five things we learned last week

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1. Mattress quality is worth paying for — though we have our limits.
Rebecca: “I have an organic natural latex mattress (that we paid much less than $6000 for — there are less expensive options) and it is heaven. Incredibly comfortable and completely free of nasty chemical fire retardants found in conventional mattresses. We bought it while I was pregnant after reading that studies show that fire retardant chemicals from mattresses show up in breast milk. Plus a latex mattress should last much longer than a conventional mattress, making up for some of the price difference. And did I mention how ridiculously comfortable the mattress is? I love my bed… just wish I could get more sleep in it now that I have a baby. :-)” See more on the mattress debate on our post Would You Pay $6000 For an Organic Mattress?.

2. There are several ways to get a whiteboard clean. Laila says to try: “Rubbing alcohol. Works like a charm and no residue.” See more whiteboard cleaning ideas here.

3. It seems that none of our favorite magazines are safe in these tough times. Apparently ReadyMade, one of favorites, faces an uncertain future: Leah wrote: “A few weeks ago, word came down that the magazine — minus its founders and its entire editorial staff — was being moved to Meredith HQ in Des Moines, Iowa. The staff was literally locked out shortly after that — they couldn’t even access their email. Suffice it to say, I think you’ll be seeing a *very* different ReadyMade from here on out. Sad.” See more about the magazine here.

4. There is hope for cat owners who wish to go green. Sherry writes about some green cat litter: “I really love this litter. I have five cats and they were a little skeptical at first. The made the switch pretty easily by me changing one box at a time. I have used it for about 5 months and it works great! It clumps very well and the odor control is very good. It is nice to work with lighter litter and it is so much better for the environment. Smells very good too! I highly recommend it.” Click here to read about a green clumping cat litter.

5. Iron-on hem tape is a blessing for us crafty types who can’t sew. As Daffodil writes: “I don’t own a sewing machine, but I have made three sets of curtains using only fabric and iron-on hem tape. I LOVE that stuff. I want to make some roman shades next, but I imagine that project is too complex for hem tape alone. But I’m hoping to find a way!” Click here to see Mary’s D.I.Y. curtain for some inspiration.

From our partners

My friend Jaime conquered this idea.. i think it worked out pretty well in her house… it’s not a perfect science, but the effect is very nice!

Roman shades with iron on hem tape-
1.go to Ikea and buy the white muslin roman shades.
2. cut fabric to size (with hem allowance on all four sides)
3. iron down sides with hem tape.
4. use combination of hand sewing and hem tape to attach the roman shade “slip cover” to muslin base. paying attention to attaching it at the top and aat the folds..
5. install per ikea directions.
Voila!