Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When life hands you lemons....

When life hands you lemons... you don't have to make lemonade. Use them all over the house, for help with all sorts of jobs!

1. Rubbing cut lemons on your hands or your cutting board will get rid of garlic, onion and fish odors. It will also clean away stains left from slicing berries!

2. Lemon juice will brighten whites that can't be bleached! Just pour a quarter of a cup of lemon juice into the washer. If you have light stains that won't come out of those whites, pour lemon juice on them and spread the clothes in the sun to dry. The lemon juice will react with the sunlight and the stains will disappear!

3. To freshen the air in your home, put a few drops of lemon juice in your vacuum bag when you change it. The fresh smell will spread throughout the house when you vacuum.

4. If someone ends up with a small cut or scrape, dab it with some lemon juice to disinfect the wound. It will also take the itch out of poison ivy.

5. If you do want to make lemonade, microwave your lemons for 30 seconds before you squeeze them. You'll get a lot more juice!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Powder Room Dilemma Solved!

I have been looking for a sink for my tiny powder room in the studio house for over a year - no dice! Last week my EP suggested cast stone or concrete might be a solution. So we went online and found Steve at CNY Concrete Countertops and gave him a call. He came out, took some measurements and voila - my vision realized.

While I was at the workshop, I also met Brandon Dyer there who was working with Steve to make custom concrete countertops for the home he just bought with his wife. Steve offers DIY workshops where he will guide you through your project step by step! Check back for pix of Brandon's counters! In the meantime - here is the new sink!! LOVE IT!! I'll post more pix when I get it installed!

Cleaning Baskets

If you have baskets around your house, you know that they can get dusty and dirty. Here are some easy ways to clean them up!

1. Use a paintbrush to dust your baskets regularly. Its stiff bristles will get into all the crevices. Or, try the small brush attachment on your vacuum cleaner.

2. Don't be afraid to wash your baskets; it's good to wet them down once in a while to keep the reeds from cracking! Wash baskets by putting it into the sink and wetting it down with your sprayer attachment. Dip a nail brush into some soapy water and lightly scrub the reeds. When you've finished scrubbing, use the sprayer to rinse it. Then put it on a towel in a sunny window to dry. Make sure that the basket dries all the way; too much water can cause it to rot!

3. For a basket with dyed reeds, you need to check before you wash it to make sure the color is not going to run. Just rub a wet cloth on the colored area. If the color comes off on the cloth, don't wet it. If your basket is painted you should just wipe it with a soft cloth.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Replace a Sink Sprayer

A sink sprayer adds great versatility to your sink. But if yours needs replacing don't put it off, it's easy to do.

1. Shut off the water supply to your sink. Then turn on the faucet to drain any water left in the lines.

2. Disconnect the old sprayer from the diverter on your faucet. You'll want a bucket or a pile of towels to catch any water left from the plastic tubing.

3. Unscrew the mounting nuts that hold the sprayer in place.

4. Pull the sprayer out of the sink and use a scouring pad and some white vinegar to clean the residue from the opening.

5. If your sprayer doesn't come with rubber packing around the base, use a bead of plumber's putty.

6. Slip the new sprayer into place; press down on the base to be sure it's secure.

7. Back under the sink screw the mounting nut into place. Tighten the nut with a pair of slip joint pliers if they'll fit, it not you'll need to use a basin wrench.

8. Once the sprayer unit's in place screw the hose onto the nipple under the faucet. Use a wrench to tighten the nut a quarter turn past hand tight.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Caring for Jewelry

If you have ever had a question about caring for and storing your jewelry, here are the answers you've been looking for.

1. Mix together a quarter cup of ammonia, a cup of water and a little dish soap to clean gold and silver, as well as hard gemstones like diamonds. Just put the jewelry in the mixture and let it sit for a few minutes. You can clean crevices and settings with a soft toothbrush. When you're done carefully rinse and lay them on a towel to dry.

2. You can clean pearls with a simple soap and water solution.

3. If you have a ring stuck on your finger, it is probably caused by swelling. To get it off, soak your hand in a bowl of ice water. The swelling will go down and the ring will come right off. You can also try squirting the ring with some liquid dish soap to loosen it up.

4. An easy way to store necklaces is on a man's tie rack. The chains will hang neatly from the rack.

5. An old plastic ice cube tray is a great way to organize earrings. Put a pair in each of the compartments. No more digging around for a match.

Vinyl Roller Shade

Vinyl roller shades are a great way to block the light in a room, but they do need maintenance. Here are some easy tips to help you.

1. If your shade won't go up all the way, it doesn't have enough tension. Pull the shade halfway down the window and then take it out of its brackets. Then roll it back up tightly by hand, being careful to keep the shade even on the roller. When it's all rolled up, replace it in its brackets.

2. If the shade has too much tension and flies up too fast. Take it out of its brackets and roll the shade about halfway down by hand, and hang it back up.

3. Repair a small tear in a shade by putting some masking tape on the back side. Paint the front with some clear nail polish, and you'll hardly be able to tell where it was.

4. To get rid of some small smudges or stains on a shade, use an art eraser.

5. To wash the entire shade, lay the shade on some towels on the floor and use a vinegar water mixture to clean it.

Cushy, Comfy Carpets

If you like cushy, comfy carpets and you want to keep them that way for years to come, I have some easy ways to do just that!

1. One of the easiest ways to keep your carpets looking great is to vacuum often. Use slow overlapping strokes to ensure you're getting the deep down dirt. Be sure that your vacuum is equipped with a beater bar, which will move the carpet pile and loosen dirt.

2. If your carpet isn't smelling as fresh as it should and you don't have any fancy deodorizers, sprinkle some baking soda over it. Allow it to sit for an hour or so and then vacuum it up! This will also brighten your carpet!

3. Spots and spills are inevitable with any carpet; the key is to clean them up quickly. A great all-purpose carpet cleaner is white shaving cream.

4. Here are a few things to keep in mind, always use white cloths so you don't transfer dyes to the carpet, use cool water so you don't set the stain with heat and always blot, never scrub a carpet stain, it will just get more imbedded in the carpeting!

5. Another common carpet problem is static. To combat it, run a vaporizer at night; you know the one you use when the kids are sick. You could also invest in a humidifier that runs all of the time.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Revive a Finish

You can get some great deals on furniture at yard sales, if a piece is structurally sound but the finish looks a little grimy and time worn don't pass it up, I'll tell you how you can revive it.

1. The first step is to clean the piece. Use a slightly damp cloth to remove any surface dust.

2. Grab a soft cloth, some mineral spirits and a pair of gloves. Pour a little mineral spirits onto your cloth and then rub the surface of the furniture working with the grain of the wood. Turn the cloth to a clean area and rub some more. Repeat the process until the cloth doesn't pick up any more dirt. Then switch to a clean cloth and give the piece a final buffing.

3. If there are still some imperfections in the surface of the wood try some superfine steel wool to lightly buff them out and follow it up with another application of mineral spirits.

4. For stubborn watermarks try spreading a thin layer of petroleum jelly or mayonnaise into the area and let it sit overnight. The oil will work out the moisture that is causing the ring. Then simply buff it clean in the morning.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Decorating the Walls in your Home

Hung up on wall decorations? I have some pointers to help you get your picture in the right spot every time!

1. Use a ruler to mark the right hand side of a sticky note in half-inch increments to four inches.

2. Grab your picture, holding your wire taut measure the distance from the wire to the top of the picture.

3. With the ruled side of the note in line with the center and top of the frame, hold your picture up where you want it and stick the note "ruler" to the wall. This way you'll know exactly where the wire sits and where to drive your hanger.

4. If you're worried about stability you may want to hang two hooks a quarter inch out from your mark.

5. If you're hanging a picture on a plaster wall put a small "X" of cellophane tape over the spot you need to drive the nail this will prevent cracking.

6. Also remember protect your walls adhering felt or rubber pads to the back lower corners of your picture where the frame meets the wall.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Home Essentials

Do you have the top five home essentials in your house? Here's the list and a few of the things you can use them for.

1. White vinegar - Fill the bottom of a burned pan with vinegar and bring it to a boil. You'll see the mess flaking off. Or, pour it on the cracks in your sidewalks to kill grass and weeds, or mix it with the number two item on the list, baking soda, to free up clogged drains.

2. Baking Soda - Dip a damp cloth in baking soda to clean stains from painted walls and woodwork. Or, sprinkle some on aluminum foil and cover with boiling water to make silver cleaner.

3. Lemon juice - It is a natural bleach and disinfectant. Spread some on a white laundry stain and put it in the sun; the item will look like new in no time. Or use lemons to clean brass. Cut a lemon in half, dip it in salt and scrub no more tarnish.

4. Dryer sheets - They clean off television screens, freshen drawers and sneakers. Or, put a used dryer sheet in a baked-on pan, cover it with boiling water and leave it overnight. It will clean up easily in the morning.

5. Denture tablets - They clean anything from narrow-necked vases to toilet bowls.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Care of Leather Furniture

A lovely piece of leather furniture is a beautiful addition to any home, caring for it is pretty straightforward, I'll show you how.

1. During your weekly cleaning routine, wipe leather with a clean, dry cloth. Micro fiber is a great choice because it grabs dust and lint rather than just moving it.

2. Place leather furniture at least a couple of feet from any heat source, like a radiator or fireplace. Too much heat will dry out leather and make it brittle.

3. You should also keep leather out of direct sunlight; if your room is sunny make sure you use drapes or blinds to keep the suns rays off of the furniture to prevent fading and drying.

4. For spills on your leather furniture, use a barely damp cloth to clean it away and then buff the area with a clean dry cloth to be sure the stain and moisture are gone.

5. Wondering if your leather has a protective finish on it? Find an inconspicuous spot and put a couple of drops of water on it, if the water is absorbed you should check the care labels to see if you can seal the leather with a protective repellant.

6. Along those same lines a good leather conditioner will protect the furniture and buff out small scuffs and scratches from your leather, use it every six months or so to keep your leather looking its best.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Dryer Sheets

Don't throw away the used dryer sheets, you can stockpile them and use them all over your house.

1. If you have a grimy pan that you've tried scrubbing, put a dryer sheet inside and fill the pan with boiling water and let it sit overnight. In the morning you'll be able to wash the pan clean without scouring.

2. Use the sheets for dusting jobs all over the house. From televisions to tabletops, they'll pick up dust and eliminate the static that attracts it.

3. They are also great deodorizers. Stick them in your kid's stinky sneakers, gym bags, and diaper pails and under car seat for a neat and easy freshening job. For all over the house freshness stick a couple of sheets in your vacuum bag.

4. Water spots on mirrors and fixtures? No problem! A quick swipe with a dryer sheet will have everything shining in no time.

5. Musty, dusty books? Put a couple of sheets between the pages and seal it up in a freezer bag for a few days.

Thank you Tampa!

It was great to meet so many amazing people at Florida's Largest Home Show this past weekend in Tampa! Thank you for your energy, your ideas and your friendship! It's just that simple!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Picture Hanging

Pictures are a favorite part of everybody's home, but hanging them in the right spot and making sure that they stay there can be a hassle. Here are some tips to help you out.

1. Scout the perfect location and mark the wall with a wet finger. It will stay wet llong enough for you to get your nail into position.

2. If you have plaster walls, criss cross some tape over the spot where you are going to drive the nail. It will prevent the nail from cracking the wall.

3. Take a cork from a wine bottle and cut it into 1/8 inch sections. Glue the slices to the back corners of the pictures. The cork will hold the picture in place on the wall and it will allow air to circulate behind the picture so that it won't damage your walls. You can also buy commercial pads that will serve the same purpose.

Alternative Uses for School Supplies

Wondering how school supplies can help you around the house?

1. A chalkboard eraser is a great tool for a quick clean up; it will gently buff away smudges and fingerprints from windows, French doors, mirrors, and wood furniture! No smudges and no lint left behind!

2. Chalk is also good to have on hand, rub it into greasy stains on linens. The chalk dust will get into the fabric and absorb the grease so it will easily wash away in the laundry. Those same absorbent qualities will also help prevent jewelry from tarnishing. Stick a piece of chalk in your jewelry box and you won't have to worry about that tarnish.

3. A pencil is a great tool for lubricating sticky locks. Rub the tip over the keys and work it back and forth in the lock. You can also use a pencil to fill a hole in wood if you don't have a dowel handy. Cut it down to the size plug you need. Spread a little wood filler over the end and you'll have an invisible repair!

4. Crayons are great for touching up scratches in wood. Pick a crayon that matches the wood tone, heat it slightly over a candle and rub the wax into the scratch. Then buff it with a soft cloth to blend the repair with the surrounding wood!

Making the grade with your school supplies!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Mrs. FIXIT at Florida's Largest Home Show

We had a great first day at Florida's Largest Home Show. If you'd like to meet me and ask your household questions, come to the Tampa Convention Center this Sunday and Monday from 12pm to 5pm to say hi and get a free picture with me at Florida's Largest Home Show! It's just that simple!

If you were at the show on Saturday and are looking for your picture, visit mrsfixit.com right here to pick it up!

Florida’s Largest Home Show
Tampa Convention Center
Labor Day Weekend – Friday Sept 2-Monday Sept 5
Opens at 11 each Day
Event Specifics @ www.bighomeshow.com

Friday, September 2, 2011

On my way to Flordia for Florida's Largest Home Show!!

Come to the Tampa Convention Center this Saturday, Sunday and Monday at 1:30 and 3:30for my show's at Florida's Largest Home Show! It's just that simple!

Florida’s Largest Home Show
Tampa Convention Center
Labor Day Weekend – Friday Sept 2-Monday Sept 5
Opens at 11 each Day
Event Specifics @ www.bighomeshow.com