Jill Harness's Blog Posts

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9 Neat Pieces of Repurposed and Upcycled Furniture

Whether you have too much furniture or constantly find great pieces at garage sales, it's easy to get a hold of furniture that is a little beat up or ugly but still has a lot of potential. That potential, of course, is what makes the piece perfect for upcycling.

Over at Homes and Hues, we rounded up nine great examples of upcycled furniture to inspire you to take up your own restoration project. Whether you want to turn an armoire into a bird cage or come up with your own idea of what to do with your beat up old coffee table, you won't want to miss this one.

See the full post at Homes and Hues: 9 Cool Examples of Repurposed and Upcycled Furniture

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The Stories Behind 10 Real Fast Food Mascots

Chef Boyardee may not be gourmet food in a can, but the real Chef Boiardi was a famous chef who prepared food for presidents and patrons alike. And he's just one of the many icons we see every time we visit a grocery store. Who are these smiling faces on our favorite foods? 

What's weirder than a gourmet chef becoming forever associated with pasta in bland tomato sauce? How about a woman that never existed and seems to change at least once every decade to appeal to the modern housemaker? Betty Crocker is only one such imaginary person used as a brand mascot.

Learn about more of these mysterious mascots over at TopTenz.

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A Magical Christmas Tree Inspired by Harry Potter

Christmas is always a magical time, but Christmas at Hogwarts is just about as magical as it gets and while you may not be able to visit the castle in real life, you can at least bring a little of its spirit home with you thiss holiday thanks to Epbot.com.

These great geeks made an incredible Christmas display that Dumbledore himself would find impressive by concocting a tree inside a cauldron that is not only topped with owls, but surrounded by floating candles. 

You can learn to make your own enchanted candles at the link, but it's up to you to find a bunch of amazing Potter ornaments for your own tree.

Via Nerd Approved

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Proof That Christmas Isn't Always Magic

It's the most wonderful time of the year? Not for everyone and this delightful Awkward Family Photos post captures the ugly side of the holidays from crying babes to sleeping grandparents. The pictures are not only funny, but they're also a great way to make yourself feel better about your own insane family and awful Christmas photos. 

Of course, the post also reminds us of one more thing: painfully bad photos can be good for something -even if it's just for a good laugh.

So if you have any awkward Christmas photos of your own, be sure to share them in the comments.

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13 Fun Wreaths You Can Make Yourself This Year

We're right at the peak of decorating season and if your doors are looking a little bare, then you'll want to visit Homes and Hues, where we rounded up 13 great tutorials on making your own cool wreaths. From yarn-wrapped (above) to gumdrops (below), you can make a wreath from all kinds of fun holiday goodies. 

There's even a fun wreath made with a scarf you could give someone as a gift and decoration in one!

For more delightful wreath ideas, don't miss this fun post: 13 Cool Wreaths You Can Make Yourself

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Tis the Season: Deep Fried Eggnog

It's that time of year again. That's right, eggnog time! If you've been waiting all year to get your hands on the sweet, creamy, spicy treat then you won't want to settle for just drinking it from a glass. For another tasty eggnog option, try making your own deep fried eggnog squares complete with a sweet rum glaze. Best of all, it's easy and quick to make, so you don't even have to suffer patiently while your creation sits cooking. 

Via That's Nerdalicious

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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10 Comic Book Characters That Were Offensive At First

Many comic book readers won't recognize Black Maraih -that's probably because she has only made one appearance since 1982. Her disappearance makes sense though when you consider that she's an over-the-top stereotype of both blacks and the overweight. Of course, she wasn't the only offensive character to ever grace the pages of comics. 

This great TopTenz article does a wonderful job rounding up ten of the most offensively stereotypical comic book characters of all time and the results are equally fascinating and discomforting.

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Win NeatoShop Tees In the Tee Hunter XMas Giveaway

Want a PS4? How about a $100 gift shop for the NeatoShop? Then head over to Tee Hunter where you can win these prizes and more in their awesome XMas Giveaway. The site will be dolling out over $1500 worth of prizes and we'd love to have some of our readers snag some of them, so go enter the contest today.

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Bacon Mac-N-Cheese Donut? Yes, Please!

Bacon is delicious, but it's hardly a big deal to add it on to something else these days. Of course, if you throw macaroni and cheese into the mix, that's a different story.

Enter the newest calorie-ridden treat from Philadelphia’s PYT that stuffs an ordinary donut with bacon mac and cheese and then tops it all off with a nice sprinkling of bacon. If that doesn't really float your boat though, don't worry, PYT has plenty of other kooky treats to satisfy your salty sweet tooth -like their bacon cheeseburger donut, the deep-fried Twinkie burger or the burger with a fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich bun.

Via That's Nerdalicious

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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The Jingle Cruise: When The Jungle Cruise Goes Holiday

(Video Link)

Last year, people got pretty darn excited when they heard that Disneyland's Jungle Cruise was going to take on a fun holiday twist for the first time ever. Unfortunately, after experiencing the ride, many visitors (myself included) were more than a little disappointed to find out the "Jingle Cruise" mostly consisted of a changed ride script and a spruced up waiting area. 

This year though, Disney went all out on the ride, trimming the trees and decking the hippos. Since most of you probably won't get to experience the update yourselves, here's a fun video showing that when it comes to Christmas, even animals can enjoy a visit from Santa -even if it's just to get the chance to munch on one of his famous reindeer.

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And You Thought Your Family Was Hard to Deal With

Thanksgiving dinner can be stressful for those with frustrating family members, but whatever drama exploded at your family's holiday dinner, this letter featured on Awkward Family Photos might just make you feel better about your own flesh and blood.

(Video Link)

It's pretty easy to start hating Marney just from her family letter, but when you see this interview with her, you might become a little more sympathetic, not necessarily because she defends herself well, but because she comes off looking more than a little bit cuckoo -just like some of your beloved family members.

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9 Awesome Coffee Tables To Wow Your Guests

For most people, a coffee table is something to set your drinks and magazines on, and a good coffee table is one that looks good with your couch, entertainment center and other furniture. But coffee tables can be a work of art.

Over at Homes and Hues, we rounded up some of the coolest coffee tables out there, ranging from nature-inspired to interactive electronic devices.

These may or may not match your interior design plan, but they're beautiful enough to stand alone and still impress your visitors for years to come.

Check out the rest at Homes and Hues: 9 Cool Coffee Tables to Make Your Living Room Livable

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The Hot Dog Turkey Is Your Junk Food Thanksgiving Alternative

Thanksgiving is great, but cooking a turkey takes hours. If you can't handle the wait time (or if you just can't get enough junk food), you can always try cooking a hot dog turkey, aka a Hot Durkey. Oscar Meyer created this crazy concoction that helps pack in all those holiday calories in a fraction of the time. Be sure to garnish it well to make the celebration feel complete.

Or if you're really lazy you can just grab a few bags of potato chips.

Find the full recipe infographic over at That's Nerdalicious

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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This Little Girl Wins At Disneyland Pictures

Every kid wants a picture with the characters when they visit Disney World, but Jennifer Rouch's 3-year-old daughter Lane manages to actually fit in with the stories she matches with the help of her mother's amazing costumes.

Jennifer makes all of the costumes from scratch and some of them are utterly amazing. The mother didn't just want to make cute photos that would make internet candy for Disney fans. -She actually came up with the idea after she noticed that her daughter was becoming increasingly shy.

Since Jennifer and Lane visit Disney World regularly, the mother thought that letting her daughter dress up like Disney characters might make her more comfortable around new people. The efforts paid off as little Lane certainly looks cozy playing with her favorite characters.

You can keep up with Lane's adventures over on My Disney Daze.

Via Fashionably Geek

See more about baby and kids at NeatoBambino

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6 Organization Tips to Make A Geek Girl's Life Easier

Geek girls have a unique set of organizational needs -combining all those girly possessions like hair ties and makeup with all those geeky items like electronics and gaming goodies. Over on Homes and Hues, we rounded up six handy tips that can help us nerdettes store our stuff in simplicity.

From using convention badges to hold up your hair accessories to organizing your unused cables with empty toilet paper holders, these handy dandy tips might be useful for some girls and some geeks, but for most geeky girls. Have any other organization tips for the nerd gals out there? Share them in the comments here.

Check out the full list of tips at Homes and Hues: 6 Geek Girl Organization Tips 

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The Katio Is A Private Kitty Patio With Its Own Bathroom

We here at Neatorama love cats, but like most people, we aren't exactly thrilled to look at their litter boxes day in and day out. If you live in a small space though, it's pretty hard to get away from the box though...until now.

The Katio is a new invention that lets you store your litter box outside of a window. It's weight tested to hold up to 300 pounds, so your fluffy friend will stay safe and its easier to clean because you don't have to bend over to get to the box.

Read more about the cool new design over at Homes and Hues: Katio Makes Pet Ownership A Lot Simpler

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A Beautiful Staircase You Can't Take Your Eyes Off

When a homeowner in Portugal wanted to combine two apartments into one, he hired Correia/Ragazzi Arquitectos to renovate the space -including adding a staircase to connect the two units. While the entire remodel looks wonderful, the staircase designed by the architects is the rea highlight.

The U-shaped staircase has thick, white balustrades, which contrast drastically with the 3D, geometric floor in the foyer where the staircase sits. The white and black walls of the room and wooden stairs further accentuate the color palate, creating a warm, vivid space that's lively and inviting.

See more photos of the unique design at Homes and Hues: This U-Shaped Staircase Is The Focal Point of the Home

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16 Strange Ways to Prep Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Roasted turkey, cornbread stuffing, mashed potatoes, sweet potato cassarole and pumpkin pie are all delicious, but eating them every Thanksgiving can get old. If you're looking to try something new this holiday, check out this Homes and Hues article that features 16 different ways to cook your turkey and your sides. 

From setting a massive fire around your turkey to grating and serving your brussel sprouts raw, these cooking techniques might not be traditional, but they are certainly delicious and sure to garner praise from your surprised guests. There are even great alternatives to having pie for dessert like pumpkin Jell-O or apple pie ice cream.

Check out all the kooky cooking methods at the link: 16 Weird Ways to Cook Classic Thanksgiving Treats


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This Apartment Is As Big As A Bedroom -But It Looks Surprisingly Comfy

This apartment in Paris is probably smaller than your bedroom, but given how little space it offers, it provides the resident with a surprsingly large number of amenities. With only 86 square feet, the residence includes a private bedding area, a wardrobe, a two-person table, a kitchenette, a cabinet, a bookcase and a full bathroom. 

Each of these comforts is hidden behind a sliding modular wall that makes the apartment look both comfortable and modern.

Check out more pictures of the cozy space at Homes and Hues: Living Comfortably In An 86 Square Foot Space


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This Firepit Doesn't Take Up Space While Not in Use

The problem with most fire pits is that when you aren't using them, they take up a lot of space. The clunky designs are nice to have, but they're hardly handy when your kids want to run in the yard. This cool Hole Fire Pit by Italian design firm AK47 let you have your yard and burn it too. The pit can be installed in any yard and aside from having a sturdy metal lid that lets you walk over it, it also has a grill attachment so you can grill up some snacks when you are using the fire pit.

Read more about the design over at Homes and Hues: A Fire Pit That Stays Out Of The Way Until You Need It

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Cuddle Your Precious By The Light of This Amazing Firepit

This firepit is sure to rule them all, or at least to wow them all. The impressive steel design featuring the inscription on the One Ring is available for sale on Etsy for $500. The black finish is tempered to withstand high temperatures, so your wonderful piece will stay in great condition for years to come. 

Check out more pictures and find out where you can get your hands on the firepit over on Homes and Hues: One Firepit to Warm Them All 

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You Can Finally Live Out Your Fantasy of Attending Hogwarts

Just about every Harry Potter fan has wished, at one point or another, that they could attend Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. While muggles still can't take any courses in magic from the school, you can at least enjoy the feeling of staying in the school's famous dormitories thanks to the Georgian House in London, which has converted two of its rooms into Harry Potter dreamsuites. 

The suites each feature four beds and are adorned with all kinds of fun Hogwarts-inspired accessories like spell books, trunks, potion bottles and cauldrons. It's a perfect place to stay after you finish exploring the Warner Bros studio where the films were shot and King's Cross Stations' infamous platform 9 3/4.

See more pictures and learn a bit more about the suites at Homes and Hues: Live Like A Wizard In This Hogwarts-Themed Hotel Room

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22 Halloween Decorations You Can Put Up And Leave Until Christmas

I'm one of those people who loves holiday decorations, but hates the process of putting them up only to take them down a few weeks later. That's why I love the fact that Christmas decorations are starting to sneak their way into Halloween ones and vice versa.

These days, there are some great ways to decorate your house for Halloween that will still look seasonal if you leave them up until New Year's Day -and amazingly, not all of them are related to The Nightmare Before Christmas either!

So check out the full list of multi-seasonal decorating ideas over at Homes and Hues: 22 Decorations Perfect For Both Halloween and Christmas 

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Your Pumpkin Can Also Be A Disco Light

Ready to party this Halloween? Then head over to Homes and Hues, where you can learn how to make a fun disco ball with nothing more than a pumpkin, a flashlight, string and either a screwdriver or a drill. The effect is particularly cool if you happen to have access to a flashlight with a strobe effect on it.

Learn how to make your own cool light over at Homes and Hues: Ready Your Home For Halloween With This Cool Pumpkin Disco Ball

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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The Small Swedish Apartment With A Whole Lot of Storage Space

388 square feet isn't much, but with a clever renovation by Karin Matz, this Swedish apartment still feels surprisingly airy and roomy. The secret is the combined closet/bed/kitchen/storage area at the heart of the space that was actually inspired by popular Ikea designs.

The apartment sat largely unused for the last 50 years, even after the owner started a renovation 20 years ago, but had to stop the process due to a health problem. Now the property is a prime piece of real estate in the heart of Stockholm.

View more pictures of the space over at Homes and Hues: This Swedish Apartment Makes the Most of Its Small Space

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Reminder: Enter Our Instagram Halloween Contest & Win Free Tees

Got a great picture of your Halloween costume from this year or from Halloweens long ago? Then head over to Instagram and enter your costume in our NeatoShop costume contest. Just tag your image with @NeatoShop and you could win four tees from the NeatoShop. The contest ends at midnight PST on Halloween night, so upload your pic today!

For full details, including how the winner will be selected, read our announcement here.

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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Whiskey Elements Filters & Flavors Cheap Whiskey So It Tastes Expensive

What distinguishes a cheap whiskey from a good one? How long they've been barrel aged and what kind of wood was used in the barrels are the two main differences as a fine oak barel can help filter the whiskey while adding a more complex flavor profile. But the team from Time & Oak realized that there has to be a faster way to filter out those impurities and enhance the flavor.

After a number of prototypes, they created Whiskey Elements, a small oak stick that can be used to filter and flavor a cheap bottle so it tastes like a quality bottle of booze.

Read more about how Whiskey Elements work and where you can get your hands on one at Homes and Hues: Whiskey Elements Make Your Spirits Taste More Expensive

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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25 Easy DIY Halloween Costumes You Can Make Last Minute

Are you ready for Halloween yet? Don't worry if you're not -there's still plenty of time left to get ready. Even if you put things off as long as possible though, you can still create a great DIY Halloween costume in no time. Here are a few ideas in case you have to make your own Halloween costume last minute.

Silent Movie Stars

Here's an easy one for men or women. All you need is a black and white suit or dress (if it's 1920's style all the better), some gray cream makeup and some black eyeliner and black eye shadow to add some accents. To really sell the concept, it helps to bring along a title card too like this couple from Shrimp Salad Circus did.

Breakfast at Tiffany's

Just about every gal has a sleeveless black dress. Add a tiara, some long black gloves, a chunky necklace, a tiara and a long cigarette holder (available at most costume stores) and you have a Holly Golightly costume. Of course, you need to have some serious hair styling skills to pull this one off as well as Redditor CampingIsIntense.



You may not be able to paint like her, but you can easily look like Frida with only minimal effort. Just grab a peasant blouse, put your hair up with a few flowers and then draw in a bit of a unibrow. Megan Rose shows how simple it is.

Van Gogh

For red-headed male fans of art, you can always go as Vincent Van Gogh. Paint a few thick, impressionist brush strokes on a jacket, sport a collarless button up shirt and then apply a some broad streaks of makeup along your neck and face to complete the look. This cool costume was created by a friend of Redditor josh1510.


If you don't have any time to get tulle, but have crepe or tissue paper available, then consider making a pinata costume. Glue strips of the paper to a body suit and trim to make frills. For more detailed instructions, don't miss this post by Camille Styles.

Rosie the Rivetter

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Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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11 Household Items You Can Use to Decorate Your Pumpkin

What do you use to carve your pumpkins? If you still use regular kitchen knives and a spoon, maybe you should try something a little different this year. You don't even need to buy fancy pumpkin carving tools -there's plenty of stuff around your home that you can use instead.

From power tools to spaghetti, you'll be surprised what you can use to decorate your Jack-O-Lantern. There's even a great way to make your pumpkin last longer so it doesn't become a mold-laden biohazard.

Check out all of the fun household items you can use to make your pumpkin look amazing over at Homes and Hues: Using 11 Common Household Objects to Decorate Your Pumpkin

Love Halloween and cosplay? Check out our Halloween Blog!

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When Technology and Travel Combine, Everyone Wins

The Bluesmart suitcase is the ultimate combination of tech and travel. The suitcase uses Bluetooth connectivity to ensure your bag is tracked if you check it and that it is light enough to be used as a carry-on if you so choose. The reinforced materials protect laptops and tablets and the suicase even features a battery so you can charge your portable electronics while you travel.

Read more about the impressive new design and how to get your own over at Homes and Hues: The Future of Travel Might Be Smart Luggage

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Profile for Jill Harness

  • Member Since 2012/08/04


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