About atkokosplace

I am the unplanned child to a woman so strong. A sister to brothers. A dreamer. A writer. Ninja in the dark. Star shaped in a very square world. Teacher to eager ears. My learning desire is quenchless. On the outside looking in. Not interested in the fake. Wizard when I can find my wand. Fascinated by fireflies. Fighter of underdogs. Small, but mighty. Believer in superheros. Ecstatic to be different. Provider of nourishing meals, sassy when needed, quirky at best. Epic concoction maker. Boredom doesn't exist.

Bissell Crosswave Review

Bissell came out with a new one! In this post, I will be reviewing the older model. And will compare the two using their site for reference.

Let me begin by saying how much I love my Bissell! It really is a game changer. You can watch the review here on youtube, if you don’t want to watch it, please read on.

What this machine does is it vacuums and washes your floor at the same time! If you are tired of being on your hands and knees scrubbing your floors, if you have kids, pets, a lot of foot traffic, just want clean floors….this is for YOU! It’s lightweight and easy to use and easy to clean. Buy it! I’m seriously in love with this machine. It has saved me so much time and time is something you can’t get back! It has helped my back, as in it got me up off the floor. I can now have clean floors without the stress on my back. Did I mention how much I love this?!

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Here it is in all its glory!

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Pretty!

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Easy push button for different surfaces.

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This button releases clean water.

 

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Only a few parts. Makes things nice and easy!

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All parts easy to put on and take out of machine.

This Crosswave vacuums and washes at the same time, saving me so much time and not to mention energy. (I know i’ve already said it! I’m just so excited about this machine!) It used to take me hours to wash my entire house floors. As the years went by, I’d have to break up my home into sections because it was getting difficult to scrub and clean for so long on my hands and knees. I’d been trying to find a better way. I tried many “tools”, mop, swifter, other types of things attached to a pole and nothing would clean the way I would, using my own hands. There had to be a better way and gosh did I find it! I know this sounds like a bad commercial, but seriously, this machine has given me time back not to mention I’m not exhausted from cleaning. My back thanks me.

Now if you have the “green” Crosswave; the original or if you have the new “purple” one; the Crosswave Pet Pro, you can’t go wrong. I haven’t used the Pet Pro yet and I no doubt will pick one up so I can show you the difference. In the meantime, from all that I’ve read, the difference that I can find are the bristles on the roller for the Pet Pro might be a smidge longer and on the Pet Pro there is a “pet hair” strainer. Both new features will fit on the older model and can be purchased through them! Way to go Bissell. Thank you for making something that can enhance the old model without having to purchase a whole new machine.

So this “fur/debris” catcher fits inside the container that catches all the dirty water. It’s like a strainer so you can easily pull out the debris and toss it in the trash and the dirty water you can dump down sink or flush down the toilet. I wouldn’t normally buy this as I don’t find taking out the clumps of hair by hand an issue, however I will, so I can review it for you at a later date.

The (maybe) longer bristles on the “new” roller is something I am very interested in, so I do see myself purchasing that even if I wasn’t reviewing it (I wouldn’t mind a new brush anyway). They also have two other rollers; one for wood floors and one for rugs. I’m going to definitely buy the multi surface roller and will probably succumb to the wood floor and rug roller attachments too, just so I can see how well they work. FYI, the multi surface roller that I have been using works perfectly for all the surfaces that I’ve used it on.

Again, kudos to Bissell for making new attachments that fit the older model. I wish the Pet Pro was the same color as the original Crosswave. I’m not fond of that purple on a machine I use so constantly it is like a piece of furniture in my house! Hahaha. Other than the color, I am a fan! Insert cheering here* woohoo!

You can check out more details on Bissell’s site here!

So, should you buy this? For me it was a no brainer. I’ve been using this crosswave going on two years. I think in the video I said I use it 2-3 times a week. I probably use it 3-4 times on average. Some weeks I’ve used it daily. Basically this machine gets used! A lot! And still running like a champion.

Got me up off my knees! Which…

Eased back tension.

Gave me back time! From the moment my eyes open, I’m on my feet doing something. The Crosswave saved me time! Lots of time! Time you can’t get back!

Two in one; vacuums and washes at the same time.

Eliminate multiple “tools”. This replaces many.

Easy to use. Maneuverability and size of this machine make it easy to move about my home.

Easy to clean. Simple and easy to clean the machine when done using.

Not a big cumbersome machine. Storing it in a small space is very doable.

Makes cleaning fun! Not as fun as eating chocolate cake or hiking with my favorite peeps, though I save time using it so I can have fun eating said cake and go hiking!

If you are teetering on if you should buy this, know that Bissell is donating up to $1,000,000 a year to BISSELL® Pet Foundation™3. That’s pretty awesome to me!

Q and A

How much can you clean before having to dump the tank? On the Bissell site, it says, “700 sq feet”. Just so you all know, dumping out the container isn’t a big deal. Seriously simple and easy and fast.

What kind of surfaces can you use the Crosswave on? On the Bissell site, it says, “Sealed wood, sealed laminate, tile, and linoleum as well as area rugs!” On my video I say I even use it on my carpeted stairs and in the garage. I would also use it on a room that had carpet, but I’m not telling you to do that! 😉

Do you need to vacuum first? I vacuum sometimes before I use the Crosswave, but it isn’t necessary. I have a lot of furry four-legged family members. I vacuum anywhere from 2-4 times a day and I Crosswave a lot during the week.

Thank you sooooo much for popping in here At-Kokos-Place! If you have this machine, I’d love to hear your thoughts and if you have any more questions, please mention them in the comment section and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

Have a happy day and happy cleaning!

Hugs and Peace,

Koko

 

 

 

 

 

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Repurposing An Old Cat Tree

 

IMG_2516Breathing new life into something old…My first instinct is how can I fix it. Tossing stuff out and buying new is always easier, but not always easier on the wallet, and besides that, I don’t always find the “new” better than what I already have. They just don’t make things like they used to. All too often I find that statement is so true. Though in this case, my cat tree is nothing special and yes, you can find this style and probably better, but my cats like it and that’s most important. So I’m going to spiffy this one up.

Before I show you what I did, remember when I made a cat tree/bed out of a wooden spool? You can see it here… That was when I found out how much they really liked to scratch on sisal. Which is why I chose to use sisal to freshen up this tree instead of wrap more carpet around it. I may do carpet again another time, but I have a few rolls of sisal, so sisal it is! Here’s what I did…

Supplies:

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one old cat tree

sisal rope

hot glue gun

glue sticks

scissors

vacuum

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Vacuum the tree really well. I usually get to it about once a week to help keep the hair down in the house. If I didn’t vacuum the house a few times a day, it would look like I live in a “hair” house! Ack!!!!

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Cut/trim off any strings or carpet strands. See the hair? That’s because I had helpers while trimming, hence the need to vacuum a lot! Good thing I can vacuum the cats too. I put on the brush attachment and go at them. They actually like it! 🙂

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I really let this tree go! You know, “Oh I will get to it later?”…

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After trimming loose parts, I hot glued down carpet parts that have loosened. (That’s Evan the dog. He is one of the sweetest pups I’ve had the privilege to have in my life. He’s got the most unique fur. I will feature him in a post one day. He’s so cool, he has his own instagram!)

Depending on how your tree was originally made… I found the carpet was stapled along the seam. That’s fine, but if the cats scratched it loose around the stapled part, then the whole carpet piece was loose. I cut parts of the carpet off. Later on, I realized I could have left it. Either way I found it worked whether I left the carpet loose or cut it off.

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Choose a good place to start. I hot glued at the beginning of the sisal rope and then as I wound the rope around I added more hot glue. I wanted this good and tight as I know my cats and they really, really love to scratch on sisal. 

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Here you can see I decided to cut off the carpet. I didn’t see the sense in leaving a little piece here and there, though I doubt it would have made a difference under the sisal. BTW, that’s Chaz. My helper for the moment. 

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Chaz didn’t move at all. I guess he found what I did interesting.

Find another section that needs sisal and keep on hot glueing around and around and around…

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and around…

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That’s Spencer at the top this time and Eva peeking through! One more leg to go…

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The last leg! Finally.

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Done!

Easy project. This did take longer than I expected. I think having “helpers” added to the time, but I wouldn’t have it any other way!

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This time, at the top, is Sherlock. Aptly named as he is our most curious cat! And Chaz who is always good for relaxing “down at the club”. 

Tree looks much better! The best part is, the cats are happy to use it!

Tips:

Hot glue is HOT so be careful. You can use a chop stick or a screw driver to hold the sisal in place for a few seconds as it dries.

Sisal can poke into your skin. I had to tweeze out a couple “splinters”. You can wear leather gloves. I just sucked it up! Hahaha. I don’t do well with gloves. Which is why I have to deal with poison ivy on my hands when I’m out doing yard work.

You can hot glue a section and just wrap the sisal around a few times and then glue another small section. You don’t really need to glue every inch as you go along.

If your cat prefers carpet, home improvement stores carry carpet remnants. Rugs are also great and you can buy them at places like Target. They are smaller and easier to handle. I’ve used a good razor blade knife (be super careful) and cut the sizes I need.

The sisal I used for this project I bought at HomeDepot a couple of years ago. I did a check and they still carry sisal. Make sure it’s all natural, free from chemicals. This one states:  Safe for use with pet toys like cat scratching posts. Natural fiber-twisted rope is biodegradable and economical. Home Depot also ships! Since this project used up the last of my stock, I will be getting more. Sisal is really handy and I use it for many projects.

We know how finicky cats can be, so I hope this gives you an option to redo a cat tree your kitty already loves!

You are FABULOUS for reading this far! And I thank you so much for doing so! I hope you have a purrfectly happy day!

Koko

Ninja Coffee Bar with Glass Carafe

I had a Cuisinart Coffee maker I had been using for almost three years. The review on that can be found here . I really liked that coffee maker. A lot! At almost three years, the machine itself started leaking water. The coffee maker still worked, but the side where it made hot water sprung a leak. I tried taking it apart to see where it was coming from and I found the parts I would need just wasn’t worth it to fix. Enter the Ninja Coffee Bar with Glass Carafe!

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This is the Ninja Coffee Bar with Glass Carafe!

I looked at a few dozen types of coffee pot machines and after careful thought, I decided on this Ninja. It didn’t hurt that it was on sale at Target! I believe I picked it up for less than half the price. Winning! 🙂

Ninja’s words…”Ninja has a patent-pending brewing technology designed to deliver better, richer- tasting coffee with variable richness levels that are never bitter. Only the Ninja Coffee Bar® brewer has Thermal Flavor Extraction, which truly unlocks the full flavor potential of your coffee using automated controls for Temperature Calibration, Pre-infusion & Coffee Saturation.”

The settings brews four types of coffee; classic, rich, over-ice, specialty. I have used them all. It’s stepped up my coffee game! Classic Brew is what I’d call a regular brew, a nice perfectly brewed coffee. I like this setting when I drink it black. The Rich Brew is a bolder flavor. And by bold I don’t mean bitter. Just a nice stronger flavor. If you use milks or creams, I find you don’t lose out on that coffee flavor. Using the Over Ice Brew makes the coffee even richer so as not to lose any coffee flavor when pouring over ice. No watered down taste! The Specialty Brew is even more concentrated coffee, making the coffee flavor just right when making any type of “fancy” concoctions. It comes with a recipe booklet too. Tweaking the recipes to my tastes is a lot of fun. WE have coffee bar nights where we pick a recipe to try! A great “party” theme.

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 Their trademarked Ninja Easy Frother™ is such a simple design that does the job very well! I’ve had other frothers, yet there’s something about this one that sets it apart. To me, it froths the milk much faster and the consistency of the froth is much thicker.

This coffee pot doesn’t have a filter. It wasn’t a deal breaker for me as I use filtered water anyway, though I  had to “get over” not having my coffee double filtered, hahaha! As it turns out, it’s good in the way that I don’t have to remember to change the filter (and the cost savings of buying them) and have to deal with another compartment to keep clean. And speaking of keeping it clean, this pot is very easy to clean. The machine comes apart easily. Nothing tricky about it. Seriously easy!

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The reservoir is a neat feature. Ninja’s Auto-iQ™ One Touch Intelligence feature sends out the right amount of water you need depending on what size you want. Super cool! I keep it full of filtered water, so making a cup, half a pot, or full pot is quick and easy. You can remove the water container to fill it or you can pour water into it from another pitcher or other vessel (which is what I do most of the time).

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See that silver round piece? It flips down and that is where you set your cup for that single serving cup. Flipping it back up allows you to make a travel sized mug full of coffee, or of course, a half pot or full pot.

What I like about this feature is you can make that single serving or travel mug size without using those “pods”. I have yet to meet a pod that made a decent cup of coffee or tea for that matter. By the way… I’ve used this machine to make yerba mate tea! It does a fantastic job at brewing it just right! How does it know? 😉

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My only “con” about this set up…the mouth of the carafe is small. You can’t fit your hand inside to clean it. So, you need a bottle brush or something like that to clean it effectively. This is not a complete deal breaker, however, if I were looking at two coffee makers, both being equal, but one had the traditional carafe opening, I would buy the wider opening. Ninja does sell a soft sponge brush for $5.95. See the video I made below to so see how I clean my carafe! 

Continue reading

DIY Shelves Ikea Style

 

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I’m super excited about the new shelves in my home! There were some minor hiccups along the way, (isn’t that how it usually is with DIY… you experiment, try new things?) even with the “ack” moments, I’m really happy with the way it all turned out. This is how it went down…or up?…

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I tried to make my own stain using the steel wool method. Notice the word tried? I want to give this DIY stain another go. I believe my mistake was letting this mixture sit too long. Thus the strong rust color rather than the weathered gray I was going for.

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1. Fine steel wool in a glass jar  2. Pour white vinegar to cover steel wool (about 2 cups)  3. Let sit for a few days  4. Stain is made (again, I think I let mine sit too long)

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These brackets are from Ikea. I bought them about 10 years ago. They were light pine, lovely as is, but I wanted a weathered look. The second bracket from the left was after one coat and the third bracket was after a second coat. Neither color was anywhere near the weathered gray I was going for.

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I found the stain didn’t go on evenly even though I applied it evenly. Perhaps it was because I didn’t use a wood conditioner.

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I had hoped with a third coat the color would even out somewhat (and hoping the color would gray out as they dried…), but that was not the case. As I mentioned above, the color came out a “rust” color instead of the weathered gray I was hoping to achieve. At this point I was not in a full-blown panic, but more like “ack”! I’d been waiting for the right time and place to use these and now I’ve ruined them! What do I do now?

So… I got out my trusty DeWALT palm sander and went at the brackets. I didn’t sand them down to bare wood as I still wanted the weathered look and decided a whitewashed technique could be just what these brackets needed. You can see the whitewashed technique here.

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I wanted to mention how I hang stuff on my walls. TAPE. I use tape to “see” what the finished look will look like. You will see in future posts that the artwork is hung different from what is taped here (hence the beauty of using tape. See it before the nails go in.) I also changed the color of the walls in this room. The clock stayed in the same spot and so did the shelves. 🙂 I moved the cat house you see in the corner of the picture to the hall upstairs. I’ve noticed the cats scratch at it way more up there and it seems to be a great spot for them to go to when they need some quiet time. (see the cat post here) The lamp was moved to another room. You can see the lamp shade project here. Following At Koko’s Place you will see that things rarely stay in the same place for long!

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The boards I used for the shelves used to be one of two huge bookcases. My awesome husband took them apart for me and the boards sat in the garage where they awaited what their new life would be. Picture them stained the darkest brown color you see here. I sanded them, leaving both the natural wood color and some of the brown stain, knowing I would whitewash the boards using the technique I did on the dresser turned desk here.

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In making the bookcases, I countersunk screws… In making shelves, I didn’t want them to show. I then cut four boards down to 40 1/2 inches long using my DeWALT jig saw and then sanded the edges. 

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Patch away I did. There was a lot of patching to do! After patching, I sanded it all flat.

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Dark gray walls now! The rack of plants I move around to follow the sun. And spoiled pets…the reason we bought sofas. 😉

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Taped the walls again after the new color went on. Frog tape was used this time instead of Scotch Blue. The headlamp was because I decided to hang the shelves around midnight and I didn’t have adequate lighting in the room at the time. What? I know I’m not the only one that does projects at odd hours 😉

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I used the level as I taped the lines. It made the job easier for me. I didn’t have studs where I needed them to be, so I used wall anchors. Best invention. See them in this project here.

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Four down, four to go!

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Even though I pre-leveled, I still would check the level as I went along. I also made sure the brackets were in a straight line.

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All done! Now to add the boards.

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*Insert happy squeal here!

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Plants bought from Trader Joe’s, Home Depot, and Costco. Owl from TJMaxx. Buddha, can’t remember, I’ve had him for a long time.

I lived with the blue, then the green tapes for a bit. Over the course of a few weeks, I moved the tapes from three shelves to four and played with the spacing. I tried to picture what I would have on the shelves and how tall I envisioned the plants to grow. Since I love greenery, I knew I wanted more space to put them so that was why I added the fourth shelf. And I am happy I did!

Thank you so much for reading. As always, I appreciate YOU! Have a beautiful day!

❀Be well and just love! Peace, Koko❀

 

Dyson Pure Hot+Cool Link Review

Dyson heats, cools, air purifies your space! All three in one! How cool is that?!

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Look what Santa brought me! Dreams do come true. Santa knew! I don’t know how, I never said it out loud, nor did I write it in a letter to the big guy. Though I have a feeling a special elf was involved!

I am super stoked to be talking about my new toy! I’ve walked by these units on display at stores for a couple of years. I must admit they had me at the “cool” setting during one very hot summer. The delightful coolness had me sighing and the near silent machine had me in awe! Then as winter would come they’d turn on the Dyson units that “heat”. The yummy warmth literally had me dreaming of one for myself. Something I didn’t know was Dyson made a unit that did both hot and cool and to make it even better they made it with an air purifier too! What!? Yes you heard me right.

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Seven is helping me unbox. What a good kitty!

Since I took this out of the box, I’ve been using it daily. I know it’s too soon to review the longevity of it, but I will do a re-review on that later on during the year.

If you get a chance, take a look at the video about it HERE. Or watch below 🙂

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I like its compact size and how quiet it is while on. I love the magnet feature on the remote. When done using it, you can set it on the top of the unit and it stays! No more losing the remote!

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The first thing my daughter said was it reminds her of “R2D2”. Of course we had to give ours a name!

This is really easy to use. The controls are simple even for someone who isn’t techie savvy like me! I love that this is basically a 3 in 1; heat, cools, and air purifies. I love that this will replace three units in my home; space heater, fan, and air purifier and I’m looking forward to not having to carry the many units I do have up in the attic with each season when not needed.

The only con I can tell this far is the filter is not washable or reusable. But…from reading the manual, the filter should last a year if using this unit for 12 hours a day! That really is pretty awesome. I’m sure the filter will depend on individual homes: dust, dander, outdoor pollen, etc.

I didn’t go in to minute details on this, mainly because it really is simple to use. Plug in and go (well after I read the directions).

  • cools
  • heats
  • thermostat (this is fantastic, literally you can program this at even increments of one. my space heater starts at 65, 70, 75, 80. So far I’ve enjoyed the temp at 71!)
  • air purifies (the air quality is so nice. no burning smell you get with space heaters.)
  • airflow control (allows you to control how hard the air pushes out)
  • auto mode (this mode adjusts the airflow to the air quality in the room! smart!)
  • oscillates
  • two modes focused (air blows out directly) and diffused (air blows in a wider direction)
  • sleep timer (i love this feature)
  • night mode (the display on the machine is dimmed and it runs more quiet! how cool is that?!)
  • remote control (easy to use and the magnetic feature to secure it to the top of the unit is smart stuff!)
  • link this up to your phone! (what? yes, that’s what I said. I haven’t done this feature yet, but totally looking forward to it)

All in all I’m excited about this unit. Stay tuned for another re-review on this in about 6 months time.

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Did I mention I had a few pets? Haha. They are enjoying the heating feature! Can you guess how many are dogs and how many are cats in this picture?

Please stay tuned to why I have green tape on my wall and what I do with it and all the other things I’ve been doing while it seemed like i’ve been MIA! 🙂

Thank you so much for all your likes, comments, and follows. They really do make my day, each and every one!

Be well and just love! Peace, Koko 🙂

Surfboard Storage

At the moment, we are in a landlocked state. That means, no ocean touching our state on any side. Sadly, not even within driving distance. One day we will be near ocean again. It’s not a dream, it’s a reality! Until then, I wanted to store our boards in a way to still remind us that we surf, we love the ocean, we still are in the game!

There are many ways to store/showcase surfboards. Here’s what I did…

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I got these cute dragonfly hooks. I used a stud finder to secure the screws into studs. The dragonfly hooks slips easily onto the screw. I bought these at Target.

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I then used ribbon to hang the surfboard on and then slip the ribbon onto the hooks. Simple!

 

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Here, I wanted this type of look. The wood adds a nice element and really ties the wood tones in this room. You can see the shelving unit I built here… You can see I kept the wood natural in the shelving. I knotted this rope because “Spencer The Cat” loves to play with the hanging piece! Picture of him can be found on my instagram! Though I do have a few felines, he’s one of the orange ones. Future post on all the abandoned critters that have found safe refuge with us coming… 🙂

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And speaking of wood tones… I think it goes well not only with the shelving, but it goes nicely with the “drum” nightstand you can find that post here…  🙂 See that bottom surfboard? That was made by Rusty himself!

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These simple hooks can be found most anywhere…Home Depot, Lowes, Target. They are around 3 bucks for two! Not bad.

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I used cotton rope to hang these boards.

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Oh hi! This is “Spencer The Cat”! He loves to sleep, take baths, and purr.

Surfer Magazine wrote in 2020 surfing will be an olympic sport! If you love surfing, whether you like to surf or just watch, this is exciting news! My family is super excited about this!

If you have surfboards, paddle boards, even light kayaks, this hanging system could be a fun way for you to store your equipment.

Happy Friday to all you AWESOME followers. Go find, be, do something that excites you!

Peace, Koko 🙂

 

How To Collect Seeds-Green Onions!

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I love green onions! I toss them in almost everything; soups, salads, and even in my sandwiches. I love them fresh, and sautéed in any oil or butter, and grilled!

You’ve seen how I propagate them in my window sill here…but I also grow them in my garden. I collect the seeds so that I can do it all over again…why? Because I love green onions!

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You can re-grow green onions this way…Cut off most of the green tops and plant the white part and roots (of course) in good soil. In a few days you will see it start to grow. What “green” you see here is about 2-3 days of growth. They grow fast. They love a sunny window sill and gentle watering.

If you’ve ever grown green onions and let them bolt, then you already know the flowers are so pretty! Another plus is the bees like them too! So I always let a good amount of my green onions bloom to show some love to the bees! They work so hard and this is the least I can do for them!

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Flowers + Bees—Bees + Flowers! The wonders in nature never cease to amaze me. I am humbled each time I step outside to see the beauty of it all.

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Mint in the background. I love to brush my hand along the mint. Such a refreshing fragrance! Inhale deeply and smile. Give it a try!

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Half of this garden bed I’ve allowed to “bolt” (a fancy way of saying letting the plant “flower” so you can harvest the seeds off it). After the green onion flowers, I leave the flowers on the plant to dry. It is in each little blossom where the onion seeds are found. How cool is mother nature?!

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After the blossoms dry, I will either store the “whole” head or take them apart like you see here. Just make sure the blossoms are totally dry so you don’t get any mold growth.

You can “re-grow” green onions by putting the bottom parts in water or soil and if you grow them outdoors, you can allow a few to bloom flowers and then collect their seeds and then plant the seeds! Amazing right?! And simple as well! I love that.

I harvest the green onion by snipping them with scissors. Even the plants that are bolting; I will snip the long green stems (NOT the stems with flowers on them). If I let the plant grow too much and the greens are thicker, I make a soup with the greens, much like you would do with leeks. I’ve also grilled them. Rarely anything goes to waste in the garden and really if I don’t eat everything, it all gets composted back in!

Did you know?

Green onions are full of vitamin K and C.

Green onions are good for your eyes. With vitamin A and carotenoids (cancer fighting properties) and both Zeaxanthin and Lutein, working together to keep the eyes healthy!

One last picture…..

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A nice surprise: If you already follow me on instagram, you’ve already seen this little guy! (Eastern milk snake). I found him on one of my walks along a trail I mowed on the back half of my property. What a cutie right?

Green onions are one of the easiest plants to grow. I hope you give this plant a try. If you’ve thought you didn’t have a “green thumb”, this plant will give you hope! Collect the seeds and you will never have to buy them again!

Like it, share it! With love and peace, Koko 🙂

Nightstand: Clever + Hip + Repurpose

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Recycling a drum set no longer being used.

Hello my Awesomenesses! (A Koko word) 😉

Remember the post on DIY Dog Bed; I made it out of an old drum set? Well, this nightstand is made from more of that same set.

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This is also a great way to “store” drums. Nostalgia says, “Don’t get rid of it!” And besides, you never know when you might want to play them again. Just for old times sake!

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Isn’t the grain of the natural wood beautiful? My son lovingly refinished it. This was his first set given to him when he was five! The snare is at the bottom. Makes for a nice sturdy base.

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Can you see the iPhone charger? Very handy!

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One more look!

Nightstands can be made from many things; A cute wooden chair, old suitcases piled up one on top of the other, stacks of books, magazines, wooden crates, and even an old drum set!

Let your imagination soar! Now, go create your own unique nightstand!

Thank you so much for reading!

Love and Peace,

Koko

Yoga Ball Chair For Health

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My second ball. A new ball about every 10-ish years. Not bad.

Switching out a “chair” for a yoga ball! What?! Yep, that’s exactly what I did. I use a yoga ball daily for not only exercise but to “sit” on!

I’m always looking for ways to be kinder to my body and I’m always looking for ways to exercise while not “exercising” if that makes sense. What I mean is I try to get in exercise wherever I can. For instance while brushing my teeth I do leg lifts or wall squats.

Since I do a lot of computer work I wondered if I could work out my abs, legs, and back by sitting on a yoga ball. One thing I noticed right off the bat is my back feeling really good. No more achy feeling. My body didn’t feel tired and I felt more alert.

I experimented by moving my legs forward and back and wiggle side to side; both moves engaged my abs. I was onto something! Both fun and beneficial! I like that! Also, it gave me a great excuse to get rid of my highly uncomfortable chair! (In my forever quest for less stuff, that was another plus.)

I also noticed things like my back “self-adjusting”. And let me tell you… feels amazing!

So this is what I do: Sit on the yoga ball. My feet are flat for support. My legs are about shoulder width apart (I adjust feet positions for a change-up). There’s no rhyme or reason to any of my movements. The key for me is to not be still. I might tap my toes up and down or lift the heels of my feet up and down. I will wiggle side to side, rotate my hips around, move my legs forward and back.

If you give this a try, you can experiment with moves. I find it fun and anything to keep the blood moving is good in my book.

What sitting on a yoga ball does for me:

  • Reminds me to sit tall.
  • Reminds me to pull my tummy in. (Very important.) Always working the core!
  • Helps to adjust/align my spine. I’m always striving for ways to keep my back/spine healthy.
  • Relieves my back pain. I don’t have that nagging pain in my lower back when I’m done sitting anymore. I get up… and back feels great!
  • My abs feel stronger.
  • My low back feels stronger.
  • I’ve always had good posture, but the ball makes sure I do!
  • Keeping my body in motion is important to me, and this does just that!
  • I prefer sitting on a yoga ball now to a standard “office” chair. Or really any chair for that matter. I guess you can say it’s more comfortable.
  • No tailbone pain. I cracked mine a few years back. Owie. Long story…
  • My hips feel stronger. I don’t get that painful “pop” in them as often as I did. And really as I type this now, I can’t remember the last time that happened.
  • If you know me, you know I like doing things that have more than one benefit. If I must sit (computer work) then I want to exercise!
  • Not using a standard chair, I can stretch my arms behind me periodically.
  • My neck and shoulders are more relaxed and I feel the tension is much, much better.
  • Even though I am moving on a yoga ball, I still stand by my “standing up” every 15-20 minutes thing I do. I will do jumping jacks, squats, or even sit-ups and push-ups using the yoga ball. Check out Dr. Mercola’s post here on sitting too long.
  • I am more awake/alert. And that’s important especially if I’m doing research on a topic I find boring.
  • And most of all, it makes me happy!
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See how-to on lamp and desk.

Happy is good! We all have challenges, constant obstacles that get us down, but it’s up to us to get up, challenge those challenges and push those obstacles out-of-the-way. Sometimes as I work, a sad thought will creep into my mind and I know I can’t do a thing about that sad thought…I start bouncing on the yoga ball, almost as if I’m on a trampoline, and well, the sad is still there, but deeper in the back of my mind. In the midst of bouncing, the endorphins go up and I can actually find my smile again.

So if challenges and obstacles are pushing at you…push back!

Hugs to all my Awesomenesses!

Peace, Koko ❤

DIY Laptop Case

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Making your own laptop case is easier than you think. This method can be tailor-made not only for a laptop, but for an iPad, iPhone, iPod…etc.

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This is an old quilted blanket. I’ve had it for about 20 years! It’s really stood the test of time! I love the weight of this fabric and the feel of it. This blanket’s backing had started wearing and I used it folded in half for years (I could have sewed a good sheet or nice fabric to it…No, not really lazy, but you know…life takes over and some projects and things are more important.), until a dog I rescued got a hold of it…big un-repairable tears!  It’s been such a good blanket, I hated to let it go and thought of all the many things I could make out of the still usable parts. And so the story goes…a project was born! (Come back and see a few more things I’ve made from one blanket. Stay with me!)

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There are many styles to try…Do I want the laptop to slide from the top or the side? What type of closure do I want…zipper, button, leather strap? Do I want a closure at all??? I cut many types of patterns using “wholefoods” paper bags. I’m serious when I say, “No big secrets here”…Making a case/cover is truly easy. If you can sew a fairly straight line, you can sew this! All you do is measure what you want to make. For this, I’m making a laptop sleeve/cover for my MacBook. So basically I figured an “envelope” style was the way to go. (In pic above, you see a bubble wrapped envelope? My laptop actually fit in that and I was going to “wrap” the fabric around that for protection, but I decided the blanket alone was really good protection on its own. 

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No need to make box corners for more space. Picture an envelope. Really, that’s all there is to this! I gave myself a 1/2″ seam allowance. You can also stitch along the edge and let the seam show without turning the fabric inside out. “Rough” edge look!

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You can go a million ways with the closure. I went with a simple flap that I could just flop over or tuck in. 

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Here it is with the flap, flopped over. 

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And here it is, flap tucked in.

Tips: If your fabric isn’t padded enough, try doubling the fabric, or adding batting in between the fabric.

Don’t limit yourself to just fabric you can buy at the fabric store. Try vintage tea-towels, a cool towel you got from somewhere, sheets that have torn, an old sweater, jacket, hoodie, jeans…the many “fabrics” you can use is really limitless…oh i’ve also done this with old leather (Up-cycled from leather furniture! You’d be surprised how many people toss out leather sofas. You can up-cycle the leather and not only make laptop case, but, clutches, purses, wallets an ottoman! Let your imagination go wild!)

If using leather, pleather, vinyl, felt…(basically, material that doesn’t fray) Try “whip stitching” along the seams for a unique and fun look.

As I’ve mentioned above, have fun with the types of closures…zipper, leather strap, a belt, buttons (and the buttons don’t have to be round!) Have fun showing off your creativity!

I’ve had this cover for over a year now and I still love it just the way it is. I love the flap concept.

I hope this has inspired you to see things a little differently. Something old can be made into new again!

To all you old and new followers, my wish today, for you…

See this life a little differently in the way that with each unpredictable moment, you dwell not on the chaotic parts, but the precious moments that allow your breath to be taken away.

Hugs and Peace, Koko