Well for starters, there seems to be a rather hopped up squirrel having a full-on, super-crazy-rave-dance-party in my attic. So that’s new.  I’m gonna have to do something about that.  Raves are so 1990, I don’t care if you are a squirrel and probably don’t know any better.  Get with the times there Skippy. For reals.  Nobody in the big city sneaks around hiding Ecstasy pills anymore.  They hide milking goats, and chickens.  Maybe the odd  plastic bag they were forced to get at the grocery store when they forgot their reusable one.

Stupid squirrels.

The other thing that’s new round these parts is the look of the blog. You may have noticed.   I mentioned when I switched over to the old new look, that I’d be changing things up with the seasons.  Dark for fall and winter, light for Spring and Summer.  Welcome to the Spring look of The Art of Doing Stuff.  Kind of like the weather, if you hate it, don’t worry about it ’cause it’ll eventually change again.

The other new thing is, I have finally opened up my SHOP page.   I’ve been spending the past several weeks curating pages of things that I love that I think you’ll love too.

The page is called The Good Stuff. For the moment you can get there from the large box at the top of my homepage, or you can just click on the “SHOP” button in my menu.


That’s just a sampling of the first few items, but you can see the sort of thing that’s there.  A bunch of stuff I like.

If it’s something I actually own, have used and love, it’s marked with a gold banner saying “Own it & Love it”.  So you can buy it knowing I don’t only like it, I own it, love it and recommend it.  So it’ll help you feel a bit safer about buying something you maybe aren’t sure of.

I created this page because I know how hard a time I have finding nice things on Amazon, Etsy, or wherever.  It’s just so overwhelming.  SO many choices.  The Good Stuff will be a place you can come if you are looking to buy someone a present and need some inspiration or even better, if you’re feeling like a little pick me up yourself.  Also they’re affiliate links so I make about 10 cents every time you buy something.  So there’s that.  It sounds ridiculous but those dimes really add up.  Soon I’ll be able to buy that goat.

The other section that’s up and running is an extension of one of my most popular regular posts “5 Books I’ve read and 5 Books I’m gonna read”.  That section is called Good Books.  That’s where I’ll list all of my favourite books including a lot of the ones I’ve read based on your recommendations in the comment section of my 5 Books posts.

It’ll be the fastest and easiest place on my site to come and look for a good book to read.

I still don’t have my Art of Doing Stuff Swag for sale (tea towels, reusable grocery bags, tshirts)  but that’s coming.  Eventually.  One day.  You know.  In the future.  When the squirrel parties have died down.

I’ll add to the lists every week so there will always be something new for you to look at. And if you look right now and scroll about half way down The Good Stuff page you’ll find something very, very appropriate for this moment in time.

Now for that giveaway.

As a thank you for reading my blog, as an incentive for you to look at my new Shop page and as a way of enticing new readers to The Art of Doing Stuff (yes, I’m pretty much always this transparent), Wednesday I am giving away …




Paid for by me, as a gift to you.  See you then!


  1. Denise says:

    Yoo-Hoo, Karen!!!!!! Is there something special I need to do to enter the fantastic giveaway???? Thank you Karen!!!!


  2. Marti says:

    So… not the comment here will get me the KitchenAid mixer (do they call that a “processor” in Canada? Is that another CA thing? It’s all sooooooo confusing!) (or not) but in fact, I have to click in here again on Wednesday… and make another comment?

    All I have to say is that fro-yo tampon video oughta be in those top ten tips, Karen. I find that endlessly fun to mail to friends… even if they aren’t having, ahem, that situation. I mailed it to a friend’s medical student husband. He’s going to be a foot doctor… not sure he “got it.” But I laughed anyway, and what’s really more important?

    So here’s a question. I do buy things from Amazon. If they aren’t linked above, BUT I log to your page and use those links to enter Amazon.com, BECAUSE I’M A GOOD SPORT, will that get you your dime, anyway?

    • Karen says:

      Yes ma’am! That works just fine. :) ~ karen!

      • Marti says:

        Excellent news. Because I want to drop a dime on you sometimes (who else would I want to support this way? Shall I let all the profit go to Amazon? I think… not.) But I’m far too lazy to search out the links buried in the posts.

        Good job making filling your pockets, .10 at a time, easier for us!

  3. Karin Sorensen says:

    YOU…. are the shit. Or, for the easily offended, you are the cat’s miau or meaow for those not speaking German…. I love you.

    I loooooooove your shop section. I don’t buy stuff online, ever. I would buy your stuff, I trust you. How can one go wrong with the Famemaster 4D Vision Chicken Anatomy Model or the “Get your own fluffin’ tools” sign???? One simply cannot. I love pretty much every thing you’ve got hooked up to The Good Stuff. Looks like I gotta get a third job to be able to get it all.

    You are awesome for giving away a KitchenAid. I already got one with meat grinder and sausage attachement- which apropos of nothing, how bout you do a post about making sausage? Yes yes??? I would love that.

    Anywho, I am in loooove with your shop. Only thing I’m not seeing is a different background, but that could just be me and since I love the dark one it don’t much matter, I reckon.


  4. Etta says:

    Here in North Carolina I live in a maritime forest near the beach. LOTS of trees. With nuts. LOTS of nuts. LOTS of squirrels. In the attic.
    Take a sock, fill it half full with mothballs and tie a long string around to close it. LONG STRING. Open the hatch to the attic, hold on to the end of the string and toss the sock as far as you can. (Depends on the size of your attic, obviously ) keep the string dangling so that you can retrieve the sock later on.
    The squirrels can’t move the sock out of the attic, ( they will however carry single mothballs out , so don’t go th r owing loose mothballs around) they HATE the smell…So they leave. In a hurry. Stampede. Done.
    One sock is plenty ! I overdid it the first time, and the smell invaded my house ! You don’t need much.
    You’re welcome.

  5. Gayle says:

    You’ll get hooked on Janet Ivanovich. I just finished 22 and loved it.

  6. Sara says:

    Stupid Squirrels, you said it. We once had an episode where one came down our chimney and got stuck in the cast iron heat stove, fortunately it was in the summer, so no fire. Anyway, hilarity ensued as we proceeded to remove it from the stove and then the house.

    Love the lists and shopping ideas….also love the mixer.

  7. Cindy says:

    Way to go Karen!! Congratulations on your success with your very cool blog. I like that you are changing it up. Hey, do you use much of what SumoMe has to offer? I installed it just now and will take a look at it later.
    I got nothin’ for you with the squirrel situation. How dare they have a party in your house and not even give you an invite.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Cindy. Thanks! It’s a lotta work to keep a blog going. A LOTTA work. I use List Builder and all of its features with Sumome. I used the free version for the first year but last October or so I upgraded to the pay per use which lets me do things like A/B testing, I might get more pop up templates (I can’t remember) and I really like the click triggers. Also they give a ton of free live, video workshops. ~ karen!

      • Cindy says:

        I’m trying to get more technical with mine so I can do more things. I have blog posts written but wanted to use the more high-tech platform to migrate them and have failed in my quest. It’s been quite a while since I’ve felt so utterly stupid as I can figure most things out with the help of the Great and Wonderful Google. I know that once I get to where I want to be using my localhost platform I’ll be in much better shape. If you’d like to say, “Been there, done that chica” read this post:

  8. Grammy says:

    Tree rats. That’s what we call squirrels in my family. Sorry you have one in your attic. Every now and then, in warmer weather, the little pissers run around on my roof at night and it sounds like they’re in the attic. A few years ago my husband kept saying they weren’t I kept saying I HEARD them and they are. Then, very late one night when I was sitting quietly in the living room and everyone else was in bed asleep (it was very late at night) I heard some scritching and scratching and then a big WHOOOMP and a thud. Then nothing. Turned out the owls in the neighborhood are pretty good at catching dinner from the roof. It’s happened several times since then.

    Scare the little critter out of your attic and onto the roof. Then maybe an owl will take care of the problem for you.

    And thank you for that link to the French Onion Soup Bowls. I was just thinking a few days ago I’ve got to get me some of those and then you pop up with the most beautiful set. Yours is the only blog I’ve ever bought anything “from” — meaning I don’t trust just anybody’s recommendations on what’s good. Every single thing I’ve purchased that I’ve found on your site has been the best. So now I’m going to buy some soup bowls.

    • Karen says:

      Thanks Grammy! I hope the soup bowls work out for you. I haven’t seen them in person or used them myself but they look great. I love the colour of them. Ahem … “color”. ~ karen!

  9. Gretchen says:

    I love the curated list – thank you!

  10. On a totally unrelated note: I saw that you pinned a chicken tunnel on pinterest. In case you were considering one, I though I’d share mine: https://forgottenskills.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/remodeling-the-chicken-tunnel/

    The local newspaper even ran an article about it!

  11. Jan in Waterdown says:

    Hey Squirrel Girl, I am the proud owner of a Haveaheart squirrel trap and would be happy to loan it to you in return for a small consideration with regards to Wednesday’s draw. Just kidding. You are welcome to borrow it, just lemme know.

  12. jeanne says:

    Love your site! Keep up the good squirrel hunting!

  13. martina says:

    I love the content on your site so much! The new, lighter, design looks great, but… I have one complaint that’s been bugging me (as a web designer) for a while. The top bar hovers in the top middle of the page but as you scroll the text scrolls up and beside the sidebar. I find this very hard on my brain for some reason. It’s distracting and serves no purpose. Also, the drop downs are about a pixel off to the left. Please take these as the smallest nits to pick!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Martina! Are you talking about the “sticky menu”. So when you’re scrolling down a post or in the comment section, the menu doesn’t disappear? It stays stuck to the top of the page? That’s so if you’re way down in the comments you don’t have to scroll all the way back up to get to the menu. ~ karen!

      • martina says:

        That is what I mean and I totally get why you have it, and like it as a concept. It’s just that when it “sticks” and you scroll down the page the text on the page doesn’t disappear when it moves beside the sidebar, a little of it now is next to the bar and it looks really odd. I can email you a screencap of what I mean if you want. The other point it just about the alignment problem on the dropdown menu of the bar.

      • martina says:

        I re-read my original comment: I said sidebar, but meant topbar.

  14. Amelia Naccarto-Coleman says:

    Great stuff!

  15. SuzyMcQ says:

    Need. Those. Sconces.

    Maybe in my new kitchen….I’m adding them to the list.
    BTW, the chocolate bunnies from Wms. Sonoma are gone……..

  16. Cindy says:

    I LOVE the idea of the gold swag letting me know which things you actually have and love. Ingenious, girl <3

  17. Tracy Martinez says:

    Awesome items in your Good Stuff! Really like the Owl lamp.

  18. Lin N says:

    Really like the new page look’n’feel. Easy on the eyes, easy to navigate. Your always witty and shiny personality in your writing….maybe a little hit of yellow amongst the black for ‘pop-ness’. Keep up the goodness and laffs.

  19. Linda in Illinois says:

    Apropos – Secret lives of Squirrels.. love it. I would love a reusable grocery bag, when you get them loaded. I seem to be addicted to them, most times I use them as handbags depending on what is pictured on the front..

  20. Jennifer says:

    Well I’ll just have to have that see thru chicken! And the mixer!

  21. Vanessa Richardson says:

    Oh man, this new page is going to be trouble for me. I want the umbrella, the bee earrings, the geometric pillows… I want all the stuff! Really though, I want to thank you. I seriously hate shopping. Having a page like this will save me so much time!

  22. Jan in Waterdown says:

    If I read one more request about how to enter the mixer draw, I’m going to stab myself in the eye. You are the epitome of patience! lol

    • Bellygrl says:

      This comment really made me lol. I love this blog because it is educational and funny, and has the most hilarious readers around! I also really like the book list. Already have a Kitchen Aide, so I won’t enter the contest ON WEDNESDAY!

  23. Cussot says:

    The blog looks super – I love the navbar’s drop-downs, not sure why, I just do.

    The sidebar hen photo “Top 10 Tips for new readers” isn’t clickable for me and I assume it should be?

  24. Sonja says:

    Like the Spring look. Watching for mixer info! Lucky recipient!

  25. West Coast Nan says:

    Love the new Spring look, and that brass knuckle mug is awesome! Will watch for Wednesday’s post about the stand mixer give away!

  26. Kitty says:

    Hi Karen, I recently discovered your post and became a follower. I read them and ALL of your other followers’ comments. WOW, I thought you were a little off the wall, but it appears you have gathered quite a flock. I guess, as they say ” birds of a feather..” or is it chickens of a feather?
    Love it all.
    Waiting for Wednesday with high hopes.

  27. Jan says:

    Squirrels! Have you ever caught one in a mouse trap? I don’t recommend it. I had a mouse trap set in the attic, because I could hear the little vermin rattling around with acorns in the wall at night. Last week after I got in bed for the night, the most alarming noises started coming from inside the bedroom wall. My dog Marvin became so unglued, I thought he was going to rip a hole in the sheetrock! My attic is no picnic to get into, a pull down trap door in the garage and the light is burned out. I had crawled up there with a flashlight to put the mouse trap in place. So it’s midnight, and I really didn’t want to change out of my jammas, etc….. But the noise and the dog were going to make anything else impossible! When I got to the top of said wall, there was such a commotion! Just as I was sweeping around with the flashlight A really freeked out squirrel popped out of a hole in the insulation and made a beeline for me! Holy shit! It ran right past me, WITH a mouse trap attached to a front paw! And I mean it was freaking OUT! No way was I going to catch it. What to do what to do?! Besides the Airedale Terrier that was trying to eat into the wall, I also have an old arthritic Jack Russell who used to hunt groundhogs, who hates all kind of furry critters. So down I go to let her out of her crate (not properly housebroken); and proceeded to carry her up that pull down ladder. She knew something was up and squirmed and screamed the whole time, wringing out of my grasp just as we got into the attic. She started running around crazy-like, but in 2 minutes had caught the squirrel! Behind the chimney where I can’t get to her or see. And she won’t come out! The struggle ceased; I knew the squirrel was dead, and she was just lying on top of the living room ceiling, where there is no attic floor, happily devouring her catch of the day (err night). I could hear the bones crunching. Well, I couldn’t get to her, she wouldn’t come to me, and I was freezing; so I retreated down the ladder and closed the trapdoor. Of course I was way too wound up to sleep for quite some time, like not until about 4 AM, but I did finally drift off. About 7 AM, opened the trap and there she was, pretty fat and satisfied; right there at the top of the ladder waiting for me to carry her down. Her tail wagging faster than it has in a long time.
    That was 4 nights ago, and I still hear the mice in the wall……………….

  28. MichelleR says:

    Wow, wow love your shop page. Lots of cool stuff and I like the variety of products. Something for everbody….I like that mixer too.

  29. j says:

    So glad to see your Good Stuff page!! Love everything! So convenient!! Bought two of your dining room chairs! I am looking forward to the big delivery. Now I have to get that room painted!!

  30. laura says:

    I would like to win the mixer because I would like to give it to a relative. Her mixer has broken and she is without one. I cannot afford to buy her one at this time.

  31. Myrna says:

    Lists are good. I love lists. And Kitchen Aid mixers.

  32. Liz says:

    love the shop :) I noticed the stoneware baker in particular, I picked one up at Value Village last year but have never tried it. Have you cooked with one?

  33. Cred says:

    I do love the new additions. Always in search of a worthy read (have picked up a few from your recommendations in the past) but this will make it easier to find.
    But the shop…. Makes me want to spend money I don’t have. Really love that messenger bag.

    • Karen says:

      That messenger bag is the thing that makes my heart pound. The price does as well, but … wow. Pitter patter. ~ karen!

  34. Kay says:

    I live in a 43 foot Motorhome full time, traveling Canada and the US, I didn’t bring a mixer and it sure would be nice to have one!

  35. christine says:

    How could a plastic anatomy chicken be out of stock? It scares me that there enough wackos like me that would need that.

  36. Ellen says:

    I bet it was Mama Squirrel looking to make a nest for her babies…better check for eenie weenie babies before you shuffle her outside again. :)
    Am I the only person in the world without a stand mixer…can’t wait until Wednesday!
    Mmmmmm…..Spring shopping….boots for the garden…YES!!

  37. Mary W says:

    Everytime I click on the big knife – it goes to a target lamp that is unable to mail. Weird. Love all the “things” you posted – great selection.

  38. Michelle says:

    Love the new shopping page! I can’t wait to start shopping!

  39. Rebecca says:

    I am so thrilled you have these pages! Especially for the book recommendations!

  40. maggie van sickle says:

    Hey Karen I like the way you set things up. Very easy to navigate. I don’t always comment but I read each and every one.. I love the comments some folks make. Checked over your shopping page and the boots. knife and leather (at least it looks like leather) bag stand out for me. I once was given a Wolfgang Puck stainless steel mixer with all the attachments and I figured I would never use it. Gave it to my Daughter in Law and she did use it. Wished I had of kept it so a new mixer would be nice. Have a great day.

    • Karen says:

      That leather bag is beautiful! It’s not cheap, lol. But it looks expensive. It’s from Frye so at least you know it’s a good quality, rugged bag, like their boots. One day. :) And I know you’re a reader. You comment quite a bit! ~ karen!

  41. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    I missed the squirrel post…and I can’t find it…which makes me sad…’cause I would love to know the stories of someone else who has guests in the roof! I must say a new Kitchen Aid would make me feel better! Mine is a 20 year old hand-me-down for which I am most grateful!

  42. Alberta Gal says:

    Squirrel in the attic is likely more trouble than a moose living on the front porch (yup … a yearling moose hung out on my front porch from mid March to mid April a few years ago). Don’t be fooled by the word ‘yearling’. This animal was already huge. Think she was trying to keep warm close to the house. We named her ‘Mindy’.

    Squirrels cause loads of damage. They also love soda crackers … must be the salt. I use a live trap, put some crackers at the far end, and place it on its main travel route. Doesn’t take long. What to do with the varmints? Lucky for me there is a wild life refuge (large section of land, no hunting allowed) about 20 minutes away, and I drop them off there.

    Fortunately, we don’t have rats and racoons. Alberta has had a rat patrol, literally, for the last 40 years, mainly along the Alberta / Saskatchewan Border.

    Hmmm … a Kitchen Aid mixer ….

  43. Erin says:

    WooHoo! Sign me up for that mixer, please.
    Love the “Bird” umbrella and would love to get that anatomical chicken for our resident chicken dispatcher. Maybe that’s grim.

  44. That mixer has my name on it!

  45. Roberta Boe says:

    Your stuff is great!
    The knife is broken! ;((((

    How to enter the give away?

  46. Jen says:

    On Friday I got the “Haaaaaaay” Cards…just couldn’t help myself and today I was going for the umbrella…freakin AWESOME! BUT, alas, it was not to be…it was unavailable. No worries, though, I put it on my wish list. LOVE IT! :) Love the brass knuckles mug, too. I will probably end up getting those socks for my husband…he’ll wear them proudly to work. LOL

    And Love the Good Books page! I’ll be visiting that one again soon! I would also love the mixer as mine starts smoking if stressed and my house is a smoke-free house…working on stress-free but aren’t there yet.

    Good start to the week! Thanks!

  47. Kiara says:

    Coming to chime in with the “how do I win the mixer” crowd!

  48. Tina Settimi says:

    Hi Karen, love the new look. I have a black kitchen aid and yes love love it but I’m afraid it’s on it’s last leg hope i win!!!

  49. T.B says:

    My husband purchased that mixer earlier this year and also bought the sausage & slicer attachment. He has been making breads and sausages. Love your posts and your new shopping page. Keep up the good work. I look forward to your next blog on Wednesday.

  50. Carolyne says:

    Is the giveaway for all your newsletter readers, people who comment, or just for me?

    i don’t see any instructions.

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