Condo Blues: 2019




Sunday, May 26, 2019

How to Make Garden Plant Markers

The theme of this year’s container herb garden is Hey, That’s Different, Let’s See If It Will Grow (and We Need Cilantro.)

Which means I need plant markers to identify what this stuff is once it comes time to harvest it for cooking.  Sure, some of the plants came with a plastic plant label stuck in the pot but I had to split some of those plants up into different plant pots that make up my small patio container garden.

I want a set of plant markers that is cute and somewhat unique.  I turned to my little stash of on deck items to repurposed and made plant markers from recycled aluminum cans. I got four plant tags from one aluminum pop can and put the scrap into my city recycling bin.

DIY Garden Markers from Recycled Aluminum Cans


How to make cute unique  DIY garden plant marker tags
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Thursday, May 23, 2019

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Sunday, May 19, 2019

How to Make a Grill Cover

The four seasons have taken their toll on the cover on my outdoor gas grill. I need a replacement grill cover. 

I don’t want to buy a vinyl grill cover because they rarely last more than two years in the elements. Fabric seems the best way to go since the BBQ cover I made from a drop cloth lasted seven years.
I planned to scope out the heavy duty outdoor fabric at the fabric store after a stop at Homegoods when I found a cheaper and cuter outdoor fabric option – an indoor /outdoor tablecloth.

Which also just so happens to go with this majestic beauty that I also picked up for the front yard.

Her name is Divine.

She is 6 feet tall.

And I love her.

Yes, I am THAT neighbor. You know the one.

How to Make an Outdoor Grill Cover from a Tablecloth

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Friday Favorites Linky Party 476

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Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
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Tuesday, May 14, 2019

12 Ways to Reuse Old Pillows

When our bed pillows flatten I fluff them up after washing them by popping a couple of dryer balls like these into the dryer along with my pillows. (I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) That usually does the trick but after many years, there isn’t much left to fluff in our current set of bed pillows. It is time to replace them.

12 of the best ways to reuse old pillows
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Thursday, May 9, 2019

Friday Favorites Linky Party 475

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But before we get this party started, I want to let you know about a super cool grilling giveway on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef! After you have read all of the amazing posts here on Condo Blues pop on over to Lazy Budget Chef and enter to WIN a HUGE Summer Grilling Prize Package!

One grand prize winner will receive a prize package including:
  • iGrill Mini Grilling Thermometer from BBQGuys
  • Case of Cornbread Crisps from Farmer's Pantry
  • Indoor Searing Grill from Hamilton Beach
  • Stella High Ball Glassware from Joy Jolt
  • Best Seller Collection from The Spice House
  • 1 Year Supply of Syrups from Torani
  • $100 via PayPal

You can find all of the details on Lazy Budget Chef here!


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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

How to Hang a Shelf on the Side of a Kitchen Cabinet

I hung a shelf on the side of my kitchen cupboard to give the succulent planter I got for Christmas a fighting chance at life by the only sunny window in my house. I’ve always wanted add an aloe plant since they are so handy when it comes to burns and to add visual balance by hanging a plant shelf on the empty cabinet on the other side of the window.

Which was a little tricky because I have thin builder grade kitchen cabinets. There just isn’t enough wood in the cabernet wall to hold a nail for a picture let alone the weight of a lightweight shelf.
But it can be done and all you need is a simple wine cork.

how to hang a cupboard shelf with a wine cork
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How to Hang a Shelf with a Recycled Wine Cork



Friday, May 3, 2019

California Design Den Luxury Sheet Giveaway!

Let’s face it, soft luxurious sheets Step Number One to getting a good night’s sleep.
I should know. I have battled insomnia for as long as I can remember. One of the ways I can sleep through the entire night is by treating the quality of my bedding as Priority Number One. I’d rather lay out the cash and have two sheets of super soft sheets to rotate in my linen closet between washings than a dozen horrible, stiff, and scratchy cheap microfiber sheet sets. Ew! Ew! Ew!


I want to share a lovely and luxurious night’s sleep with you courtesy of our friends at California Design Den who are kind enough to sponsor this California Design Den Luxury Sheet Giveaway!

Thursday, May 2, 2019

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Monday, April 29, 2019

Gardening Hack: How to Know When to Water Your Vegetable Garden the Lazy Way!

The only reason my first attempt at growing a vegetable garden survived is because my husband and I worked on the project together.

Basically, I forget that plants need water to grow.

Gardening experts say vegetable gardens should be watered 2 to 3 times a week to promote healthy growth and nice deep roots. I start out doing that after I plant my garden but once you throw rain into the mix,  I either accidentally over water or under water depending upon if I wait for a rainstorm.

Either it doesn’t rain enough to water the plants enough or I don’t want to take a chance on the weather forecast for rain failing me again and water the garden only to be followed by a heavy thunderstorm.

So yeah, up until now my garden fails are a result of watering too much or not enough.


how much water does a vegetable garden need
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Photo used with permission by MSI Sakib on Unsplash

Thursday, April 25, 2019

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Tuesday, April 23, 2019

6 Ways Plastic Helps Me Live Zero Waste

Almost every blog post I read that offers tips and tricks how to live Zero Waste they almost always use plastic free as a synonym. They say something like, “We got rid of all of our plastic stuff and bought the same exact thing in wood/bamboo/natural fiber to replace it and wow how cool we are living zero waste now!”

It. Drives. Me. Crazy.

Throwing away usable items to buy a cool looking replacement is the exact opposite of zero waste living folks!

Zero waste living means giving up using disposable single use plastic and items as much as possible, not no plastic at all.

Plastic free is great but that is a different goal.


6 Easy Ways to Live Zero Waste (ish) and Save Money Doing It!

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Photo used with permission  by Sophia Marston on Unsplash


Thursday, April 18, 2019

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Thursday, April 11, 2019

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Thursday, April 4, 2019

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Monday, April 1, 2019

How to Make a Quick and Easy Laundry Room Counter Top for Under $30

My laundry room is an unorganized mess!

Being a short person, I know that if I add cupboards above my washer and dryer I won’t use them to organize because I won’t be able to reach them without pulling out a step stool. Long story short: any organizer hanging over my head is dead to me.

Also I don’t want to take down all of the crazy toys decorating my utility room because they sum up the way I feel about doing laundry in the first place – a comedy horror show.

Doing laundry does not spark much joy but having clean clothes does!

A laundry room counter top and folding station would solve my organization problem nicely – and it is a quick and easy project to make!

How to Organize a Laundry Room with a Counter Top


Thursday, March 28, 2019

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

Recycled Crafts: Bottle Cap Bumble Bees for Kids

When I perform at my home renaissance festival, children bring little trinkets like shiny stones, jokes, plastic doubloons and such to trade with the performers. I understand that many parents, and my green living minded readers in particular, would rather not have yet more kid clutter in the house but it is amazing how something as simple as a painted acorn can make a child’s visit magical.

A new friend used the word magical over and over to describe her foster children’s visit, how they carried the treasures our performers gave them like gold that day, and even now these trinkets are very special for her children. Learning that her kids marveled at meeting so many "famous people" (what her kids call costumed characters) made my heart flutter and knocking myself out performing, especially on the tough weather days worth it even more.

Last year I made lady bug favors from bottle caps. I was surprised at my own reaction to every single child and adult who politely accepted my bottle cap ladybug only to get excited and surprised once they turn it over to see the little craft gem I glued underneath as craft supply stash bust project.


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Who knew a silly plastic gem could spark so much joy?

 

DIY Bottle Cap Children’s Party Favor Craft

Thursday, March 21, 2019

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

How to Mount a Big Flat Screen TV in a Small TV Niche

The thing that has been holding my husband and I back from upgrading to a larger TV is trying to figure out where to put it. We maxed out the TV hole in the wall above our fireplace with a 30 inch flat panel. We honestly don’t have any other place in our small living room for an entertainment center or to hang a TV but in our wall niche.

how to hang big flat panel tv in a small over the fireplace tv nook
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Thursday, March 14, 2019

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photosgratuite.eu Steals CondoBlues Blog Feed For Maladvertising Clicks Because They are Scammy Thieving Jerks

 photosgratuite.eu Steals CondoBlues Blog Feed For Maladvertising Clicks Because They are Scammy Thieving Jerksphotosgratuite.eu Steals CondoBlues Blog Feed For Maladvertising Clicks Because They are Scammy Thieving Jerksphotosgratuite.eu Steals CondoBlues Blog Feed For Maladvertising Clicks Because They are Scammy Thieving Jerksphotosgratuite.eu Steals CondoBlues Blog Feed For Maladvertising Clicks Because They are Scammy Thieving Jerksphotosgratuite.eu Steals CondoBlues Blog Feed For Maladvertising Clicks Because They are Scammy Thieving Jerksphotosgratuite.eu Steals CondoBlues Blog Feed For Maladvertising Clicks Because They are Scammy Thieving Jerks


Please beware that the colassal dochebag nitwits from the url in the  screen capture above is impersonating my blog Condo Blues in Google Search. They have stolen not only my tutorial photos but pictures of myself and family as well as post titles that they want you to click so they can automatically download malware onto your computer for their immoral activities.

Yes I reported it until I found the douchbags at photosgratutie are stealing using Condo Blues RSS feed which would take me months to report everything the colassial imbecile blockheads stole from condoblues. Fortunately they are stealing my feed so this post shows up on their site as soon as I click Publish



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Monday, March 11, 2019

How to Make a Double Sided Rainbow Bottle Cap Necklace

I wanted to make a rainbow bottle cap necklace but couldn’t decide which rainbow sticker design I wanted to use to make it.

I took a page from Mother Nature who sent us not only real live in the sky rainbows after a record breaking rainy summer last year but they were often double rainbows. How cool!

2 designs. 2 sides to a bottle cap. Why not make a double sided bottle cap necklace?

Let’s do it!

How to Make a Rainbow Bottle Cap Necklace


how to make a recycled double sided bottle cap necklace tutorial for kids
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You will need:

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Friday Favorites Linky Party 467

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Sunday, March 3, 2019

15 Things You Didn’t Know You Can Store on the Back of a Bedroom Closet Door

I like living in a condo, but there are days when small space living feels a little too small. One of my favorite daydreams to is to have a bedroom full of closets that are bigger on the inside like Doctor Who’s TARDIS (learn more about my favorite sci fi show here.) Oh, think of how many shoes they could hold! *drool*

Sadly Time Lord technology is not available to Earthlings (and firmly lives in the land of make believe,) which means I have to find and use as much clever and often looked over storage space to organize my clothes – by using the back of our closet doors.

I use a combination of door organizers that hook over the door (which perfect for renters!) and screw into the door itself. If you want to hang your organizers on a hollow core door, you will need to install drywall and hollow core door anchors like these first.  That’s what I use on my hollow core closet doors and I haven’t had anything come crashing down yet! (Disclosure: I am including some big bold affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)


15 Small Space Bedroom Closet Organizers You Need Right Now!

5 things you didnt know you can store on the back of a bedroom closet door
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Thursday, February 28, 2019

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Thursday, February 21, 2019

Friday Favorites Linky Party 465

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Tuesday, February 19, 2019

How to Make a Braided Rainbow Shrinky Dink Necklace

Recently while KonMarie-ing my husband found a few unused Shrinky Dinks sheets in a box of his childhood stuff. (I am including some affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

The find sparked joy for him and a little sadness in me (but not much cause it wasn’t an earth shattering situation when growing up) when I admitted I never used shrink plastic to make crafts as a child.

“Let’s make Shrinky Dink charms!” he said. I balked at the idea because I thought you needed special Shrinky Dink art books, pens, and kits like these which he didn’t have. He told me I was totally overthinking it. I didn’t need to draw at all (I hate the way I draw most things,) and he was positive I already had everything else we needed to make shrink plastic crafts in my craft room.

How to Make a Rainbow Heart Shrink Plastic Necklace


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Sunday, February 17, 2019

How to Make a Drawstring Dice Bag with Pockets

My husband and I like to play board games and with those games comes all sorts of little cards, dice, chips, and tokens to keep track of and store. I like really like the design of the flat bottom drawstring bag tutorial on Urban Threads (the store where I bought the dragon machine embroidery file) but I also like how my drawstring travel jewelry bag (it looks like this one)  is organized with pockets in the sides. (Disclosure: I am including some big bold affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

Looks like is is time to DIY my owner unique gamer bag of holding!

How to Sew a Flat Bottom Pouch with Pockets


DIY drawstring dice game bag with pockets
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Thursday, February 14, 2019

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Sunday, February 10, 2019

How to Research, Buy and Install the Best Personal Home Weather Station for You!

Ohio weather changes so wildly and so often you can’t help but be some sort of weather nerd if you have to spend any time outside during the year. It also doesn’t help if like me, weather changes affect your have seasonal allergies. That really makes you pay attention to the local forecast. Good times!

At my allergist’s suggestion I have a humidity monitor (this is the exact indoor thermometer and humidity monitor I have. I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) on each level of the house. It is accurate and an easy double check if I need to change the indoor climate controls but all of that goes out the door the second I step outside.

Sure, I ask Alexa the temperature but she’s only going to give me the outdoor air temperature reading from the local airport (all official weather equipment is installed at local airports) and not factor in things like the wind chill factor or the heat index which, as you know, is why you get local TV weather forecasts of: The temperature is X but it feels like Y.

If you don’t live in close proximity to your airport summer (and other factors beyond your control) your home’s outdoor temperature may vary from the “official” local reading. That difference can be a super huge big deal when my husband takes off on a long run or I will be marching in a parade during the summer.


how to install an easy personal home weather station
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Which is why I bought my husband a personal home weather station for Christmas. (Actually he asked for one.) I gotta tell ya, it was nerve wracking trying to research the best weather station for us because home weather station vary wildly from a cheap standard outdoor thermometer to hundreds of dollars for something that measures rain, wind, humidity, temperature, and the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

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Sunday, February 3, 2019

DIY Chambord Liquor Bottle Soap Dispenser

A soap maker friend got me hooked and I love, love, love using her handmade soap! Learning how to make soap is something I’ve been interested in for a long time but the idea of making soap from scratch with lye seemed scary, easy to mess up, and wouldn’t allow me to use the variety of types and scents I like when I buy it from my friend’s shop because one batch of soap makes enough bars to last six months.

At her encouragement I dabbled in making super easy soap with melt and pour soap base like this kind a few bars at a time in the microwave oven. I got a feel for how add ins and scents work and was itching to do more. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)

It wasn’t until my friend closed her brick and mortar store that I started looking into making real deal hot process soap in our spare slow cooker. (My Instant Pot has taken the big slow cooker’s place and can now be dedicated to soap making using this liquid soap making book. It’s the best!) 


 Getting my mad scientist on!

I made unscented liquid Castile soap because it is more versatile and requires less equipment than bar soap. My first batch turned out OK for a first timer. I like that I can add a little variety by scenting (or not) each dispenser full of soap with this Organic Aromas essential oil sampler I got last year for review that otherwise will sit largely unused. I love the oils and blends, it's just that I err on the super duper side of caution when it comes to diffusing essential oils around Lacey.


The only downside to eventually replacing all of my bar soap when it ran out with liquid soap is realizing  I don’t have enough liquid soap pump dispensers for every sink in the house. I need to fix that.

How to Recycle a Glass Bottle into a Soap Dispenser

Thursday, January 31, 2019

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Sunday, January 27, 2019

How to Make a Bed with Folded Hospital Corners

Apparently it is a huge big deal whether or not you make your bed and use a top sheet. This something that is totally out of my frame of reference because if you don’t use a top sheet, you need to clean blankets and/or duvet weekly and is way too hot and gross to use during the hot and humid summer.

In other words, not making a bed without a top sheet is gross! Don't do it!

Stuffing a king size top sheet in a washing machine on the regular is way easier than trying to cram king size anything thicker than a sheet in a washing machine. If you have a smaller size bed than I do I guess it might be easier but nonetheless I’m rather replace a worn top sheet than shell out the extra bucks to replace s spendy duvet

I understand the argument of the to sheet getting all twisted up and becoming tucked itself when tossing and turning while you are sleeping. I get it. That used to happen to me until I found an easy fix: Make your bed with hospital corners. Problem solved!

How to Keep Sheets from Slipping off the bed


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Thursday, January 24, 2019

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Monday, January 21, 2019

10 Ways to Lower Your Electric Bill When There is Nothing Left to Cut

Over 10 years ago, I took on a year long project to reduce my home’s electricity use and bill by 20% using my brand new non-Energy Star rated appliances, new habits, and under $100 worth of DIYs and cheap home improvements.

I didn’t meet my goal.

I beat it.

I reduced my yearly electric use by 32%.

Over 10 years later my home still uses less electricity than comparable homes and families in my area – including energy efficient rated homes, which mine is not.

How do I reduce my electrify use? There wasn’t one big expense or home upgrade that made my electric bill go down. I knew we used more electricity in the hot and humid summer running the central air conditioning and less during the winter because we have a gas furnace and water heater. The only constant is our all electric kitchen. Turns out the biggest money suckers are a thousand little intermittent habits that felt like picky anal retentive things at first, until the energy use and savings started falling as low as it can go and still allow my family to comfortably live in the modern world.

How I Reduced My Electricity Use Without Sitting in the Dark


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Thursday, January 17, 2019

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Friday Favorites Linky Party 459

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