It’s not that I’m worried about catching a dread disease from my toothbrush — I’m really not, even though the video on this page from the Rachael Ray show talks about the “germy droplets” that can fly onto your toothbrush if it’s stored near the toilet. (This is part of the reason mine lives inside the medicine cabinet.) But hey, I haven’t done all the research, and I have to admit these Zapi toothbrush sanitizers — they do their work with UV light — are just cute as heck to look at, and only $30. Check out ZapiPOP — like a happy Humpty Dumpty! And who wouldn’t want the help of a ninja in fighting germs? You can find them all at Violight. — Mary T.
When it comes to financial documents, Iâ€™m a certified hoarder. I love the look of a streamlined file box and like to think that Iâ€™m an accountantâ€™s dream come tax time: ready and willing to produce any document one could possibly request from the last six years. In the information age, keeping everything Iâ€™ve been filing is unnecessary and has resulted in an overworked file box and lots of paper clutter. So, as an early start to my â€œdeclutter my apartmentâ€ New Yearâ€™s resolution, I put on a movie after the feasting and family time was over last weekend and went through my files. Suze Orman has some handy guidelines detailing how long to keep personal and financial documents before sentencing them to the shredder and a full garbage bag of paper shreds later, Iâ€™ve cut the clutter and trimmed my file box down to a svelte, wholly-contained operation, all while taking in a holiday flick on the couch!
Next on my list: managing money online with mint.com. How about you readers? Any organizational New Yearâ€™s resolutions to share? â€“Sarah C.
This post is sponsored by Lowe’s.
We firmly believe in being your own handyman. Whether it’s installing our own back splash tile in the kitchen, renovating our backyard deck or giving a staircase a ombre hue, we regularly roll-up our sleeves and tackle little projects all over our homes. Sometimes things go wrong. Paints drip on the floor. Tiles dry crookedly. Equipment gets rusty. We pull our hair out. No one is happy.
Luckily, there’s a little help to be found via Vine and these handy D.I.Y. videos produced by Lowe’s. The wonderful thing about Vine is that the videos are super short — 6 seconds! — and loop over and over. So if you miss something the first time, don’t sweat it, you can catch the second or third time around. Here are six cool tricks we learned from watching these Vines — though if you start playing around on the social network’s app you’ll find many, many more.
Six Handy Tricks We Learned From Lowe’s Vine Videos:
1. Potatoes aren’t just for dinner — or making crafty stamps! The next time you are dealing with a broken lightbulb in lamp, use a potato to unscrew it without risking a finger cut.
2. Rubber bands have many uses (besides being woven into colorful bracelets for grade-schoolers). You can use them to catch paint drips from a can, or twist out a stripped down screw.
3. For your next colorful paint project, don’t mess with a new paint tray for each color. Simply line your old ones in aluminum foil and reuse.
4. Take the guesswork out of picture hanging. A piece of tape can help measure the distance between holes and get things picture perfect.
5. You don’t need luck to make your tiles line up perfectly. Pennies placed in between the rows of tiles will do the trick until they dry nicely.
6. What could be more dull than a rusty knife? Dip your cutters in some lemon juice for 15 minutes and see how they shine.
Have you discovered any great DIY Vine videos? Let us know and we’ll feature them on Shelterrific!
This is a sponsored post.
Even though our team is no longer in the running, it’s still fun to keep up with what’s going on in the Re-Energized By Design competition. This week, the remaining three teams made over their laundry rooms.
In addition to $500 and energy efficient lighting from GE, the homeowners each received an brand new set of Frigidaire Affinity laundry equipment. These are not your average high-efficiency washers & dryers — this is serious technology in action here. The Affinity dryer will dry a full load in less than 30 minutes, and the washer features allergen reduction and sanitizing features along with having the highest energy star rating. And aesthetically they please, too (though I have to wonder why no one picked the red option).
Love what those scrappy Sayers did in their space with that upcycled laundry drum light fixture. Their creative approach is always surprising, and will be tough to beat in the final round. In the end, the Mendes family’s pastel laundry room didn’t make the cut — that leaves the Sayers and the Reillys to duke it out in the kitchen challenge! who do you think will win?!
This is a sponsored post.
What is Re-Energized by Design, you ask? Well, it is an awesome web series that Shelterrific is excited to be participating in — produced by Puget Sound Energy, it’s all about incorporating energy efficiency into home design. The challenge is this: six teams of homeowners are paired with design coaches and together they compete to re-design 5 rooms with a focus on saving energy with a small budget. Cameras are documenting each leg of the challenge, and with every room one team gets the boot! The prizes are great: a home full of new LED and CFL lightbulbs from GE, a full suite of kitchen and laundry appliances from Frigidaire, and $5000.
I was fortunate to be paired with the Bedford family, who are just delightful. Kristen and her husband Slade have a great contemporary house, fun design aesthetic, and are really willing to completely put themselves into every challenge. This experience for me has literally been re-energizing to me as well, ending a year-long creative rut and getting me back into blogging and crafting and having fun again. I can’t wait to share what we’ve created together.
But as of today, I won’t have to wait much longer, as the first webisode is available at 6am PST at the Re-Energized By Design site — this week’s is an introduction to all the contestants. And stay tuned each week as we reveal another webisode. Also be sure to go to the Re-Energized page on Facebook, where you can enter to win a new Frigidaire appliance like those featured in the challenge!
Much akin to Ikea, the Container Store is a rabbit hole of a place that seemingly offers a million ingenious things you could use right at that moment. Weâ€™ve found our share of stocking stuffers there, but my most helpful discovery of late, their line of petite Amac Boxes, may include the smallest item they sell. Made of crystal clear, BPA-free plastic, the tiny containers are perfect for storing myriad items from crafting supplies to jewelry, but are easy to miss in the store. My roommate uses a few of the smaller, clear versions to store her rings, earring and other small jewels, and like many happy reviewers on the site, loves the ease with which she can see her collection and keep it all clean and safe. Starting at just $0.39, theyâ€™re an inexpensive way to bring order to an unruly jewelry box. Incidentally, the bamboo drawer organizers you see above come just as highly recommended from the same place! â€“ Sarah C.
I was so excited to read today about a new venture being undertaken by Kyle Durrie of Power and Light Press, a letterhead company she runs in Portland, Oregon. Kyle has a plan to retrofit a bread truck with a portable printing press, then hit to the road to conduct letterpress workshops for kids across the U.S., sharing her love and building enthusisasm for the process. Kyle’s whole plan is outlined at the Moveable Type Kickstarter site, where she explains her quest in a fun and engaging video. You can donate funds (she’s only trying to raise $8,000 — that’s a very economical project) or just learn more about it. (Incidentally, Kickstarter, a site where you can “fund and follow creativity,” is pretty cool, too.) And make sure to visit the Power and Light Etsy shop, as well. — Mary T.
A few months ago I had the unfortunate luck of being the victim of a break-in, and it was heartbreaking. After taking care of the police and renter’s insurance report (aside â€“ renter’s insurance is cheap, and well worth it!), I started to investigate how I could minimize the chances of this happening to me again, or at the very least, make it more difficult for someone to help themselves to my things. I know many of us will be traveling this upcoming season, so we should safeguard our homes while weâ€™re away. The following is what I learned thieves look for:
â€¢ Are you home? It might seem obvious, but I didnâ€™t consider making it look like I was home, even when I was gone for a very short time. Buy timers! Timers are inexpensive and can be found at your local hardware or drug stores. Put them on your radio, lights, and tv, and set them to go off once during the day and evening.
â€¢ Evidence of new valuables. If you get a fancy new TV or electronics, donâ€™t leave the packaging visible in your garbage. Break down the box and put inside a dumpster away from home. Would-be thieves watch for these things in your alleys and garbage.
â€¢ Obvious hiding places. Under mattresses, jewelry boxes, and desks are all easy targets. The officer who investigated my case said thieves hardly ever look in books, so consider putting smaller valuables in hollowed-out books like these. Hide larger valuables, like laptops, in your food pantry or kitchen.
â€¢ Is anyone watching? Get to know your neighbors and let them know you will be gone. Itâ€™s important for communities to recognize strangers, and be curious if they see someone who is unfamiliar hanging around your home.
Lastly, keep a running list of valuables – include serial/model numbers, value, or any other specific information about them – and e-mail it to yourself. This will help lessen your legwork if you ever do have to report missing items or those damaged from fires or storms.
Anyone else have recommendations on how to keep our homes safe and secure this holiday season –Rebecca F.