August 2009

FaucetWith the economy the way it is today, the last thing a man wants to do is call a plumber!  The good news is that you don’t have to shell out big bucks for minor home improvements and general maintenance.  Installing a new faucet is a relatively simple job.  Basically, you are talking about a very simple mechanism (the sink) that is connected to water (the pipe) and a valve that delivers the water!  Here are some simple tips and step-by-step instructions to help you install your own faucet and avoid the high-cost of hiring outside labor. 

 You CAN do it yourself
with these step-by-step instructions
on how to install a faucet!

  1.  Let the little lady pick out the kitchen or bathroom faucet that she wants, all you need to tell her is whether the sink is top mount and bottom mount and let her go!  By doing this, there is no way to get in trouble for selecting the wrong one, and she can’t complain about the color or style, or say that she told you to buy one with a sprayer or whatever other mandatory accessory the job requires.  Send her to Knobs, Hinges, & More and let her pick out the perfect spout!  With the wide online selections she has to chose from, you will have hours to do what you really want without being interrupted.faucet_w_sprayer
  2. Clear the family out of the house in case of faulty language, we all know it’s necessary sometimes when you drop a wrench on your head to say the first thing that comes to mind, but it’s not necessary to share these words with little sponge-like ears.  They will end up being repeated at the least convenient times.  Tell everyone not to return to the house for at least 4 hours.  This will give you time to install the new faucet and a little time for yourself to catch the ball game, I mean you’re doing the job for free right? 
  3. Turn off the water valves underneath the sink.  For extra protection, it’s always a good idea to turn the water off to the whole house.  If you flood the kitchen – you lose brownie points with the wife unless you can clean it up quickly and impress her with your superior mopping abilities.  However, this will infringe on the time you have left to watch the ball game!  Just to make sure, turn the faucet valves on full blast and allow any remaining water in the pipes to drain.
  4. Next, unscrew the water supply lines. Depending on how old your faucet is, this may require some faulty language in order to remove.  This is why plumbers get the big bucks!  It is possible that you may have to completely replace the water supply lines.  As hard as it may be, when the perfectly selected faucet arrives, read through the directions and go ahead and buy these in advance.  You may also want to pick up anything else the directions suggest.  Don’t assume you have plumbers putty or the correct sized wrench, make sure you have everything you need before you start.  Hardware stores are a major distraction, you know this!  Remember – the goal here is to finish quickly and watch the game in peace. 
  5. Once the water lines are disengaged, unscrew the faucet from the sink and remove. This is the best time to clean up all the old gunk that has accumulated over time!  A quick and easy cleaning tip is to sprinkle the area with baking soda and then spray with vinegar.  Not only is it fun to watch the chemical reaction, the gunk comes off pretty easy with a quick scrub with a scouring pad (it’s probably right there by the sink anyway).  Wipe up the residue and then spray again with the vinegar to shine it up.  Shiny things always earn you more brownie points!

Now for the moment of truth 
Let’s stick in that new faucet!

For a Top-Mounted Faucet:

Apply plumber’s putty or caulk around the base. If your faucet has gaskets at the base, don’t do this!  Refer back to the directions – but basically you can skip this step depending on what kind of faucet you have.

Gently put the new faucet into place and then press down firmly to get a good seal.  Grab a flashlight and get under the sink to install the washers and mounting nuts, and then tighten everything up.  Don’t forget to clean up any excess putty, shine her up again!

For a Bottom-Mounted Faucet

Grab a flashlight and get under the the sink, hold the faucet in place and install the washers and mounting nuts.  This can be tricky with just two hands so its a perfect opportunity to invite over a buddy to watch the game and then say ‘hold this real quick’ while you tighten the nuts. Gently put the new faucet into place and then press down firmly to get a good seal.

Run a bead of plumber’s putty along the handle plate, screw them in place and install the faucet handles. Make sure that the one marked hot goes on the left!  If you get these wrong – you will never hear the end of it and you will receive zero brownie points for all of your hard work. Make sure and go back for a final clean-up and make her shine! 

Replace the water supply lines, turn the water back on and let everything run for a bit to clear out the pipes and check for leaks.  Grab you a cold one and kick back with your buddy and enjoy the game!

And for those of you that need a visual, here is a how-to video from Ask The Builder expert, Tim Carter demonstrating how to install a kitchen faucet!

MommyMakeupEveryone has a right to look good, but if you’ve ever been in a department store you may have noticed that the lipstick that looked fabulous on you in the store, makes you look like a clown when you walk outside. The same thing could very well be happening in your own bathroom!

We depend on the mirrors and lights in our home for many things and each one should be selected according to the purpose for which it will be used.

Our focus today is for the ladies – but this issue is just as important for men, since mirrors can get you into big trouble if you’re not careful. You know the old question “does this dress make me look fat?” Of course, all men know that there is no ‘right’ answer – but if you say NO and the mirror and lighting says YES, you are in big trouble for sure. Make the lady in your life happy by letting her pick the perfect combination so that the mirror says the right thing every time and you can stay out of the dog house!

Selecting the Perfect Mirror for Make-Up

Magnifying Mirro

Magnifying Mirror

Applying make-up on your face could not be possible without make-up mirrors. So, basically, through this instrument, you can make your face look more youthful and rejuvenated. A good make-up mirror can prevent tragic mistakes when applying make-up. The good thing is that you can prevent and correct any make-up mishaps before your neighbor points it out and for those ladies that wear glasses, there are mirrors that are capable of helping you see in detail from 3X to 12X magnification. You can even find magnified mirrors now inside of compact make-up kits, free-standing or individually. Make sure to think about what size, shape and magnification is going to work best for you, and of course consider how it will change the appearance of your bathroom too!

Selecting the Perfect Lighting for Make-Up

Colombo Mirror Lamp

Colombo Mirror Lamp

The proper lighting is also very important when applying make-up. There is a balance to all things, so if the lighting says you don’t have on enough blush but when you get in the car it looks like you have a sunburn – – you may seriously want to consider replacing the lighting in your bathroom! The proper lighting can help you apply the right tones and highlights so that when you walk out the door, you look as fabulous as you did in the bathroom. It is advised to apply make-up in natural lighting and there are many different types of lighting and light bulbs that can recreate this effect inside the house. In order for you to get a better idea of what enhances your looks, it is good if you perform experiments using all types of make-up in front of different mirrors and lighting. Don’t be afraid to break out the lipstick and see how it looks under each one, you’ll be amazed at how different the results can be.


Proper Lighting for Applying Make-up

When choosing the best lighting for makeup application, make sure it is a soft light that doesn’t cast shadows on the face. Apply makeup in a daytime-like light with this free video from a professional makeup artist via

Expert: Kim Haertl
Bio: Kimberly Haertl has worked and been trained as a makeup artist and skincare consultant by major cosmetic brands such as Chanel, Lancôme, Shisedio, La Parire and Dior.