How To Prevent Airblow Inflatable Decorations from Blowing Over

Years ago air-blown inflating yard decorations were a novelty you’d only see on a few front yards during the Christmas season. The last decade has brought an explosion of more elaborate holiday decorations, from giant air-blown Santas, to dinosaurs to dragons to Star Wars characters. And while Christmas is still the predominant time to see and buy these decorations, we’re now regularly seeing large Halloween, Thanksgiving and even Easter air blown decorations in the big box home improvement stores. These airblown inflatables are quickly and easily set up, don’t take up much storage space, and can transforming the look of a yard in minutes. But they all have one big weakness: strong winds can blow them down, or even send them flying right out of your yard.

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Original Ladder-Max Ladder Stabilizer Review and Demo Video

Original Ladder-Max StabilizerA few summers ago I spent a lot of time working on exterior projects around my old home and I found myself constantly climbing up and down my aluminum ladder and not feeling very steady doing it, especially since I was almost always carrying tools or supplies with me while I was on the ladder. Falls of any kind are dangerous, but the CDC reports that 43% of all fall-related fatalities involve the use of a ladder.  I realized I needed some sort of ladder stabilizer to not only prevent the ladder from sliding or falling, but also to help protect my gutters and siding from getting dinged and dented by my aluminum ladder. After a bit of searching around I purchased and decided to review the Ladder-Max standard stabilizer.

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Hatchimals Guide for Parents

Hatchimals Owlicorn ColorsIf you are a parent of a child between the ages of 4 through 10, then you’ve probably heard about the hottest toy of 2016: Hatchimals.  They’re an unexpected hit by the SpinMaster toy company and they’ve become one of the most requested toys of the holiday season, selling out all over the world before the real shopping has even begun.  Adding to the Hatchimal frenzy are different types and colors, limited and exclusive availability and some genuine confusion about what they even are.  Don’t worry, poor, confused parent.  We’re here to help!  Here’s what you need to know…


Odd Squad Live Review

Odd Squad Live ReviewOdd Squad Live bills itself as a theatrical production version of the popular PBS kids educational comedy show Odd Squad. The TV show version of Odd Squad is a comedic show aimed at kids aged 5 through 8 that hopes to teach kids how to use math to solve problems. The live stage version of Odd Squad just started touring in Fall 2016 and will be bouncing around the US for the next six months or eight months or so. My wife and my two kids (aged 6 and 10) were able to catch one of the shows early in the run. We were able to get tickets on Groupon for about $25 a person. So, is Odd Squad Live worth the price?

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N-Hance Wood Cabinet Color Change Review

Nhance Wood Renewal Review - Before and After

N-Hance wood renewal advertises itself as a no mess, no odor, no dust quick and easy solution to refinish your cabinets for a fraction of the cost of replacing them. N-Hance is the wood resurfacing service that you’ve probably seen advertised in The Home Depot.

We used N-Hance to turn our old faux whitewashed pink cabinets into dark cherry cabinets. Did they really live up to their promise? Was it the most affordable and easiest kitchen cabinet renewal option available? And how have the cabinets held up over the years?

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How To Replace A Light Fixture In A Two Story Entryway

light1Like a lot of homes built in the past 20 years or so, my home has a large, tall, two-story entry way. It’s over 17 feet from the floor of my entryway to the ceiling of my entryway.  And, like a lot of home built in the past 20 years, it had a really ugly light fixture that my wife and I simply could not wait to remove and replace with a light fixture that was more our style.

But large light fixtures, especially large hanging chandelier fixtures, are not cheap or easy to replace when they’re installed 17 feet up in the air. If you want to replace most other interior light fixtures you just need a few tools and simple step-ladder to get to the ceiling, but with a heavy hanging fixture that’s way up in the air, the job becomes quite a unique challenge.

So when my wife found our perfect $400 chandelier on clearance for $60 she had to pick it up, which, of course, means that I had to figure out a way to hang it. I had a few options, but this is how I eventually replaced our high-ceiling chandelier…

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LG LMXS30776 Refrigerator Review

LG LMXS30776 ReviewWe recently purchased a brand new LG refrigerator (LMXS30776) for our home and I thought it might be a good idea to give you a completely non-professional “family” review of the fridge. Professional reviews are great, but sometimes you want to hear how real people and real families use products instead of reading about how certain products compare to a dozen other high end products.

We’re a family of four who eats most of our meals at home. The fridge we replaced was a 20-year-old Maytag side-by-side refrigerator that had about 24 cubic feet of storage space and was pretty loud when it ran. The narrow freezer space was inconvenient for bulk frozen foods and the fridge area always seemed dark and overcrowded.

So was our new LG refrigerator worth the money? read more…

Praise for Disney World’s Forgotten Tom Sawyer Island

Disney's Tom Sawyer Island Map

My family and I have been to Disney World in Florida a number of times over the years, but there are still some attractions we never had a chance to experience. They’re on our “list of things to do” and with each trip we check off on or two more items from the list.

On our most recent trip we discovered a little hidden gem of an area right inside The Magic Kingdom itself. It wasn’t the fastest ride or had the most amazing visual effects. It didn’t have a huge line and you can’t use FastPass+ to experience this attraction. You walk past it ten times a day and yet you may not even know it is there.

It was one of the most magical, engaging experiences we’ve had a Disney World… I’m referring, of course, to Tom Sawyer Island.

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How To Make Chicken Bone Broth At Home

Homemade Chicken Bone BrothLast year I stumbled on to a few different articles about the bone broth trend that was cropping up in niche food stands and restaurants all over New York City. In some circles bone broth is advertised as the latest super food, though the truth about bone broth nutrition is in question.

Either way, it sounded like a tasty, hearty drink (meal?) that didn’t seem to be terribly difficult to make. For the next few weeks I saved all my chicken bones and started to experiment with a simple and easy way to make some bone broth at home. I’m not a chef (or even a particularly good cook) but I was able to put together a straightforward and easy recipe outline that anyone can follow.

Here’s how I make my chicken bone broth at home:

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Divi WordPress Theme First Impressions

Divi WordPress Theme logoThe greatest strength WordPress as a blogging platform, other than its affordable price of “free”, is the ability to apply one of literally millions of themes to your blog or site and literally create an entirely new site with unique functionality.  But with great power (and complexity) comes great responsibility. All this power has been misused by some developers in the theme design community.  Theme designers have lately gone in one of two directions: either ultra simple niche themes that are static to the point where they can only work in one specific application, or “gallery” themes that have been over designed with so many sweeping, large photos that you get the impression that everyone is a graphic designer and a world-class photographer with a portfolio to share. read more…