July 19, 2010

Opt Out

I'm not sure how it happened, I usually carefully protect both my home address and email address from unsolicited mail, but all of a sudden, I was receiving numerous unwanted catalogs.

Upon returning from vacation last year, my counter was covered in catalogs. The one thing I dread when returning from vacation is going through all the piled up mail, I was overwhelmed. I decided that I no longer wanted to take part in this unnecessary use of paper, gas, energy and time. For the next month, I vowed to take the time to call every single company that was sending me catalogs and opt out of their circulation. So each day if a catalog (s) was in my mailbox, I walked into the house and called. ("No time like the present.") Though it took some time, eventually the catalogs stopped coming and guess what, I don't miss them at all.

Would it be hard to give up your catalogs? Do you feel like you would be missing out?

July 12, 2010

Awesome Etching

Ever since Wendy posted about numbering stemware at SimplyBrookes, I've had this project in mind. And while wine charms are well, charming, I like the simplicity of numbered stemware.

Step-by-step directions:
Basic stemware from CostPlus, 12 glasses for 24.99. (I am constantly breaking wine glasses,thus, I keep to the basic inexpensive finds).

Carefully mark off a square, I used a 2in.square. This can be tricky as the glass is not flat, bend the tape to keep outline square. Press it down firmly to prevent uneven lines.

Center number sticker. Stickers can be found in the scrapbook section of craft store.

Using gloves, apply a thick layer of etching cream. This cream is highly caustic, use care and be sure to read the directions before applying.

After 5 min., rinse off etching cream, removing tape and sticker(keep your gloves on). I used a large bucket of water outside for rinsing.

Repeat steps to number all your stemware. Once the stemware has dried, the etching appeared darker, looks perfect.

Love how they turned out!

This was a simple project requiring an hour of time and resulting in unique, classic stemware. For a recap, to etch your own glasses, you will need the following items:
  • Stemware or glassware
  • Etching Cream
  • Painters tape, I like Frogtape
  • Number stickers
  • Gloves
  • Inexpensive paint brush
  • Heavy paper for square stencil
  • Water for rinsing

If you decide to etch your own glasses or other items, please send me photo(s). I would love to see the results.

Thanks for visiting!

July 7, 2010

Sink Situation

While at my parents house a couple of years ago, I was helping out with some tidying in the bathroom. When I went to grab cleaning products under the sink, I noticed that way in the back, their sink lines had been leaking for some time. The cupboard was somewhat warped and the drywall was water stained. Not that my parents are cluttery, but with the usual amount of items stored below in the sink cupboard, they had not been able to see that the lines had been leaking.

Ever since then, I have been pretty diligent about keeping the area under the kitchen and bathroom sinks clean and clear. This allows for visual leak checks and also limits bumping into PVC piping that can easily loosen or dislodge.

I recently repurposed this wine basket into a slim, simple cleaning caddy for under the kitchen sink. Window cleaner,squeegee, counter top spray, baking soda (for cleaning) and compost bags fit perfectly.

The next time you do dishes, take a look under your kitchen sink:
  • Can you streamline the items stored?
  • Can excess or bulk cleaning supplies be moved to the laundry room or garage?
  • Grab a flashlight, run the water and check for leaks
  • Clear out all items, wipe down the cupboard and restock only necessary items
  • Repeat above steps in each bathroom

While not the funnest chore, it may save you water damage headaches down the road.

July 1, 2010

The Vortex

Plastic Vortex in Pacific

As a mother of teens, there are many things that keep me up at night. And though I am known as a bit of a worry wart, you might not expect that I worry about the "plastic vortex", that swirling mass of plastic, roughly the size of Texas, assembled in the Pacific Ocean. My walking friend can attest to my obsessive litter pick-up as I mutter about the vortex.

We can all pat ourselves on the back for our great habits regarding reusable canvas bags for shopping trips. Now it is time to take our habits to another level. As my plastic consumption awareness has grown, I look for more alternatives, most recently these durable (and reusable) polyester bags for produce.

While my local PCC Natural Market sells these bags in various sizes in their produce section, they are not available in most mainstream grocery stores. At ReusableBags.com, a set of 5 bags will cost you $10.95, keeping countless produce bags from landfills and possibly the "vortex".

If you have other tips regarding reduction of using plastic items, please share! Thanks so much for reading this post. I hope this inspires you to adapt and change another habit and pass it on to others.