Thursday, March 31, 2011

Little Kids Tips!

Children are a joy but some of things that come along with having kids are just plain annoying, I have some ideas to help!

1. Juice boxes and pouches are great inventions, no need for cups, easy to keep cold, easy to travel with, but those straws. They fall off and you lose them. The solution, keep some coffee stir straws handy; they're the perfect size for a drink replacement straw!

2. How about Popsicles, what a mess! Fold a coffee filter into a triangle and snip a tiny bit off of the point, then thread the stick through the hole so the filter forms a protective drape over the child's hand, no more sticky messes!

3. How about toys, I cannot for the life of me figure out why toys need so much packaging, and it's so hard to get them open with a little kid next to you waiting. To make quick work of all of those little zip ties and twist ties, grab a pair of toenail clippers. They're strong enough to clip through those binders without wielding a pair of scissors next to your kid!

4. Another option, takes the toy out of the package, remove all of the paraphernalia and then wrap just the toy. Instant happiness and less stress for mom and dad!

Bathroom Clean Ups!

Who wouldn't like to make cleaning the bathroom an easier job? Well I have some tips that will help you keep your bathroom cleaner, longer!

1. Once you clean your glass shower doors use a rain-sheeting product designed for windshields. It will keep soap scum from sticking and keep the doors cleaner! You can also use paste wax on the walls and doors. Just be careful, don't get either product on the floors of the shower - it'll be slippery!

2. Another pre-emptive strike, spray the walls with white vinegar every couple of days to hinder mold growth!

3. You can also use white vinegar in the toilet each week, to help keep hard water stains from building in the bowl and keep your toilet looking better.

4. Want a double duty tip to keep your mirrors looking clean. Rub shaving cream into the glass every couple of weeks. It will prevent the mirrors from fogging up when you're using the shower, which in turn will prevent water spots on the mirrors!

5. Make sure that you run a fan in the bathroom to keep excess condensation off of walls and woodwork!

4. If you aren't too keen on bleach, scrub the sink with club soda. Just pour some club soda on a clean cloth and polish. You'll see the smudges and stains disappear like magic.

Come See Mrs. FIXIT at the Fulton Home Show this Weekend!

LIVE IN THE UPSTATE NEW YORK AREA? I'll be at the Fulton Area Home Show on Saturday, April 2, 2011. The show will be held at the Fulton War Memorial, West Broadway in Fulton from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Over 40 Exhibitors: Landscapers, Contractors, Material Suppliers, Service Providers. Get ready for all of your spring projects!!! FREE ADMISSION

Moving Matters

Moving can be nerve racking to say the least, but these few tips should make the move a lot easier for you.

1. Invest in some plastic totes. Watch for them to go on sale and stock up. They're easy to pack and carry, and they stack neatly for storage at your new home.

2. When you're packing breakable items, use your dishtowels, bath towels and washcloths to wrap them instead of newspaper. You won't have to wash them when you unpack and you don't need an extra box to pack those towels.

3. As you finish a box, mark it with its destination room and a rough contents list. This way you won't have a lot of shuffling of boxes and searching when you get in your new house!

4. Bungee cords are essential during a move. They keep dresser drawers closed, rugs rolled and sofa beds in place.

5. Keep a bunch of carpet scraps on hand; they'll help you move furniture without damaging floors. Just slip the scraps under the feet and pull it along.

6. Make sure you pack a must have box. Pack your medications, toiletries, bedding and towels in it so you're sure to have everything you need for your first night at your new house. Don't forget to throw the TV remote in that box; that really is a must have.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Saving Money on Home Renovations

Who isn't looking to improve their house without spending a fortune? Well, I have some ideas for you.

1. If you love the look of a granite countertop, but you think there's no way to afford it, consider granite tiles. You get the same look and durability at a fraction of the cost.

2. If you want to update the kitchen or bathroom look at the least expensive alternatives first, changing out the hardware on cabinetry can give a room a whole new look with minimal investment.

3. The same goes for lighting fixtures. New fixtures can get pricey. Can your fixtures be updated? Metal fixtures can easily be spray-painted. Remove the fixtures, tape off the electrical components and spray paint for a great new look. Be careful when you're working with electricity, and make sure you turn the power off at the source. Leave a big danger sign on the door to let people know what you're doing. Better yet, lock the bathroom door if you can.

4. Buy furniture in simple classic colors and textures and then brighten with pillows and fabrics. The investment is a fraction of what it takes to replace outdated furniture down the road.

A Happy Spin on Sweeping

Did you know that you can get a Happy Dustpan on the Mrs. FIXIT Website?

Come Meet Mrs. FIXIT at the Fulton Area Home Show

LIVE IN THE UPSTATE NEW YORK AREA? I'll be at the Fulton Area Home Show on Saturday, April 2, 2011. The show will be held at the Fulton War Memorial, West Broadway in Fulton from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Over 40 Exhibitors: Landscapers, Contractors, Material Suppliers, Service Providers. Get ready for all of your spring projects!!! FREE ADMISSION

Home Staging Tips

Your house is on the market; you're going to have an open house. Well you need to get ready; I have some ideas for staging your home.

1. Think curb appeal. Have the lawn freshly mowed and manicure your landscaping. Make sure that your front entrance is welcoming, And have some plants or flowers or pots near the door. Sweep or blow off the steps.

2. If you have pets, remove all signs of them, asks a friend to keep your pet for the day and put away any signs of the dog like the bowls, the toys, or the bed. You don't want potential buyers walking away because they're not pet lovers.

3. Place fresh flowers around the house, fresh flowers perk up any space.

4. And you should also bake some cookies or pop some popcorn. Either will make your home smell homier.

Alternative Uses for Chalk

Chalk has so many great alternative uses and its as easy as 1-2-3.

1. The next time you have a grease stain or a little ring around the collar, grab some chalk. Rub it into the stain, let it sit for a few minutes, dust it off and launder as usual. The chalk dust will get into the fibers and absorb the oils that are causing the stain.

2. Wrap a small bundle of chalk in cheesecloth, tie it off and store it with your silver to keep the pieces from tarnishing. The chalk will absorb excess moisture, which can speed up the tarnishing process.

3. This same method will work in your toolbox to keep your tools from rusting.

4. Put a bundle in your closets and cabinets to keep them from getting damp and musty.

5. The next time you need to trace a pattern on something, use chalk. It will be clear and easy to see and you can simply dust away the lines when you're finished with your project.

6. To keep ants out of your house draw chalk lines around your doorways and windowsills, ants won't cross over the line.

Don't forget to check out my website for more ideas and tips!!

Visit for great ideas for your home!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Renewing Butcher Block featured on AOL's DIY Life

One more thing to love about butcher block countertops? No matter what shape they're in, it's easy to make them look brand new. Here's how. A butcher block countertop is a hard-working, hard-wearing, long lasting classic choice for your kitchen. The natural wood is treated simply with oil to lock in moisture and to protect the wood. Damage to these counter surfaces can be sanded or scraped away and the surface can be re-oiled to get back to its original beauty.

Check out the step-by-step how to at AOL's DIY Life

Care of China and Crystal

Fine china and crystal require special care and storage, well I have some easy ideas to help you with yours.

1. Extreme temperatures will weaken china and crystal. Don't put china in the microwave or fridge. If you need to store or heat something, transfer it to everyday dishes.

2. As for crystal, never fill with ice and then add water, always pour water and add ice if needed. This will temper the crystal to the temperature change.

3. Never let food sit on china for a long period of time the acid in foods will eat away at the glazing.

4. Even if you think its dishwasher safe, always hand wash your china and crystal. Use warm soapy water in a sink lined with a towel or placemat.

5. For faster drying, and a streak free shine, add a cup of white vinegar to the rinse water.

6. When storing, always place crystal upright sitting on their stems so you don't chip the rims.

7. As for china, put a piece of padding between pieces to prevent scratching. Use a paper towel, a piece of felt or a coffee filter.

8. Don't be tempted to stack your china too high, a good rule of thumb is no more than five plates or two cups high. Stacked higher the weight of the upper pieces will damage those on the bottom.

Mrs. FIXIT set to appear at the Fulton Area Home Show - This Weekend - 4/2/11

LIVE IN THE UPSTATE NEW YORK AREA? I'll be at the Fulton Area Home Show on Saturday, April 2, 2011. The show will be held at the Fulton War Memorial, West Broadway in Fulton from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Over 40 Exhibitors: Landscapers, Contractors, Material Suppliers, Service Providers. Get ready for all of your spring projects!!! FREE ADMISSION

Monday, March 28, 2011

Production Day!

Mrs. FIXIT production today-fun faux finishing projects and alternative uses. Check back for the how to - coming up soon!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Spring Cleaning Time: Curtains & Draperies

Spring cleaning: it can sound overwhelming, but as far as the curtains and draperies go, it doesn't have to be that bad. I have some easy tips.

1. The biggest problem with curtains is dust. Use the soft brush attachment on your vacuum and work from top to bottom to carefully remove the dust.

2. If you feel like your curtains need some freshening, take them down from the window. Toss them in the dryer with a dryer sheet, and a tennis ball. Then turn it on air for twenty minutes. It will dust and freshen in one quick step.

3. When you pull the curtains out of the dryer, hang them immediately. This way you won't have to worry about pressing them either.

4. If you don't feel like ironing new cotton curtains, hang them up and spritz them with some water. The weight from the water will smooth the fabric as it dries.

5. Now, if you're just looking for an update for your curtains this spring, try changing the tie backs. Forget the matching fabric, and try some cording, tassels or some nice ribbon. To update plain cotton curtains, attach some ribbon near the hem with some iron fusible tape!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Looking for Marble? Granite? Check Vallar's

If you like the countertops you see on Mrs. FIXIT and you're thinking about a kitchen or bath redo - check out Vallar's Tile & Marble in Syracuse. Plus, right now they're hosting an inventoy sale!! All prefab vanities and countertops, ceramic, porcelain, and natural stone tile, and cleaning products all at closeout prices!

Closet Organization

Closet organization, it's one of those projects that no one really wants to think about but everybody should tackle. I have some tips.

1. First things first, ditch the plastic and wire hangers. They aren't good for your clothes and they don't line up and slide well so it's hard to navigate your clothes, opt for wooden hangers, which last forever and are relatively inexpensive, this box of twenty was about ten dollars.

2. Don't hang your clothes in dry cleaning bags; you need to let fabrics breathe if you want them to last.

3. When organizing hanging clothes hang them in an order that makes sense to you, whether by color, by item or by use like office, dress and weekend wear.

4. When hanging ties, don't drape them over the closet rod or a hanger, they will slide all over and are hard to see! Buy an inexpensive tie and belt rack to easily separate and organize those items.

5. Use clear plastic boxes to store shoes, handbags, scarves and jewelry. They stack easily and they keep items clean, organized and in easy reach.

6. If you have items that aren't worn very often, use a breathable garment bag or an old cotton pillowcase to protect them from dust.

Want more great organizing ideas? Vist my website!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Visit my Website

For more great tips and how to projects - don't forget to check out my website - It's just that simple!

Dog Days

Dogs are loveable pets and a great companion, but if you need some help cleaning up after her or just need some handy tips, I may have just what you're looking for.

1. If you have dog hair on your furniture, pull on a pair of rubber gloves. Run your hand over the fabric. The rubbery surface will pick up the hair and rinse off easily. You could also try a damp sponge.

2. To prevent her from jumping on the furniture, lay some aluminum foil on the cushions. When she jumps the sound the foil makes will frighten her and she will learn not to jump on it.

3. If you're leaving your dog during the day, turn a radio or television on. The noise will make her feel less lonely. If you're going to be gone past dusk, set a light timer.

4. If you ever have to leave your dog in a kennel, sleep with a towel for a couple of days before you leave the scent will make her feel more secure.

5. If your dog smells a little less than fresh sprinkle some baking soda on her coat and comb it through. This dry shampoo will leave your dog with a clean fresh coat.

6. For a full bath, stuff a nylon shower puff into the drain. It will catch the hair and prevent your pipes from getting clogged.

Time for Spring Cleaning

It's that time of year - spring-cleaning. And if the thought of it has you wishing that it were winter again; well I have some easy tips to get you through spring-cleaning in a breeze.

1. As always start from the top down. This way dirt from ceilings and the tops of doors and windows fall to a dirty floor, not a clean one.

2. A great tool that is easily adaptable to spring cleanup is a long handled paint roller. Slip the length of nylon stocking over a regular paint roller and then use it to reach those high spots that are so tricky. It will pull dust and cobwebs with ease. This tool is also great for reaching under and behind hard to move furniture pull apart your furniture.

3. Sure, we all surface clean upholstery but how often do you get the crevices? Take off the pillows and the cushions and use the crevice tool on your vacuum to really get into all those spots that hold the dust and dirt.

4. Toss throw pillows in the dryer and set it on air or fluff with some tennis balls to freshen and dust in one step.

5. Use barely damp micro fiber cloths to clean everything from painted woodwork, to glass fixtures to carved wood. The fibers grab all the dust and dirt and eliminate the need to use a lot of cleaners all at once.

A Shout Out from Decor Adventures!

A big thank you to Jessica at Decor Adventures for sharing my tips on Using Paste Wax!

A Mouse In the House

You've seen the tell tale signs. Chewed open food packages, and those little droppings. You have a mouse in the house. Well I have some tips to get rid of him quick.

1. There are all sorts of mouse removal methods on the market today. Food traps, poison, box traps and the old fashioned snap traps, which I found to be most affective. There are a couple of tricks that will help ensure that we'll catch our little intruders.

2. Wear rubber gloves when handling traps and bait to keep the human smell off of them.

3. Bait the traps with peanut butter. Mice love it and it isn't as easily carried away as cheese.

4. Set the trap up against the wall. Bait side facing in, three in a row. This way even if one trap doesn't go off they'll move onto the next one. And placing them against the wall will ensure the mice go right to the trip lever.

5. If you're worried about peanut butter attracting even more pests. Try using cotton as bait. Mice use it to line their nests.

Clamp It!!!

Any well stocked workshop needs clamps, but if you aren't sure exactly what kinds you need, I have some pointers.

1. Basic "C" clamps come in a variety of sizes and therefore can be used on all sorts of projects. Position the clamp over the area and spin the screw end until it is nice and secure on your project. (You may want to use a buffer so that you don't mar your project by over tightening).

2. Spring jawed grip clamps also come in a bunch of different sizes. They're perfect when you need a clamp in a hurry because you only need one hand free to use them.

3. Corner clamps are a must if you ever do any mitered projects, like picture frames. Just insert your corner into the framed area and tighten all the grips down. It will hold from all sides with even pressure for nice squared corners.

4. For bigger projects, you need some bar clamps. There are several different types. They slide back and forth on a bar or pipe. Some tighten down with a screw lever like the "C" clamps, but personally, I prefer this trigger grip variety.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Celebration Stains!

I love celebrations, but when the parties are over, sometimes there are stains left behind on my carpets. I have some stain removers to help if you find yourself in the same situation.

1. Always use white cloths when you're cleaning stains. A colored cloth could transfer dye onto the carpet, creating a bigger stain.

2. For alcohol stains such as wine, sponge the area with some cool water. Then mix a half of a teaspoon of dish detergent and a tablespoon of white vinegar into a quart of warm water. Use a cloth to blot the stain with the mixture. This will remove the stain and smell in one step. Then layer the area with some white towels and heavy books to absorb moisture. (You can also blot wine stains with club soda.)

3. For a beer stain, mix equal parts of white vinegar and detergent. Sponge it onto the stain and then blot it out.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Steam Irons

Sure you use your steam iron to press your pants and your shirt but did you know it has so many other uses around your house?

1. A steam iron is the perfect tool for lifting wax from linens. Lay a couple of paper towels over the wax and then press them with the iron, the wax will transfer to the towels as it melts. Move the towels frequently to prevent redepositing the wax.

2. If you move a piece of furniture, use your iron to fluff up crushed carpet fibers. Use a spoon to loosen the fibers up and then hold the iron over the area and let the steam fluff up the carpeting.

3. It's also the perfect choice for applying iron on veneer edging or patches. Simply cut the veneer to the size you need, cover with a piece of heavy paper or a cloth to protect the surface and then press with your iron to activate the glue.

4. To fix dents on wood furniture, poke several holes in the wood with a pin, lay a slightly damp cloth over it and hold the steam iron slightly above the area. This lets in enough moisture to swell the wood to its original size.

5. To fix a loose vinyl tile. Cover the tile with aluminum foil and run a hot iron back and forth over the area. The heat will reactivate the tile adhesive. Then, just stack a couple of books on to hold the repair down for a couple of hours. Don't forget the aluminum foil can get hot so don't get burned.

Easy Clean Ups

There are some messes that you just don't want to deal with. Here are some ways to make sure that clean-ups are easy for you!

1. Cooking can make a mess of your stove. If you spray your drip pans with some non-stick cooking spray before you start they will be a lot easier to clean up when you're finished. (Just make sure that you take the drip pans off and spray away from the stove).

2. Phones, switch plates and doorknobs get dirty and grimy on a regular basis. To clean them quick, just put a little rubbing alcohol on a soft cloth and wipe! It cleans and disinfects all of those areas in no time flat! For an even faster clean up keep some pre-moistened wipes on hand, they're ready to use whenever you need them!

Paint Applicators

You have your paint, your drop cloth and tape, but what's the best applicator for the job? Well I have some ideas

1. The old standby, a brush. Is still a great choice? They come in lots of sizes and styles, they're easy to use; give you nice coverage and if you buy a good one it can last for years.

2. Don't like working with a brush? Paint pads give you a crisp edge and a smooth finish; it's a great choice for a novice because it gives you more control. I like using a wide paint pad on furniture, nice, even coverage. The tricky part is you have to work in one direction. And if you have curvy areas a paint pad won't work well, you'll need a foam or bristle brush!

3. If you're trying to cover a big space, like a room, you'll need a brush or a pad to cut in around windows and doors, but I would choose a roller for the walls. It allows you to blend paint easily across the wall so you don't have overlap lines. The key to choosing the right roller is nap, that's the fuzzy cover on the roller. Rough surfaces like stucco need a long nap; choose a shorter nap for smooth surfaces like drywall. Another tip, buy a roller with beveled ends; It'll give you a smoother finish than a roller with blunt ends.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Fireplace Upkeep

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!

1. Each and every year have your chimney checked by a professional to clean away excess creosote and clear any obstructions.

2. When you're cleaning out your fireplace spritz the ashes with water before scooping to keep dust to a minimum.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. Sprinkle your logs with salt before lighting the fire it will help keep soot to a minimum.

6. 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.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Alternative Uses for Paste Wax

Paste wax can do a lot more than shine your car and your floors. You can use it all over the house to protect surfaces. Here are just a few of them.

1. Apply some paste wax to the metal racks in your refrigerator. This will help protect them from pitting and will also help prevent rust and corrosion. You can also use paste wax on the outside of your appliances to give them a nice shine and help them repel dust and fingerprints.

2. If your toilet is all sweaty, turn off the water and then flush the toilet to drain the tank. Dry the inside and apply a thin coat of the wax to the inside. It will seal it up and prevent further condensation.

3. Some wax on the unfinished underside of furniture will help to seal the wood and protect the piece from drying out.

4. A thin coat of wax on your tools will help protect them from rust and corrosion.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bathroom Clean Up

Let's face it, nobody likes to clean the bathroom, but it has to be done. Well, I have some quick and easy ideas to help you out!

1. First off, forget the eighty-five cleansers for your bathroom and save yourself time and money. Mix together two-thirds of a cup of white vinegar, a half a cup of rubbing alcohol and a tablespoon of dish soap into a spray bottle. This mixture will clean tubs, showers, sinks, toilets, windows and mirrors.

2. To prevent mildew from growing on your shower curtain, soak it in a strong saltwater solution in the bathtub for about a half an hour, and then hang it up. The salt will help to hinder mildew growth. Spray it every couple of weeks with salt water to keep it up!

3. If your bathroom is smelling a little less than fresh, forget the sprays and fresheners and check your laundry room. Dryer sheets are perfect, stick one in the wastebasket and another in the hamper and you'll have a fresh smelling room in no time.

Mirror Care

Does your mirror reflect the fact that you're not really sure how to keep it shiny and clean. If so here are the ideas that you need.

1. Keep some baking soda in your medicine cabinet. A little on a dry cloth will buff those water spots away without a trace.

2. To clean your mirror, try a little cold tea. Just dip a lint free cloth into the tea and scrub the surface. Then wipe dry for a sparkling reflection!

3. One of the biggest problems with the bathroom mirror is that it gets all fogged up. For a quick de-fogging, aim your hair dryer at the glass. The dry heat will clear the fog in no time. To prevent the haze from coming back, take a cloth and rub a layer of shaving cream all over the surface. Keep rubbing it until the cream has disappeared. You'll have a fog free mirror for a few weeks.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Workshop Safety

Safety is important all over the house, but especially in your project work area.

1. Rags that have been used to oil equipment or to stain wood contain harmful chemicals that could spontaneously combust. Store those rags in an airtight container. A coffee can is a great choice.

2. Keep a working fire extinguisher nearby to handle emergencies.

3. Slip a small luggage padlock, a key ring or a safety pin through an electrical plug's prong. This is an easy way to protect curious kids from injury or electrical shock, because these items prevent the plug from fitting into the socket.

4. If someone does get shocked in the work area or anywhere else, don't touch them. You'll become a conductor of the electricity. Push them away from the source with a wooden broom handle or other wooden item.

5. Don't wear loose clothes or hanging jewelry when you're working on a project. They could get caught and cause injury. Keep a dish nearby to put your jewelry in before you start a project.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Heat & Wood

We all know that you don't put something hot down on a wood finish. It'll damage it for sure, but I have some tips where a little heat will go a long way toward solving some household wood problems.

1. We all know that you don't put something hot down on a wood finish. It'll damage it for sure, but I have some tips where a little heat will go a long way toward solving some household wood problems.

2. If you're building or repairing something and using a wooden dowel, put it on a cookie sheet and heat it in the oven for a few minutes.

3. The heat will remove any moisture from the wood so that once it's in place it will absorb glues and stains and expand for a super snug fit!

4. If you have a door or a window that is hopelessly stuck, grab your hairdryer.

5. Set the dryer to high and aim it at the sticky spots, this will shrink the wood slightly so that you're able to open and close it easily.

6. A little tip, once you've got it open, use the stub of an old candle to lubricate the sticky parts.

7. If you need to wax a piece of furniture, grab that hairdryer again, warm the surface before you start and the wax will spread on easily and absorb into the surface better than a room temperature piece.

Just a few ways where heat and wood might not be such a bad combination! I'm Mrs. Fixit and it's just that simple!