Sunday, July 31, 2011

How to Install a Rain Barrel

The clay soil around my house compacted over the French drains in my side yard. Water pools instead of drains before, during, and several days after a rain. It’s perfect breeding ground for root rot and slime mold that kills everything in your flowerbeds. 

 Guess how I know?

Pin this post! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

HGTV Design Star – Home Owner Challenge

Three episodes into Design Star and the personalities of the designers are starting to emerge. The unofficial theme of tonight’s episode? How to work nicely with others. Doug and Cathy take note.

The other theme? Product placement! Product placement! Product placement! It was the usual HGTV sponsor suspects – Lumber Liquidators and Cabinets To Go, with a few surprises thrown in. Painters tape! Accessory stores! Furniture storage! Oooh la la! (Not really.) Photobucket

The final design count: two great rooms, one meh room, and one Oh my God, what the hell were you thinking?! room. I found it interesting that the Callegaris family ended up with the absolute best and worst rooms from the challenge in their home. Sorry kids. You rolled the dice, won, and lost with this thing. Hope you enjoy repainting your living room!

What worked:

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Lactose-Free Frosty Paws Dog Treat Recipe

How are you holding up during the heat wave? Are you staying hydrated? Are you eating smart snacks to replace the electrolytes that are sweating out of every pore of your body? (Well, the super sweaty thing might just be me.) Are you trying to stay cool? Yes?

Don't you wish your Peke were hot like me?
What about your dog?

Dogs don’t sweat to cool their bodies like humans. The best they can do is pant. Some breeds tolerate heat more than others do. Pekingese and their brachiocephalic (smashed face) brethren are particularly susceptible to the heat and heat stroke.

Have you ever had heat stroke? I did and it was the most miserable and scary experience ever. I wouldn’t wish heat stroke on my worst enemy and definitely not my dog.

After a walk Blitzkrieg is a seriously hot dog and wants me to do something about it besides running the air conditioning. Sadly, Blitzkrieg is lactose intolerant so making Frosty Paws treats isn’t an option.

Unless, I come up with a lactose free Frosty Paw dog treat recipe!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Make Popsicles!

Last summer in between racing from shop to shop tasting as much locally made ice cream as our stomachs could hold we snarfed down frozen fruit and juice Popsicles with abandon. A box of four lasted two days max.

What can I say? We’re fruit piranhas. 

Sure, I recycled the box and chucked the wood sticks into the compost bin if I didn’t find a reuse for them. The small mountain of unrecyclable plastic wrappers on the other hand, grew exponentially in the kitchen trash can. Not to mention to expense when I started buying Popsicles four boxes at a time to keep up with the demand.

Do you know how much waste that makes?


Monday, July 18, 2011

HGTV Design Star – Hope for Season Six

Did you watch HGTV's Design Star last week? What did you think? Thankfully, the tone for Season Six is not Survivor with Paint Rollers like Season Five.


That’s not to say there was not drama! Cathy and Leslie went at it during the traditional first episode Design Your Living Space Challenge. When designers on the same team clash, their room is usually the worst one. I was surprised given the fireworks; Cathy and Leslie’s room was not only one of my favorites but won the  challenge!


I am in LOVE with Leslie’s tire coffee table. I’ll take one please.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

How to Make Lavender Essential Oil Extract

The mix of crisp morning air with an end note of the mid day heat to come makes morning my favorite time of day during the summer.

When I can, I grab a cup of coffee and sip it while I watch the bees enjoy the lavender in my flowerbeds.

It feels so decadent to start my Saturdays this way.
I wish I could enjoy my fresh lavender in the dead of winter too.

I can if I use my  fresh lavender to make lavender essential oil!

The technique is similar I the directions I use to make orange essential oil from orange peels.

How to Make Lavender Oil Extract

Thursday, July 14, 2011

I Don’t Like Front Yard Vegtable Gardens and Yet I Have One

This is my yard after we moved into our condo.

A group of neighborhood darlings smashed my gazing ball. Boo.

A year or two later my front yard looked like like something out of an apocalyptic sci fi movie. Japanese beetles and grubs killed most of my shrubs and flowers. Slime mold killed the rest.

The reason this blog is called Condo Blues. *sigh*

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Sew Tabletop CornHole Mini Bean Bags

Now that you made a set of tabletop corn hole game boards, you need (4) 2 inch by 2 inch bean bags for each team (8 beanbags in all) to play Tabletop Cornhole!

Craftsman Blogger Summit
Table top corn hole game board

What?! You didn't make my tabletop cornhole boards? Click on over to my tabletop cornhole ttutorial and make a set. 

I made a paper pattern to make sure I cut off of my squares the same size.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Dog Writes a Guest Post

Hi Everyone, Blitzkrieg here. Lisa’s building something in the garage, which makes this the perfect opportunity to use her computer to say hi to all of my fans!

PhotobucketHi fans!

Actually, I have something real important to ask you.. This one’s important to me because I’ve lived it and it stinks. Not stinks in a good way like muddy pond water but stinks like rifling through somebody's trash and eating charcoal because I was stray kind of stinks.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Got Cardboard? Make Art!

This is one of the low cost high style recycled art projects I wish I knew about when I moved into my first apartment. My lack of funds meant I had blank white walls for longer than I wanted.

If only we had blogs back in the day! I can’t believe I just wrote that. Old people say that. I’m not an old woman! I’m not! I’m not! I’m not!

Pardon me while I have an extensional crisis.

And chocolate.