Condo Blues: review




Showing posts with label review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label review. Show all posts

Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to Install a Toilet

We have a little Water War waging in our otherwise happy family. I bring up switching to a more water efficient toilet and Husband shoots me down on principal. In his mind water efficient toilets don’t work. If we had a toilet that flushed like one of those giant barrels at the water park that tip over and drench everyone with a bazillion gallons of water that might just satisfy him.




Before we go any further let’s do a little toilet water usage history lesson:

Friday, January 25, 2013

One Small Green Change: Down Winter Coat

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

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

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

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

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


Monday, December 10, 2012

West Elm Confetti Garland Knock Off

I found a bag of purple glass ball ornaments covered in hot glue and foam from a failed Christmas wreath project in the garage this year. A few hours of picking hot glue off the salvageable Christmas balls I have enough to hang them on my DIY garden trellises to turn them into trellis Christmas trees.

I made the stars from recycling bin cardboard using the tutorial in The Big Ass Book of Crafts 2 (one of last year's Christmas gift. Thanks sis!)

It looks like I accidentally changed the outdoor Christmas decor color scheme to purple, silver, and turquoise from red and white sparkly glam Christmas decor.  That's OK. Change is good.

I need something to tie the greenery around the door to the trellis Christmas trees near the yard. I thought I found it in West Elm's Confetti System Garland but it only comes in red.

A few days later I got blue and turquoise tissue paper in a delivery.

Light bulb moment!


How to Make West Elm Paper Confetti Garland

Friday, October 26, 2012

How to Hang a Heavy Picture without it Crashing to the Ground

 My new living room accent wall looks good but adding a few pictures to the wall will make it look better.



Especially if I rehang this amazing gift from Michael. He painted it as part of his senior show at Parsons (yes, that Parsons The New School for Design Project Runway fans.) Michael gave us the painting to remember him by before he moved -sniff!



Thursday, August 23, 2012

7 Tips for Buying a Comfortable Backpack

I like to use a backpack when I am traveling because it doesn’t scream, I HAVE AN EXPENSIVE CAMERA IN HERE PLEASE STEAL IT like my fancy camera bag does.

Unfortunately, once I switched to a heavier DSLR camera my current backpacks (I’ll get to that in a minute) didn’t work for me. The backpack straps sit on a knot I have in each shoulder.

The extra weight of the camera plus whatever else I want to carry (water bottle, etc.) rides the knots like a cowboy on rodeo night. I get a migraine. Dealing with a migraine is not the way I want to spend my vacation, or for that matter, a blogging conference.



As a green blogger, I get information about backpacks made from eco friendly materials all the time. I appreciate that but an ill fitting backpack made from eco friendly materials is useless because I will spend more time and resources replacing it with more backpacks that may or may not hurt my back. If I have to go with a  backpack made from not so eco friendly materials I’d rather it be made from material that takes a beating and lasts as long as my backpack from the 80’s that I still have and use.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Plastic Free How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and You Can Too

When I first stumbled upon Beth Terry’s blog My Plastic Free Life (formerly Fake Plastic Fish), I appreciated her trying to green her efforts and reduce waste but thought she was nuts for trying to get rid of all the plastic in her life because that’s what we have recycling for, right?



Well, four years later, I now know Beth is trying not to bring NEW plastic items in her life via plastic bottle, tube, tub, or bag (and surprisingly more stuff than I realized) and tries to find USED plastic alternatives if plastic is the only option such as a smart phone or a computer. I also now know that recycling isn’t always the answer to our trashy problems, but reducing and refusing may be.

I still think Beth Terry is nuts but now for an entirely different reason. We are friends and share the same sense of humor.

I think it is important that you know I know the author and one of my tips is featured in the book before you read my review of Plastic Free How I Kicked the Plastic Habit and You Can Too by Beth Terry even though I will try to be as objective as I can in this book review.

While recovering from surgery, Beth Terry read an article about the large amount of plastic polluting the ocean – which is practically her West Coast backyard. Beth saw various items from her daily life in the photos. She decided to reduce and later remove those new disposable plastic items from her life. Beth started a blog called My Plastic Free Life (formerly known as Fake Plastic Fish) as she started her plastic free journey and took the rest of us along for the ride. Now her blog is a book and includes more details about the how, when, and whys of living a plastic free life.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Bacon Candles


I cut the top off a beer bottle, ground the sharp edges, and filled it with phthalate free bacon scented soy wax and topped it with a lead free wick. 

Why?

  • I like candles.
  • Husband likes beer.
  • Blitzkrieg likes bacon.
I floated the idea of a bacon candle to my foodie friends during a Monday Foodies Nite In Twitter chat (Join us! Please?) They went bonkers for it. No surprise there because bacon always comes up during the chat no matter what the weekly party topic. I don't understand it, but people really love their bacon.  

I made soy beer candles, crème brulee candles, and campfire candles so my bacon candles would not feel lonely in our Blitzkrieg Cancer Treatment Fund booth at the Pet Promise Rescue Run. After the candles cooled, I realized I needed a label. Then I realized I needed something to put on the label. Think. Think. Thinkidy think.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Six Pack Carrier turned Covered Storage Box

World Water Day was a big fat fail.

I celebrated by fixing a leaky pipe and exploding garage disposal that made a lovely mess of the kitchen cabinet and dishwasher. After I cleaned that up, I dropped just about everything I used to make hummus onto the floor. Then the beans exploded out of the blender and all over me. I steam cleaned the kitchen floor again. Ran two loads of dishes in the dishwasher (don't ask), and did a half load of laundry (hangs head. I always do full loads) because every dog towel, dishtowel, and towel I cut down to use instead of paper towels were soaked.

On the upside, I Spring Cleaned the under sink cabinet. 

On the downside, the six pack carrier I use to hold clean up towels was toast.

This is a good thing. Every once and awhile, I notice Mother-in-law’s look of motherly concern when she opens a cupboard or the refrigerator and sees the contents stored in a beer six pack carrier. We don’t drink that much but I hang onto the caddys for projects and of the craft beers we try that have crazy names.

However, my cupboards are starting to look like a fraternity house.  

Monday, March 26, 2012

Garage Workshop Transformation – Replace the Garage Door Opener


Normally I’m a fix it instead of replace it kind of gal. Except when it comes to my garage door opener. I’ve had issues with it refusing to close and the door popping open after tinkering with it for years. 

The break in last summer was the last straw. I’m giving in to my geek side instead of my green side. I replaced my old garage door opener with an uber sweet Craftsman Assurelink Garage Door Opener that allows me to open and close the garage door with my smart phone.

I was so excited about having a garage door opener that works 24/7  I hugged the box after the UPS man delivered it. Blitzkrieg will recreate that scene for you now.

The things I do for this woman. And treats. Lots of treats.

Even though I was excited at the prospect of having a garage door opener that worked, I had a few reservations.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Make a Mini Wood Pallet Butterfly

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing everyday that scares you.” Today that challenge came courtesy of Scribble Shop on line craft shop. No, they didn’t challenge me to DIY with a chain saw, or fire, or anything mildly explosive.

 Pity.

Scribble Shop asked if I wanted to participate in an Iron Chef type of craft challenge. Except I didn’t have to go to Japan or compete against Masaharu Morimoto.

Double pity. The original Iron Chef is tops in this house!

ScribbleShop sent me and a group of bloggers a mystery box of supplies from their shop. They challenged me to use everything in the box to make one craft project.

Bitzkrieg helped me open the box.



Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Garage Workshop Transformation: Insulate the Garage Walls

Fiberglass insulation has the reputation for being a pain in the itch to install. Fortunately, I had a better experience than I expected with fiberglass insulation when I insulated the garage door.

Insulated garage wall
The Owens Corning Garage Door Insulation kit I used was not made with the recycled content and no itch Owen's Corning EcoTouch insulation. The door kit insulation made my hands itch mildly when I pulled the rolls from the box without wearing gloves but nothing like the persistent itch-fest I experienced after doing minor DIY jobs involving the brand my builder used.

My good experience with the fiberglass garage door insulation kit made me think differently about fiberglass insulation. It also made me want to try the EcoTouch insulation I read about while researching garage door insulation options. I agreed to join Owen’s Corning’s EcoTouch DIY Review Panel and blog about my insulation adventures. 

 My insulated garage door. It looks like pillows, doesn't it?