Condo Blues: January 2013

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DIY Goals for 2013

It's a new year and time to make those yearly goals. Last year I was waaaay too ambitious with my DIY goals. I made 30. I didn't leave room for life getting in the way and boy did it. I only finished 12 of my 2012 DIY goals.

I supposed I could cheat and make my missed 2012 goals my 2013 DIY goals but there are a few items I'm not sure if I want to do like building a fireplace mantel. I want to live sans mantel for awhile to test the waters.

Crazy, I know.

This year I think it might be best for me to make a few more general goals than a long list of specific goals. That way, if life gets in the way or I get my fantasy dream job as a Caribbean beach Quality Assurance Tester which requires Husband and I to dump everything in snowy Ohio for warm beaches, I won't feel like such a big fat failure at the end of the year because I didn't meet a long list of goals. I'm the Queen of Overscheduling. *royal wave*


1. Concentrate on projects using the items I already have.  I'm not saying I won't buy any new materials or components to complete the project if that's what the project requires but I really need to knock the growing list of projects off my Someday list.

2. Find/create storage. We're pretty good about purging and donating the stuff on a regular basis so things don't pile up.  But there are some things we like to keep around, like say food but only one designated cabinet in the kitchen for it. I have some stuff stored in plain sight (aka no place to call home) as a temporary thing for far too long.

Friday, January 25, 2013

One Small Green Change: Down Winter Coat

I came home from 40 degree (F) Washington DC (more on that later I promise) to -9 degree Columbus. BRR! The light winter jacket I've making do with this year because my good wool coat is a bit too snug (ahem) just isn't going to cut it no matter how many layers I wear under it.

I need a new heavy winter "play" coat. Something I can wear sledding, skiing, and trudging through snow to the mailbox. Wool is warm and more eco friendly but once it gets wet, you stand a good chance of getting hypothermia on the toboggan run.

In my opinion a wool outer layer isn't practical for a winter ski coat since shushing snow can soak your coat.

Who am I kidding? My ski coat gets wet more from falling and skiing on my face in spectacularly graceful ways than from kicking up snow and outperforming Shaun White on a snowboarding half pipe.

Anyway. I need a new warm heavy winter coat that isn't too bulky to play in the snow. If it can be made from more eco friendly materials that would be awesome. I want this coat to perform well and last. I am willing to pony up the cash for that (although if I can get it on sale that will be the icing on the cake.)

Monday, January 21, 2013

Homemade Shaving Cream FAIL

I saw I had all of the ingredients to make the homemade shaving cream for sensitive skin post I pinned to my Pinterest boards (give me a follow, pretty please?) I also got Husband's OK to give it a try. He has sensitive skin and unfortunately the only type of shaving cream he can use is full of synthetic ingredients - natch. If this works for him, it is one less of the few synthetic ingredient things we have to deal with.

I heat and mix the ingredients together. My shaving cream looked more like thin soup than creamy shaving soap. I figure the next step in the blender will take care of that.

I grabbed an empty mason jar from the cupboard and filled it with the shaving cream, screwed the blender bottom onto the jar, and popped the lot onto the blender. I'm using a mason jar on my blender until I remember to order a replacement glass top for my blender. The glass blender pitcher broke when it flew out of the cabinet to attack me and fell to its death on the floor.  

A large mason jar fits on a blender in a pinch

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to Make an X Ray Lampshade

The poor little lamp on my sewing table has been making do for far too long. Husband brought it home from his old job because his boss was going to throw it away because it wasn’t her style anymore. I temporarily plunked a too small lampshade I had on the lamp and put it on my sewing machine table.

After 8 years of temporary, it is time to put a proper lampshade on my lamp. It is a recycled lamp so it makes sense to top it off with a recycled x-ray lampshade.

I'll show you to make it. It is easy!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Ohio State Michigan Barn Wood Welcome Signs

My Texas brother in law has a house.  He and his family are very welcoming people they don’t have an official sign to welcome everyone into their home.

I decided to rectify that. I made him a University of Michigan welcome sign because my brother in law is a big Michigan fan. How I don’t know. He was born and lived in Ohio for most of his life where you are supposed to root for Ohio State University from birth. I guess he gets away with it because his family does not live in Ohio anymore.

While we are talking team rivals, I figure I should even things out on the sports front and make an Ohio State University welcome sign for Mother and Father in Law’s new house while I was at it.

How to make a Barn Wood Welcome Sign

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How to Make Kitchen Sink Cabinet Storage Shelves

I don’t have a lot of storage room under my kitchen sink. A slide out trash can (love, BTW) fills the right side of the sink cabinet. The garbage disposal fills the upper air space on the left side of the sink cabinet. Soaps and cleaners, and extras on deck hang out on the left side of the cabinet and are in the line of fire when the garage disposal violently decides it doesn’t want to connect to the waste water pipe and floods the cabinet with water and food goo.

After trying to dry out a cardboard box box full of dish washing powder three times in two days, I figured it was time to install shelves under the sink to keep my extras high and dry.

Keep reading! I'll teach you how to make my wood crate shelf.

I couldn’t find what I wanted in a store. Then I remembered I have mad DIY skillz and a bunch of wood. DIY to the rescue! I designed and built a under sink shelf from an old hot sauce caddy.   

Husband likes hot sauce so much we got a Dave’s Insanity sauce gift pack like this as a wedding present. True story.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Nine Christmas Time and Money Saving Tips That Will Save Your Sanity (and Money Too)

During one of our first Christmas Eves I had a meltdown. Husband waited until the very last second to purchase and wrap gifts because we were waiting on payday (we run a cash only house with the exception of our mortgage and car payments.)

We stayed up until the wee hours of the night wrapping gifts. Wrapping gifts less than 24 hours before the paper is ripped off seems pointless. Not to mention, I try to keep Christmas Eve low key and chill time to gear up for the happy Christmas frenzy the following day. 

I knew things had to change unless I wanted to ruin every single holiday for the rest of our lives with an annual argument.