Closing The Pool

I have a nice pool. Its a remnant from a more civilized age when I have a great job. My wife and I bought a house with a pool in 2000 then totally renovated the pool and surrounding hardscape in 2006. Big home equity loans were all the rage back then so we didn’t even flinch when the contractors told us how much it would cost to put in dry stone stacked retaining walls, paver patio, new steel pool walls and a new pool liner. We were like, “Where do we sign?” Now in 2017, times are tough. No more contractors or pool guys coming over to our house anymore. If I want some work done on the house its DIY or nothing. And to save about 4-5 hundred dollars every fall, you’ll fine me closing the pool myself.

swimming pool

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Halloween Poison Bottle

Halloween Poison Bottle

Halloween Poison BottleThe other day I said there were more posts about Halloween decor coming up and I’m actually going to follow through on that statement. In that last post about Candy Corn Bottles, I mentioned that I have a little bit of a bottle fetish. One of my favorite bottles is this jug bottle that a beer called Mississippi Mud comes in. The beer is a Black and Tan variety and it’s really good. So it’s a win win situation for me because I get to drink a decent beer and then I get a great looking empty that I can turn into a Halloween poison bottle.

Mississippi Mud BottleAnd that jug sort of looks like something a pirate would drink out of so I got the idea to make a Poison Bottle for Halloween. This was such a quick and easy decoration to make that I decided that I’d start a new YouTube channel and put this up as my first video.

To make the Halloween Poison Bottle, first you need to spray paint the bottle black. It’s already a dark brown looking bottle but having it completely black is the way to go.
Chalk Marker

One the paint is dry, the next step is to use a white chalk marker and draw a skull on the bottle. If you haven’t used a chalk marker yet, you have to give them a try. They’re like paint markers but they are much neater. And the best part is that if you mess up, you can wash it off and start over.

And even though I used chalk marker to draw the poison skull and cross bones, you do not need to use chalk board paint on the bottle. Just regular spray paint works fine. But keep in mind that flat black will probably come out better looking than glossy black.

So there you have it, one Halloween Poison Bottle. And like I said, here’s my first YouTube video that I made while working on this project. Many more videos to come.

Vlog Every Day in August – #SSSVEDA

You probably don’t know this, but I have a YouTube channel. It’s not really new and I’m doing a terrible job of promoting it but it’s out there. I would really like to build my channel up but I haven’t made a big effort to do so yet.

At the end of July, I saw on the Savvy Sexy Social YouTube channel that there’s something called VEDA or Vlog Every Day in August. It’s a way to challenge yourself to make videos everyday and become a better YouTuber.  Not only do you post a video every day but you also search for the #SSSVEDA hashtag and meet the other participants. This is a great way to start learning how to build your channel’s community as well as meet some great people too.

So I signed up and made my first Vlog. The word Vlog comes from Video & Blog. It’s usually like a video confessional where you talk into the camera and narrate what’s going on in your video. People like Casey Neistat & Roman Atwood vlog everyday and have built up huge followings. Casey especially has turned these videos into an art form. He uses his film making skills to create engaging and entertaining videos. They’re set to music, they tell a great story and they look like a team of professionals worked on them. Great cameras, sharp editing and even drone footage are the norm now. These vloggers jet set around the world and take us with them on their adventures. Even when they’re home, they’re attending awesome events and doing interesting things and we get to go along with them.

And as a Home and Garden blogger I wouldn’t be jet setting around the country or filming exciting events but I planned on doing some cooking videos, some DIY projects, some video games and whatever other project I was working on.

Well, here it is, almost the middle of October and I’ve posted 4 videos since August 1st. I fell a little short. But you know what? I still learned a lot about what it takes to run a YouTube channel and I’m happy I took part in the SSSVEDA. Next time (there’s another one in April) I think I’ll be able to post at least every other day. And I’m definitely plan on making a lot more videos before April. Stay tuned.

You can check out my videos below and remember to like and subscribe.

Bath & Body Works Collection & Storage

Bath & Body Works Collection & Storage

Like many young girls in this day and age, my daughter has a very serious condition. Right now there is no cure for this condition and it mostly goes undiagnosed in teen girls around the county. The upside is that she always smells very nice. The downside is the clutter of Bath & Body Works products scattered all over her room. Yes, I’m here to admit that my daughter is a Bath & Body Works hoarder.


I’m kidding about the hoarding but not really. Girls all over seem to love these products that Bath & Body Works come out with. It’s not just about smelling nice, it’s about collecting them all. And I can see why with catchy products like PocketBacs, Fine Fragrance Mists, Shower Gels, Body Lotions, Room Sprays and Handibacks. And the scents all have very collectable names like Sheer Cotton Lemonade, Amber Blush, Twisted Peppermint, Pink Lemonade Fizz, Vineyard Champagne Kiss, Be Joyful and Velvet Sugar.

Bath & Body Works Collection

For Christmas, as requested she received some Bath & Body Works gift cards. And because she follows Bath & Body Works on social media she knew when they were having a big sale and counted down the days. When it was time, she hit that store hard with surgical precision and came home with the maximum possible haul.
But where are you supposed to store all of this stuff? These giant collections don’t fit in a bathroom cabinet or in a vanity drawer. For the time being, her dresser would have to do. But apparently just having these products is only part of the collecting process. You all have to display them and post them online for your friends to see. Then you get tons of Likes and replies like “Ooh, where did you get that?”  And “Nice collection.”

So the entire dresser was covered with these products. And if she opened up one of the drawers too quickly, there would be an avalanche of Bath & Body Works. Then my daughter would spend time standing everything back up again in the proper order instead of getting ready to catch the school bus. Bath & Body Works Organization is not a valid excuse for being late to school. No, the dresser wouldn’t do. Plus the normal things that go on top of a dresser were also scattered all over the room.
Vanity After
And here’s the After
I needed to build my daughter some shelves so she could keep this collection neat and organized. Shelves are pretty easy to build. All you need is some wood and I just happened to have have a lot of that laying around from other projects. To hold the shelves up on the wall you can use shelf brackets or you can create floating style shelves without them. But I went for more of a shallow picture ledge type of shelf. Basically an L shaped shelf that could be quickly put together and screwed into a wall stud.

As you can see in the video, these aren’t anything fancy but they really display her collection nicely. And having them located next to her vanity is nice because it’s within arms reach.


Building some quick shelves to keep my daughter more organized was a fun project and she even got involved and helped with the painting. Now if we could only do something about her nail polish collection.

Alto’s Adventure Review

Alto's Adventure

Alto's Adventure

Alto’s Adventure Review

If you have been looking for a iOS game where you rescue llamas on your snowboard then today is your lucky day.

Alto’s Adventure is an endless snowboarding game. It’s like an endless runner but you’re on a snowboard instead. You see how far you can go before you crash. Sounds easy enough right? If something is in your way, you tap the screen and jump over it. Well it’s harder than it seems because some of the obstacles require a speed boost to clear. The way to get speed boosts is by doing a trick. If you touch the screen and hold it instead of just tapping it, you will do a backflip. You can get speed boosts by back flip or jumping up onto the long ropes above the slope and grinding along the buntings or even bouncing off the top of a rock.

What sets this game apart is the beautiful but simple graphics and great music. Hats off to the artists on this one.

Alto's Adventure Bunting Grind
Doing the Bunting Grind

The llamas are part of the backstory of your character. You’re a llama herder and your llamas are trying to run away. I guess they aren’t fond of you and they’re willing to risk running down a mountain to escape. You “rescue” them by snowboarding past them. After you do, the llamas slow down and presumable go back up the hill. The story isn’t important, just remember to go past the llamas and do tricks along the way.

And to make it even more interesting the game has goals for you to achieve and that will level up your character. The goals are things like do a back flip, bounce off a rock, escape an elder back flip over a campfire. As you collect points there’s a shop for you to buy a few power up items. Definitely be sure to pick up the wing suit when you can. It’s loads of fun.

Alto's Adventure Wingsuit Elder
Using the Wingsuit to piss off the Elder

Different tricks are worth different points. Stringing together a few tricks in a row will get your more points. Bounce off of a rock and land on the rope. Do a backflip off of a hill and then bounce off the top of a rock. You get the idea.

Every once in a while you’ll snowboard past an Elder. I guess he’s called the Elder because he has a big beard but he’s just this guy camping out on the mountain. When you snowboard past him I think you interrupt the private time he’s having with his llama and that makes him mad. I don’t blame him because when someone snowboards past me when I’m trying to have some private time with my llama I get pissed too. Well this Elder will chase you and if he catches you the game is over. You can only escape him by crossing a chasm. And you stay ahead of him by doing more tricks and getting speed boosts.

When one of your goals is the dreaded triple back flip, you definitely need to use Maya. Maya is the best flipper and she can pretty much do a full flip from the smallest of hills.

Here’s a video of me completing two triple back flips in one run. That’s a goal for a later level. Not sure which one it was but I was stuck there for a long time.

Give Alto’s Adventure a try, you won’t be disappointed.