Condo Blues: September 2009

Monday, September 28, 2009

2 Ways to Preserve Fresh Herbs

I love cooking with fresh herbs. Unfortunately, when the winter snows come, there goes the fresh herbs I have growing right outside my kitchen door in pots on my patio. This year, I decided to take my cue from the small furry squirrels that are currently gathering nuts for their winter siesta and try my hand at preserving fresh herbs from my herb garden for winter.

The two main methods for preserving fresh herbs are drying and freezing. I’ve done both. Here’s how.

How to Dry Fresh Herbs

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How to Paint a Metal Exterior Door

Under our unofficial You Broke It, You Fix Rule my repainting of The Condo's scratched and scruffy front door was long overdue.

Did I mention that it was my fault the paint was scratched and scruffy because I used various loops of tape, hangers, and magnets to hang things on the door in the first place? Yeah. My bad.

Fortunately, repainting the front door was a quick no cost project because the builder left us some touch up paint. So while it may or may not be an environmentally friendly outdoor paint (I suspect it isn’t) using the paint you already have on hand is an environmentally friendly practice (saves money too) so that’s what I did.

Here’s how I did it.

How to Repaint a Door


1. Wash the door with a mild soap and water solution. I used diluted Basic H. Dish detergent great works too.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Why Using Cheap Paint Doesn't Save Money

Until I found the perfect set of porch chairs I decided to repaint and revamp a couple of doctor’s office chairs that Husband had from his bachelor days.

Since I hated these chairs with a fiery vengeance and thought they would be better served as firewood, I didn’t want to invest a lot of time or money into their makeover. I bought a couple of cans of cheap spray paint from Dollar General and got to work.

The chairs didn’t look so hateful. After surviving Hurricane Ike, not finding anything the right scale that I liked, and the price being right (free) I decided they could stay.

That sealed my fate. *Enter the Condo Blues whammy.*

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Potato Chive Bread Recipe

Now that summer’s officially over (boo!), and everyone’s garden is bursting with extra food that they want to give me (yay!) I have potatoes a plenty. It’s the perfect time to make a loaf of Potato Chive Bread in the bread maker.

Potato Chive Bread Recipe

You will need

1/3 cup shredded potato (a food processor is great for this project)

2 teaspoons margarine or butter (I prefer butter, I think it tastes better in baking)
1 cup milk

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A New Use for Old Nail Polish

I ran over a broken glass bottle and got a flat tire on my bike. I also got a major workout because I had to push my bike 3 miles home instead of riding it. That’s the “Blues” part of Condo Blues in case you’re just joining us, *sniff*.

I have no idea how to change a bike tire, especially the back tire because it requires taking off the chain assembly. The gears and chain were a little wonky and I was putting off having someone look at it anyway.

Time to call in a pro.

I sucked it up and took my bike to a Serious Cyclist Shop that did repairs. The type of store that sells real bikes to Lance Armstrong types and expensive touring bikes (no gears – WTHeck? We have hills) to frou-frou moms who ride in very flat neighborhoods (not mine.) Husband and I fully expected to be soaked for the repair and the tire, possibly costing more than my bike.

Did I mention that my bike is a Toys R Us special?

Made for kids?


Yes I’m that short. I have to ride a kid’s bike. *sigh*

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Grow Flowers in Old Lawn Chairs

Here’s a seriously cute creative reuse project for those old 50’s style lawn chairs – turn them into flower pots!

I was be bopping along one of my favorite shopping haunts and found these little beauties outside a shop as an art piece.

They look a lot nicer than my mushroom patio chairs too.

Looks easy enough to duplicate. Find some ugly 50’s style lawn chairs, paint them a wild color (I’m digging the hot pink), stuff them full of dirt (tricky I suspect), and plant a bunch of succulents or any other type of water-retaining plant. (I suspect cactus might look tad inhospitable. Ouch!)

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Peach and Rum Smoothie Recipe

I came back from the farm market with a big bunch of fresh peaches. It’s warm outside and I’m in a festive mood – peachy in fact – why not kick back on the front porch with a homemade peach smoothie?

Peach and Rum Smoothie Recipe