Can This Battery-Powered Lawn Mower Really Replace a Gas-Powered Mower?

I have underestimated the abilities of battery-powered mowers for years. But, recently I received the STIHL RMA 460 Battery Powered Mower to test out. Did it live up to the claims? Would I sell my gas-powered mower? You be the judge.

Before we begin, I want to tell you that STIHL sent me this RMA 460 battery-powered mower to try out and use. You may recall that STIHL was a Saving Etta project sponsor. However, this post is written solely on my own decision to share my experience with the mower. 

If you want to watch the video, you’ll get all the information and some of the reasons I like the STIHL RMA 460 mower.

For more details and photos, read on.

Here’s My Honest Opinion of the STIHL RMA 460 Battery-Powered Mower:

Folding the mower handle down is super easy. You just need to loosen the two knobs on either side.

folding down mower handles

It’s the first mower I’ve been able to lift into my truck unassisted. Although the mower isn’t weightless, at 60 pounds I can easily lift it and set it in my truck by myself. Before using the RMA 460, I needed my husband’s help to get our gas powered mower into the truck. When I got to the job site, I usually finagled one of my subcontractors to help me unload it.

Brittany lifting mower into truck unassisted

Another advantage of this battery-powered mower is not having to haul a gas can around. And anyone who uses gas-powered lawn equipment knows you inevitably end up smelling like gasoline after finishing the work.

Battery and Start Up Features of the RMA 460:

The STIHL RMA runs on the AK-series batteries. One port for the battery being used and the other port holds a spare should the first one run out. Although the mower runs on the entire AK line of batteries, I highly recommend using the AK30 for the longest run times. To see how much battery life is left, press the button on the top of the battery. The display will show how much charge is left.

pressing button on battery to see life left in battery

The mower has a removable locking key to prevent accidental starts. (As a side note, I do wish the key had a string or somewhere to store it with the mower to prevent it from getting lost.)

The switch inside the mower activates the ECO MODE which should help the battery last longer in shorter grass. When the mower senses taller or thicker grass, it will return to full power mode for faster cutting.

pressing eco mode on STIHL RMA 460

Raising the mower height is easily accomplished by grasping one handle to lower or raise all four wheels at once.

Adjusting mower height handle

To start the mower, press the orange button and pull back the handle bar. You can see how easy it is to start. No more yanking on a rope to start a mower! This mower is much quieter in comparison to a gas-powered mower. To stop, simply release the handle bar.

starting and stopping a battery-powered mower

Can the STIHL RMA 460 Handle Super Tall Grass?

I had been using the STIHL RMA 460 mower for a month or so to cut the lawn at my flip property. But, then we went on a family vacation for over three weeks and I came home to this mess.

Be sure to watch this video to see how the mower did against the jungle of a front yard.

Brittany cutting thick lawn with STIHL RMA 460 mower

Although I had to make several passes for each section, the mower powered through the super tall grass. Before you lawn aficionados get on my case, I easily could have used the bag to collect clippings, but the property was still under construction and I wasn’t trying to protect the weedy grass that was there. If it were our lawn (which is already beautiful and well established), I would have bagged the clippings to prevent them from damaging the lawn. If you look close, you might notice that even with the height of the grass, there were no mounds of grass clippings left behind. The mulching feature on this mower did an outstanding job! To say I was impressed is an understatement.

How to Insert the Grass Collection Bag on the Mower:

Simply lift the back flap on the mower and remove the plug. 

lifting back hatch on mower

Then hang the bag from the mower and you can collect your grass clippings.

inserting grass collection bag onto mower

Will You Sell Your Gas-Powered Mower Now?

I have to tell you my husband has been cutting lawns since he was a teenager. He’s rarely impressed by new lawn mowers, but I caught him trying out the RMA 460.

When I asked him what he thought, he told me he really liked it. But, old habits die hard with this guy. He still prefers his gas-powered mower. (Must be a manly thing.)

Our teenage son has recently started cutting lawns and the STIHL RMA 460 is the only mower he wants to use.

Before trying this STIHL mower, I never thought I’d be happy using a battery-powered mower to cut our grass, but I’m a convert. Plus, it feels good knowing this mower is more environmentally friendly. For now our gas mower stays in the shed for my husband, but my son and I will only use the STIHL mower.

How Much Lawn Can the RMA 460 Cut?

Per the STIHL website, the RMA 460 Mower using the AK30 battery should be able to cut just under 3,000 sq. feet of lawn (depending on height and moisture content.) We have about ¼ acre of grass to cut and the mower cuts it using one and a half batteries (assuming this is for weekly trimming on non-wet grass.)

What do you think? Could you sell your gas-powered mower and replace it with the STIHL RMA 460 battery-powered mower?

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Disclosure: STIHL sent me this RMA 460 battery-powered mower to try out and use. I was previously sponsored by STIHL on another project, but this post is my own decision to share with you my experience with the STIHL RMA 460 mower.

4 Books to Review4 Book Reviews for the New Year

I love being able to review new books, especially in the New Year when I have lots of aspirations of getting organized and learning something new. Out of the many books I’ve received to review, these four are the ones I knew you’d like as much as I do. As a bonus, they will either help you learn a new skill or push you to get more organized this year.

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

To start, I have not one, but two books on hand lettering. I wanted to choose one as a superior book, but ultimately I think they both have their merits on your bookshelf.

Let’s start with Extraordinary Hand Lettering by Doris Wai

Extraordinary Hand Lettering Book

Ms. Wai does an excellent job of explaining the tools and tricks you’ll need to improve your hand lettering.

Extraordinary Hand Lettering Tools

Extraordinary Hand Lettering really shines when it comes to introducing a plethora of projects you can create with your new found skills. From shower gifts. . .

Extraordinary Hand Lettering Gift Ideas 1

. . . to home decor, more gifts, and special events. I thoroughly enjoyed leafing through this book for creative ideas. If you have some hand lettering skills and want loads of inspiration, this is the book I’d recommend.

Extraordinary Hand Lettering Gift Ideas 2

The other hand lettering book I received is Mastering Hand-Lettering by Mye DeLeon.

Mastering Hand-Lettering Book

This book goes into great detail about the forming of letters and typography.

Mastering Hand Lettering About Typography

For people who geek out about the art of lettering (like myself), this is your book. It’s also an impressive primer for teaching you how to hone your lettering skills.

Mastering Hand Lettering How to Draw Letters

Mye DeLeon goes into depth about how to create decorative typography and how to layout your phrases to be beautiful works of art. If you are brand new to hand lettering, this is the book I’d recommend.

Mastering Hand-Lettering Book - Layout example

I should also mention that I am a big fan of The Busy Girl’s Guide to Hand Lettering. Especially if you are the type of learner that likes video instruction.

I was definitely excited to receive Black + Decker’s Complete Photo Guide to Home Repair.

Black + Decker Home Repair Book

In the past, I have recommended Home Depot’s Home Improvement 1-2-3, but the book is currently out of print and hard to get a copy of. Which is why I thinkComplete Photo Guide to Home Repair is a more accessible option.

Each page features clear full color photos to help you understand the project before you pick up a tool.

Home Repair book plumbing example

From plumbing, electrical, roofing and more, this is the book that every homeowner should own!

Home Repair Book - roofing example

To show you how complete the book is, I’ve included a copy of the table of contents.

Page 1 of Contents of Home Repair bookContents of Home Repair book

Finally, I am thrilled to review Organization Hacks by Carrie Higgins

Organization Hacks by Carrie Higgins

Carrie Higgins, has filled this book with over 350 ideas to help you get your space more organized.

Organization Hacks chalkboard wall project

She offers cost effective solutions and tutorials to control the clutter.

Organizational Hacks Makeup Hack

Personally I love the tips that help you squeeze more storage into your home. Anyone who strives to be more organized deserves a copy of this book. The inexpensive price makes this book a no brainer, so go ahead and order your copy of Organization Hacks now.

Organization Hacks - kitchen wrap storage hack

I hope you found these reviews helpful. I always look forward to reviewing new books for your library.

Disclosure: I received all of these books as complimentary review copies. I receive a lot of books but only share the ones I feel are worth owning. All opinions are my own.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

Just the other week we had a situation in the Handy Household. It was a recurring issue and was bound to get out of control resulting in a big mess sooner or later. Fortunately, the situation happened while Handsome Guy was traveling so I had a few days to try to resolve the problem. Ultimately I ended up doing some research to find a solution and that’s how I discovered The App that Saved My Butt: DIYZ App Review.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

DIYZ App Review

I have to admit, when I first heard about this app it didn’t sound like anything revolutionary. You can get a ton of DIY tutorials all over the web and YouTube. But, when I tried the DIYZ app, my mind was changed forever. This is where I should mention that this is a sponsored post for DIYZ. But, I wouldn’t write about any app unless I truly thought it is a good resource for you, my loyal handy readers.

Now that we got that out of the way, here’s how the story unfolded. We have a toilet downstairs that has always been temperamental. It usually acts up when we have company and then it’s embarrassing for all parties concerned. But, this toilet was usually set right with a few healthy plunges. Hopefully you understand that we put up with this cycle (clog-yell-plunge-solved) for nine years.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago as I tried unsuccessfully to clear that problem toilet once again. I plunged and plunged (while silently cursing my boys who were probably guilty of clogging it) until the plunger broke. I went over possible solutions in my head:

  • Hire a plumber – No, too expensive.
  • Replace the toilet – Maybe as a last resort.
  • Search the web for ideas to unclog a toilet – Free, but it’s hard to know which advice is good advice.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

I happened to remember the DIYZ app (that I downloaded this summer) and figured, what the heck. I found a tutorial for How to Unclog a Toilet.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

Within the app, you can shop for all the tools you need for the job.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

I purchased an auger and tried to clear the clog, but still had no luck. DRAT!

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

I knew it was time to take more drastic measures. I looked through the plumbing tutorials on DIYZ until I found the one I needed:

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

The tutorial was a quality video that included a list of tools and materials I’d need.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

The required safety gear is well illustrated. (Any tutorial that mentions the suggested safety measures gets a gold star from me!)

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

A list of the steps were spelled out in the beginning.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

After watching the video I felt confident to take on the task by myself. (Of course it would be easier with a helper, but no one was around to help me.)

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

I starting by turning off the water.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

Then I followed the step-by-step tutorial from DIYZ. Thanks to this app, we had a working toilet downstairs within a few hours. And it saved my butt because I know Handsome Guy would not have been happy to come home from his trip to this sight:

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

Let me tell you why I really think the DIYZ app rocks. Have you ever gotten stuck in the middle of a project and need an answer from a pro? Or have you wanted someone to double check your work? This is the feature that sets DIYZ apart from the any other DIY tutorial source:

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

If you need a pro, you can have a licensed professional on the phone to help you in a minute. This is a revolutionary service. Think about it — you can get instant advice. Just send photos or switch to video chat to show the licensed pro the issues you’re dealing with. No more wondering who you can trust and who you can call. No more rushing back to the home improvement store to try to hunt down someone to answer your question. And no more watching YouTubers who may or may not give you the answers you need.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

How much do you think this service costs? Remember licensed contractors can charge up to $150 per hour. For that reason, you’ll be thrilled to hear that this service is free until the end of the year! In 2017, the Get Pro Advice will begin charging $10 for the first 10 minutes and $1 a minute after that. Definitely more cost effective than hiring a pro!

The app is now available for free download in the Apple App Store for iPhone and Google Play for Android.

DIYZ also has more than just plumbing tutorials. Learn how to fix or update just about anything in your home from the DIYZ app.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

Go ahead, download the app right now! What are you waiting for? It’s free and you have nothing to lose.

You can watch lots of tutorial videos in your free time. Educate yourself and learn how to complete your own home repairs and improvements. I can’t even begin to tell you how much money you’ll save doing it yourself.

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Handy Hints: If you do have to replace your toilet, I have a few tips for you if you are flying solo.

  1. Have a large lawn and leaf bag sitting next to the toilet.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the toilet inside the bag to catch any drips as you escort your toilet out of the house.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

2. If you are installing the toilet yourself, it can be difficult to line up the toilet on the bolts. Cut a drinking straw in half and put a straw on each bolt. This makes it a little easier to line up the holes in the toilet base with the bolts.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

3. Add scrap boards on either side of the waste pipe to rest the toilet on top of before seating the toilet and compressing the wax ring. This will allow you to line up the bolts, then remove one board at a time to slowly lower the toilet while double checking that it is still lined up with the bolts.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

One last tip. Don’t forget to remove the rag before setting the toilet (ask me how I know.)

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

Are you curious about what caused our toilet to clog beyond fixing? Well, it was actually my fault. Unbeknownst to me, my camera remote fell out of my pocket and into the toilet. For once I couldn’t blame it on any of the boys or men in my life. It was my fault!

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

I had no idea, but it had wedged itself in the toilet. Even though I could have re-set the old toilet and called it a day, I decided to replace the toilet with a newer dual flush toilet and save water in addition to saving our guests any more embarrassment.

The App That Saved My Butt | DIYZ | Pretty Handy Girl

I’m happy to say the new toilet works perfectly! And that’s how a little app called DIYZ saved my butt! 😉

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Disclosure: This is a sponsored post for DIYZ. I was approached about working with DIYZ, but didn’t agree until after I found the app extremely helpful while replacing our toilet. I was not told what to write. All opinions are my own. I am particular about the brands I represent and will always let you know when you are reading a sponsored post.

Must Have Gadget to Remove Stripped Screws | Pretty Handy Girl

You know the frustration of trying to drive a screw that won’t go any further. Then you find you can’t remove it because the head is completely stripped. Or worse, you come across a screw that is stripped and you can’t remove it. If the rubber band trick won’t work, this is the Must Have Gadget to Remove Stripped Screws that will help you remove a stripped screw in two simple steps.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl

This gadget is called Speed Out. It was sent to me for a product review three years ago. Believe it or not, I haven’t needed to use it until a few weeks ago. I was trying to replace a door knob in our dining room and I was met with a stubborn stripped screw. This screw wasn’t going to submit to my rubber band trick.

Instead I resorted to the Speed Out.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl

The Speed Out is a kit with four double-sided drill bits. Select the bit that best fits into your screw head.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl

Use the drill bit (the end that has two cut outs in it) first to grind out the damaged screw.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl

Set the drill bit into the center of the screw and drill into the head. The goal is to have a smooth conical shape in the screw head.

drill-screw-center-out
Next flip the bit over and use the screw extractor bit (the conical threaded end) to slowly remove the screw. It’s important to keep firm pressure and the drill should be set to spin counter clock-wise.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl
For my stripped screw, it began to extract and then stopped. I had to flip the bit and drill the center smooth a few more times to be able to fully extract the screw. But, ultimately it worked.

blank-door-no-knob

This small gadget has earned its place in my toolbox for those emergencies when I need to remove a stripped screw.

You can order your own in one of two ways: 1. Directly from the Screw Out direct website or 2. Order the Screw Out kit on Amazon for cheaper (affiliate link.) Be forewarned there are mixed reviews on Amazon, and apparently you can’t get the lifetime warranty if you order any where other than the Screw Out website. I’ll leave it up to you to decided which you prefer.

Removing a Stripped Screw with Speed Out | Pretty Handy Girl

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Disclosure: This is a product review. I was not paid to mention the Screw Out gadget. I was sent one to use at no cost to me. (I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

Despite the fact that most people want a light-hearted beach read for summer entertainment. I have found five books that fulfill the DIY addict in me. You won’t find any hot romances, but there’s bound to be some hot tips and maybe some hot lye. (This post contains affiliate links.)

DIY HandLettering by Melissa Averinos and Asharae Kroll

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

If you ever wanted to perfect the art of handlettering, you’ll love this book. The book covers a variety of pens and tools you can use. Don’t worry, you likely have the basics to get you started. The book is filled with tutorials to letter many fonts. Once you’ve perfected your lettering, there are several DIY tutorials to make gifts and show off your new skills. This is the perfect book to help you find your beautiful penmanship. By the time the holidays roll around you’ll be able to make many beautiful handmade gifts using lettering.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

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Crafting with Nature by Amy Renea

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

Crafting with Nature is a true delight to read. Amy offers many tutorials for using natural elements to make everything from nature! You won’t believe all the recipes and tutorials. They are not your average “crafty” assortment. Instead, this book is a sophisticated guide to creating jewelry, home decor, wreaths, home decor, and gift ideas. You won’t believe how many beautiful treasures she creates with simple lamb’s ear leaves. I will never look at any natural elements the same after reading this book.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

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DIY Artisanal Soaps by Alicia Grosso

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

Have you ever wanted to make your own scented soaps? Alicia’s exotic recipes will have you becoming your own master artisan soap-maker in no time. DIY Artisanal Soaps offers tutorials for different processes of making soaps. Included is a comprehensive list of essential oils and colorants for making your soaps beautiful and fragrant. If you ever wanted to churn out beautiful soaps for gifts or yourself, you’ll love DIY Artisanal Soaps.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

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Make Room for What You Love by Melissa Michaels

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

Melissa, author of The Inspired Room blog, brings us another great book! Make Room for What You Love helps you pare down your possessions by changing how you think about your home and the things in it. This is a quick read and is bound to free you from clutter and unnecessary items with simple action suggestions.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

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The Complete Book of Home Organization by Toni Hammersley

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

This book wins the award for “book most-likely to be displayed on my coffee table”. The metal corner guards make it feel like an expensive book, when in actuality it’s less than $20.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

The Complete Book of Home Organization is truly a complete guide to organizing your home. Each section is devoted to a specific room and offers tons of tips and challenges to get you more organized. The book is full of beautiful photos that looks more like an interior design book than a DIY book. Toni has obviously put a lot of effort into the book and it creates a resource you’ll love to browse through as you get more organized.

Summer DIY Books to Enjoy | Pretty Handy Girl

I hope you found a book to inspired your DIY passion this summer. Happy Summer y’all!

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Disclosure: (I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

 

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Hang-O-Matic Wall Hanging Tool Review | Pretty Handy Girl

This is one of the multitude of gadgets that gets sent to me for review. Most don’t make it to the light of the blog. But, this little gadget has proved useful in my toolbox. Stick around to learn how you too can Hang Art easily using Hang-o-Matic. And why I gave this little tool a second chance.

The creators of Hang-o-matic sent me this tool to try out. The first one I received was defective. The moveable clip was loose and wouldn’t stay put. I explained to the creators that I didn’t like the tool because the point wouldn’t stay where it was set. Apparently there had been some production issues and they shipped me a second one. I was doubtful, but after trying the tool a handful of times, I have to admit it is the perfect tool when you are hanging art, decor, or mirrors that have two hooks.

Instructions for Hanging Art Easily using Hang-o-Matic:

Remove the cover from the ruler/level section.

Hang-O-Matic Wall Hanging Tool Review | Pretty Handy Girl

Mark the height you want to hang your art with a pencil. Read more

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl
Endurance BioBarrier Review

I’m going to warn you now, this is not a pretty post. But, this product review of Endurance Cleaner Prep and Endurance BioBarrier will most likely be one of your favorite posts if you deal with continual mold & mildew growth (especially in a small coffin-like shower from the 1970’s.)

(I’ve included affiliate links for your convenience. I earn a small percentage from a purchase using these links. There is no additional cost to you. You can read more about affiliate links here.)

You may remember how much I love our master bathroom shower:

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

That ugly harvest gold tile shower is the ugliest spot in our home. And, its attractive color is not helped by the mold growth that returns like clockwork every three weeks. I have tried everything to control its regrowth. What I’ve tried is using bleach, and leaving the shower door open all day. I even replaced the caulk in this shower. But, every three weeks that mold peeks out from the cracks and crevices.

This bathroom is slated to be demolished at some point, but until then it needs constant cleaning. That is until a few months ago when I tried Endurance BioBarrier Mold Prevention Spray (non-toxic and low-odor.)

Endurance sent me a the Cleaner Prep and Biobarrier to try out. You may remember that I tried it after cleaning our dirty and moldy storm windows.

Easy Clean Your Storm Windows with Steam | Pretty Handy Girl

I didn’t want to blog about the products until I had tried them for more than a few months. I’m happy to report that for four months, I didn’t need to clean our shower! Normally after three weeks the mold and mildew would have been happily growing in the corners of my shower.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

On February 5th, 2015 I set about cleaning the shower with high hopes but big doubts.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

As directed, I sprayed the Endurance BioBarrier Cleaner Prep in the shower. I let it sit for 15 minutes (1-5 minutes for normal cleaning. 15 minutes for tougher jobs.)

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

To clean off the mildew and mold, I used a scrub brush. Then rinsed all the surfaces with water.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

After the shower is completely cleaned with the Cleaner Prep, spray the Endurance BioBarrier Anti-Mold protection spray to create a thin film on all surfaces.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

Wipe up any puddled spray after a few minutes.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

The shower was clean and devoid of any mold or mildew. Nothing miraculous yet. I can achieve the same results with bleach cleaner.

Mold & Mildew Free Shower for 4 months | Pretty Handy Girl

But, here’s where the similarities end. After four months (not three weeks) was the first time I began to see some mildew and mold regrowth. Read more

Natural-accents

It’s time to make room on your bookshelf for two more beautiful books. The first is Natural Accents by Stacy Risenmay. Stacy is a good friend and fellow DIY blogger. She’s also a power tool rock star. Stacy recently released this colorful book filled with lots of ways to decorate and furnish your home with natural elements. This book follows in the footsteps of Stacy’s blog with easy to follow step-by-step tutorials.

natural-elements-flowers

Natural Accents is filled with projects that you can make with simple materials found in your backyard.

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My favorite project is definitely this plexiglass side table. Natural Accents is filled with many more brilliant ideas!

plexi-glass-side-table

Get your copy today, because you’ll find at least half a dozen projects you’ll want to tackle this weekend.

Natural Accents by Stacy Risenmay $22.58 on Amazon (affiliate link)

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new-ceramic-surface-design

New Ceramic Surface Design by Molly Hatch is a book full of ceramic eye candy. If you’ve ever wanted to dabble in ceramic arts, this is the book you want to devour. And even if you have no interest in ceramics, this book is filled with beautiful photos on each page. I found myself being drawn through the entire book enjoying all the gorgeous art pieces.

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Molly filled New Ceramic Surface Design with everything you need to know about working with clay, glazes and more. She gives her expert advice and tips to help you avoid botched projects.

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I leave you with one of my favorite images from the book. This beautiful Mishima Slip Inlay design in blue and white belongs on my shelf!

blue-mishima-slip

Get your own copy of New Ceramic Surface Design by Molly Hatch for $20.27 on Amazon (affiliate link)

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Disclosure: Natural Accents by Stacy Risenmay and New Ceramic Surface Design by Molly Hatch were sent to me at no charge to review. I was not told what to write or say about these books. 

Black + Decker Flex Lithium Vacuum | Pretty Handy Girl

Black+Decker sent me their BLACK+DECKER MAX Lithium Flex Vacuum to test. I’ve been holding this review in my back archives for a while. I never like to publish a review until I’ve given a product a thorough testing and make sure it will hold up for the long haul. I’ve been using my Black+Decker MAX Lithium Flex 20V vacuum for a lot of my projects. You may have spotted it when I refinished the paint on my dryer. Or to clean up sawdust out of the grooves on my farmhouse table build. In fact, I grab for this little vacuum anytime I’ve made a little mess or spilled some powdered drink mix, etc.

Black + Decker Flex Lithium Vacuum | Pretty Handy Girl

But, last week I accidentally spilled a package of almonds in the tiny crevice between the seats in my car. I can’t even get my hand in this space, so I ran in to grab the big vacuum cleaner but stopped when I was in front of the Black+Decker Max Lithium Flex. I hate hauling out the big canister vacuum because it’s so heavy, but could a little vac handle nuts?

nuts-in-car-crevice

I honestly doubted it would be able to get all those almonds up. After all, I’d had poor luck in the past with small dust sucking devices.  Read more

WORX 56v MaxLithium Hedge Trimmer Review | Pretty Handy Girl

We have a very wooded and heavily landscaped lot with lots of mature bushes. Some of the bushes were starting to achieve monster proportions. Do you see the resemblance? Today we are going to be talking about this awesome hedge trimmer. Check out this WORX Hedge Trimmer review.

WORX 56v Hedge Trimmer Review | Pretty Handy Girl

This is why I needed a bad boy hedge trimmer on my side. WORX sent me the 56V MaxLithium Cordless 24″ Hedge Trimmer  to try out. It turned out to be the perfect tool for our yard. Previously I tried the 20V MaxLithium Cordless 20″ Hedge Trimmer, but it didn’t have the muscle I needed to power through our landscaping. The 56V WORX hedge trimmer definitely had the power to cut easily through all our shrubs and bushes. But, the extra power is the result of a large battery which does weigh more than its 20V sibling. However, I’d much prefer a little extra weight because the trimmer can cut through bushes and shrubs much faster (saving on arm fatigue in the long run.)

WORX 56v Hedge Trimmer Review | Pretty Handy Girl

The WORX 56V MaxLithium Cordless 24″ Hedge Trimmer requires the assembly of the handle and shield when you first remove it from the box. You will need a philips head screwdriver.

WORX 56v Hedge Trimmer Review | Pretty Handy Girl

The battery pack should not be in the trimmer during assembly. Simply slide the shield into place (just above the blades) and secure it with the screws shipped with the tool.

WORX 56v Hedge Trimmer Review | Pretty Handy Girl

The handle requires some outward force to snap over the trimmer.

WORX 56v Hedge Trimmer Review | Pretty Handy Girl

The handle is secured with one bolt on one side.

WORX 56v Hedge Trimmer Review | Pretty Handy Girl

Snap the battery pack in place and you’re ready to tame that jungle you call your yard.

WORX 56v Hedge Trimmer Review | Pretty Handy Girl

Trimming the pampas grass used to be a tedious job using manual hedge shears and I inevitably lost the battle with lots of scratches. Read more