Show off your American spirit and celebrate summer with these colorful patriotic decorations!
1. Patriot Games
For safer-than-sparklers favors, fill a pail full of cheery DIY scrapbook-paper pinwheels mounted on slim wooden dowels. Get the how-to instructions.
Related: Fourth of July Decorations
2. Front and Center
Betsy Ross would delight in this entryway festooned with her signature work. Simply stick mini flag toothpicks into a Styrofoam wreath until the wreath looks full. Top it off with a garland of flags clothes-pinned onto twine.
3. Garden Glory
In a patriotic palette, wildflowers from the backyard or no-fuss blooms from a grocery store look especially sweet gathered into a simple vase or classic mason jar. Tie with a snappy gingham ribbon to finish.
Related: Red, White and Blue Decorations for the Fourth of July
4. Star Power
School may be out for the year, but what's to keep you from borrowing these favorite teacher stickers? Where to put them: on the outsides of glass
Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping
Show off your American spirit and celebrate summer with these colorful patriotic decorations!Read More »from 4 Festive Fourth of July Decor Ideas
Barbecues, beach trips, and baseball games all make for summertime fun - and likely disaster for your clothing. Don't worry! Below, the Good Housekeeping Research Institute's (GHRI) cleaning product experts share how to zap troubling summer stains, so you can spend time outside instead of being stuck in the laundry room.Read More »from 5 Summer Stain Busters
Your best line of defense is an enzyme-based liquid laundry detergent like Arm & Hammer, because the enzymes target protein-based stains. Rub a little of the detergent into the stain. Wash the items in the hottest water that's safe for the fabric and use chlorine bleach if the garment label says you can.
Related: Solve Any Cleaning Crisis
It's inevitable that this summer staple is going to end up on your beach towel, bathing suit, or shorts. When that happens, remove as much of the excess sunscreen as you can by dousing the fabric with sand. Sand will cause the lotion to clump, making it easier to roll it off without pressing it into the fibers.
Last week, I told you how to make your cell phone last as long as possible. Now, as promised, here's how to extend the lifespan of your laptop:Read More »from 10 Ways to Extend the Life of Your Laptop
1. Optimize your settings to save power. For instance, set your screen brightness at a lower level.
2. Use sleep, hibernation, or standby when you won't be actively using your computer.
3. Keep the battery contacts clean so power is delivered as effectively as possible. You can clean them with a cotton swab and a bit of rubbing alcohol. (Be sure the device is powered down before you start swabbing!)
Related: 5 Ways to Cut Clutter in the Computer Room
4. Charge your battery according to the instructions in the manual. Most lithium ion batteries can be partially discharged and recharged without a problem, but avoid fully discharging if you can. Old nickel-based batteries should be fully drained and recharged. (Not sure what type you have? The info will be on the battery itself.)
5. Keep the computer cool to maximize its efficiency and battery
Picnics and barbecues are tons of fun, but, in warm weather, you need to be particularly careful about handling the fixin's if you don't want to get sick. Here are our cardinal rules for summer food safety:Read More »from 5 Rules for Summer Food Safety
1. Bring on the Ice: Pack at least a half-pound of ice per quart capacity of your cooler.
Related: Three Secrets to Packing a Safe Lunch
2. The Food Goes First: Fill your cooler with food then place the ice on top - cold air and melted ice will travel down.
3. Keep the Sun Away: At the picnic site, keep the cooler under a tree or in a shaded spot where it's out of direct sunlight.
Related: Food Safety Quiz
4. Box 'em Separate: Pack a separate cooler for snacks like fruit and drinks. That way every time the cooler's opened, meat and salads won't be exposed to hot air.
Related: Best Insulated Coolers
5. No Drips Allowed: Make sure raw meats are well packaged so they can't drip on other foods or utensils.
Check out the GHRI blog for the rest of our food safety tips, including advice
Playing host out back is easier and less expensive than you think. Here are economical ways to transform your outdoor bash:Read More »from Throw a Perfect Outdoor Party!
Get Seated: If you need more seating or surfaces, relocate indoor furniture, like benches or stools. Skip the disposable utensils, too: Use durable everyday dishes and cutlery, parking trays to catch cleared plates next to trash cans. Finally, set up buffet-style food and drink stations, and the party will run itself.
Related: Outdoor Entertaining Products
Serve Yourself: Position your buffet under an overhang or umbrella to protect it from the elements. Then order its contents this way for easy cruising: plates, sides, buns, meats, fixings, and flatware; place an extra set of seasonings (salt, ketchup, etc.) at a central location elsewhere for guests' mid-meal adjustments. (Note: If perishable foods aren't gobbled up in an hour, swap them out with a fresh supply.)
Raise the Bar: A beverage station separate from the food lets guests mix drinks and mingle. Stock
- Good Housekeeping | Parenting – Thu, Jun 16, 2011 10:10 PM EDT
Choosing a summer camp with your child is a fun experience - but also requires some serious consideration. Find out how to make sure your child has a great summer experience.
- Traditional vs. Specialty Camp Is your child a sports fanatic or a nature lover? Be sure to discuss how he would like to spend the summer, and then find a camp with the right specialization for the best fit.
Day Camp or Sleepaway? Do you want your camper to spend the summer on her own, or still be home in time for dinner? Consider your child's level of independence, and be sure she's ready for a summer away from home before you start packing any bags.
Related: Summer Camp Packing List
- Coed vs. Same-Sex When you consider this factor, remember that there are some gray areas. A coed camp may offer separate gender-specific activities, and brother/sister single-sex camps may link up for dinners, dances, and ghost stories.
- Happy Campers Are any counselors former campers? Many
If only getting ready for those afternoons at the beach, park, pool, or even your own backyard were as relaxing as the lazy days themselves. But heading outside doesn't have to be an organizational ordeal. With a little prep and our easy cleanup tips, you'll be coming and going at the drop of a (cute, wide-brimmed) hat.Read More »from 9 Packing Tips for Outdoor Summer Fun
Here are some strategies to plan for (and quickly recover from) excursions:
Stash these must-haves in your summer tote so you can head to the shore or park on (next to) no notice:
1. Spillproof sunscreen Go for the spray kind or, if it tends to dribble, seal lotion in a zip-seal bag. (Skip SPF-soaked wipes, which are hard to apply evenly)
Related: 10 Necessities for the Perfect Beach Lunch
2. An empty makeup bag It'll hold your wallet and cell phone so you can quickly go mobile - like when the ice cream truck beckons - without hauling a purse
3. Extra undies Someone always forgets them
4. A carabiner hook Use it to clip your keys to the bag strap (no
Go ahead, take the plunge - these figure-fixing styles streamline, support, conceal, and contour to boost your body confidence all summer long.Read More »from 5 Tricks for Finding a Slimming Swimsuit
Trick #1: Flirty Flourishes
Yes, the full-coverage, forever-classic one-piece can still make waves. Just check out the flirty flourishes on this universally flattering trio, including, from left, a cleavage-accentuating adjustable neckline, bust-booster pads, and waist-whittling side shirring. A few tips to help you find the right cut for your body type: a high cut leg gives you a leaner line; a low-dipping scoop neck balances out a broader bottom half; and a crisp graphic print draws the eye away from full hips or a belly bulge.
From left: Magenta one-piece, $76, Talbots. Blue one-piece, $126--$128, Aerin Rose. Polka dot one-piece, $88, Christina.
Related: Flattering, Figure-Fixing Swimsuits for Every Body Type
Trick #2: Pintuck Pleats
Don't draw a line in the sand against a two-piece until you've tried this forgiving fool-the-eye combo.
Made of strong-yet-supple plastic fibers, all-weather rugs can brave the elements and are a cinch to clean (hello, hose!). Use one to pull together the look of a porch - or even a high-traffic indoor zone - in a hurry.Read More »from 5 Great Outdoor Rugs
Style-wise, this vibrant, verdant tree-motif rug (4'6" by 6'6") by Company C suits both classic and contemporary decor. Meaning? It'll flatter an array of spaces. $240
Related: Front Yard Landscaping Ideas
Inspired by traditional Tibetan patterns, Home Infatuation's reversible rug (5'11" by 8'10") blends fiery orange and red with subdued gray and purple. $108
A chunky chain print gives this CSN Rugs floor covering (3'6" by 5'6") a decidedly mod air, while anyone can love its neutral slate-and-brown palette. $119
Related: Outdoor Entertaining Essentials
Beachy bands of blue, green, brown, and cream make this rug (4' by 6') from Dash & Albert just the right thing to add breezy flair to a sitting area or busy entryway. $138
With airline baggage fees, confusing security measures, and grumpy passengers, air travel is getting trickier every year. As a professional organizer and frequent traveler, I know these organizing strategies will help you enjoy your trip as much as possible - and get there in a good mood!
- Think through your trip. Consider each activity and decide what you'll wear now instead of throwing several pieces in and hoping for the best. Assume you will get at least two wearings from each pair of pants or skirt, and choose a basic color scheme. Wear your bulkiest shoes on the flight, so you can save room in your suitcase. Related: Best Ways to Pack for a Trip
- Start with the right suitcase. Make sure carry-on bags meet size regulations to avoid disappointment, hassle, and expense. You are allowed one large bag, which must fit in the overhead bin, and one smaller bag, which must fit completely under the seat in front of you, as well as a laptop - though hopefully you won't be