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!

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!

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! 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

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 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.