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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!
    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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    May 1, 2014
    Going Rustic

    A really popular interior design craze right now is rustic and shabby chic themed decor. If you want to capture that “log cabin in the mountains” feel, you just have to go with rustic furniture. This includes: pieces made from logs, twigs, or even driftwood to give it that old-timey, welcoming atmosphere. Check out this post by Emma’s Decoration blog on the history of rustic décor, along with info on how to get the look for yourself. Plus, there are plenty of gorgeous photos. I especially love the criss-crossing wooden headboard. Gorgeous!

    There are two types of rustic furniture; bentwood and twig work. In bentwood type of rustic furniture, sticks are harvested fresh or steamed to make them supple, then bent into a variety of structures and decorative shapes. In twig work sticks are straight, curved or forked. These sticks are assembled into structures and decorative shapes.

    Photo Credit: Anne Worner 


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    April 16, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Color Pop = New Life To Thriftstore Finds

    Photo from Indulgy


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    April 4, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: Upcycled Old Furniture Ideas
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    Some furniture that has been thrown out can be saved with some cleaning, sanding, painting, and TLC.


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    April 2, 2014
    Wordless Wednesday: Repurposed Steps As Bedside Table

    Photo from Indulgy


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    March 14, 2014
    Friday Fun Video: DIY Plastic Bag Dispenser
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    I re-use plastic grocery bags ALL the time, but they usually just sit in a wadded up ball in my laundry room. This dispenser is an eco-friendly alternative to make them a little more organized!


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    December 17, 2013
    Solar Panel Power How-To

    Switching to green energy is the way of the future. Not only will it save the environment in the long run, but it can also save you tons of money. One way to do this is by switching from electric power to solar power. An additional way to save on going green is by doing the solar panel installation yourself. This Instructable by Mr. Chicken is a great DIY tutorial. Their panels were found on Craigslist for only $250– that’s about as much as I pay for electricity for one month. Check it out here for more information!

    Photo Credit: Elliot Brown 


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    June 18, 2013
    Solar Shingles On Roof

    Solar power is a great way to make your house more eco-friendly and to cut back on the electricity bill. A type of solar panel, solar “shingles” actually look like asphalt shingles and blend in with them, rather than the standard bolt on solar panels, but have usually been more expensive. Recently though, solar shingles have gotten more competitive with pricing and have risen in popularity. They also come with the added bonus of functioning as durable, weatherproof shingles.

    The Scientific American also reports that installing solar shingles could cut your electricity bill by 40-60%.

     

    So, if you’re going to be re-shingling this summer anyway, solar shingles would be a great investment.

    Photo Credit: Saginaw Furniture

     


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    October 1, 2012
    Elbow Grease and Dawn for Home DIY

    A friend of mine told me this weekend that Dawn dish washing detergent was perfect for  killing pet fleas. They said you first must take off the collar and soap up around the neck. This would prevent fleas from going to your pet’s face as you wash the rest of their body.  There are about a zillion other uses for this diverse detergent.  From One Good Thing by Jillie,

    A cup of Dawn detergent poured into a clogged toilet allowed to sit for 15 minutes and then followed with a bucket of hot water poured from waist height will clear out the toilet. 

    Any way to keep the plumber away works for me!


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