Happy Father's Day weekend. It is that time of year when we get to thank dad for all that he does. For most households, dad is the go-to guy for fix it projects and chores. Dad is there for all the home projects big and small with a little muscle and a smile. So this weekend, let him sit and relax. Instead of doing projects let him watch the Fusion show and get some ideas for next weekend!

Pea Soup

It is spring time and that means your vegetables will be starting to ripen soon. One of the first crops of the season is peas. Chef David joined us again to share a recipe for pea soup that he had put together that includes peas (fresh or frozen will work, not canned), shallots, leeks and chicken stock. He added some butter and oil to the pan. Next went in the shallots and leeks, which were cooked until soft then we added the chicken stock and let that cook until it boiled. The peas went in next and once 5 minutes had passed we blended the mixture until smooth and then we put it in a bowl. We added mint oil and sour cream and we were done. If you are looking for a new and fresh taste of spring, give this recipe a try. Click here for the full recipe.

Wedding Gifts

June is the month for brides and weddings. In the United States we have 2.3 million weddings in June and over 27,000 in Oregon in 2009. That is a lot of wedding gifts. But what do you get the blushing bride and her new husband. To get some ideas we stopped by Tuesday Morning (503-699-8954) and visited with Ross Manning. He told us that the average expenditure for a wedding gift is between $70 and $100, nationally. He brought out a bunch of gifts that were under $70. We started with the Mikasa and Lauren glasses, crystal bowls and platters. There was a Champaign bucket and flutes, and silver picture frames. We also saw some things for the dinner table. There were some cool napkin rings shaped like diamond rings, a full set of coffee, tea and serving dishes, and silver serving utensils. We finished with the 2 big ticket items. We had the lovely set of luggage and the wine refrigerator. It gave us a ton of ideas for gifts. If you are looking for these or other great ideas you can stop by one of the 13 different Tuesday Morning stores around Oregon and SW Washington.

Saving Water in the Bathroom

The one area in the home that uses the most water, and some would say energy as well, is the bathroom. We met with Jim from the Regional Water Providers Consortium to learn some tips for reducing your water usage and save money in the process. First we started at the sink. You can save over half the amount of water in the sink by replacing the aerator with an energy efficient one. It simply cuts the flow and adds more 'air' to the water. Most people hardly notice the difference. Another way to save water is to shut if off when you are not using it!

We then moved to the toilet, the biggest water user in your house. About one third of your water usage for your entire home is from the use of the toilet. The biggest waste here is from toilet leaks. Mainly the leaks occur within the toilet itself. You can test for leaks in your toilet by using dye tablets. Simply drop some dye tablets (food coloring will work as well) in the tank of your toilet and after about 30 minutes you can check the bowl for colored water. If you see coloring, you have a leak. If you do have a leak you will want to check the seal of the rubber flapper to make sure it doesn't need replacing. Another way to save water is to add a new type of 'brick' to the toilet. Jim showed us a toilet bag that you can fill with water to displace space in the tank and that will save you water as well. A 'toilet tank diverter' also helps. This small device helps fill your tank up faster and allows less water to run into the bowl. These are just a few of the water saving tips that you will find at the RWPC website, www.conserveh2o.org.

Indoor Painting Supplies

If you are looking to change the paint color in your home, your job will be a lot easier if you do the right prep work before you get started. Chris from Parr Lumber (503-531-7277) pulled together some of the supplies that you will need to do the job right the first time. First you will need a drop cloth. This will protect your furniture and your flooring from paint damage. Next we saw the painting tape. Painting tape is special because it will protect your edges (and the paint won't run) and it is easy to remove and won't damage the wall. You will also need a couple of different paint brushes. There are a lot of different brushes out there and you can pick from many different styles of brush. Chris recommends a large bristle brush for big areas (you can use a roller too), and a smaller brush for painting fine edges and tight corners. You can also get small disposable foam brushes that will work great too. He also showed us the 'Shur-Line' painting tool. This gadget will allow you to paint against molding quickly and easily. You will also need gloves and a paint bucket or tray. Just these few tools and you are on your way to a quick and easy job of painting.

Organic Bedding

Organic products are hot! People are looking to help the planet and be good stewards of the earth. This need to be green also applies to products in the bedroom. We paid a visit to Eclectic Home (503-224-0551) in NW Portland to learn about organic pillows and talked to Dennis Rose to learn how to find the best organic products. The first thing Dennis did was to set us straight on the reasons for buying organic. You should look for comfort before you look for sustainability. Don't just go into the store and squeeze the pillows, think about your body type and what would work well for your frame. Also, with organic pillows, think about the material. Pillows are made of wool, buckwheat and cotton among other materials that could help with your allergies and sensitivities. Dennis then had David take a pillow to one of their beds to try it out. Once David was in his normal sleeping position Dennis was able to see that the pillow didn't help put his body in alignment. Once again proving Dennis's point comfort first and then sustainability and at Eclectic Home you can get both.



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This page last modified
August 13, 2010.