Condo Blues: 2020




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

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


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

Free Online Craft Class Boredom Busters and 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!

If you are looking for something more creative to fill your extra time (or that of your children)
Bluprint is offering FREE online classes ranging from sewing, cooking, meal planning, family crafts, and more 3/26-4/9/20! (you can learn more about it through this affilate link.) 


I've taken several Bluprint online sewing classes and like them a lot. I'll definitely be taking advantage of streaming their free classes this week! I need all of the crochet help I can get.

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
Save this Spring Cleaning checklist to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


 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
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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!


Let's Party!



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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!



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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


Friday Favorites Button

Thanks so much for partying with us this week! Please add your links below.

All family friendly posts are welcome, including recipes, crafts, decor, household tips, and more!

And please support your fellow party goers by visiting other posts linked up to the party!


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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

Thursday, February 27, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 518

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


Let's Party!



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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!

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

DIY Poo Pourri Air Freshener Spray

I’m sure you are aware of those times when the air in a bathroom needs a little immediate help to clear the room of…uh…um…odor.

Even though I wasn’t thrilled with the synthetic ingredients (although now Scent Fill  makes natural essential oil refills for Glade and other brand plug ins, ) I had scented oil plug thingies in each bathroom for that purpose. Once they became available, I upgraded to pluggable wax melt warmers similar to these and use a locally made vegetable wax and essential oil wax melts for my bathrooms. They work just as well, and I like that I easily scrap the last bit of wax from a dead candle into the smaller wax warmers to keep enjoying the scent. I am the only one who buys a candle and can never seem to find the same scent when I need to replace it? (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links for your convenience.)

Unfortunately, there are still times when your bathroom needs a little more immediate or preventative air quality attention.  Does a room freshener exist without the synthetic ingredients? 

Yep, it sure does and it is the perfect thing for zero waste, natural living, and budget minded folks.

Or you just want something prettier than a can in your bathroom, that’s cool too. *raises hand* 

how to make zero waste non toxic air freshener bathroom spray
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DIY Natural  Air Freshener

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 517

A day without power tools is like a day without sunshine.

I used a wet tile saw for the first time and didn't lose a body part. Go ME!
(And a nice little shout out for tool rental companies. Woot for quality and budget friendly tools!)


Well, almost.

It gets pretty gray and overcast around here during the winter, power tools or no.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

11 Floor Tiling Mistakes and How to Avoid Them

Tiling a floor is a pretty easy DIY job.

It is also a DIY job that is easy to mess up if you don’t follow a few precautions first. You really don’t want to put in all of the work of tiling a floor only for the tiles to eventually come loose or crack after the job is done.

how to tile a bathroom floor
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1. Not adding an extra 10% of tile to your tile order – Depending upon the design, you may need extra to match up the pattern in the room. It is also good to have extra tile on hand just in case you cut one incorrectly or worse drop one and break it.

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 516

We are celebrating a super huge big fantastic day in the Condo Blues household!

It isn't a birthday.

It isn't' Valentine's Day.

It is Lacey's 7th Gotcha Day!

Seven years ago, this little anxious girl came to live with us from an amazing act of love when her former people rehomed her with us because they couldn't help Lacey with her behavioral issues.

Lacey then.

We worked and worked with Lacey on her issues and here she is now!

Friday, February 7, 2020

How to Make a Teapot Cozy

Sometimes when I want to drink more than one cup of tea on a leisurely afternoon, I’ll make it in a teapot. Unfortunately, leisurely drinking the tea in my cup usually means the  tea in the pot turns cold by the time I’m ready for a refill.

Which pretty much negates the reason for making a small pot of tea.

The solution is to put an insulated tea pot warmer on my hot little pot to keep the tea inside it nice and warm as I slowly sip the day away...

Oh, who I am I kidding? I’m usually sewing and forget I made the pot of tea that is sitting on a table across from my sewing machine until hours later.

Either way, a tea cozy is a super simple sewing project to make and is a fantastic fabric stash bust project. I added machine embroidery from a file that came with my machine to get a little more practice in on hooping the embroidery fabric – easily the most tedious, difficult to get right, and important step in machine embroidery.

Let’ s make something!

How to Sew a Simple Tea Cozy



how to make a quick and easy teapot cozy
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Thursday, February 6, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 515

I am more likely to keep my New Year's Resolutions if I make them sometimes during the year when I need or want to make a positive change. If feels more meaningful to me and more often than not I keep them.

Which means I rarely if ever make a resolution on New Year's Eve because they end up being pretty generic and easily broken no matter how big or small.

Last year was the exception. I got a succulent planter as a Christmas gift and bought an aloe plant to be its plant buddy in the kitchen. I jokingly said my New Year's Resolution for 2019 was Don't Let the New Plants Die.

Not only do I often forget that plants need water but we get very little sunlight through our windows during the winter. Who knew water and sunlight where so important?

You can read how I hung this plant shelf on the side of my kitchen cabinets here.
If you're wondering I bought the plant which I left in the nursery pot and the planter at Ikea. 

I am happy to report that not only did I keep the succulents alive but the aloe plant grew so much I recently repotted it. Yay me!

That means if you have a plant that thrives on neglect and no sunlight - I'm your gal!

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


Let's Party!

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 514

It's been an overcast and gloomy winter so far this year and we've been having more impromptu movie nights to cope and enjoy some of our family Christmas presents.



Hi everyone! Lacey here! My plan of constantly laying on Lisa's sewing projects so she will give up and have Family Movie Nights is working! I love it when my people to pile on the sofa and pet me while they watch a movie. A dog's gotta do what a dog's gotta do to get the attention she deserves!


And all of those movie nights, including a couple of deep dives into our movie collection and a trip to the library for more obscure titles, influenced my favorite pick from last week's Link Party. 


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

Sunday, January 26, 2020

How to Prep a Wood Bathroom Subfloor for New Tile

Just like painting a wall, the success or failure of your floor tiling project depends upon how well you prepare the surface for the tile itself. The more care and consideration you take when installing the tile underlayment, the better.

Flooring underlayment is the layer of material that sits in between the subfloor and the flooring material. As tempting as it may be to skip the underlayment – don’t. The underlayment layer is what keeps your floor tile from shifting and cracking over time.

And trust me, after the killer backache preparing and tiling this floor gave me, it is NOT something I want to completely redo if I don’t have to!

Fortunately, preparing a floor for tile by installing underlayment isn’t difficult to do and once you finish the job you can immediately go into tiling the floor.



how to install waterproof bathroom tile underpayment
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How to Lay Bathroom Tile Underlayment the Easy Way!

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 513

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

Let's Party!



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Sunday, January 19, 2020

13 Things You Didn't Know You Can Store on the Back of Bathroom Doors!

Everyone who has too much storage in their bathroom raise your hand!.

Anyone?

Me. Neither.

It seems that no matter what size your bathroom is, you can always use more storage space.

Which you can easily find more of if you store things on the back of your bathroom cupboard and closet doors!

13 Bathroom Cupboard, Closet, and Door Organizations You Didn't Know You Needed Until Now


13 ways to store and organize a small bathroom
Save these small space bathroom storage ideas to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!

Thursday, January 16, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 512

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

Let's Party!



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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

12 Knit and Crochet Dishcloth, Washcloth, and Scrubby Patterns

I’m  attempting to phase out disposable kitchen sponges and scrubbers because you’re supposed to throw them out after a week or so and most hacks to clean them actually cause more bacteria to grow on them – ew!

That adds up to a lot of kitchen sponges in the trash and if I'm lucky, compost bin.*sad face*

When I hand wash dishes I’m trying to with reusables over disposables. I’m currently washing dishes with reusable  Skoy cloths (learn how you can wash them in the dishwasher here)  and reusable Paperless kitchen pot scrubbers you can also wash in the dishwasher (learn more here.) We also use this cast iron chainmail cast iron scrubber to clean sticky stuff from our cast iron pans. (Disclosure: I am including some affiliate links in this post for your convenience.)


And most recently, I’m washing up with a set of handmade dish wash clothes my mother in law made and gave me for Christmas. The cotton dishcloths are quickly becoming my favorite (if there is such a thing about having a favorite pot scrubber. Oh, the joys of adulthood!) because I can easily pop them in the washing machine a couple of uses and pull out a clean one lickety split.


Save this list of easy crochet and knitting patterns to your Pinterest boards for later! Share them with your friends!

Her thoughtful gift has me toying with picking up crochet again (something I haven’t done since I was a kid) or maybe actually finishing a project on that knitting loom (a knitting loom looks like this) I bought and gave up on. Which in that case, making dish cloths, wash cloth, and pot scrubber are the perfect project to practice knit and crochet patterns!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Spa Bathroom Remodeling Plan

Before you start any type of home improvement update or remodel you should come up with a design plan first. This way, you can decide on what to keep, skimp, or splurge to keep your project on time and on budget.

Do you know the absolute worst time to toss out your original plan and make a new one from scratch?

When your room looks like this.

condo builder bathroom demo
Demo day!

My original guest bathroom design plan had us giving the bathroom sink and vanity a makeover.

On demo day I found black mold growing on the back of the bathroom vanity which made it completely unusable.

And just like that, my beachy remodeling plan got tossed just like the mold ridden vanity.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 511

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

Let's Party!



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Sunday, January 5, 2020

Quick and Easy DIY Heart Door Decoration

I like to decorate the front door of my house but lately I haven’t been feeling the winter door wreath.  It probably has a lot to do with most of the wreaths I like have greenery that doesn’t show up well on our green front door.

Not to mention I seem to have a love hate wreath relationship. I love the wreaths my neighbors use to decorate their doors and seem to hate every wreath in the store. What can I say? I’m the Goldilocks of front door d├ęcor, apparently.

I found a contemporary, modern, classic, or rustic (depending upon how you view it) front door decoration idea when I made a fast and simple Danish Christmas Heart decoration to coordinate with the giant outdoor Christmas gnome decorations I made from tomato cages last year.

DIY outdoor Scandinavian Christmas gnome decorations

I like the look.

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Friday Favorites Linky Party 510

We're kicking off the Roaring 20's in style!


 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:



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