Condo Blues

Monday, September 15, 2008

EcoSmart Organic Insecticide Review

I have a little agreement with nature. As long as ants, spiders, bugs, and the like stay outside of my home, they get to live. Once they come inside The Condo, I will squash them like a bug. End of story.

For the first four years of Condo living this arrangement worked out very well. Until now. Some sugar ants decided to test my theory and infiltrated my kitchen via the threshold of a sliding glass door. Oh, I could squash all I wanted but more came. I tried caulking up the crack under the baseboard where those itty-bitty ants entered The Condo. That worked for about a day until the ants ate through the caulk laughing at me all the way- ha ha HA!

So why didn't I just pull out the bug spray, you say? One small problem. His name is Blitzkrieg. My dog likes to pull sentry duty right in front of that sliding glass door. Any bug spray that I use to kill the ants on the floor by the door will probably get on or in him, since he likes to lick his paws. And while I want to kill bugs I don't want hurt my dog.

Therefore, when EcoSMART Organic Insecticide contacted me about sponsoring a contest on my blog I jumped at the chance to try a free sample. I tried the EcoSMART Ant and Roach killer. It is made from organic plant oils (rosemary oil, cinnamon oil, wintergreen oil, mineral oil, and canola oil) and is supposed to kill bugs naturally. It is safe to use around children and pets.

But does it work?

Friday, September 12, 2008

My New Blogging Gig!

Capessa Blogger
Sustainable Style I write
my new blogging gig

Today is Friday and no one is singing the blues in this Condo Today. For three very wonderful reasons:

Happy Reason 1: Next week, I'm running my very first contest here on Condo Blues. It's sponsored by a great company (no relation whatsoever to the entities I will touch on in Happy Reason Number 3) and I hope that everyone comes back to me September 12-19 to get in on this great giveaway. I hope that this contest is the first of many yet to come.

Happy Reason 2: It's raining! My parched plants are very grateful for today's rain although I hate that it's at the expense of my family, friends, and readers that are in the path of Hurricane Ike. I'm especially concerned for Forced Green whose hurricane survival plans include either lashing herself to a big tree in her yard or moving to the moon because she's so sick and tired of hurricanes and hurricane season. I only hope that if she chooses the tree option that the hurricane (or possible resulting tornado) doesn't blow her and the tree to the Land of Oz. If it does, then I hope she brings us all back sweets from The Lollipop Guild or a pair of swanky new shoes. I hear Oz is a great place for shoe shopping. Just ask Dorothy Gale.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

How to Make Old Doc Martin Boots into a Hip Flower Pot

Husband and I spent at weekend at the Dublin Irish Festival. We saw the sights, we ate some pretty good haggis (yes, it’s a Scottish food, but we Celts in America sometimes have to have Scottish stuff at our Irish events because we don’t have access to 100% Irish entertainment or food vendors all the time like they do in say, Ireland), listened to great bands such as The Tartan Terrors (friends of ours from our Renaissance Festival days), Gaelic Storm (you might recognize them as the steerage band in that tiny film about a boat that sank), and spent quite a bit of time at the Celtic rock stage listening to The Prodigals, and yes, Bad Haggis.

After that I got the itch to make something creative and yes, a little bit rock and roll. Even, dare I say, a little punk rock? I decided to dig out my very first pair of Doctor Martian boots and make a flower planter out of them.

First I made a self watering planter from a plastic water bottle Husband got after running a road race and a bit of leftover t-shirt material.

Photobucket Image Hosting

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Strappy Leather Drawer Pulls

Sometimes it's the little details that can turn a potentially blah set of drawers into a wow set of drawers. I think these leather drawer pulls from Spinneybeck do just that.

They come in a wide range of Bauhaus-inspired colors (kudos to you if you recognize that I'm taking about the Bauhaus design movement and not the punk rock band) and are designed by Emanuela Fattini.

Yes, these drawer pulls are on the pricey side. I suppose that's what you get for good design and the company earning a Greenguard certifification (meaning that the company is certified that it uses environmentally friendly manufacturing and shipping processes.) However, if you're handy, I'm sure you could come up with an inspired-by design or two made out of strips of leather or rubber (if you don't like the look or use of leather) and some screws.

This type of drawer or cabinet pull would be a great finishing touch to either an industrial or country style kitchen. What do you think?

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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Environmentally Friendly Low VOC Wood Glue, Who Knew?

Good things come to those who blog, or in my case, those who are lucky enough to win a contest because I won a nifty tool bag and two bottles of environmentally friendly wood glue called EcoGlue Premium Wood Adhesive from The Handyguy’s Podcast. Thank you Brian and Paul, you're the best!


Now I have to admit that not until I got the bottles of low VOC EcoGlue in my hot little hands did I ever think about the ecological or environmental ramifications of glue. It never crossed my mind. So I wanted to know what made EcoGlue so special. Well, it turns out that most wood glues contain Volatile Organic Compounds, which are also know as VOCs. In the case of wood glue, it’s generally formaldehyde.

Um, OK. That made me ask myself, “What actually is a VOC? What does it do? How much exposure to it is bad? And why the heck should I care?”

Friday, August 29, 2008

Put Away the White Shoes, It’s Labor Day!

Labor Day is here
should I keep wearing white shoes?
Serial Mom says no

Ah, Labor Day. Time to say good-bye to summer (my favorite season), hi to fall, and a big HELLO GORGEOUS to the Labor Day sales at the home improvement stores!

I also say a little sad good bye to kicky summer sandals, even the white ones. Now, I was taught that you shouldn’t wear white shoes after Labor Day. Apparently, arbiters of What Not to Wear fashion Staci and Clinton disagree. They say you can wear white shoes after Labor Day.

Fashion, like home decorating and design ebbs and flows. Things change. Over time what’s in goes out, what’s out is in, up is down, black is white. I get it. Therefore, I’d be willing to give the white shoes after Labor Day thing a chance if it weren’t for one thing. The movie Serial Mom.

The woman scares me to bits. Come on. You have to remember how John Water’s seemly sweet and perfect homemaker Beverly Sutphin (played by the amazing Kathleen Turner) was really a raging sociopath who humorously and violently offed her neighbors for such heinous offenses as not recycling. She bludgeoned a woman with a leg of lamb for not rewinding a rented videotape (hey, the movie was made in 1994 way before Netflix.) And then Beverly gets even with a juror who commits the sin of continually wearing white shoes after Labor Day during her trial.