How To Make A Hostess Gift That Anyone Will Like

This weekend, we were in the slightly unusual position of having two housewarming parties to attend (plus, oddly enough, a book launch and a two-year-old's birthday party. Is there something about the second weekend of April that makes everyone feel decidedly social? Parties, man. They're like buses. Wait for ages in the rain without an umbrella and then suddenly they all come at once.) 

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How To Throw A New Year's Eve Party

It is not, perhaps, my most noble goal, but one of the things I've always wanted to do is to throw a New Year's Eve party. I know, I know; some people have long-held dreams of running marathons and writing novels, but for me, it seems,  the pinnacle of achievement is wearing a sparkly dress, hoisting aloft a bacon-wrapped date, and toasting the impending year underneath half a dozen handmade tissue pompoms. 

What, it's not like I'm proud.

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How To Make Custom Side Tables

Okay, first of all, let's pause and take the obligatory moment to make fun of the fact that my dreams contain things like side tables. Yes, I aspire to owning attractive side tables, so sue me. I aspire to other, more noble things as well, obviously—like owning an attractive coffee table, for instance, OKAY I'M JUST KIDDING—but I have, for the longest time, been fairly consumed with finding the perfect side tables. Some people may say that this is what is wrong with America today.

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How To Score Something Awesome At An Estate Sale

This morning Sean and I went to the gym, an accomplishment which is really deserving of its own post—as well as a medal for the both of us for finally getting off our butts for the first time in eh, let's not go there—and on the way back, we detoured past a sign that said "Estate Sale" just a few blocks from our house. Now, I don't know about you, but there is nothing that gets my pulse quickening faster than a sign that says "Estate Sale," except maybe a sign that says "Estate sale!

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How To Make A DIY White Board

Not that I want this to turn into a DIY blog or anything, but can I just show you the super-easy, super-gorgeous, super-functional white board I made for my home office? I'm going to post some photos of the whole room makeover one of these days when I get my act together and finish off the 10% of it that still needs doing—nine of that ten percent is putting things away in drawers, hence the procrastination—but for now, here's a quick look at a little something I made over the weekend. 

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How To Throw A Surprise Party

This weekend, I threw my first surprise party. Turns out, throwing a surprise party is pretty much like throwing a regular party, with the main difference being that you feel like a real asshole for a few weeks beforehand when you're talking to the person you're throwing it for. What am I doing on Friday? Uh....nothing! But yeah, I'm afraid I can't hang out. Why? Um, no reason. I'm definitely not cutting out eleven templates of your head and gluing them onto popsicle sticks or anything!

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How To Make The World's Best Salad

Back when I worked in an office downtown, I would frequently pay eight dollars for what was, upon reflection, a fairly mediocre salad. Part of the reason for the mediocrity was my own panic-induced ordering (egg and mango: never again), but most of it really came down to that age-old arithmetic of convenience plus instant gratification plus a meeting in twenty minutes plus whoops, I forgot to pack my own lunch from home again. 

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How To Make Sixty Years Of Memories

For my dad's 60th birthday last week, I wanted to do something really fun. My dad and I talk a lot about the past---nostalgia runs in our blood, I think---and we both love to reminisce. Inspired by Jordan Ferney's Postcard Birthday Poster, I started batting around an idea: what if I could get everyone from my dad's past to contribute a memory they had of him? What if I had all those people send their memories to me, and then I put each one into an envelope---sixty total, of course---and had him open them, one by one, on his birthday?

That would be a lot of memories, right?

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How To Plant A Herb Garden For $18

First of all, you should know that I struggled with whether to call this post "How to Plant a Herb Garden for $18" or "How to Plant an Herb Garden for $18," the former being far more natural to us Brits, seeing as we actually pronounce the "h" in herb. Why do we pronounce the "h" in herb, you ask? Well, if you'll excuse my language, I'd like to paraphrase the great Eddie Izzard: because there's a fucking "h" in it.

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How To Make Scotch Eggs

Do you like eggs? Do you like sausage? Do you like things that are fried? If you like eggs and you like sausage and you like things that are fried, I think you would like Scotch Eggs, if you have not already tried them, because a Scotch Egg is a wondrous, wondrous thing indeed. It's an egg, wrapped in sausage, coated in bread crumbs, and fried to within an inch of its life. I am afraid that it is basically the Turducken of the British culinary world.

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How To Remodel Your Kitchen

I feel like I should probably knock on some wood or cross myself twice and throw a teaspoon of salt over my left shoulder before saying what I'm about to say next, but I think we're pretty much done with the kitchen renovation.

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How To Make A Large Graphic Sign For Your Wall

First of all, thank you so very much for all the lovely comments and compliments on our bedroom makeover. I read and relished every single one---even the one from the person who said it looked like a jail cell! Yes, even that one!---and it filled me with a particularly bubbly sort of glee that you were as delighted with the revamp as we were. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your enthusiasm. I'd invite you all over for a celebratory drink, but aside from the logistical difficulties---plus the offchance that one of you is actually a mass murderer---it would probably be rather awkward for you to have to ask for the time off work so you could fly across the country to clink glasses of champagne in the bedroom of an Internet person you've never met. I mean, right?

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How To Throw a Beach Bonfire

Picture yourself at the beach in July. What are you wearing? A bathing suit, right? Maybe a t-shirt and shorts if you're there in the evening. What you're not wearing at the beach in July, I'd expect, is a long-sleeved t-shirt under a hoodie under a jacket with a fur-lined hood, wrapped in a pashmina, and topped off with a hat.

Welcome to summer in San Francisco.

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How to Make Salted Caramels for Someone you LIke

A couple of years ago, I came across this incredible recipe for salted caramels. I know that sounds super fancy, like you need a granite-topped kitchen with two ovens to make it, but I assure you it's totally not. You basically just need butter, sugar, cream, salt, and an excellent sense of timing; when you're making caramels, I've discovered, mere seconds can determine whether you end up with a pan of chewy deliciousness or a pan of brittle filling-wrenchers that needs to be scraped into the garbage as soon as it's taken off the stove.

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DIY Wedding Invitations

May I give you a piece of advice? I think you'll find it fairly useful. If you are considering becoming engaged, I would suggest that you become engaged to a designer. Sure, a stockbroker might make you rich and a doctor might make you healthy---or at least treat you to a little free liposuction now and then---but a designer? Well, a designer will, when the time comes, make you some really kickass wedding invitations.  

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DIY Save the Dates

So all of a sudden it's March and I'm freaking out. I do this every March, actually---find myself at a point where I can't possibly believe two months of the new year are gone already and I've done NOTHING NOTHING NOTHING with them---but this year the inherent panic of It Being March Oh My God is heightened by the fact that March is one month closer to September than February was, and September is when I'm getting married. 

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