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  • As a rule of thumb, it's a good idea to have chimneys cleaned at least once a year. Usually before cold weather sets in.
  • read all shaktoids!
    February 18, 2016
    How To Re-Use Those Little Keurig Cups

    7714194636_473315b007_zI am not a huge coffee drinker, but I like the caffeine kick and the comfort it brings every once in a while. I probably have about a cup or two a week, and I don’t drink a lot at once. That’s why I love my Keurig coffee maker (which I got at a yard sale for $20 a year ago)- it only makes one cup at a time, instead of a whole pot that I never finish. However, they also generate a lot more waste than a single coffee filter: you have a bunch of those empty plastic k-cups clogging up your trash and the landfills. That’s why I love this post by Jackie at Happy Hooligans with a bunch of different ways to reuse those k-cups:

    -Use them to freeze fresh herbs

    -A basket of clean k-cups makes some fun building blocks for young kids

    -Use them as seed starters for your garden

    -Plug the hole at the bottom with glue, use them as paint pots for craft time.

    Photo Credit: frankieleon 


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    November 12, 2015
    DIY Toilet Spray

    I’ve been seeing ads lately for the spray that you’re supposed to use before you use the toilet to prevent bad smells. I’m not sure if any of those products actually work, but if you have a chronically smelly bathroom, it could be worth a shot! However, some of them cost around $10. Personally, I think that’s a bit much to keep a bathroom from smelling like…well, a bathroom. That’s why I love this post by Karrie at Happy Money Saver. Here’s her recipe for “poo spray” that you can DIY for pennies:

    1 tsp rubbing alcohol
    30-40 drops of essential oil of choice- this time I used Lemongrass and Peppermint..
    water

    Pour rubbing alcohol in a 3 oz spray container and add essential oils. Add water to fill the container. Give it a good shake and you’re ready to go! I’ve found 3-4 sprays is enough to cover the bowl and trap all of the stink particles below.

    Photo Credit: Roger H. Goun 


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    October 28, 2015
    Wordless Wednesday: Room We Should Bring Back- The Conservatory

    Photo from Moon to Moon


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    August 24, 2015
    Ways To Recycle Old Window Screens

    I’m a huge fan of finding ways to recycle and reuse old objects. Just because your screen has a few large holes or tears in it, doesn’t mean it’s done for. Should it still be on your window? Probably not. But there are ways to give new life to these used objects! My mom had two large windows sitting around for the longest time before she gave them away. Too bad she didn’t see this article by Megan Baker at This Old House first! Here are some new uses for old screens:

    -Protect newly seeded grass- lay down a patch of screen over the area to keep birds from eating the seeds.

    -Prevent drain clogs- wad up some screen and put it in a drain to keep debris from getting through

    -Sift unmixed grout- or anything else.

    -Clean your hands- use a wad of screen as a metal scrubber to get rid of paint.

    -Make compost tea, using the screen as mesh. 

    Photo Credit: Bethany J. Brady 


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    May 4, 2015
    DIY Toilet Cleaner

    I’m a huge fan of making my own household products. Usually, the ingredients are very cheap and you can make the products in large batches. An added bonus is that you know exactly what you are putting into them. That’s why I love this post by Sara McFall at My Merry Messy Life! Here is their recipe for all natural homemade toilet bowl cleaner:

    1/4 cup liquid castile soap 

    1 3/4 cup water

    2 tablespoons baking soda 

    1 teaspoon of essential oils to kill bacteria and freshen

    Mix all ingredients in a 16 oz. or larger squirt bottle and gently shake or swish.
    Squirt in the toilet bowl and use a brush to scrub it clean.

    Photo Credit: Laura Ritchie 


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    January 12, 2015
    Upcycling Idea: Ladder Shelf

    I absolutely love the whole “shabby chic” design trend. I think it just makes the home look cozy and lived in. But, my favorite décor style is bohemian! Flowy fabrics, rich colors, plants living in the house, mismatched throw pillows and rugs- it’s the absolute epitome of maximalism! Which I am all about. That’s why I love this project by Donna at Funky Junk. It incorporates the best of both worlds, while also upcycling an old piece. Check out her stepladder shelf tutorial here:

    -Select boards for shelves, wall supports, and something to connect the ladder to the wall.

    -Lean the full ladder against the wall at the desired angle. Attach ladder to the wall with top brackets. 

    -Mark how long you desire the boards to be, then cut to size.

    -Paint or stain boards if desired

    -Attach supports to wall, add boards.

    Photo Credit: My Latest Obesession 


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    December 12, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: DIY Solar Panel
    http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x2ccou6

    Really great idea!


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    December 9, 2014
    Saving Money By Winterizing Your Home

    Well, winter is officially here. And last winter, I had an electricity bill that was DOUBLE my monthly average– which is completely unacceptable. But, before those dreaded winter electricity bills come rolling in, you can prevent them! There are plenty of ways to lock down your home, get it ready for the cold, and save big. Check out this post by Teresa Mears at Yahoo Homes for home improvements that will keep you warm and toasty:

    -Caulk around windows and doors, seal up all holes

    -Put rugs down on non-carpeted floors

    -Cover holes around electric outlets

    -Add insulation in attic, crawl space, and basement

    -Put a blanket around the water heater

    Photo Credit: Bill Smith 03303 


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    September 15, 2014
    Energy Conservation Tips

    The cooler months have finally arrived! After a long summer of nearly 90° weather every day, I nearly shed tears of joy when it hit 60° a few days ago. I’m so excited for Fall and Winter! But, unfortunately, with colder weather comes higher electric bills. You can curb them later by making a few simple changes now. Get a jump start on winterizing with these easy energy saving tips by The Family Handyman, with tutorials on how to do each of them:

    -Find and seal leaks in the attic

    -Use foam gaskets to seal electrical boxes

    -Use silicone caulk and foil tape to seal leaks in ductwork

    -Wrap pipes with insulation.

    Photo Credit: thebarrowboy 


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    May 29, 2014
    Things You Didn’t Know You Could Clean With Salt

    There are tons of recipes out there for DIY, natural cleaners. Most of them use vinegar or baking soda, which works for almost everything. But, there is another natural cleaner sitting in your kitchen- table salt! Sea salt will also work for most of these. It’s a great exfoliator and will help you scrub almost anything back into shape: including most metals. Check out this post by Heather Schisler at Passion For Savings:

    Remove Soap Scum – Remove soap scum from bathroom tile by mixing salt and vinegar (about 1 part to 4 parts) and scrubbing. Wipe clean with damp rag.

    Remove Rust from Metal – Make a paste from salt, cream of tartar and water and apply to the item. Let sit in the sun (if possible) until dry and then buff clean.

    Add Shine to Chrome – Shine up sink faucets and other fixtures using a mixture made from 2 tablespoons salt and 1 teaspoon vinegar. Apply to fixture and then buff with a rag. Rinse with water and wipe dry.

    Photo Credit: Karyn Christner 


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