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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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Check out Jackson & Perkins' new roses for 2015

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: January 16, 2015

Roses are red – and lavender, and white, and striped.

At least the new roses from Jackson & Perkins are.

The rose hybridizer is tempting rose lovers with four new introductions for 2015. They are:

Daring Spirit, a hybrid tea rose with 5-inch blossoms that flaunt deep pink and cream stripes and a spicy scent.

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Refrigerator has Keurig coffee brewer built right in

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: January 15, 2015
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Javaholics, your future fix could come straight from your fridge.

GE Appliances recently unveiled a refrigerator with a built-in Keurig brewing system. It will prepare and dispense single servings of coffee, tea, hot chocolate or any other hot beverage available in a K-cup.

The option is available in GE’s Café Series refrigerator. The fridge already offered a hot water dispenser, so adding a brewing system was a logical next step.

The refrigerator (model CFE28USHSS/CYE22USHSS) will be available in stainless steel and will have a suggested retail price of $3,300. It will be available in the third quarter of 2015.

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Trash the alarm clock. New light bulbs wake you gently

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: January 9, 2015

No more beeping alarm clock? Yes!

A couple of new light bulbs promise to help wake you in the morning without that jarring alarm. Both were introduced at CES 2015, the consumer electronics trade show that ends today in Las Vegas.

The bulbs are the Holi Sleep Companion and the Misfit Bolt, both of which can be programmed to gradually increase light levels in the morning to wake you gently. The Bolt can even simulate a sunrise. The Sleep Companion can be paired with wearable devices to gather data on sleep patterns and the local environment, according to LEDs Magazine.

The Bolt is currently available for pre-order and costs $49.99. Delivery is expected in mid-February.

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Bedford company's smart system promises to stop home leaks

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: January 8, 2015

Somewhere in the recesses of my mind, there festers a nagging worry that a pipe might leak or a hose might break when I’m not home. The thought of water spewing all over my house and laying waste to a place I hold dear makes me cringe.

That’s why I find leakSMART intriguing.

LeakSMART promises to detect water leaks or pipes that are close to freezing, shut off the main water supply and notify the homeowner via a smart device, all in less than five seconds. The system’s creator, Bedford’s Waxman Industries, introduced the system at CES 2015, the international consumer electronics trade show going on through Friday in Las Vegas.

The wireless leakSMART system consists of sensors that monitor temperature and water, a detection hub and a valve that attaches to your main water supply. You set the sensors on the floor near appliances and plumbing fixtures that could leak. If one of the sensors detects a problem, it sends a signal to the hub, which in turn activates the shutoff valve and notifies you.

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Lilly Pulitzer teaming with Target

By Mary Beth Breckenridge Published: January 7, 2015

OMG. Lilly Pulitzer is coming to Target. Can spring get here fast enough?

The brand known for its vibrant, happy prints is bringing a collection of resort wear, home goods and cosmetics to Target, starting April 19. My back deck is going to be one cheerful place this summer.

Check out this video from the intro party and a few photos from the collection.

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