Condo Blues

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I Marched in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade

My feet hurt. I was tired. My hands in their it-was-supposed-to-be-colder-than-this fleece gloves were starting to overheat. My frustration grew. I could not always hear the cadence from my band to stay in step due to the drum corps in front of us, the echo from the buildings, and the parade announcers over the loudspeakers. Out all of the parades I have ever marched or will ever march, this parade had to be perfect.

Then I saw it. I sucked in my breath like an excited child seeing for the first time what Santa placed under the tree on Christmas morning.

The Presidential box.

I am marching as an ally in the Lesbian and Gay Band Association (LGBA) marching band. Two hundred and fifteen people strong we are the largest civilian marching band in the 2013 Presidential Inauguration Parade.

Everything I was feeling vanished except patriotism, pride in my band, and the profound responsibility that I am there for something greater than myself.

Photo courtesy of MSN

Friday, February 1, 2013

Painted Thrift Store Bathroom Mirror

My upcycled mirror!
You know you nabbed a good thrift store find when two strangers walking into the store compliment you on the beat up mirror you are carefully loading into your car trunk.

True story.

With a little spray paint love, this pealing gold paint and not in a good way mirror is going to add a little more fun and a lot more less builder standard to my guest bathroom.

I bought the mirror last fall to replace the giant builder mirror in the bathroom. Builders use these giant mirrors to make bathrooms look bigger (with varying degrees of success) and to sometimes cover up quickly done or not painted very well walls (as least this is what I am finding in my own home. *sigh*)

I'm giving the new bathroom faucet a thumbs up in this photo NOT the enormous mirror.

Let’s paint this guy!

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

DIY Goals for 2013

It's a new year and time to make those yearly goals. Last year I was waaaay too ambitious with my DIY goals. I made 30. I didn't leave room for life getting in the way and boy did it. I only finished 12 of my 2012 DIY goals.

I supposed I could cheat and make my missed 2012 goals my 2013 DIY goals but there are a few items I'm not sure if I want to do like building a fireplace mantel. I want to live sans mantel for awhile to test the waters.

Crazy, I know.

This year I think it might be best for me to make a few more general goals than a long list of specific goals. That way, if life gets in the way or I get my fantasy dream job as a Caribbean beach Quality Assurance Tester which requires Husband and I to dump everything in snowy Ohio for warm beaches, I won't feel like such a big fat failure at the end of the year because I didn't meet a long list of goals. I'm the Queen of Overscheduling. *royal wave*


1. Concentrate on projects using the items I already have.  I'm not saying I won't buy any new materials or components to complete the project if that's what the project requires but I really need to knock the growing list of projects off my Someday list.

2. Find/create storage. We're pretty good about purging and donating the stuff on a regular basis so things don't pile up.  But there are some things we like to keep around, like say food but only one designated cabinet in the kitchen for it. I have some stuff stored in plain sight (aka no place to call home) as a temporary thing for far too long.

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, January 21, 2013

Homemade Shaving Cream FAIL

I saw I had all of the ingredients to make the homemade shaving cream for sensitive skin post I pinned to my Pinterest boards (give me a follow, pretty please?) I also got Husband's OK to give it a try. He has sensitive skin and unfortunately the only type of shaving cream he can use is full of synthetic ingredients - natch. If this works for him, it is one less of the few synthetic ingredient things we have to deal with.

I heat and mix the ingredients together. My shaving cream looked more like thin soup than creamy shaving soap. I figure the next step in the blender will take care of that.

I grabbed an empty mason jar from the cupboard and filled it with the shaving cream, screwed the blender bottom onto the jar, and popped the lot onto the blender. I'm using a mason jar on my blender until I remember to order a replacement glass top for my blender. The glass blender pitcher broke when it flew out of the cabinet to attack me and fell to its death on the floor.  

A large mason jar fits on a blender in a pinch

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

How to Make an X Ray Lampshade

The poor little lamp on my sewing table has been making do for far too long. Husband brought it home from his old job because his boss was going to throw it away because it wasn’t her style anymore. I temporarily plunked a too small lampshade I had on the lamp and put it on my sewing machine table.

After 8 years of temporary, it is time to put a proper lampshade on my lamp. It is a recycled lamp so it makes sense to top it off with a recycled x-ray lampshade.

I'll show you to make it. It is easy!