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Tool School with Norma Vally


I'll admit it; I'm not savvy when it comes to fixing leaks or the a faulty shower head and I certainly would never attempt to fix the toilet. No way. When something around the house is broke I call a professional who can fix said issue in a few minutes. The only problem is that this usually comes with a hefty bill, and according to Norma Vally of Discovery Home Channel's Toolbelt Diva, this is "an unnecessary expense." Vally, a self-taught home improvement expert, was on-hand at an educational event called Tool School in NYC where she taught Momtrends and several other editors the art of fixing a toilet, how to change a shower head and how to get your stainless steel spic and span with no help at all from a professional.


Sponsored by Liquid-Plumr, this inspiring event began when Vally taught us how to clear a clogged toilet. I have personally never unclogged a toilet so I was pretty amazed when Vally did it in under 5 minutes. A simple fix like that would have cost over 100 bucks if it was repaired by a plumber. Her passion for not only fixing things but empowering women was contagious where she mentioned "tools don't know if you are a man or a woman." Adding, "women don't need to be afraid of fixing things. They just have to learn how to master a few skills and keep trying. This isn't rocket science."

At the event, I also had the chance to chat with this inspirational female DIYer. Vally who started by learning this craft from her cousin Sal who developed a love for construction and fixing things. Never attending school or having an formal training, Vally noted, "you'll ever learn how to fix things if you just look at books. You have to actually try and put your skill to work." After a stint in the construction business, this modern-day Renaissance women continued to create opportunities for herself by making her own reel that was eventually seen by producers from the Discovery Home Channel where she landed a show, wrote books and speaks all over the country to empower both women and men to fix things themselves.

After an evening of cocktails and wrenches, I was truly inspired by Vally's DIY spirit - especially as she taught us some incredible tips on how to repair some common home improvement issues (see more tips below), which will not only put you in control of your home but it will also save you some money and empower you to hold that wrench strong in the process.

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Some of Norma's Tips from Tool School

How to Fix a Running Toilet:
In Your Toolbox
Replacement flapper
Tin snaps or heavy duty scissors

What to Do
1. Shut water off at shut-off valve near wall.
2. Flush the toilet.
3. With a large sponge, empty tank of remaining water.
4. Disconnect the handle chain and remove old flapper.
5. Attach new flapper and reconnect the chain. Cut the chain to make it the same length as the original chain if it's not,
6. Turn off the water at the valve.

How to Restore the Sheen on Your Stainless Steel:
In Your Toolbox
Mircofiber cleaning cloths
All-Purpose Spray Cleaner
Rubbing alcohol
Stainless steel polish, petroleum jelly or mineral oil
Sponges or cleaning rags

What to Do
1. Spray the appliance with an All-Purpose spray cleaner like Formula 409 and scrub the entire surface.
2. Wipe down the appliance with some alcohol on a microfiber cloth.
3. Buff the surface with the oil-based product - polish, petroleum jelly or mineral oil. If there is a "grain" to the stainless steel, buff only in that direction.

To learn more about Norma, please visit:

Momtrends was not paid for this post. We were given some tools!

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