Monday, July 20, 2020

Intex Above Ground Frame Pools: What To Know Before You Buy

Wrap your Intex pool in reed fencing for an upgraded look
Image via Home Depot

Third summer update: still loving the pool, and gearing up for a third summer! This was such a great purchase. There is nothing hasn't been able to answer for me. You do not have to know or buy everything all at once! Learn, and add on as you go. See bottom of post for my season 3 upgrades. 
Yesterday I set up an Intex 12ft above ground frame pool solo. Over the past couple months of trying to research it, I had such a hard time finding any kind of info in layman’s terms, so I thought I’d make a blog post to help you figure out: 
- How to buy one while they are sold out everywhere
- What you will need to prep and set up
- What chemicals and accessories you will need for an Intex above ground frame pool (or Bestway, or Summer Waves.)

I’ve heard these are sold out everywhere, but there were tons new in box on eBay, and of course, they all dropped $100 after I bought mine. I don’t have much patience for auctions anymore, so I sorted by Buy It Now + Accepts Offers and made offers until someone accepted. I wanted 12ft since 6-8 people relax in it at a time. The 10ft frame pool kits with filter were significantly cheaper. 2022 update: They're $216 on Amazon right now, even cheaper than when I bought. 

Monday, March 23, 2020

How to Order Wine Online Cheaply

Hi friends, this week I've been working on grocery lists from my parents and neighbor, and trying to get the garden going in hopes of being able to give food away. I personally find comfort in staying busy, but there's really no right or wrong way to spend your time right now, as long as you're social distancing. 

While it's no substitute for supporting your local small shops, I've been trying to order as much as I can online to fully isolate for a while. 

After checking out a bunch of different online wine options, all of which had hefty shipping fees,  this was the cheapest way I found to order wine: 

2. They will build a four bottle box for you. I re-arranged mine to five $12.99 bottles. This brought me to 5 bottles for $46 and free shipping ($9.20 per bottle). I had my first shipment within 4 days. I'm going to continue doing it monthly with the $12.99 bottles, since that's the same as a low-end bottle at our local shop. 

I also really loved the welcome booklet they included, and how they credit the wine label artists / designers. 

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Best Cheap Lighting Fixtures on Ebay

I spent the better half of a Sunday looking at Wayfair, Anthropologie, UO, West Elm, CB2, Target, Lowes, and Home Depot for a light fixture to replace a very ugly fan I took down. Naturally, everything I liked was in the $140 range, which I also consider the "that could be a bargain plane ticket somewhere, so hell no" range. 

I found so many great options on eBay, starting at $7.99, to a $55 Sputnik light, and more sculptural pendant options. I tried to stick to actual lighting companies on eBay, so if the individual listing has ended for an item, check out the seller's page! 

Ceiling medallions (a disk that covers up the hole where a ceiling fan used to be) are pretty hard to beat price-wise on eBay as well! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

stained glass suncatcher window hangings with a 70s vibe

I was so moved by this stained glass suncatcher I received as a housewarming gift from a life-long friend, that I wanted to share some others I came across recently and loved.

Friday, November 23, 2018

2018 Alyssa's Favorite Things

Hi friends!
A few years back I had a lot of fun playing Oprah and compiling a list of my favorite things from that year and gift ideas. Maybe this list will spark some gift ideas for your loved ones or yourself!

Little Wonder ($13.99)
My friend Kat Gardiner's debut collection of microfiction came out this year! "Asymmetric and misremembered, Little Wonder fictionalizes the experience of opening and closing an all-ages music venue and café with her husband in the small Pacific Northwest town of Anacortes, Washington in 2008. An adult coming-of-age story told in fragments, Gardiner explores the bittersweet love affair that takes place between despair and hope whenever you try with all your heart to do something you believe in, and fail."

Levoit Air Purifier with HEPA filter ($89)
When I first moved into my converted barn in the woods, my allergies were going crazy. Getting a rescue puppy who is probably significantly husky hasn't helped much. This air purifier has been amazing for allergens, cooking smells, musty old house smells, and for white noise to block out the sounds of raccoons trying to get into my house and walnuts hitting the tin roof. They also make a cheaper desktop one.

Nuun Hydration electrolyte drink tablets ($4.75 per pack and up)
These are effervescent tablets that dissolve in water and replenish minerals lost during exercise (like hot or warmed-room yoga). One tab is packed with electrolytes, has a light fresh flavor, and is made with plant-based ingredients. They're low in sugar, so I often have one before bed to keep from waking up dehydrated the next morning. I also really like the immune formula tablets with elderberry.

Benriner Japanese Mandoline Slicer ($28)
I use mine all the time to make thin slices of vegetables for salads, tarts, ramen, or to thinly slice radishes for tacos. This is a great gift for anyone trying to eat more vegetables in the new year.

Magic Mushroom puzzle dog toy ($8)
Greta barked at this for about an hour just based on the rolly wobbly action before she even realized food comes out of it.

Doggy Seatbelt ($5.99)
Just a handy cheap item that helps me feel safer when Greta is in the car, knowing she'd stay put if I had to slam the brakes on.

Dr. Teal's bath soaks ($4 and up)
After 9 years without a bathtub, I am a bath taking fool in my new house. I even looked up buckets of bulk epsom salts the other day, but Dr. Teal's scents are hard to beat.

Madewell bandanas ($7.99 and up)
- These already broken-in bandanas are soft and sheer enough to lay flat and drape nicely instead of being all stiff and bulky around your neck.

Madewell Transport tote ($58 and up)
- Was given a canvas tote in March by a Madewell rep Riot Act worked with, and it's been my day-to-day purse, work bag, and travel bag ever since! I use this bag

Madewell Emmett Pants ($70 and up)
I feel pretty basic for all my Madewell stanning, but these are three items I've worn almost every day since buying. They hold their shape, they pass as non-jean work pants, and they're so good on the tush.

Kush Queen CBD bath bombs
Who couldn't use a little relaxation and reduced inflammation around the holidays?

We Are Music
My friend Brandon wrote this sweet sequel to his board book "Music Is..." and it's my go-to gift for friends with babies :) I bought quite a few copies of this book this year! Ask your local bookstore to stock it since Amazon is not so great, but linked here in a pinch.

Polaroid One-Step or Instax Wide ($89)
I've had my Instax Wide for years, but used it an extra-lot this year. Were I to buy right now, I'd probably get the new Polaroid reboot.

Indigo Dying Kit (various)
This year I did a lot of tie dying. My favorite items are always simple indigo. I have some indigo seeds ready to go into the ground in April for the natural route, but these kits are always fun, too. The simple craft store version works fine, but there are some beautifully packaged real indigo kits on Etsy for gifting.

Miracle Timer Cube 
As a freelancer, time management is a constant struggle. It's even harder staying on-task when you manage six Instagram accounts, and need to re-post every piece of press your bands get. The Pomodoro Method is nothing new, but this nicely designed bamboo timer automatically starts from whatever side you turn it on (5 facing up = 5 minutes, etc :)

Supergoop SPF 45 Setting Powder Brush ($30)
Wearing SPF is so important, and this one is so convenient since you can just keep it in your bag or car and brush on in seconds over makeup or on its own. No residue, nada. Easy-peasy.

B-Mat Strong Yoga Mat ($88)
When I started going to Shakti Power Yoga regularly, I realized my basic yoga mat was not grippy enough to support me through sweat or cushion my joints through challenging poses. Best mat I've ever owned!

Weleda Skin Food ($9 or two for $16)
Whenever a friend pulls this rich, great-smelling hand cream out of her bag, it won't make it's way back in until it's been passed around the entire table.

Jason Vitamin E 25,000 IU Moisturizing Crème ($9)
This stuff is super thick and amazing. If you put it on before bed, you'll still have it in the morning unlike lighter creams that get absorbed by cotton pillow cases.

Carhartt beanie ($6 and up)
Can't have enough of these warm, simple staples.

Tony Moly's Elizavecca Milky Piggy Hell Pore Peel Off Mask ($10)
A mouth-full of a name, and some pretty amazing packaging featuring an intrepid pig using some sort of Pokemon looking plant as a vacuum to suck up distraught looking drops of sebum. My fave peel-off K-Beauty mask! Works without stripping your skin too much.  (And The Strategist agrees :)

The Ordinary Granactive Retinoid 2% ($4 on Black Friday)
I think I'm on my third bottle of this serum? Retinoids / retinols have a reputation for making skin sensitive and peely, and while you should still exercise caution and wear SPF, I've never had any side effects from this. Edit: I just read the Elle article on all the Deciem drama and... what? Has the CEO really separated from the company now? Can I feel ok about buying Ordinary stuff? Zoiks.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

Visionworks' new Otis+Grey line

A few months back, Visionworks reached out to see if I'd partner with them to spread the word about their new Otis+Grey line. I'd been so overdue for an eye exam, and I had a blast trying on their new frames.

I chose a pair of red wire frames (OG 7016) with my new prescription and the ClearShield® UV Complete Non-Glare lenses to help with all the hours I spend in front of my inbox and phone. I'm super happy with them, and they survived Greta trying to eat the off my face!

Footnote: shout out to the very kind optometrist who helped me text a friend to come pick me up, since I can't see a dang thing for a good 12 hours after being dilated and couldn't read my phone. I'm super sensitive to it!

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Grateful Dead Greeting Cards

Came across A Lunar Eclipse Cards on Etsy, and loved illustrator David Sporrong's playful Deadhead birthday cards full of dancing skeletons, terrapins, dead bears, VW Vanagons, Stealies, and other heady ephemera. 

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