Quick Tip: Make a Dryer Vent Vacuum Cleaner Attachment

Make a Lint Lizard

Unless you have been hiding under a rock–you have likely seen the lint lizard advertised on TV. It is a long tube attachment for your vacuum. It is designed to fit in hard to reach places inside your dryer to suck up lint that may be clogging your dryer’s exhaust.

But you do not need to buy the lint lizard–you can make one yourself!

1. Go to the hardware store. Buy a five foot clear tubing with a 1 inch diameter. It will cost about $3.00.

2. Get some insulation tape (padded tape). And wrap it around one of the ends of the lint lizard. Keep wrapping until it makes the diamater just large enough to be slightly larger than the end of your vacuum hose.

3. The clear tubbing with the padded end should just fit snugly. You may want to tape the tube to the vacuum hose for added security.

Place the hose in your dryer to suck up the lint. Please unplug the dryer from the electrical outlet before you start.


A Place for Everything and Everything in its Place

THINKING ABOUT FINALLY GETTING ORGANIZED THIS FALL? Need ideas for creating a new and improved bedroom closet, office space, laundry room, kitchen pantry, living room entertainment center, mud room, or garage?  Check out THE CONTAINER STORE for your one-stop service.  Let The Container Store team help you design a custom-made closet for as little as $300-Just bring in your measurements, a photo of the space, a description of items you have and store in your space and any obstacles such as doors or small hallways.  Associates will also show you how to assemble their products in-store or you can have someone install them in your home for 30% of the total cost of your closet system.

Their ELFA CLOSET SYSTEMS come in white or chrome metal, oak or dark wood.  Linen, plastic, cardboard, cloth, or weave boxes are also available to organize your clothes, shoes, hats, and other accessories.  You’ll find space-saving belt, scarf, purse, jewelry hooks and hangers as well as PVC-free plastic and cloth containers to stowe linens, sweaters, blankets and pillows under your bed.  Long dress/gown, coat, and blazer covers help to keep dry-clean only clothes fresh.  Scented sashes and cedar planks help to keep stored clothing and bedding smelling fresh while keeping items dry and preventing moths from wreaking havoc.


The Container Store

3825 Gallagher Drive

Edina, MN 55435

(Click Here for Other Locations)

P.S.  Looking for markdowns, check left side of store in the back, most have flaws or missing an item, but usually 50% off.


Plough & Hearth offers more than it’s name suggests.  Besides lawn and garden objects, it has wonderful decorating items and apparel to create and keep you cozy. 

Right now they are having a Post Holiday Clearance in their Outlet with savings up to 65% off!  Autumnal and Christmas gifts galore, plus check out their Deal of the Week–this week it’s a Wright Fireplace Screen, as in Frank Lloyd Wright style, reg. $129.95, weekly deal priced $89.99

Buy $50 or more and use promo code: LNKPHFS for free shipping; otherwise shipping may be a deal breaker.

Sign-Up For New Ikea Catalog Now!

Many makeovers and HGTV design shows are filled with great products from Ikea®.  Why?  Because Ikea style is a perfect fit for almost any home decor and at a reasonable price.  Those glass wall sconces for livingroom or bedroom, the wall flower lights in the nursery or children’s bedroom, designer room dividers, and kitchen organizers offered by Ikea make their way onto redecorating shows.

Recently MarkdownMom visited the Ikea® store across from Mall of America and found a great dry erase pen noticeboard,Kludd, in a pale seafoam green.  Made of glass, it measures 25½” x17¾,” it can be hung horizontally or vertically on the wall and comes with 4 clips.  A stylish way to keep track of those important notes and dates!  $19.99–perfect for home offices!

 Additionally, the new 2011 Ikea catalog will be available this month, sign-up or stop by to get your FREE copy!

Get The Lions' Share Of A Good Location

Sooner or later, you will find almost everything for sale even in the most unlikely places. Recently, Markdown Mom found this pair “lion” around next to a local ramp off an interstate bridge. These are the cats meow if you have a large estate or are renovating a library. Marble and impressive, they could add to your pride and joy.

The owner of this pair obviously was thinking out of the box or cage by placing this impressive duo next to a high traffic area. It’s quite apparent that exposure is key to this sale since potential buyers are limited by the size of this statuary.

Location, location, location is important to any sale and this location certainly gave MDM “paws.”

School Drop-Ins

"School days, school days, good ole golden rules days."  Well, more than reading, writing, and arithmetic these days for the DIYer, the schools have abundant opportunities to widen your world and to enjoy the finer things of life.  You can learn to be a gourmet chef, a jeweler, or learn to dance with the stars.  Community Education is the best bargain around since it is low cost, and ultimately adds to the knowledge, experience, or lifestyle of the recipient.

Recently Markdown Mom attended a cooking class on making pita bread at her local middle school.  This was a great class that not only had us make our own pan pita bread, but included making hummus, cucumber dip, roasted creamy eggplant dip, at the same time providing information on nutrition and the benefits of eating healthier. Our instructors were Ilone Hamilton and Jeanie Pekkala. 

Breaking up in groups of 4, they  took us step-by-step through the process of making pita bread using a caste iron frying pan. 

From scratch, the yeast was prepared, the dough was mixed, allowed to rise, kneaded, rolled into a ball, divided into 8 equal pieces, allow to rise, rolled into a 6" circle, and placed into an ungreased pan to fry/bake.  That was the exciting period when the pita bread would actually rise and form bubbles in the pan. 

During the breaks when the dough was rising, Ilone and Jeannie would instruct us on the delicious fillings for the pita bread.

At the end of which we were able to sit back and break bread with the other students.  We not only enjoyed the feast that we had prepared that night, but felt empowered to continue our culinary exploration with other classes.

Classes through your local community schools or continuing education programs offer an opportunity to explore your talents, pursue your interest, and enlarge your world while providing an opportunity to meet other members of your community. 

The costs are nominal, the pita class was $5 registration fee + supplies.  Other costs follow a similar fee structure depending on the number of times the class meets.  Classes include general interests that contain a potpourri of activities from crafts, finances, hobbies, to cooking classes, sports, languages, interior decorating, and computer training to name a few.

With Ilone and Jeannie’s permission, Markdown Mom will take you through the steps of this recipe, pan pita bread, in addition to the oven baked recipe at a later date.  Right now, MDM is anticipating the new Spring Schedule for Community Schools–who knows what new adventure awaits!

Remember you are never too young or too old to learn something new and once learned the enjoyment and knowledge is with you forever, plus the friends you make on the journey–and that’s a real bargain!

Wednesday Steals


Clutter seems to be the new household concern of the millenium.  No matter who we are, we still keep looking for additional storage to organize our "stuff."  JCPenney© has a Wednesday Steal–today only–on natural wood storage from $7.99-$59.99.  6 shelf corner unit reg.$199.99/sale $59.99 with additional accessories on sale as well.


The hot thing this past season has been an alternative down comforter for those who suffer from allergies, but still desire the warmth without weight that down gives. 

Now you can buy this at a fantastic price today.  Overstock.com has up to 70% +off Bedding Clearance  and this Allerest comforter that comes in twin, full/queen, and King also will resist the clumping and tangling associated with down.  Reg.$129.99, sale today $38.99

Remember at Overstock.com your entire order ships for only $1!

Super Steal Alert

Get paid for shipping overnight!  Negative $5 on Shipping from Endless© shoes and handbags.  Find the hottest celebrity shoes like those worn by Jessica Simpson. Get $5 off order for letting them ship to you overnight for free–negative $5!   Hot site, hot deal!

Did You Know? PBS Has Online Store!

Remember all those goodies on PBS like movies, special investigations by Frontline, books, cooking recipes, and more?  One stop shopping, no more reaching for pen and paper only to miss the reference on the tv.    Purchase them by going to their online store to see the offerings by PBS .  Additionally you can save an extra $10 on purchases over $30 by using Google checkout option, and get special shipping rate until 12/13.  MDM just purchased Jacques Pèpin’s The Complete Pepin : Techniques  and Recipes on DVD.  Great gift for Holiday Cooking.

Check special pricing and offers in their Overstock Category.  This is a "Feel Good" Shopping site since you have an  opportunity to support your local Public Broadcasting System and get some great quality gifts.

Tip of the Week #9 Small Spaces–Can’t Bump Out, Then Go Up


When you have an expanding family growing out of the size of its home, what do you do in this economy?  Well, if you are a first time buyer, the home market’s bubble is leaking well enough to consider moving out of that rental and buying a home.  However, current homeowners are stuck between a rock and a hard place.  To make a similar move requires selling your current home.  Not always an easy task to accomplish.  Gaining space through additions is a major undertaking requiring time, money, and inconvenience and may be limited by lot size and ordinances, and financial recovery of the remodeling costs.  A third option is what MDM’s Grandmother called ‘Making Do.’  Now this is not a passive reaction, it is in fact a proactive reaction involving several considerations:


  • Scale down projects.  Whole house needs a makeover?  Don’t take it on all at once.  Instead take a room at a time.  
  • Analyze each room to determine what the problems are and how you can streamline them.    
  • Too much clutter?  Well, sort through it categorizing everything by 1.  Keep, 2. Consider, 3. Donate, and  4. Throw.
  • Modern house with no walk-in closets?  Look at bumping out current bi-fold or sliding door closet into the room to create a walk-in.  Analyze the dead space in a room to accomplish it.  What is dead space?  Space where a piece of furniture might not fit, say between a window and current closet, and is just there.  Use the dead space to bump out the closet for additional storage.  With some planning this may have an additional benefit of creating a small, screened entry into the room.  Remember additional wall space provides a canvas for your decorating acumen.
  • Select storage that serves a dual purpose; an enclosed, hinged box for storage and a coffee table or ottoman.
  • Do the Dorm Trick.  Put bed on raised feet to increase your space under the bed for storage.
  • Look at your current windows.  Bay windows add space and seating to any room at the same time creating a cozy alcove for reading, studying, or day dreaming.
  • Put up shelving, both temporary and permanent in small areas like bathrooms, hallways, entrys.  Glass and mirror shelving reflect light and give the illusion of space.  There are so many possibilities with shelving.  It can be recessed, modular, freestanding and can take on the role as an additional design element.
  • Incorporate shelving with cabinets, or place ladders against the wall to organize linens, newspapers, and photo collections.
  • Open enclosed shelving above doorways can hold collectibles, favorite toys, and other favorites.
  • Bookshelves can organize  more objects than books.  Baskets can be placed in shelves to organize your home office or a panoply of items.
  • Remember to create space, unify your color scheme.  You can have a lot going on, but prevent a "busy" effect through unity of color and/or texture.

Creating Space Results in Harmony and Increases Value!

*Modular Shelves on sale at PBTeen  (2) L-shaped $5.99/reg.$29.99 in blue, white, and apple green.

Tip of the Week #8 Your Young Artist Has Decided Your Walls Are One Big Mural? What To Do.

Some years ago, MDM’s children discovered that you could draw and color on the walls just as easily as on paper.  The problem then arose, how to remove these masterpieces especially from walls that were not in their bedroom, without removing the paper layer of drywall.   So, put on your rubber gloves and go to work:

  •  MDM found through trial and error an economical way of removing ink, crayon, and almost anything on walls by using Soft Scrub® and a Scotch Brite™Dobie Pad®  Simply apply *Soft Scrub® directly on the Dobie pad and gently, in a circular motion, apply it to the spot or area.  Rinse and dry the wall with a rag, repeat if necessary.  This treatment is especially good for those black marks that mysteriously appear on walls from who knows where.


  • Secondly, A designer colleague recommended that while my children were young it was best to paint the walls in an Eggshell Finish, not a Flat, as a preventative measure to insure easy removal of marks harmlessly.

*Get a $1.00 off coupon by clicking on Soft Scrub and Enter Drugstore.com $10,000 Spa Getaway by clicking on Scotch Brite™Dobie Pad®