Clean Up Your Computer – Get Rid of Unwanted Toolbar Files

I am constantly trying to find ways to organize my computer. This includes:

-Deleting and organizing files and folders

-Backing up my files

-Cleaning up unnecessary and unwanted program files

The program files are the thing I have the most trouble with. I don’t normally do any type of online coupon offers, but I did once and I got an annoying virus called the ‘Shop at Home’ Toolbar which had been installed on my computer for months. Every time I ‘got rid of it’, it somehow reappeared. My computer has been slowing down, programs have been shutting down without notice and the all around function of my PC has drastically decreased. I finally sat down to rid my computer of this once and for all. I spent hours and hours looking online for the right way to remove it. I finally found a simple and helpful article on this.

Removing Unwanted Toolbars

I also had to download Filezilla to access an FTP site recently and it added “Foxtab” to my browser. This was a program that started every time I opened a new tab in Firefox. I removed it in my add-ons using the above article as well.It worked like a charm to get rid of Foxtab.

However, I noticed that the ‘Shop At Home’ toolbar still kept creeping into my browser. (I thought I deleted you ‘shop at home’…) Here’s what I wanted to do to my computer at this point:

fire

So I had to go a little further on this one. Here’s the tutorial I finally used to rid my computer of this for good!

How to Remove the Shop at Home Toolbar Virus

I am excited to report that these toolbars have not mysteriously resurfaced and I’m much less annoyed now!

Now I know this isn’t an exciting post, but it’s useful. It’s so nice to have those irritating programs and toolbars gone. If you have unwanted toolbars that are cluttering up your computer, try the above steps to get rid of them. And don’t be afraid to seek help on this if you’re not certain about doing it yourself. I am reasonably tech savvy and I still get intimidated by all of the issues that pop up with my computer. However, with a decent amount of research and trial-and-error, I was able to solve my most recent problem!

What computer issues do you run into?

~Erin

 

 

 

 

Craft Drawer Cabinet Reveal

I’m going to start by saying that this is probably the creepiest DIY project I’ve ever done. Let me explain….

A friend of mine bought a foreclosure house that had been sitting vacant for 12 years. Vacant of people, but FILLED with stuff. Apparently the previous owner had been a pharmacist and among the items in the house were old doctor’s bags and pharmaceutical equipment. Most of the stuff was beyond repair, but I came across this gem in a tiny basement closet:

Metal Cabinet (1)

Super creepy, right? My first though was ‘this is disgusting’, but then something sparked in my mind and I saw the future of this ‘trash to treasure’ item. I have been looking for a place to store my craft supplies for a long time and I hadn’t been able to find the perfect thing. I knew this was what I was looking for. However, I had to wade through the creepiness before I could get it home. Every drawer was filled with old pill bottles, prescription pads, medicine droppers, the sinister list goes on and on:

Metal Cabinet (2) Metal Cabinet (3)

When I finally emptied it, I carried it to my car (don’t worry, I was wearing gloves this whole time) and took it home. It has been so cold in my little Colorado town for months, so this thing sat in my garage, blocking the way to my minivan. We had a couple of warm days, so my first project was to clean it up. I can’t even tell you how many times I almost gave up on this thing. I was just grossed out and swore I could feel the ghost of pharmaceutical patients swirling around my garage. But I persevered because the choice was to turn it into a work of art…..or have this asylum cabinet haunting my house. First I took all of the drawers out.

Metal Cabinet (6)

Then I sprayed two coats of white metal spray paint primer on the cabinet. Then I used 2 coats of tan spray paint on the main part of the cabinet. Here it is after the first coat.

Metal Cabinet (7)

The spray painting process took a long time because I had to wait for warm days for each coat. If I didn’t, I knew the paint would run or crack or not dry properly.  After the main part was done, I moved on to the drawers. These took forever to prep. Apparently a couple decades ago, labels were applied with super glue.  See all of these black labels on the drawers?

Metal Cabinet (5)

I had to literally chisel them off….not kidding….with a chisel. Then I cleaned the drawers and sprayed a couple coats of primer on them.

Metal Cabinet (9)

I started with 6 drawers just to see how the color would turn out. I chose a bright teal because I wanted to have a little fun with this piece.

Metal Cabinet (10)

I loved the color so I went back to the store to get 2 more cans for the rest of the drawers. As I walked into the aisle, I saw two cans of teal sitting on the shelf waiting to transform my cabinet. A guy came from the other end of the aisle and went straight for the teal! He grabbed one and I immediately grabbed the other. I knew one can wouldn’t finish my project so I gave him my most pitiful look and said something like “too bad they don’t have more, I need two cans for my project”. And he said…. “it’s a pretty color isn’t it?” and walked away into the sunset with my other can of paint. I was so impatient at this point, I had to come up with another plan. I decided to paint the middle drawers a different color and chose a dusty blue. It turned out to be the best misfortune! I loved the blue (add a new paint color to my favorites!) and the contrast added some interest to the drawers.

Metal Cabinet (13)

Another week went by as I waited for a warm day to paint my last set of drawers. The weather was not on my side and I got antsy. I decided to just go ahead and paint…..bad idea. Immediately after I started spraying, the paint crackled and split.

Metal Cabinet (14)

 

I was so sad. I knew that I would have to sand off all of the paint, re-prime, and spray again. However, I decided to wait. I’m going to live with the crackle for a while until summer arrives. So please politely ignore the crackled finish on the bottom drawers. Other than that….Ta Da!

Metal Cabinet (16)

Metal Cabinet (19)

I used adhesive drawer liner paper on the bottom of the drawers and I have already filled every drawer with craft supplies.

Metal Cabinet (21)

I had an empty frame that is spray painted in the same color to accent the top of the piece. In the summer, I will fix the bottom drawers and soon I will be making labels for each drawer.

Metal Cabinet (17)

I absolutely adore the way it turned out. It’s functional, a little sassy and has a great story.

Metal Cabinet - B&A

~Erin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CD and DVD Recycling

So many of us have masterful collections of music and movies in CD and DVD form. And so many of us NEVER use them. With itunes, Netflix, and a million cable TV channels, these discs are just becoming a thing of the past. If you are looking to clear out your collection, I have some helpful tips.

-If you want to keep the actual music from your CDs, upload them to an itunes account or download them to your computer. If you download them on your computer, make sure you back them up on an external hard drive or other device.

-You can donate CDs or DVDs you no longer use. There are numerous organizations that accept them, including hospitals, libraries, VA organizations, etc. Many non profit organizations also accept them to create care packages or sell in their fund raising efforts. Here are several I found:

Operation Gratitude – This organization creates care packages for the military, including those stationed overseas, the Wounded Warrior Project, and veterans groups. Click here for a list of the items they accept.

KidFlicks – This website collects children’s DVDs for donation to hospitals. Their goal is to create a DVD library at every hospital in the US. Click here for the address to mail DVDs to.

GotBooks.com - This organization is based out of MA and accepts books, CDs and DVDs.

-You can also recycle CDs and DVDs. Did you know that you shouldn’t throw away your discs or cases? Why not, you ask? There is the obvious answer that they take up room in landfills. However, CDs have materials used to make them that won’t decompose. That means they will stay in landfills indefinitely.  CD cases are made of #7 plastic and many recycling facilities don’t accept #6 and #7 plastics. These must be properly processed so that they can be recycled. There are several organizations that do this as well. Here are a couple:

CD Recycling Center of America – You simply separate your jewel cases, CDs and inserts and mail them to their donation center. Their website is full of information on their process and why they recycle.

ACT (Alternative Community Training) – This Missouri based organization that supports career and community integration programs for individuals with disabilities. They accept donations of CDs and DVDs which they recycle to assist them with their fundraising efforts.

I have a lot of CDs, and I will be recycling what I can’t donate. In an effort to downsize years ago, I got rid of all of my CD cases and many places won’t accept donations without the original cases. At least there are ways to recycle them though!

CD

Happy Recycling!

~Erin