Condo Blues: travel




Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label travel. Show all posts

Monday, July 31, 2017

36 of the Best Zero Waste Lunch Bags for Back to School

I'm on a bit of Zero Waste kick lately. Well, more like Trying to Reduce Our Household Trash Each Week Without Living Like Little House on the Prairie Because Electricity and Indoor Plumbing Are Fantastic but that is too much to write over and over in one blog post.

Specifically, I'm looking for low waste lunch bags and container ideas.

I'm finding it is better for me to pack a dairy free lunch, dinner, or snack to better deal with my food allergy when I'm on the go. I like to travel as light as I can (especially if I'm at an event and have to cart stuff with me all day,) I don't want my food to dry out before lunch (which means cloth snack bags are out) and as much as I love my glass food containers they are too heavy and impractical.

All of that and it must be attractive without looking like something a preschooler would carry.



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Sunday, January 31, 2016

Tiny House Living Lies

I think tiny houses are twee and adorable. I have dozens pinned to my Pinterest boards (follow me @condoblues on Pinterest, pretty please?) I applaud living in a small ecological footprint. There positive financial aspects too. I understand how freeing that can be.

But.

I find it hard to believe that living tiny is nothing but utopia.


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We never hear about the downside of living in a tiny home. Sure, there is talk of how difficult it can be to decide what to keep and what needs to go. However the elephant in the itty bitty room no one will openly admit or discuss especially on tiny house TV shows is this:
  • It is illegal to park and live full time in a tiny house on wheels in most parts of the United States. Legally parking a tiny house is the most problematic issue and absolutely not addressed. Most camp grounds and mobile home parks forbid tiny houses - which is their right - as they are privately owned. Buying or renting land and plopping a tiny house on it may not solve the problem either. Local zoning laws often include minimum square footing for a house on a foundation and prohibit full time camping in a RV which is how tiny houses on wheels are classified. And sometimes what must be done to make a tiny house legal makes living in it all but impossible as Rowdy Kittens discusses here in her post On the Road Again…
 

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

What it is Like to Spend New Year's Eve in Times Square

I remember as a kid, telling my parents on New Year's Eve that someday I want to be in Times Square with all of the people we saw on TV. I never thought about that childhood wish until many years later as an adult, Husband and I announced to our New Year's Eve party guests that we weren't throwing a party the following year to give other friends a chance to host.

One of our best couple friends were relieved. They said we made it easy for them to move forward with their plans to spend New Year's Eve in Times Square the following year.

"Lucky, I've always wanted to do that!" I said.

"Come with us!" They said.

So we did.

Ironically the day after we signed our lives away and closed on our condo Husband and I skipped town on a plane to New York City to meet our friends for New Year's Eve. We had the trip planned long before we decided to become homeowners!

Spending New Year's Eve in Time Square is a little different than what you see on TV. I wrote about our Times Square New Year's Eve tips, tricks, and what to expect on my food blog Lazy Budget Chef in  this post:


The Everything Guide for Spending New Years Eve in Times Square

 



What are you doing for New Year's Eve?


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Sunday, August 16, 2015

Quick Craft: Make a Portable Phone Charger Case

I  love photography. My phone has a good camera and I’m not shy about whipping it out to document the beautiful, fun, or surprising things that cross my path in any given monument. Unfortunately, using the camera so often kills my phone battery. I started carrying a portable phone charger or two in my bag or backpack when Husband and I go on one of our adventures.

My quick phone charger holder makes a great gift. 
You should pin this post for gift giving season!


I quickly realized I need some sort of phone charger holder or case to store the charger and the cord together.  Why are the things you need to grab quickly always in the deepest darkest corners of your bag or purse and take ages of rooting around to find? It’s some sort of purse conspiracy I tell ya.

Sunday, August 2, 2015

Yetis are Real I Have Proof!

Husband and I spent a day in Ohio Amish country.

We found Sasquatch.




Absolute 100% proof that Garden Yetis exist! 

Husband wouldn't let me take him home. He said we should let Bigfoot stay free range.

The new landscaping plans are totally ruined.

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Thursday, July 16, 2015

Tiny Treehouse House Tour

 Tiny houses are all the rage. They are cute, twee, and have a ridiculously small carbon footprint.

What could be better?

How about a tiny house built in a tree that's a little B and B? That was originally built to be a tiny tree house brewery until the owners converted it into a rental cabin?


 I am completely smitten with the gorgeous arched stained glass window!
Photo courtesy of The Mohicans.


Tuesday, June 16, 2015

25 of the Best Ways to Reuse Old Pill Bottles

Husband and I are relatively healthy people but every once and awhile we get sick enough to require prescription medicine. More often than not the medicine comes comes in a plastic bottle that aren’t always recyclable.

I really hate tossing something like that into the trash and sending it to a landfill to sit on a mountain of garbage for a thousand years.



Pin this post to get organized!


Sunday, May 31, 2015

How to Make an Easy Cargo Net Car Organizer

I have a bunch of junk in my trunk.

The trunk of my car, people. Not my badonka donk! Although truthfully….oh never mind.

The biggest mess maker is the stash of reusable shopping bags we keep in the car. They slosh out of the big shopping bag that is supposed to contain them and into everything else in the trunk.

How to make a cargo net car organizer
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The last straw was when the mess hid a container of orange juice that popped out of a grocery bag and it sat in a hot car for several days. I still have nightmares about the stench that followed. So. Evil. Horrible. BAD.
Most car organizers I found are not made for sedans, only SUVs. Besides we don’t want a shopping bag and stuff organizer that doesn’t allow us to fold the back seat down. This is mostly an issue during the summer when I’m hauling color guard equipment back and forth to practice.  The flags don’t fit in the trunk unless I fold the seat down.


Would you believe this is what my trunk looks like when it is neat? Sad. I know.

 Dollar Store Cargo Net Car Organizer Tutorial


I gave Lisa my idea to hang her shopping bag organizer on the side of the car trunk instead of the back. She came up with using laundry bags because the mesh is small enough to contain the most important thing in our car (besides snacks) my Frisbee and tennis ball for the dog park!


You will need:

Mesh laundry bag - This mesh laundry bag is similar to the one I used  

Fabric - I used a fat quarter of fabric

Interfacing

Scissors

Large grommet kit (I used this grommet kit from Dritz)

Iron and Ironing board

Thread

Straight pins

Sewing machine

Magnet hooks (I buy my magnetic hooks here)

Hook and loop tape 

A canine project manger – Try to find one who doesn’t sleep on the job.


 
I am not sleeping on the job! My eyes are open!

Make it:

1. Remove the drawstring from the laundry bag. I cut the end off with a pair of scissors.

2. Use the scissors to cut a horizontal side open from the closed end of the bag to the open end of the bag.

3. Measure the circumference of the horizontal opening in the laundry bag and add 2 inches to that measurement for a seam allowance.

4. Use this measurement to measure and cut a piece of fabric and interfacing that is that long and 4 inches wide.

5. Fold the rough lengthwise edges of the fabric right side (the pretty part) to wrong side (the back of the fabric) in and iron them into place to make smooth edges to your banding.

6. Fold the banding wrong sides together and iron it into place. This will be the banding for the top of your cargo net trunk organizer.

7. Use the straight pins to pin the banding around the top of the open mesh bag.  Use the sewing machine to sew the top and the bottom of the band into place.

I used a zig zag stitch because I forgot to reset my sewing machine back to a straight stitch after a previous project and I figured why not? You can use a straight stitch too.

8. Pin the raw open end of the laundry bag closed. Use the sewing machine to sew the bag closed.


You should use a straight stitch to make this seam.

9. Set two grommets (also called eyelets) into the band of the bag using the grommet tool that comes with the grommets. Read my tutorial How to install grommets if your kit doe not come with clear instructions.



10. Sew a piece of the hook side of hook and loop tape to the back side of the fabric band. This will help keep your trunk organizer in place and against the carpeted wall of your car trunk.

Warning: This will not be strong enough to keep the organizer full of stuff attached to the side of your car trunk. Guess how I know? That’s why we need Step 11.

11. Attach the magnet hooks to the metal sides of your trunk, hang the cargo net up, and get that organize that junk in your trunk!


This is such an easy way to organize the stuff in our car and make sure it stays put! I made two net car organizers for each side of our trunk. One cargo net keeps our reusable shopping bags organized. The other cargo net keeps our picnic blanket, Frisbee and toys, and car seat covers from sliding all and hiding fetid orange juice containers for days on end.

 
Easy organization. Love that!

The net organizers are easy to remove if we need extra room in the trunk for a trip or when I buy something big at the home improvement store.

How do you keep your car organized?


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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Sporty Safe Sun Sunscreen with Goddess Garden Organics (Review)

This post is sponsored by Green Sisterhood but the opinion is of my own.

I seriously need to up my safe sunscreen game. My allergist gave me a new medication that makes me extremely photosensitive and I will be for most of the summer while the meds do their work.

No big deal. Sunscreen is a way of life because I’m pale.  I’m very familiar with the affects of UVB sun rays because you can see how they damage the top layer of your skin with the naked eye. For me UVB rays always cause a sunburn but for some of you hardier types the skin damage shows up as a sun tan.

My doctor told me that is a good start but I have to be just as concerned about UVA rays too.


differnce between UVA and UVB sunburn
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Sunday, April 12, 2015

How to Make Reusable Rosacea Makeup Remover Wipes

April is Rosacea Awareness Month. Although for me the horrible scars on my forehead that I shamefully hide with my bangs reminds me that every day is Rosacea Awareness Month.

You can’t cure rosacea (bummer) but you can control it and minimize breakouts and flares. The problem is that everyone who has rosacea may have different things that trigger it and it may not respond to the exact same treatment for every person who has it (another bummer.)

In my personal experience, the only way I got my disfiguring rosacea under control was with a specialist dermatologist after years of trying every home acne treatment I could find. Once my doctor got my skin cleared up with medication, we moved on to ways I can reduce my rosacea flares without meds.




make rosasea makeup remover pads



Before we go any further, let me remind you that I’m not a doctor. I strongly suggest that you see a dermatologist if you have acne that never goes away or you suspect your constant red face is rosacea.

The National Rosacea Society has some good information and resources if you need them.  This isn't an ad. I find them helpful if I have a question in between doctor's appointments.

Friday, April 3, 2015

What’s Better Than a Vacation? Winning a MAKEcation of Course!

I have a decent collection of tools and know how to use them but there a number of things I’d like to try but would feel more confident if someone showed me how to use say, a lathe, so I can keep my figures while working on my first project.

I can’t be the only one who feels this way about using tools, can I?

I guess not because Craftsman is holding another MAKEcation event this September Sept. 24-27 in Brooklyn, New York and will teach you how to use all sorts of tools to make really cool things. It sounds like DIY Vacation Heaven!

Craftsman-MAKEcation 2

Last year they taught everyone how to make a wood goblet on a lathe. Learning how to use a lathe is on my Bucket List.
 
You can win a chance to go to the ultimate making vacation that will put true makers' blood, sweat and tools to the test, letting you sharpen skills and learn new ones. 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

How to Fix a Hole in Shorts without Sewing!

All of my summer shorts are too big after I met my weight loss goal. It is a nice problem to have.

Fortunately, I had a couple of pairs of pants lurking in the back of my closet that make better shorts than pants. It didn’t take much time or effort to cut and hem the pants into shorts (learn how I make pants into shorts here.) It is a trick my mom used when I blew out a knee on a pair of pants or jeans as a kid. Boom. I got a new pair of shorts.



Green. Cheap. And most importantly, I had the perfect pair of shorts that weren’t too short or too long. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Our Getaway to Put-in-Bay

While Lacey’s separation anxiety is a wee bit better, but it still goes to orange alert level often enough that Husband and I haven’t taken a vacation since she joined our family.

WE NEED A VACATION.

I suggested we go to Put-in-Bay. It is close enough to go home early if we need to and still far enough away that it is Not Home.

This trip also fixes a hideous wrong I committed while growing up in on Lake Erie. I have never actually been to the Lake Erie Islands. I think I broke a local ordinance or something.

Whoops.

We knew we wanted to visit both islands. I wasn’t sure which one we should stay on. I arbitrarily picked staying on Put-in-Bay and I’m glad I did.

There were more things we were interested in doing on Put-in-Bay although I had to fulfill a childhood science class obligation and take a day trip to Kelley’s Island.

Every single science teacher used the Great Lakes and the Kelley’s Island Glacial Groves as an example of how the glaciers changed the landscape after the they receded. I finally saw them in person!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

7 Simple Steps to Tune Up Your Bike for Summer

I didn’t think we needed to do anything to our bikes since they are not fancy racing bikes. I was afraid to take my Toys R Us special to the Serious Cyclist Store for maintenance because I thought they’d make fun of me for riding a kid’s bike (yes, That. Short.) or hard sell me into a fancy bike when I’m not ready to upgrade yet.




Well, a flat tire I didn’t know how to change proved me wrong on all accounts at the Serious Cyclist Store. Like most bike shops, their philosophy is every one needs to start a sport somewhere and they were really nice. They didn't make fun of my kid's bike either. In fact,  some of our bike shops hold workshops about basic DIY bike maintenance that they do for coin.

I learned I should take better care of my current bike with some simple yearly bike maintenance that will make it easier to ride and last a little longer.


7 Easy Bike Maintenance and Cleaning Tips for Causal Riders


Sunday, May 11, 2014

How to Make Crutch Covers and Pads

I am diligently going to physical therapy and doing my daily homework exercises to heal my leg injury. My physical therapist is happy with my progress. I hate wearing the boot, but it helps with pain management so well I don’t need to take painkillers that make me loopier than I already am or spend my day with my leg incased in ice bags.

That’s good. It also means I am in The Danger Zone.

I am in that place where I feel better and need to try going without the boot for a little bit each day which makes it easy to overdo it and take a step backwards in the healing process the following day. This is easier to control at home. It may not be so easy when we have houseguests because I know we will do a lot of walking.

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Monday, April 7, 2014

How to Make a Milk Carton Easter Bunny Basket with #LifeforLess

This post is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® and All You Magazine, but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #lifeforless http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV.

I want to decorate for Easter. I’m running low on ideas that will appeal to our wee holiday visitors.

So I went to Kroger for a little Me Time after an extra challenging dog behavior day and to recharge my creative batteries.

No, I didn’t buy out the store (although I needed a few lactose free items that only Kroger carries.) I printed a $1 off coupon offer for ALL YOU magazine through coupons.com (while supplies last) and settled into the magazine and a fancy coffee at the in store coffee shop. I don’t know if your Kroger has an in store coffee stand or not but I do know Kroger sells All You in all of their stores nationwide.


howtomakemilkcartoneasterbunnybasket

Keep reading! I’ll teach you how to make my Easter Bunny basket inspired by All You.


Tuesday, January 21, 2014

14 Basic Things to Have in Your Car in Winter

Growing up near the Cleveland snow belt on Lake Erie has its advantages. Starting with the first snowfall of the year, the local weather people constantly remind you what emergency items to carry in your car for winter in case you got stuck in the snow (or more likely, get stuck in the mud after the snow melts.)

Prompted by the latest snow storm and my car accident last week, I’m spreading the word on what to have your car during winter snow emergencies.

14thingstocarryinyourcarforemergency
 Pin this list of ideas to your Pinterest boards! Share it with your friends!

You probably already have most of the items on the list. The basic items don’t cost a ton of money and are things you can use year round. I’ll do a Part 2 later this week with the more advanced/prepared items for winter driving. If I don’t this post will be way too long!

14 Things to Carry in Your Car for Snow Emergencies

Thursday, October 10, 2013

One Eco Dress, Three Looks, and a $75 Giveaway!

Happy news! I met my weight loss goal! I am now back into what is considered thedressyOasisdress healthy range of my Body Mass Index (BMI.) I realize BMI measurements and numbers aren’t a perfect indication of health because there are other factors in play such as muscle mass that can skew BMI numbers to the overweight range of a perfectly healthy and fit person.

I’m using BMI as a healthier target range for my height instead of  picking an arbitrary weight or saying that I want be a size 2 like I was in high school. Not realistic and probably unhealthy skinny for my only slightly older than high school body. (I may not lie about my weight but age is fair game!)

Eating a whole foods, no trans fat, no hydrogenated oil, no processed food from a box diet to lose the weight wasn’t difficult. In fact, I’m following the same no bad stuff diet that made me gain the extra 25 pounds I had to lose. I’m proof that if you eat too much of anything, even very good for you things, and get little to no exercise you will gain weight.

Thanks to my trainer and high energy exercise buddy Lacey, I lost the last of those 25 extra pounds. I feel better (especially now that my waist is no longer larger than Husband’s.) I also have a new problem. My clothes don’t fit! I need new duds.


Thursday, August 8, 2013

I Got My Groove Back at BlogHer13

I spent last weekend at the Big Dance of female blogging conferences – BlogHer. While last year at BlogHer was good, I was determined to make this year even better because I am not grieving this year.

My goals were to learn from my fellow bloggers, network with brands to find ways to thank you for being The Best Community on the Internet, and take advantage of some the pampering and such to help me get my groove back as part of Project Me.

Kelli Edwards from HGTV and I at the La-Z-Boy party, Miss Lori and I living it up at the SocialLuxe Lounge, Kim Moldofsky The Maker Mom and I in my favorite learning space – the hotel lobby. The fabulous Amy from Mod Podge Rocks and I meet in real life! Tamara Rubin of MisLead tests my wedding ring for lead and heavy metals at the Healthy Child Healthy World party, Leah Segedie of Mamavation demonstrates the benefits of healthy diet and exercise by lifting Ted Rubin of Collective Bias

Oh, and the goal of not puking in the Expo Hall because I over lactosed myself again. That one is important.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

12 Tips for Low Waste Air Travel

I love to travel and have always hated dealing with checked luggage even before airlines started charging for it. Through many trips for pleasure and business I have packing a suitcase down to a science. I can travel almost anywhere – including a week in England – with a carry on suitcase and a backpack as my personal item.


 Air Travel Packing Tips