Condo Blues




Tuesday, September 14, 2010

I Painted My Kitchen with No VOC Paint

For 6 years, Husband and I have been going around and around about what color to paint the kitchen. Since he is the Head Cook he wanted a say in how I decorated “His Domain.” I guess I can give him that. I’m also fine with him calling the kitchen His Domain. Heck, he can call it Shirley for all I care as long as he cooks my dinner!

Being a green blogger, I’m supposed to automatically choose a low or no VOC (volatile organic compound) paint to improve the indoor air quality for the health of my family. However, I had a lot of questions and concerns if a low or no VOC paint job would last. Turns out, my concerns were not such a big deal. I found out that we painted our bedroom six years ago with a paint that qualifies as a low VOC paint, even thought the company doesn’t advertise it that way. The bedroom paint job has held up over time but as for a low VOC paint, it SMELLED just as much as the mistint of conventional paint I bought from the Habitat Restore to paint the laundry room.


Since that stinky low VOC paint job held up over time, I was ready to take a chance on a no VOC paint. Hopefully, with less stink.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Baking Soda Deodorant FAIL

Have you heard that some people use baking soda as deodorant? It’s a great way to avoid parabens and aluminum chlorohydrate if you’re concerned about that. Think of all the money you'd save too!


I was hesistant at first. The one time I tried an environmentally friendly stick deodorant it gave me a rash under my arms. Ouch! Ouch! Ouch!

I’ve always had a problem with finding a deodorant that works for me, most leave me wiffy at the end of the day, especially roll on deodorant. I have better luck with solid stick deodorant but even then only two brands work for me.

I found a roll on deodorant in the back of the linen closet during a clean out. I was out of my full of parben and aluminum chlorohydrate stick deodorant. Since I am trying to green my health and beauty aids, I figured I would use the roll on and a homemade version together (in the case of stinky failure) applied with a powder-puff. After I went through the roll on I would transition to just baking soda.

I tried three different baking soda and homemade deodorant combinations. I tried each experiment for a month. I didn’t do much in the way of heavy sweaty work or working out. It was spring so it was not hot outside either.
  • I applied the roll on and used that for a few days alone. By the end of the day, I detected a faint body odor at the end of the day. FAIL.
  • I mixed equal parts cornstarch and baking soda. I used it with and without the roll on. My pits felt gritty and detected a faint body odor at the end of the day. FAIL.
  • I tried using baking soda only. I used it with and without the roll on. I my pits were not gritty but I detected a faint body odor at the end of the day. FAIL.

Home made deodorant?

EPIC FAIL

I consulted my friends from the Green Moms Carnival. These women are brilliant. I figure someone in this group has either had an experience close to mine or found a way to make it work without the stink. From our unscientific and funny discussion, it seems that successfully using baking soda and various homemade deodorants  depends on the individual’s body chemistry.

My body chemistry said, "Stinky. Please pass the parbens" at the end of the day.

I’m back to the one parben laden, aluminum chlorohydrate filled stick deodorant that keeps me from stinking. I'm not very happy about that but I am happy that I'm not stinky at the end of the day. I think my family and friends prefer me that way too.

For a different take on baking soda as deodorant, check out Beth’s experience at Fake Plastic Fish.

Have you tried baking soda as deodorant? What was your experience?


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Sunday, September 5, 2010

Coolest Castle Tree House from Repurposed Wood

Who says eco has to be ugly? Check out the three story tree house Kalleen from A Second Street’s Dad built her children. It’s the Coolest. Tree House. Ever!


A castle, with two slides, a sandbox, and a rock-climbing wall!
Photo courtesy of A Second Street.


Kalleen’s father spent all summer building this tree house for this grandchildren. Almost all of the materials are used. Reclaimed wood for the “sides”, he purchased 2 slides from the classifieds, and used an old satellite dish as the roof.

There’s sandbox on the bottom level and insulation in the walls to keep the building cool during the summer – smart move. He finished it out by reusing paneling for the interior walls.

Check out the detailing. The “masonry” is actually wood cut to simulate individual stone. Love!

I wonder if it’s big enough for grownups to play in it too?


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Sunday, August 22, 2010

Remake Your Swag Challenge Link Party

Where some see trash in those free promotional items you get at a street fair, summer festival, or convention, called swag in the PR buiz for Stuff We All Get, I see it as something to remake into treasure.

Now that the summer is almost over - sob! - I have several free stainless steel water bottles I got from various events. I like that the metal bottles keep water colder longer than my BPA free plastic water bottles. However free doesn't always come with cute,  like this water bottle I got from Crystal Light at Blogher.


Free and functional.


A little Modge Podge, scrapbook paper, paper punches, laser printer, and smarty pants attitude later I remade that water bottle into something I want to show off around town.


It says My other water bottle is 10,000 Styrofoam cups.

*Giggle*

Do you think people will laugh with me or beat me with a stick when I take my new water bottle to my next green event?

Let’s see what you came up with! The rules are simple. Use the Linky below to submit your reuse/revamp/remade or swag thing you find useful blog post to Condo Blues. Please put a link at the bottom of your post back to Condo Blues so everyone will know that you are participating in my Remake Your Swag Link Party.

I made a button if you want to use it to make it easy for you!







Condo Blues Remake Your Swag Challenge






Reminder: You can still enter my 1000 Ideas for Creative Reuse Book Giveaway until midnight tonight!


I can’t wait to see what you’ve come up with!

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Thursday, August 19, 2010

11 PVC Plastic Free Shoes for Back to School

When I buy a plastic item, I check for the recycling number 3 which stands for PVC (polyvinyl chloride.) If the item is made from PVC, I don’t buy it.

It is unlikely that I will lick my shoes and inject PVC. If I do I think my problems are bigger than ingesting PVC plastic! However, I might if I handle those PVC shoes by putting them in the closet and then inadvertently put my finger in my mouth or eat an apple or something. Then I’m transfer PVC particles from the shoe to my hands to that apple and right into me.



Pin this post to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!


It’s just easier to avoid buying shoes made with PVC. Fortunately, many companies make PVC free shoes. I was happy to find that many of these shoes are already in my closet including my husband's favorite brand of running shoes!

1. Adidas (learn more about them here) Their sandals the have EVA (Ethylene-vinyl acetate), rubber outsoles; their sneakers have molded EVA insoles and midsoles. I personally have a pair and love them. (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this pot for your convenience)

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Make a Woven Ribbon and Washer Bracelet

I open the email and sat there, stunned. Martha Stewart Omnimedia invited me to their Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Bloggers' Night Out! party to meet the Martha Stewart creative team!

Mecca!

Mindful Momma said we should make something to wear to the party.

Dare I?

Inspired by the belt on my new dress, I grabbed some washers left over from the cornhole game boards I built in the garage, a bit of ribbon from my sewing stash, and made a woven washer bracelet using A Steno Pad for My Thoughts woven washer necklace tutorial.

Another project that perfectly illustrates my tool girl side and my girly girl crafty side.