Condo Blues: April 2011

Friday, April 29, 2011

One Small Green Change: Use SLS Free Toothpaste

A Chinese friend mentioned that they have toothpaste back home that prevents you from getting canker sores. Soon after I had that conversation, Rembrandt introduced their canker sore preventing toothpaste and gave out coupons so often it was like feeding stray cats. We tried Rembrandt and it reduced Huband’s canker sore outbreaks.YAY!

Of course you know what happened next. We were hooked on the toothpaste and Rembrandt stopping issuing coupons and the price went up. It’s now $7.00 a tube at CVS. Rembrandt is smaller than a conventional (and cheaper) tube of toothpaste. Yikes!

Since I don’t get canker sores from toothpaste like Husband,  he used the spendy toothpaste. I switched to Colgate. It’s cheaper and rates a 3 on Environmental Working Group Skin Deep database. A three - Moderate Hazard rating and below is my guideline when using Skin Deep as my shopping guide.(Your mileage may vary.)

We’ve been going merrily along with the his and hers toothpaste for quite awhile. It sure would be nice to have a cheaper option or at least some coupons for the stuff Husband uses.

Tom's of Maine Simply White Toothpaste, Clean Mint , 4.7 Ounce(Pack of 6)I researched. I found that the Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) in our conventional toothpaste may be causing Husband’s canker sores, not the fluoride. As an experiment, Husband switched to Tom’s of Maine, a less expensive brand of SLS free toothpaste. He didn’t have an outbreak.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

How to Make Orange Essential Oil Extract from Orange Peels

It’s clementine season! I snatched a box up the first minute I saw them in the grocery store and raced home. As usual I ate so many so often I got canker sores in my mouth from the citric acid. I don't care. At least I'm safe from scurvy!

The orange peels piled up. I can’t compost citrus. I used most of the ideas I wrote about 10 Ways to Use Orange Peels. I still have a pile of orange peels. If I had the distillation equipment I could make pure essential oil from orange peels but I don't. Since I want to use this to give a citrus oil cleaming oomph to in my homemade cleaning products, I will make an orange oil extract (this is also called a tincture) instead. Orange oil extract is a bit less potent than a pure essential oil, so it doesn't really work well for aromatherphy, candle, or cold process soap making. I save real orange essential oil for those things.

However an orange oil extract (tincture) works well for things like DIY cleaning products, melt and pour soaps, and homemade room sprays.  You might need to use a bit more since an extract is less concentrated than a distilled essential oil depending upon how prominent you want the scent in your project.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

End Table Upcycled into a Whimsical Dog Bed

I am loving all of the end tables upcycled into dog beds I see in blogland. Check out this whimsical painted dog bed Lucy Designs made from a discarded end table, finals, and a whole lotta talent.

 Photo courtesy of Lucy Designs

I wish it were bigger. I’d take a nap on it. Would you?

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Sunday, April 17, 2011

Chalkboard Juice Lid Labels

My linen closet is small. That’s the excuse I told myself every time I had to put my hip into shutting the door because there was so much stuff in my linen closet.

No more.

After my inner brat threw a tantrum after doing the shove-clean-towels-in-the-closet- slam-the-door-follow-through-with-hip-action one time too many (mostly likely you have no idea what I’m talking about because you have a neat and tidy linen closet.) It was time to go into the closet.

I purged a bunch of towels and threadbare washcloths that were supposed to be dog towels but I always accidentally put them back into the bathroom towel rotation. Guest towels and such went into the guest bathroom (novel concept I know.) I can find everything and everything has its place. The closet door shuts without extra hip action. Yay!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Glass Clouche Pendent Lights

Husband and I ate dinner at Der Dutchman (nicknamed The Der by the locals) in Amish Country with his parents. After a country fresh dinner we waddled around the gift shop to work off the bread pudding I had for dessert..

Surprisingly there wasn’t much in the way of country too cutesie. Their buyer had the Contemporary-Country thing DOWN. There were so many things that my Victorian/Country Farm House antique loving mother in law liked and just as many things that made me drool with my Mid-Century Modern-Bauhaus-Contemporary-Found-and-Funkified-Retro-DaDa-Danish decorating style.

I saw this pendent lamp and my heart did a little jump.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Make an iPad Cover and Stand

I won an iPad from ConAgra* in a drawing at Blissdom.  I’m still pinching myself! I never win anything super cool like that.

Now I know what the heck Angry Birds is and why it’s insanely addictive.


Griffin Screen Care Kit for iPad, Matte
Seriously, order one of these. You won't regret it.
The first thing I did is order a screen care kit. I had sectors on a screen kill a just-out-of-warranty PDA (remember those?)  As a precaution, I always buy a screen protector to my touch screen devices and recommend you do the same. It will be the best $13 you spend to protect a $500 investment. I'm not joking, go buy one. I'll wait.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Book Page Storage Shelves

They say the cheapest way to spruce up a room is to paint it. I say cheapest way to spruce up a room is to clean and reorganize it.

The utility room is one of those rooms I walk into that makes me go ARRRRGH!

Clutter makes me cranky.