Brita® Back to College Giveaway!

Do you want to send your kiddo off to college with a good Brita® water habit while Back to College shopping? Yes? Good! I am giving away a $25 gift certificate. Click here to enter! The Brita® Back to College Giveaway runs from August 21 to August 29, 2014.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Does Twitter Hate Green Moms?

Twitter suspended the Shorty Award winning @Greenmoms Carnival Twitter account. We don’t know why and Twitter isn’t telling. Will you help @Greenmoms and our over 70,000 followers get our Twitter account reinstated?

A Little Background on @Greenmoms on Twitter and The Green Moms Carnival

In 2008, Lynn of  Organic Mania gathered a diverse group of green bloggers and suggested we host a monthly blog carnival on a specific green topic like the Green Pet Blog Carnival I hosted on Condo Blues in October for Adopt a Shelter Dog Month.

Not every member of The Green Moms Carnival has the same green focus or way we do things and we like that way! Some of us (like me) are not Moms to humans. However, what we all have in common is trying to live the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle (and in my case, Remake) way the best we know how and are eager to share our hits and our misses with all of you.

@condoblues, @greentalk, @mindfulmomma, @greenmom, @crunchygoddess, @fakeplasticfish
Lisa from Condo Blues, Anna from GreenTalk, Miceala from Mindful Momma, Sommer from Green and Clean Mom, Amy from Crunchy Domestic Goddess, and Beth of Fake Plastic Fish.
Photo courtesy of Crunchy Domestic Godddess.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Handy Ma’am Apron

I love spending quality time with my tools. I don’t always love being covered from head to toe in sawdust from those tools. If only there were a way to prevent that.

They have something for that. It’s called an apron.

I made this!

Friday, November 25, 2011

5 Christmas Countdown Calendars Your Kids Won’t Fight Over

As I eagerly endured the days before Christmas as a kid, I always wanted mark off the days on a Christmas Countdown Advent Calendar.

My mother never went for it. 

Now I understand why. Most Advent Calendars reveal candy or a trinket each day the child crosses a date off the calendar. In a household with more than one kid, one Advent calendar can lead to squabbling.

One solution is to buy one countdown calendar for each kid. However, that doubles the amount of work filling it and trinkets the kids receive during one of the busiest times and already gift laden times of the year.

My solution is use an Advent calendar that focuses on the countdown instead of prizes each day.  I like the countdown calendars better because you can reuse them year after year with little effort.

Here are a five of my favorite reusable countdown Advent calendars.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How Do You Keep Bread Fresh?

November’s One Small Green Change is to bake most of our sandwich bread.

I use my bread maker to bake bread more in the winter months than summer because we usually pair the bread with soups and stews. I usually make rye breads because it’s hard to find a rye bread that is trans fat and high fructose corn syrup free at the grocery store.

You can read my Russian Black Bread recipe on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Trash to Treasure Filing Cabinet

I am the reason we do not have nice things.


 I rebuilt and made over this thrift store filing cabinet after breaking the old one too many times.

Why? Because I snapped the plastic, handle off this filing cabinet drawer almost as soon as we got it home.
Photobucket
Uncle Bob?

My Green DIY Diva powers came to the rescue! I spiffed up a set of sturdy second hand cabinet handles with paint, attached them to the drawer fronts, and Bob’s your uncle. 
  • A little later a drawer broke; Husband kvetched we need a less flimsy cabinet. I fixed the drawer.
  • A year later the bottom drawer broke, Husband kvetched we need a less flimsy cabinet. I fixed the drawer.
  • A few months after that the top drawer broke, Husband kvetched we need a less flimsy cabinet. I fixed the drawer.
A drawer broke again. I agreed. We need a less flimsy filing cabinet.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Did I Ruin My Garden with Leaf Mulch?

Remember the growpocolypse in my accidental front yardvegetable garden?

No?

Here is a little photo refresher.

We called the squash and cucumber vines Audrey 1 and 2

I have a freezer full of heirloom squash, a shelf full of relish and pickles, and a whopping THREE jars of salsa from the six heirloom tomatoes our plants gave us. I canned them all with the exception of the squash, natch. I froze the squash. I dried a ton of basil, oregano, and chive too. I'm feeling a bit like Ma Ingalls but without the bonnet. Although I would totally rock the bonnet if I chose to wear it, FYI. 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Holiday Home Organization Blogger Challenge and Giveaway

The public areas of our home are generally neat and tidy. The Condo Blues World Headquarters and Thunderdome is not the neat and organized space it should be. Our filing cabinet is woefully inadequate to keep things from exploding onto my desk. I need to get a handle on this because in that pile of papers are blog business receipts and paperwork I need to organize for my taxes in January.

Now that I've embarrassed myself by showing you my messy desk, I HAVE to clean it up.

The office gets a little worse when it comes time to decorate for December because I need a place to stash my current décor for a month to make room for the holiday stuff. My temporary (as in several years running) solution is to shut the door to the office and not let visitors in.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Make a Stenciled Bottlecap Bracelet

Husband gave me The Look. The bottlecap basket in the kitchen is overflowing again. “Are you ever going to make jewelry out of those caps you make me save?” he sighed.

I guess that time is now.

I’ve been putting off any number of painted bottle cap projects because I don’t like my decorative painting skill - or lack thereof. Every so often I stop by Michaels and drool over the new Martha Stewart Crafts paint and stencils by Plaid. Maybe stencils can help me with my craft paintaphobia? 

One of the things I like about Martha’s craft paints is that it works on wood, metal, ceramic/glass, and fabric unlike traditional craft paint. This cuts down on the number and type of paints I have to buy and store in my tiny house. I need a variety of paint types since I work with a variety of recycled materials.   

Friday, November 11, 2011

3 Must Haves for Pet Parents

Most dogs and cats are low maintenance. They don’t need much in the way of stuff to make them happy. However there at least three things I find that make pet parenthood easier, greener, and a little more fun.

Purrfectplay organic pet toys. Purrfectplay makes soft dog and cat toys from 100% dye free organic fabric and materials, and packages them in paper. Purrfectplay toys are plastic free!

Thank you for the fun toys Purrfectplay!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Happy Birthday to Me

Today is my birthday.

I shed my little girl sawdust and paint splattered armor.


I put on a confident and frilly woman’s dress


Sunday, November 6, 2011

My Garage Door Opener Might Be the Death of Me

My garage door opener is a fickle minx. When I press the wall button or the remote, I’m not sure what I’m going to get. Most of the time the garage door opener opens and closes the door, as it should. But take that for granted (as I did the night of our burglary) and the door will go down and pop back up. My favorite trick is after checking the batteries in the remote, a press of the button makes the light blink and the door stays open. The taunting blinking light always happens during a rainstorm or when I am in a hurry.

I spend a good chunk of time checking the garage door sensors for obstructions (rare), readjusting the garage door opener controls with the change of the seasons, and keeping the remotes fed with fresh batteries.


A slight turn with a screwdriver is all it takes to make the adjustment

Our burglary was the last straw. I didn’t watch the door to make sure it closed completely. The door popped back up and stayed open all night. That’s how the robbers got into the house while we slept.

Husband and I discussed our options:


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Garage Workshop Transformation: Insulate the Garage Door

After I put Insulate the Garage on the Garage Workshop punch list, I realized we’d lose heat through the garage door if we didn’t replace it with a new insulated garage door.

Then I fell over at the price of insulated garage doors.

I wondered if I could save myself a truck full of money and the hassle of installing a new garage door and disposing of the old one ethically by insulated my current garage door.

Turns out you can. Whew!

I looked at garage door insulation options.