Coming Clean

Here we are, back to the grind.  It was so much fun torturing your eyeballs for five solid days during the Ugly Lamp Contest last week, but I am also happy to be bringing you something pleasant to look upon today!

And speaking of being back to the grind, it’s a laundry room makeover.  Nothing is grind-ier than laundry day, am I right? Although, I have to tell you, I am pretty stoked that I have recently figured out a laundry system that works for me. Would you like to hear about it? No? Well too bad!  You’re going to hear about it anyway.

So, I was really tired of getting buried under a laundry pile that I could never EVER catch up on. With four kids, it was necessary to do a load a day just to try and maintain the pile, not even defeat it. Ha! It could never be defeated.

Everyone’s clothes went into the same basket, which had to be sorted, then washed, then sorted again into piles when they came out of the dryer, then folded and put away.  But then one day I realized, duh, instead of washing all of our stuff together, how about everyone has their OWN basket?  Now instead of doing endless loads of everyone’s clothes and then sorting them into separate piles, I just do one load per person, then they carry their basket of clean clothes up to their rooms and put them away. (Don’t tell, but I don’t even care if the kids fold their stuff or not.  Just get it in the right drawers!) My husband does his own laundry, which helps a lot, and I also stopped folding things like dishtowels and underwear.  Life is way too short man.  Now I just stick them in the drawers and go! (I do still find joy in folding sheets and towels though; I’m not a total barbarian).

Maybe this system is not news to you at all, but it has saved me SO MUCH TIME. I probably spend 20 minutes a week on laundry now, if that.  Life-changer.

Wow, sorry for that laundry opus.  Are you still with me?  Hope so.  Here’s a fabulous laundry room makeover from Ronda at Batchelors Way. My favorite part: the huge built-in laundry cubby!

gray_laundry_room_makeover beforecopy t gray_laundry_room_makeover after



I also love how stacking the machines saves so much room.  I wouldn’t have thought to do that, since there was plenty of room to have them side-by-side, but it just makes sense to save space wherever you can.

gray_laundry_room_makeover copy



Remember Ronda’s faux marble countertops?  Still can’t believe that’s hand-painted.gray_laundry_room_makeover copy2

Fabulous job Ronda!

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2014 Ugly Lamp Contest: WINNER!

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner!  The Ugliest Lamp of 2014 has been chosen!

(fanfare, fireworks, confetti cannons, trumpets!)

With a record-breaking 48% of the final votes, in all his nausea-inducing glory, allow me to introduce our champion, our conquering hero, our grand-master of Ugly:




Oh yeah.  I knew in my heart that Beef Femur was a winner the second this picture popped up in my inbox.

When Mariah submitted this glorious mummified meat stump to the contest she explained, “My husband works for a pet food company. They make everything from dry food to jerky and everything in between. They also process bones as chew toys. I’m not sure who made the decision to make this particular piece, but at some point someone decided that a good way to display their product was to turn it into a lamp. The lamp is made of a genuine beef femur, complete with dried flesh and liquid smoke, dipped in poly to preserve that recently-dead look. I’d say the bone is about two feet tall. I’m including some close-up shots just in case you really want to look closer. I’d advise against it.”

Well Mariah, you should find whoever it was that made this lamp and shake their hand, because they just helped you win a $100 gift card of your choice!  (Actually, I would avoid talking to that crazy person at all costs).

And now, Beef Femur shall be forever remembered, as he takes his rightful place among the past champions in our Ugly Lamp Hall of Fame.


2010Alien Matador


2011Broken Leg Lamp


2012Demon Skull


2013Bacon Barf

2014winnerBeef Femur


Thanks so much to everyone who submitted a lamp.  I always feel bad that I can’t include them all. It’s always a little heartbreaking to weed them down to manageable 18.

I hope you enjoyed the contest! I have to thank everyone who voted and commented too. Your comments are hands-down the very best part of this for me. SO funny!  Someone commented that they weren’t offended by the beef leg, just offended that it had such a boring lampshade. Haha! If you haven’t read through them you should take a minute to do it, they are sure to make you laugh.

ugly lamp logo 2014

What will next year bring?  I’ll need a full year of therapy before I can even begin to wonder.  As for you, be sure to keep a sharp eye out! You may be the one to discover next year’s winner!

Check out all the contestants from 2014 in Round 1, Round 2, Round 3, and the Battle Round.

Here are a the Battle Rounds from previous years too! 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010.

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Ugly Lamp Contest: FINAL ROUND!

Welcome to the 2014 Ugly Lamp Contest BATTLE ROUND! Today, the top two ugliest lamps (as voted on by you, dear readers) from our three previous rounds will compete in one final face-off before we crown our victor tomorrow! (Check out Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3 to see them all).

Who’s it going to be?  Will Beef Femur grind his competition into jerky bits like he did in Round Two, or will it be a dirty fight to the finish? Only one way to find out.

Get your voting finger stretched out and warmed up, troops.  The blessed end is near.

Here, in no particular order, are your finalists:



1finaldawnfrom Dawn

Moose Knuckle Chuckle easily creeped out enough voters to secure himself a solid place in the finals. I feel like I should have added a disclaimer to our pal Moose: If you don’t know what a ‘moose knuckle’ is, you might want to refrain from googling it in the presence of young children or your boss.  Maybe I should have just named him Bulgy Wedgie, and left it at that.



2finalmariahfrom Mariah

Beef Femur pulverized the competition in his round, with an impressive 85% of the vote. Will he send everyone to the slaughterhouse again? Or will he find himself on the chopping block this time? He’s been there before and isn’t keen to go back.



3finalpatriciafrom Patricia

Mikey Mice squeaked out a distant second place behind Beef Femur in Round 2, qualifying them to enter the Battle Round.  Will they claw their way to the top, or sink sadly back into second-hand store oblivion? They appear to be devising an evil master plan as we speak.



from Sarah

Satan’s Booger snot-rocketed his way into the top spot, carrying the lead in Round 1. He’s got his game face on.  He’s ready to play.  Actually, I think that’s just his regular face.



5finalmichellefrom Michelle

If the Ice Cream Addicts can pull themselves together enough to compete, they may have a chance at slurping up a victory.  C’mon, look alive kids, look alive! Look … awake?  Sigh. Nevermind.



6finalgeorgiafrom Georgia

And lastly, Tacky McMannequin is our final victor from the challenging Round 3. It went back and forth all day, but she finally elbowed her way to the top.  A considerable feat, considering she has no elbows.  Can she hold her own against the rest, or is she all dressed up with no place to go?  (She’ll be all dressed up that is, as soon as she finds her pants.  And her butt).



Vote Now!

On a mobile device? See the poll HERE.

Check out the other rounds here: Round 1, Round 2, and Round 3

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2014 Ugly Lamp Contest: Round Three

This is it guys.  The last round of voting before the top six compete tomorrow. How are you doing?  Hanging in there?  Or have you become hardened?  Toughened by the overexposure of ugly that the last few days have wrought, a stony shell of your former self?  It’s ok to cry.

As far as yesterday goes, no surprises, Beef Femur dominated Round Two by a landslide.  Coming in a very distant second was Mikey Mice.  Will things change when they go head-to-head with the all the winners in the battle round?  We shall see tomorrow!  If you missed those, click here to vote in Round One and Round Two.

PS: Your comments are killing me!  Apparently the ‘water feature’ lamp from yesterday is actually a ‘vintage treasure’ (I use the term loosely) that many of you have shared fond memories of.  Yeah. Still veryveryugly.  (But worth a lot on ebay!)

And now.

The moment you’ve all been waiting for/secretly hoping would never come.

Round Three has begun.

Find a buddy.  Hum a hymn. Don’t look back.

Here we go.


13stephaniefrom Stephanie

This one might be a ‘vintage treasure’ too.  Or it might be an alien weakly disguised as a Star Trek character, whose hobbies include fencing, posing sassily, and being a lamp.

I’m going to go with the second one.


14georgiafrom Georgia

If Lady Gaga, Liberace, and Britney Spears all got together and designed a lamp … it would be way less tacky than this thing. On the other hand, it looks like those arts-and-crafts-loving ladies from yesterday have really upped their game!



15mollyfrom Molly

Oooh, Adam.  You’re getting a little … puffy.  Maybe you need to cut back on the carbs.  Hey look, there’s a salad in your lap!


16michellefrom Michelle

This is more than a mere lamp, it’s a cautionary moral tale, warning kids about the dangers of overindulging and the heavy toll an ice cream addiction will take on an innocent life.  “Do you want to end up like these junkies?  Passed out, face down, desperate for that next sugar buzz, living your life lick-to-lick? DO YOU?!  I didn’t think so.  Sweet dreams kids!”


17betsyfrom Betsy

If there’s one thing we don’t see nearly enough in home decor these days, it’s spittoons. That’s why I invented this lamp! Nothing welcomes guests to your home better than a well-lit invitation to contribute to a jug of spit juice.  Don’t worry, the lacy lampshade keeps everything real civilized.  I wasn’t raised in a barn! (I was raised in a bar).


18elizabethfrom Elizabeth

 “Hiiii kids!  Happy Birthday to …  birrrthday boy!!! Let’s get this party starrrrted!  For his first trick, Drinky the Clown is going to borrow $5, slap your grandpa, and take a nap on the lawn.”


Vote now!

online surveys

If you can’t see the poll, try here. If that doesn’t work, try here!

There is still time to vote on Round One and Round Two!

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