This is the best thing I’ve seen this week.
“oh no i wasn’t doing anything, I’m not busy
just talking to all of my friends
but I’m so glad we’re doing this now instead”
Read more on The Toast.
Last week, Eric and I celebrated two years of living in our house. Some days it feels like the house has come a long way, and I’m really happy with our progress. Other days, I feel like our wish list is still so long, and we’re never going to be able to do everything we want to do. The reason we’ve been able to come as far as we have, though, is the fact that we furnished a lot of our house with Craigslist finds. When we started planning to move, we knew the house was a lot bigger than our apartment and we didn’t have anything to put in all the rooms. And further, we knew we couldn’t afford to buy that much new furniture. So! To Craigslist we went!
Well, actually, to Craigslist I went. Eric didn’t have much faith that we’d find anything there, but he came around when he saw how much cool and affordable stuff I was able to find. Now he’s a total convert.
Here are some of the things we’ve purchased via Craigslist:
Not bad, eh?
If you find yourself in need of new/extra/affordable furniture and want to give Craigslist a try, here are my best tips.
1. Know what you’re looking for. While Eric seems to enjoy just browsing furniture listings on Craigslist, I prefer searching for specific items. (If I’m going to just browse Craigslist for a few hours, I’m going to look at a far more interesting section than the furniture, you know?)
2. Search often and don’t delay on messaging sellers. People who are selling typically want to sell, like, now, and things tend to go up and get sold very quickly. When we were in the market for our dining room furniture, we checked for new listings every few hours on Saturdays and Sundays. I was always surprised by how often new items were listed, and how quickly we received responses.
3. Search for specific brands. I think this is one of the reasons I’ve been able to find such good stuff…while you certainly may stumble across a dining room table from Pottery Barn if you simply search for “dining room table,” you might have to go through eight pages of tables that don’t interest you to find it. Whenever I was on the hunt for a piece of furniture, I searched for Pottery Barn, West Elm, Z Gallerie, World Market, and Restoration Hardware to help surface the sort of things I was wishing I could buy new.
4. Search for specific items. This is especially helpful if you’re looking for something from IKEA, because there might be hundreds of listings for “IKEA bed.” Instead, search for “IKEA Hemnes queen bed ” if that’s the one you want. It’s not foolproof, but I’ve found that most IKEA listings include the actual item name. And you just might get lucky and find item by name from other brands.
5. Search for alternative spellings. You may know you want a wrought-iron bench…but the seller might list it as “rot iron” or “wraught iron.” Also try searching related words (e.g.,”vintage” and “antique”) to make sure you don’t miss anything.
6. Filter your search results by owner to eliminate obnoxious dealer listings. You might find dealer listings relevant, but I find them to be really annoying to sort through (SO MANY CAPS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS!! HUNDREDS OF BOLD CLAIMS!!!) and not at all helpful when I’m searching for furniture. (On the other hand, they are fine when looking in the antiques section.)
7. If you’re searching for a specific brand, limit your searches to “title.” I’ve found that a lot of people will list a bunch of brands in the listing and say their piece of furniture is “Pottery Barn West Elm Restoration Hardware style”…which might be fine, but I’ve never found these types of listings to be very legitimate. Some people still use this technique in the title, but it’s far less common (and easier to spot).
8. Don’t just limit yourself to big pieces. Smaller items like lamps, dishes, mirrors, and kitchen appliances can be found in the household section for really cheap.
9. Use the gallery view when looking at listings. I discovered this option way late in the game, but it’s so helpful. Had I discovered this sooner, I’m pretty sure I’d have even more great CL finds to my name.
My last night in Michigan, my mom made these kabobs for a sort of unofficial birthday dinner for Preston, who turned 10 (!!!) the day I arrived home.
They were really good! Everyone was in agreement that the best part was the sauce that goes with them. If you have the patience to cut a bunch of meat, pineapple, peppers, and onions into chunks and then thread them onto skewers (which, admittedly, I typically don’t), it’s definitely a recipe worth making!
T-shirt from Etsy
Last year, I wrote a post for APW inspired by the best anecdote from Bossypants: when Amy Poehler informs Jimmy Fallon, “I don’t fucking care if you like it” after he gives her a hard time about a joke she’s making. It’s a great mantra that’s been talked about a lot lately thanks to an essay Rebecca Traister recently wrote for The New Republic. I am strongly for Jezebel’s suggestion that “maybe 2014 can be the year of IDGAF feminism.” “I don’t fucking care if you like it” is the new sorry not sorry (since apparently Pantene owns that one now…?) with a little bit of nobody cares about your stupid boner thrown in for good measure. Once you get the phrase stuck in your head, it’s hard to get it out…which is probably why I’ve been scrawling “I don’t fucking care if you like it” and “IDGAF” in loopy handwriting all over my notebooks (dotting each “i” with a heart, of course).
If you’re looking for something to do this weekend, I recommend watching the documentary “Spent: Looking for Change.”
From the film’s website:
“Spent: Looking for Change is a film about everyday Americans without the financial options most of us take for granted and the movement giving them renewed hope.
Turning to pawn shops, check cashing services, and using payday loans to meet basic financial needs can be costly for many of us, with $89 billion a year going to fees and interest2 for using these types of alternative financial services.
It’s time for change. New technology, new ideas and encouraging dialogue around this issue can help make managing money simple and more affordable.”
Eric and I watched it last weekend and both really enjoyed it. (I mean, as much as you can enjoy a film about a sad topic.) Two of the documentary’s subjects are from the Houston area, and we’re pretty sure one of them lives in the apartment complex adjacent to the one we used to live in. The film is only about 40 minutes long and you can watch the entire thing for free on YouTube!
While I follow a decent amount of fashion bloggers, I don’t think I’ve bought any clothes that I’ve seen on a fashion blog. And I’ve definitely never seen something on a fashion blog and bought it immediately. But when I saw this dress on Gal Meets Glam’s Instagram, I immediately tracked it down on her blog, clicked through expecting it to be approximately $189 (the going rate for cute dresses on fashion blogs), and saw it was TWENTY DOLLARS…and so even though it only came in one size (not that it was sold out in all but one size, but it was only ever made it one size???) and I already had a cute new dress for this summer, I bought it without a second thought.
Things I like about this dress…
The print is so pretty! It reminds me of our wedding china.
It cost $20.
It does not look like it cost $20.
Things I do not like about this dress…
It’s a little short. It’s not too short (shorter than my fingertips, longer than my wrists), but the silhouette of the skirt makes it feel very…breezy. I’m only 5’4″ but I felt like I needed to wear it with flats and boy shorts to feel comfortable.
It’s damn near impossible to put on yourself. I wore it to Jordan and Michael’s rehearsal dinner and because I got ready alone, I had to do some serious gymnastics to get it zipped. The only way I could zip it myself was to put it on without a bra…so…that’s what I did. I threw my bra in my purse, figuring I’d be fine for the 30 minute walk (the fabric is quite thick and structured) and then I could just put my bra on and have Julia zip me up when I got to the restaurant. But upon my arrival, she and Jordan’s sister both agreed that I didn’t need to bother. I hate bras so this turned out to be a pro.
Even without a bra, I wouldn’t describe the dress as super comfortable. It wasn’t a total rib-crusher—I did not have the vapors whilst wearing it—but it’s sort of like a cute pair of heels: fine for when you want to look cute at a party, but you kinda want to remove it in the second you get in the cab to head home.
Yes, it could have used an extra half-inch everywhere, but I’m still pretty happy with it. $20 well spent.
In a related story…Rosie’s Girls summer camp sounds awesome.
The theme of my day has been Leave Britney alone, where “Britney” = the following…
2. Black parents.
So, this morning Eric and I had a little debate about a segment we saw on “The Today Show.” It focused on a new curfew that will go into effect in Baltimore next month; children under 14 will have to be inside by 9 p.m. and 14- to 17-year-olds will have to be in by 10 on school nights and 11 on weekends. Kids who are out after that time will be picked up by the cops and taken to a detention center. Parents will then have to pay a $500 fine (though it could be less) or take a family education class. (No word on whether you can take the class if it happens more than once.)
The curfew sounds mostly fine in theory (cue the “Why does a kid that young need to be out that late alone?” chorus where everyone forgets what it was like to be a teenager), and “The Today Show” poll had 97 percent of people saying they thought it was a good idea. Eric was surprised the number was so high; I responded, “Well, 97 percent of the Today Show’s audience is white.” And then he gave me this look of, “How did you get a racial issue out of that?”
Well, because I had noticed that pretty much all of the parents and children shown in the segment (even just in the B-roll) were black. And my first thought was, This sounds like a stop and frisk law for teens and tweens. Maybe some people are comfortable with cops being responsible for black kids and teenagers, but I’m sure as hell not. Eric didn’t believe me that it was only black people shown, but thanks to the magic of DVR, I was able to show him that that was the case. Still, he seemed skeptical. I said that the $500 fine just seemed like a way to punish poor and/or minority parents…which led us to discussing the recent story about Debra Harrell, the single mother who left her 9-year-old daughter in the park while she worked all day at McDonald’s. (She could not afford childcare.) A “concerned parent” called the police and Harrell was arrested for child endangerment. Oh, and Think Progress reported today that Harrell has since been fired from McDonald’s. So, great. Great job getting involved, everybody!
3. Preserve. Unless you want to read some, um, intense prose about ice cream sundaes, skip the new lifestyle website.