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  • Sprucing up the living room? A fireplace adds approximately 12% value to a home.
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    June 18, 2009
    Architecture Style: Queen Anne

    I just love this house- it’s a new one built in the old style.

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    June 17, 2009
    Cool Tools Under Twenty

    I just got the new Williams Sonoma catalog, which, for me, is essentially budgetary Kryptonite. And I was surprised to find a huge selection of actually useful kitchen tools for under $20. Here are a few that I’m starting to think I can’t live without:

    Get perfect lemon slices for your tea – every time. So practical and just $15.

    This little corn stripper ($13) does exactly what it says, saving you the trouble (and potential knife wounds) of stripping corn by hand.

    I have always wanted one of these bad boys so that I can have that extra-crispy bacon I love to order at my local diner. Bacon Press – $12.

    I’m going to let my Native-Texan show a little with my pick of this BBQ-top jalapeno roaster ($19.95). Notice those bad-boys are stuffed with cheese. I can’t wait to try this myself.

    I love cherries, but the pits are, well, the pits. Sorry, couldn’t resist the bad joke. Luckily, this cherry pitter is only $13 and works on oives too.

    I made my own Egg McMuffins last weekend, but the folded eggs weren’t as much fun as the perfectly round versions the chain serves. I’ll definitly be getting a set of these egg fry rings for next time ($15 for 4).

    This Pizza Chopper is my absolute favorite of the under-$20 tools and one of the best bargains at just $12.95.

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    June 16, 2009
    Terrific Tiffins

    A few months ago, I was fascinated by an Indian lunch box featured on an episode of Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares. It was a stainless steel set of stacking tins with a handle. Basically, the lunch-bag equivalent of “I am not a plastic bag.”

    I didn’t think they’d be easy to find here in Texas, but oh how wrong I was. I found this one for $9.99 at World Market (seen here on my super-messy desk).

    I’m using mine to carry my lunch, but these would also be a great way to carry a fancy picnic to your local park.

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    June 15, 2009
    My New Favorite Blog For Horrible Stuff

    I’m kind of a fan of the “what kind of crack was this person on when they designed this crap” kind of stuff. Not that these items would ever go in my house, but it’s pretty fun to look at it anyway. And I’m also a fan of thrift stores, and I’ve seen many a horror in my thrifting journeys.

    So here’s a blog that combines the two- thrifthorror on Livejournal. Enjoy.

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    June 15, 2009
    Steal of the Week?

    It’s only Monday, but I think this Bentwood side table from Target may be the steal of the week. It’s only available in stores. The version at my local Target was round on top instead of square, and, in my opinion, a lot more stylish than this version listed on the site. Oh, by the way, it’s $15.99, and I think they could double as stools.

    I’m thinking a pair of these would be perfect under the art shelf I just installed in my living room. They could hold a knick knack or two and double as seating when the need arises.

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    June 12, 2009
    Picnic Time

    Apartment Therapy’s Kitchn blog has a couple of great out-door dining accessories. The first is this adorable picnic/market basket from Crate and Barrel. I’ve been meaning to go by my local Farmers’ Market (which is about 2 minutes from my house and office, so no more excuses) and this would make carrying my loot home a lot easier.

    The second is a collection of drink dispensers (the one shown here is $139) and some great summer drink recipes to put in them, any of which would be perfect for the upcoming Fourth of July weekend.

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    June 11, 2009
    20% Off at 20×200

    My favorite affordable art site is having a sale. Apparently, they did the same thing last year, but I missed it. Not this time.

    From now until Satuday, 20×200 has marked their already-cheap prints down by 20%. So, an 8×10″ is now just $16 and an 11×14″ is just $40.

    Just enter the code “RIDONK” when checking out. And hurry. I have a feeling this stuff is going to go fast.

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    June 10, 2009
    Sound Garden

    JVC recently showed this Sound Garden concept at the Tokyo Designer’s Week. The speakers are totally green. They are powered by an internal amplifier and made of sustainable, renewable materials. But, most interestingly, you can fill the speakers with tiny Bonsais and intricate flower arrangements.

    Via Just Stuff I Find

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    June 9, 2009
    Embroidered Menagerie

    Technically, these beautiful embroidered animals are for kids. But they’re so sophisticated, I think any animal lover can make an excuse for buying them.

    The designs, which include a camel, elephant, cow and donkey, are from Brooklyn’s Acorn Toy Shop and cost just $70 each.

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    June 8, 2009
    The Artesia Collection

    I am constantly surprised and impressed by the furniture and housewares at JC Penney. They have some very fashionable items. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that they seem to be constantly having a sale.

    While reading my new Lucky magazine last night, I found a little blurb about Penney’s new Artesia Collection. It features imported housewares – mostly in Morrocan and Asian styles – that include dinnerware, rugs and decorative items like these Horse Head Figurines (just $15 each on sale).

    I immediately checked out some of their other collections and found these awesome modern shelves in the Studio Collection (just $60 each – you guessed it – on sale).

    I wanted to keep perusing, but I ran out of time. But, the next time you get a break, cruise over to their site and check them out. I have a feeling there are a lot more treasures I missed.

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