Friday, August 29, 2008

FDA Approved Irradiated Lettuce and Spinach

See that symbol? Don't buy anything with that symbol!

Okay maybe some of you are okay with this, but I'm sorry, seriously? Does any government agency do anything remotely close to what the people of this country wants? With the whole green movement in full force, tell me who exactly has been petitioning to have our food zapped? I'm so sick of all of this. When are they going to stop cramming chemicals into our food?

I'm done. Check out this site.

Follow the links. Get your voice heard.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

FINALLY the IKEA 2009 Kitchens Brochure

The catalog is great, but I was really looking forward to the IKEA 2009 Kitchens Brochure.

Also newly posted to the US site is the Labor Day Sale Flyer, IKEA 2009 Mattresses, IKEA 2009 TV Solutions, IKEA 2009 Sofas.


Saturday, August 30, 2008 - Monday, September 1, 2008

Lack Side Table $6.99 (limit two per customer)
Dudero Floor Lamp $6.99 (limit 1)
Poang Chair $59 (limit 1)

Buy an Ektorp sofa, loveseat or chair and get a FREE white slipcover

Free Breakfast Until 10:30am

For more details, check out

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Need an Old Issue of an IKEA Catalog?

Do you have a piece of IKEA furniture that you can't identify? Or maybe you remember a picture you wanted to recreate in your own house, but can't find the IKEA catalog? Apparently you can go online and view them.

A lovely member over at Ikeafans just pointed out that if you go to Google Catalogs (who knew that existed?) you can get access to IKEA issues all the way back to 2000!

Although, I was only able to find issues 2000-2003. But maybe you just have to know better ways to search that than I do. Maybe I'll try again after I finish my coffee. Ahhh....caffeine...

On a side note, I have a catalogs from 1998, including the smaller Kitchen, Sofa, Office, etc., issues.  If you are looking to buy one, let me know.  I'm too lazy to list them on ebay.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

IKEA Numerar Butcher Block Installation

I was on the fence about butcher block with Adel Medium Brown cabinets until I saw this pic. Beautiful right? (Not that you can tell since HGTV removed the link and I now can't find the darn pic anywhere!) I bought two pieces of IKEA Numerar Butcher Block. One was very warped and the other was pretty good. If you are driving from far away to buy this, make sure your piece is okay before you drive back home.

If you need to cut it, don't freak out. Not as difficult as people try to make it seem. The key is to use a strong circular saw (My little cordless number would never had done the trick. You want something with oomph.) And buy a new blade. I don't know that the number of teeth matter so much or whether it's a carbide, but make sure it's new and sharp. I even used the circular saw the cut out the hole for the cooktop...but we'll get back to that. And don't forget to save that piece...a little sanding around the edges and I now have two extra cutting boards.

The directions, as do most IKEA instructions, suck. The screws they give you do not fit these holes, they are for dowels or something. (BTW if you're installing a cooktop, you might have to install your tie down brackets for the cooktop before you screw down the counters. Check your cooktop install booklet.)

Pick a spot close to the edge and screw the screws in the middle of the oval space of the bracket. I read somewhere that if you screw close too snug up against one end or the other that the wood won't be able to move do to changing humidity levels and what not. I don't know how true that is, but better safe than sorry.
Once it's screwed in, it's time to seal it. A lot of what you choose depends on how you plan to use it. Ikeafans has a great article on finish options for butcher block. I opted against IKEA's Benhandla because it contains linseed oil which can instantaneously combust. Kinda scary, right?
When I bought the IKEA Numerar Beech countertop, I was concerned with how light it was. But a coupe of coats of mineral oil darkened it up. Make sure you rub it in extra good on any parts that were cut (that's what they mean when they say to reseal the cut edges...again, not rocket science, don't feel stupid if you were confused and thought they meant to rub silicone caulk on it or something, no one explains it anywhere.)
I didn't sand between coats, as some people do. I simply poured it on and wiped it all over in whatever direction I felt like with an old mateless sock. I did it when I was waiting on hold with my doctor. I did it while my coffee was brewing. While the dishes and laundry were get the idea. People act like it's a big deal, but it only takes a minute or two.
If you're installing it over a dishwasher, then you need a vapor barrier (aka moisture barrier). If you're doing a Pergo type floor and using it, cut a piece out of that. I used a heavy duty contractor garbage bag since it was thicker (6 ml's I think) as opposed to the floor barriers which were point something. I've heard of some people just draping it over their dishwasher, but I staple gunned it under my laminate counter (I only have butcher block on the island).
Now if you're doing a cooktop in the butcher block, you need a heat barrier. Either pick up some aluminum tape they use for ductwork. Or do what I did and bum some off of the HVAC guy.
Stick it around the edge of the counter where the cooktop is going (the back of it peels off, you don't need special adhesive). Use a block of wood, or something comprable, to rub along the tape to make sure it sticks well and is smoothish.
Anyway, sink or cooktop or neither, it's been easy to maintain so far and I'm not a neat freak my any means. Just use common sense. Don't stick a hot pot on it. It's okay to cut a sandwich in half, but don't dice some beets on it. If you spill wine, wipe it up! And regardless, like a wood floor (real wood, not the crap they're calling real wood now-a-days) you can always sand and re-oil if there's a problem.
I've never had a butcher block counter before, but I've had a butcher block cutting board forever. I scrub it down with soap and hot water after using it and re-oil every once in a blue moon. I can't fathom a counter is going to be much harder.
On a final note, my two cents...during my Numerar vs. Pronomen debate in my head, the thickness of the Numerar makes such a difference. Obviously costwise, it's a bit pricier, but I think long term, it'll hold up better. Some people say they chose Pronomen because it's easier to cut, but cutting the Numerar was as easy as cutting the post-form laminate.
UPDATE:  While I loved this counter, it wasn't big enough.  Click here to see how I ripped two IKEA Numerar Butcher Blocks lengthwise and joined them together to make one large counter.

UPDATE #2:  After I made it bigger, I added a dog feeding station via curb-side salvage material and crap from my basement.  Click here to see how it came out. 

Monday, August 18, 2008

Got Spots on Your Squash Leaves? Try This DIY Natural Fungicide!

I have done very little for my garden other than occasional weeding and watering when the ground was cracked and dry. Well, apparently I should have been doing a smidge more as my poor squash and cucumbers have developed a white, fuzzy spot problem...people, we have a fungus among us. (I also have a blossom end rot situation going on with my tomatoes, but I haven't done anything for them just yet.)

So I called my mom, the only person I know that can eat any fruit or vegetable, stick it's seed or pit in the ground and have it magically grow.

My Mom's All Natural Fungicide

2 TBS baking soda
1 TBS oil (she uses vegetable oil)
1 tsp liquid dish soap (later restated it as a squirt or two)
32 Ounces of water

Mix together, then spray all the tops and undersides of the infected leaves.
(I did it early evening, I remember reading somewhere that baking soda can burn leaves if put on leaves during the day, but my Mom didn't know about that either way.)
She also said to cut off all the yellow and dying leaves and the ones touching the ground. And to bag those leaves and throw them away.  Do not compost them.  Make sure you wash whatever you used to cut the limbs off. She said some other things, but now I don't remember.

Here's a tip from me: wear gardening gloves and long sleeves, and whatever you do, don't try to break off the leaves with your unprotected hand. Holy crap! I have little splinter things all over my hands. One hurts so bad, it's killing me to type. Yeeowza.

The not so horribly infected leaves looked almost immediately better. But the others were just eh. I figure I'll spray it on for the next couple of days and see how it goes.

Next year, definitely mulching to stop all the weeds and trellises to keep the leaves off the ground. Perhaps even a spritz of this every week or so.

My poor plants : (

UPDATE: So it's the morning after, and it appears that all the fungus, not counting a handful of leaves I missed, is completely gone! Except for underneath the leaves, which I did a crappy job of spraying, so there were still some spotting, but I sprayed them tonight.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

PSA: Problems with the New 2009 IKEA Rationell Lazy Susan

I think for a long time people wondered why IKEA only offered a wire shelf lazy susan for the corner base cabinet. Well, they have finally listened to all us IKEA crazy people and introduced a new version of the lazy susan.

I thankfully hadn't installed my lazy susan yet because my daughter loved to hang out in that cabinet. When I saw a preview of the new catalog, I noticed the new lazy susan. So I brought mine back and got the new one.

  • Easy to assemble. Use the template they provide to screw in the bottom and top piece. I had to use build-up strip for the top piece to be straight and level (see pic below).
  • Then you load in the wire pieces and the two shelves.
  • Install the two part pole in the middle.
  • Slide the top part of the pole up so it fits into that top piece and screw them in place.
  • Then stick the metal pins under the two shelves to set them at whatever level you want them at.
  • Finally, stick in the clips (be gentle, I broke the first one and they don't give you extras) and click in the wire.

After it was all said and done, I don't see why I couldn't have put the clips and wire in before placing the shelves inside. But it didn't make a huge difference either way.

But, wait! Houston, we have a problem. The hinge for the corner cabinet door crashes into the corner of the bottom shelf. Argh!

How did they not notice this happening? It took me so long to adjust that hinge for the door to be perfectly level and flush, I'm not going to move it.

If there's a solution to this problem, I haven't figured it out yet. It's always something isn't it? Well, I still like it better than the wire shelf version. They spin nicely and seem super sturdy.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Garden - August 6

The garden was full of surprised today!

The little yellow tomatoes are still growing. They're a little thick skinned but so sweet.

The patio tomatoes are slowly turning red and are incredibly delicious.

One stalk fell over and I'm not sure if the corn growing on it is actually still growing, but the rest are getting bigger and bigger everyday.

Summer squash everywhere. And I mean everywhere.

Where did that ginormous cucumber come from? I didn't even know I had a cucumber plant in that bed. It's at least 12" long...probably bigger. How didn't I see that growing?

The beets are getting very big. I really need to cook them soon. Are they suppose to push their way out of the ground?

I call this the Valley of the Damned Carrots...poor things. They're also pushing their way out of the ground, but they're all gnarly and twisted and not even close to looking like a carrot. They taste fine, and I have to say I even like the greens.

This big beef tomato plant is so big I can't even explain. There are so many tomatoes growing it's crazy...but none of them will turn red!

I'm having the same problem with the Roma tomatoes.

This is part of the expired seeds I threw in last minute. I have no clue if it's a zucchini, an acorn squash or a spaghetti squash.

I'm not sure about this one either.

I am amazed at the strength of this pepper plant. It's all by itself, covered completely by tomato plants and cantaloupe vines. But here it thrives, growing big, extra shiny bell peppers.

Have I have a cantaloupe! I real live cantaloupe! I didn't even know this one was there!

And there are more! I'd have to say there are at least five or six others. And I bet there will be more. I'm so excited!

As if the cantaloupe and the monster cucumber weren't enough, the strawberry plant is back in action! There are three sad, shriveled up little ones and two nice juicy looking ones. Craziness.

Kitchen Update

I've been filling your heads with gardening and IKEA news, and nothing about my kitchen. Yeeesh.

I have no pics, because it's such a mess in there, but

  1. I hooked up the oven
  2. The plumber hooked up the sink
  3. I hooked up the dishwasher
  4. I've washed and put away almost every dish I own
  5. I installed the laminate counters
  6. I have a couple of handles to go, otherwise the cabs are all done
  7. The electrician hooked up some outlets and lights

I still need to

  1. Get the HVAC guy to install in the island hood
  2. I need to hook up the stove
  3. I need to install the island counters (which possibly means three more cabs)
  4. I need to tile the backsplash to hide the gaps
  5. I need to put on a couple of cover panels and handles
  6. The electrician needs to finish up
  7. The roof needs to be done

I promise, pics soon. The island and cooktop will hopefully be done as of Saturday.

Keeps your fingers crossed!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

IKEA August 2008 Calendar of Events

Did you know that some of the IKEA's post Event Calendars each month on their site? They list sales and specials. You even save an additional 10% on "This week's special..." items.

The Elizabeth, NJ IKEA is having live bands this month and a ton of children's events on the weekends. Too bad I won't go there on the weekends...way too crowded for me. Although, there will be a massage therapist there August 9, 2008 so I may have to reconsider...

IKEA Special Events Calendar - Elizabeth, NJ

Friday, August 1, 2008

IKEA 2009 Catalog

Well, the IKEA in Elizabeth said they probably won't have the catalogs in until next week, but they finally have it up on their site.


IKEA 2009 Catalog (English and Spanish)