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10 touchups that can help sell your home

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: March 22, 2016

Ten painting touchups that can help sell your home, courtesy of the Paint Quality Institute:

1. The front door. A fresh coat of paint makes a good first impression.

2. The entrance hall. At the very least, clean every surface and touch up areas where the paint shows marks or nicks. Better yet, give the whole hall a fresh coat of neutral-colored paint.

3. Bathrooms. These rooms get special scrutiny from prospective buyers, so touch up as needed. Put extra effort into the powder room, which many will visit during their tour of your home.

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How to make biodegradable seed pots from toilet paper rolls

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: May 14, 2015

Check out this easy-peasy way to turn old toilet paper rolls into small pots for starting seeds. The pots can go right into the ground, where they'll break down over time. 

Even easier than making pots by forming newspaper around cans!

One caution: Make sure to bury the pots all the way in the ground. If part of the cardboard remains above the soil line, moisture can be wicked away from the plant.


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10 myths about bedbugs

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: April 3, 2015

Few things are feared more and understood less than bedbugs.

That's why Ohio State University put together the following news release. It's great information, so I'm passing it along.

10 Myths About Bedbugs That Are Just Crawling with Foolishness

Published on April 2, 2015

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Tips for storing your snow blower

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: March 13, 2015

Consumer Reports says it's time to put away your snow blower.

I'm not sure I agree with tempting fate, but soon enough we'll be safe to stash away the snow removal equipment. 

Before you do, check out Consumer Reports' tips for preparing your snow blower for storage. When it's time to fire it up next winter (OK, fall), you'll be glad you did. 

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Download free weed ID guide from Ohio State

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: February 26, 2015

What is that thing sprouting among the azaleas?

A new, free e-book that you can download onto your iPad or computer can help you figure it out.

The 2015 Ohio State University Guide to Weed Identification contains pictures and information on 85 weed species common in the Midwest. You can vew photos of each weed at different states of maturity and even 360-degree movies of most of them.

The book also guides users in the principles of weed identification.

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Stow grad in final four on Spike TV's 'Framework'

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: February 25, 2015

It's down to four contestants on the furniture-making reality show Framework, and Stow High School graduate Freddy Hill is among them.

Hill won the challenge on Tuesday's episode, turning out an elegant table from a ficus tree trunk. He appears poised for a strong finish, but if you watch the show, you know even the best furniture builders can falter. 

Ohio is making a strong showing on the Spike TV series, too. Hil, who now lives and works in Lakewood, is one of three northern Ohioans in the final four, along with Lacey Campbell of Toledo and Jason Radcliffe of Rocky Rover. 

Hill and Radcliffe were friends before they were cast on the show. That made for some tense moments during the filming, Hill told me when I wrote about his reality-show stint before the show premiered.

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Get free art supplies Saturday at ZeroLandfill Akron's Harvest

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: February 18, 2015

Artists, teacher and other creative types, listen up: ZeroLandfill Akron is holding its Harvest this Saturday. It's a great chance to stock up on FREE materials for upcycling into art, crafts or other projects.

The event is from 9 a.m. to noon at Canal Place, 530 S. Main St. in downtown Akron.

Please remember to bring bags, boxes and/or carts to carry your goodies.

Here are the kinds of things that will be available:

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Ikea coming to Columbus

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: January 27, 2015

Ikea will announce plans this morning to build a store in Columbus, its second in Ohio.

The store would be roughly as far from Akron as Ikea's Pittsburgh location, but hey, it will give you a chance to load up on cheap glassware and Swedish meatballs when you head south for a Buckeyes game.

The Swedish home-furnishings retailer currently has 40 stores in the U.S., including one in Cincinnati.

The Columbus Dispatch reported that the store is expected to open in 2017 and will be in the Polaris area north of the city.

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Don't let the bed bugs bite

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: January 21, 2015
bed bug

A new report from Orkin names the Cleveland-Akron-Canton area the nation’s fifth worst for bed bug infestations.


This isn’t really news. We’ve been near the top of Orkin’s list for several years. But it gives me a good excuse to remind you yet again of what you can do to keep the little bloodsuckers from setting up camp in your home.

I know you want an easy answer, but there isn’t one. There’s no simple-to-use spray that’s safe to use in our homes and will cause all the bed bugs to go belly up.

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Wheelbarrow trick lets you take a load off

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: January 20, 2015

Who says there's no sitting down on the job?

Check out this short video from Fine Homebuilding on turning a wheelbarrow into an easy chair. No sweat. 

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