Not to boast, but when it comes to dealing with odors, you wonâ€™t find a sharper shooter with a bottle of Febreze. Iâ€™ve got fabrics covered, but hadnâ€™t found a suitable solution to dealing with atmospheric odors until my mom shared this all natural trick. Simply add three or four drops of peppermint oil to a few cotton balls, place them in a small bowl and leave the dish to sit in a problem area. Not only does the oil replace the smell with an energizing peppermint aroma, it also eliminates it, absorbing odor as it dissipates over time. As the proud sibling of a college-aged brother, Iâ€™m thrilled to report that we use this often to fumigate his car (a tall order, what with all the punky ultimate frisbee clothing and half-eaten hamburgers), with awe-inspiring results.
Sometimes when I seplace for something utilitarian I find not only the perfect solution, but also a perfect collectible. After googling â€œtwine dispenserâ€ to take care of my perennially tangled gardening twine, I found everything from R2D2 to a celluloid doll head. My favorites? The Cozy Kitten from the ’50s, a silver plated ball and new dispensers from Garden Trading and Terrain. â€” Sarah L.
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!
I love the look of modern-ish metal planters, and you can get large ones for low prices at IKEA. I recently decided that the ’50s-era expanse of concrete in our backyard needed a makeover, so I decided that I’d move beyond my usual annuals — cool as they may be! — and get some evergreens suitable for containers. (I ended up buying a compact boxwood.) The area where they’ll reside gets full morning sunlight which lasts far into the afternoon, so the consultant at the nursery gave me a tip that was new to me: because metal pots can heat up, it’s a good idea to insulate them to protect plant roots. She suggested lining the pots with bubble wrap, so that’s just what I did. I have tons of it saved from packages that I never seem to use but don’t want to throw away. I simply formed the sheets of bubble wrap in a circle inside the pots, filled in with dirt, and planted as usual. Great tip! — Mary T.
Okay, you can feel free to go anonymous for this one — keeping in mind that your comment might not be approved until later in the day. The past few years have seen major upheaval in my personal finances just like the rest of the US. We moved to a city where our cost of living tripled, we bought a house at a price (which was cheap for the area) that a year earlier I would have considered insanely high, and after a year first I was laid off, and then my husband! I’m delighted to tell you that I am once again fully employed (at a job I love), my husband is doing well with his own work, and we weathered our jobless year just fine. But now that we’re beyond the panic of “Can we pay the mortgage this month?” I’m thinking more about our 401(K)s, the level of our savings, and our long-term financial situation. What about you, if you are interested in sharing? Were you affected by the fallout of the housing market? If so, how? Was your job a casualty of the economy? Have you bounced back? Are you still struggling? How are you planning for your financial future? — Mary T.
Photos of “moneygami” by Hasegawa Yousuke originally appeared on Whorange.
I feel green guilty every time I throw out a jar. I try to reuse as many as I can with DIY projects, but some of them have no practical use after their delicious salsa-filled contents are consumed. With these jar tops from A + R, Iâ€™ll be able to use a few more at least! Designed by Jorre van Ast, the dishwasher safe set of five tops ($25) will fit 90% of all jars. Former pickle and pasta sauce jars will be transformed into chic looking containers for all sorts of kitchen needs. — Katie D.