Thursday, October 29, 2009

Candy Free Halloween?

I was at the store to get my Halloween Candy and found a ton of cute alternatives. They have pencils and stickers and stamps and little coloring books. All in big bulk sizes just like the candy - Genius!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Keeping Kids Safe this Halloween

Trick or treat! It's that time of the year and I have some tips to keep kids safe for coming and going.

First your house. Check the yard and walkways. Make sure that you pick up any branches and debris so that your home is safe for visitors to walk up to. Use holiday lights to give extra illumination to walkways and steps so that everybody can see where they're going. The rope variety is great because you don't have to worry about the little bulbs being broken. Just make sure that the rope is secured in place so that no one trips.

Put your pets in a basement or bedroom before trick or treaters begin to arrive. Normally friendly pets can become very nervous with all the company.

If you're getting ready to go out with little ones, feed them before you go so they won't be as tempted to eat a lot of candy before you can check it. If you have big kids and some little ones and your splitting into two groups, use walkie-talkies or cell phones to keep in touch throughout the night.

And finally, make sure that your kids costume fits him well and they can move easily so they don't trip and fall.

Have a happy halloween!

Monday, October 26, 2009

Some Goulishly Good Ideas for Halloween Costumes!

It's Halloween! Do you have a costume for your little one. Well, I have some easy and simple ideas that all start with their regular clothes.

A green sweat suit is the perfect start for a frog. Trace frog hands and feet onto some green felt and then cut them out. Stitch the hands to a pair of gloves and then slit holes for the feet to pull over their shoes. Top it off with a matching cap with some eyes made from a styrofoam ball cut in half.

If you have a baby, try a puppy dog costume. put on some sweats or jammies in black, brown or white. Make some ears and spots from felt, find a little cap in a matching color, or make a little hood from some of the felt and then just attach the ears. Cut a bone shape out of craft sheet foam and tape it to a pacifier.

For a bat, start with a black outfit and cut some ears and wings from black felt. for the wings, you're basically making a cape so it should measure across Attach it to their shirt and then make hand loops so that they can hold the cape and "spread their wings," then just attach the ears to a hood or headband.

Important tip: If your kids are wearing dark colors, make sure that they have reflective tape on their costumes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Getting ready to sell your house??

Selling your home is a big deal; I have some ideas to consider before you put your house on the market so you can actually get more money and sell it faster.

1. Potential buyers will walk through your house and take off points for things that they need to do, like repairs and updates. Your goal is to make your home as warm and inviting and as turnkey as possible!

2. Consider hiring a home inspector. The last thing you want is for a potential buyer to back out based on a problem that their home inspector finds. They'll check your home from foundation to rafters to alert you to any problems!

3. Look at your homes exterior with a critical eye. If your home needs to be painted - do it, a crisp clean exterior will attract buyers. Can't afford a whole paint job? Try repainting the shutters and trim.

4. If any major systems like your furnace or hot water heater need to be replaced now time to do it. You'll recoup the cost and buyers appreciate the updates!

5. De-clutter and pare down! Weed out closets, toy areas and maybe even move some things into storage away from the house. Make sure that your home has ample space and that buyers can see that space, not your stuff.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Vacuum Odors

My vacuum has been smelling stale the last several times I've used it, so when I'm done cleaning it doesn't smell good. So today I changed the filter and then sprinkled the carpets with baking soda and vacuumed it up. The baking soda not only absorbed odors from the carpet but is now in the filter and dust cup of my vacuum working constantly until the next time I change it. Gotta love how much a 59 cent box of baking soda can do for you - for more great baking soda tips, check out my website


My chandelier fell from the ceiling - this is the second ceiling fixture I've heard about falling within the past week. Thank goodness no one was hurt, but it was a big foyer chandelier, so I feel fortunate that no one was near it. So, in light of recent events I have decided to check all of the ceiling fixtures. My friend's fixture that fell was caused by the mounting screw slowly turning as she walked around in her closet over the past 5 years (the fixture that fell was directly under her closet door). So take a minute and go around and check your ceiling fixtures, you could prevent a broken fixture or worse yet someone getting hurt. While you're at it, run a test on your smoke detectors to make sure that they're running properly.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Halloween Article

Hey, I've published a couple of Halloween Articles on Associated Content, Check them out!

Halloween Safety Tips

Low Cost Halloween Costumes

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Some Furnace Facts

The heating season definitely taxes your furnace and your finances. Well, I have some tips to help keep you running efficiently to save money and keep you comfortable throughout the season.

Keep the area around your furnace clear of clutter and vacuum the room frequently to keep the unit running at its peak.

Turn the unit off before you start the clean up. Each month or so, vacuum the furnace grille and fans. This will increase efficiency and airflow. When all the dust is gone wipe down dirty surfaces with a damp cloth.

If you do nothing else with your furnace, change the filter every month. If anyone in your house has allergies, try folded filters to cut down on allergens circulating through your house. You can also get filters that fit in the grates in each room to cut down on the dust.

Another tip, if you would like to spread fresh scents throughout your house, pick up a scented insert to use with your filter.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Mudding, drying, sanding....

We are drywalling and taping the second floor. The drywall went up fast...but the taping takes more time. You need to make sure those seams are patched well. So now it's mudding, drying, sanding, mudding, drying, sanding, mudding, drying, sanding...until the walls are smooth as a baby's butt! The last thing you want to do is paint and see that seam look like a horizon, without the sun, around the room! Just started looking at paint colors...I love a punch of color! A tip...when you visit the paint department grab several sample chips...tape them together to make a larger swatch of color and place it in the room near the molding. You'll be able to get a good idea if that's the right color before you spend the money on paint! Don't be afraid to use color, it's only's the easiest way to change the look of a room! What's the worst that can can just paint it again! Go for's just that simple!

Friday, October 9, 2009

BiFold Door Woes!

Bi-fold doors are a common choice for many closets, but you can run into some problems, I was having a problem with my laundry closet doors, so I thought I would share the solutions. Generally it's one of three things. They don't meet in the center, they press too closely together and won't close, or they're uneven. All three are easy to fix! 1. Remove the door by lifting it up and out of the bottom pivot, swinging it away from the bottom bracket and then pulling the top pivot out of it's bracket. 2. Once the door is removed you can easily loosen the adjusting screw and slide the bracket into the position you want. If the doors don't meet, move the top and bottom brackets toward center. If the doors press together too hard and won't close at all, move the brackets away from center. As for the door that is uneven and looks like it's sagging towards center, move only the top bracket slightly away from the center. 3. Bi-fold doors have a liner down the inside to help hold them closed where normal wear & tear can bend them. If this is the case, gently bend them back into shape with a pair of pliers.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


The new Mrs. FIXIT studio house is coming along! The week has been spent planning for the bathroom remodels. Working on layout, fixtures, faucets, etc. Research, research, research! The whole idea is to get that high end look for less! You can do it...but, it takes hours of on line research, visiting local suppliers and working with people that know their product so they can answer your questions. Don't be afraid to ask questions and make sure you are aware of any internal parts you may need to make those fixtures work. Don't forget the valves, supply lines, shut offs, drain stoppers, etc. By the time your done'll have plumbing 101 under your belt!!!! And speaking of plumbing...if your working with a plumber make sure you explain exactly what your looking for in as much detail as will save you money in the long run...the last thing you want is a redo! So don't be afraid to spend the time researching and planning before you order! It's just that simple!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Halloween Safety on Associated Content

I just published a new article on Associated Content, it has some great tips for keeping you and yours safer during this upcoming Halloween season!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Falling into a New Season

Fall has hit here in upstate New York and the leaves are changing colors and the air is getting cooler - and it's reminding me that I have a big to do list to get ready for the winter that's just around the corner. I have some reminders and tips to get you through your fall to do!

Clean and put away your gardening tools, wash them with warm soapy water making sure to get all of the surfaces clean. When the tools are clean and dry coat them with a thin layer of oil or petroleum jelly to prevent the formation of rust while they're not in use.

Make sure your patio furniture is clean so that when you pull it out in the spring you won't have as much work to do.

Vacuum any dirt and leaves off of your patio umbrella. Close it up and grab a pair of old nylon stockings; slip one of the legs over the length of the umbrella. This will let air circulate so the umbrella won't get musty and mildewy, plus dust and cobwebs get caught on the nylons, not the umbrella.

Vacuum your chair cushions too, then put them in a case that you can make easily from some old sheets. Cut the sheets to the size you need, and then use some iron on velcro to seal up the sides for an easy no-sew case that you can use year after year.

Wash terra cotta planters down with hot soapy water and a nylon scrubber. Don't leave them outside in the cold winter months; they will crack. Once they're clean, soak them in a mild bleach and water mixture for a little while. Doing this will kill any mold and mildew. Let them dry in the sun and store them in a cool dry place.

Next job, the gutters, before you start put together a gutter cleaning kit. You'll need a bucket, a pair of heavy duty gloves, a small trowel, a pair of tongs, and a plastic soda bottle with the bottom cut off.

Place a ladder against the side of the house. Make sure it's secure, but not resting against the gutters - that can cause damage.

Lay a big tarp out under the area that you're going to be working on. This way you can throw leaves and gunk onto the tarp.

Use the soda bottle to clean out the debris. The bottle is the perfect size for the job and the top makes a nice handle. Leaves and muck should be scooped out and put into the bucket. If it is really gross, the tongs will come in handy, because they can reach into more compact places.

You can use a hose to flush out the area. Slip the leg of a nylon stocking over the end of the downspout. This way as debris is flushed down it won't make a mess.
The water pressure should clear away any messes that have been left behind.

If you’d like some more easy hints and tips check out my books, ‘Pantry Power’ published by Meredith Books and ‘Mrs. FIXIT’s Easy Home Repair’ published by Simon and Schuster Pocket Books both on-line at If you have any questions, or a tip you’d like to share, please contact me at

Monday, October 5, 2009

If you just shut the door on your yard and garden equipment without prepping it for the off-season you could be in for some costly repairs and replacements next spring. Any equipment with a gas engine should either be drained or run out of gas; IF you leave gas in the tank it can clog the carburetor in storage. So do a last run around the yard and run that gas out. This is especially important if you store the equipment in a basement over the winter. Another option is to fill the tank and add a fuel stabilizer to the tank. This additive will keep the gas and carburetor clean. Just make sure that once you add it you run the machine for several minutes to work it into the engine. If your machine has a two-cycle engine that uses a gas oil mixture you can also use a stabilzer. These additives are a good idea all year long – they will keep the machine running well and the engine cleaner. You should also check or change the oil and be sure oil is at the correct level. Use a stiff bristled brush to clean dirt, dust and grass from the outside decks, intakes and blades of blowers, trimmers and mowers. Then lubricate moving parts with a spray lubricant to protect them from freezing.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Building the Mrs. FIXIT home!

In the midst of a major Mrs. FIXIT home renovation! This will be our new home studio when it's finished! Since the renovation is more than we can show you in our television news segments, I'll keep you up to date on my blog and walk you through some of the trials and tribulations of renovating! First the research, planning and hiring of the right people to get the job done. It's never to early to start a file of ideas for future home renovations and decorating desires. Collecting ideas and pictures that you like is the best way to convey to an architect and builder what your vision is for the project. I've finally finished up with layout and have the vision it's just a matter of getting it done! I've set a budget and I'm determined to keep within it. If you're doing the same, try and anticipate as much as possible before you start and always leave some room in the budget for the unexpected...because those items will show up! Later...'It's just that simple!'