Monthly Archives: April 2011


Roundup: 10 Awesome Blog Posts Worth Reading (Again)

Top 10

What does a list of must-have tools and Mother’s Day gift ideas have in common? No, they aren’t things you should consider buying your mom next month; they are both part of this roundup of Martell Home Builders blog post you’ve got to check out!

In no particular order:

1. 7 Last Minute Gift Ideas for Mom

It’s up to you if you want to get sucked into the commercialism of Mother’s Day. You can get Mom the traditional card and flowers, take her out for lunch, buy her something she really wants, or if funds are tight, give her a homemade gift. Honestly, your Mom should love anything you give her. I think she’d rather a thoughtful homemade gift knowing you’ll still have money to pay the rent or mortgage! Whatever you decide on, here are seven last minute gift ideas for Mother’s Day. Some of these gifts are more costly than others but all are very affordable, and some are homemade (making them free depending on the supplies you already have at home).

2. 14 Must-Have Tools for New Homeowners

Congratulations on your new home! With homeownership comes responsibility; no longer can you depend on the landlord to fix that leaky faucet or repair a broken door. It’s all up to you now. Here is a list of must-have tools you need for your home.

3. Poll: What Are You Most Thankful For?

Sure, it’s not Thanksgiving for like another six months, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take this poll to let us know which household gadget you’re most thankful for!

4. Top 10 Tips on Spring Cleaning the Home

It might be hard to imagine blossoming flowers, baby animals, and sunshine when we’re buried under a crap-load of snow, but fret not, spring is just around the corner. It really is. I swear.  And like the critters who awaken from their winter slumber feeling refreshed and rejuvenated, you may want to slither, crawl, or walk your way to the cupboard full of cleaning supplies to give your cave … erm … home the tidy it desperately needs to help you feel revitalised. To help get you started, here are some of the best tips on spring cleaning the home.

5. Ideas for Chore Charts & Awesome Free Chore Chart Downloads

If you’re a parent, I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you how difficult it can be to get your kids to help out around the house. Creating family chore charts can be effective for kids of all ages. For the little ones, a kids chore chart will – in their eyes – give them a fun daily activity and teach them responsibility. Creating a chore chart for teenagers can help remind them what needs to be done, so you aren’t forever nagging them. Like the old saying goes, “raising teenagers is like nailing Jell-O to a tree.”

6. Top 33 Ways to Improve the Look of Your Home for Under $100

Whether it’s for your own personal happiness, because you’re thinking of putting your house on the market, or because you just want to get your nagging mother-in-law off your back, here are the top 33 cheap home improvement projects that will enhance the look of your home for under $100.

7. Top 26 Home Organization Tips to Get Rid of Clutter

You’ve got junk drawers coming out the wazoo, your closets need rebar to keep ‘em closed, your family room looks like a bomb has exploded, and you need to let your loved ones know where you’ll be whenever you need to go into your kids’ bedroom so they can call in a search party if you aren’t out in 30 minutes.

Does this sound familiar? If so, check out these tips to organize your home so you can spend more time doing what you want to do, and not hours trying to find those bloody rechargeable batteries that you just know were in the kitchen drawer.

8. Home Staging Tips & Techniques

First impressions are everything, especially when you’re trying to sell your home. There are several home staging tips and techniques you can learn in order to make your home appeal to potential buyers. The ultimate goal to home staging is to create an environment that interests as many home buyers as possible, resulting in a quick sale. Here are some of the top home staging tips and techniques you should follow.

9. DIY Videos on How to Fix a Toilet

If you are having toilet troubles – and I mean in the literal sense – there are some easy and affordable steps you can take to try to fix it yourself, before calling in a plumber.

10. Easter Deserts: Recipes & Fun Ideas

Here is a collection of websites which offer fun Easter desserts you can make at home with or without the help of the kids. Even if you don’t follow these recipes, they can assist you in getting the creative juices flowing by providing you with Easter dessert ideas.

What’s you all-time favourite MHB blog post? Leave a comment to let us know!

Get Your Geek On: 6 Cool Gadgets for DIY Enthusiasts

Cool Gadgets for DIY Enthusiasts

Here are a few cool gadgets that every DIY enthusiast should consider owning. Some of these gadgets are completely useless, but still awesome to have, while others are actually very practical (we’ll let you decide which falls into what category).

Everybody has a little geek in them, and DIY enthusiasts are no exception. So, without further ado, here are six cool gadgets to help the DIY enthusiast get their geek on.

Measuring Toilet Roll

Measuring Toilet Roll

We’re not sure what, exactly, you’ll want to be measuring when you’re alone in the bathroom, and we’re probably better off being left in the dark on that one. Whatever it is you want to size up, this cool gadget has got your back (side).

iPlunger

iPlunger

This sucker (pun totally intended) is a cool gadget made for your iPhone or iPod Touch, although we can’t see any reason why it wouldn’t work with your BlackBerry or HTC if that’s the team you play for. Hey, you could even use the iPlunger to prop up your smartphone on your bathroom counter to make a hands-free call while measuring things with the Measuring Toilet Roll. Multitasking, we love it.

Kill-A-Watt

Kill-A-Watt

This cool gadget enables you to plug in any electronic device to accurately gauge how much electricity it uses. Use this gadget along with these ways to reduce your electricity bill and you’re sure to save some money.

Screwed Up Refrigerator Magnets

Screwed Up Refrigerator Magnets

Forget about using lame fruit and vegetable fridge magnets, these are perfect for any DIY enthusiast.

Instant Switch

Instant Switch

This is, by far, one of the coolest gadgets for DIY enthusiasts. Don’t know how to install a light switch? No problem! Too lazy to install a light switch? That’s cool. Want a device that enables you to turn on a light without removing your arse from the couch? We completely understand. The Instant Switch is a remote-controlled light switch that enables you to turn on a lamp from up to sixty feet away, doesn’t require any tools to install, and includes a dimer-control in addition to the standard on/off switch. Hey Clapper, eat your heart out.

Mike Holmes Make It Right App

Mike Holmes Make It Right App

No product roundup of cool gadgets for the DIY enthusiast would be complete without something to do with our Canadian hero: Mike Holmes. The Make It Right app is compatible with all iThings – iPod Touch, iPad and iPhone – and has been created to assist you with your home renovations. Check out this review for more information.

Get Your Geek On

Do you know of any cool gadgets designed specifically with the DIY enthusiast in mind? Leave a comment to let us know!

Easter Desserts: Recipes & Fun Ideas

Easter Chickens

Here is a collection of websites which offer fun Easter desserts you can make at home with or without the help of the kids. Even if you don’t follow these recipes, they can assist you in getting the creative juices flowing by providing you with Easter dessert ideas.

MarthaStewart.com

Easter Dessert Ideas

No matter what holiday or special occasion is just around the corner, the Martha Stewart website has a plethora of crafts and recipes; and Easter is no exception. Check out these Nesting Baby-Bluebird Cupcakes. For other Easter dessert ideas by Martha, click here.

BettyCrocker.com

Fun Easter Desserts

Check out this adorable Easter Bunny Cake recipe. If you’re a novice in the kitchen, don’t be intimidated by how awesome this cake looks; the recipe is super easy to follow, and even uses a cake mix and pre-made frosting. Betty Crocker has several other Easter dessert ideas and recipes here.

RecipeTips.com

Peanut Butter Easter Eggs Recipe

Rather than buying them, why not make your own melt-in-your-mouth chocolate Easter eggs? Just looking at this peanut butter Easter eggs recipe makes you start to drool. Don’t like peanut butter? This recipe shows you how to make coconut Easter eggs.

Allrecipes.com

Braided Easter Egg Bread Recipe

This website is one of our all-time favourites, so it’s a given that we’d include an Easter dessert recipe found at this site. Our very own Kelly Zwicker makes this braided Easter egg bread every year and swears by it. Mmmm. For other fun Easter desserts found at Allrecipes.com, click here.

FamilyFun.com

Carrot Patch Cookies Recipe

This Disney website has some excellent Easter dessert ideas and recipes you can make with the kids. One in particular is this Carrot Patch Cookies recipe. These are so cute and creative (the carrots are made from Mike and Ike candies!). For more Easter dessert ideas from this website, click here.

Family Traditions & Favourites

Do you have fun Easter desserts that you make every year with the kids? We would love to hear about your Easter dessert ideas and favourite recipes!

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