Welcome to Heidi Shops!

I have a fair amount of time to shop, and I love to see what new products are out there in the world. I don't buy everything I see, but I do make a note of things I like and this website showcases these products. I'll note in the post if the item is something I actually use myself or if it's just something I've seen.

If you click on the bold category in the upper right of any post in this section, you'll see a page with all reviews of that type. Or, select the category below:

Food, Wine, Restaurants
Health & Beauty
Clothes & Accessories
Household Products
Computers, Gadgets, Electronics
Hobbies, Arts & Entertainment
Travel
Stores & Vendors
Tips
Money & Investing
Miscellaneous

Adding A Border To Your Blog Photo

I use google's picasaweb to embed photos on my blog, since it's really easy (I cut and paste the code from the picasaweb into my blog entry, et voila, a photo shows up in my post).

But I wanted to jazz them up a bit, and discovered the code to add a border. First find within the embedded code the image source part. It will start with < img src="http:// then have a bunch of gobbledygook with the address of your photo, then it will end with .JPG"/>.

Within that grouping, type in style="border:7px solid black" after the last quotation and before the forward slash. You can change the number before the px to make the border thinner or fatter, and just type in the name of whatever html color you'd like. In the photo below, I used darkkhaki. Here is a link to a chart of the html color names.

Expiration Date Guidelines

Everyone has products in their homes that are past their expiration dates, since everyone knows most things don't instantly go bad by some date printed on the packaging.

For myself, I'm more apt to use sensory clues than official expiration dates. Food is easy, if it's unappetizing, DON'T EAT IT. Beauty products are a little trickier.

While mascara doesn't necessarily go bad right at 6 months (standard guideline), I find it does start degrading sometime between there and a year. If your mascara starts getting thick and clumpy and becomes difficult to apply evenly, toss it. It probably has bacteria in it anyway.

I've kept lipsticks and lip glosses waaaay longer than the 1.5 to 2-year guideline, but they don't actually last indefinitely. The oils in them start to go rancid, so if you find an old tube of lipstick, smell it before trying it on. You'll know if it's gone bad.

Same thing with lotions, although I've found a wide range among brands with how long they stay good. Some start going after a year, others seem to stay fresh for a very long time. I have Dove self-tanning lotion that I've had since 2006, and even the tanning part still works. If the lotion has an "off" smell, go ahead and toss it. I don't think it will hurt you if you use rancid oil to moisturize your skin, but really, do you want to do that? Buy some new lotion.

Sunscreen actually does degrade quickly. Which isn't to say I don't use it past the expiration date, but I'm aware its potency is greatly reduced. So I'll get new sunscreen each year for days I'm actually in the sun. And I'll use up the old stuff on days I'll be outside, but in the shade. Yes, I can burn in the shade. But I don't need SPF60 to protect me, whatever the old stuff has degraded to works fine for me. But definitely buy a new tube of sunscreen each time you go to the beach-- it's worth $11 to not deal with the pain of sunburn on your vacation, isn't it? Use up the old stuff when you'll only be out for a little while mowing the yard or something.

I found a pretty comprehensive list of
expiration date guidelines online. From personal experience, there are some things I go longer on, but overall the guidelines seem reasonable.

How To Make An Upholstered Headboard

My mother was asking about my upholstered headboard the other day, and I had taken photos when I made it several years ago, so here they are. I had the wood all cut to size when I bought it at Lowe's, and I basically remember putting it together during the commercial breaks while watching and episode of Law & Order. It's an easy project if you've got a power screwdriver, staple gun, and enough floor space to lay it all out. I think I used 3/4" plywood, but it might have been 1/2", I don't remember.

Altogether, I think it cost me $75 in materials and I had some leftovers. It's not fancy, but I've been using it for years now and it's better than no headboard. I think similar bare-bones headboards were going for over $300 in retail stores. When we move the queen-size bed down here, I'm probably just going to alter this existing headboard, cutting it down to size. Then I'll make a slipcover for it, the plain white sheet I used (I always intended to make a slipcover, but never got around to it) has become discolored, but I'll wash it as part of the renovation-- a little soap & bleach should render it good as new.

Terry and I are fans of leather, but the upholstered leather headboards are fairly expensive. But when I got my new sewing machine, I got the ability to sew leather myself. And I discovered that the big fabric shop way up Rt 29 in Ruckersville sells leather pieces. So I might be able to make a leather slipcover for the headboard for, oh, about 1/10th the cost of buying one new. Presuming I muster enough enthusiasm to get me through the complete project. Otherwise, I'll just wind up with a pile of uncut leather in a box in my sewing room, and the same plain white headboard I've had for the past several years. . .

Anyway, here's a photo demonstration of how to make one of these headboards for yourself:

Calculating The Size Of Cash

I was curious about the physical dimensions of $789 billion, and found a handy site to help you calculate the size of ANY amount of cash: Cash Dimensions.

I wanted to be able to visualize the impact of the latest "stimulous" bill, but it is so big, that even imagining the total with bills aggregated is incomprehensible. For example, according to the site, stacked up the pile would reach 282,725,000 feet, which is 53,546 miles.

The circumference of the earth around the equator is about 24,902 miles, so if you stacked the stimulus dollars they'd go around the equator twice and then some. But that's still to big to comprehend, don't you think?

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