Top drawer Joyce Clark Hicks finds the best for your home and garden

Top Drawer

CorrespondentJune 14, 2013 

Lint rollers are excellent for picking up small items, such as beads.


Best 4-ingredient recipe

Lois Nilsen of Raleigh shares a recipe for a cool, refreshing summer treat. It sounds like a perfect ending to any Father’s Day celebrations this weekend.

Lemonade Pie

• 1 small can lemonade concentrate

• 1 medium-sized tub of Cool Whip

• 1 can sweetened condensed milk

• 1 graham cracker crust.

Mix first three ingredients. Pour into crust. Refrigerate until cold.

Readers’ best

Susanne Arrington of Raleigh shares a smart way to retrieve tiny beads and things that have fallen on the floor. “Lint rollers aren’t just for removing lint and cat hair from your clothes. They are excellent for picking up small items, such as beads. I discovered this handy use when a necklace with tiny seed beads broke, scattering the baubles everywhere. Just roll the sticky cylinder over the beads and you’ll nab every one. The rollers also are great for catching the top layer of dust on lamp shades.”

Designer’s best

Designer Amanda Nisbet offers this tip on the House Beautiful site for creating a home office in an unexpected place.

“Turn a closet into a home office. Take off the door. Make a huge bulletin board for the wall. Have fun buying file drawers and desk accessories. Add a little desk lamp for atmosphere.”

Best time to shop

The Lifehacker site regularly posts monthly and seasonal checklists of “best times to buy” merchandise. We’ve excerpted some of June’s best buys here:

Dishware: Wedding season hits its peak in the early summer, and dishware companies respond by slashing prices for all those young lovebirds that have it on their registries. Even if you aren’t getting hitched, though, you can still take advantage. According to Real Simple, you can find savings of 25 percent to 50 percent off.

Gym memberships and equipment: Author Mark Di Vincenzo and both say now is a good time to haggle on a membership, or to seek out discount equipment.

Tools: Regardless of whether you’re buying a Father’s Day gift, take this opportunity to stock up on power tools at a discount, says Dealnews. Shop today (last chance before Father’s Day) for the best price. Not sure what to buy? Check out Lifehacker’s list of the essential tools for any level of do-it-yourselfer at

Best for hanging pictures

The blogger at Somewhat Simple was having trouble hanging a photo collage in a straight line. The solution was as simple as a dab of toothpaste. Yep, toothpaste. “Simply add a small dot of toothpaste to the back of your picture where the nail(s) will go. Then, press the picture to the wall where you want to hang it so that the toothpaste from the back of your frame sticks to the wall. Next, put your nail where the toothpaste is, and hang your picture.” Still not quite getting the picture? Visit for a step-by-step pictorial.

Best for painting

The My Colortopia website offers up this gem for prepping a door for paint projects. First, remove knobs, plates and the lock mechanism, and place them in marked bags so that you know where each one belongs when it’s time to put them back in place. If you don’t want to remove them, you can prep the area by applying painter’s tape around each one. Alternatively, the site suggests painting the hardware with two coats of rubber cement. “It will peel off easily when you are finished painting.”

Best for cut flowers

Reader’s Digest says you can extend the life of fresh-cut flowers by adding a copper penny and a cube of sugar to the vase water. The copper in pennies is thought to act like an acidifier, which prevents the growth of bacteria.

Best for stale bathrooms

The A Mum ‘N the Oven blog says you can freshen up stale bathrooms by placing a few drops of your favorite essential oil onto the inside ring of the cardboard tube of a toilet paper roll. “Your bathroom will smell amazing until the roll is complete and you begin again.”

Best of the tube


This one’s for the birds: College sweethearts Jeff Liang and Mikaila Fulfs are dying to get out of their tiny studio apartment. After seeing 53 homes, they have yet to find one that meets their needs and fits their $150,000 budget. Complicating matters is Mikalia’s desire to have a yard where she can raise chickens. Will they be able to find a place they love? And with room to squawk? Stay up late or set your DVR for this episode of “House Hunters,” which airs at 11 p.m. Sunday.

Open floor plan redux: The Renovation Raiders tackle a kitchen and dining area. This raid is tailor-made as it only takes the team five hours to tear down a wall, rip out the old kitchen and install brand new cabinets, a kitchen island with a built-in doghouse and a beer keg refrigerator for a home brew aficionado. “Renovation Raiders” airs at 9 p.m. Thursday.


Backyard sanctuary: Pia and Peter have recently become engaged, but in a house with six rescued animals and counting, they already feel like they have a built-in family and the foundation of a home. That is until you see what passes for a backyard, with an uneven ground, unruly plant growth and a rotting deck. They are hoping to remake the space not only as a safe haven for their furry friends, but also as a space for them to say their vows. But doing it all on a shoestring budget is proving to be quite a task. “My First Renovation” airs at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday on DIY.

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