Condo Blues

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Why I Bought a Condo

Looks like a free standing house, acts like a condo. The best of both worlds!

Husband and I were renters for a long time before we even considered buying a house. We were busy with lot of outside activities and knew that once we bought a house, we'd be married to the extra work and expenses it takes to keep a house running.  Our landlord never raised the rent which was another incentive to stay put.

Cheap rent that allowed us to buy off a bunch of bills and have money leftover for fun things kept us there longer than most of our relatives thought we should. I lost count how many times we were told we needed to buy a house to "be happy." One well meaning person not so subtly showed us house listings no matter what truth (not now) or excuse (We didn't realize we aren't happy. We were pretty happy on the awesome beach vacation we paid for in cash last summer) we gave him. 

Eventually our schedules calmed down. Husband and I decided it was time to go house shopping. Especially since my steady diet of DIY shows and shelter magazines had me itching to paint/remodel/decorate my home  in any way I wanted and without asking the landlord's permission. The idea of living somewhere where we could banish the white walls Husband and I rented forever influenced us to create an accent wall like this:

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

My Latest DIY Project!

Sometimes putting off a Must Do that's on your To Do list for too long bites you in the hard drive.

Welcome to my latest (and unwanted) DIY project!

computer gamer's case
This is my computer and very messy desk.

Yep. That's my computer, or as I like to call it the brains of this blogging outfit.

Instead of buying a whole new computer, Husband and I replace or upgrade the parts as needed. Sometimes we swap components between the two of us because he and I build our computers to do slightly different things. If we can't use it, we donate the old parts to a local charity that uses them to build Linux computers for the undeserved.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Amazon Gift Card Giveaway!

Once upon a time, all we had were design magazines. Each month, readers held their breath and hoped their snail mailed questions and comments where answered and printed in the magazine. It was hit and miss, mostly miss. If you saw an appliance you like in a kitchen tour and it was not given promotional consideration in the article, there was no easy way to search for it, let alone find a place that sells it.

The Internet and its design blogs changed all that. We can easily search for and find what we like, and have our questions answered. If you see that beautiful dishwasher you want to own (yep, mine is still broken) on a blog, a quick Internet search finds it and tells you where you can buy it.

And there was much rejoicing!

Although after you buy the appliance from the store, you’re still kind of stuck when it comes to asking the store for help designing and decorating the room around said new appliance.


Appliances Online

Monday, April 8, 2013

How to Make a Simple Shelf with Recycled Fence Boards

Hands up. Who does not want more storage space in their bathroom?


I thought so. Me too.

I keep an extra bottle of shampoo, toiletries, etc.around because if I run out of something it is when I am in the middle of using it. Keeping an extra on deck also allows me to buy the plant based items we like to use when they go on sale for Earth Day. I buy them now and save them for later.

I need a place to store/hide/stuck this stuff in my small house, preferably in the bathrooms where I will be using it. It should be accessible but also hidden because no one needs to stare at my big bottle of castile soap waiting to be opened.

I have just the place – over the bathroom door.

To keep this year’s DIY New Year's Resolution, I’m going to use what I have on hand first. 

I hung a pair of plaster corbels from our old place in the master bathroom because I didn’t know what to do with that wall (I still don’t.) They aren’t working as little display shelves. I think they will work better as shelf supports.

I will use the second corbel to make an over the door shelf for the master bathroom.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

We're Kicking the Flavored Creamer Habit

I like to say I am the cream in Husband’s coffee but that isn’t entirely true. For the past year or so Husband used flavored creamer in his coffee, which is fine because I don’t like third degree burns from swimming in his coffee cup every morning.

April's One Small Green Change is Husband’s. He is going to give up flavored coffee creamer with its questionable ingredients and extra packaging (while recyclable it is still an extra thing to deal with.) This won't effect me either way because I drink my coffee black - like my heart.

We try not to buy products containing high fructose corn syrup or hydrogenated oils to try to keep the health conditions affecting our older family members at bay for as long as possible. Although realistically no matter how well we eat and take care of ourselves, that stuff may happen because genetics are well, genetic. Our goal is if it happens, it happens when we're 90 or so.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How to Make Air Freshener Spray the Natural Way!

how to make natural air freshener spray the easy wayI put new unlit soy candles in my bathroom to work as an air freshener. Once the smell of the essential oils in the candle fades, I burn them (attended) after dinner to remove cooking smells and for overall candle light goodness.

I’m sure you are aware of those times when a bathroom air freshener needs a little  immediate help to clear the room of…uh…um…odor.

I don’t like most commercial room sprays because they smell as a fake flower factory exploded in my bathroom. Moreover, that’s what they make those room sprays from – a fake synthetic chemical concoction. Boo. Hiss.

Does a room freshener exist without the synthetic ingredients?  It sure does if you make it yourself!

And at a fraction of the cost of a commercial air freshener spray to boot!

DIY Air Freshener Spray