The Fix-It Sisters

Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezey

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And this is not Annabelle, but it could be:

Tropical Storm Mom

Scarlett, I accidentally called Mom today and she said she wanted to come to see your kids this weekend. I’m sorry. She said something about wanting to do some work with them on gender equality for her new book. I think we’re busy, don’t you?

Doesn’t she have enough books? Ernest is two. I don’t think he’s developed any sexist tendencies yet. But if she came maybe she could babysit so Joe and I could go out. I wonder what that’s like – going out.

You really want to leave her alone with your kids? The last time she babysat you came home to Paisley in tears because Mom replaced her set of My Little Ponies with a scale model of a reproductive system, with moveable parts so you can really get in there and see what’s what.

I remember. Mom said she thought Paisley liked the ponies because she wanted to be a vet, or a doctor. She thought she was helping.

Well now that you have Irving maybe she will refrain from being so helpful. He’ll be a nice distraction.

Yes! Maybe having our new fake grandfather around will temper her weirdness. They may even hit it off! Except I hope they don’t. That would be a bummer if the kids’ real grandmother hit it off with the fake grandfather I went out and found myself. I’d feel so cheated.

I like having him around too. He’s like the father we were never allowed to have.

Sometimes I pretend he’s my dad, so I fit in better with the other moms at school. I think it will be fine having mom here now that Irving’s around. If he can take the edge off my Other Mom Terror, he can do anything.

It will at least be fun to watch. How about I call her while you rummage through the mailbag for questions?

Sounds good. This is your fault, by the way, so you’re buying lunch.

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Our Do’s and Don’ts of summer

Here’s our easy reference guide for summer. Have at it:

  • Do make your own fruit juice popsicles in those cute little molds. They’re cool and so much better than store bought ones.
  • Don’t leave those popsicles in the car to be eaten later.
  • Do make your own bug spray instead of bathing yourself and family in chemicals.
  • When you make your own bug spray, don’t substitute pink lemonade if you can’t find citronella.
  • Don’t think that because your bathing suit looks super cute at the beach that it’s appropriate shopping attire. Clothes and shoes are always a good idea.
  • If your bathing suit is a kaftan, you’re all set. You’ll be welcomed anywhere.
  • Don’t forget your potato salad in the car for two hours unchilled and serve it to a crowd.
    You had to bring up the potato salad incident of 2013, didn’t you?
    It’s a public service.
  • When you’re invited to a cookout and asked to bring a side dish, try tabouli. It’s pretty safe, and more car-stable than popsicles.
  • Don’t wear flip flops in the city. Just don’t.
    Really? Not even the fancy spangley ones that go with my kaftan? What do people do in cities in the summer?
    Have you ever looked at your feet after walking around Manhattan for a day in flip flops all day. I don’t even want to think about all the stuff that creeps in.
    Actually, I did a study on that. It’s the same stuff you find in most kitchen sinks. Especially in the sponges.
    Pardon me. I need to go throw away my sponge.
    (That one gets her every time.)
  • Don’t forget to lather yourself in at least an SPF 15 sunscreen at the beach. Actually just bathe yourself in it every day if you don’t want to look like you’re 150 when you’re only 32.
  • And wear a hat. Or set up one of those little tent things that look so pretty when the breezes come through.
    I love those! I always wanted one. Then I’d pretend I was a sultan, or would it be sultana?
    I think a sultana is a kind of raisin, which is what we’re trying to avoid here.
  • Do vacation with friends. It’s more fun, and you can share expenses and experiences.
    Just make sure you don’t eat all the other family’s food on the first day. Figure it all out ahead of time and no one gets hurt. Literally.
  • Don’t overdo it in the heat. Make sure to drink plenty of water and wear light clothing.
  • Things get hotter than you think, so don’t leave kids, pets, popsicles or potato salad in the car.
  • Metal detectors are really fun on the beach – just don’t use them to go through other people’s stuff.
    Yes. You have to wait for them to lose it, and then go find it with your metal detector.
  • Do take advantage of the weather and grill outside. It’s healthy and delicious.
    Grilling lettuce is hard, by the way.
    Only you, Scarlett.
    How was I supposed to know it was only the peaches that get grilled in the grilled peach salad? Also, salad dressing is potentially combustible. But we already knew that from last summer.
  • And don’t miss the fireworks!
  • Just don’t take your dogs or really little kids. It scares the pants off them – assuming your dogs wear pants.

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Fake it till you break it

Scarlett, I was going through some letters while I was waiting for you to get out of the shower – how long does a shower take, by the way? And I noticed several letters from women AND men wanting to know if they should change themselves so this person or that will love them. That’s just wrong.

My shower took a long time because I was washing everyone’s flip flops while I was in there.

I don’t even know what to say.

They’re all clean now! Anyway, I agree with you. You should only change yourself if you’re doing something and every person you meets says, “Hey, what is wrong with you?”

I tried to change for a boyfriend once.

How’d that work out?

It was terrible. I ended up listening to John Denver music while looking at his stamp collection and eating pulled pork sandwiches.

But you’re a vegetarian.

I know! He was totally wrong, so I tried to make myself right for him, not even caring that he was totally wrong for me. What is it about the wrong person that makes us turn ourselves inside out?

I think it’s human nature – we want everyone to like us, and when they don’t it just makes us try harder. I’m glad that Joe likes me the way I am.

Or that he’s just given up.

Every time he asks me to do something differently, I do it worse. So he’s stopped. We have a new appreciation for the flaws we know.

Why don’t we see how we can change people with good advice?

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Annabelle & Scarlett vs. the laundromat

Scarlett, I am happy to help you go to the laundromat, but I’m thinking we could maybe take a second trip sometime. How long has it been since you did laundry?

My machine broke three weeks ago. I just kept buying new underwear and socks for everyone because I was too scared to go to the laundromat.

Scared of what? This place seems perfectly nice.

It’s nicer than I thought it would be. I guess I was scared people would judge my family’s dirty clothes and think I wasn’t doing it right.

Doing your laundry right?

Yes. We never learned to do all those things. Like sewing on buttons and pre-soaking stains. But we do know how to organize a sit-in and make a great tofu loaf.

I think Mom thought washing machines were invented to oppress women and keep them chained to the house. She told me that coffee makers were a way to keep women at home and away from coffee shops where they might see what they were missing.

She was kind of psychic! Too bad she didn’t invent Starbucks. We’d be rich. Everyone goes to coffee shops to see what they’re missing. Usually it’s just missing being confused about how to order coffee.

Don’t I know it. Having worked at Starbucks for eons, I can tell you most people don’t know their mocha from their macchiato, or their vente from their grande.

I gave up and bought a Keurig. I was way too stressed.

Well, we’ve filled up five of these front loaders, want to answer some questions while the clothes get clean? Looks like we’ve got 23 minutes.

But I didn’t even get a chance to spray any of this stuff on the stains before you put them in!

Scarlett, that’s Static Guard. But don’t worry. I don’t ever spray anything. I think it’s a scam to make you feel like you’re not working hard enough at doing your laundry. Let’s answer this first question. It sounds kind of dire!

– See more at:

Annabelle fashions forward

Scarlett, I had a terrific idea! I just got a new job working at this sweet little boutique and was thinking we should write an all-fashion column. What do you think?

I think I can’t believe you got another job. What is this, like 27?

No, It’s only about five or so. But I love this one! I get to help people put outfits together, talk about what to do with their hair and makeup. It’s so much fun!

You do that at all your jobs – even that time you were powerwashing decks. Did you get what you’re wearing at the boutique? Was a dare involved?

No, there was not. It’s very fashion forward. I’m calling this look “urban prairie.” I think it’s adorable.

When urban prairie catches on, I’ll make sure everyone knows I saw it here first. I’ve never seen anyone wear a bolo tie with a tank top before.

I know! I think I have a gift! It’s so much fun to mix and match. It’s a resale boutique, so there’s all sorts of different things. I also bought a couple of skirts and combined them. I’m calling this a prairie pencil skirt.

Wow. It’s like the Rocky Mountain Oyster of skirts.

I have a surprise for you – I brought you a whole outfit that I created just for you! Here, open the bag!

Oh. I… Can I save it for later? I just ate.

What’s that supposed to mean?

That’s what I always say when you hand me something in a bag and I’m pretty sure I don’t want it. Gee, it’s so…colorful.

I know! I thought Paisley and Ernest would love it!

You mean for dress ups? Oh thank goodness. I thought you meant…

No, it’s for you, Scarlett. You have to go try it on!

The thing is, a jumpsuit takes time to get into and we have to write the column, and then I have to go to the grocery store….I’ll just put it all back in the bag. Oh, I didn’t see the skirt and leg warmers. Thanks for getting me all these outfits. I was just noticing that I had too much closet space.

It’s one outfit! You can’t tell what it looks like on just from the bag, you layer the whole thing. Trust me, I’m a professional.

I’m just going to put it over here. Boy, that neon green and puce really are interesting together.

You have to dare to take fashion risks, Scarlett. You don’t want to look like everyone else. You have to let your clothes speak for you.

These are saying “help me!”

What? I didn’t hear you. You’re mumbling.

I’m just overwhelmed by your generosity. Let’s answer some questions, shall we?

– See more at:

Yule for Fuel week 1: Spanx

We’re doing our column live! Wellfleet Harbor Actors Theater has invited us to perform at their annual fundraiser, Yule for Fuel, where we’ll be dishing out helpful holiday advice every weekend from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Here’s the first week, in which we discover the importance of proper circulation (and a grasp of technology).

Our favorite hedgehog related intro to date

Scarlett! I got a new job!
Another one? What happened to the other 18,000 jobs?

Oh, I still have all of those. This is only part, part time.

Why do you need to have so many jobs, Annabelle? Your place is cheap and your car is paid for. It’s just you and your cat. You should be giddy with cash.

I thought Astrid was lonely so I adopted Peanut. They don’t like each other now, but they’re going to be the best of pals. I can tell!

You’re going to be one of those weird single women with too many cats, Annabelle.

Oh, Peanut’s not a cat. He’s a hedgehog. He had some special needs so I took him in.

Of course you did. What’s wrong with him?

I’d rather focus on what’s right with him, Scarlett, which is a lot. But if you must know, they thought it was wobbly hedgehog syndrome or something, but he’s fine now. Well, if I could find him I’m sure he’s fine.

There’s a hedgehog lost in your apartment? Are you sure Astrid didn’t just eat it?

Not entirely… But wait until you hear what I’m doing! I’m in the construction business!

“Not entirely” like Astrid didn’t eat him entirely? That’s only half as disturbing as the thought of you in the construction business.

Venti soy extra hot coriander latte guy came into Starbucks last week and said he needed someone and did I know anyone. So now I’m power washing houses, decks, and I’m really good at it! Mostly.

What do you mean, mostly?

Well, I don’t know if you’ve ever used a pressure washer, but it’s pretty much a tornado in a nozzle. I had a few mishaps in the beginning, but after I offered to pay for the damages it was all good.


Yeah, I blew off some shingles, broke two windows and knocked over a toddler. The toddler was not my fault by the way. She wandered out of her safe area I’d constructed out of cinder blocks and two by fours.

I always say it’s important to stay in our safe areas around you, Annabelle. You’re a menace.

Not to hedgehogs I’m not! Why don’t you start on the first question while I look for Peanut. I’m sure he’s here somewhere.

Q: How do you know if you’re sitting on a very small, special needs hedgehog? – Patty Pricklebottom

A: Not funny, Scarlett.

(read the rest on WickedLocal…)

Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies

This week we talked about cookies and squash-flavored coffee in our column, so we thought it fitting to post our favorite squash-flavored cookie recipe!

They weren’t that kind of cookie, Scarlett

That’s because they didn’t have the recipe! So now your web browser can make really good cookies, instead of the ones that bust you for trying to adopt abandoned puppies at 2am.

Oatmeal Zucchini Cookies

3/4 c. sugar
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. butter, softened
1/2 c. applesauce
1 tsp. cinnamon (or more)
1 tsp. salt (plus a couple grinds of sea salt just because)
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
2 cups grated, unpeeled zucchini
3 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
3 cups oatmeal
4 cups total of any/all of the following: chopped nuts, raisins, choc. chips

Cream butter and sugars. Add applesauce, cinnamon, salt, vanilla and eggs. Mix in grated zucchini. In a separate bowl, combine flour, soda, and oatmeal. Mix into butter/sugar concoction. Fold in nuts, raisins, chips and whatnot. Add more chocolate chips because, obviously.

Drop in rounded spoonfuls onto a greased cookie sheet. Wet the palm of your hand and flatten the lumps. Bake at 350 for 10 minutes, or until they look almost done. Take them out of the oven, but leave them on the cookie sheet to finish baking.

We’re not telling you how many they make so you can lie about how many you ate. You’re welcome.

(reprinted with permission from TroutTowers)

If you haven’t read the column we’re talking about, it’s on the WickedLocal website. (Not that it will help clarify things, mind you, but it will give you something more to read so you don’t have to fold laundry or whatever it is you’re avoiding by reading this.)