Friday, March 30, 2012

Natural Drain Cleaner

This week when I say TGIF, I REALLY, REALLY mean it.  It's been one of those weeks where everything I touch falls apart.  I'm telling you this because I promised a reveal on a Mom Cave project but that isn't happening this week.  Next week for sure.  Promise, promise, promise.

In the meantime, I've been looking for a time when I could share this awesome natural drain cleaner with you.  Like everyone, I'm looking for ways to reduce the chemicals we use in our home.  I found this on pinterest and thought I'd give it a try.  Let me just say that I was beyond amazed at how well this works.

If you have kids you've no doubt made an erupting volcano at some point with them.  This is exactly the same thing.  My kids both on separate occasions saw me holding these ingredients and asked if I was making a volcano.  "Yes children, that's what I do when you're not around!!". 

Here are the simple directions that I found at Tidy Mom blog.  Check out all her other helpful tips here.  

My 2 cents worth - I found that the baking soda needed a little coaxing to go down the drain, particularly if the drain is wet so I bring a handy chopstick along to push it in.  

Unclog a drain with Baking Soda and Vinegar

  1. Pour 3/4-1 cup of baking soda in the drain.
  2. Pour 1/2 cup vinegar in the drain and immediately cover the drain (I use a plug or set a plate over it – you want to keep everything inside the drain)
  3. Leave everything to sit and work for about 30 mins (don’t use the sink during this time)
  4. After 30 mins, remove the cover and let hot water run thru the pipes for about 2-3 mins.
  5. for really tough clogs you may need to repeat – but I find if I do this on a regular basis (about once a month) it keeps my drains clear and fresh with out any problems.

Likewise, I do something very similar to keep drains fresh.  Especially good for seldom used drains.

Freshen Drains with Baking Soda and Vinegar

  1. Mix 1/2 cup baking soda with 1/4 cup table salt and pour down drain
  2. Follow by pouring 1 cup of heated vinegar down the drain (it will foam and bubble)
  3. Let it sit for 15 minutes
  4. After 15 minutes run hot tap water for 30-60 seconds.
So there you have it.  Happy cleaning, my friends.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Manly Paint Colours & Sneak Peek

A man may feel rather unmanly if his poker buddies spotted him ordering a gallon of Juliet's Potion but how about Zombie Apocalypse.  No shame in that, right?

CIL (Canadian paint company for you non-Canuck readers) hosted a contest last summer asking for some manly name changes for 27 of their paint colours and Zombie Apocalyspe is just one of the winners.

Like all paint companies, CIL admits that their paint colour names are selected with women in mind so the contest provided a fun way to include the guys.

I don't know if it will be effective in drawing men to buy more paint but it's a good marketing move on their part.  As a person who choses paint colours for a living I'm blogging about CIL for the first time.  Clearly their campaign has got people talking, even if it's not a man doing the talking.

Here are the remaining 24 winners.  The Ultimate Man Cave brochures are only available at Home Depot just in case you're hoping to bring home a gallon of Beer Foam.

So enough of the Man Cave.  Remember my Mom Cave?  I've got another addition that I'll be showing off tomorrow.  Here's a sneak peek...

Monday, March 26, 2012

Je t'aime

If you have noticed my absence lately it's because we are just back to school and work after a 2-week Spring Break combined with a 3-day strike by our province's teachers.  Phew, that was a long break!

We did manage a little mini vacation during that time and when I arrived home I found a package waiting for me with this beautiful print inside.  This is the work of my blog friend Beatrice from A Crafty Bee who has an etsy shop Chocolat & Cherries where she sells typography posters and subway art.  Go take a look.  I demand it!

I love the series of "beaucoup" around the edges of the print and wanted to highlight that.

The plain white mat wasn't cutting it.

A little frog tape and a little paint pen to the rescue.

Once the paint dried, I added some ribbon in a pink/red.
Et voila, je t'aime.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Magnetic Paint Experiment

For an organizing freak like myself there is nothing more irritating than the dilemma of what to do with jars of spices piled up on top of each other.  Have you ever been right in the middle of the recipe and then realized that you need cumin or oregano or chili flakes?!  Ahhhhh, pot is boiling over but you're in the pantry sorting through 500 jars and small bags of spices.

So while I was out strolling through Canadian Tire some adorable metal and magnetic spice jars leaped into my basket and begged me to take them home (true story!).  My first intention was to use them in conjunction with a metal tray but that was a massive fail in the diy department.  Next I thought I"d try magnetic paint.  Success:)

How To:
1.  Tape off the area to be painted.

2. Using a foam roller, roll on several light coats allowing 30 minutes to dry between coats. I actually think I used 6 coats although I did test fridge magnets and they stuck after 3.  The spice tins are heavy, especially with spices in them so keep layering.

 3.  Once the last coat of magnetic primer has been applied wait 4 hours and then apply the paint.  I was worried about covering black with our light gray/blue wall colour but 2 coats of paint did it.

4. In the meantime prepare your spice jars with labels.

The paint can be applied directly on top of the magnetic primer and it only takes 1 or 2 coats to cover.  Even our light blue/gray wall colour covered with only 2 coats.

If we decide that we don't want to hang spices we can use this as an area to hang recipes and keep them in eye sight while we're cooking.

Monday, March 19, 2012

Guest Post - Flower Hill

March Break madness continues around here as we head in to week 2 of Spring Break.  We're heading off for a short vacation but before I go I wanted to invite you over to my guest post at Flower Hill Design Company.  The lovely Jean has a blog full of design eye candy.

I'll be showing you how to add an invisible zipper to a pillow.  Learning this little trick for me changed my pillow life.  As most of you know, I'm a pillow addict so changing and rotating is a regular thing in our house.  The zipper makes me feel like I"m a pro and makes me love them all the more!

See you over at Flower Hill Design Company.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Cheap & Cheerful - Upcycled Jars

This is another one of those projects that is long overdue.  My pantry is usually filled with little plastic bags of seeds and grains that I've bought from the bulk store.  It's ugly to look at all those little bags and impossible to find what you're looking for.  I've been saving up my jars that would normally end up in recycling until I had just the right amount.  A little paint, a little grosgrain ribbon and a little hot glue and I'm adding more organization to my pantry.  For me, organization = love.

Here are the supplies...

1. Spray lids and use a paint pen to add a cute little design (pinch cheeks now!)
2. Print out some labels.
3. Attach ribbon using hot glue and then affix label.
4. Fill with stuff and rejoice in the organizational beauty.

Happy Friday everyone.  Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Paint That Brown Wood!

For those of you who are afraid to slap some paint on that piece of furniture that you're not loving, let me say "DO IT" and I eagerly encourage you to do it bold.

This lovely piece was a gift from my mom 2 houses ago.  I wanted to keep it because it was a gift from my mom and because it really worked in the space but the dark brown wood was invisible on our dark blue walls.

I decided to try Behr Primer & Paint in one for this.  It took 4 coats but overall the colour is great and the finish is a nice satin.  I won't be in contact with piece too often so I didn't even bother to add a polyurethane finish (lazy worker!)
I had the colour matched to Benjamin Moore Starburst Orange 2010-30.  I wanted something with a coral feel.  I opened the can after it sat around for a couple of weeks and the can was fuschia.  It stirred right back to orange but I knew I was going to love it!

I'm loving the bright colour and especially the bold contrast between the orange piece and blue wall.  Even the skeptics in the house who hated it while I was painting are now converts.

Orange crush!

Monday, March 12, 2012

Blogger Book Club

In the days before I discovered blogs I was an avid book reader and belonged to a couple of fantastic book clubs.  The scales started to tip in favour of blogs and slowly but surely blog reading has essentially begun to hog up all my spare time.  I was super excited when I noticed that one of my favourite bloggers, Heather at Interior Groupie, started posting the books she was currently reading on her blog's sidebar which sparked several conversations between us about books.  We joked about starting a book club which is sort of funny given that we live 4,000 km from each other.  Our discussions endured and now we are happy to announce that the book club is a reality and you're invited to join.

WHO - Everyone is invited to join.  As long as you love to read, you're invited.

WHAT - We'll announce the books well in advance so you have time to get your own copy.  As we announce the books we'll also include the review date as let you know which one of us will review the book.  We really want to hear from every single one of you who is reading along with us so on review day please stop by and add your review in the comments section or to a linky party (depending on how technologically advanced we can get!) We'll also work on a facebook page to allow some conversation amongst group members.

WHERE - Each review will take place at either my blog or Interior Groupie.

WHEN - Well we're going to start right now.  The first review will take place on Monday, April 23 at Interior Groupie blog.

WHY - Because we love to read!

Here's the lineup of our first 3 books. 

Let us know if you're planning to read along with us. Feel free to grab a copy of the button from the sidebar announcing that you're one of the cool kids in the book club.

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