Home DecoratingSmall square footage doesn't have to hinder your decorating style. Just follow these quick tricks to create spaces that are bigger and better.
1. A large area rug creates the illusion that a little room is grander than it is. Stretch your budget and make your own oversized rug by taping together several smaller ones.
2. Use sheer, wispy fabrics for window treatments to let in more light. The brightness opens the room while opaque fabrics make areas look dark and small.
3. In a cozy bedroom, join the wall and the bed, figuratively, of course, by painting a wide, vertical stripe on the wall behind a headboard that merges into the same pattern on the bedding.
4. Don't go overboard on throw pillows, which are likely to pile up and make the room feel overcrowded. If your decorative cushions are getting priority seating instead of your guests, it's time to re-assess. Remember that size matters: If a pillow doesn't fit easily behind your back, it's too big.
5. A room with
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Home DecoratingSmall square footage doesn't have to hinder your decorating style. Just follow these quick tricks to create spaces that are bigger and better.Read More »from 8 Tiny Ways to Make Any Room Look Huge
Checkerboard CakeCookware shops sell special pans for making this cake; however, you can turn out a handsome specimen without them. You will need two pastry bags and three 8-inch round pans.
- 2 1/4 cup(s) cake flour, (not self-rising)
- 2 teaspoon(s) baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) salt
- 3/4 cup(s) milk, (see direction step 2)
- 1 tablespoon(s) milk, (see direction step 4)
- 1 1/2 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
- 1 1/2 cup(s) sugar
- 3/4 cup(s) (1 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 2 ounce(s) (2 squares) semisweet chocolate, melted
- 1 ounce(s) (1 square) unsweetened chocolate, melted
- Chocolate frosting (see tips below)
Related: 20 Irresistible Chocolate Dessert Recipes
Directions:Read More »from Make a Checkerboard Cake – No Fancy Pan Needed!
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease three 8-inch round cake pans. Line bottoms with waxed paper; grease paper. Dust pans with flour.
2. In medium bowl, stir together flour, baking powder, and salt. In 1-cup measuring cup, mix 3/4 milk and vanilla.
3. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed,
- Good Housekeeping | At Home – Mon, Aug 5, 2013 11:46 AM EDT
Double Duty ItemsIf you ever find yourself wondering what to do with an old pair of socks or growing collection of spare buttons, we've got some double-duty solutions for you. Here, alternative uses for 25 household items.
1. Rubber Bands
Coming in and out with your hands full? Loop a single rubber band around a door's inside and outside knobs, twisting it as you do so that the "X" presses the latch open. Once finished, hang the band on the inner knob for the next time.
2. Eyeglasses Case
Snag a spare one to stow jewelry when packing a suitcase. Another great use? For your MP3 player and earbuds.3. Socks
No need to buy pricey, not-so-eco-friendly Bubble Wrap. Socks, T-shirts, and towels make excellent padding when boxing up breakables for a move.4. Chocolate-Box Insert
Once the tasty treats are just a sweet Valentine's memory, use the rinsed-out tray to hold tacks and paper clips in a desk drawer.5. Emery Board
Use this manicure staple for more than just shaping your nails - it can gentlyRead More »from 25 Creative Double-Duty Tips for Everyday Household Items
How to decorate a blank wall in any room of your house.Blank walls can feel like one of the most daunting decorating tasks, but a little inspiration can go a long way. From DIY crafts to inexpensive decor ideas, we have everything you need to transform bare walls into beautiful works of art.Read More »from 9 Ways to Make the Most of a Blank Wall
1. In the entryway
Make this smaller space seem larger with the help of a decorative wall mirror. The reflection not only brightens the room but also creates an inviting feel for houseguests. Save money by sprucing up a vintage, multi-pane mirror salvaged from a local flea market. The project will make you feel accomplished and likely inspire your next renovation project.
Related: How to Decorate with Patterns
2. In the family room
Share your favorite family memories with a photo wall collage. Make the collection as simple or intricate as you'd like by finding a set of frames that complements the room's existing decor and matching each frame to an accompanying photograph. First, hang the top row of frames, making sure to mix up the sizes and space
Dry CleaningYes, if the tag says "Dry clean only," you should always take that item in to be cleaned, but frequent visits to the dry cleaner can get expensive! Rather than give up, follow these budget-friendly tips from Carolyn Forté, Director of the GHRI Home Appliances and Cleaning Products Department, to stretch (and sometimes avoid) your trips to the cleaners.Read More »from 7 Things You Don't Have to Dry Clean
1. Down-filled items
As long as your washing machine doesn't have an agitator, you can try washing down-filled comforters and pillows yourself. Be sure to wash these items in warm water on the gentle cycle with a high efficiency detergent and use an extra cold water rinse. If you have a newer machine, check to see if it has a bedding cycle. Dry on a low setting and toss a new tennis ball or a new canvas sneaker into the dryer to keep the down fluffy.
You don't need to lug your curtains to the cleaners just to get rid of pesky pet hairs. Put the curtains in the dryer on the air-only option for about 10 minutes and
Sleep better, tonight!If you're reading this at 2 A.M., I feel your pain. Falling asleep and staying asleep seems to get more difficult with age (what teenager has trouble sleeping, right?). But there are steps you can take to get more of the rest you so desperately need.Read More »from 5 Ways to Sleep Better Tonight
1. Power down electronics.
The first thing to do is to turn off the computer (once you've finished reading this, of course) and all of your tech toys, including the television. It's best to do this about one hour before retiring for the evening. Too much light sends mixed signals to your sleep hormones (which kick in at about 9 or 10 P.M.) making it harder to fall asleep. Try reading a book or magazine, instead.
Related: Your 7 Worst Habits and How to Break Them
2. Watch what you eat and drink before bedtime.
Enjoy any alcoholic beverages with dinner, but not later, and limit yourself to only a glass or two to keep from waking up in the middle of the night. Avoid drinking caffeinated beverages after 2 P.M. and skip heavy meals or snacks
Energy BoostersYou don't need a vacation to rest, recharge, and refocus. Try these simple tips to have more energy at home - even on the toughest of days.
1. Walk your way to mindfulness.
The lapping of the waves, the view from the mountaintop, the clouds rolling by...noticing the beauty around you is a form of meditation, and it can clear your mental cobwebs. Research suggests that doing mindfulness meditation for 30 minutes a day may actually change the brain's structure, beefing up areas related to performance on challenging tasks. And you can meditate wherever you are, even while walking down the street. "Put your right foot forward and think the word 'right,' then put your left foot forward, thinking the word 'left,'" says Reeve. Even doing dishes mindfully helps. When you're in the here and now, you can tune out distractions and unproductive thoughts and concentrate more deeply on your goal.
Related: 10 Reasons It's Good to Be Bad
2. Take a break from gadgets.Read More »from 4 Energy Boosters Everyone Should Try
- Good Housekeeping | Shine Food – Thu, Aug 1, 2013 11:11 AM EDT
Provencal Goat Cheese TartDoses of cream cheese and heavy cream are what make this goat cheese tart such a creamy treat. Top with tomatoes and chives to add a fresh touch to this rich dish.
Total Time: 40 min
Prep Time: 25 min
Oven Temp: 450 degrees
Related: 14 Must-Try Tomato Recipes!
- 1 (9-inch) refrigerated ready-to-unroll pie crust
- 4 ounce(s) goat cheese, softened
- 4 ounce(s) reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchâtel), softened
- 2 tablespoon(s) heavy cream
- 2 tablespoon(s) finely chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1 tablespoon(s) snipped fresh chives, plus additional chives for garnish
- 1/8 teaspoon(s) crumbled dried herbes de Provençe or thyme
- 2 (10 ounces each) heirloom tomatoes, preferably 1 green and 1 red, cored and cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick slices
- Cherry tomatoes, for garnish
Related: 5 Ideas for Goat Cheese
Directions:Read More »from It's Tomato Season! Try This Pretty Goat Cheese-Tomato Tart
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
2. Gently press pie crust into 9-inch tart pan with removable bottom; prick all over with fork. Bake 14 minutes
- Good Housekeeping | Shine Food – Wed, Jul 31, 2013 11:19 AM EDT
Watermelon Beverage DispenserWatermelon's the quintessential summer fruit. In the winter, just the thought of it can put you in mind of dips in the pool, naps in a hammock, and picnics on a lawn. Now when they're in season be sure to take advantage of watermelons, serving them in slices, salads, or in cocktails. For a more creative approach, grab a watermelon and turn it into a drink dispenser and prepare for a lot of oohs and aahs.Read More »from How to Turn a Watermelon into a Beverage Dispenser
Related: A Great Knife for Slicing Melons
What You Need:
1. one large watermelon (the longer and thinner, the better)
2. a large, preferably sharp, knife
3. a cutting board
4. an ice cream scoop
5. a small knife/apple corer
6. a spigot (found cheap on Amazon.com)
Related: 9 Melon Recipes You've Got to Try
What To Do:
1. Wash the watermelon of any dirt or grocery store gunk.
2. Cut about 1/3 of an inch off of each watermelon end. One flat end will become the base, holding the watermelon upright, and the other will be the opening at the top.
3. With the ice cream scoop, remove the
Raspberry JamBefore the advent of refrigeration, home cooks made big batches of jam so their fruit would last longer. That meant "processing," the time-consuming method of heating food in jars to kill the microorganisms that cause spoilage. Thankfully, times have changed: Our easy cheat relies on a regular skillet and much less sugar -- and it comes together in a jiffy. Store in the fridge; it will keep up to 3 weeks. (For fresh fruit jam year-round, pack into freezer-safe containers, leaving 1 inch of headspace, and freeze up to 1 year.)Read More »from Skip the Store! Make Your Own Jam
Related: 5 Things You Didn't Know About Berries
Yields: 2 1/4 cups
Total Time: 10 min
- 3 cup(s) raspberries
- 1 tablespoon(s) fresh lemon juice
- 5 teaspoon(s) powdered fruit pectin
- 1/2 teaspoon(s) margarine or butter
- 1 1/4 cup(s) sugar
Related: 11 Recipes Rich with Raspberries
1. In 12-inch skillet, combine raspberries, lemon juice, pectin, and margarine. Heat to boiling on high, blending and mashing with