Condo Blues

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Organize Your Life with Six Pack Containers!

In The Condo, we like our condiments, lots of condiments. Husband is one of those people who always have a full compliment of hot sauces on hand at home and even at work to fulfill all of his lava-eating needs. In fact, Husband’s appreciation of the hottest of hot sauces once resulted in the gift of an exclusive gift pack of Dave’s Insanity Sauces for our wedding.

Me? Well, I’m a wuss when it comes to ultra spicy hot food. However, I do have an affinity for mustard. Spicy brown, Dijon, and wasabi have at one time or another joined the bottles of hot sauce stored on the shelves of our refrigerator door.

Unfortunately, all of those small bottles on the refrigerator door shelves liked to tip over after I opened or closed the door. They often looked like a load of passed out people at some shipboard party gone horribly wrong. Especially the brands of hot sauce whose bottles look little people. Clearly, an intervention was in order.

Fortunately, the answer to tidying those wayward bottles was a recycling bin away. I used an empty paper six pack holder to hold and organize the condiments on my refrigerator door.


If you don’t like the look of the paper six pack carton as is, you can certainly pretty it up by decorating your six pack organizer using paint, paper, or fabric.

Monday, January 5, 2009

3 Meals from Leftover Turkey Bones

When planning a get together with Family (both my side and Husband’s), I usually get the “bring some extra containers for leftovers” reminder. This Christmas it paid off – we got the leftover Christmas turkey carcass!

We knew that if we rendered the turkey we could easily cook a lot of the remaining meat off those bones for a second meal as well as make a huge heaping helping of homemade turkey stock for future meals.

So yes, as we drove the 150+ miles home, we changed the words to the song, “I’m Getting Nothing’ for Christmas” to “I Got A Carcass for Christmas!” because we were anticipating a couple of meals to come out of those smoked turkey bones.

My apologies to my vegetarian readers because this post is going to be all about cooking meat. While Husband and I do eat many vegetarian meals, we like to satisfy our carnivore instincts too. Chances are I will use the word carcass quite a bit because you never really get to use that word in polite society anymore. OK, well, ever. In the meantime, you vegetarians can kick back and make Husband’s vegetarian friendly Homemade Orangina instead – it’s yummy!

How to Render Bones into Soup Stock/Broth

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I'm Apartment Therapy's Best of Creative Reuse!

Look at what I found waiting for me in my feed reader after the Christmas holiday. Apartment Therapy’s green blog Re-Nest choose my picture frame dog feeder as one of Re-Nest's Best Creative Reuse of 2008 projects!


This is an amazing way to close out my first blogging year. As you may recall, Apartment Therapy’s Re-Nest featured two of my Condo Blues creative reuse projects on their blog in October, Blitzkrieg’s raised dog feeder, and my wine glass chandelier.

So, let’s see, that’s a big THREE stories featuring yours truly on Apartment Therapy this year. I blog I love and read even before I started blogging. Next goal – write an article or have a project featured in Readymade – another of my all time favorite magazines.

What a great way to end 2008! Have you had any unexpected good things come your way this year?

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Monday, December 22, 2008

A Quick and Easy Modern Christmas Decoration

As I was decorating The Condo for Christmas, I had a little problem. I needed an extra holiday something on one of my side tables. Something not so rustic folksy. Something more long the lines of the Retro Modern Bauhaus Contemporary Found and Funkified Da Da-Danish decorating style I’m striving for in The Condo.

I didn’t want to jump into the car and go to the store and buy something because honestly, I knew I wanted something on that side table, but I had no idea what. In other words, going to the store and trying find and buy the perfect holiday something was a kin to a multistore and multiday vision quest. And while fun, I just didn’t have time for that. Not that day.

So I scrounged around and came across my decorating standby – the giant martini glass. You may remember that I filled it with seedpods from a neighborhood park during the Fall.


Thursday, December 18, 2008

Woven Danish Hearts and Junk Mail Snowflake Window Decor

Some of my neighbors hang wreaths or swags on their second floor windows. I really like this look, on the freestanding Cape Cod style condominiums in my neighborhood. I thought I’d do the same this year. It should be easy enough, I thought because I could hang the wreath by opening the windows and hanging the greenery from the inside. In theory, this would have worked well. However, in the alternative decorating universe that we call The Condo, I forgot that I sealed the inside of the windows in October for winter.

In order to hang the greens, I would either have to remove all of the rope caulk from the inside of the windows or get out a ladder and climb up on the roof of the porch and possibly fall off of the roof because I am. That. Talented. Neither of these tasks was very onerous but both lacked appeal since I wanted to do the outdoor decorating job quickly and immediately – it was cold outside!

Oh, and I had one other small problem.

I didn’t buy greenery for the windows.

A shopping trip changed all of that. No, I didn’t buy wreaths or boughs of holly. That would be too easy. I walked by Anthropology’s holiday windows and found them covered in paper snowflakes.

I got inspired.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

How to Use and Make Cloth Napkins

PhotobucketI’m a recent cloth napkin convert. It’s not that I didn’t already have cloth napkins, quite the contrary. I already had two sets of cloth napkins that coordinated with my everyday tablecloths stashed in the back of a kitchen drawer. However, I rarely the casual cloth napkins because, using cloth napkins every day seems like a pain (as in the I’d always be doing laundry because we ran out of cloth napkins) and honestly, I could purchase a giagundo pack of paper napkins for a $1.00 at the store if I played my cards right.

Sure, we’d quickly tear through that huge pack of paper napkins because He Who Cooks My Dinner used to use them to clean the kitchen instead of the small army of wipes, towels, cleaners, and sponges that we store under the kitchen sink (Harrumph!) Annoying, but still cheap.

However on one snowy, icey, and all around cruddy December day we ran out of paper napkins. I didn’t want to slog through all of that yuck to drive to the store and buy just one pack of paper napkins. I pulled the cloth napkins out of the drawer. I figured I’d try using the cloth napkins for daily dinners until my next grocery shopping trip. Well, my laziness paid off. I found that the cloth napkins were easier, cheaper, and a whole lot classier to use than the paper napkins. Not quite the pain in the hoo-ha I originally imagined. And, yes, the cloth napkins are more environmentally friendly too. This goes double for me, because I already had them in that the-greenest-thing-you-can-do-is-use-the-stuff-you-already-have way. Bonus.