layer of soil.    The soil I used is specially formulated for cactus.  I don’t really know what the difference between cactus soil and gardening soil is, but the man at the gardening store assured me that cactus soil was a safer bet.  It was a little more expensive, and he might have just been trying to upsell me, but I’m a trusting gal, so I went with his suggestion.


I have high hopes for this little cactus garden.  If I can keep it alive, then I might branch out and try to grow something else. Any suggestions for other easy to grow plants?


Ten Unexpected & Affordable Online Home Stores

I’m a big fan of online shopping. It’s an easy way to browse multiple options and do price comparisons from multiple stores. The only downside is that there are so many websites that it is sometimes overwhelming.  That is why I am sharing my top 10 stores for inexpensive online home goods.  You’ve probably heard of most of these stores, but you might be surprised at their online selection.

1. Urban Outfitters: If you have ever read any of my “Look for Less” posts, you are probably aware that Urban Outfitters has more than just clothes and college dorm essentials. In fact, they have a pretty awesome selection of stylish furniture and décor that wont break the bank. Personally, I’m a huge fan of their rug selection. Area rugs can be so expensive, but Urban Outfitters has a wide array of choices at a reasonable price point. For instance, the Assembly Home Plus Sign Handmade Rug shown below costs $89 for a 5 x 7.

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Urban Rug1
2. H&M: Another clothing store that has a fantastic home line is H&M. You won’t find furniture, but you will find deals on linens, decorations, pillows, and more. I personally think H&M Home has some of the best pillow covers on the market. The pillow cover below is only $12.95. It reminds me of something I would find at Anthropologie for upwards of $50.


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3. Cost Plus World Market: I have to admit, I’m biased towards World Market because there is a store only a few blocks from my house. I love stopping there and browsing through their wine, food, and home goods; but their online store is just as good. They have a great furniture section, but where they really shine is the kitchen accessories. They have a fantastic selection including the stacking mugs pictured below. A set of 6 is $17.99. They aren’t anything fancy, but they are extremely practical and have a nice, classic look.

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4. I bet you didn’t know that Goodwill had an online auction site. Different stores from around the country auction off some of the higher quality donated goods. Depending on how many bidders are interested, you can get some really nice goods for a steal. For instance the amazing, vintage Hobnail Milk Glass Lamp pictured below is currently going for $9.99 with no bids.


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5. Zara Home: This fast fashion store is known for on trend clothing, but they also have a pretty decent selection of home goods. Some of their products are on the pricier side, like the beautiful mirrors they sell; however, they have a surprisingly affordable collection glassware. The Diamond Pitcher pictured below is only $16.90. It’s very elegant and would be a beautiful pitcher for entertaining.

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6. Modcloth: Modcloth is an online marketplace featuring products from indie designers. As such, they have exclusive items that you won’t find anywhere else. While some of their items are slightly pricey, they have a fairly large selection of affordable home accessories, like the $12.99 Q-tip holder below. It’s a porcupine—how could you not love that!

7. Craigslist: If you are into vintage and second hand pieces, Craigslist it the place to go. You can get amazing deals on just about anything. A few of the things I’ve purchased through Craiglist include my couch and a wardrobe. A word of caution – watch out for scams and never meet a seller alone. With that safety tip in mind, you can find fantastic stuff – like the Mid Century Howell Tandem Fiber Glass Chairs below. They are only $80 and are very retro cool.


8. My Habit: My Habit is a flash sale website owned by Amazon. The sales are always changing, so you’ll constantly find new and exciting deals. They often have replicas of famous furniture designs like the Eames Rocker and the Barcelona Chair. To be honest, a lot of the time, I’ll look at My Habit for inspiration and then do a price comparison on Google. Sometimes My Habit is the cheapest, but other times I find better deals. For example, the Fine Mod Vac Arm Rocker Chair pictured below retails for $112 on My Habit, but can be found for as low as $88 on other websites; with that said, My Habit is a great place to look for the newest trends at affordable prices.

9. Target: Target is such a great store. You can get just about anything there, including really stylish home goods. In particular, they have some partnerships with very talented designers. The collaborations are great for price conscious consumers, because it makes high end design attainable. Some of the collaborations Target has are with Nate Berkus, Thomas O’Brien, and my personal favorite, Blu Dot. The credenza below is from TOO by Blu Dot, and it’s only $269.

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10. JC Penney: I don’t usually associate JC Penney with stylish design, but I’m starting to change my opinion. They went through a rebranding a few years ago, and they have totally upped their style quotient. Like Target, JC Penney has some fantastic designer collaborations including Jonathan Adler, Michael Graves, and Terence Conran. JC Penney’s furniture selection is particularly impressive. The Design by Conran Lulworth Sectional shown here is on sale for $865. It’s very well designed and looks like it costs a heck of a lot more than it does.


BBC (Baileys Banana Colada) Recipe

There is a Hawaiian restaurant down the street from our house that makes the best blended drinks.  On a nice day, I like to go there, sit on the patio, order a fruity drink, and people watch.  It’s very relaxing.  One of my favorite drinks is the BBC, which stands for Baileys Banana Colada. It is so delicious, but it is never on the happy hour menu, so it is a little expensive. I did some research and found a recipe for a homemade version that is just as good and a heck of a lot cheaper.



Ingredients (serves 2):

  • 1-2 Frozen Bananas (I love bananas, so I tend to put in 2,but 1 should be plenty)
  • 2 oz Irish Creme Liqueur
  • 1 oz Rum (Dark Rum is preferable)
  • 1 oz Coconut Creme
  • 1 oz Pineapple Juice
  • Ice (if needed)
  • Whip Cream

All you need to do is combine the ingredients in a blender, and blend until smooth.  If it is a little watery, you can add some ice and continue to blend.  Then pour it into a glass and top off with Whip Cream.


It’s super quick and it tastes like a tropical dream.


Have a great Labor Day weekend!

DIY Fox Mask


For my birthday last February, Joey bought me tickets to see the Arcade Fire at the Gorge. The tickets requested that attendees wear formal wear or a costume, which I completely forgot about until last week. The concert was on Friday, so I only had a few days to come up with a costume. I wanted to wear a mask, but I didn’t have any creative ideas, so I did some Pinterest stalking. I saw a few really cute homemade fox masks for little kid costumes, and I decided to make a grown up version.  I drafted Joey to make me a template for the mask.  He did a really great job, and the mask  ended up looking awesome. I’m including a template here, in case you want to make your own mask.

The materials I used are listed below:

  • Mask Template
  • Empty Cereal Box
  • Scissors / or an Exacto Knife
  • Yarn
  • Pencil / Pen
  • Hot Glue Gun
  • Construction Paper

I started by cutting out the template pieces.


Then I traced mask base on the cereal box.


After cutting out the mask base, I traced and cut out all of the other pieces from construction paper. Then I hot glued those pieces onto mask base. I was very careful to check that the eyes were in the right location before gluing them on and cutting out circles to see through.

Fox-Mask4.1Once the hot glue had dried, I cut two small holes on the sides of the mask.  Then I strung a piece of yarn through each hole.Fox-Mask5

I tried the mask on and tied the yarn secure in the back of my head.


Doesn’t it look cool? It was a perfect costume because it is really low key. I was able to just wear jeans and a regular t-shirt, but once I put my mask on, I was ready to party.