EP87: Hackley & Hume Homes, Giving to Furry Friends, and Results For Scuff-X

OK, now how often is there something we pass every day that we don’t think twice about? For us, the Hackley & Hume Homes were just such a place. We had passed them a number of times and thought they were cool but didn’t give it another thought…until this week.

Forget what you THINK you know about Victorian homes. These surpass that in leaps and bounds. And, right now, they are all decked out for Christmas. We just couldn’t contain our excitement so be prepared!

And, with Christmas coming, we’ve all been busy buying gifts for family and friends. But what about the four-legged friends who don’t have a home? We’ve got Jen Nuernberg and Sarah Shea from the Harbor Humane Society in the studio to talk about their wish list for the furry friends at the shelter. They’ll also tell us if it’s ok to buy a pet as a Christmas present.

And, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, they have their annual Holiday Open House from 11-4 this Saturday, December 8. You can tour the shelter, decorate doggie “cookies” and get photos with Santa! Check out more details on Instagram!

And finally, we’ve talked about Scuff-X before but it just seems to be one of those products that people can never hear enough about. We’ve posted the videos as proof, but now we’ve got a local company who’s used it for a year. Did it do what we said? Are they still happy customers? We’ll tell you in our last segment.

 

Listen here:

NOTES:

Hackley & Hume Holiday Tours

  • December 8  4-8pm
  • December 15  4-8pm
  • December 27  4-8pm
  • December 28  1-4pm

 

Harbor Humane Society

The Harbor Humane Society also has a great program called Reading With Fido. Research shows that dogs who are read to in a shelter calm more quickly and become better with humans. Here is a quick video that Sarah took of some young kids reading to “Fido.”

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EP86: Paint Tools, Heat Vents, Laundry Room Transformation, and Christmas Gift Lists

So, there are some common tools that come to mind when people think of painting; brushes, roller covers, trays and liners, etc. But did you know there’s a whole other group of tools that will save you time and money? We’ve got a list of items you’ll want to consider the next time you paint.

And we’ve been hearing chatter about people closing heat vents in unused rooms to save money. That got us wondering if it really works. We talked to some experts and it turns out closing the vents could be a really terrible idea and actually COST you money! We’ll tell you what we learned.

We’ve also been thinking about laundry rooms. With holiday travel, sometimes the laundry really piles up. The problem is, many of us have laundry rooms that are less than inspiring. In fact, we may dread stepping foot in them, even if we aren’t doing laundry. Now, it’s time to change all that! We’ve got some great ways to make your laundry room just another room in your house.

And last but not least, we’ve got our lists of great Christmas gifts. Some are tools but some are just fun! Check out the notes below for links and videos for all of the items we talked about.

 

Listen here:

NOTES:

To Close or Not to Close the Vents?? Suggested Resources

Dan’s Recommended Gift List

Betsy’s Recommended Gift List

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EP34 – November 25, 2017: Stress-Free Holiday Decorating, Safety Tips from Holland DPS, and Drywall Patching and Touch-Up Tips!

Every day seems to bring new scam and fraud alerts. The news outlets tell us to be careful with our credit cards and identity. Facebook is full of posts warning us about some new scam that has us on edge every time we go to our inbox. That’s why we contacted the Holland Department of Public Safety. They will help us know what to look for, how to stay safe while out Christmas shopping, and a few other things many listeners probably don’t know. Their goal is to keep us safe so we can all have a Merry Christmas season.

Listen here:

Show notes for episode 034:

Christmas decorating can be very stressful. It can also seem stale. All too often we get stuck in a rut of putting the same decorations in the same spot year after year. If this sounds like you, maybe this is the year to try something different. Maybe it's the year to go "Scandinavian." Now this doesn't mean go out and buy all new decorations and take up new traditions. It simply means to scale down what you are doing. And, if you happen to be selling your house, this is the perfect way to highlight your home's best features while still having that Christmas feeling.
Every time we turn on the news, pick up a paper, or check Facebook, there seems to be a scam or fraud warning. Are they really something to worry about or just a lot of hype? It's the Christmas shopping season and we want to be sure that all of our listeners are safe at home, as well as when they leave the house. We sat down with Officer Dan Keuning and Officer Adam Sokolove of the Holland Department of Public Safety to get their thoughts on these warnings. They also have some ways to keep our homes and property safe while we enjoy all the season's festivities.
Officer Dan Keuning and Officer Adam Sokolove in our studio! Thanks for stopping by!
Do you have a wall in your home that has a hole from that time last year when the kids decided it would be a GOOD idea to play catch in the house?? Are you concerned that no matter how hard you try, everyone will be able to tell where you made the attempt to patch and paint the wall? We've been there before. We've left the hole because we simply didn't know how to fix it and have it blend in. We've got the tips on how to properly patch that hole in the drywall and then touch-up the paint so no one will ever know what happened. And if you teach the kids how to do this, you'll never need to know about another hole in the wall ever again!

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Everyday Items into Easy Christmas Decor!

Yet another guest post from our Super-Hero Decorator Friend, the Purple Stiletto!

I’m dreaming of a white…and cheap….Christmas. The Purple Stiletto has been spending a good deal of time in the Craft Cave (with Christmas music blasting), trying to find the most inexpensive ways to decorate for Christmas. Now, being that this is the Purple Stiletto’s favorite time of year, it is important to have the feeling of Christmas in EVERY room. And that can get quite expensive! That is where common household items and a little bit of creative juice (and
eggnog!) come in handy.

Now, I will say, there had been ideas spinning in my head like ballerinas in tutus for quite a while. I started by gathering the items I already owned.

  • Large bowl? Easy!
  • Pitcher? Yup!
  • Hand towels? Ho ho ho!
  • Mason Jars? Thank goodness I made dinner at home last week!
  • Colander? Yes……..but it’s rather big……..and bright silver…… and if I use that, how am I going to make pasta? I can’t go without pasta until after Christmas! Option #2……… Red Ranger to the rescue! He suggested a trip to the thrift store to look for a colander and any other items that may dress up my ordinary household items. These are the reasons I need him!

With a song in our hearts (or at least in my heart!), we arrived at the first thrift store. If we were lucky, it would be our ONLY thrift store stop. We entered the store with much anticipation and were met with the MOTHERLODE! There was Christmas stuff everywhere! We walked from table to table, looking at all of the different knick-knacks and do-dads. Red Ranger found a bag of fake snow for $1 and some reindeer antlers.

And then I spotted it……shiny and copper……the perfect little colander! And a steal at just $5. We paid for our treasures and returned to the Craft Cave.

I started by folding the hand towels so that only the bottom, decorative portion was showing. I had seen something on Pinterest (a favorite Purple Stiletto website for inspiration) that showed toilet paper with greens coming out of the tube. There is just something about putting toilet paper on display in the bathroom that just doesn’t settle well with me. So my solution was to use hand towels, folded, and then rolled into a tube. The Red Ranger cut sprigs of pine that I put in the top of the towel roll. My bathroom was ready for Christmas. How simple could it be?!

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Next, I tackled my large wood bowl. Now, my intent was to fill the bowl with ornaments in varying shades of blue, white and silver. The colors were not a problem but the enormity of the bowl was! I had quite a few ornaments but not enough for such a large bowl. The Purple Stiletto does not let such pesky problems stand in the way! The solution was simple: place a layer of packing peanuts in the bottom and cover with a fabric napkin. I chose silver because it was more likely to blend in, should it be seen in the space between ornaments. Simple, inexpensive and literally minutes to put together. I was on a roll!

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I did the same thing with my shiny new colander, except I added battery powered, LED micro lights. I picked them up at a home improvement store a while back for about $7. I put the end of the lights up through the holes in the bottom of the colander so the battery box was hidden under it. I added vintage Christmas ornaments that my grandma had given me and Voile! A fabulous kitchen decoration!

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Last, Red Ranger and I tackled the mason jars and pitcher that holds beautiful flowers in the spring and summer. Red Ranger filled the mason jars with the fake snow and then cut tiny sprigs of pine. He also cut larger pine boughs to fill the pitcher. He added the tiny sprigs on top of the fake snow and I added tiny blue and silver ornaments for color. I added blue and green ornaments to the pines in the pitcher and a giant green bow. Our work for the day was done. Time to take a page from Santa’s book and have some milk and cookies!

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That night, I sat with a good book by the fireplace and admired my new decorations. They were my everyday items that were suddenly filled with the magic of Christmas. The Purple Stiletto had done it again—turned something boring into something spectacular! The only thing missing is a festive drink!

Easy Mantel Decor or Table Centerpiece (You Decide!)

IMG_6824Another post from our Super-Hero Decorator guest writer, The Purple Stiletto!

Now, the most obvious basic item was the leftover branches from the bottom of my Christmas tree. They were going to add color and texture to the top of the mantel. I also collected together tea lights, small red and silver Christmas bulbs, unused wine glasses, an empty vase, ribbon, a rhinestone buckle and some sparkly red balls.

I started by laying the branches from my Christmas tree on the mantel. I let them drape over the edge just slightly. Next, I filled the vase with red balls, wrapped black ribbon around the middle and secured with a rhinestone buckle. I placed the vase in the center of the greens, then grabbed the wine glasses. I filled the glasses with red and silver Christmas bulbs and then turned upside down. I arranged the glasses among the branches on either side of the vase. I set tea lights on the bases of the wine glasses and stepped back to admire my handiwork. Fabulous! Now THAT was a mantel worthy of my new stocking!

OK, so I know most people would have stopped there, but I still had ideas that were begging to be used. The Purple Stiletto dreams in glitter and color all the time! So what to do with the remaining mantel idea…

I know! The Red Ranger needs a little holiday cheer! Yes, he has a tree (an artificial one with a pine scented car freshener to make it “smell real”) and lights and some Christmas tidbits here and there but he could really use an amazing mantel too!

I loaded some supplies in my car and dashed through the thickening snow. Under the cover of night, while Red Ranger slept with visions of sugar plums and glitter dancing in his head, I snuck in and worked my magic on his exceptionally dull fireplace.

I, again, began with branches from my Christmas tree. I put a beautiful pillar tree candle in the middle of the branches and began working my way along the mantel. I added large wine glasses with pale blue and silver ornaments, flipped them over on either side of the center candle and added tea lights to the base of the glasses. I followed this with medium, white pillar candles along the length of the mantel, alternated with small glass votives. I scattered the remaining blue and silver ornaments among the greens and candles for a little sparkle. I lit the candles and the effect was breathtaking! It was beautiful! Now, the Red Ranger’s house was dressed for the holidays.

I snuck out, grinning to myself and wondering what the Red Ranger was going to think when he woke up…

As the Purple Stiletto settled into her armchair next to the fire with a glass of wine (in a Christmas glass, of course!), she reflected on how amazing it was that such simple objects could completely transform a mantel. The same items could also be used down the center of a table or buffet, but that was for another day. It was time for the Purple Stiletto to kick off her shoes, put her feet up and relax as the scents and scenes of the season washed over her. How was she ever going to make it better next year…