Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bubblewrap on the windows

Like anyone who goes online I've seen a LOT of tips for this or that around the home.  One that I've been interested in trying is putting bubblewrap on the windows for extra insulation.  Our house does not have the best windows.  We rent so I have zero interest in replacing them.  I also don't have any interest in higher bills.  Every year I put plastic over the widows for some added insulation but it's a pain.  This year I decided to try the bubble wrap thing.

How Stuff works has breakdown of the R value of adding bublewrap

Build It Solar also has a breakdown of the cost savings.  Plus many other wonderful tips that are worth trying.

I bought a small amount of bubblewrap and used up what I had on hand from packages I have received.  This project cost me about $16 total.  I'm sure if you ask around you can do it for zero dollars just by finding stores willing to give you left over bubble wrap.

All you need are bubble wrap, some scissors, a ruler and a spray bottle of water.

*important note - water - NOT FREBREEZE.  I didn't have an empty spray bottle and I figured, why not, the Frebreeze is right here.  I had to redo that window because it didnt' stick as well.  Water is cheaper anyway, but I'm impatient and didn't want to wait.  The kid had an empty spray bottle so I was back in business in a couple of hours.  Didn't have to use extra wrap, that was still fine - it just came loose as the frebreeze dried.

Measure the window and then cut the bubble wrap to size.

Spray the window with water

press the bubble wrap to the glass, bubble side down.

easy peasy - you're done.

On my North facing windows I added a second layer.  Same method, just put it on top of the first layer.

Lots of great looking photos on line  - but I'll use the ones I took of my actual windows.  Got a nice blurred effect from the diffused light coming through the wrap.

In the second photo I played around with the expose just to show the bubbles in the bubblewrap.

This was about a million times easier than putting up plastic.

One drawback is that I can't look out and see the birds, but I'll trade that for lower bills this winter.

A HUGE plus is my dog.  One of my dogs is terrified of bubblewrap.  He's also the one most likely to jump up on the door.  Now the can't stay far enough away.  My door frame might stay clean this winter!

So there you have it - an easy, fast way to insulate the windows.  One of those things from Pinterest that actually does work the way people say it does.  (Sometimes I think people on Pinterest just make things up so I'll look stupid when I try them)

Friday, November 7, 2014

Handpresso - one day review

Whole Latte Love is giving a new deal every day before Thanksgiving.  One of them is the Handpresso in Silver

comes in a nice gift/storage box.  

The Handpresso is a manual espresso maker.  No electricity needed, just a way to heat the water.  You pump the handle until 16 bars (there is a gauge), add coffee and water - then you're ready for espresso, even when you're away from your machine.  Add a handheld milk frother and you can have a latte no matter where you go.

I like this one because you can use fresh ground coffee in it.  From what I've read you had to use pods in the previous version.  I've not dealt with pods in the past and don't really want to start now.  I like the way fresh ground beans smell.  It's addicting.

I'm still playing with it.  Trying to get a good cup of espresso with decent crema.  My first shot was too thin.  I didn't realize my grinder wasn't on the finest setting so it went too fast.  The second shot was better, but still not a good head of crema. 

I'll keep playing with it until I get it down.  Even if I never get the perfect shot - it's still great for traveling, which is why I wanted it.  

I've decided to rate products by my own scale.  I'm a balloon artist, so I'll use balloon dogs.  This one gets a 4.5 out of 5 balloon dogs.  Only took off the half star because of the difficulty getting crema.  I'll revisit the rating after I give it a few weeks of experimentation.

Pro -

Price - it's affordable

Quality of device - after 1 day I'm impressed.  I'll revisit & update this after a couple of months

Quality of espresso - Not the equivalent of an expensive machine but far better than what many restaurants serve or what you get from some of the home espresso  machines.

Portable - no need to miss out on good coffee just because you're not near a machine.

Can use fresh ground beans or pods if you wish.

I like the gift/storage box.

Con -

Difficult to get a good layer of crema.  I like the feel and taste of crema so that's a drawback for me.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Be Your Own Superhero Nov 5

I saw today's quote posted by an Instagram friend.  @jenny.gordon566  She posts lots of cool things.  Check her out next time you're scrolling through Instagram.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Be Your Own Superhero - Nov 4

Michael Franti & Spearhead - Anytime You Need Me

I love this song!

Every morning I set my playlist on shuffle and this was the first one to come up today.  A good song, a good cup of coffee - it's going to be a good day!