Condo Blues

Sunday, March 22, 2015

15 Unique Garden Border and Edging Ideas

Now that it is officially Spring, I’m ready to start planning our landscaping. I found a bunch of clever, unusual, and some down right weird ideas for garden borders and edging one day while I was researching what to plant and where to plant it.

I thought I’d share because maybe you need new garden borders too.

Or you just like to look at garden p*rn. that’s OK too.

15 unusual garden border edging for the garden
 Save these ideas to Pinterest for later!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

21 Drought Tolerant Plants for Your Yard

You are getting excited for the Spring planting season?

Me too!

Although I am not looking forward to how much it will cost us to keep a new landscape watered all summer long.

One way to avoid a high summer water bill is to plan my new landscape with native plants. Since I often forget plants need water to grow, they should be drought tolerant too.

Since I know pretty much nothing about native or drought tolerant plants, I'm cruising over to Organizing Made Fun and reading her 21 suggestions for Going Native: Drought Tolerant Plants for Your Yard.

Check it out now and pin it for later!

Did you enjoy this post? Get more like it by subscribing to the Condo Blues RSS Feed or to Condo Blues by Email.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

8 DIY Fire Starters

Last summer during a impromptu gathering, my friend  Tim and his neighbor Marc when out side to start a fire in the backyard fire pit.

eight recycled homemade fire starters

From the kitchen, we hear unintelligible squabbling followed by:

Tim (raised voice): No, you are doing it wrong!

Marc (bellowing): Well then put on some more!


A HUGE fireball erupts over the fire pit!

The rest of us tumble out of the house and into the the backyard. Fortunately our friends weren’t charred crispy critters. Oh no. Instead  Tim and Marc were a safe distance away and laughing like two naughty kids playing with too much lighter fluid.

Husband turns to me and says, “THAT is why you will never have a fire ring.”

Au contraire my dear Husband, there are ways to start a fire without lighter fluid. You can start a campfire with homemade fire starters!

How to Make Fire-Starters

Friday, March 13, 2015

Make Candle Wax Warmer Melts, Tarts, and Cubes: The Complete DIY Guide!

I got a candle warmer for Christmas and fell in love with it. I use it every night after dinner to clear cooking smells from the kitchen. 

The candle warmer it is more convenient than candles because it is flameless. Unfortunately I don’t quite know  if wax cubes I melt are phthalate-free and paraffin-free. Two things I try to avoid.

everything you need to know to make wax warmer melts

Pin this tutorial for later!

Being a candle maker, it didn’t take me long to clue in that the only difference between a candle and a wax melt is the container and a wick. Since I make non-toxic candles, I knew I could make non-toxic wax cubes too. Here’s how.

How to Make Non-Toxic Scented Wax Melt Cubes

Thursday, March 5, 2015

How to Make Aluminum Can Shamrocks and Four Leaf Clovers

If you drink something from an aluminum can in my house, I probably have a hidden agenda. No, I’m not trying to fill you full of the BPA that most likely lines the can (actually I’m sorry for subjecting you to that,) 

how to amke aluminum can shamrocks
 Pin this recycled aluminum can craft to your Pinterest boards for later! Share it with your friends!

Most likely it is that I bought your favorite pop and I had to buy it in a can. Or I bought the can over the bottle version so I can use the can in recycling project. Thanks for helping me out.

I have green aluminum cans in my stash. Saint Patrick’s Day is coming up. Let’s make shamrocks!

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Can Your Laminate Flooring Kill You?

Last Sunday, 60 Minutes investigated Lumber Liquidators Chinese made laminate flooring for unsafe levels of formaldehyde in  Lumber Liquidators Linked to Health and Safety Violations. 

questions about lumber liquidators and formaldehyde

The basics of the story I linked to are this:

  • 60 Minutes bought 150 boxes of laminate flooring from several Lumber Liquidators stores throughout Californian.

  • 60 Minutes asked three independent labs to test the samples to see if the formaldehyde in the laminate flooring (mostly in the glue used to make the laminate) meets California’s strict formaldehyde emissions standards, called CARB 2.

  • The lab results showed all of Lumber Liquidators Chinese made laminate flooring was from 6 to 7 times over the state limit and some laminate samples were up to 20 times over the state limit.

  • Lumber Liquidators American made laminate flooring as well as Lumber Liquidators flooring they purchased from Lowes and Home Depot passed testing.

  • 60 Minutes then purchased 31 Chinese made laminate samples from Lumber Liquidators stores in four states and sent the samples to two certified labs for formaldehyde testing.

  • Both labs reported that 30 samples were over the formaldehyde limit, some as high as 13 times. 1 sample of Chinese made laminate flooring passed testinga.