EP122: Natural Weed Killer, Deck Stains, and the Hackley & Hume Homes


Segment 1: Natural Weed Killer

Betsy is always on the hunt for ways to take care of garden problems without resorting to chemicals. We all know they work great, but then we have to be careful with pets and kids.

The good news is that there are recipes for natural weed killer and pest repellants that actually work. Betsy tried them and they worked great…at least for what she did!

Weed Killer

  • 1 gallon vinegar
  • 1 cup salt
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp dish soap

Mix all in a pump up garden sprayer and go to town!

The weed problem before……

The weed problem less than 12 hours later!!

Natural Garden Pest Repellant

  • Garlic (I had 5 cloves left from dinner), diced
  • An onion, diced
  • Cayenne Pepper
  • Boiling water (I used about 4-6 cups)
  • Dish soap

Put first 3 ingredients in a large bowl or saucepan and pour in boiling water. Cover with tinfoil (if you skip this, you’ll be sad. And don’t invite the neighbors over while you’re doing this. The smell travels). Let sit until completely cool. Strain and pour into spray bottle and and add a little bit of dish soap. This is very unscientific. The dish soap helps the mixture stick to the leaves. Spray the plants that are being eaten. I used it on bean plants that bug were chewing all the leaves from. It worked great for that!

Segment 2: Deck Stains

OK, so we know there can be confusion when it comes to choosing deck stains. A solid color deck stain is commonly mistaken for a paint. And is a semi-transparent really better than a transparent or toner deck stain? We’re walking you through the maze of deck stains.

Segments 3 & 4: Hackley & Hume Homes

The last time we talked about the Hackley & Hume Homes, Dan and Betsy did their best to describe the homes and a bit of their history. Now it’s time to get the real history scoop, why the homes are important and some of the programs for the rest of the year. To do this, we’ve invited Erin Schmitz, Program Manager, and Aaron Mace, Assistant Program Manager, from Hackley & Hume to give us all the details. For details on upcoming programs, times, and costs, visit their website.


EP121: Color Consultation, Removing Wallpaper With a Pro, Insulation, and Psychology of Clutter


Segment 1: Color Consultation Review

Betsy recently did a color consultation and that led to a conversation about how we tend to get an idea in our heads and don’t stop to think about other options. There’s a lot to be learned!

Segment 2: Removing Wallpaper With a Pro!

We’ve heard the horror stories when it comes to removing wallpaper. The dime sized pieces that take weeks to peel off. So we’ve invited Dan Schipper of Skip’s Painting to give us some secrets that will have the paper coming down in big sheets and will leave you with great satisfaction.

Segment 3: Insulation

Don’t tune out just yet. We’re going to talk about insulation with George Clark from WMGB Home Improvement because you don’t want to wait until snow flies. And even if you THINK you need insulation, you may be surprised to find that might not be the case.

Segment 4: Psychology of  Clutter

How many of us , at some point, haven’t looked around our home and seen clutter. We don’t seem to know how or where we’ve collected it. It just shows up! And then we see shows or magazines where everything is perfectly organized. But we think there’s no way we can ever get to that point.

The first step is to understand WHY we have the clutter. We’re digging into the psychology of clutter and why we collect the things we do.


EP120: The Perfect Front Door Color, Plumbing Questions: Answered!


Segments 1 & 2: Paint For Front Doors

Painting your front door is one of the best “bang for your buck” paint projects you can tackle! You’ll dramatically improve the curb appeal of your home and, best of all, you’ll do it in just a few hours and often for no more than a quart of paint! We mentioned a method for painting your front door on the show today. Here’s a simple graphic of the order to follow:

Segments 3 & 4: Plumbing Questions: Answered!

For everyone who wants the “Betsy Bathroom”, here’s a video of the tub shroom she’s recommending. Also a link so you can buy your own!

EP119: Paint For Front Doors, Home Buyers Need to Know, Types of Tile, and Quick Clean Tips


Segment 1: Paint For Front Doors

Nothing adds curb appeal like a great looking front door. And when it comes to front door paint, choosing the right one can make or break the project. No one wants their new paint to peel off in a couple weeks.

Benjamin Moore has a great new front door paint called Aura Grand Entrance. It comes in a satin or high gloss and can be made in any color. And because it’s Aura, it covers like a dream.

Next week we’ll talk about how to choose a front door color and the right way to paint it.

Segments 2: Home Buyers Need to Know

We’ve been hearing for a while now that there is a shortage of homes on the market. If you are a seller, that’s great! It means more for your home. If you are a buyer, it’s less great. It means you could wind up paying more than the asking price.

Sue Prins and Ginger Herman of Sue Prins Five Star Real Estate give us some things we need to know if we plan to buy a house.

Segment 3: Types of Tile

Choosing tile can be a bit confusing. Some tile can only be used in certain areas. And there are things to consider…like in floor heating….so toasty! To help us make a better choice, Nick Sargent from Johnson Carpet One drop by to walk us through the options.

Segment 4: Quick Clean Tips

Big furry dogs mean big furry messes. And when the big furry dog is a Saint Bernard, that means there’s also the drool factor.

Betsy has learned a few tricks to deal with these problems.

  1. Vinegar and Dawn dish soap in a pump up wallpaper sprayer
  2. Seam Ripper to get rid of hair wrapped around brush roller (I use the more expensive, heavy duty one)
  3. Clean your vacuum filter!! It will make your vacuum run like new!
  4. Credit card or gift card as a scraper to remove dried on drool from windows and glass. According to Dan it also works on car windows
  5. Fur-Zoff Pet Hair Remover works like a DREAM in the car! No more dog hair stuck in the carpet!


EP118: Jump Into Home Repairs, Choosing a Designer, and Desk Refinishing Project


Segment 1: Jumping into Repairs

We’ve probably all been there. It’s late and something in our home suddenly breaks. The washer. The dryer. The AC. You name it. And sometimes we are too timid to try and troubleshoot on our own. We’re afraid we don’t have the skills. But if we can do it, so can you. Start small and work from there!

Segments 2 & 3: Choosing a Designer

Sometimes, when it comes to decorating, we need a little help. Jennifer Butler and Andy Yates from Jennifer Butler Design walk us through the important things to look for when hiring a designer. You’ll be working very closely for a while so choose wisely.

Segment 4: Desk Refinishing Project

About a year ago we picked up a cool roll top desk at the Grand Rapids YMCA White Elephant Sale. We didn’t know anything about it other than it was smaller than a normal desk. That led to a little research project where we learned that the desk was a child’s desk from the Sears catalog in the 1930’s.

We were inspired by Thomas Jefferson’s dining room at Monticello with its chrome yellow walls. With that in mind, the paint and stain started flying!