cool smoke detectors, home decor, home security, The Chick a Dee won a design contest and certainly grabs some attention in a good way

Cool Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors have always been a thorn in my side for decor. There are so few options that lend to a room's appeal. However, I was able to dig up a few that are aesthetically pleasing while still proving effective for safety.

little barn door for home security, crafts, doors, home security, how to

Little Barn Door for Home Security

In the news lately there have been reports of people putting cameras on the outside of peepholes to see into your house/apartment/hotel room. I (Steph) started thinking about the peephole in my front door and possible ways of covering it when not in use.
After much thought, I came up with a DIY solution that is cute, functional, removable, and adds a little more security to my home. Mom helped bring the idea into reality and had most of the materials we used in her craft stash! Visit our blog to watch a video of it come together.

how to make a birdhouse slipcover for a outdoor security camera

How to Make a Birdhouse Slipcover for a Outdoor Security Camera

We recently installed a couple of Ring Outdoor Security Cameras at Steph's house as part of our participation in The Home Depot's smart home campaign.These cameras are battery operated, meaning we could install them away from a power source. This gave us a lot more flexibility in their placement.We decided to put them where they could "see" Steph's house rather than "see" out away from it.Take a look at what we did, and how we gave them a bit of camouflage in the form of a birdhouse "slipcover."

7 quick home inspections that could save your life, home decor, home improvement, home maintenance repairs

7 Quick Home Inspections That Could Save Your Life

We bet that you lock your doors at night and keep your kids away from the medicine cabinet, but if you haven’t inspected your house in a while (or ever), you could be sitting on a dangerous time bomb. Yikes!
While a few of these inspections are better left to a licensed professional, you can cross some off your list right away.
Prevent injury (and even death) by inspecting the following:

how to repair a fence picket, fences, how to

How to Repair a Fence Picket

Recently I (Vicki) noticed a build up of organic material up against the side of my A/C fence enclosure. I thought, "I need to clean that up so the fence doesn't start to rot" --too late! Once I revealed the bottoms of the pickets I saw that rot had already started. Replacement was necessary for those four boards and prevention, in the form of debris removal, was necessary for the rest.
What started as a replacement of four boards morphed into a much larger project. We replaced the boards, washed and painted the entire fence, removed the ivy climbing on and near the fence, dug away dirt under the fence, edged, mulched and added a few mums for color!

what type of smoke alarm do you have, electrical, home improvement, home maintenance repairs

What Type of Smoke Alarm Do You Have?

Most homes are equipped with ionizing smoke alarms. Find out why the old-fashioned photoelectric smoke alarm may be a healthier choice!
To see what type of smoke alarm you have in your home check the label for americium 241. This denotes an ionizing type of alarm.

tropical storm sandy may hit here are some storm tips to think about, home maintenance repairs, Much of the wood falling in a storm has interior damage by insects


The last October storm was a snowstorm which was awful for all in the NE and Mid Atlantic. This storm if tracking is accurate, is going to bring high winds and heavy rains. Power outages with these storms are common. We will be in the 50 degree range monday through wednesday. Here is what you can do to prepare yourself and your home: 1. Take down anything that can get blown over or take flight in high winds (bird houses, chimes, flags ect.) Move chairs, umbrellas and tables into a coner if possible and tie together with some rope to prevent them from getting blown into a door or window. 2. Have some wood available just incase you are out of power. A nice fire can not only keep you warm but also can provide some heat and light to a room. 3. Have plenty of fresh water available for drinking. Water to flush toilets is also a good idea. I use my pond water to flush toilets. 4. Batteries and flashlights checked before the storm. Candles for light and ambiance. I probably have a few kids due to these storms. 5. Food supply. Have the grill ready with gas so you can prepare meals with little cleanup since you will not have running water or hot water. Unless you have a generator, you will be roughing it until power is restored. 6. Board games are a must to have some nice family time. We like scrabble. Let the kids win! Enjoy the storm if it comes. Nature is awesome as long as you stay safe!

my little dog found out she could escape under the chain link fence, fences, landscape, This a just part of her escape corner it ran 3 lengths The gap between the fence and the ground was anywhere from1 to 4 inches

My Little Dog Found Out She Could Escape Under the Chain Link Fence.

I had to find a cheap solution to the problem & fast.

how to install a smoke alarm, home maintenance repairs, home security, how to

How to Install a Smoke Alarm

If I had known how easy it was to replace the whole smoke detector, I would have done it when we first moved into the house.

fall preventive maintenance 7 tips that will protect your home, heating cooling, home maintenance repairs, Get off to a good start this fall with 7 preventive maintenance tips

Fall Preventive Maintenance: 7 Tips That Will Protect Your Home

This past week I was on the receiving end of bad news-we had to replace a bad boiler that was 19 years old. This stinks!!The first few quotes were $4200, $4100, and $3895. I don't know about you but that's a lot of money to me.How can you save money on such an expensive home item?Fortunately I was able to call up the original installer of the boiler. I gave him the serial and model number. He then called the manufacturer and they were able to prorate the cost of the new unit because it was under warranty. So instead of paying close to $4000 we're paying $2500. Always check to see if your heating source is still under warranty if it needs substantial repair work.Here are some additional tips +Heating system maintenance should be done 1 month before it gets cold in your region+Add a carbon monoxide alarm to your home if you don't have one+Replace carbon monoxide alarms that are 7 years old+Add new batteries to carbon monoxide alarms and test them+Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years old, but check to make sure they're working properly+Add new batteries to smoke alarms+Buy a fire extinguisher if you don't have one and make sure it's the correct type+Make sure existing fire extinguishers are fully charged and ready for action+Clean your gutters & downspouts+Change your furnace filters every 4-6 weeks+Swap out your thermostat's old batteries for new onesDo you have more suggestions? Or, do you have any horror stories you'd like to share (Halloween is right around the corner)?My latest blog post has some other useful info and you can check it by clicking on this hyperlink

new year resolutions for your home part two

New Year Resolutions for Your Home - Part Two

If you missed part one, In part two, I’ll show you three more resolutions for your home.

new year s resolutions for your home part one

New Year’s Resolutions for Your Home - Part One

We all make resolutions every January but do we keep them? Did you ever think of making resolutions for your home??Here are three resolutions and how to keep them.

tips for building a fence, diy, fences, how to, woodworking projects, Get tips and see full tutorial with picturs on my blog

Tips for Building a Fence

Building a fence does not have to break the bank or be an intimidating project. It is a very do-able project for most DIYers! For us, we need to fence off a small portion of our yard to connect between two other fences, and when we got the estimates to have someone else build our fence we were in shock with the quote. So much so that we were bound and determined to do it ourselves, and we DID!!! ....and for a THIRD OF THE PRICES we were quoted!!! After finishing the fence I have some helpful tips for those of you who are also thinking about putting up a fence for your kids, pets, or to keep other neighbors out of your yard. Here is brief overview or you can find the full tutorial with pictures on my blog

10 steps to successful indoor flooding cleanup, cleaning tips, how to

10 Steps to Successful Indoor Flooding Cleanup

Flooding can occur after a heavy rain, appliance malfunction, or plumbing leak. Quick action is required to avoid potential health issues.

keep santa safe test or replace your gfcis, electrical, home maintenance repairs, how to, lighting, Keep Santa safe with outdoor GFCIs

Keep Santa Safe: Test or Replace Your GFCIs

Everyone this time of year has beautiful lights on the outside of their house to celebrate the holidays. And during the summer my neighbors have accent lighting they like to use in the evening .
This past weekend I noticed one of our outlets wasn't a GFCI and I decided to replace it. About 30 minutes after I finished it started to rain, which got me thinking.
If you don't have your lights plugged into an outdoor GFCI this could lead to a seriously "shocking" situation. How do you explain to the rest of the world that you were responsible for Santa's cardiac arrest?

yale digital door lock review touchscreen keyless, doors, home maintenance repairs, how to

Touchscreen Locks: End the Need for Keys

If you're like me you lose keys or can't find them when you need them!!
So this past weekend I installed a touchscreen key less door lock.

the different types of smoke alarms, home maintenance repairs

The Different Types of Smoke Alarms

The presence of a smoke alarm in a household can help to save lives if the unexpected occurs and a fire unfortunately breaks out. Be it during the day or at night, if a fire starts in your home, the accompanying smoke will progressively spread step by step through your home and, in the worst possible case, will fatally affect those who are asleep and are therefore unable to escape the flames. As the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) states, "Three out of every five home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms... No smoke alarms were present in more than one-third (37%) of the home fire deaths."

how to survive a blizzard, home maintenance repairs, how to, hvac, outdoor living

How To Survive A Blizzard

It has been one of those winters!
It seems as if no matter what part of the country you live in, snow keeps creeping in! Even though we live in one of the most northern states in the US (Minnesota), we have not received the snow that many other states have. I say that with caution because don't get me wrong - we have snow. Plenty of it. At the same time, we have not had the blizzards that many other people have. Yes, we have had days off from school, times where leaving town are not possible, but again, I know we are not the only ones!
Where do you live and what has the weather been like for you? Has it already been a long winter? Are you dreaming of that warm place? Where would that be?

home protection in 2014 is your home security system out of date, home security

Home Protection in 2014: Is Your Home Security System Out of Date?

Home security systems have evolved dramatically over the past decade. No longer do they simply sound an alarm if a door is opened. Security systems now incorporate some of the most sophisticated technologies available. This not only helps protect against intruders, but also offers more control over your home, regardless of where you are.

add a light to a key, lighting, Now my key has a light

Add a Light to a Key

Frog Leggs stick on lights have saved me a lot of fumbling in the dark to unlock both my car and my house. These work in any small space where a light may be needed.

how to protect your home from burglary, home security

Protect Your Home From Burglary

According to the FBI, over two million burglaries occur each year in the United States, and 70 percent of them are in residential areas. Don’t worry, you don’t have to turn your house into Fort Knox to secure your home – many of these solutions are free and take less than ten minutes!

sliding door security

Sliding Door Security

This is not my most complicated post by a long shot. My elderly mother just had spinalsurgery and can not bend over for 30 days. Even before this, I thought there has to be a better way than this!Many people do this broomstick handle in the door track so no one could ever open it. The problem is, the bending over part. I've come up with a simple,free but effective solution.

are you covered insurance loopholes for 3 halloween accidents, home maintenance repairs

Are You Covered? Insurance Loopholes For 3 Halloween Accidents

In one month, ghouls, goblins and The Little Mermaid will be at your front door. Are you prepared?
We aren’t talking candy-bought, decorations-up prepared. We mean, what happens if Glenda the Good Witch breaks her arm or your house is egged? Are you covered for that? Or will a night of tricks and treats become an expensive horror?
[insert Hitchcock-approved music here]

top home security mistakes to avoid in 2015, home security

Top Home Security Mistakes to Avoid in 2015

Many homeowners unknowingly do things that make their home a target for burglars. That could be one reason why four burglaries occur every minute in the U.S. The good news is, tightening up home security isn’t difficult or expensive and can help you reduce your chances of being a target.
We’ve put together this list of the top home security mistakes homeowners make and how to avoid them. We’ll also tell you five things you should do if a burglary occurs in your neighborhood. If you’re ready to improve your home’s security, read on.