Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:30 am on Tuesday, April 9, 2013
If you’re going to keep your cat indoors, the best thing you can do is not let him/her know about the outdoors for as long as possible. Once a cat gets it into its head that it wants to go outside, you have a battle on your hands.
So I’m intrigued by this post on building an Outdoor Tunnel For Indoor Cats. Julia found a cat door that was made for windows, so she built a tunnel that runs along the fence of her garden and opens into a cage that sits under her lilac bush. Lucky cats!
Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:17 am on Friday, February 22, 2013
If the space between your bed and wall is narrow, consider putting in a wall-mounted nightstand, like this one from Little Green Notebook. The nightstand is made out of corbels, pine boards, screws, and paint. Click on the link to learn how she did it.
Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:10 am on Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Last October, someone left a bottle of cheap red wine at my house. It was too gross to drink. I thought of freezing it or cooking with it, but there was too much of it for that. And yet I didn’t want to pour it down the drain, in part because this is hardly the first time this has happened to me. For some reason, I often end up with cheap bottles of wine that no one wants to drink.
Then it occurred to me: since I had a free source of wine, why not turn it into a free source of vinegar instead?
I looked up making vinegar and discovered it takes is something called Mother of Vinegar. This is a bacteria that eats the alcohol and converts it to vinegar.
There are different mothers for different vinegars–in this case, because I had red wine, I would need a red wine mother. You can make vinegar without the Mother of Vinegar (more on that in a moment), but it takes longer. I purchased Mother of Vinegar from a local hobby store for $8. You can also buy it online.
To make the vinegar, I combined 2 cups of wine, 1 cup of water, and the mother in a sterilized 5-gallon jar. Then, because the vinegar needs air to convert, I covered it with a cheesecloth and a rubber band to keep the dirt out, like so:
I stored it in a dark place for three months. At the end of that time, I had vinegar.
Over the three months the Mother of Vinegar had turned into this weird, gel-like stuff that you can reuse to make more vinegar. So after I decanted the exiting vinegar, I added more cheap red wine and started a second batch.
Here are the pros of making your own vinegar:
* It tastes better. The homemade vinegar has a rich depth of flavor that is remarkable considering the cheapness of the wine. It will be great in cooking, salad dressings, and anything else that calls for vinegar.
* It’s easy. Combine everything in a clean jar, cover, and wait. Simple.
* I have a never-ending supply of vinegar. I can keep making vinegar for as long as I want–all I have to do is keep adding more wine, waiting three months, and decanting.
* It’s frugal. I paid $8 for the Mother and everything else I used was free. Considering that I can reuse the Mother, it will quickly pay for itself. Even if you don’t have a regular source of free wine like I do, wine can be bought for as low as $2.
I was so pleased with my red wine vinegar, I decided to make apple cider vinegar, this time without buying the mother. A friend had an old bottle of apple cider vinegar with bits of naturally formed Mother floating around in it. I combined it with homemade apple cider and put it in a jar with cheesecloth over the lid.
In a couple of months, we’ll see if I have apple cider vinegar too.
Here’s a video on making vinegar that shows you the Mother of Vinegar. I like that the woman reuses the wine bottle–I wish I had thought of that.
Filed under: DIY — Savvy Housekeeper at 7:16 am on Wednesday, January 2, 2013
The cat box has been an eye sore in my bathroom for awhile now. Just look at it.
With Savvy Junior veering toward crawling soon (and getting into things), I wanted something that would cover the cat box, look nice in the room, and double as a bench.
The problem was that our cat box was too wide for most furniture designed to cover cat boxes. I looked all over at chests, baskets, and boxes that I could cut a hole in the side, but nothing worked. They were either too big for the space or too expensive.
So I asked my dad to make me one as a Christmas present, and he did! Here it is.
I’m happy with it. It matches the dark stain we’re using in the bathroom and fits perfectly beside the toilet. It has no bottom, so it simply sits over the box. When we want to change the cat box, we either lift the cover off entirely, or lift the lid.