Our friend Piper is a legit Slime-Making Expert, having been making her own for years. (Presumably not that many, because she is 11 years old.) And last weekend she went to the Las Vegas Slime Convention, Slime Vegas (#yes), and returned home with even more superior knowledge than before. For example, she informed me that the stuff you make on your own is an entirely different beast than the stuff that comes in kits; so if you, too, have failed to make Unicorn Slime From A Box, do not despair. Just buy some Borax! (For reals.)
Alright, so fiiiiiiine, the white family-room couch wasn't my smartest-ever purchase. I rationalized it because a) it's Ikea, and that's where my budget tapped out, b) there was only one Ikea style that I really liked, and c) that one style only came in dark grey (too dark), pink (too pink), turquoise (just no) and - yes - white.
But I figured we'd be able to collectively hold it together for at least the minimum of two years that I feel like you should be able to get out of an Ikea sofa. ...Right?
I spent yesterday in Malibu, doing a little renovation consult for a friend who recently purchased a trailer home right on the ocean (more on the trailer home thing in a bit; it's a super cool story). It's an interesting undertaking, because the house is going to be torn down and rebuilt from the ground up in a couple of years, so the renovation is more about making the house pretty and livable for the short term, without spending tons of money on things that'll ultimately end up getting tossed.
So. My advice was to figure out what amount of money per month was a comfortable amount to spend on general Life Happiness (meaning an amount that creates no financial stress whatsoever, but that feels "worth it" for the lifestyle improvements it'll confer), and multiply that by 24 to arrive at a budget for the mini-reno that'll take him through the next two years. Certain things are OK to spend a little more on, IMO - appliances that'll make the jump to the new place, and so forth. But when it comes to structural features, things are a little trickier.
When I was in elementary school, I was always setting up little stands in our building's lobby to sell homemade lip balms, customized friendship bracelets and such - and I was one of only maybe six kids in the entire building, so I actually made out like quite the bandit during these entrepreneurial ventures. (My "lip balms" were made by mixing Fuzzy Peach-scented Body Shop bath oil capsules into my mom's leftover Vaseline and throwing in some food coloring, so mayyyyybe not...oh, I don't know, especially safe to put on your mouth. But I was seven, so I assume liability was less of an issue than it might be nowadays.)
Apparently the desire to make giftable crafts stuck around, because I had wayyy too much fun making these solid perfumes - and they're a really cute last-minute gift idea for kids to make for friends and relatives (so long as you help them with the stove-inclusive part; let's please not burn any tiny fingers in the process of giftable craft-making). They're also 100% free of Fuzzy Peach-smelling chemical pods, hooray!
Note: You can choose whatever essential oils you want, and can combine them as you will to customize your scent - just make sure that the number of drops you use ends up totaling 30. (I was thinking about Tocca Bianca when I made this, so I went for a combo of lavender and lemon, leaning more heavily on the lavender.)
Kendrick asked me the other day whether it's weird for me to live in a house that I don't own. He knew how important to me it was; the ability to work on a house and make it my own felt like...I don't know, like an intrinsic part of who I was. And the pride that I got from home ownership after many years of not thinking it was anywhere within the realm of possibility for me was enormous.
But you know what I said to him?
"Eh. I kind of love renting."