Archive of ‘Tips’ category

Ikea Drawer Handle Installation Hack

Hack Saw_05

This is a post about my Ikea drawer handle installation hack with my hack saw. GRIN. I have a love/hate (maybe even a stronger word than hate) relationship with Ikea. NOTHING ever works out the way its supposed to. Ever. Last year, I bought some Ikea Besta furniture and never got around to installing drawer handles for some reason. Well I finally buckled down and decided to put them on.

First battle: I drove to Ikea (a feat it in itself), walked around trying to find the same handles only to find out they were discontinued. REALLY!? I found the discontinued ones on Amazon at a money gouging price of $10 a piece (honestly could have purchased Restoration Hardware ones for a few bucks more). Why buy Ikea stuff if its not going to be cheap?! The struggle begins.

Second battle: I measured the placement of the handles, drilled the holes, TRIED to put them on and figured out the screws were too long. Struggle is getting so real. I have no idea why they don’t make shorter screws! So, my husband told me I could to go the hardware store, buy some new shorter screws and put them on. Logical.

Third battle: I went to OSH and found out that IKEA screws have custom threading! You can’t buy shorter screws! The struggle is real. This is the hate part of my relationship with Ikea.

Husband sent me to the hardware store to buy screws, I came home with…A HACK SAW! WOOT! So after consulting a sales associate, he told me I could cut them shorter with a mini hack saw. Here’s what I used:

  1. Stupid Ikea screws that are too long
  2. Mini Hack Saw
  3. Wilton 3″ Clamp

Hack Saw_01

I had a mini lesson at the store and then tried this at home by myself. I started by clamping the clamp onto my coffee table. My table is made of a palette so I didn’t care about denting or scratching it. Make sure you clamp onto something you don’t mind messing up a bit.

Next, I put the screw into the side of the clamp and tightened the clamp. It was kinda crooked, but I just wanted it to hold still while I chopped off the excess. The sales guy warned me that nobody has fingers strong enough to hold it while sawing. I believe him.

Hack Saw_02

Next, I took my mini hack saw and lopped off the extra part of the screw! Basically I put the saw on the screw and started sawing away.

Warning: It gets super freakin hot. Don’t touch the screw right away. Definitely burned my fingers once. Or twice.

Hack Saw_03

Also make sure to keep the saw in the same place to make sure there aren’t any kinks in the cut. Otherwise, you won’t be able to screw this into the drawer handle. About 20-30 saws later, I was cut threw the screw. I cut 5 more of these and installed my drawer handles!

Hack Saw_04

A New Scarecrow

Scarecrow_Cover

This isn’t a traditional straw scarecrow mounted on a stick that you’re thinking of. This is better and hopefully much more effective.

The other day, I walked into my yard and found a bunch of pieces of poop and assumed it was my dog who left me a few little gifts. As I picked it up with a poop bag, I discovered more and more and more. There is no way my dog can create that much poop. I ended up collecting 3 lbs of poop. Guess who’s poop? A big, fat orange cat. This stupid cat that turned my yard into its own ginormous litter box. Let me say that I HATE CATS. HATE. And nothing reinforces that hatred than picking up 3 lbs of cat poop. Since its not nice to kill cats (although the thought certainly crossed my mind), I turned to Google for a solution–as usual.

I found the Contech Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler, with awesome reviews to boot. 4/5 stars and 3,500+ reviews. It was kinda pricey, but this was a big (3 lbs of feces big) problem. I hit order (along with a 2-Way Connector to attach an extra hose). I had an extra hose on hand to hook up the Scarecrow.

I couldn’t wait to install this thing. As soon as the mail came I dropped all my work to go outside and install this thing. (Sorry day job. Not really.) Here’s all the stuff I used:

  1. Contech Scarecrow Motion Activated Sprinkler
  2. 2-Way Connector
  3. Plumbing Pliers
  4. Hose
  5. 9v battery
  6. Optional: Medium sized pot
  7. Optional: Gravel

Scarecrow_01

To start, I unpacked the box, popped open the battery compartment, and installed the battery. I tested the battery by turning the sensitivity on and waving my hand in front of the sensor and waiting for a clicking sound. SUCCESS.

Scarecrow_02  Scarecrow_03

Next, I screwed the pieces together according to the instructions. Super easy assembly. I used plumbing pliers to twist the pieces together extra tight to prevent leaks. All the pieces came with rubber washers to ensure a tight seal.

Scarecrow_04

The instructions give an option to add decal stickers to make it look like a crow. These are some intense decals. I skipped this step because all I wanted to do was get this thing up and running and the decals kinda creeped me out.

Scarecrow_06  Scarecrow_05

Next, it was time to hook this thing up to some water. I removed the old hose and attached a 2-way connector to be able to use a hose and have the Scarecrow hooked up. I hooked the two hoses up to the 2-way connector, using one for the Scarecrow and leaving one as a regular hose. I set the new-ish hose on four pavers I moved over from another part of the yard to keep the hose off the gross floor.

Scarecrow_07

Once the hose was hooked up, I screwed the other end into the Scarecrow, using the plumbing pliers to get a tight seal.

Normally, you’d stab the thing into the dirt, but I wasn’t able to stab the stake into the ground. The dirt in my yard is SUPER SUPER hard and impenetrable. It may as well be a huge rock because its SO HARD. I’m amazed weeds are able to grow in it. As a work around, I filled a pot with some gravel/rocks from another part of the yard and shoved the stake in there. Problem solved.

Scarecrow_08

I read quickly through the instructions and adjusted the spraying arc, distance, etc. on the sprayer and turned on the water to test it. This took a few tries and sprayed myself 2-3 times before I got this right. Expected and worth it (and probably a good reason to read instructions more carefully to avoid to hit in the face with jets of water). The sensor sensitivity works well (and can be adjusted to avoid false alarms) and the spray functionality has pretty good coverage. It covers the entire area of the fence where the cat has been entering my yard.

Its on, stupid cat. NO MORE POOP IN MY YARD! I can’t wait until the Scarecrow pelts water into the cat’s face. I really wish I could catch this happening on camera…

Cleaning A Keurig with Vinegar

Cleaning Keurig with Vinegar

One early morning, I just got dressed to head out the door for work and hit the brew button on my Keurig so I could sip on my coffee during my commute to work. It brewed my coffee, but not without sputtering a bunch of it all over my white blouse. I’m not ready for terrible things to happen BEFORE coffee. I changed, headed to work while drinking an expensive cup of coffee: the price of my dry cleaning bill.

Instead of sitting down and doing work like a good employee, I started Googling what had gone wrong with my trusty Keurig. Apparently you’re supposed to clean it regularly. They don’t tell you that. It’s possible that its in the instruction manual, but who reads it?! The best remedy I found (and cheapest) was to run vinegar through the machine. Done.

Here’s how I cleaned my Keurig with vinegar and what I used to do it:

  1. Vinegar
  2. Water
  3. Paper towels
  4. Phillips screwdriver
  5. Large heat-proof cup

I started by dumping out all the water and filling the reservoir with vinegar. I ran through the whole thing by brewing vinegar into a large heat-proof glass. Well. it’s not actually meant to handle a ton of heat but it worked. I brewed a cup, dumped it into the sink (after inspecting all the gunk), and repeated until all the vinegar was drained (or at least all of it that could be brewed). Pee colored vinegar water with a light coffee scent. It may as well be pee. TMI?

Warning: Your house/apartment/office or whatever will smell like vinegar. Promise.

Cleaning Keurig with Vinegar_Vinegar into Reservoir  Cleaning Keurig with Vinegar_First Brew

Side note: Vinegar works as a smoke deodorizer. Learned this after setting a pot on fire and then trying to figure out how to get rid of the smokey smell for days.

Next, I dumped the remaining vinegar from the reservoir and filled it with water to start rinsing out the vinegar. I used non-tap, drinking water to be exact. I didn’t want whatever minerals that are in tap water to re-clog my machine. I repeated the same process that I did with the vinegar. Brew, dump, rebrew.

Warning: Definitely don’t sniff the water to see if the vinegar rinsed out. It didn’t. I promise. I learned this after many whiffs of hot vinegar. Its not fun.

Cleaning Keurig with Vinegar_Rinse

I went through 2 more reservoirs of water for a total of 3 reservoirs of water rinsing. Halfway through the second reservoir rinse, the vinegar scent will start to fade and the brew will look less cloudy. Don’t be fooled and DEFINITELY do not sniff the liquid. You’ve been warned. After the 3rd reservoir rinse, it should be fine. All clear, no vinegar smell or taste. Yea. I tasted it. Had to be sure.

Cleaning Keurig with Vinegar_Finished Rinse

Next, I started to disassemble the K-cup holder to clean out all the coffee grounds that spilled over the last year. Yea. It took me THAT long to clean it. I started by removing the two screws that held on the front face plate and rinsed it under the tap.

Cleaning Keurig with Vinegar_remove face plate  Cleaning Keurig with Vinegar_rinse face plate

Next, I popped out the center cup that’s just snaps in and out. I just yanked it out without a problem. Yanked gently. I also rinsed that under the tap.

Cleaning Keurig with Vinegar_Rinse K-Cup Holder

I dried the face plate and center cup with some paper towels and reattached/resnapped the pieces back into place.

Lastly, I cleaned the drip tray. People forget about this because it conceals the drips so well. Almost too well because I forgot clean it too. When I finally cleaned this thing for the first time, it was pretty gross. So many brown crusty coffee drips accumulated over months and months. EW. I rinsed it under the tap and also dried it off with paper towels before putting it back.

Cleaning Keurig with Vinegar_Rinse Drip Tray

All done. I refilled the reservoir with water and brewed my first super clean cup of coffee. No spattering. Its like I got brand new Keurig. I’m planning to do this every 3-4 months or at least before it starts spattering coffee all over me again.

Cleaning Keurig with Vinegar_Complete

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