Tuesday, May 31, 2011
1. During a trim at a local salon I noticed a stylist was sweeping up hair clippings from the floor and stuffing them into bags. I thought it odd that she wouldn't just sweep them into a dustpan and dispose of them so out of curiosity I asked what she was doing. Turns out hair clippings can be recycled into absorbent mats that are used to soak up oil during spills, and this salon sends their clippings each week to support the cause. Who knew?!
2. One of the malls here is expanding and needed to clear out some land that was filled with brush and overgrown weeds. Normally one would rent some type of machinery for a project like this, but the developers decided to hire goats instead. Goats like to eat weeds anyway, and they will consume even more invasive plants like kudzu and bamboo. They're also better for the environment and leave behind free fertilizer!
3. There's an abundance of farmer's markets here and I haven't yet heard of a single locally-owned restaurant that doesn't get their food from these farms. It's great to see this because it stimulates the local economy, the food tastes better, and it reduces global warming by eliminating the need for transporting crops from hundreds of miles away.
4. Almost everything is considered reusable here. Even flowers donated from weddings, funerals, and other events are repurposed into arrangements by a local non-profit for patients in hospice care and nursing homes to enjoy. Such a better option than throwing them away!
5. Most cities have recycling services, that's nothing new. Here, though, they've found a way to recycle items that typically aren't accepted by local recycling companies. Number 5 plastics like butter and yogurt containers are usually not on the list of recyclables these companies are willing to accept, but there is an organization that uses the material from these containers to make toothbrushes. The city caught wind of this and have now set up various drop-off locations around the area so that these plastics can be shipped off rather than take up space in the landfill.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
If you love spaghetti and also love lasagna there's no reason to settle on one or the other when you can have both! The texture of this dish is great and the taste is phenomenal. It's also very easy to make it a vegetarian dish by eliminating the meat sauce.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Here it is before with the lovely floral printed paper. What you can't see in the picture is that the wallpaper also had a sheen to it. You're probably thinking I'm crazy for wanting to take it down now, huh? ;)
Pretty, right? Not so much. It reminded me of my grandma's house, and while I love my grandma, I don't particularly want my house looking like hers. Taking the wallpaper down was a pain in the butt. We tried a few different methods suggested to us by different sources to see what worked best.
Method #1-A mixture of fabric softener and water: This worked well but you run out of the stuff fast and it's also fairly messy. We poured the mixture in a spray bottle to make it easy to put on the walls but since you have to apply it so liberally to get the paper soaked enough to want to come off, you end up with bluish colored puddles in the floor to deal with cleaning up.
Method #2-Using a scoring tool and steamer: Scoring sucks. It would be time-consuming to do an entire room from top to bottom and the sound it makes is like nails on a chalkboard. The idea is that scoring the paper allows the steam to penetrate better thus making the paper come off the wall more easily. It was more of a headache than anything so we did only one wall this way and called it quits.
Method #3-Wallpaper remover concentrate: We didn't read the instructions before we bought it, but discovered when we got home that this product also required scoring to be effective. I stubbornly refused to score anymore walls again so we didn't end up using this as it was meant to be used.
We ended up kind of combining all these methods to successfully get the wallpaper and glue removed. We put the wallpaper remover concentrate (mixed with the recommended amount of water) into a spray bottle and sprayed only the top of the wallpaper around the ceiling. That enabled us to get the paper peeled down enough to allow the steamer to effectively separate the paper from the drywall and from there things got much easier!
Typically you would uncover a nice primed surface after wallpaper removal, but apparently the contractors that worked on this house decided to cut some corners and so this is what we found instead:
That, dear readers, is drywall. Unprimed drywall that required much sanding and spackling before we could even think about priming it. A few friends in construction confirmed it's unusual for a builder to leave walls like this. Guess it was our luck that we got stuck fixing up a lazy person's negligent mistake! My goofy husband got it all primed quickly though and even had time to write me a cute little message on his shirt:Gotta love him! After the longer-than-planned wallpaper removal project was finally finished we did get to paint and I am in love with the color. Such an improvement from the floral mess that was in there!
Color is Valspar Summerhouse Blue. I think it really pops. And the crown moulding that we put up sets it off well too. It's amazing what a two-inch piece of wood near the ceiling does for a room!
I'm hoping to have full reveal pics to post soon. We've bought all the accessories we just need to paint the oak cabinets white and get some hardware and we're done!
Okay, okay, it's actually Wednesday and I'm a day late but regardless here is your weekly recipe as promised! I've made these cookies for co-workers on numerous occasions and there are never any left to bring home. This is probably a good thing because once you start eating them it's hard to stop and with an endless supply I'd be about 50 pounds heavier right now!
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Friday, May 13, 2011
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
- You keep a measuring tape in your purse at all times (even the small clutch) just in case. Hey, you never know when you might run across some furniture you love and need to know if it will fit in your space!
- You and the cashiers at your local home improvement store are on a first-name basis, and you rarely go two days without seeing them.
- You forgo a new pair of shoes and opt instead to buy a ceiling fan.
- Your recent hobbies including spending hours online watching home improvement how-to videos and googling design ideas of which you have at least 40 favorites pages saved.
- You have no pictures of loved ones in your wallet, but you do have paint swatches and photos of your house which you proudly display to anyone willing to look just like a parent would show off their children's school pictures.