Condo Blues

Thursday, March 28, 2013

19 DIY Dog Beds

Lacey has a dog bed in almost every major room in our house. That way, she has a safe spot to go to if she gets anxious.

Most of Lacey's beds are the pillow type like the Molly Mutt bed (you can learn more about it here)  Her Molly Mutt bed is a DIY bed for nonDIYers. It comes with a interior mesh zippered bag you stuff with whatever you have on hand to make the mattress (we used an old king size mattress pad and my husband's old race t shirts) zipped into a cute cotton cover.

The cover zips off for easy cleaning. Love that!  (Disclosure: I am including affiliate links in this post for your convenience)

The floor pillow we use as a dog bed in the living room has seen better days. I think Miss Lacey can use a new bed with a little more style. Do I see a fancy DIY dog bed in her future?


Let's look for some inspiration!

Pamper Your Pup with a DIY Dog Bed

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Our Fearful Dog: Some Days I'm Not Sure How to Help Her

I am flattered when people complement Husband and I on the lengths we will go to rehabilitate a dog with behavioral issues. Sometimes they use nice words like Miracle Worker.

I feel weird about that because I do not think we perform miracles. I think it is more Husband and I being too stubborn to let a pup wallow in fear and act out because of it because we know they have an inner awesome they haven’t discovered yet.

 We read tons of dog behavior books. When we take classes, we pester dog experts with tons of questions. We put together a team of professionals who know more about dogs than we ever will to train us AND our dog. Husband and I aren’t afraid to be wrong and we often are.

The green collar is a calming dog collar. It has mother dog phermones, lavender, and chamomile essential oils to help Lacey stay calm in stressful situations. Our behaviorist recommended it because it goes where Lacey is when she is stressing unlike the phermone plug ins I used with Blitzkrieg. 
The collar lasts 30 days. I bought mine from Amazon here.

Besides teaching basic manners and obedience, our first task is for Lacey to learn it is her humans' job to be the leader and protect the pack, not hers. She does not have to bark and act like a tough girl because she is scared and thinks she should “get them before they get her." Once Lacey learns that, then and only then we will teach her jujitsu and allow her to eat any robbers that try to break into the house while we call the police but this is a long ways away.

Sunday, March 24, 2013

Do Low Flow Showerheads Work?

I learned not to be picky about showers. When I was a kid, my family had a camper. Piddly water pressure and sprays from the showerhead were a given.

Do Water Saving Showerheads Work

It prepared me for renting apartments. Showerheads in a rental fall under You Get What You Get and You Don’t Pitch a Fit.

I didn’t give the piddle showerheads that came with our condo a second thought because showerheads are supposed to stink, right?

While cleaning the linen closet, I found a new in the box showerhead. Then it dawned on me. I can change my showerhead to one that works. Maybe I can get one of those fancy water saving showerheads while I’m at it!

I’m a real rocket surgeon. I know.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Why Won't My Dishwasher Wash Dishes?

Who knew a high efficiency dishwasher is also high maintenance? Since high efficiency (HE) dishwashers use less water, the water heat up cycle is shorter than a standard dishwasher. That means an HE dishwasher needs hotter water going into the dishwasher than a standard dishwasher, which heats a boatload of water first. A plumber told me if I turned up the heat on my hot water heater, I would get rid of the grit on my clean dishes problem.

Husband wryly observed we could save either water or natural gas but not both.

Yeah, yeah. All is not lost. I can hand wash dishes. Having a house with
 a dishwasher made me realize how much I hate hand washing dishes.

Then there is the dishwashing detergent. My dishwasher likes either the very expensive (Seventh Generation) or the very cheap (Aldi) detergent. I switched between powder and liquid for no reason other than availability or price. The dishwasher was happy. I had clean dishes. That makes me happy because I hate hand washing dishes.

All of a sudden, my dishwasher decides it doesn’t like the liquid detergent. It left food stuck randomly to “washed” dishes and silverware. Gross.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

11 Painting Tips and Tricks

Friends invited Husband and I to an apartment painting party to prep the place for a new tenant.  While we painted and before the pizza guy delivered we traded painting tips and tricks. Some you may know, others you may not. Feel free to add your tips in the comments section below!

1. Check for lead. If your home was built or painted prior to 1978 (when the US banned lead paint), it is a good idea to test the surface with a lead testing kit (you can find them here) before sanding or scraping peeling paint. If the test is positive for lead paint check HUD's Field GuideLead Paint Safety at to learn how to do the work safely or consider hiring a pro.

2. Prep it. Preparing the walls for paint is not as fun as diving right in there with a brush, but it will make the project easier in the end. Fill cracks and holes with spackle, let it dry and the sand it smooth with a sanding block, and then wipe the area with a lint free rag. If the walls are dirty, wash them down with water and dish soap,  and let them dry before painting or priming. Scrap and sand peeling or chipping paint. Mask off moldings and any area you do not want to paint  with painters tape. Not sure what type of tape to use? Check out my painter's tape vs masking tape post here.

painting around wood trim
 Painting the window molding would be a crime against architecture. We masked it off with painters tape to avoid accidents when cutting in around the windows and fireplace.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

DIY Dog Tail Coat Rack

 I have dog.

She has lots of stuff.

Most of  Lacey’s stuff is for taking walks. Her leash, towel, et al is in the drawer of a small step stool by the front door.

In theory.

Most days it looks like this.

 Clutter makes me cranky!

All that junk spilling up and over the step stool means I can’t use it to see out of the peephole in the front door.

That. Short.

Husband thinks this is hysterical.

I think it is time Lacey supervises her first DIY project.

How to Organize Dog Leashes