Thursday, December 30, 2010

Mrs. FIXIT on Bridge Street on WSYR 9 in Syracuse

I was on Bridge Street this morning in Syracuse to share my post holiday pointers! If you missed it, here is a link to check it out!

Enjoy!

Mrs. FIXIT's Holiday Pack Up Tips on Bridge Street!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Mrs. FIXIT shares her tips on AOL's DIY Life!

Check out my Unusual Uses for Baby Oil on AOL's DIY Life!

Cleaning Chrome

Your sink may be spotless but what can you do about the watermarks and fingerprints on your chrome faucets? I have a few easy ways that will help you capture the original luster that the chrome once had!

1. Rub the faucets with some baking soda on a dry cloth, the very light abrasive element in the baking soda will buff away any imperfections that you see.

2. Another way to polish chrome is to rub it with some newspaper, the ink will work as a polishing agent, you won't believe how good it will look when you're done and it is so inexpensive.

3. You can also try cleaning the faucets with a dryer sheet; it will absorb the water spots and restore the original brilliance of the chrome.

4. My personal favorite, rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth to clean the fixtures. It's inexpensive and the results are so incredible you may need shades!

Clutter Busters

If clutter just seems to appear around your home and you can't get a handle on it, I have some handy clutter busters to help you out!

1. When the mail comes, force yourself to sort it right away. Toss the junk mail and file mail that you need to tend to in a napkin holder. It will still be visible so you don't forget about it, but it looks nice and neat.

2. Piles of placemats? Clip them together with a large binder clip and hang them on a cup hook inside a cabinet or pantry.

3. Cup hooks can also help with the keys all over the counter. Hang a couple of hooks on the inside of your closet door. This way you can hang up your keys when you hang a jacket or handbag. They'll be out of the way and you'll always know where they are.

4. Don't want to make ten trips up and down the stairs everyday? Get a stair basket, stash things inside that need to go upstairs and bring it with you once a day!

5. If you're plain short on storage space think creatively. Store items in plastic shoeboxes. Then stash them under a bed or a skirted couch or chair. This is also a perfect spot for extra leaves from your dining table. Make sure you have carpeting or use a pad under the leaves so you don't end up scratching them.

The Christmas Clean Up Begins!!

All of the gifts have been openend, the food is gone, now the clean up begins!!! If you're looking for cleaning and decluttering tips. Check out my website! www.mrsfixit.com! It's just that simple!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Candy Stains!

Kids love candy, but let's face it; it can make a big mess! So how do you get rid of those stains?

1. Chocolate. Short of dressing your kids in chocolate brown odds are if they eat chocolate they are going to end up with stains, well, don't worry, everyone has the best stain fighter for chocolate and you probably don't even realize it! Plain old dish soap applied directly to chocolate stains will remove them in short order - even older stains. Rub it into the fabric and then launder in cold water!

2. Lollipops are a sticky mess, but luckily are water soluble. So just run hot water over the stickiness to dissolve the sugars and remove the film. If there is a colored stain left behind, rub white shaving cream onto the stain with a toothbrush and then launder. The warm water will also help loosen lollipops and hard candy that are stuck to household surfaces.

3. How about gum -the worst of the candied messes! Really the best line of defense is to dissolve the gum. Lubricating oil will dissolve the stickiness and loosen the gum. Once you've removed it, pull that dish soap back out to break up the oil residue, and then launder it as directed!

Last Minute Substitutions!

You're in the middle of a recipe, and guests are coming in hours. Well, there's no time to go to the grocery store so I have some substitutions that you can use in a pinch!

1. If you need semisweet chocolate and all you have is cocoa powder you're in luck. For an equivalent of six ounces of semi-sweet chocolate mix together nine tablespoons of cocoa powder, seven tablespoons of sugar and three tablespoons of softened butter.

2. What do you do if your recipe calls for shortening and you don't have any? Replace it with butter or vice versa one cup equals one cup in baking!

3. No buttermilk? No problem! Simply stir together a cup of milk and one and three quarters tablespoons of cream of tartar. Or, one tablespoon of lemon juice for each cup of milk.

4. How about sour cream? Mix a cup of milk and a tablespoon of white vinegar and let it sit for five minutes, you're all set.

5. No evaporated milk for the pumpkin pie? Try half and half it will work just as well!

6. Here is a little tip for your cooking timetable, don't save pie making until the end. Everything about pastry needs to be cold from the ingredients to the room so if you work on pies first you'll end up with flakier and tastier pies!

Live in the Syracuse, NY area? I'm going to be on Bridge Street 12/30

I'll be sharing my ideas for packing up those Christmas Decorations on Thursday's episode of Bridge Street. 10am on WSYR TV 9!

Mrs. FIXIT's Unusual Uses for Egg Cartons on AOL's DIY Life

After all that holiday baking and eggnog-making, you may find yourself with an excess of empty egg cartons. Don't trash them – there are all sorts of ways you can use egg cartons around the house! Check out my ideas on AOL's DIY Life!

Mrs. FIXIT on Facebook!

Don't forget to friend Mrs. FIXIT on Facebook for even more interesting tips and household ideas! It's just that simple!

Flour Power

Flour's used for all sorts of recipes, but I have some uses that go beyond cookies and casseroles.

1. Store flour in a grated cheese shaker, it's perfect for dusting surfaces but it also an easy way to keep flour on hand to soak up grease spills or douse grease fires. Simply sprinkle the flour over the splatters or flames for a quick solution!

2. Mix together equal parts of flour, salt and vinegar to make a paste that will quickly clean tarnish from household brass and copper. Simply spread the mixture onto the metal and then buff it to a shine.

3. Squeeze some flour through a squirt bottle onto the back of pantry shelves, and pests won't walk through the flour, which will keep your food safe!

4. If your child is out of glue and you need to get a school project finished, bring a half a cup of flour and a cup and a half of cold water to a boil and simmer it until it's thick and smooth. Transfer to an airtight container and allow it to cool to room temperature. Use a paintbrush or cotton swab to apply the glue to the project!

5. Clean playing cards by putting them in a paper bag with some flour. Then just seal and shake. Dump them out onto a towel and they'll be grime free!

Fireplace Smarts

If you love a roaring fire, there are some fireplace smarts you should think about before you build a fire.

1. When you're building a fire start small. Some kindling and one or two logs will get smoke and drafts moving in the right direction by warming the fireplace and chimney rather than blasting them with heat. You never want to build a huge fire in a home fireplace, the bigger the fire, the more smoke and heat and the more chance you'll end up with a chimney fire.

2. Keep a fire extinguisher in the same room as your fireplace so you have easy access to it if you ever need it.

3. Don't store firewood in your house, it attracts insects! Store it outside at least twenty feet away from your house.

4. If you don't want to go through the trouble of having firewood at your house try manufactured fire logs just make sure that you read the instructions for lighting and never burn more than one at a time.

5. Finally, don't close your damper until you're sure that all of the embers have cooled completely. Closing it prematurely can cause a buildup of heat and the fire could start back up when you're not watching!

Last Minute Wrapping??

The key to any task is organization. Well I have easy ways to keep your wrapping supplies organized so you can get through the chore of wrapping those holiday gifts in no time!
If you're always combing the house to find scissors and pens and tape and tags, buy two sets, one for the house and one for wrapping. Keep the wrapping set corralled in a see through make-up bag for easy, portable access.
If your wrapping paper rolls are always unrolling and falling to the floor, try this: cut a paper towel or toilet paper tube along its length. Then slip it around the paper, it will keep it rolled up and it won't rip the paper like tape can!
Now for storage, a clear hanging garment bag is the perfect spot to store all of your wrapping paper. Slip the rolls upright in the bag. Put your ribbon spools in the bottom along with your tape and scissors kit, and then stash the whole kit in a closet, always together and right where you need it!

I guess that about wraps it up!

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Wreaths Made from Everyday Items

Skip the store-bought Christmas wreath and go for something unexpected this season. We've got two innovative ideas that let you transform ordinary items like china and feathers into festive DIY wreaths that will wow your house guests.

Check out the whole post on AOL's DIY Life!

Mrs. FIXIT on Bridge Street

Tune into WSYR Channel 9 this morning at 10:00 to see Mrs. FIXIT and her ideas for holiday hostess gifts. If you're planning some shopping - Bridge Street is airing live from the Shoppingtown Mall this month so you can stop by and say Hi!!

It's just that simple!

Want to know how to Make Snow??

Check out my blog post on AOL's DIY Life!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Don't forget Mrs. FIXIT on Twitter

Follow me on twitter here: www.twitter.com/mrsfixit

Cheesecloth

From cooking, to cleaning to home repairs, cheesecloth is an indispensable tool that you should have in your home.

1. You can buy cheesecloth in grocery stores and home improvement centers, it is a loose weave, lint free gauzy fabric originally used to wrap cheese!

2. Use cheesecloth and a little mineral spirits to buff away any buildup and residue on a piece of furniture.

3. In the home repair venue you can use cheesecloth to strain lumpy paint, secure it over the top of the can and pour it into a paint pan.

4. It is also a great staining pad because it doesn't absorb excess stain and doesn't leave behind any lint.

5. It's that same lint-free quality that makes this cloth great for cleaning plus it's loose weave polishes and cleans everything from furniture to windows easily.

6. Cheesecloth is also useful in the kitchen too. Drape it over a bowl before squeezing lemons or limes to keep the seeds out.

7. You can also use cheesecloth to strain yogurt or squeeze excess moisture out of frozen spinach.

8. These are only a few of the hundreds of ways that you can use cheesecloth around your home. I'm Mrs. Fixit and it's just that simple!

Toilet Paper Tubes

Paper towel and toilet paper tubes aren't a throw away item - I can show you so many uses for them around your home.

1. If your tongs are always getting caught inside your drawer because they pop open, slip them inside a paper towel tube, it'll keep them closed and right where you want them.

2. Cut a slit along the length of a paper towel tube and slip it over the hanger to prevent creases in your pants. You can also slip them over the tops of a hanger to fill out the shoulders in a suit or jacket.

3. Stuff plastic bags inside a toilet paper tube and slip it in your purse or glove compartment, that way you'll have bags on the go for garbage, pet messes or kid clutter.

4. Cleaning your Chandelier? Slip cardboard tubes over the bulbs and sockets to protect them while you work.

5. If you have a little girl, a paper towel tube is a great way to organize all of those pretty little hair accessories.

6. How about a gift box for small items. Slip the gift inside and wrap the roll like the old fashioned Christmas crackers!

Zip Tie Holiday!

Forget the wires, string and tape.this holiday season all you need are zip ties to help you decorate. Zip ties are strong and they hold securely without damaging so that they're the perfect temporary fix.

1. Thread a zip tie through the back of a bow and secure it around a wreath, this will keep the bow in place through all sorts of wind and weather.

2. A zip tie also makes a great hanger zip it into a loop on the back of even the heaviest wreaths for a safe and sturdy hanger.

3. Zip ties are the perfect tool for securing garlands to banisters and fences. They wrap easily around the posts or spindles and hold tight.

4. They will also secure ornaments or other decorations easily to a wreath or garland. If your zip tie isn't long enough just attach a few together and make them the size you need.

5. Use zip ties to secure light strands to your wreaths or garland, you can also use them to organize and hold together all of your wires for your holiday lights so they blend easily and aren't a tripping hazard.

6. Once you've zipped, a nail clipper is the perfect tool to clip off those little tails.

Picture Perfect Holiday!

Sure, a picture in a frame is a lovely gift, but I have some ways to personalize those gifts that won't break the bank!

1. Use old pictures and scrap booking paper to personalize a plain gift bag. The plain bags are less expensive, you can use them beyond the holidays and the recipient will love the personal touch.

2. This is also a great way to personalize Christmas cards, buy a pack of blank cards and personalize them for each person!

3. Use your computer to create a calendar for a loved one. You can buy calendar kits at your local office supply store, or simply buy a ream of heavy paper and print them yourself. You can have them bound at a local office supply store for a couple of dollars.

4. Speaking of the computer, use it to blow up pictures to a full sheet, print them out and use them to wrap small gifts. They're really festive!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Holiday Safety Tips!

Holiday decorations can add such warmth to a home. With a live Christmas tree in your house there are some precautions you should take to ensure a safe holiday season.

1. Christmas trees are easy to knock over. To prevent that from happening, just secure your tree stand to a large piece of plywood. This will give you a much sturdier base than the stand alone, and it will be covered up by your tree skirt so it won't look odd!

2. An easy way to water your tree is to string a piece of hose with a funnel at the top from your tree stand to the back of the tree. Put it at a reachable level. Then you can just pour water into the funnel.

3. When you're putting up lights, inside or out, make sure that you check the entire length of the wires for fraying and blown bulbs. This way when you string up the lights, you won't risk a fire.

4. It's also a good time of year to check your smoke detectors. This way, if there is a fire, your family will be able to get out.

Friend Mrs. FIXIT!

Don't forget to friend Mrs. FIXIT on Facebook for more great ideas and quick tips!

Looking for more great Holiday Tips?

Check out the Holiday Category on my website at www.mrsfixit.com!

Gifts from Garbage?

I'm not suggesting that you go out and pick through your trash to find gifts to give to everyone this holiday season. But there are some great items you might have around your home that can be transformed into some great gifts.

1. A pretty old makeup compact can be turned into an oversized "locket". Cut a picture to fit in the opening where the powder used to be, and secure it with some double stick tape.

2. Old clothes can be made into lots of neat things from bears, to blankets, to pillows. If you're not handy with a sewing machine, do a quick on-line search there are a lot of talented people out there who do this kind of thing. These items can be especially thoughtful if the clothes belonged to a loved one who is passed away or for your parents from your old baby items.

3. An old jug or bottle can be easily transformed into a lamp. They sell special light kits at the hardware store with bottle stops.

4. An old picture frame can be made into a mirror. Just have a piece of mirror cut or buy an inexpensive one and then secure the mirror in the frame with glazier's points, staples or brads.

5. Teacups make the perfect holder for a custom candle. You can get wicks and wax at your local craft store. Follow the directions for melting the wax and pouring it into your container. Beautiful!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Wrapping Organization

The key to any task is organization. Well I have easy ways to keep your wrapping supplies organized so you can get through the chore of wrapping those holiday gifts in no time!

1. If you're always combing the house to find scissors and pens and tape and tags, buy two sets, one for the house and one for wrapping. Keep the wrapping set corralled in a see through make-up bag for easy, portable access.

2. If your wrapping paper rolls are always unrolling and falling to the floor, try this: cut a paper towel or toilet paper tube along its length. Then slip it around the paper, it will keep it rolled up and it won't rip the paper like tape can!

3. Now for storage, a clear hanging garment bag is the perfect spot to store all of your wrapping paper. Slip the rolls upright in the bag. Put your ribbon spools in the bottom along with your tape and scissors kit, and then stash the whole kit in a closet, always together and right where you need it!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Christmas Tree Time

Christmas is a great time of year with homes so wonderfully decorated and featuring beautiful Christmas trees. How do you make sure your tree will last through the holidays? When you pick your tree there are some things you should know to make sure it stays fresh for the season.

1. Shake the tree to make sure that the needles don't drop off. You can also run your hand down a branch, or reach into the trunk area and scratch the bark. If you can see green on the back side of the bark, this means it's fresh.

2. Before you put your tree up, cut a good two inches from the end of the trunk. This will ensure that the tree will be able to absorb the water in the stand and not dry out.

3. To preserve your tree, here is a great recipe. Mix together a gallon of warm water with 4 tablespoons of iron powder, (which you can pick up at most garden shops), 4 tablespoons of bleach and 2 cups of corn syrup. Once you have your tree in a stand, water with the mixture and use it until it is gone.

I hope these ideas keep your tree looking great through the holiday!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Grease Stains

The Thanksgiving holiday inevitably brings grease stains, what a mess! But not one that you have to live with! With these easy ideas, those stains won't be a problem anymore.

1. Work fast. The sooner you catch it, the better luck you'll have removing it.

2. If someone spills grease on your tablecloth or placemats, put some paper towels between the fabric and the table, and apply some grease cutting dish detergent or shampoo directly on the stain. After you have finished your meal, wash the fabric as usual, the soap should have cut up the grease and washing will rinse away the soap. (Never dry an item that is stained until you're sure the stain is gone, as heat will set the stain.)

3. If the stain is on upholstery, rub some cornmeal into the stain and leave it there for a little while. The cornmeal will absorb the oil and you will see it clump a little as it does. Once the grease is absorbed just vacuum the cornmeal.

4. If the stain is right on your table or other wood furniture, sprinkle the area with baby powder and rub the powder into the stain. This will absorb the grease, then just brush away the powder and polish the wood.

This week on Mrs. FIXIT

LIGHTING SCHEME
I'll help you get the perfect lighting scheme for your home!
ESSENTIAL DISINFECTING
Essential oils can help you clean and disinfect all over your home - I'll show you how!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thanksgiving Timeline

Thanksgiving, it sounds so peaceful getting together with friends and family. But if you're in charge it can be anything but. Well, I have some ideas to help out!

1. Sit down and make a cooking timeline, write down all of the dishes that go in the oven, the temperature they need and the cooking time. Then group things together so you're not scrambling and overstuffing the oven on the big day.

2. Chop and measure ingredients in advance, you shouldn't make the stuffing ahead of time, but there is no reason that you can't chop the celery and onions and store them in plastic in the fridge. This will save you time and mess on the big day.

3. Do yourself a favor and use a disposable roasting pan. You won't have to worry about the clean up, just remember to put a cookie sheet under the pan to make it sturdier for moving.

4. And finally, for those thanksgiving stains, have some white cloths, some club soda, lemons and shaving cream on hand. Inevitably something will get spilled. And these are all purpose stain removers.

I hope these tips help you enjoy your week!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Looking for a Good Book?

Get yourself an autographed copy of Mrs. FIXIT's Easy Home Repair on my website www.mrsfixit.com! It's just that simple!

Build Up on Wood Furniture

Sometimes a build-up of wax and polish can cause a hazy film on your wood furniture. The good news is that it is usually pretty easy to clean up.

1. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to a pint of tepid water. Soak a clean washcloth in the solution and wring it out. Rub the haze lightly with the cloth being careful not to get too much water onto the wood. Then, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe up any excess. If there are several layers of polish you may have to repeat the process.

2. A white haze can also be caused by moisture stuck in the wood's surface. Try taking some wood ashes from your fireplace, and mixing them with a little water to form a paste. Work that paste into the piece with a washcloth until you see the haze disappearing. Then clean the wood off with the vinegar and water mixture. (If you don't have a fireplace, you could also try some baking soda on a damp cloth. Rub it into the spot and wipe it away with a clean cloth.)

3. Once you've removed all that white film from your furniture, try polishing the surface with some lemon oil.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tips & Ideas to Paint a Room

I'm sure you know how to paint, but sometimes it's the little things that can make the project go a whole lot smoother, I have some tips to help you out.

1. When taping off your room, run a putty knife along the tape to ensure a tight seal and crisp edges.

2. When painting a large space it is sometimes easier to work with a bucket and a painting grid like this rather than a paint tray so you don't have to stop and refill so often.

3. I've said it before, but it warrants repeating, I love a wheeled paint pad for cutting in around a room. Professionals may disagree and opt for a brush, but for the amateur painter it gives nice control, coverage, and crisp clean edges!

4. A gallon milk jug with the side opposite the handle cut out makes a great "cutting in tote." Dip the small paint pad inside and scrape the excess off on your cut edge so it drips back into the jug!

5. When rolling walls, work in a "w" pattern in small three foot sections evening out the paint as you go.

6. If you need to stop in the middle of a job finish a whole wall and stop at a corner, otherwise you'll end up with lap marks that will be difficult to mask.

7. If you need to stop in the middle of a job finish a whole wall and stop at a corner, otherwise you'll end up with lap marks that will be difficult to mask.

If you're looking for hands on advice while working on a paint project - visit a specialty paint shop - My friends at Sherwin Williams never steer me wrong! To check out the lastest and greatest in paint visit www.sherwinwilliams.com

Bi-Fold Door Problems

Bi-fold doors are a common choice for many closets, but you can run into some problems. 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.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Holiday Shopping - Inventory Close Out

Check out Mrs. FIXIT's online store - we're having a holiday inventory closeout sale!

Looking for Cool Electrical Gadgets?

Mrs. FIXIT is Talking Electrical Safety & Conservation with Legrand, Pass & Seymour!
15 Minute Makeovers: Get a whole makeover in one, easy changeover. And get benefits that are hard to live without - energy efficiency, added safety, and a bright new look for years to come! You'll never get so much back for 15 minutes of your time. Installation is so easy, all you do is take out your old switch or outlet and replace it with a sleek, new Legrand/Pass & Seymour product in the same opening. You can do it - and you'll love it when you do! www.electricitysimplicity.com

Getting in Gear for Thanksgiving!

Are you ready to give thanks? Or maybe not, if you're hosting the party. I have some timesavers to help!

1. Use a three ring binder to organize your holidays. You can keep shopping lists, menu plans and recipes for every holiday in the binder. You'll always know where they are, you can add to it anytime!

2. Prepare and freeze anything that you can in advance. It will save you time and space on the holiday!

3. Whenever you're cooking in the oven, clip a battery powered timer to your clothes so that you don't have to worry about not hearing the timer and burning your dish!

4. For thanksgiving leftovers pick up take out containers at your local restaurant supply store. This way you can send leftovers home with your guests without worrying about getting your dishes back.

5. Finally, lay out all of your serving dishes in advance and use sticky notes to label what you want in each. This way, when people are trying to help, you can direct them to the notes and not send them searching through the cabinets!

Easy Ideas to help you through the holiday!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Blogging about Crackle Paint Teachniques on AOL!!

Check out AOL's DIY Life for a cool teachnique for crackle painting with school glue!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Yard Work!

If you spend a lot of time working in your yard, there are a few annoying things that can crop up. Well, I have a few ideas that will make it a lot easier!

1. If you rake your lawn you know all about blisters. They're awful, but there's a way to rake and save your hands. Pick up some foam pipe insulation at your local hardware store. A 3/4 inch pipe is about the same size as your rake's handle. Just stretch the insulation over the length and say good-bye to those blisters.

2. To prevent garden tools from rusting, make sure that you clean them after you're done using them. An easy way to do that is to keep a bucket of sand mixed with some oil nearby. When you're finished in the garden, just jab the tools into the bucket several times. The sand will scour away stuck-on dirt and the oil will help prevent rusting.

3. Protect garden tools with automotive paste wax by simply applying a light coat to your tools.

Let it Dry~

Although it might be a test of will power there are some messes that you might want to let sit before you clean them up to get the best results.

1. If you spill nail polish on your carpet don't reach for the water, instead let it dry completely before you touch it. As the polish dries the solvents will evaporate out. Once it's dry, use a butter knife or an old spoon to go back and forth over the carpet working the spill out. The raking motion from the spoon will turn it back to dust and then you can simply vacuum it away!

2. Mud is another mess better left alone. If you add water to mud you just get more mud. Let the tracks dry up. Then use a broom to loosen the mess from the carpet fibers. Finally, vacuum the dirt away!

3. Paint, you might think I'm crazy but for drips on linoleum, vinyl, metal, glass and appliances let it dry, and then use a credit card to chip the drip off of the surface.

Stick it out - let it dry and you'll see!!!

Mrsfixit.com Weekly Poll!

Don't forget to take my weekly poll on www.mrsfixit.com! It's one of the ways I decide what to do in upcoming segments!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Need to Replace a Ceramic Tile?

You know that one ceramic tile that's loose -- or keeps popping off, only to glued back down? It's time to reset it the right way, for long-lasting results. For the step-by-step directions, check out my post on AOL's DIY Life! It's just that simple!

Bungee Cords

You may not think bungee cords are an essential, but they come in handy for all sorts of things!

1. For emergency childproofing, keep several small cords handy to secure cabinets and doors. Just stretch the cord around the handles.

2. If you've got a load a little too big for your trunk, just attach some cords to the hook at the back of the trunk and then to the top. It will secure the trunk door for your trip.

3. If you have to move furniture with drawers, secure a long cord all the way around the dresser from front to back, and watch those drawers stay in place.

4. If you can't find the cords in the size you want, make your own. Buy some bungee cording material with no hooks on it, then buy some hooks. Decide how long you need the cord, and snip it off giving yourself a few extra inches to connect the hooks. Thread the end through the hook and tie it off.

Now that's stretching an items uses!!

Talkin' Turkey Basters!!!

If you only pull out your turkey baster on thanksgiving you're missing out on some great alternative uses for these little wonders!

1. In the kitchen, sure it can baste a turkey, but it will also make filling muffin tins and making pancakes much easier, just suck up some batter and then squirt it right where you need it.

2. If you drop an egg you can use a turkey baster to easily suck up the majority of the mess, then simply wipe up whatever is remaining!

3. If you overfilled the coffeemaker, use a turkey baster to remove the excess water without making a big mess.

4. Fresh flowers last longer when you add freshwater every couple of days, rather than bringing the arrangement to the faucet, uses a turkey baster to get water down into the vase with no mess! It can also help you reach high plants to water them without climbing.

5. If you have a baby in the house, add a turkey baster to your bath supplies for a gentle rinse that won't scare the little one!


Simple uses for an old Thanksgiving staple!

Monday, November 1, 2010

Squeaky Wood Floor

Squeaky floors can be a real annoyance, especially if you can't get to them from below. I'll tell you how to silence these squeaks for good. Mark the squeaky areas with some painter's tape, so you have a visual of where you need to work. Your goal is to secure the floorboards to the sub-floor to eliminate the friction between them. That's what's causing the squeak Using a drill bit that is slightly smaller than your nails, drill two pilot holes into one floorboard, the holes should be angled towards each other at a forty-five degree angle. Drive ring-shanked nails into the holes. Using a nail set, counter sink the heads below the surface of the floor. Use some putty to fill the holes, and allow it to dry completely. Gently sand and polish the area to blend the repair into the floor. Stain the putty to match the floor. No squeaks!

Special Price Alert!!!

We're running a special on www.mrsfixit.com through the holidays - you can get my book Mrs. FIXIT's Easy Home Repair for only $6.99 - and it's autographed! Can't beat that!

Weekly Poll

Did you know that I have a weekly poll on my website - the results will often help me figure out what to do in upcoming segments - vote each week!! It's just that simple!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Happy Halloween!

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

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Production Day!!

Fun projects in production today - what do you have to look forward to? How to make wire photo holders and gallery frames! If you don't get Mrs. FIXIT in your local market - call the station and tell them you want Mrs. FIXIT in your town!! It's just that simple!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Legrand, Pass & Seymour: Lowe’s Promotion

Tamper resistant outlets with a built in night light? You bet, and they're a must have for every home with kids. Check them out on ElectricitySimplicity.com!

Friday, October 22, 2010

Halloween Costumes for the Little Ones

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Electricity Simplicity

Did you catch Mrs. FIXIT's 15 Minute Electrical Makeover? Want more information, check out electricitysimplicity.com!

Pumpkin Prowess

Trick or treat! The trick is to follow a few simple ideas. The treat? A frightfully perfect pumpkin every time!

1. Looking for a super spooky jack-o-lantern? A few simple tools will make short work of it, an awl, an ice cream scoop, a melon baller, a drywall saw and of course a serrated knife!

2. Put down several layers of newspaper to protect your work surface, a table is a great choice because it's easier to scoop from above the pumpkin.

3. A drywall saw is a great tool for the rough cuts -like around the stem. It's pointed tip and heavy-duty teeth cut easily through that tough pumpkin shell. Just be careful when working with knives and saws.

4. Use an ice cream scoop to clean out the guts; it's designed to scoop through hard substance!

5. Use the awl to make starter holes so you end up with nice clean lines and corners.

6. A melon baller can help you with the final detailing.

7. Smear some petroleum jelly over the exposed pumpkin flesh, to help preserve it.

8. While you've got that petroleum jelly out, put a birthday candle in there and stick it in the pumpkin, the candle will burn safely for hours!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Halloween Safety on AOL's DIY LIfe


I shared some handy ideas for keeping your home and trick or treaters safe this Halloween on AOL's DIY Life

Looking for a Great Gift

Mrs. FIXIT's Pantry Power
Mrs. FIXIT's Easy Home Repair

You can buy an autographed copy of my books on mrsfixit.com! It's just that simple!

Vinaigrette - for the Carpets!

If you have a carpet stain would you think to grab the vinegar. Well, you should, cause it can cut through some of the toughest stains.

1. Gum on carpets is a nightmare, but vinegar can actually help to dissolve it away. Pour white vinegar directly onto the gum and let it sit for a minute, then use a paper towel to start easily pulling the gum out of the carpet fibers. Follow up with a little soapy water to clean up the vinegar and you're all set!

2. Dried glue on a carpet can also be dissolved with white vinegar. warm the vinegar for thirty seconds in the microwave, then dip a white cloth with it. Lay the cloth over the glue and leave for five minutes. once the glue had softened you'll be able to remove it from the carpet with a spoon and then just follow it up with some soapy water.

3. If you have chocolate stains on your carpet, mix together a half a cup of white vinegar and a cup of water and use that along with a white cloth to blot out any stains. Change the cloth frequently to be sure you don't redistribute the stains. This vinegar and water solution also works great on coffee spills.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Look Ma No Hands - Wireless & Remote Lights and Switches

From motion detectors to remote switches, wireless light controls can make life a little easier and a whole lot safer.

1. If you can only control the light in your bedroom by a switch, but can never find it in the dark, a remote on/off switch may be just what you're looking for. Plug the lamp into the side of the unit and then plug the receiver into an outlet. Turn the light switch to on. You'll be able to turn the power to the light on and off with the remote control and you can keep it right next to your bed.

2. For a ceiling fixture or other light that you have to turn on by a pull chain, try a light socket switch kit. Screw the socket receiver into the light fixture and then put the light bulb in the receiver. Now you can turn the light on with a convenient switch without fumbling for a chain.

No more hands!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Reality Checked Tools on Sears.com

Look for Mrs. FIXIT in the Sears 2010 Tool Catalog - It's just that simple!

Pumpkin Topiary


If you're interested in making a pumpkin topiary like the one shown on Mrs. FIXIT last week, check out the instructions on www.mrsfixit.com Also, check out this topiary made by a WPVI viewer in Philly! Thanks for sharing!

Spicy Idea!



For years, whenever we go on vacation I've been collecting sand from different places we've visited and I always just had it in ziploc bags. We'll I was at a favorite little treasure store and saw an old wood spice rack with glass bottles and had one of those lightbulb moments. These jars would make the perfect place to put the sand! A little sanding and some black paint made the rack look like new, and some new labels for the jars gave me just the display I needed. Now, every time I walk by the rack I remember all of our fun family trips! Check out the pix!

Glove Up - Alternative uses for Rubber Gloves

Rubber gloves will help you with more than simply scrubbing up, put them to use all over the place!

1. Rubber gloves give you a great non-slip grip on everything from a stuck jar lid, to kids in the tub!

2. Cut the fingers off of an old pair of rubber gloves and slip them over the tops of mops and brooms; when you lean them against the wall they don't slip or make marks on the wall. Or slip them over chair feet to protect the floors. They're also great when slipped over the jaws of a wrench or pliers to prevent slipping or marring a surface.

3. Cut the cuffs off a rubber glove to make a large-scale rubber band.

4. Fill a rubber glove with water, roll the cuff and clip it closed with a bag clip. Then stick it in the freezer. Once frozen it makes a great, and inexpensive ice pack for sore muscles or the cooler on your next picnic.

5. Before you pull gloves on, coat your hands with your favorite hand cream, as you work the heat and lotion will work together to give you super-soft hands.

6. If you're having trouble getting your gloves off just run them under cold water for a few seconds, and they'll come right off!

So glove up! It's just that simple!

A Mrs. FIXIT Fan Tip!
Thank you Gail Currier!

Gail writes:
My husband put in beautiful cherry floors a few years ago. We put felt
protectors under all the furniture so it wouldn't scratch, but I love
rocking chairs and whenever I moved one (dragged it) across the floor any
little bit of sand, etc. would make a scratch in the finish. Those little
felt feet wouldn't work on the rockers because the ride would be bumpy.
At a hardware store I bought heavy duty Velcro. My husband watched when I
rocked in the chairs and marked the rockers when they touched the floor.
I cut a piece of the Velcro to the correct length and fasted the smooth
part to the rocker. I tossed the "hook" part. The chairs now rock
smoothly, you can't see the Velcro and they don't scratch the floors when
I move them. TA DA!

Now that's using some FIXIT ingenuity! Thanks for the tip Gail!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Curiously Strong? Put Mint Tins to Good Use!

Have you noticed the changing trend in breath mints these days? They all come in a cute little tin. Well don't throw away the tin when the mints are gone, I have some uses for them! Put together a little mending kit to keep in your handbag, your glove compartment or your desk. Stock the tin with a small pair of scissors, some thread, a couple of needles and some extra buttons! You'll be ready for a loose hem or a popped button anytime! How about a little first aid kit. A tin is the perfect size to hold a couple of anti-bacterial wipes, some ointment and a few plastic bandages. Or a maybe a diaper bag caddy. Fill it with pins, diaper rash ointment, and a little pair of nail clippers. Keep a tin in your travel bag; they are the perfect fit for cotton swabs, jewelry or hair accessories! If you wear eyeglasses, these tins are the right size for an eyeglass repair kit as well as a cleansing cloth. Use tins to organize your toolbox, they're the perfect fit for small hardware like picture hanging supplies, nails, screws, nuts and bolts.

Solid Surface Counter Stains

One reason solid surface counters are so popular is that nicks, scratches and stains can be removed easily. Solid surface counters, are just that; a solid material all the way through, so you can buff away damage without changing the appearance. Remove minor scratches, scorches or burns with a green kitchen scrubber and a light abrasive cleanser. For a raised problem like this glue, try gently scraping away as much as you can with a plastic putty knife before buffing. If that doesn't work, you might have to grab a metal putty knife, but be very careful not to gouge the area. Once you've removed the damage, apply some cleanser to your scrubber and work in a circular pattern. Buff the entire area surrounding the original damage. Make sure that you feather out the repair to blend into the surrounding area. If the damage doesn't seem to be affected by your scrubber, try a 400 grit wet dry sandpaper. Wet the area, and sand the damage. Either of these steps should renew the surface and make it look just like the day it was installed! The repair might vary depending upon your solid surface. If you have any questions always check with a solid surface specialist.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Undersink Cabinet in the Kitchen

Between the inevitable leaks and the unending array of cleansers that you want to shake a stinky sponge at; the cabinet under your sink can get pretty disgusting, don't worry; I have some ideas to help you out!

1. You can buy individual peel and stick vinyl tiles at home improvement centers for very little money. Use them to line the inside of the cabinet. They're sturdier than shelf paper, they clean up easily and they'll protect the bottom of the cabinet from leaks and spills.

2. A plastic bucket or basin can serve double duty as a corral for all of those cleansers. Plus it makes them easier to tote around when you're doing your chores.

3. Hang a wire mesh basket on the cabinet door, to keep your sponges and scrubbers in. It will keep them handy and the mesh will allow them to dry completely so they don't get smelly.

4. A couple of cup hooks can handle bottlebrushes, feather dusters and small brooms.

5. To keep the cabinet from smelly musty, fill an onion bag with chalk or charcoal and hang it from another cup hook on the "roof" of the cabinet. Your little sachet will absorb odors and control moisture!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Friend me on Facebook

Don't forget to friend Mrs. FIXIT on Facebook for more tips, tricks & project ideas!

Sherwin Williams

If you love painting projects - make friends with the people at your local paint store. My buddies at Sherwin Williams always keep me in the loop about the latest and greatest in paint! It's just that simple!

Painting Pointers

Painting is the fastest, cheapest, most dramatic way to update your home. Well, I have some tips to for you.

1. If you wear contact lenses, opt for your glasses instead; the fumes in paint can cause your contacts to irritate your eyes.

2. Whether you're cutting in or painting trim, brushwork is part of the job. To get the best results, dip your brush into the paint no more than two inches and then tap the brush against the sides of your bucket. This allows for the extra paint and drips to fall off the brush without making the paint on the brush uneven, which allows for better coverage.

3. If you're painting stripes or any other two color treatment that requires taping off some areas after the base coat, try this: paint a thin coat of the base color over the tape inside the lines. It will seal the tape and if any seeps underneath the tape it will have been the base color leaving a clean line.

4. If you're painting a window frame, overlap the paint onto the glass slightly, this ensures that you seal the seam between the glass and the wood.

5. Clean-up time? Wrap a rag around your painter's tool and run it around the rim of your paint can. This will ensure a tight seal when you close the can.

Kitchen Catch-all!

Have you ever found a solution to a problem that you thought, why didn't I think of that sooner? Well, I have some kitchen tips that will fit that bill.

1. You love those fancy pressed sandwiches from your favorite restaurant, but you don't want to spend a fortune on a press, no problem! Grab a heavy cast iron pan, set it on top of your sandwich and it will press it into the grilling surface just like those expensive presses. (You could also use a plain old brick wrapped with a couple of layers of aluminum foil).

2. If you heat a brick in the oven it can also be used in the bottom of a breadbasket to keep your rolls toasty warm, just make sure you use an oven mitt.

3. If you're sick of your green food turning brown, a little vitamin C powder will keep basil, spinach and avocados a beautiful green. Just sprinkle it over the freshly chopped veggies.

4. Have you ever gone to empty your food processor only to have the blade crash into the bowl? If you put your middle finger in the hole in the bottom you'll hold the blade in place!

That does it, some easy solutions to some kitchen frustrations!

Caring for Cast Iron

If your cast iron cookware isn't looking its best, I can help you clean it and keep it ready for the next time you need it!

1. If your pans are rusty, sprinkle some sand over the rust and rub a cloth dampened in vegetable oil over the sand. This should clean away the rust in no time.

2. For stuck on food, fill the bottom of your pan with vinegar and then sprinkle some salt over it. Bring it to a boil for a few minutes and you should see the food particles lifting off.

3. You can clean the outside, and only the outside, of a cast iron pan with oven cleaner. Spray it on and wipe it off a few minutes later. Then wash the pan thoroughly.

4. For regular cleaning, use warm soapy water. After you've washed it you should immediately use a towel to thoroughly dry it off. Then, place it on a warm burner or in a warm oven to get rid of excess moisture.

5. Rub the inside of the pan with some oil to season it and prevent rust.

6. When you put your pans away, if you're going to stack them make sure that you put paper towels in between them. This will absorb any excess moisture and prevent rusting.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Live in the Central New York Area? Mark your calendars!

Four local Sherwin Williams paint stores are holding a Faux Painting Technique Workshop on Saturday, October 16th from 10:00-11:30am. The techniques they'll be covering are: Smooth Quartz Stone, Brushed Metalllic, Textured Fresco and Raised Leaf. Should be a great workshop - stop by and maybe I'll see you there. It's just that simple!

Fall Maintenance: Gutter Cleaning! - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com

Fall Maintenance: Gutter Cleaning! - Associated Content - associatedcontent.com

Monday, September 27, 2010

Above the Window Shelf

Installing a shelf above your window will give you a great display area and it can be a place to install curtains.

1. Buy the shelves ready made at a craft store or home improvement center. Measure the width of your window and buy a shelf that will extend a few inches beyond that on both sides. Or build the shelf with a piece of wood and two triangular supports.(It is best to finish the shelf before hanging it so paint or stain it to complement the woodwork around the window.)

2. If you also want to hang curtains from this shelf, before you hang it, drill a hole through each of the side supports big enough to hold a dowel. Hang the shelf and insert one end of the dowel through the support. Pull the curtain over the rod and slip it through the second support.

3. When the shelf is ready to install, screw it into the studs on either side of your window so that the side supports sit flush against the window casing, and the top is level with the top of the window.

4. You may also want to screw the shelf itself into the top of the window casing to give it extra support.

Crafty Stains

Craft projects are fun and fulfilling but they can be messy, I have some tips for dealing with crafty messes at your house.

1. Acrylic paints yield great results unless you get them on your clothes: the key, act quickly! For acrylics on clothes, lay an old towel under the item and then dab the stain with a white cloth and cool water until no more color comes off. Treat any remaining stain with rubbing alcohol. Then launder in warm water. Remember don't toss it in the dryer until the stain is gone.

2. Glue guns are notorious for dripping. To prevent messes on your work surface, rest your gun on a metal tray or old cookie sheet when you're not using it. If you did get some glue on your work surface, use a hairdryer to reheat it and then peel it away, don't try to chip hardened glue off of a surface it will take the finish with it!

3. Like glitter, hate the mess? Apply adhesive to the item and then place it in a shallow cardboard box, like the ones that canned goods come in. Then apply your glitter in the box, this way excess will stay in the box and not on your work surface where it can be spilled and tracked all over. If you get glitter on a carpet or your clothing use a sticky lint roller to clean it up quick!

Have you Friended Mrs. FIXIT on Facebook?

Mrs. FIXIT's on Facebook! Friend her for even more ideas for fixing up, brightening up and tightening up the place you call home!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Friend Mrs.FIXIT on Facebook

Don't forget to friend Mrs. FIXIT for even more how-to's and helpful hints!

Cleaning Upholstered Furniture

Do you clean your upholstered furniture regularly? Don't wait until you can see the dust and dirt, add it to your weekly cleaning routine.

1. Look over the pieces carefully, if you see any spots or stains treat them immediately. Test any cleaning solution on a hidden part of the upholstery for colorfastness before trying any spot treatments.

2. For a generic spot treater, whip together two teaspoons of clear dish soap and a half a cup of water until it's nice and foamy. Use a damp white cloth to dab the mixture onto the stain. When you can see that the stain has lifted, dab the soap out with a second cloth and clean water.

3. Club Soda is a quick spot treater when you're entertaining and don't have time for a full treatment. Just dab some on and treat the spot later.

4. White shaving cream is a great spot treater. Use very little on a damp white cloth to treat all kinds of mystery stains. When the stain is gone, dab with a second cloth and clean water.

5. If you have a stain on a cushion, don't pull the cover off and throw it in the wash. This could cause damage and shrinkage. Unzip the back and put a towel in between the cushion and the fabric cover, then treat the stain.

Repair or Recycle an old Garden Hose

If your garden hose has sprung a leak, don't throw it away! There is an easy way to fix it.

1. Pick up a hose coupling at your local hardware store. Just make sure you measure the diameter of your hose so that you get the right size.

2. Use a sharp utility knife to cut out the section of the hose that is leaking. Insert the coupling into the hose and use a pair of pliers to tighten down the teeth that hold the coupling in place.

3. If your hose is beyond repair, there are some great ways to recycle it! Support tree branches by threading sturdy wire thorough a cut length of hose. Then use the cushioned wire to tie off those sagging branches.

4. Slit your hose lengthwise and use it as a covering on swing set chains to protect little hands, or as a cover on your saw blades.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Pete & Brenda in the Morning

Wake up with Pete and Brenda every week day from 6 to 9 EST and 3 to 6 PT! on 93.5 FM LIFE - Positive Music for a Positive Life in Rome, Georgia.

There is a link on the site to listen to Pete & Brenda anytime, anywhere!

And if you listen regularly - you'll get to hear my tips too!

It's just that simple!

Some Alternative Uses for Over the Door Hooks!

There is no need to limit those over the door hooks to just clothes and towels; I have so many more cool ideas for their uses.

1. If you don't want your necklaces getting knotted up in a jewelry box, use an over the door hook to keep them all in line on the inside of the closet door. They'll stay knot free and you'll be able to find the one you want at a glance.

2. On the back of the bathroom door a hook can keep your hairdryers and curling irons in arms reach.

3. Two hooks side by side will hold the ironing board neatly against the door so it doesn't fall out every time you open the closet. This would also work to keep your step stool right where you need it!

4. No bedside table to keep your glasses on? Use an over the door hook over the side of your bed frame to hang your glasses, they'll always be right there by your side!

5. No closets for brooms or mops? Use an over the door hanger and some "s" hooks to store all those tools, they'll swing open and out of the way with the door when you need to head downstairs.

Looking for Home Help?

Check out my website at www.mrsfixit.com!~
It's just that simple!

My mind is in the Gutter...

The gutters on the house! One job you should make sure you do this fall is clean and maintain your gutters. Ii know you don't want to - but you should, I have some ideas to help!

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. While you're by the downspout, check the ground. If there are depressions or if the grass is thin, you probably have a clog causing the gutters to overflow.

4. Place a ladder against the house and carefully climb up to the gutter. Wearing rubber gloves, scoop out the muck and leaves and throw it on the tarp.

5. If you can't see the clog, you may want to try getting it with a plumbers snake. It's long and flexible enough to grab it easily.

6. When the gutters are clear, flush them out with some clean water.

7. Check the gutter hangers to make sure that they're all in place and secure.

See it's not all that bad!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Envelopes!

How can plain old envelopes help you around the house? Well, stock up cause I have some great ideas. If filling saltshakers is sending salt flying, cut an envelope diagonally so you end up with one closed corner of the envelope and then a part you can open. Snip the closed corner and you have a perfect little funnel for those small jobs. Need a bookmark? Snip the corner off of an envelope and slip it over the corner of your page. It will fit snuggly and won't fall out like some other bookmarks can! If you need to organize piles of pictures, but you need easy access to them, try this. Seal several envelopes and then cut them in half by their length. The little pockets you're left with will hold several pictures and can easily be labeled. Use bigger envelopes in the workshop for organizing sandpaper sheets. It will keep them flat and dry and you can easily flip through and find the grade of paper you need!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Fireplace Care

There is nothing like a roaring fire to help warm a chilly night. Well, I have some hints to help keep your fireplace in tiptop shape! Each and every year have your chimney checked by a professional to clean away excess creosote and clear any obstructions. When you're cleaning out your fireplace spritz the ashes with water before scooping to keep dust to a minimum. Leave behind a layer of ash under the grate. This will protect the floor of the firebox from excess heat and will catch coals so the fire will burn longer. Just remember embers burn for a long time so make sure that you wait a couple of days to remove the excess ashes. When building a fire only use seasoned firewood and plain newspaper or white paper. Wad it up tightly or twist it into a small log shape. This is also a great way to recycle the paper from your home office. Remember never burn colored paper in your fireplace. Sprinkle your logs with salt before lighting the fire it will help keep soot to a minimum. Fires need oxygen to burn; poor air circulation can cause carbon monoxide build-up. So make sure that you leave the doors of your fireplace open slightly to give it plenty of air. It's just that simple~

Pumpkin Preservation

Did you know if you wash your decorative pumpkins in a mild bleach and water solution it will help them last longer? It's just that simple!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Check out my Website

If you're looking for more hints, tips and repairs - check out my website www.mrsfixit.com!

Live in the Philadelphia Area?

If you're looking for unbeatable service and appliance selection - check out Gerhard's Appliances! It's just that simple!

Autumn Checklist

Fall, it brings football, crisp cool air and the knowledge that winter is right around the corner. Well I've got a checklist so you don't fall behind this season. 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. Clean and put away your patio furniture. Have a heating professional come in and check out your furnace before you need it. Annual maintenance makes good sense and taking care of it before you need the heat will save you long wait times later on. Walk around your house and check the caulking and weather stripping. This is an ideal time to remove or replace any that is damaged or missing. Autumn is also a good time to order and stack wood for wood burning stoves and fireplaces. An easy way to help prevent wet basements during the rainy season is to simply install a splash block at the end of your gutter's downspout. This will help keep water away from your basement and help with dampness.

Unusual Uses for Steam Irons

Check out my newest post on AOL's DIY Life - Unusual Uses for Steam Irons! It's just that simple!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Time to Plant the Flowers!!

Although most people think of spring as the planting season, don't neglect those bulbs. You'll want to plant them in the fall so they'll pop up next spring. Make sure that your bulbs are good by squeezing them between your fingers; they should feel firm, not hollow. You also shouldn't be able to see roots popping out of the bottom. I've found the easiest way to plant bulbs is in one big hole rather than digging a bunch of small ones. This will give you a casual appearance which will look nicer in the garden. To determine how deep you should plant the bulbs, measure the diameter of each of them. Then multiply that number by two and a half. So, a 3 inch bulb should go in a seven and a half inch deep hole.Plant the bulbs wide end down and then just cover them with soil. Keep the bulbs well watered as long as the weather permits. It's just that simple!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Don't forget to follow me on Twitter

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Blistered Veneer

Think you need to resort to runners or doilies for blistered veneer well think again it's as easy to fix as ironing a shirt!

1. Small blisters can be fixed with heat and an iron is the ideal tool! It will reactivate the glue and settle the blister. Cover the damage with a piece of flat, smooth cardboard. Lay a hand towel over the cardboard then press a hot iron on the towel. Make sure the iron isn't overlapping the side of the cardboard or you'll cause more problems! Hold the dry iron in place for a few seconds and then check to see if the blister is flattening, if not repeat it until it does. Watch your fingers cause the cardboard can get pretty hot.

2. How about a bigger blister? If it's not slit down the middle already use a utility knife to make a cut down the center along the grain. Gently scrape out any old glue without causing more damage. Use a toothpick or a cotton swab to put a little wood glue under the blister, then press the two sides together smoothing toward the center of the damage. Then repeat the process that you used for the smaller blister to flatten it. If the sides start to overlap, just grab a utility knife to cut off any excess to get a nice smooth seam .

It's just that simple!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Soap Dispenser

An automatic soap dispenser is a great way to clear up the clutter around your sink and always have soap on hand! To start you will need a one-inch mounting hole in your sink top. Decide where you want the dispenser and use a hole saw for cutting metal to cut the opening. Don't forget to wear safety goggles while you're working. These dispensers come with all of the parts that you will need. Simply lay them out so they're easily accessible. Apply a bead of plumbers putty to the underside of the top part of the dispenser assembly. Slip the top part of the dispenser assembly through the hole and secure it underneath with the washers and nuts provided. Once it is secure, slide the soap container onto the shank under the sink. These containers come in both plastic and metal varieties, so be sure that you read the directions for any variations. If necessary, assemble the plunger and valve assembly. The only thing you may have to do depending upon the model is to insert the supply tube into the cylinder. The final step is to tighten the base of the pump to the sink top. That's it for installation, to fill the dispenser, remove the pump assembly, pour in your favorite liquid soap and replace the pump. It's just that simple!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Looking for more Home Repairs & Household Tips?

Check out my website - www.mrsfixit.com! It's just that simple!

The How and Why of Rug Pads

Why do you need a special pad underneath your rugs? Well Among other things it will make your rug look better and it will make it last longer. A quality rug pad will keep your rug from sliding around and the rug will grip the pad, which keep it flat. A slipping, sliding, wrinkling rug is a big safety hazard in your home. A rug laid on a bare floor can damage the floor; the backing of the rug itself as well as the dirt that filters down through the rug can scratch floors and leave them quite damaged. The rug pad will also cut down on the everyday wear and tear the rug receives. It's a cushion so it helps absorb the shock of the feet and furniture to make the rug more resilient. Plus, it makes it more comfortable for you as well. A good rug pad will also protect your floors from damage if there is something spilled on the carpet, as a liquid seeps through the carpet fibers it will be repelled by the padding and stay off of your floors! The pad will also help make your vacuum more effective because the lift off the floor provides more circulation for the vacuum.

Monday, September 6, 2010

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Nail Polish Spills

Even though it seems like an unusual topic, I get so many e-mail questions about nail polish spills; I thought it was time to tell you how to remove them. Spills on fabrics can generally be treated with non-oily nail polish remover. There are a couple of things to remember. Test for colorfastness, a good place is on the inside of the hem. Never use it on acetate or acetate blends. The acetone will dissolve the fabric. Once you know it's safe dab the remover into the spot with a cotton swab working from the outside inward. Switch swabs frequently so you don't spread the stain. Once it is removed wash the fabric with warm soapy water. Spills on carpets can be removed with window cleaner, again test a hidden spot first, especially on darker carpets, and be patient, this remedy will take several applications. Spray it onto the carpet and then dab it out with a damp, white cloth. Once the stain is removed mix together a teaspoon of dish soap, a teaspoon of white vinegar and a quart of warm water to clean away any traces of window cleaner. For spills on wood, mix together equal parts of olive oil and white vinegar and use a terrycloth rag or superfine steel wool to buff the stain off of the surface.

Did you know that you should clean your dehumidifier every six months?

Do you even know how to clean it? Well, it's easy. Unplug the machine. Carefully unscrew or pry off the front panels as well as the back if it has one, then put them aside. Use the small crevice attachment on your vacuum cleaner to clean off the fans and coils. Make sure that you get into all the little nooks and crannies and clean up all of the dust and dirt. When all of the dust is gone, clean the coils with a toothbrush and a weak soap and water solution. Repeat the process with plain water to rinse them off. Allow the unit to dry. Grab the water reservoir. It's actually a good idea to clean this part of the dehumidifier once a month. Scrub it inside and out with soapy water and rinse it well. Just make sure that you dry it completely before putting it back in place. See how easy it is to keep your dehumidifier in tip top shape!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Mrs. FIXIT in your Town

Can you find Mrs. FIXIT on your local newscast? If not, call the station and tell them that you want to see Mrs. FIXIT's easy and innovative ideas for fixing up, tightening up and brightening up the place you call home!! It's just that simple!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Stinky Problems!

Stinky sneakers, stale carpets, musty closets, I have some ideas to help with those smelly household odors.

1. When you're steaming vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli the odor sometimes just lingers. Well, eliminate the smell by adding a tablespoon of lemon juice to the water!

2. Ever noticed that plastic containers take on the smell of whatever you store in them. Well, for a lingering onion or garlic odor in your plastic ware, clean and dry it well and then pop it in the freezer overnight. Odors out.

3. This same trick works with stinky sneakers, slip them in a plastic bag and then pop them in the freezer overnight. The cold will kill the bacteria that's causing the stink!

4. If your closets are musty, spritz some cotton balls with your favorite perfume and stash the balls in the corners of your closet, it will keep them smelling great!

5. Musty carpets are often caused by excess moisture. Here's a one two punch for those odors, Sprinkle carpets with some scented baby powder, let it sit for a while and vacuum it up. The powder will absorb some of the moisture and the scent will linger in the air!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

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Clutter on the Go

With everyone's hectic schedule these days, it's a wonder anybody can stay organized. Well, I have some hints to keep you on track. Load a sturdy plastic accordion file with paperwork that you need on the go. Envelopes, stamps, pen, paper, mail, your kids schedules and important phone numbers. You can easily bring the file in and out of the car to sort, unload and reload, it's sturdy so it will stand up to a lot of wear and tear and it will free your car and counters of paper clutter. Keep a plastic bin or laundry basket by the back door and let the family members know that this is the family travel tote! Everything that they need for the next day that doesn't go in their school bags gets put in the tote before bedtime. From dance clothes to soccer socks you won't have to run around in the morning looking for those things. Little ones? Stash some extra diapers and wipes as well as juice boxes and snacks. In the morning, you'll have to load one tote rather than ten bags! Make sure that you equip your car with a garbage can of some sort to control messes on the go, try an old vinyl lunch bag it's the perfect size and you can secure the strap to a back seat so the bag doesn't fly around!

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Beautiful Stains

Beauty products are a part of life, but they can also cause spills and stains, I have some tips to get rid of these "beautiful" stains. If you think hair dye stains are permanent, think again. If you act quickly you can get rid of them. Spritz liberally with hairspray and allow it to dry for a couple of minutes. Then rub the area with some shampoo and wash it in cold water. For make-up stains from foundation to mascara grab a bar of soap. Put the stain face down on an absorbent white cloth, an old diaper works great for this. Dampen the soap and rub it into the back side of the stain. This will push the make-up out of the fabric rather than sending deeper into the fibers. Move the stain to different parts of the diaper so it doesn't re-absorb them. Wash it in cool water. For greasy stains like lotions and baby oil, blot as much as you can with a cloth and sprinkle with some cornstarch. Let it sit for ten minutes, shake it out and dab with white vinegar to break up the grease. Then launder. For hairspray build-up on walls, floors and mirrors dip an old washcloth into some rubbing alcohol and wipe it away. Remember the two primary rules of stain removal: Always test for colorfastness in a hidden area first, and never put your item in the dryer until you're sure the stain is gone.

Alternative Drapery Hardware

If you want something a little different in drapery hardware, I have what you're looking for. Get a pegged coat rack that is the same width as your window, and paint it out to match the decor. Then, screw the board into place across the top of the window. Then, you can hang tab top draperies over the pegs for a fun new look. For a more classic look, try attaching pretty, old doorknobs to the pegboard. You could also attach doorknobs at the sides of the window and use them as bases for tiebacks. If you would just like a draping effect, get some plant hanging brackets. Hang the brackets on either side of the window and simply drape some sheer fabrics across them. For a fancier look, tie loose knots around the bracket with the fabric. This will give a kind of rosebud effect. If the curtains will hide the rod all together, try an adjustable shower rod; it is less expensive than curtain rods and it will fit a variety of window sizes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Stove is Here!!!!

My new stove has finally arrived - I'm so excited - pix soon!

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Coffee, Coffee, Coffee - I need my coffee!

Coffee is more than an early morning caffeine fix; it can fix problems in your house and garden too! Used coffee grounds serve double duty in the garden as both a fertilizer and a pest repellent. Sprinkle grounds over your lawn and garden beds, they release nutrients into the soil and give you healthier plants. Some coffee grounds around the base of roses and azaleas once a month will add acid to the soil and your flowers will thrive. In addition to boosting plants coffee repels all sorts of garden pests like cats, moles, and ants! Speaking of ants, to keep them out of the house fill soda or water bottle caps with used coffee grounds and stash them under cabinets and behind appliances.To fix scratches on dark wood furniture, mix together a paste of instant coffee and water, rub it in to the spot and buff it to a shine! Finally, when all of the coffee is gone, save those cans! They're great for charcoal starters, spreading seeds and keeping things like matches and toilet paper dry when you're camping! Who knew that coffee was more than an early morning pick me up!!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Illuminating Projects

Most every project calls for good lighting but sometimes that's hard to do. Well, I have some easy ideas to shed some much needed light on your projects. It is easy to direct light at your project with either a headlamp or a light that attaches to your ear. Both of these give off plenty of light for working and because they move where your head does, the light will always be aimed right where you need it. If you've ever tried to prop up a flashlight for some extra illumination you know that they can fall and roll away in the middle of a job. You can easily direct that light by making a stand. Put a pair of pliers around the handle of your flashlight and use some rubber bands to hold the handles of the pliers in place. If you need to get some light into a really tight spot, attach a night light to an extension cord and feed it to the spot you need. If you need a reliable flashlight for your toolbox or your car try the shake variety. You don't ever need batteries; simply shake the light back and forth when you're losing power. Illuminating ideas - don't you think!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Timesavers!!!

Looking for ways to save a little time, or an easier way to do something? Well, I have some ideas to help. Say you need a tablespoon of lemon juice for a recipe; but you hate to cut a whole lemon. Well, the next time you need to do that, just squeeze the rest of the juice into a clean ice cube tray and freeze it. Once they're frozen put the cubes into a zip top bag and store it in the freezer, the next time you need a tablespoon of lemon juice, grab a cube! These quick cubes also work great with tomato sauce, pesto, gravy and fruit juice. Why use an extra bucket to clean the bathroom, empty the trashcan, and use it as a bucket. Fill it with your favorite cleanser and some hot water. Clean the bathroom and when you're done, rinse the bucket clean and you'll have gotten two jobs done at once! I always get nervous cleaning jewelry because I'm afraid it's going to drop down the drain. Well, use an old saltshaker filled with some jewelry cleaner, swish it around and drain the entire shaker. Carefully empty the jewelry out on to a cloth. There's no chance you'll lose it this way! Easy ways to save you some time at home!

Dish Soap to the Rescue!

I have some ideas on how a little squirt of dish soap can help you with all sorts of problems around your home. Most kitchen drain clogs are caused by greasy buildup, dump a quarter of a cup of dish liquid down the drain and let it sit for a minute or so, then dump a full kettle of boiling water down the drain. The dish soap will break up the grease and the water will flush the clog away. Dish Liquid is a gentle and inexpensive pre-treater for all sorts of stains on all sorts of fabrics - just squirt it on and work it in., the stain will launder out without a problem. If there's a chance you won't be doing laundry for a few days, use a clear dish soap so the colorant won't transfer to the fabric. Mirrors and windows in the bathroom fogging up? Use some clear dish soap to prevent it! Squirt a small amount onto a clean, dry cloth and work it around in a circular motion until you can no longer see the soap. No more fog! Dish soap cans also help with your car. If you have a lot of brake dust on your hub cabs, spread some full strength dish soap on the area, then clean with hot water. The soap will cut right through that grime! If you suspect a leak in your tire, spread some soapy water over the area, the soap will bubble up where the air is leaking!

Monday, August 16, 2010

Cleaning Woodwork

Just about everybody has some type of molding or wood working in their home, and more often than not they get grimy and dusty and they're usually forgotten during those weekly chores. Well I can help. First step, a cleaner. I use a quarter cup of white vinegar to a gallon of warm water. Pour it into a spray bottle and you're good to go! This mixture is great for cleaning painted and stained wood. My favorite cleaning tool for cleaning woodworking is a fuzzy carwash mitt. It covers wide areas and you can use your fingers to push it into corners and crevices. You can also use a paint brush or a baby hair brush as a cleaning tool. The paint brush will work especially well when you're cleaning moldings above your head. If you're worried about getting your surrounding walls wet, use one of my painting tricks. Hold a squeegee in place at the edge of the woodwork to protect the wall. If you have some stubborn scuffs and stains, simply spread some white toothpaste onto an old soft toothbrush, scrub them out of the wall and then follow up with a good cleaning. You can also use some baking soda on a damp cloth.

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Breathe Easier

When working on home safety repair projects, safety is a big concern. Well I have some tips to help you protect your lungs.

1. Always work in a well-ventilated area.

2. Anytime you're working on a project that will stir up dust, wear a dust mask to protect your lungs. You can buy simple paper masks in inexpensive multi-packs at hardware stores that will get the job done.

3. I recommend that you choose a thick mask that has a replaceable filter in the center near your nose and has a metal strip across the top so that you can adjust the mask to fit your face.

4. For big jobs where you may be exposed to toxins like asbestos, fumes or chemicals choose a respirator. These masks come in single and dual cartridge varieties, and are clearly marked on the package as to what type of cartridge offers what type of protection.

5. No matter what type of mask you use, make sure you clean it when you're finished. Dust masks can be cleaned with a vacuum cleaner; respirators can be wiped down with some rubbing alcohol. Make sure that you replace filters and cartridges often!

It's just that simple!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vacation Tips!

You want your vacation to be the best it can be so plan ahead and pack smart to save yourself time and hassles down the road. Pack a first aid kit, you may think this is silly but if you've ever spent a fortune for a couple of aspirin on the road you know that it is cheaper to pack from home! Include band-aids, antiseptic wipes, aspirin, antacids and prescriptions! Rather than packing extra items that you don't need, think about things you can use as double duty. Shampoo doubles as a great laundry pre-treater, hair conditioner is good substitute for shaving cream and petroleum jelly can be used as a lotion, a lip balm and in a pinch it will shine your shoes! Another idea is to think about things that can cost a lot of money or hassle on the go. Buy a book of stamps so you don't need to seek out a post office, have betteries for handheld devices, it is better to have too much than too little, and don't forget a pre-paid calling card to save on those outrageous phone bills. Think of tiny toteables that can help you on the go, a pocket sized lint brush, a miniature sewing kit, a small safety lock that can be programmed so you don't need to worry about keys.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Do you need a rug pad??

Why do you need a special pad underneath your rugs? Well Among other things it will make your rug look better and it will make it last longer. A quality rug pad will keep your rug from sliding around and the rug will grip the pad, which keep it flat. A slipping, sliding, wrinkling rug is a big safety hazard in your home. A rug laid on a bare floor can damage the floor; the backing of the rug itself as well as the dirt that filters down through the rug can scratch floors and leave them quite damaged. The rug pad will also cut down on the everyday wear and tear the rug receives. It's a cushion so it helps absorb the shock of the feet and furniture to make the rug more resilient. Plus, it makes it more comfortable for you as well. A good rug pad will also protect your floors from damage if there is something spilled on the carpet, as a liquid seeps through the carpet fibers it will be repelled by the padding and stay off of your floors! The pad will also help make your vacuum more effective because the lift off the floor provides more circulation for the vacuum.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Friday, August 6, 2010

Mrs. FIXITon DIY Life

Check out my pool care tips on AOL's DIY Life!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Baking Soda to the Rescue!

Baking soda is a must have in any household. It can be used in every room in the house. No exaggeration! Kitchens - sure baking soda will keep the fridge smelling fresh and the cooking on course, but did you know that baking soda will clean dirt and residue off fresh fruits and vegetables? Just sprinkle some on a damp cloth and rub away. It will also give your dish soap a kick. Add a couple of tablespoons to your dishwater to help cut through grease and grime. Dining room - if your little Picasso used an indelible marker on your wood furniture, dip a damp cloth in baking soda and wipe the stain away! It will also remove coffee and tea stains from your good china. Living room - sprinkle it on upholstered furniture or in the fireplace to absorb pet and smoke odors. Bathrooms - mix together a paste of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide make your grout nice and white. Run out of toothpaste? Baking soda is an effective substitute. Dip a damp toothbrush in baking soda and brush away. Bedrooms - freshen carpets, laundry hampers, and bedding. Clean walls and woodwork, and pre-treat laundry stains.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Workshop Organization

If you're like me, you're always looking for some ideas for storage and organization; well I have some great ideas to help you out in the workshop! Moisture and humidity can seriously cut the life of your sandpaper. To help it last longer store it in large plastic zipper bags. A bonus, most of these bags have a space for labeling on the front. So write the grit in the space so you can easily find the paper you need for your next project. If you have a lot of toothpaste style glue and caulk tubes, fold a length of duct tape in half and secure it to the end of the tube, creating a "tab." Punch holes in Extension cords tangled? Cut the toe out of an old sock, coil the cord and then slip the sock band around the cord. If you have a baby in the house snag the empty jars for storing small nails and hardware. To maximize storage space, screw the lids to the underside of a shelf and simply screw the jars onto their lids for storage. Another kitchen recycle that is great for storage, coffee cans. To prevent rust add a tablespoon of baking soda or kitty litter to the bottom of the can. Check the closet for paintbrush and roller cover storage. Pants hangers and tie racks can give you great storage without taking up much room!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Creative Project

I'm itching to tackle something creative - turn something I don't need into something I really want - off to the basement - stay tuned!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Clothes Care

To keep clothes looking their best they need care beyond cleaning, I have some ideas. If your clothes have pilling on the fabric and you don't have one of those fuzz removers, grab a pumice stone. Run the stone in one direction over the pills, it will grab them and gently pull them off the fabric. No pumice, no problem, use an emery board or the hook side of a piece of Velcro to remove those pills. Always work in one direction so that you don't damage the fabric. If you left a tissue in your pocket and your clothes come out of the wash covered in lint run them through again, and rather than using laundry soap use a cup of white vinegar in its place, it will release the lint from the fabric and your clothes will look like new again. If you're dealing with regular lint, try the loop side of the Velcro you used for the pills. The soft nap will grab onto the lint. You could also use a vegetable or fingernail brush to remove that lint.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Production Day

We're shooting a bunch of new segments - if you don't get Mrs. FIXIT on your hometown news - call the station and tell them to bring Mrs. FIXIT to your town! It's just that simple!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Fireplace Surround is In!


Thanks Vallar's Tile & Marble amazing fireplace surround - leatherized black marble - GORGEOUS!!!

Smoke Odors!

If your popcorn burned in the microwave or the fireplace smoke backed up into the house, you know that smoke odor can permeate everything it touches. But I have some easy ways to get it out. If your microwave smells smoky, put a dish of water with a few slices of lemon inside. Turn it on high for five minutes the steam from the water and the citrus will work together to eliminate the odors. If the smell is stuck in the upholstery, sprinkle with baking soda and let it sit overnight. In the morning you can vacuum the baking soda and the odor out of the furniture. Baking soda will work in the fireplace too. Put a box of baking soda in the fireplace to absorb stale smoke odors in the off-season. You could also try a dish of white vinegar. If you were in a smoky restaurant and your clothes smell, put them in the dryer with a dryer sheet and set it to air for twenty minutes. Or fill the bathtub with hot water and add two cups of white vinegar to the water. Hang the clothes on the shower rod and let it sit for an hour or so. As the steam and vinegar fill the air, they will release the odors from the fabric.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Check out my "Unusual Uses for Clothespins" Post on AOL's DIY Life!!

Bungees!!

You may not think bungee cords are an essential, but they come in handy for all sorts of things!For emergency childproofing, keep several small cords handy to secure cabinets and doors. Just stretch the cord around the handles. If you've got a load a little too big for your trunk, just attach some cords to the hook at the back of the trunk and then to the top. It will secure the trunk door for your trip. If you have to move furniture with drawers, secure a long cord all the way around the dresser from front to back, and watch those drawers stay in place. If you can't find the cords in the size you want, make your own. Buy some bungee cording material with no hooks on it, then buy some hooks. Decide how long you need the cord, and snip it off giving yourself a few extra inches to connect the hooks. Thread the end through the hook and tie it off. It's just that simple!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Fireplace Surround - Soapstone with a Faux Leather Finish

Just scheduled the install of the fireplace surround - can't wait to see how this looks - love the tiles. I know Vallar's knows what's up! I'll post pictures of the install!

Candy - Not Dandy!!

Kids love candy, but let's face it; it can make a big mess! So how do you get rid of those stains? Chocolate. Short of dressing your kids in chocolate brown odds are if they eat chocolate they are going to end up with stains, well, don't worry, everyone has the best stain fighter for chocolate and you probably don't even realize it! Plain old dish soap applied directly to chocolate stains will remove them in short order - even older stains. Rub it into the fabric and then launder in cold water! Lollipops are a sticky mess, but luckily are water soluble. So just run hot water over the stickiness to dissolve the sugars and remove the film. If there is a colored stain left behind, rub white shaving cream onto the stain with a toothbrush and then launder. The warm water will also help loosen lollipops and hard candy that are stuck to household surfaces. How about gum -the worst of the candied messes! Really the best line of defense is to dissolve the gum. Lubricating oil will dissolve the stickiness and loosen the gum. Once you've removed it, pull that dish soap back out to break up the oil residue, and then launder it as directed! Good luck!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Preventing Kitchen Messes

You won't have to worry about tackling kitchen messes if you can prevent them in the first place! I have some tips. Before you do any cooking on your stove turn on the exhaust fan. The fan is designed to pull and filter cooking grease, odors and smoke up and out of the house. If you're cooking something that you know will splatter use the lids for your pans, or a splatter guard that will catch those spats before they end up on your stove and walls. Along those same lines, keep a plate on the stovetop to set spoons and spatulas on. You can easily pop the plate in the dishwasher and don't have to worry about cooked on messes that dripped from those utensils onto the stovetop! To keep greasy build-up from staining fabrics in the kitchen spray window treatments, chair pads and throw rugs with a fabric protector. These sprays act as a barrier between stains and fabrics without altering the look or feel of the fabric.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Car Trip - Here are some Sanity Savers!

A family car trip should be fun, but if just the thought of it stresses you out, I have some easy things that you can do to make your vacation more enjoyable. Make a list of all contents as you pack your suitcases, then throw the list in at the end. This way you have a check list for re-packing to come home. Make two photocopies of your identification, insurance and credit cards. Leave one at home and put one in your luggage. Now, if someone loses a purse or wallet, the loss can be reported immediately. Pack yourself a child's survival bag. Include baby wipes. They will clean everything from spills to the kids. Water bottles which are easy to fill on the go. An easy tip, fill bottles halfway and freeze them, before you leave, fill the rest of the bottle with water. It will stay nice and cold as the ice melts. Finally, snacks, packed in plastic zipper bags, travel games and hard lemon candy or lollipops, which help with children who get motion sickness. Also include a quick change of clothes. If you're traveling with your pet, add the phone number of someone at home to their i.d. tags. This way, if the animal is found, someone will be there to get the call. Don't forget to pack water for your pet too! Have a great trip!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Household Helpline

Little frustrations pop up everyday in life, don't let them get you! I have some ideas to help you get back on track! In the kitchen, if measuring sticky substances like peanut butter and or honey is a problem, dip your measuring cups or spoons in hot water and then fill them up. The heat will help those items slide easily from the cup or spoon. If the ice in your ice bucket always seems to melt too fast, use a funnel instead of an ice scoop. The ice will stay in the funnel and the water will wash easily away. If your chairs are always scuffing your walls and you don't want to install a chair rail, keep white toothpaste handy. A little on a damp cloth will remove scuffs and spots from any painted surface with ease. And speaking of scuffs, if a protective pad for a chair foot has fallen off and you don't have any more on hand, cut a slice from a cork and hot glue it to the foot. It will work beautifully! As a bonus, if you have a chair that's a little wobbly cut the cork a little thicker than all of the other pads that will keep it from wobbling.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Build-Up on Wood

Sometimes a build-up of wax and polish can cause a hazy film on your wood furniture. The good news is that it is usually pretty easy to clean up. Add 2 tablespoons of white vinegar to a pint of tepid water. Soak a clean washcloth in the solution and wring it out. Rub the haze lightly with the cloth being careful not to get too much water onto the wood. Then, use a clean, dry cloth to wipe up any excess. If there are several layers of polish you may have to repeat the process. A white haze can also be caused by moisture stuck in the wood's surface. Try taking some wood ashes from your fireplace, and mixing them with a little water to form a paste. Work that paste into the piece with a washcloth until you see the haze disappearing. Then clean the wood off with the vinegar and water mixture. (If you don't have a fireplace, you could also try some baking soda on a damp cloth. Rub it into the spot and wipe it away with a clean cloth.) Once you've removed all that white film from your furniture, try polishing the surface with some lemon oil.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Getting Kids to Help at Home

Now that summer vacation is here I have some tips for getting your kids to help out at home! You need to think like them and put yourself at their level and it'll be a lot easier to get those kids interested in helping out at home! If you're kids are always leaving their coats and bags on the floor when they come in, look where you want them to hang them. Many closet rods and hooks are too high for kids to reach, put some lower hooks within their reach, so they can do it themselves. The same goes for their bedrooms and their bathroom. If you want things hung up, hang hooks at their level! Kids rooms get messy, but when you say, clean up your room it can seem daunting. The solution: break it into smaller jobs for them. Ask them to pick up trucks, then stuffed animals then something else until the room is done. Want kids to help with the garden or help with the sweeping, get tools their size. A small rake or broom will allow your kids to work along side without trying to maneuver bigger tools. Think your kids are too small to help with chores, think again, even those as young as three can help around the house. They can collect laundry, fold small towels and washcloths, set the table, and help unload groceries. I hope these simple ideas help you to get your kids to help out this summer!