Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Hanging beds – Yay or Nay?

Hanging beds are on design trend for spring. This time the hanging bed moves indoors to the bedroom from the covered porch. Need proof? Anthropologie has a hanging bed in their Spring line.

Photo courtesy of Anthropolopie

If Anthro does it, many will follow. Not that it's necessarily a bad thing. I likes me some Anthro too.

To put hanging beds into design context, here is how the TheNovogratz’s (love them!) used hanging beds in The Pioneer Woman’s house (love her too!)

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Fire in My Belly

I’m feeling draggy and blah.  I thought I had a case of Cabin Fever. Food hasn’t been very interesting me to lately either. I thought it was trying to adjust to this month’s One Small Green Change of a lactose free diet.

I woke up with a fire in my belly. Actually, it was in my lower back. Turns out that fire in my back is a kidney infection. I have orders to take it easy, drink loads of cranberry juice (no stretch there. Cranberry is one of my favorite juices), and let the meds do their thing.

I’m good at many things – sewing, building, baking. I’m not very good at sitting around and being sick.

Being sick annoys me. It’s boring. My brain wants to me to start and finish items on my Do It Yourself Honey! List. My body says, “Fat chance girlie. I’m not leaving this sofa, unless it’s to take a nap in the bedroom.”

Fortunately, Blitzkrieg hasn’t left my side. He’s being extra snuggly because he senses I don’t feel well.

My special Pekingese powers make Lisa feel better when she is sick.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Stitched Love Note

Valentine’s Day gifts for Husband are hard. I use all my good gift ideas for Christmas.

 Husband usually gives me candy or flowers. I don't do that in case I duplicate. Although for our first Valentine’s Day, I gave him an anatomically correct chocolate heart.

18 years later it’s still in the box in the back of our refrigerator.  I’d show you the real thing but I’m too afraid to open the box.

 I told Husband he had my heart - and gave him this

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Garage Workshop Transformation: Insulate the Garage Walls

Fiberglass insulation has the reputation for being a pain in the itch to install. Fortunately, I had a better experience than I expected with fiberglass insulation when I insulated the garage door.

Insulated garage wall
The Owens Corning Garage Door Insulation kit I used was not made with the recycled content and no itch Owen's Corning EcoTouch insulation. The door kit insulation made my hands itch mildly when I pulled the rolls from the box without wearing gloves but nothing like the persistent itch-fest I experienced after doing minor DIY jobs involving the brand my builder used.

My good experience with the fiberglass garage door insulation kit made me think differently about fiberglass insulation. It also made me want to try the EcoTouch insulation I read about while researching garage door insulation options. I agreed to join Owen’s Corning’s EcoTouch DIY Review Panel and blog about my insulation adventures. 

 My insulated garage door. It looks like pillows, doesn't it?

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Hot Dog Pinewood Derby Car

This project is not mine but it’s so awesomesauce I must share it with the entire Internet. Yep. That. Cool.

Mr. G is racing in his first Cub Scout Pinewood Derby. With a little parental help, the kid needs to turn a block of wood, a weight, and some wheels into a car for the BIG RACE. 

It sounds fun. I wish Girl Scouts did something like that. Even at a young age, I'd use any excuse to break out the tools, ya know?

When his mom told me Mr. G wanted to go for style instead of speed, I expected Mr. G to make a car looking like the Batmobile (a thumbs up choice because we share the same taste in superheroes) or an ice cream truck to go with his career goal of being an ice cream man.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Clear Your Clutter: Five Temporary Garage Organizers

I’m participating in the Clear Your Clutter Challenge because my garage workshop project is making nothing but clutter in the garage.

I know things will get worse before they get better but I need a temporary fix. I have a big fat bruise on my arm (OW!) when a couple of tool cases leapt from a shelf and cannon balled onto my arms and head during a I-swear-I-put-it-in-the-garage type search. 

A garage clean up and temporary reorganization should put the workshop project back on track. It is either that or post Beware of Falling Power Tools signs all over the garage. Oh, heck I still might.

I want to spend as little money as possible on this project because all of my organization and storage will change in a few months when I build the new garage storage system. My repurposed freebies may not be the prettiest but they are doing the job for now. 

 This is my working plan for final garage project.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I'm Starting a Lactose Free Diet - And I Hate It

This is the hardest and most hateful One Small Green Change yet. Yep, worse than that first go around with the bad brand of recycled content sand toilet paper.

This may not technically count as a green change. Many people adopt a vegetarian or vegan diet for environmental reasons; I am trying to go lactose free for pure heath reasons. I have had upset stomachs and digestive issues for as long as I can remember. Turns out I’m lactose intolerant. 

I did not do much with that information, except change my diet to incorporate less processed food, and more grains, vegetables, and use meat as a condiment in recipes. That change got me off the prescriptions. I still ate ice cream, yogurt, and cheese with abandon. I seriously and most definitely love cheese.

It’s only in the last year that I switched to drinking soy, almond, rice, or coconut milk largely due to the Silk to Milk Challenge and buying milk alternatives for less thanks to my coupon database.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SOPA Shelved but Still Dangerous

Today, many websites are going black in protest of the SOPA (Stop Online Piracy Act) and PIPA (Protect IP Act) bills. SOPA has been shelved but may be rewritten. Unfortunately PIPA is alive and well.

If you don't understand what the hubbub is about and why you should be concerned about the bills passing, I embedded a video of notable bloggers explaining why SOPA and PIPA as they are currently written are a very bad idea if you like freedom of speech on the Internet.

If you want more information, http://www.blogworld.com/sopais a great place to start.

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Sunday, January 15, 2012

What is the Strangest Thing You Do to Save Money?

I watched the Extreme Cheapskates special on TLC. True to reality TV, they presented and edited the people featured as weird in the lengths they go to save money even though I read many of those tips, like washing and reusing plastic zipper baggies (heck! I do it myself) on blogs and in The Tightwad Gazette books long before this show was a twinkle in a producer's eye.

Our green and frugal ways mean the amount of our weekly household trash is usually one small plastic bag of trash. 

Frugality, just like green living, is all about balance. What works and is normal for some, others just can’t go there. I’m all for boxing up and taking my restaurant leftovers home with me (a quick, easy, and cheap lunch option for the following day!) but I personally draw the line at asking other people for their leftovers at the restaurant, while one guy on the show does it all the time – to his wife’s embarrassment which makes good TV.

If I left these amazing homemade tortillas at the restaurant it would have been a crime!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Green Moms Love The Non-Toxic Avenger

I’m a fan of Deanna Duke’s blog The Crunchy Chicken. She’s smart, funny, and not afraid to ask questions that spark heated debates on her blog and also inspire the New York Times to write an article on the topic. She’s. That. Cool.

That’s why I am excited to be part of Deanna’s blog book tour for her new book The Non-Toxic Avenger: What You Don’t Know Can Hurt You. After her son was diagnosed with Asperser’s and her husband with cancer in the same week, Deanna decided to become a human Guiana pig. After body burden testing done to see what, if anything, the chemicals she encountered in her daily life from soup to soap were doing anything to her body. Then she tried to reduce the toxins in her life, had herself retested and compared the results.

Unfortunately, there was a snag and I didn’t get a review copy of the book from the publisher in time to post a review on Condo Blues on my assigned blog book tour day. I read some of the preview excerpt of the book that is available on Amazon but that’s obviously not enough to do a real full-blown book review.

I want to keep my promise to Deanna to get the word out about her book because I liked what little I read and think you might too. However, I never endorse anything I haven’t fully read, tried, or tested on my blog because I owe you that.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Ready for the Clear the Clutter Challenge?

I’ve been deep cleaning the house like a mad woman now that the holidays are over. Along with the other basic cleaning tasks, I deep dusted, conquered Mt. Laundry, and shampooed every bit of carpeting in the house – whew!

Did any organizing happen? 

Um, no.

Once I start an organization project, I’m motivated to finish because I love the feeling of accomplishment. I also like that I find stuff I forgot I had. It’s like Christmas comes early.

The hardest part is finding the motivation to start.

I need a shove in the right direction. I knew I can count on the blogosphere to do it. I teamed up with a bunch of great bloggers for the Clear the Clutter Challenge!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

30 DIY Goals for 2012

I learned early on that it’s better in the Spousal Management department if I give Husband a head’s up on a major DIY project. For some crazy reason, the man doesn’t like to come home to surprises that look like this:

Surprise! I’m painting the kitchen! Doesn't it look GREAT?!

The Nester is holding a Home Goals party. In the interest of holding myself accountable for actually doing a planned project instead of plunking my tush in front of DIY Network and only dreaming about it, I made a list of DIY project goals for the year.

Husband, consider this list your head’s up for 2012.


Yeah, I know I said 2011 was going to be the Year of the Garage Workshop. It accidently turned into the Summer of the Remodeled Garden and Porch which had yummier results than accidentally ingesting sawdust. Although I reserve the right to ingest sawdust at any time in the future because who couldn't use a little more fiber in their diet? 

This looks largely the same except I painted the wall blue.

Monday, January 9, 2012

How Do You Pick Paint Colors?

When we first bought our condo, I can’t tell you how excited I was at the prospect of painting the walls! After years and years of renting white walled apartments, finally, FINALLY I got to paint my rooms any color I want!

Condo Blues and Lazy Budget Chef World Headquarters and Thunderdome

I skipped down to the store and basked in the glow of the rainbow of paint chips before me in the paint department. 

Then I got overwhelmed. 

It’s one thing to say that you want to paint a room green because it’s your favorite color and certainly another when 100 shades of green paint chips are staring you in the face at the store. Not to mention, coordinating the colors of the trim work, curtains, floor, ceiling, and furniture with the wall so it doesn’t look like a hodge podge of stuff I like but doesn’t go together at all.


Thursday, January 5, 2012

Princess’s Tequila Snowman

I like to decorate with snowmen because they are happy little guys you can leave out after Christmas as a winter decoration. Well, that is, unless you are our Queen of No Property Manager who argued that the snowman I hung  on my door was a Christmas decoration and should be taken down last February (during a blizzard I might add when the real thing dotted lawns all over the neighborhood.)

Of course, I shot back it wasn’t right she assumed I even celebrate Christmas (although we do) because we live in a multicultural neighborhood (which I love!) and I don’t remember anything about a snowman crossing the dessert to visit the baby Jesus in the stable – who was really born in March, not December.

I left the snowman on my door until the Spring Solstice -which is in March for spite. Heh.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

One Small Green Change 2011 Wrap Up

Instead of making and eventually breaking a blanket New Year’s Resolution for 2011, I made one Small Green Change each month.

Let’s see how I did.

Use Cloth Panty Liners Disposable panty liners gave me bladder infections. The Lunapads I use are thinner, more absorbent, and more comfortable to wear than a disposable liner (no sticky tape to sticky in places you’d rather not sticky!) I haven’t had a bladder infection. Keep


Use a Neti Pot I love my neti pot so much I’d marry it. It is the only thing that works when I have a stuffy nose and nothing happens when I try to blow it. A little salt water rinse with my neti pot clears the gunk out. I use it in the morning when I wake up with a stuffy nose because of my allergies. I also use it when I have a cold that clogs my nose something fierce. It also helps calm things down when I have a migraine. Keep

I love you neti pot. Love you.