What’s the Best Bottle Cutter on the Market? We Find Out

We review the top five glass bottle cutters to find out which is best.
Photo: DIY Maven

Four years ago, I threw out the question: “What is the best bottle cutter on the market?” A lot of readers weighed in. Some gave recommendations for their favorite glass bottle cutter, others just wanted a definitive answer, which is what I wanted. Finally, FINALLY, we decided to get to the bottom of the bottle cutter question and have a product shoot out between four popular models. Our competition has not been without a little drama, as one of the bottle cutter makers has, apparently, gone out of business since the inception of this review. Continue Reading

I Spied on My Pets for a Week, and What I Found Out Was Hilarious

What exactly happens in your home while you're away? We're finding out...
This post is written in partnership with VTech 

Have you ever seen the movie The Secret Life of Pets? The plot is pretty much spelled out in the title, but the premise is this: Pets, when left to their own devices, lead very different lives than their owners think. They have different identities, different interests, and get into all sorts of dramatic situations. The movie is basically Toy Story, but with cats and dogs instead of toys.  Continue Reading

Glue Gun Shootout: What’s the Best Glue Gun on the Market? We Find Out.

Glue Gun Review
Photo: JoAnn Moser


Sure, your glue gun melts glue sticks, but does it drip glue all over the place when sitting on its “kickstand”? Does it seem to spontaneously tip over when sitting on said kickstand? Does it take forever to reach maximum heat? 

If your glue gun does any or all of these things, it might be time to break up with it and find a new model. After hours and hours of testing 6 models—4 corded and 2 cordless—of wildly varying prices, we’ve pinned down our favorites. Continue Reading

What’s the Best Garden Planner? We Find Out!

Garden Planners Comparison - Which one is best?

Memorial Day is in sight and, here in the Midwest, that means the start of gardening season. To turn your brown thumb green – or your greener thumb greener – we’ve assembled 4 popular garden/landscape planners and put them through their paces. The victims today are Small Blue Printer, Plan Garden, Mother Earth News Garden Planner, and Better Homes and Gardens Garden Planner. Are the free versions as good as the paid-for route? Maybe, maybe not. Continue Reading

The Smartest Beanbag Chair EVER

It’s not often that I’m delightfully surprised by a new take on an old staple, but Mimish Design’s new beanbag chair produced such a reaction. Available in a whopping 14 luscious colors, the beanbag is actually a very clever  storage solution. Basically, you fill it, zip it and sit on it. 


Thirty inches in diameter and seventeen inches high, the MADE in the USA Storage Beanbag is offered in pure cotton ($149), organic cotton ($169) and fully washable micro-suede ($159). Continue Reading

Getting Creative with a New HP Touchscreen!

created at: 01/17/2013

These days, it seems like the large majority of us spend a good chunk of time on the computer, and I am no exception. In fact, I probably spend more time on my computer than the average person, usually clocking in at least 12 to 14 hours a day, between work and recreation. 

So when HP asked me, recently, if I wanted to try an HP ENVY 23 TouchSmart AiO, I jumped at the chance. Continue Reading

The Best Furniture Paint You’re Not Using

created at: 12/12/2012

A few weeks ago, I visited a local unpainted furniture store and was immediately drawn to their DIY stains, varnishes and paint. While examining the stock, one of the shop’s finishers happened by and asked if I had any questions. I immediately went in to ‘quiz the expert’ mode. I felt so guilty at accosting the poor guy, I bought one of the paints he recommended. It was a General Finishes brand Lamp Black Milk Paint.  Continue Reading

Bookworm: Small-Space Container Gardens

 created at: 04/23/2012

 No garden? No problem. Fern Richardson of Life of the Balcony fame shows us how to have an enviable garden without the acreage in her title Small-Space Container Gardens from Timber Press. Organized into 9 tidy sections, we cover everything from flowers to herbs, from shady patios to sunny decks and everything in between.   

created at: 04/23/2012

We start with the basics of garden design–including color, containers, furniture and such–and then head right into working with our own individual climates and exposures, attracting wildlife (in the form of birds and bees), cultivating vegetables, growing succulents, planting for privacy and making vertical gardens. Continue Reading

Bookworm: The Beginner’s Guide to Growing Heirloom Vegetables

created at: 04/23/2012

Don’t let the title of Marie Iannotti’s new title from Timber Press fool you. Her guide for growing all that is heirloom is perfect for the beginner and the experienced gardener alike. However, if you are a beginner to this variety of vegetables, you might wonder just what an heirloom vegetable is. According to Ms. Iannotti, there are three requirements that must be fulfilled to make them such:

  1. They must be open pollinated. (No hybrids here.)
  2. They must be more than 50 years old. 
Continue Reading

10 Minute Makeover with Murals Your Way

created at: 02/22/2012

Wall murals have come a long way since the 1970s. Back then they were basically flimsy sheets of wall paper applied with glue. Flash forward to the 20 double digits. Now we can find them made of heavy-duty vinyl with peel & stick repostionable backings like those from Murals Your Way. 

First, let’s take care of a little business. Murals Your Way has a HUGE collection of murals from which to choose. They have countless pre-made images you can customize by adding names, pictures, business logos and such. Continue Reading