cmt's Profile

Display Name: cmt
Member Since: 11/30/10

Latest Comments...

Smart styling. Even among these four, hard to choose a favorite.

Win: A Customized Chair from Joybird Giveaway
6/30/14 08:51 PM

Great ideas. When I was organizing my attic, I decided it was of vital importance that I label clearly every box and bag. It's one of things I know I ought to do, and really mean to do, but it often gets put off in the heat of organizing. I took the time to throw all the supplies I'd need for labeling into a box and took it with me to the attic. It made it so easy to get that niggling detail done that I managed to label everything. Now I know exactly what's where without opening anything. It also helped me think in terms of keeping like things together rather than jumbling everything into one box or bag. A favorite question of our local radio psychologist is, "What's standing between you and your goal?" That simple little labeling kit removed one little barrier between me and an organized home. Now to tackle 1 to 7 on your list! Thanks for the motivation.

7 Secrets to Getting Anything Done Around the House
5/25/14 03:52 PM

My mother lives in a freestanding house, a very nice one at that, but her kitchen became infested with roaches. Because she is elderly, she chose to pretend they weren't there rather than dealing with them. I took on the task of getting rid of them, which was no small feat. The worst part was going round and round with my mother about the need to tackle the job (which I assured her I would do completely on my own). I used way too many chemicals in a desperate attempt to get rid of them in the very small window of opportunity I had to tackle the job. Along with chemicals (only partially successful), I used Tom Cat baited traps (they worked quite well). The last thing I did was deposit a centipede there that I happened upon in my house and trapped. I have not seen a roach since, nor the centipede. Draw your own conclusions; I think the centipede had a field day. I read about them before I did this and found everything that is mentioned in this article. If you're frightened of them, get over it. They're beneficial and well worth having around. I'll take an army of centipedes any day over roaches.

The House Centipede: Get Rid of Them, or Let Them Be?
5/8/14 01:51 PM

Oh to have thighs like that. But, clothes make the woman.

BRING IN SPRING: Win a $500 Shopping Spree from LOFT Giveaway
3/25/14 10:26 PM

I sleep best alone. So happy when I was able to take over DS's room when he left. I made the mistake when I brought him home from the hospital of bringing him to bed with us, out of pure desperation. I had a recurring nightmare every night for six months that I had rolled over and smothered him (which I later found out was a real possibility, duh). After a week of no sleep I realized that "The Family Bed" was a family nightmare. I let him cry it out in his crib, then spent 18 years waiting for college. Oh sure, I could have taken a pillow and put an end to that snoring, sneezing, wheezing, coughing (etc) person I still shared a bed with, but I'd have probably had nightmares about that, too.

5 Things to Avoid for a Good Night's Sleep Apartment Therapy's Home Remedies
3/13/14 01:24 AM

Really a handsome piece and intriguingly simple for us drill-endowed people. Also, a nice, simple gift for someone, anyone. Perhaps easy enough for a child to make, with help. I can see this accommodating cords nicely, say, to make a cell phone charging station (or "landing pad" as described elsewhere). Thanks.

DIY Project Idea: How to Make a Modern Pegboard Shelving System Apartment Therapy Tutorial
1/23/14 11:19 PM

I used to watch Korean soap operas on tv and was always intrigued by the fact that many Koreans sleep on mats on the floor. It's interesting that we Americans are so consumed with super soft cushy springy mattresses. Just for the fun of it, could you interview some people who sleep on the floor? I have tried one of those memory foam mattress toppers and couldn't stand it. I like a little foam cushioning on a firm mattress. Thanks for the tour. Interesting ongoing exploration.

A Visit To The Sealy Mattress Factory and Testing Lab Trinity, NC
1/22/14 10:23 PM

Regifting is fine as long as you are giving the gift because you're sure the recipient will like it. I like Suezq's idea of giving the gift not to get credit for it for an occasion, but explaining it's an item you can't use. That gives them the option of declining it. But if they like it, they will remember your generosity and thoughtful approach of passing it along as a non-gift.
If you still want to wrap it and get credit, triple check that there is no gift card or personal note anywhere, or you'll get dissed in somebody's blog for sure.

Apartment Therapy’s Guide to Regifting
1/2/14 12:53 PM

Don't overthink it. Decorate to please yourself. Redecorate often for stimulation if you want. Curtains are the easiest to swap out, as well as wall hangings, pictures, mobiles. Instead of devoting hours to reading what other people think, read to your child. Even an infant will benefit listening to you read aloud. That's how they learn to talk. When they're infants, read something that appeals to you, that has an interesting cadence. Your happiness will be passed on to your child. That's a beneficial stimulant.
Good points being made by others here. Probably no one surefire route to MacArthur Fellow, so just wing it. My son turned out pretty well and my decorating approach was: White walls, cute homemade curtains with sweet bunnies holding red, yellow, blue balloons, and a place for everything and everything all over the place. That's it. Curtains stayed up way longer than they should have. I liked them. Room perpetually messy. Well, actually, whole house perpetually messy. But, boy did I read a lot. To my son, that is.

Soothing Neutrals vs. Stimulating Color: What's the Right Choice for a Nursery?
9/4/13 12:22 AM

I've only been to LA once for 5 days. It was much more fun than I thought it would be, having lived most of my life on the East Coast. Much to be said for LA. However, I'm surprised no one has mentioned what struck me as one of the most unpleasant aspects of the city: the number of homeless people. Also, the fact that the whole city smells like a urinal, and the necessity to be constantly on the lookout for the "streams" running across the sidewalks. The homeless are a sad fact of life in every big city. They aren't as aggressive at panhandling in LA as in some other cities, but substance abuse seems to be a major factor, and mental illness. Maybe you learn to ignore them once you settle in.

A Survival Guide to Life in Los Angeles:
10 Things You Need To Know

8/8/13 01:38 AM

I agree to an extent with Shiver, but then again, there are parties where you want both a large number of attractive plates and to escape the burden of washing dishes. That is the slot I'd put these plates into. Very attractive. Wouldn't use them all the time, but in certain situations, they'd work well.

Bambu Disposable Plates
7/29/13 12:45 PM

I had become intrigued by the Spice House in Chicago because their website speaks so lovingly and knowledgeably about the products they sell. On a visit to Chicago, I eagerly purchased a large quantity of spices and herbs at their store, and stashed them in my carry on. Ironically, I had asked the sales clerk if she thought there would be any problem at the airport. "Oh no, I think it's only a problem if you carry liquids."
Once, in Denmark, I had my bag opened because I had triggered some kind of sensor. An ever so polite Danish security agent spied my bottle of kardemumma and suggested cheerfully that that was what had set off the sensor. I dug out a moose-shaped firestarter candle and suggested that perhaps it was that instead. Indeed, it was, but I have always wondered if spices trigger airport sensors.
For whatever reason, the Midway TSA agent dutifully opened my carry on bag and I watched his eyes grow to the size of saucers. Suddenly I thought, "Hmm, a suitcase full of cellophane bags full of dried green leaves does look a bit suspicious in this context." I explained what it was, kept a calm demeanor, cracked a few jokes with the agent. Eventually, he let it go. Frankly, if you were to take a look at me, it is far easier to imagine me as someone who likes to cook than as a drug mule. On a subsequent trip, I took a chance and made another haul of spices and herbs, triple bagged in ziplock bags, and got through without a hitch. With a nod to Berenbaum's heartbreaking story, I wonder what would have happened if I had put it in my checked luggage. Would some gleeful agent have pocketed it and tried to smoke my oregano? It's always a toss up whether carry on or checked is more vulnerable, but at least you can keep an eye on things with carry on.

What's The Craziest Thing You've Ever Flown With?
7/22/13 08:53 PM

Cool. I'd like to sleep in this! I guess I long ago lost the ability to feel like a princess, so I harken back to my childhood and remember when I could conjure up such thoughts. I can see why you took the quick route and I'm fine with it. Been there, done that. Sometimes it either happens quick and dirty or it doesn't happen at all. The only thing that makes me a bit uneasy (because I did the same thing for my son's bed and felt guilty about it) was the use of plywood. I read once that it outgasses and it's a source of indoor air pollution. I had no other answer for the bed platform, so I used it (and no sympathy from DH). In fact, the bed is still there, in use, with a dragon print bedspread hanging from curtain rods above it. Just wondered if you ever gave any thought to plywood use, since you were so careful to consider outgassing when you investigated mattresses. Can I let go of this guilt yet? He's in college (now I sleep in his bed, haha; dragon's don't snore). Oh, he didn't die from it either, nor the rough edges and miraculously the curtain rods never fell down on top of him. Well, other things did, but that's another story.

How To Make a Simple Princess Bed Apartment Therapy Tutorials
5/28/13 11:38 PM

A friend passed on to me the dishes-in-the-oven trick decades ago. Really helpful. Mostly. A friend was coming over with her preschoolers. Didn't get around to the dishes. Put them in the oven. Would have worked except, she is a vegan. I always struggled to second guess what was appropriate for her extremely restricted diet, the details of which were always relayed after the fact. Every visit was a lecture on another forbidden food. Throw in a vegan toddler, double trouble. I begged her to bring food for her kids. She brought veg lasagne...which needed some heating up. No problemo--throw it in the mickey. That's when I learned these people don't cook with electricity. (Huh? Never saw that coming.) "Just put it in the gas oven for a few minutes...." Uber mom (with the immaculate house) doesn't visit any more. Your real friends will love you, dirty dishes and all.
Oh yeah, watch out for the jam-all-the junk-in-shopping-bags-and-toss-them-in-the-garage trick. They store flat and can be easy to yank out in a hurry. The handles make them easy to haul, several at a time. My mom used to do that. Dad threw them out thinking they were trash. Label them, in big letters?? Or unpack in a hurry after guests leave.
Oh yeah, friends might give you advance notice, but mothers-in-law like surprise visits, and they WILL inspect the house.

5 Tips to Make Your House Appear Cleaner Than It Is
11/22/12 11:20 AM

I'm with you on the traditional dirt cakes, so I'm happy to see your version. Since DS is in college, I no longer have a need for Halloween party food, but would like an excuse to make about a spring garden version. Your ghosts are pretty darn cute, but could we plant a veggie garden or flowers in the dirt, for the gardening club? Why should the drunken dudes be the only ones to enjoy this comfort food?

Recipe: Peanut Butter and Chocolate Graveyard Dirt Cake Recipes From The Kitchn
10/30/12 01:30 PM

I've been using rain barrels for a few years now. It all seemed so sweet and simple when I was planning it. Reality check: things go wrong. I have spent the last few years tweaking my system. I would definitely recommend a diverter system that will channel water back into the downspout when the container is full. My rain barrels can fill in 20-30 minutes in a heavy downpour. Then I have to run outside in the rain and switch my flexible downspout to channel into the regular downspout, or have it flood the areas around the barrels. This is not fun. I didn't buy diverters because they cost some serious money, but trust me, if you have the money, it's worth it. Daisy chaining is another alternative, but somehow my adapted olive barrels won't daisy chain. (I bought them with the spouts already installed). I think the angle of the spouts on the shoulders of the barrels is pointing up, and the water doesn't flow out of them.The other problem I have is the plastic has cracked around the spouts and they leak. A leaky rain barrel is as useful as a leaky boat. The spout is only marginally useful for filling a watering can because it is so small. It's much faster to dip the watering can in the top. The spout would work with a hose, as long as the barrel is higher than the garden. My garden is higher than the ground around my house. Water does not run uphill. Rube Goldberg would be amused by my work around for that. As I said, endless tinkering and frustration. When pricing water harvesting systems, include the cost of multiple barrels (you use the water pretty quickly during dry spells), diverters, hoses, and some mosquito dunks. By the way, I broke my dunks into chunks and sewed them into used nylon tea bags. If you do this (and it does work nicely), attach something bright to them (fishing bobs would work) because I've lost some when when scooping water out with a bucket, or upending the barrels to get the last drops out during a drought. I find them. eventually, strewn about the garden. It helps to have something bright to catch your eye. If you don't like the color of your barrel, consider painting it. As for food grade barrels, you can't drink the water, but you definitely want to avoid a recycled barrel that was used to transport chemicals of some kind that might leach into the water from the plastic. One last comment, I save extra water in 5 gallon plastic buckets I happen to have. Sometimes it seems like a ridiculous amount of water, but right now my reserve is gone due to a prolonged dry spell. You never know.

Helpful Links: Rain Barrel Roundup
7/12/12 02:23 PM

I would add to the list cleaning the handles of the refrigerator and freezer, often. I make it part of my weekly thorough kitchen cleaning routine. Likewise, the kitchen timer buttons. Also, for those who use ice cube trays, clean them occasionally. These are all things that get handled frequently, often with hands that haven't been washed.
Vinegar works nicely on my toothbrush holder with a metal base, set in a small dish to soak. Regarding the bag o' vinegar on the shower head, I suggest posting a note in the shower, or in some way bring attention to the bag over the shower head that is full of vinegar. It is easy to forget it's there and turn the water on....
I like to get further mileage from the used vinegar by cleaning other items, like chrome bath fixtures, or ones where there is less concern about hygiene, like rusty tools. Used vinegar can be kept in an appropriately labeled, lidded jar for "another day." It could also be used to some effectiveness for killing weeds in sidewalks.

Ten Household Items You Can Clean in One Minute (And Probably Should)
6/27/12 01:41 PM

Item six would need to be clean out the kitchen sink and everything within ten feet, after washing a dog in it. Every other cleaning task pales in comparison.

5 in 15: Five Spring Cleaning Chores To Conquer in Fifteen Minutes
5/8/12 09:52 PM

I also made these last night, following the Friesencold recipe. They are edible, but I wouldn't make them again. If your diet doesn't include fats or sugars, I suppose they're fine. Healthy, certainly. However, you can make a far better cookie with the traditional addition of shortening or butter and some white or brown sugar. Sad reality. I think I'd rather eat a bowl of hot oatmeal with some dates and walnuts, even some ground flax seed thrown in, and a banana on the side. Each of these ingredients tastes fine on its own, but this combination does none of them justice.

Healthy Snack Recipe: 4-Ingredient Banana Oat Bars
9/23/11 11:43 AM

I found it rather dark and nasty, compared to USDS. There was a viciousness to the characters, and very little of the compassion there use to be in the Masterpiece Theatres of the past. I found few sympathetic characters, but many to dislike. It seemed to be the theme of the show. There certainly have been a boatload of shows over the years about the lord and his manor, dripping with lavish settings and period dress. There needs to be more than that, though, to really draw me in. Wickedness is not an end in itself.

The Stylish Obsession is Back: Downton Abbey
9/20/11 09:51 PM