the smell of my desperation has become a stench

Welcome to Armstrong Inn, part two

Today I’d like to give you guys a peek at the unfurnished guest room and have a little fun while doing so. (FUN. WE NEED SOME FUN AROUND HERE. AND SOME HOT DOGS. Marlo! I’ve got an assignment for you!) You left so many helpful comments about what makes a home away from home for you: a functional alarm clock, power strips, an assortment of pillows, a stripper pole.

I like the idea of a little note next to the bed that gives a guest the password to the wireless connection and a gift certificate for free pole dancing lessons. You’d be like, gosh! They thought of EVERYTHING! And then you’d turn around and notice the hamster waiting for you in a cage on the dresser. His name is Stanley and you have to take him home with you.

Thank you again for those suggestions. We’re definitely incorporating many of them into the final room, but we’ll get to that later. First, let’s show you the canvas we’re working with. Many thanks to Jon for his technical and video skills and to Tyrant for being such a good sport.


This post is brought to you by IKEA and THIS IS THE OFFICIAL DISCLOSURE, WHAT UP, FTC!

  • Meranath

    2012/02/16 at 9:06 am

    I’d straight up stab a bitch for an Ikea in town. Why Kansas City doesn’t have one is beyond me.

  • ThePeanut

    2012/02/16 at 9:12 am

    That video is pure brilliance. I could live in IKEA and I don’t think anyone will notice.

  • ohmissyme

    2012/02/16 at 9:13 am

    Tyrant is hilarious in that video. Can’t wait to see how the room turns out 🙂 xoxo

  • Doghouse Mama

    2012/02/16 at 9:33 am

    Love the idea of having the wireless password available for your guests!

    Also, um, what are you sticking in your ears?

    Can’t wait to see what you picked out!!

  • OwlMoonKLH

    2012/02/16 at 9:37 am

    OMGosh…cracking up from that video! lol Cannot wait to see what you picked out. 😀

  • millieme61

    2012/02/16 at 9:38 am

    Love the video. Looks like you had a lot of fun.

    This is unrelated, but I thought you might enjoy it, especially since one of the dogs looks a lot like Chuck. It is terrifying and bewitching. Enjoy!

  • kristanhoffman

    2012/02/16 at 9:43 am

    LOL you guys are too funny. You’re making me want a Tyrant of my very own.

    (Also, your outfit is adorable.)

  • filmlady

    2012/02/16 at 11:10 am

    IKEA’s not making you put all that stuff together, right?? That’s when getting a room full of free furniture stops being worth it. BIG time!

    (BTW I loved your video 🙂

  • xmyrin

    2012/02/16 at 10:12 am

    Loving it! Can’t wait to see the final product!

  • LarissaX

    2012/02/16 at 10:19 am

    Very funny. My absolute favorite was when he went flying into the wall in the cart because as anyone knows who has every shopped at IKEA, their carts have a mind of their own and are IMPOSSIBLE to steer! The four wheels always go in completely opposite directions.

  • akonthego

    2012/02/16 at 11:06 am

    That was an awesome video!

  • caitlinrenee

    2012/02/16 at 10:54 am

    Too funny 🙂

    I’m super excited to see how the room turns out.

  • Caren Lynn Cross

    2012/02/16 at 11:09 am

    You guys make the best videos *ever*. After watching that one, I went back and watched the older ones. Brilliant. Thanks for sharing!

  • Gemmyner

    2012/02/16 at 11:10 am

    Great video, sexy music! I didn’t see any other customers there. Did you get to go after hours? That’s a dream of mine, all alone in Ikea. The other dream is to have endless money to pay for it all:)

  • TheSpiceOfLife

    2012/02/16 at 11:21 am

    Not only did this video bring a much needed laugh to my morning, but I think the Monty Python pic of Marlo may be my favorite ever 😉

  • ladyisatraveler

    2012/02/16 at 11:22 am

    Waiiiiiit a minute….was Tyrant wearing Crocs???

  • Lucky13

    2012/02/16 at 11:25 am

    OK….that man is HOT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Makes me want to cry a little……………

  • sarahfromthenorth

    2012/02/16 at 11:32 am

    That was an insanely fun trip! Great videoing, great Tyrant (too bad he’s gay – oh wait I’m married lol) and love your hair Heather~

    I’m excited to see your room come together.

    Just a question, why are there two doors to your room? (besides the two closet doors)

  • cayayofm

    2012/02/16 at 11:42 am

    You don’t actually have to give guests your password. Just create a Guest Network without a password and make it invisible. I think geeks call it “Disabling SSID Broadcast.”

    Granted, I don’t know if all Routers are able to do this.

  • mybottlesup

    2012/02/16 at 11:44 am

    love it and can’t wait to see how your guest room turns out! question… and i’ve wondered this about our own guest room and still go back and forth on it… will you be putting a television in yours? we don’t currently have a tv in our guest room and i go back and forth on whether or not to have one in there. i love the space so much WITHOUT a tv in there (ours is very bed & breakfast-ish b/c we’re in a little florida bungalow of a home), but at times wonder if guests would like a tv in there.

    (you’re totally saying “I KNOW” now, aren’t you?)

  • Round Rock Gal

    2012/02/16 at 11:49 am

    LOVE the video and I love this topic as I have a guest room that needs some serious love. Please do me a favor and when its completed post a list of all things you’ve included (fluffy pillows, Internet codes, cotton balls, et al so I can check off a list of things to get.)

    If you have time that is!

    PS – you seem very happy. I take this as a very good sign of well, “good things.”

    Yeah you!

  • amyj

    2012/02/16 at 11:57 am

    I’ve always thought Tyrant was adorable, but in this video it’s clear that he’s f**king hot.

    And just so my fantasies are accurate, since you’re dating Cami, does that mean Jon is dating Tyrant?

    Because that’s really, really f**king hot.

  • k-sara-sara

    2012/02/16 at 12:38 pm

    Dude, I can never play your videos and it absolutely kills me. WTF, Vimeo?! Okay, rant over.

  • Esmter

    2012/02/16 at 12:44 pm

    Meranath – totally! KC needs one desperately. Go figure – I move out of Hartford, CT and then 2 open up within an hour of there. Here in KC, it’s a minimum of 8 hours.

    loved the video – how does one shop at ikea and not stop and get meatballs? or is that in the next segment?

  • Laprewitt1

    2012/02/16 at 1:52 pm

    This video makes me want to go play at IKEA. I love that store.

    It was really good seeing you and Tyrant having a great time.

  • Circe74

    2012/02/16 at 2:01 pm

    HAVE to take Stanley home? You mean you GET to take him home! Bonus!

    Another thought.. with all the travelling you do, I’m sure you get your hands on a lot of that free hotel bathroom stuff! Just grab it all and put it in a baggie to set out a coordinated sample of mini products for your guest!

    I also keep a lavender sachet in with my guest towels (which I reserve strictly for guests in order to keep them soft and fluffy and hair-dye-stain-free). That way when they go to use them, the scent is nice and relaxing.

  • jessiCat

    2012/02/16 at 2:15 pm

    That video was amazeballs. Hilarious! “Gay man…in a closet” just about made me fall out of my chair at work. They frown upon that, it makes them think I’ve been drinking at my desk. Again.


    Glad to see you giggly! You deserve it!

    Have fun y’all!!!!

  • floridagal73

    2012/02/16 at 2:25 pm

    I love the video. Good to see you having fun (or at least pretending to). The music was perfect and I think I could watch/hear you say “I Know” over and over. That was hilarious.

  • uvula_envy

    2012/02/16 at 2:44 pm

    A gay man is wearing Crocs? I am yanking his gay card now unless it’s a joke, but one should never joke about that.

  • Mommaschmoop

    2012/02/16 at 3:41 pm

    Listen. I fully expect you to be dressed up as the hillbilly when I book my stay at Armstrong Inn. And if Tyrant is openly gay, but in the closet…does that mean he’s actually secretly straight? I KNEW IT!

  • Kam904s

    2012/02/16 at 4:49 pm

    I would also kill to have an Ikea in Kansas City. Or even Lawrence, that’s relatively close and a college town. Oh well. 🙁

  • Heathers Garden

    2012/02/16 at 6:38 pm

    The arm-wrestling table…love it! It’s the base of my kitchen table (with a beautiful heavily shellacked old farmdoor on top) and we have the complete white table in our family’s vacation condo. Excellent piece of furniture for the price. And don’t envy me the IKEA less than 10 minutes from my house, I am now a full blown IKEA addict.

  • Rich

    2012/02/16 at 6:42 pm

    The thing about making a video in Ikea, is that it is so relatable. Almost everyone can point out something they have purchased from there. For me it was the red leather sofa Tyrant was laying on. We bought it for our first apt years ago.
    Nice video. Funny that line about being a sister wife for Halloween.

  • Anita Scotch

    2012/02/16 at 7:51 pm

    Next time you guys go to IKEA, will you please call me? I need to be in on that party!!

    Looks like you guys had an awesome time. Can’t wait to see what you picked up!

  • workroom

    2012/02/16 at 8:37 pm

    all “Ah Kno” is, that was awesome… as great as Tyrant was, it was a smile inside to know Jon was behind the camera…

    I’ve been though a lot of death all around me lately, and for whatever it’s worth, I’m hoping (or, I’m projecting hope onto you) that you two can eventually work it out (Note: not you and Tyrant)

    much love and positive thoughts to you all

  • famisamis

    2012/02/16 at 11:35 pm

    Big Love costume. That’s effing hilarious.

    And yeah, what the hell is up with that IKEA? No customers around? And it looked awfully tidy and in good shape. The IKEA in my neighborhood is always messy and the furniture is always beat up. Not that that’s a bad thing. It gives us all a good idea of what our furniture will look like after 500,000 people have touched it and 3,000,000 kids have licked it and climbed all over it.

    I love you and your people.
    Good day.


    2012/02/17 at 7:21 am

    I should have commented on the last post but I’m putting it here!

    Whatever bathroom the guests will be using must have extra toilet paper! And a plunger! There is NOTHING worse than having to ask your hosts for that.

    Your outfit in the IKEA video is super cute.

    What are you eating these days? We need a food update.

  • churchmouse

    2012/02/17 at 8:20 am

    “What are you eating these days? We need a food update.”

    Really? Do we REALLY need to know what Heather is eating these days?

    I’m a long, looongtime reader of dooce® (and Heather’s books), but the past year or so I’ve struggled as a fan. Once upon a time we championed Heather Armstrong as a voice for those suffering in the depths of despair, depression, PPD, et al. By offering her readers a glimpse into her world, Heather brought us close. She told us it was alright. She gave us a home and a voice and a sense of belonging.

    Heather allowed a LOT of people, men and women both, to sigh a bit in relief… because now there was someone out there who understood.

    Marriage, in-laws, Leta, Marlo, moving, health scares, dogs… I don’t think it’s a secret that much if not the majority of Heather’s fan base consists of people who feel a connection with Heather and her family.

    I have been struggling to keep up with this blog for the past year or so, because I CANNOT RELATE to the ginormous house that looks like it came out of a magazine pictorial; the supermodel; the assistants and nannies and the trainers and the constant traveling here and there… I just can’t relate anymore. And I say this because I know I am not alone.

    The Daily Style used to be Heather’s stuff that she took photos of in her home. Now the Style photos are not even taken by Heather, but some other guy, and they almost always feature Cami. They are also on Cami’s site. Cami has her own blog. If I was interested in how she chose to look homeless today, I would read that blog. has taken on a superficial, messy randomness. It seems hastily thrown together with little thought, care or effort.

    My longwinded criticism leads up to this: I think this “Armstrong Inn” project may be the demise of my longtime affair with this website. That makes me sad. I feel like I’ve lost one of my favorite writers.

    Life changes for us all. I’m not meaning to be judgmental. And I don’t mind sponsored posts. But it’s very tacky and lacks class and even a modicum of grace to a) allow IKEA to do this in the first place, because I think you can afford your own furniture, and b) focus on your guest room while Jon is simultaneously moving out. It’s just bad timing, maybe, but it doesn’t sit well.

    I wish your family the best, but if I wanted to read about free makeovers for celebrities, hair tips, gym stuff, supermodels, and jetting all over the place all the time… I’d watch the Kardashians.

    That’s sort of what this has become. A bad reality show.

    Jon did not even film the IKEA stuff (as he has mentioned on his blog), it was Tyrant’s friend. And then Jon got to edit it. This whole thing is weird.

  • churchmouse

    2012/02/17 at 8:27 am

    On a more sensitive, less abrasive note… Heather looks very tired in that video. 🙁 I thought she looked older at first, strikingly older, but then I realized she looks tired. Exhausted. I wish the Armstrongs the best.

  • susanruffin

    2012/02/17 at 8:58 am

    If the last two commenters don’t want your life, can I have it?

  • jenwilson

    2012/02/17 at 9:36 am

    Thank you for making my day with that video.

  • MsMegan

    2012/02/17 at 10:27 am

    The thing that sticks out the most for me is that fact that your IKEA doesn’t have 4,000 South Americans fighting for every inch of space in the place.

    Just a South Florida thing?

  • Sabine

    2012/02/17 at 10:35 am

    The bit where Tyrant looks at the camera after being used as a measuring device made me burst out laughing. I do wish IKEA would step up and sponsor the furnishings for Jon’s new house as well! Too much to ask for?

  • Chabbydubbe

    2012/02/17 at 11:10 am

    very cute and funny video, and i must say you look amazing Heather! the length of your hair looks really great on you

  • Deserex

    2012/02/17 at 11:31 am

    I soooo want to go SHOPPING with you two! Are things any better between you and Jon?

  • LM

    2012/02/17 at 1:58 pm

    how in god’s name is that IKEA so empty??

  • labsnabys

    2012/02/17 at 3:30 pm

    Churchmouse took the words right out of my mouth. Not a popular opinion in these parts, but I suspect not uncommon either.

  • sweetpotatopie

    2012/02/17 at 4:05 pm

    Hey, I know! Maybe Jon could move into “your” new guest room!

    Yeah, I gotta say, churchmouse speaks for many of us. Between the Cami-pocalypse and now this? Just…ick. Super poor taste, Heather, given the current situation. I realize the “deal” was struck long ago, but the gracious thing to do, at the BARE MINIMUM, would be for you to mention the fact that this is unfortunate timing instead of pretending it’s not really. fucking. weird. And the epitome of narcissism.

    For the record, I’ve been a huge fan and supporter and have stood up for you on many other blogs; I’m far from a “hater”, but it’s just TOO. MUCH.

  • dlpelaez

    2012/02/17 at 7:26 pm

    I love you, Heather, and I’ve followed you for more than, wow…8 years…(when Leta was born!) but I have to agree with sweetpotatopie and churchmouse. I’m very happy for your successes, but those are definitely not uncommon opinions.

  • JulieDances

    2012/02/17 at 8:27 pm

    I find it amazing how blogs can bring people together, create connections amongst people that live miles/cities/countries apart and uplift people during times of struggle. That being said, I find it equally amazing that when people feel so attached to a blog, to the writer of the blog, to the writer of the blog’s family that changes in the blog, the writer, and the writer’s family can cause intense sadness, anger, hurt, judgment and frustration amongst its readers. Heather, I see that you and Jon are doing your best right now – at least on your sites (you both obviously choose what you want people to know and keep private what you need to). I don’t know what others expect of you sometimes…you must feel like you can’t win. I am not sure why people do not recognize they can just choose not to look at the things you post that they don’t like – it is your blog – and you should post what you like. We don’t know the details of what is going on – with your Ikea contract, your marriage, your business trips or anything else… and I’m not sure it is for any of us to judge. I think this is a crazy and difficult time for you and your family and I hope that you and Jon are getting way more support than additional grief. I am wishing the best for you and Jon and your precious girls.

Heather B. Armstrong

Hi. I’m Heather B. Armstrong, and this used to be called mommy blogging. But then they started calling it Influencer Marketing: hashtag ad, hashtag sponsored, hashtag you know you want me to slap your product on my kid and exploit her for millions and millions of dollars. That’s how this shit works. Now? Well… sit back, buckle up, and enjoy the ride.

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