Tag Archives: Shopping

So, I’m Redoing My Kitchen

No, I haven’t suddenly become rich. But when a pipe bursts under your house and the resulting sewage eats away the foundation, you go into a state of “oh, well, I guess I’ll just be in debt for the rest of my life!” and you fix that gaping hole. So, yeah. The kitchen is underway, mostly and while the original goal was Halloween, we’re now looking toward Thanksgiving as a more likely completion date.

Now, because of the new kitchenness in the air, I’m somewhat preoccupied by things like dishes and appliances. Today’s dish find was one I just HAD to share.

I present Etsy Seller Folded Pigs. Creator of all things zombies, skulls and hearts for your kitchen!


I KNOW! I bet you didn’t even know you NEEDED dipping bowls, and now, you do! Me, I think I’d use these for desserts. they’re just under 5″ across, and that’s the perfect size for fruit or ice cream, or, my favorite, aerosol whipped cream with sprinkles on top.

This chick has everything from bowls and plats to mugs and saucers. And one day, when I’m no longer in debt up to my eyeballs, I’m absolutely going to get one of everything from this shop. Of course, I’ll be adding some favorites to my amazon wish list, just in case some admirer comes my way and wants to give me the gift of yay. Lets all keep our fingers, and cutlery crossed.

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We Love Poetry Of The Silly Variety!

Also, poetry of the non-silly variety! But, lets face it, when you’re small, you just don’t really “get” how great Walt Whitman’s descriptions of the Civil War are, you know? When you’re a kid, what appeals to you, most likely, is the poetry of a man like Shel Silverstein, and, if you’re like me, that sticks with you forever. The sadness of this is, of course, that Shel Silverstein is no longer with us. He’s hanging out with Jim Henson somewhere, telling dirty jokes, I am sure. The excellent news is that like Jim Henson, Shel has been the gift that keeps on giving and he’s got another posthumously published collection of poems on the way!

The book comes out on September 20, 2011 and personally, I’m pretty excited. Not excited enough to wish the coming summer away, but, still pretty excited. What’s that you say? You say Shel is for babies? SHAME ON YOU! You and all of your kind. You know nothing of the excellence of Mr. Silverstein. I now assign you to head on over to Amazon and pick up a copy of the 25th Anniversary edition of Different Dances, Shel’s pretty dark, often sad, very dirty, NOT FOR CHILDREN collection of “adult cartoons.” It’s a wonderful book, and gives you a whole new look into the talents of Uncle Shelby. I’m not going to make you spend the $300 that the original version is going for, but anyone without this piece in their collection really can’t be a proper Shel fan. While you’re at it, you might want to pick up Uncle Shelby’s ABZ Book too. Consider the purchases your subversive act for the week. They’re well worth it.

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Ah, But Where To Wear It?

You know how sometimes you’ll be cruising around online, or even in a “gasp” brick and mortar store, and you’ll see some kind of amazing garment and you’ll think “well, I want that. I want that item but I can’t really justify the purchase because, well, where will I wear it?” You think and think, you rearrange your whole life mentally. You say to yourself, “well, this is a sign, I need to get a life! I’ll go out more. It doesn’t matter if it’s winter, I’ll just buck up and…”

then you wake up and realize, it’s just clothing. Get over it. And you DO get over it, but you’re a little sad? Well, that whole thing just happened to me with this hat:

Can I get away with this when picking up milk before the next snowstorm?

I mean, what are you supposed to do? NOT buy this hat? You’re seriously supposed to go through life without being able to just pop this thing on and being the party? And just how hilarious is it that the Etsy seller’s name is  Order Abandon. Of COURSE it is. Because, that’s what I want to do, order with absolute abandon. And you know what? Every one of the hats on her page is amazing! It makes a girl want to take up millinery, it does. Well, it makes this girl want to take it up, but this girl had a milliner for a great grandmother, so maybe she’s just pre-disposed, eh? Never mind that! I want this hat! And, um, Valentine’s Day just happens to be my half birthday, so perhaps some anonymous admirer will procure it for me. A two tone grey base with a purple-red tentacle should do it. Yes, it would do very well indeed.

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Why Do Kids Get All The Cool Stuff, And Is It Ok To Take It Back?

I’m not a kid person. As I’ve said before, I’m a cat person. So it’s a huge bummer to me when wandering in places like children’s Ikea to see that it’s quite clear that kids get all of the awesome stuff that’s out there. For example, hello, Stuva:

Rounded corners, check. Crazy color? Check.

That thing is adorable. It also comes in wood (lame) white, blue and pink! Amalthea fun fact, I’m not afraid to love pink. That thing is just nifty and it makes me want to put my things into it. But, I know, some of you are all “Amalthea, that is SO ungoth, ew.” Well, ew to YOU! You don’t have to be gothic 24/7, seriously, lighten up. And, just in case you doubt Ikea’s powers of cute, there’s this clearly Tim Burton like piece of furniture here:

If only it were a little taller, it would hold my coats. Perhaps it will keep my sweaters?

That’s right out of Alice in Wonderland, and it too comes in pink.

These cute items are not the reason we’re here today though. We’re here because, guys, I LOVE this wallpaper!

Kitties and bunnies and turtles and doggies!

How CUTE is that? I want it! It’s available on the Wallpaper Collective, a site that is constantly tempting me with wallpapers I can’t afford. It comes in three colors, but it’s $185 a roll! So not only is there the “holy S, that’s expensive!” issue, there’s also the “hmmm, that’s really for a kid’s room” issue, and, as I said earlier, I’m not a kid person. But I wonder, can one get away with something like this in a library? What say you? Leave your verdict in the comments below!

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Sometimes It Takes A Robot To Do A Maid’s Job

Amalthea fun fact: I am a cat person. For the longest time I was a dog person. I grew up with dogs, my family bred Pembroke Corgis and Standard Poodles. Dogs are fine, but now that I’m in my own house, I find that while I love an animal running to the door to greet me when I get home, what I REALLY love is for that animal to be QUIET when it does so. I’m sorry dog people, but I just really love the quiet. I love that I can go out for a couple of days at a time and my cats will fend for themselves, and yet they’re snuggly and affectionate and even, when they’re in a good mood, relatively obedient.

Another not so fun fact? I have some wonky health issues. I won’t go into them here, but suffice it to say, the idea of me cleaning a litter box on a regular basis has upset more than one of my doctors. But, the litter box is the entry fee for cat ownership. Sure, you can have an outdoor cat, but I don’t believe in that for numerous reasons I also won’t go into here. So, to appease my doctors, and honestly, because I didn’t feel like constantly dealing with cat poop, when I first moved into my house, I immediately bought a Litter Maid.

It doesn't do windows, and, honestly, it barely does cat poop.

The very first littermaid I got about 5 years ago was pretty good. It rarely had problems, and did it’s ONE job which was to clean up after Fred. Also known as Fredly P Doddleson and Deadly Fred.

I will destroy you with cute, don't doubt my powers.

It lasted about a year and a half, and then the motor died. I found this upsetting. I’d paid around $90 for that first one, but I considered the cost per poop and realized, yeah, that’s fair, so I bought another one, this time it was only $65 or so and so was the next one I replaced THAT with about a year and a half later. And do  you know why they were cheaper? Because, apparently (and you can read the amazon reviews if you don’t believe me on this one,) every subsequent generation of the Littermaid has sucked just a little bit more. The motors have gotten weaker and weaker. Last August, Colin (aka Colinista and “The Shape”) joined (and completed, I’m not going to end up on Confessions: Animal Hoarding) our little family.

How does it feel to look into the face of evil?

By this point, the third Littermaid was barely wheezing along. I was having to deal with it getting stuck several times a day. Our litterbox home was inside of a window seat, so this involved opening a bench cover, leaning inside the window seat, and diddling around with the thing. I cannot imagine that my garbage lungs were excited about this.
All the while, in the back of my mind, I’d been considering a robot. A litter robot.

I know, you think it's the death star but it's NOT, it eats poop, not worlds.

Here’s the thing about the litter robot: the reviews are STELLAR, but so is the price. We’re taking $329 for a new unit (shipping included, natch.) I just couldn’t wrap my head around it. That is a LOT OF MONEY to clean up cat detritus, you know? But at the same time, how much had I spent on litter maids by that point, and the things weren’t even working!! So, this fall, a lot of work came in and I was able to pay off my credit card and I decided this was it, it was time for the robot. I ordered it, and waited.
The waiting was scary. I started to doubt myself. What if the cats hated it? What if it didn’t work? What if hundreds of amazon.com reviewers had gotten together to swindle me out of several hundred dollars?
When it arrived, my fear both waxed and waned. The box was HUGE. In Japan, it would be considered a studio apartment. I got it out of the box and while it is quite large, it’s not particularly heavy, which I found to be a plus. Also, while it’s quite tall, its footprint is about the size of the old litter box, so it’s not a big consumer of floor space.

According to the packing materials, you have 90 days to return the thing if you or your cats are unhappy, so that’s a big bonus. However, they request that you keep the original packing material, so you’ll need to rent a storage unit for that.
Another plus with the litter robot is that you can use ANY kind of clumping litter. The littermaid requires “premium” litter which you then have to scoop by hand anyway. Grrrr. And the robot uses less of the cheap litter, so you’re full of win with that one. I filled it to the fill line, plugged it in, and it immediately went about completing a “clean cycle.” Compared to the littermaid, the thing whispers. It’s great. The cats, however, were convinced that it was perhaps sent from space to destroy them. They had no interest in the device. It took me two days to realize that to get them to give it a go, it would be best if I completely unplugged and stopped cleaning the littermaid (which, of course, magically started working perfectly upon the litter robot’s arrival.) Once I did that, Fred and Colin had very little compunction about pooping in a strange new world. The next step after that was to move the whole thing out to the garage and put a little cat flap in the breezeway so they had access and voila! I now have an amazing litter box situation (seriously, it’s amazing, you don’t touch ANYTHING gross to clean the box or fill it) where I’m not breathing air that’s even been NEAR the thing. I’m happy, the cats are happy, my immunologist and pulmonologists are going to be happy (well, as happy as they can be with cat ownership still on the table) and my credit card company is, I’m sure, very happy. All in all, a scary adventure, but worth it, and now that its lived with us for over a week and I’ve done the first box change I can say I totally recommend this thing if you have a cat or two. Seriously, greatest litter box ever, and littermaid? I’m sorry, but suck it, you’re AWFUL.

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