Condo Blues: Christmas/winter




Showing posts with label Christmas/winter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Christmas/winter. Show all posts

Monday, December 1, 2014

Easy Outdoor Christmas Swag Decor

I want to add vertical live evergreen swags to my outdoor Christmas decorations. I couldn’t find them for sale this early in the season. My source for free evergreen branches (Christmas tree lots) didn’t have any to give either.

I thought I might have to wait until next year to do the project until I found my inspiration. A red and silver jingle bell door knob decoration! I’ll take four please. One to swag and hang on each of my four porch posts. 

how to make an outdoor jinglebell evergreen Christmas
  Pin this step by step tutorial for later!

This tutorial is so ridiculously easy. Lacey could do it if she had thumbs.

How to Make a Vertical Jingle Bell Christmas Swag


Sunday, November 23, 2014

Black and Bronze Bottle Cap Christmas Wreath

You need to start DIYing early, If you want to make this year a crafty Christmas and I have just the project for you!

I poked around my bottle cap collection, got some Christmas decoration inspiration from this year’s popular bronze and copper color scheme, and made a glitzy bottle cap Christmas wreath!


bottle cap Christmas wreath


How in the world did I recycle metal bottle caps into something green AND glitzy, two words that normally don’t’ go together?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

How to Make Bottle Cap Pattern Weights

I use some of the same sewing patterns more than once and if I use straight pins to pin the pattern to the fabric before cutting it out - holy pattern pin holes Batman! My patterns get pin holed to shreds.

how to make magnetic bottle cap pattern weights


Pattern weights keep sewing patterns from slipping and shifting on the fabric when you cut it out. They don't leave holes or marks in your fabric either. I have a lot of Christmas sewing coming up. I figure it was about time I used pattern weights instead of straight pins.
handmade gift idea
I tried using metal bottle caps as pattern weights. I wanted my weights to be be heavier.  I could have filled the bottle caps with plaster of Paris to add weight but I didn’t want to deal with the mess. 

Friday, October 31, 2014

Santa $1,000 Paypal Cash Giveaway! Closed

One of the things I cherish most is that just like my IRL condo, my virtual condo is full of diversity. You, yes you, the one reading this right now, makes making Condo Blues not just a blog, but a community.

I'm always looking for giveaway opportunities to thank you for being part of the Condo Blues community. A bunch of my blogger friends want to find a way to reward their readers in the same way.

We got together and thought what would people like? The December holidays are coming up. Everyone has a different opinion on what is and is not the perfect gift. Many of you don't celebrate the same holidays  or live in the same country as I do.   We thought....

What would you do with an extra $500 to spend this holiday season?

Santa $1,000* Paypal Cash Giveaway!


I know Santa implies Christmas but that's the majority of us celebrate in December. Please don't let this stop you from entering the giveaway. It is open to world wide entries!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I Hate Winter Cabin Fever Indoor Beach Party: Décor

We. Are. Going. Stir. Crazy!

The Winter That Will Not End is giving Husband and I have a serious case of Cabin Fever. We’ve had to cancel a lot of activities due to white out conditions and icy roads.

WinterBeachPartydecorcrafts


Even Lacey is feeling it. Poor thing hasn’t had a proper walk in weeks due to the snow and dangerously low temperatures.

Husband decided to spice things up by sharing his cold with me. Now I’m fighting Cabin Fever AND a cold – blah! 


We can’t make a quick trip South to soak up some sun because you guys are getting are getting it too.
Complaining about it won’t make the winter blahs go away either.


I’m fighting Cabin Fever the only way I know how.


I’m making fun of it!


I’m inviting your to a n I’m Tired of Winter Let’s Have a Beach Party party on my blogs Condo Blues and Lazy Budget Chef!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

13 Things to Have in Your Car for Winter Snow and Ice Emergencies

Growing up on the Ohio North Coast, stocking a car and being prepared for winter driving is engrained in you from an early age. It is right up there with knowing your name, address, and telephone number. Even little kids know you are supposed to have jumper cables and a blanket in the trunk of your car. You also know you are supposed to hang your head in shame when you don’t.

After I moved from the Cleveland area I thought it was weird this stuff isn't common knowledge. In fact, I still kind do.

I realized why when I saw the weather people completely freak out about the first winter snow and for every snow thereafter. They didn’t offer any of the winter driving tips I grew up expecting to hear on the news. No wonder folks panic around here and forget to how drive in snow every. single. year.

Guys, we did the same thing last year, remember?

Sigh. Guess not.

Last week, I wrote about the basic things you should carry in your car for winter snow emergencies. Most of the items in that post 14 Basic Things to Have in Your Car in Winter Part 1 live in our car full time because they are useful to have for summer too.


13morethingstocarryinyourcarforwinteremergencies


Part 2 of my winter snow emergency prep kit goes beyond the basic list (you can review the basic snow emergency car checklist here.) Again, this is not a list supplies to get you through any type of doomsday scenario. This list is to help you in a winter driving or snow emergency and especially if you drive long distances or frequent country roads where it might be awhile before help will reach you. (Been there. Done that. On Christmas Day no less. Not fun.)


13 Things to Carry in Your Car for Snow Emergencies if You Travel Long Distances or Country Roads


Friday, January 24, 2014

7 Tips for Shoveling Snow

This winter there’s no business! Like snow business! Like snow business I know!

Hey, I’m just trying to lighten the mood since we we broke snow and cold records this winter. It is warmer in Alaska than it is in the Lower 48 right now. Crazy!

Tonight they predicted we will get more snow. You know what that means.

Shoveling.

And lots of it.

howtoshovelsnow



If you can't find a kid wanting to make a quick buck on a snow day, you’ll have to shovel it yourself. If that’s the case, here are some snow removal tips to keep in mind and to prepare you for what lies ahead. 


Friday, January 17, 2014

Grateful to Be Home, and Well, Alive

I grew up with a healthy respect for driving in Ohio snow and ice even before I got my driver's license. Every winter of my childhood, I watched the weather forecast on the evening news with my parents wishing with all of my might to hear those magical words, "snow day."

During the broadcast, and almost always before they showed the school closings, the weather people ran down the tips for safe driving in lake effect snow. After awhile, snow driving techniques become ingrained in your brain, like The Pledge of Allegiance (pump your brakes, drive slow and steady not stop and start, keep two car lengths ahead and behind you, etc.) I wish the rest of the state did it too.

Then maybe I wouldn't have gotten hit by three cars last night.

I put a rice bag into the freezer so I can use it as an ice pack on my sore neck. You can learn how to make a rice bag ice and heating pad here. 

Last night, I got into the car to run a couple of errands before the light snow that just started falling accumulated to the predicted 2 to 4 inches of not fun to drive in at all.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Do You Have a Thermostat War?

Do you have a winter thermostat war in your home?

I recently read a BlogHer post about a woman asking for advice on what to do because her husband keeps the thermostat set at 69 degrees. Here's a partial quote (You can read the entire article here.)

 "He says 69 degrees is warm enough and that I should just put on a sweater and stop complaining. It's making me really resent him and wonder why he's not concerned about my comfort. What can I do?"
Apparently this is a thing.

Especially when it came to the comments. They range from suck it up Buttercup to go behind this back and jack the heat to that's abusive! The comprise it to let the wife have her way.





Monday, January 6, 2014

How to Keep Ice from Forming Inside House Windows

On cold days like today (it is zero degrees outside with a 23 degrees below zero (F) windchill) I am glad I searched for sealed the air leaks in my home. We can tell the difference because our house was warmer and our heating bill was lower almost immediately.

Unfortunately, if your home is too air tight, it can be just as bad as having air leaks. Jen and Joey Go Green found this out the hard way. If you have ice building up inside of your windows,  her post  Stop Ice Build Up on Windows has some easy ways to fix the problem.




If you live in one of the Arctic Vortex zones, please take precautions against frostbite if you are unlucky enough to be outside.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

How to Make Duck Tape Stars

This post brought to you by Duck Brand provided by ShurTech Brands, LLC. All opinions are 100% mine.

Decorating the Christmas tree is one of my holiday highlights.  Every ornament has a story and I try to artfully place each one in just the right spot on the Christmas tree.

This year I switched up some of the ornaments we display. It made  the big holes in between the some of the branches of our Christmas tree more noticeable. Instead of running to the store to buy bigger ornaments, I ran to the garage and grabbed the Holiday Duck Brand® Tape


how to make Duck Tape stars
 Pin this idea to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


Let's Duck the Halls!

No, silly, I'm not going to tape the holes in my tree together.  I'm going to use the Duck Brand® Holiday designs (Seasonal Sweets, Snowmen, Holiday Bows, and Penguin) to make stars to fill the gaps in my Christmas tree.

Monday, December 16, 2013

House of Love Christmas House Tour


I'm teaming up with a fabulous group of bloggers to tour how we decorated our homes for the holidays.

I'm trying to balance my desire to run out and buy all new whimsy fun Christmas decor to celebrate how much adopting Lacey has made us smile and laugh again with a potential tirade from Husband about our current state of Christmas tree ornament overpopulation, uh, I mean being green,  having more money to spoil Lacey with on Christmas Day. (Same eco goal, but sorry environment, spoiling our girl is the truth this year.)
To get my idea machine running, I took the decorations out of storage and grouped them on the floor in mixed up combinations  from the way I usually display them. I played with grouping items by color, theme (all snowmen, etc.) as well as things I haven't displayed in a while.

 I realized I have plenty of Christmas whimsy decor if I change how, when, and where I use it. This year I decorated using red and bright green. It really  sings with the red curtains and lime green accent wall in the living room! I clustered snowmen in the bathrooms, wood Christmas decorations on the end tables, and created my first North Pole Christmas mantel.

And glitter.

Lots of shiny glitter! Because we have more girls than boys in this house now and girls like sparkly things (that I already had on hand and never used together until this year.)

Let's start at the top!

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Everything Christmas Mega House Tour!

I just cannot believe that Christmas is almost here!

Join me and get ready to Be Inspired as I participate in the Everything Christmas Tour!

everything christmas tour 500 


What is an Everything Christmas Tour you ask? Well...because it seems as though we are all running a little behind, I thought you could use some Inspiration, Motivation or just help getting into the Christmas Spirit! To do that, I am participating with a few other bloggers, fourteen of them, to be specific, as we spend a week sharing Everything Christmas with you...Mantels, Home Decor, Porches and Wall Designs!

Thursday, December 12, 2013

How to Make a Harry Potter House Tie Necklace

Miss 3 of 10 is a magical child. She went to Diagon Alley with her family. Her wand picked her in the Ollivander's show at the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Lucky kid!

I wanted to give her a Christmas gift that helped her remember that day (besides the wand souvenir her parents bought her in the gift shop.) Miss 3 of 10's favorite Hogwarts house is Ravenclaw. I made her a Hogwarts house tie necklace for Christmas.

How to Make a Hogwarts House Tie Necklace





Tuesday, December 10, 2013

How to Make Cute and Simple Christmas Gift Jars

This is a Sponsored post written by me on behalf of Duck Brand provided by ShurTech Brands, LLC for SocialSpark. All opinions are 100% mine. There are affiliate links in this post for your convenience.

I made dried pumpkin treats for two deserving and out of state doggies who love to exchange Christmas gifts. Well, their humans like to exchange Christmas presents. The dogs just go along for the ride.

I saved two empty natural peanut butter jars from a fate worse than the recycling bin. The BPA free plastic jars are a good size and will survive shipping, but they are a little plain.  Let's change that, shall we?


how to decorate easy gift jars


Sunday, December 8, 2013

How to Make a Ho Ho Ho Christmas House Flag

 I like to hang a flag as part of my outdoor Christmas décor because it helps my guests identify my house in a neighborhood where most of the houses look a like.

I usually go with flying the Dannenberg at Christmas per Danish tradition. Unfortunately, my Danish flag has flown more than its share of holidays and birthdays (another Danish tradition) and needs to be replaced.
Lacey’s first Christmas with us is the perfect time to start a new Christmas flag tradition.


geekchristmasflag
I didn’t say it was a good tradition, just a  new and funny one.

I used fabric I had on hand to replace my nylon flag with a cloth homemade Christmas flag.  I used a little bit of mathematical/scientific/geek shorthand to make Ho cubed because I didn’t have room for Ho, Ho, Ho.

Husband didn’t buy that excuse either.

Then we had a comic in depth discussion on the correct way to Ho, Ho, Ho. I say it should be mathematical, Ho cubed. Husband argued it should be scientific notation H three O three.


How to Make a Geek Christmas Flag

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

10 Holiday Gift Guides including Food Gifts, Homemade Gifts, and Meaningful Gifts to Give Everyone on Your Shopping List

One of the things I enjoy about the holidays is selecting the perfect gift for my friends and family. I need a few ideas for my hard to shop for people on my gift list and figure since I'm combing through Christmas gift guides for ideas, you might be interested in what I found too.


Monday, December 2, 2013

Easy Lavender Goat's Milk Soap

Tis the season to get gifting, fa-lalala-la-lala-la!

One of my favorite gifts to give (and get, if you are listening Santa,) is homemade soap. This year, I'm putting my lavender bushes to good use. I'm making quick and easy calming lavender soap to give as Christmas gift exchange/teacher/hostess gifts.

how to make lavender goats milk soap
 Pin this post to Pinterest! Share it with your friends!


How to Make Lavender Soap

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

No Sew Drop Cloth Placemats

I use tablecloths to hide the fact I need to refinish our dining room table and haven’t gotten around to it. Lacey likes my tablecloths because she figured out how to use them to pull things off the table and into her eager mouth. 

I guess I better get some placemats, huh?

I got my inspiration for this project from some of the little bits of supplies I wanted to use up while I was clearing a path through the crap meticulously cleaning and reorganizing my craft room. 


rusticshimmerdropclothplacemats


How to Make Drop Cloth Placemats

Monday, November 25, 2013

4 Ways for Small Families Can Save Money at a Warehouse Club

I have this preconceived notion that the only way to save money at a warehouse club is to buy giant sizes I don’t have room to store of products full of stuff I won’t buy due to additives, etc. that won’t save money for our small family of two people and the most cuddly dog that ever lived. I got almost an equal number of yeses and noes when I asked Can Small Families Shop At Warehouse Clubs and Save Money? I figure I’ll never know for certain unless I shop at a wholesale club and find out myself.

I accepted an invitation to a holiday blogger event at BJ’s Wholesale Club. I didn’t think there would be much I would want to buy there, but tried to go with an open mind about what I’d find. If nothing else, I figured I’d find things that are useful for The Most Fabulous Readers on the Planet (that’s you!) which is the point of inviting me to this event in the first place.

4tipssmallfamiliessavemoneyatwarehouseclub

Four Ways to Save Money at a Warehouse Club