Condo Blues: 2020




Monday, July 13, 2020

How to Make a Recycled Aluminum Can Butterfly Necklace

  I don’t drink a lot of soda but every once and awhile a pop can will cross my path. Once I finish the beverage I have two choices:

1. Recycle the can in the recycling bin.

2. Recycle the can into a cute necklace.

 

Today I am going with Option 2 because it will make a much more entertaining tutorial than Option 1 and it will give me a chance to answer I often get: How do you smooth the edges of a cut aluminum can?

 It’s easy! Let’s get started. 

How to Smooth and File the Sharp Edges of a Cut Aluminum Can

How to make a recycled soda pop can butterfly necklace
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Thursday, July 9, 2020

Quilted and Embroidered Cloth Face Masks and Friday Favorites Linky Party 537

I needed to test if my sewing and embroidery machine was actually fixed the third time it came back from the repair shop (yes, really. You read that right. Three times to replace a part I suggested might need replacing in Round 2.) I grabbed some scrap fabric and set up a complicated machine embroidery design to put my machine through its paces. Thrilled that it worked, I played can I machine embroider that weird fabric? and messed around with various sewing machine feet, stitches, and settings. I had some pieces I rather liked so I made them into cloth face masks, playing with a few different styles and techniques for funsies. It felt good to play.

how to machine embroider tissue lame
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My favorite is the embroidered deer. The embroidery came out beautifully but I wasn't thinking ahead and used a thick piece of stabilizer which is hard to breathe through - oops! I cut the majority of the stabilizer from around the deer to make a breathable mask. If I were to do it again, I would chose a lighter or water soluble embroidery stabilizer. Live and learn!

Sunday, July 5, 2020

1950’s Wrap Sundress

A good long while ago, I fell in love with the 1950’s vintage wrap sundress sewing pattern Simplicity 8085 (you can read about it in detail here.) I bought a super cute cotton cherry print fabric with the intent to make a dress for myself. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convince.)

 Two years later I still  had a sweet vintage sewing  pattern reprint and super cute cotton cherry print fabric  in its shopping bag in my sewing room.  *sigh*

I need a dress for a wedding reception (hopefully? maybe? We’ll see how group events play out when the time comes) later this summer for a wedding my husband and I attended on Zoom. That’s all the incentive I need to finally sew my 1950’s wrap sundress. I made a few tweaks to the pattern because as my husband observed long ago, I always hack a sewing pattern in one way or another. 

how to sew a 1950's wrap sundress

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How to Sew a 1950’s Inspired Wrap Sundress

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 536

Time to link up your fantastic and creative craft and DIY projects, recipes, and ideas!

Let's Party!




Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:

Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter FB | G+ Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
Jennifer at Busy Being Jennifer - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!

You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Thursday, June 25, 2020

Three Dollar Patio Vegetable Garden Tour and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 535

Gardening in a condominium can be a challenge given the Home Owners Association rules and compact space. Add a pandemic that doesn't allow for a lazy afternoon wandering my favorite garden center for whatever catches my eye and the challenge levels up a bit more. 

I was happy to find that plants in five of the ten pots I planted last year came back because most of my  perennial herbs (minus my chocolate mint) are decimated by winter weather. The rest of the planters I filled by sprouting vegetables scraps which lead to this year's nickname - Our Garbage Garden. 

 
three dollar patio vegetable garden
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Share it with your friends!


In the photo above we have golden oregano in the front, followed by chocolate mint, winter savory, cabbage and romaine lettuce sprouts. I've never grown romaine lettuce before. It is supposed to look like that? The other romaine lettuce I planted is much lower to the ground.

Thursday, June 18, 2020

Victory Rolls and Friday Favorites Week 534

One of the things I have not attempted during quarantine and social distancing is cutting my own hair because I know from past experience that I need to leave that for the pros. Lucky for me, I wanted a change and thought I'd grow my hair out a bit before this whole mess started. So instead of attempting a quarantine haircut, I'm learning how to roll my bangs into Victory Rolls! Here's the latest attempt.

side part victory roll hair style
It's not perfect but it's getting there

I showed you my project. Now you show me yours!

Sunday, June 14, 2020

How to Make an Insulated Growler Caddy

My husband and I have a couple of glass growlers for those times we want to bring home a local craft beer from a brewpub that doesn’t put it in cans or bottles. We only tend to use them when there is a BBQ or party where a group of friends will be there to help us drink a little under 2 liters of beer (an open growler goes flat more quickly than a 2 liter of pop) over the course of a long afternoon into the evening with a bonfire. In other words, not very often.

No to mention in Ohio growlers have to be made of glass, which are hard to keep cold and carry if you are also juggling pot luck food as you walk from your car to the party spot. There are a lot of wood growler caddies out there but I really want something insulated. That way I can also use the growler as a water jug to refill our sports bottles  from the car when we are out and about.

When I can’t buy, I DIY! I dove into my fabric stash, grabbed some leftover corsetry fabric,  and sewed an insulated growler caddy. If you are looking for a handmade gift idea for men, based on my husband's reaction, this is a good one.  He liked the idea so much that he encouraged me to make a second insulated tote bag for the other growler.

Let’s sew!

how to make a craft beer growler caddy


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How to Make an Insulated Beer Growler Tote

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Lighting Question and Friday Favorites Linky Party Week 533

I'm putting the finishing touches on my guest bathroom remodel and hit another snag besides the first one of finding black mold that made me change the entire design scheme I had already planned. Now the bathroom has an oldy vibe with a literal twist of modern in the faucet that is staying no matter what because I looooooooooveeeee it.

I'm happy with how the new design is coming together. I had planned to keep the original bathroom vanity light now I'm not sure. Is this vanity light too contemporary for this room? Should I replace it? Keep it? Paint it black? I keep waffling back and forth on what to do. Let me know your feeelings in the comments below!


Should the light stay or should it go?



I showed you my project. Now you show me yours!

Sunday, June 7, 2020

How to Strip Paint the Non Toxic Way

I have a love – hate relationship with spray paint. I love that spray paint will cover almost every surface (if you use the right formula) and easily paint hard to paint areas like indentations and intricate moulding. I hate that many of my spray paint projects en up with paint bubbles and drips.

how to strip paint from wood
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The best way to avoid spray paint bubbles and dripping paint is to hold the can further away from object you are painting and use several light and even coats of spray paint rather than blasting a thick coat of spray paint from close up. Using a spray paint handle (you can find several types of spray paint trigger handles here) will help you paint with even coats of paint and not kill your fingers from pressing the can’s spray nozzle. 

Spray paint bubbles are also caused by painting a second coat of paint on an object when the first coat is not completely dry. I know this because 9 times out of 10 I get spray paint bubbles because I thought my last coat of paint was dry after 24 hours and it was not. The joys of living in a humid area!

 

2 Ways to Repair Spray Paint Bubbles and Drips

 

Thursday, June 4, 2020

Easy DIY Small Space Under Sink Water Filter Friday Favorites Linky Party 532

My mini DIY project for the week was decided for me by my old water filtration system because it started to leak after I changed the filter. After some tinkering, some Googling, and tinkering some more, the only solution was to replace the whole thing. Which lead to more Googling and researching for the best under sink water filter for small spaces like our condo. 

Since our water tests at a good quality, we don't need a super duper reverse osmosis water filter system. Good thing because there isn't room under the kitchen sink for one. I didn't look at whole house water filter systems because I have even less room to install one of those on the water main and frankly all of our drinking and cooking water comes from the kitchen sink.


easy DIY undersink water filter installation
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Sunday, May 31, 2020

How to Hang a Hook on a Hollow Core Door

I want to add a robe hook to my guest bathroom.  The logical place to hang it is on the bathroom door.

Unfortunately it, like all of the doors in my condo is a hollow core door. Can you hang towel bars and hooks on a hollow core door?

Yes you can!

The secret to hanging towel bars and hooks on hollow door without them crashing to the ground is all in the type of wall anchor you use – in this case Molly Bolts!

 Save this easy tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Growing Vegetables from Scraps and Friday Favorites Linky Party 531

Last year my patio container garden "plan" was Hey, this looks new and interesting. This year I was happily surprised that five pots out of the ten containers grew back since most herb plants don't survive the winter and turn into annuals no matter what. 

Normally when I'm stumped as to what to plants to grow, I just wander through the garden center and see what catches my eye. This year that isn't possible so other than taking our chances on a packet of free basil seeds I had in a drawer, I had no idea until we got a box of vegetables delivered from a local restaurant. Is Pinterest right or wrong? Can you really regrow vegetables from their scraps? We decided to give it a whirl.

how to grow vegetables from scraps
This is what passes for entertainment when you are self distancing from the world.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Red, White, and Blue Face Masks and Friday Favorites 530

 I've been doing  a deep dive into my fabric stash and sewing reusable cloth face masks for family and friends who do not sew. I've been sitting on some white and blue star fabric someone gave me and figured with the Memorial Day and the Fourth of July just around the corner, it would make a cute mask.


I made this one with ties but I can also make masks with elastic if you like.

After all that sewing, I had to take my workhorse sewing machine in for repair and  my backup sewing machine when it decided it wanted to break too. Oh no!

Monday, May 18, 2020

How to Clean Caulk Off Clothing

I had a quick little caulking project I needed to do and didn’t bother changing into paint clothes because I didn’t think I’d get messy.

 Which of course meant I got several big smears of caulk on one of my few pairs of good jeans.

 It. Never. Fails. Why won’t I learn?

 How to remove caulk from clothing

Pin this hack to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends! 

Can these jeans be saved? Yes they can! It is very easy to remove caulk spills from clothing. here’s how.

 

How to Remove Caulk From Clothing

Thursday, May 14, 2020

DIY Mental Health Jar and Friday Favorites Week 529

While cleaning my craft room I came across the word of the year memory jar I made by painting a recycled salsa jar with stained glass paint (there are several types of glass paint here,) repainted the lid from a project where I broke the jar, and decorative stickers and bits from my craft room. (I am including affiliate links for your convenience.) For awhile I wrote down the little and big moments that made me feel happy, warm, or cozy (the loose English translation of my Danish Word of the Year Hygge) with the intent on reading the contents of the jar on that year's New Year's Eve but it fell by the wayside as the year went on.

After one too many social media conversations about being disappointed about upcoming plans, events, and whatnot being cancelled due to Covid-19 (and then feeling guilty afterward for being sad over something so trivial when so many people around the world are going through much, much worse) I started to think that for my mental health I should try to focus on what little good things are happening around me instead the daily mountain of bad.   


I took the ribbon and label off the jar to repurpose it for my Mental Health Jar.
Photo courtesy of my food blog Lazy Budget Chef

No good or happy event or moment is too big or small for my jar, because let's face it, things are so weird that I road the happy until the wheels fell off the day I ordered Instacart groceries and the original delivery date was a week away until I added my product substitutions and the delivery date changed to later the same day of the order - which hasn't happened in a very long time.  Kinda silly, I know, but at least it points my head in the direction of complimenting rather than complaining.

I showed you my project. Now you show me yours!

Monday, May 11, 2020

20 New Sewing Tips, Ticks, and Hacks for Beginners to Professionals!

The first thing I ever sewed was a pair of potholders for my Kindergarten teacher’s Christmas gift and I’ve been sewing in one way or another ever since. I’ve picked up a lot of tips and tricks along the way through formal classes, fellow sewists, and the good ol’ trial and error (and error and error) and I’m pretty good at it. Or at least good enough that other people pay me to sew things for them from time to time.

Lately I’ve been fielding questions from folks who are breaking out their old sewing machines after a long hiatus – a quarantine will do that, you know. I’ve also been brushing up on new sewing hacks from fellow sewing and costuming friends as we dive into sewing cloth face masks for our family and friends. I figure it is my turn to share what I know to help you make your sewing projects go a little easier, a little quicker, or allow you to make that one little unexpected tweak that takes your sewing project from OK to Wow!

 20 best sewing tips tricks hacks and ideas
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20 Sewing Hacks That Will Make Your Life Easier!

Thursday, May 7, 2020

Elizabethan Chemise (Shift) and Friday Favorites Week 528


I'm trying to be productive during our quarantine lock down by sewing the personal historical costume projects that got pushed way down my To Do List when paying gigs came my way and took precedence. My latest Quarantine Costuming project is a square neck linen Elizabethan Chemise which is also called a Shift.



Historically women of all social classes wore a chemise or shift as their first layer of clothing to keep the more expensive to replace and difficult to clean layers (namely their corset and dress) from getting dirty more quickly from sweat and body oils up until the end of the Edwardian area. This is long before washing machines and when Laundry Day took ALL. DAY. LONG. to do. So if you want to take a quick reading break to go hug your washing machine - go for it. I'll wait.

Welcome back!

The necklines and sleeve length of chemises changed with the fashion of the time. In Elizabethan England square necklines where all the rage and arms where covered to the wrist although most historical performers including myself, where a rounded German style gathered neck like the one below because it is easy to make. Last season, after spending fourth months quilting a new jester costume I made do with a shift I already had. The short sleeves aren't period but I can get away with it because I'm a jester and as an ad for one of the faire's vendors. Also it is stinkin' cute!

Thursday, April 30, 2020

3 Quarantine Bottle Cap Crafts and Friday Favorites Week 527

Doing DIY and craft projects keeps me from going stir crazy during quarantine. I figure it was a good time to dip into my bottle cap collection stash and use the time to recycle it into  the trinkets and favors I trade with children on that glorious day when we all will safely be able to gather in groups and my little jester character will once again perform at a renaissance festival.

Here are the three recycled bottle cap crafts I'm making. They are very easy to make for children or better yet, make them with your children!






I showed you my project. Now you show me yours!

Sunday, April 26, 2020

How to Build Recessed Bathroom Storage Shelves

I never liked the cheap plastic medicine cabinets that came with my condo. I was even more perturbed when I removed the medicine cabinet to paint the walls and found the hole and framing for the cabinet less than square - to put it mildly.

 I figure I better replace it and poked around window shopping while I was searching and pricing every thing else I needed for the guest bathroom remodel.

Have you ever priced medicine cabinets?

Be prepared for some sticker shock. Even the cheaply made medicine cabinets like the one I have are a couple of hundred bucks. The medicine cabinets  made from actual wood are even more expensive while still lacking style. That’s more that I wanted to pay for a medicine cabinet in a second bathroom we don’t use often.

I really don’t need a medicine cabinet with a mirror door because there is a mirror hanging over the sink.  Actually I really don’t need a door either because the way it was installed, the current medicine cabinet door smacks into the bathroom vanity light if we’re not careful. Open bathroom storage shelves are the only answer.

how to replace a medicine cabinet with recessed shelves in a bathroom
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I stood in the guest bathroom staring at the wall and trying to visualize how to turn the medicine cabinet hole into an open storage niche as pretty yet affordable as possible when I realized I was standing on my answer – use leftover tile from the bathroom floor!

Thursday, April 23, 2020

Mini DIY Ceiling Light Makeover and Friday Favorites Week 526

I've been keeping busy with a bunch of quarantine mini makeover projects.

Because quarantine mini makeover sounds so much nicer than bunch of nagging DIY projects I put off forever and need to do something to keep from going stir crazy in lockdown so I'm finally getting around to it.

Ahem.

My late project is getting rid of one more ugly builder ceiling light in the in our upstairs hallway. I installed this industrial beauty while my husband was making dinner. One more light banished - 2 more to go!

You can buy a similar semi flush mount ceiling light here (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) 


The thing that made my heart sing "this is the ONE"are the Edison style bulbs (you can buy Edison style light bulbs herebecause they work with tapestry and pendulum clock. Best of all you can buy LED Edison bulbs so I get the energy saving LEDs I like and my husband gets the warm yellow light of an incandescent light bulb he likes. We both win.

I showed you my project. Now you show me yours!

Monday, April 20, 2020

How to Sharpen Scissors and Rotary Cutting Blades at Home

There is nothing like cutting fabric with a pair of sharp scissors or better, yet a rotary cutter.

Unfortunately using them to cut fabric also dulls the blades on your scissors and rotary cutter. Have you tried to cut fabric with dull scissors? It’s more like chewing fabric than making nice, crisp, clean cuts.

As a kid, I vaguely remember fabric stores holding fabric scissor sharpening events to draw shoppers to the store. In all honesty, I’ve never heard of one now that I’m an adult with a drawer full of dull fabric cutting tools and blades that need a little sharpening love.

What to do?

Easy! You can sharpen scissors and rotary cutting tools yourself!

how to sharpen scissors and rotary cutter blades
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How to Sharpen Fabric Scissors and Rotary Cutting Blades the Easy Way!


Thursday, April 16, 2020

Friday Favorites Week 525


Time to link up your fantastic and creative craft and DIY projects, recipes, and ideas!


Let's Party!






Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:



Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Lisa at Condo Blues - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter FB | G+ Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
Lauren at All About That Mommy Life - Pin | Inst
Jennifer at Busy Being Jennifer - Twitter | FB | Pin | Inst

If you are featured this week, be sure and grab a featured button for your blog!





You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Let's Play Quarantine Bingo!

My husband and I have been social distancing and quarantined a little longer than most. Ohio enacted our COVID-19 shelter in place order the second week of March but we were sticking closer to home the week before that.

In other words, we've been in quarantine for 6 weeks and as for how much longer nobody really knows. Which makes it difficult to come up with ideas and tutorials for you. Do I go business as usual with regular DIY and crafting projects or something else? Let me know in the comments below.

Really the only thing that has my attention right now is sewing cloth face masks for friends and family who don't sew. I'm in limbo on that very helpful mental health project until my sewing machines come back from the repair shop. I am so thankful sewing machine repair is considered an essential service. I have people counting on me.

Cloth face masks!

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Homemade Cloth Face Masks and Friday Favorites Week 524

Projects keep me sane during stressful times and while I'm a little grateful for the distraction I wish my latest sewing project wasn't so desperately needed right now. The cloth face masks I'm making are not surgical grade, N95, or medical PPE. They are type the CDC has asked everyone to wear when they are outside to keep our (potential) germs to ourselves.


The Game of Thrones fabric is my favorite.


A family member asked me to make her some and the ball started rolling from there. I guess saving every scrap of leftover fabric has its advantages in an emergency.

Time to link up your fantastic and creative craft and DIY projects, recipes, and ideas!


Let's Party!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

8 Reusable Cloth Face Mask Tutorials


When I visited Japan it wasn’t uncommon to see people wearing a simple face mask when out and about because in Japan (and other Asian cultures) when you are sick with the cold or flu. In Japan it is polite to wear a mask when you are sick and  out in public so you don’t accidentally pass it on to anyone else around you. That is something I wish we had in American culture (how many times has someone given you their cold because they weren’t wearing a simple face mask?)  but I really hate that we have to go through a deadly global pandemic to adopt it.

As of April 7, 2020 the United State Centers for Disease Control (and well as the Governor of Ohio) recommends that everyone wear a cloth face covering when out in public. The idea behind wearing a face mask in public is not what a someone yelled at me for falling for “pandemic panic” or a “false sense of security.” My reply was just as less than kind because I'm battling an allergy related sinus infection that never seems to end and don't want to pass this misery to anyone else (unlikely but I get horror looks when I sneeze with and without the mask.)


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The idea is that by wearing  even a simple, non medical grade cloth face mask when you are in public is so you may be less likely to unknowingly pass a virus to someone else when you aren’t showing symptoms and don’t know that you are sick. This precaution leaves the medical grade and N95 filtering face masks and respirators to our front line COVID 19 heroes who need to be protected from known viruses in the air around them in a front line setting. 

How to Sew a Reusable Cloth Face Mask

Sunday, April 5, 2020

How to Clean Furnace and Air Conditioning Ducts at Home

While doing a deep dive, move every piece of furniture that isn’t nailed down Spring Cleaning I noticed several of the heating and central air conditioning ducts had a black soot like dirt or dust collecting around the register grill on the wall and ceiling.   I vacuumed them with the brush and hose on my vacuum sweeper and made a mental note that I need to add this task to my deep cleaning  checklist.

A few days later it was back.

So. Gross.

DIY heating and air conditioning duct and vent cleaning
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Why do I have Black Stuff Around my HVAC Registers?

Friday, April 3, 2020

Cute Quarantine Dogs and Friday Favorites Week 523

How are adjusting to our new normal of self  isolation and social distancing? 

My husband is working from home again. Lacey got a promotion from Office Manager to CCO - Chief Cuddle Officer.


Lacey really need to work on the distancing part of social distancing though.


Ohio closed pretty much everything down earlier than most. We've had a a stay at home order in place since the first week or so of March.  My spring allergies have had me home and inside for longer than that and all I have to say is thank goodness for  library ebooks, social media, and streaming media while I start that long someday I want to do this project list. I've hit the point when I need to unplug from the 24/7 news cycle in the evenings and focus on something completely unrelated. What about you?

Time to link up your fantastic and creative craft and DIY projects, recipes, and ideas!


Let's Party!

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

How to Make a Quick and Easy Quilted Petticoat or Skirt

I figure the best way to fill my unexpected time off is to work on some of the sewing projects I never got around to doing because a paying gig came along and knocked it further down my priority list.

The first Quarantine Costuming project I made is a quilted petticoat to wear under my historical skirts in cold weather, just like the ladies of yore used to do – as the temperature when down the number of layers (in this case skirts)  goes up.

how to sew a quilted skirt
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A traditional quilted petticoat would be made out of cotton fabrics and hand quilted similar to a blanket quilt.  If you look at quilted petticoats in museums some of the quilting makes elaborate designs on the solid fabric which are gorgeous but incredibly time consuming! I didn’t want to put that much work quilting something no one is going to see but me when I wear it.

Monday, March 30, 2020

How to Caulk Around a Toilet

After tiling the guest bathroom and replacing the boring builder molding with something a little more interesting, It is time to make this bathroom look and function like a bathroom by installing a working toilet – a luxury we haven’t had in quite a while since the builder toilet went on strike.


I went with a Watersense rated Delta Faucet Company toilet (you can find similar toilets here.)  (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience.) I had such a good experience installing one in my powder room because every single thing you need to install the toilet comes in the box down to a screwdriver and the Watersense rating means it is water efficient (I think of it as the Energy Star rating for plumbing) without the hit or miss of not quite flushing everything that needs to be flushed like a duel flush toilet. 

the easy way to caulk a toilet and bathtub
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But before I can completely cross Install New Toilet off my punch list, I need to caulk around it (and also along the new tile next to the bathtub. Fortunately, you caulk around a bathtub the same way you caulk a toilet. Let’s do this!

Why Should I Caulk Around the Toilet?

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Friday Favorites Week 522

Hello everyone! How are you holding up? I'm trying to put my nervous energy to better use by doing those projects I've been putting off for far too long like Spring Cleaning (you'll find my bedroom Spring Cleaning checklist post in the link party below) and from the gunk I found when changing our furnace filter,my furnace ducts. Wish me luck!


Time to link up your fantastic and creative craft and DIY projects, recipes, and ideas!


Let's Party!


Tuesday, March 24, 2020

How to Deep Spring Clean Your Bedroom with a Free Checklist!

While most people wait until actual warm weather date on the calendar to start their Spring Cleaning, I usually follow my nose. If I do too many oh I’ll deep dust/clean that thing next time when the house is buttoned up during the winter, my dust allergies kick up and let me know that was one time too many (which happens more often than I want to admit.)

My Bedroom Deep Spring Cleaning Checklist for Dust Allergies
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 According to my allergist, I have been dusting my house all wrong for someone who has seasonal allergies. He told me to stop using a feather duster (or Swiffer type dusters like these) to dust shelves and doodads because they don’t actually remove dust. Dusters clean by throwing the dust on the shelves into the air. Oops! (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience. If you make a purchase through these links I receive a small commission that allows me to keep the lights on. Thank you for your support!)

He also told me to stop using dusting sprays, especially the scented kind, because they can affect seasonal allergies too. He told me the absolute best dusting spray to use is plain, old fashioned water.
He’s right.

I cleaned and filled an empty spray bottle with water, sprayed it onto a piece of an old towel I cut up to use as dust rags, and was amazed (and kinda grossed out) and how much dust plain water on a rag picked up from a surface that didn’t look dirty or dusty. Oh, and the price is right too!

My Bedroom Deep Spring Cleaning Checklist for Dust Allergies

Thursday, March 19, 2020

A Personal Update and Friday Favorites Linky Party 521

How are you doing? For the most part, other than self distancing and quarantining, we are fortunate that so far life is pretty normal at the Condo Blues World Headquarters and Thunderdome.  My husband's job has everyone working from home and we're grateful since we know so many in the entertainment, bar, and restaurant industry saw their business evaporate in a day and until further notice.

One of the hardest hit communities are Renaissance Festivals. There are many performers, food and craft vendors who make their living traveling and working all aspects of the faires and festivals that have shut down with no idea if they will reopen this year. To help, here is a Facebook group called Faire Relief 2020 that is full of  shops and performers from all over the United States and selling everything imaginable. You can search the group so if you need something like a chainmail potscrubber for your cast iron skillets or a crocheted hat you can do so since people are adding their shops to the group daily. I suggest trying the Facebook group before searching Etsy as many of these stores don't have one. (

If you want to keep or start exercising and no longer have access to a fitness center or gym (all are closed in Ohio) I highly recommend the At Home Workouts Lead by Circus Performers Facebook group here from my friends who performed in the Cincinnati Circus (it is a people only circus with trapeze and aerial classes/performances, jugglers and such) until all of their bookings for the year were cancelled in one horrible half of an hour. Here's the group description: "At this time when so many people are stuck at home, we want to raise their spirits and help them stay healthy. Since we too are stuck home out of work, we will be asking for a $1 donation per person per workout. It is not necessary since we know others are having financial difficulties as well, but if you have the capabilities we would really appreciate it." There are several classes throughout the day to fit your schedule. (Neither of these two links are affiliate or sales links. I'm just trying to help out some folks who need it by spreading the word.)

I'm trying to keep the writing ship afloat despite Facebook's glitch marking the urls of Condo Blues and Lazy Budget Chef post to our Facebook page here   as spam but will let me post memes about cakes that look like toilet paper all. day. long.  Weird but a minor thing I'm sure will be sorted out eventually.

Since I also have some extra time on my hands, I'm attempting to relearn how to crochet. I haven’t crocheted since my grandma taught me as a little kid to keep me out of her hair when babysitting. I figure it is time relearn. Good to know my technique is still that of a six year old’s.

Hopefully it will be a cotton dishcloth. 

I showed you my project, now you show me yours!

Tuesday, March 17, 2020

How to Plant an Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden the Easy Way!

I have more time to grow a garden during the winter and spring than during the summer. Unfortunately it is way too cold outside and I just don’t get enough sunlight inside of my house to grow even a tiny herb garden. Trust me. We tried. 

Also there is the whole I forget plants need water to grow thing. The only reason I can keep a succulent alive is that they thrive on low light and neglect.

I’ve been interested in hydroponic gardening (growing plants in water instead of soil) ever since my husband and I saw an exhibit on aquaponic gardening (similar to hydroponics except fish in a tank fertilize the plants.) I looked at several of them off and on but most of them needed preparatory (and spendy) seed pods that weren’t always what we were interested in growing or eating. Fortunately, on Christmas morning my husband unwrapped our gift and learned that you can use your own seeds to grow whatever you like in an AeroGarden.

how to set up and troubleshoot an AeroGarden indoor hydroponic herb garden
Save this tutorial and troubleshooting tips to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

We set up our indoor hydroponic herb garden and have been enjoying cooking with fresh herbs all winter which feels decadent because up until now, that as been a summer only thing.

How to Set Up an AeroGarden Indoor Hydroponic Herb Garden

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 520

The Governer of Ohio just closed all K - 12 schools for three weeks and prohibited all gatherings over 100 people - which includes a concert my community band scheduled to give in two weeks. A bummer given everyone's hard work but better safe than sorry.

Take care of yourselves. Take care of your neighbors. Be kind.


Time to link up your fantastic and creative craft and DIY projects, recipes, and ideas!


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Sunday, March 8, 2020

How to Install a Bidet Attachment

Disclosure: Tushy supplied product to facilitate this tutorial and review. It had no influence on my opinion because all opinions are my own. This post contains an affiliate links for your convenience.

I’m working on the details of the guest bathroom renovation while looking forward to the master bathroom renovation. Well planning actually. I’m not looking forward to this even more involved project where are water leak began.

Anyway.

I would have liked to add a bidet in the bathroom to save on toilet paper because according to Tushy it takes 37 gallons of water to make a roll of toilet paper and most people use 1.5 toilet rolls a week! That is a lot of water to flush down the drain, which doesn't include the amount of water it takes to flush it all down the drain.

But more importantly, with a bidet, even if you run out of toilet paper at the time you need it most, you have an option.

Share this tutorial to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


Unfortunately all of our condo bathrooms are too small to add a free standing bidet. I didn’t think much more of it until friends raved about just installing a bidet toilet seat. I was  intrigued. A bidet toilet seat attachment I can do. Then I promptly forgot about it because I'm awesome like that.

Thursday, March 5, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 519

Time to link up your fantastic and creative craft and DIY projects, recipes, and ideas!


Let's Party!



Please support and follow our lovely blog party hostesses:



Jerri at Simply Sweet Home - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst
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Penny at Penny's Passion - Twitter FB | G+ Pin | Inst
Kelly at Under a Texas Sky - Twitter | FB | G+ | Pin | Inst | BL
Lauren at All About That Mommy Life - Pin | Inst
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You can show your love for this week's favorites by going over and commenting on the posts and by pinning or sharing!

And if you love all of this week's favorites, please pin, share, and invite your friends to this week's linky party!

Lisa from Condo Blues chose
Welsh Tea Cake from Our Sunday Cafe


Jerri at Simply Sweet Home chose
Pistachio Jar Dessert from Miz Helen's Country Cottage

St Patricks' Day Pudding Shots 
Penny at Penny's Passion and Amy at A Day of Small Things 


    Jennifer at Busy Being Jennifer chose Golden Bee Card from Paper Seedlings


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Monday, March 2, 2020

Zero Waste on a Budget: How to Grocery Shop without a Bulk Bin Store

After seeing the explosion of zero waste ideas online (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing,) I get a little worried that people may not try or quit because they aren’t meeting the strict one year’s full of trash in a jar “standard” they see shown on social media.

Which is a bummer because Zero Waste living isn’t black and white or should be so restrictive it is a struggle.

Or at least it shouldn’t’ be.

In reality, shifting your mindset to a lower waste living is much more sustainable because it takes into consideration what you have available locally, what you can’t, or don’t want to give up. Are you seriously going to deny grandma life saving medication because it comes in a plastic bottle?!

zero waste living on a budget at a conventional grocery store
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Often how zero waste you can go depends upon what is available where you live. Fill your own container bulk bin sections and stores are fairly anemic around here because local code enforcement strongly reminded everyone that shoppers have to use store provided containers. Winter means nothing grows here for 6 months out of the year.  Sadly zero waste utopia doesn’t mention that. So what do you do?

You do it by concentrate on reducing and stop focusing on the zero - without guilt.

Guilt is not productive. Trying is.

How to Live Zero Waste When You Shop a Regular Grocery Store