Laundry seems simple: detergent, water, spin, dry. But then there are those laundry mysteries - and we're not talking missing socks. Here's what you must know about what's going on in your washer.
How many detergents do I really need?
Your regular all-in-one detergent will clean your clothes - but specialty detergents keep those clothes in better shape for longer. Do you really need a detergent for every color and fabric in your wardrobe? Some specialty detergents are worth adding to your laundry-room shelf. Here's why:
WOOL/CASHMERE DETERGENT: When it comes to your cashmere, skip the dry cleaner! Hand-washing wool and cashmere delicates maintains the soft, feel. Dry-cleaning chemicals, on the other hand, break down the yarn in wool and cashmere and strip the fabric of its natural oils (plus, the process is pricier than hand-washing!). Try The Laundress Wool & Cashmere shampoo - the formula is more like a hair shampoo than a laundry detergent, which means it effectively targets sweat
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Laundry seems simple: detergent, water, spin, dry. But then there are those laundry mysteries - and we're not talking missing socks. Here's what you must know about what's going on in your washer.Read More »from Your Laundry Made Simple
Photo Credit: Ben GoldsteinHey, it's called a junk drawer for a reason. Say goodbye to these all-too-common space wasters.Read More »from 8 Things You Can Get Rid of Without Guilt
1. Kitchen items you haven't used in a year or longer. If you've never used your breadmaker or panini press, the odds you'll use it in the near future are pretty slim. Donate the bulky appliances and enjoy the extra space.
2. The entire contents of your junk drawer. There's a reason you call it that! Think you might have some useful items stored there? Empty the whole drawer into a box, and any time you use an item, place it back in the drawer. At the end of the month, toss whatever's left in the box and rename the newly functional drawer.
Related: 26 Organizing Tricks That Really Work
3. Clothes that no longer fit. They make it more difficult to search your closet to find the things you do wear. If you truly believe they'll fit at some point in the near future, then box and store them until then.
4. School work from high school or college. The material is most likely outdated, and the
photo credit: Lara Robby/Studio DThe Prettiest New Use for an Old Bottle! Raid your recycling bin and give glass bottles a pretty, new purpose with patterned paper. You'll have vases in only 3 steps!
TOOLS YOU'LL NEED
- 5 to 7 glass bottles
- Glue dots (available at michaels.com)
- Heavy-stock wrapping paper (we used reversible wrap from smockpaper.com, so coordinating the patterns was a cinch)
STEP 1: Select five bottles in different heights and hues. Mix it up with apple juice, milk, soda, sparkling water, and wine bottles. Remove labels with hot water. (Use Goo Gone for sticky leftovers.) Lay wrapping paper flat. Wrap a piece of paper around each bottle, adding a 1/2-inch overlap.
STEP 2: Now that you know how much paper you'll need, cut pieces to desired widths. Taller bottles should get a band that measures about 4 inches wide, and smaller bottles look best with 2-inch bands.
STEP 3: Use one glue dot to adhere the paper to the glass and a second glue dot to stick down the overlap. For extra Read More »from 3-Step DIY Project: Designer Vases
photo credit: Lucas AllenExperts, readers, and REDBOOK staffers share their best stay-organized secrets. Your sock drawer will never be the same again. (And that's a good thing.)Read More »from 8 Organizing Tips That Actually Work
1. Stash a permanent marker in the bathroom cabinet and mark makeup, sunscreens, and medicines with the dates of purchase so you know when they should be tossed. In general, mascara shouldn't be kept for more than three months, and sunscreens and medicines should be pitched at the end of a year, advises Lorie Marrero, creator of The Clutter Diet. Look for POA ("period after opening") icons, like the one at right, on packaging; "3M" means a product lasts three months.
2. Record birthdays, anniversaries, and other key dates at sites like americangreetings.com or giftelephant.com, which can send you reminders when someone's special day is approaching. Some even set up an automatic free e-card delivery.
3. Corral clutter where it lands. Keep containers near mess hot spots, such as the front door, the bedroom dresser, and the kitchen
Make Your Living Room a Showstopper! How much would it cost to have über-designer Kelly Wearstler create a serene refuge like this for you? Trust us, you don't want to know. But her tips and your budget-friendly finds are within reach for all of us.Read More »from 6 Easy Ways to Makeover Your Living Room
photo credit: James Waddell
1. Use trendy pieces as accents
"Look for unanticipated elements that add sophistication and excitement," Wearstler says. Right now, think fruit: Golden apples and pears look glam on a side table or mantle and are inexpensive enough to swap out when you get bored. Gold apple and pear fruit, $18 each; tozaihome.com for stores.
2. Create the illusion of space
"The coffee table plays off the scale of the sofa and generous room size," Wearstler says. Even an average-size room feels big and airy with a glass-topped coffee table.
Related: Got 2 Hours? Makeover That Old Dresser!
3. Stick with one finish
Wearstler suggests using just one metallic finish throughout a room. Matte gold or bronze adds warmth.
4. Bring in bright accessories.
You had that fantasy again, the one where you came home to find George Clooney in the kitchen, in a towel. Now you're feeling aroused, and a little embarrassed. But don't. Whatever your sexual daydreams, they are normal, says Hilda Hutcherson, M.D. She tells us what your sexual daydream says about you.Read More »from What Does Your Erotic Fantasy Mean?
1. Sex with another man (usually he's a celebrity). This doesn't mean you're dissatisfied with your real sex life, just that you're excited by new experiences - and, of course, gorgeous stars. Related: 28 Hot Little Sex Life Ideas
2. Ménage à trois. If you're picturing yourself with two men, you want to be adored and doted on - heck, maybe even fought over. Thinking about yourself and your guy with another woman ignites the very sexy idea that other ladies find your guy attractive too. Related: 15 Ways to Channel Your Inner Seductress
3. Domination. This fantasy allows you to engage in sexual stuff that may seem taboo, without any guilt. Seeing yourself as submissive can signify a
Comstock Images/Getty ImagesRead on for tricks on how to nix nicks, and keep your perfect polish job for a week and a half!Read More »from Make Your Manicure Last 10 Days
If you go to a salon, consider bringing your own bottle of polish. Nail salons notoriously add thinners to extend the life of old enamel, which can change the color and cause bubbling and peeling, says Jane Park, creator of Julep Nail Parlors in Seattle.
2. Dehydrate the Nail
"If there is residue [moisturizer, oil, water, etc.] on your nails, it will prevent polish from adhering," says Essie Weingarten, founder of Essie Cosmetics. Before polishing, wipe nails with lint-free cotton pads and an acetone-based cleanser.
Related: 5 Must-Have Age-Defying Products
3. Seal the "Free" Edge
"The base coat, nail polish, and top coat should be applied across the free edge - that is, the part of the nail that's been clipped or filed," Park says. This quick trick alone can help double the life of your mani, protecting your nails from water damage that will cause polish to chip.
photo credit: Silke Dietze/istockSummer can be freeing in more ways than one. Here, free get-happy ideas for the season - and beyond.Read More »from Make the Most of The End of Summer - For Free!
1. Celebrate an Obscure Holiday
Some suggestions to get you started: National Ice Cream Sandwich Day (August 2), National Watermelon Day (August 3), or National Sandcastle Day (August 17).
2. Head to the Beauty Counters
At your local mall, try out a fall fragrance or a new shade of lipstick or eyeshadow. Make sure to ask for a product sample before you leave the counter and get a fall beauty fix for free. (Just say "No, thanks" with a smile when the sales pitch starts.)
Related: The Vacation That Doesn't Cost a Dime
3. Go to the Theater
See a dance performance or choral concert for free by offering your services as a volunteer usher. Call local performance groups to see what opportunities exist in your community.
4. Unplug for a Day
Or an hour. That means no cell phone, no television, and no Internet access. (If you absolutely can't force yourself to disconnect and you have a Mac,
With the average price of gas at more than $4 a gallon -- and not likely to stop rising any time soon -- "it's time for people to modify the way they drive," says Christie Hyde, a spokesperson for the American Automobile Association (AAA). The biggest impact on your wallet will come from cutting down your car time -- walk, use public transportation, and work from home when you can -- but when your wheels are the only option, little tweaks can go a long way. Here, experts and real women share some tips to beat the squeeze at the gas pump:
- Travel in packs. "My friends and I started carpooling for convenience and time, and now we are all saving real money," says Margaret Dempsey, 43, from Nanuet, NY. The mother of three regularly shuttles six or seven kids in her van to sporting events, church, the pool, or skateboarding club. And when she is booked on a catering job -- her part-time gig -- she and her coworkers meet at a commuter lot and pile into one car.
Related Story: 4 ThingsRead More »from How To Save Money on Gas
Photo Credit: George Doyle/iStockHere are some easy things you can do to save extra cash.
1. Dial S for Savings!
If you can stomach the voice-activated menu hassle, a few simple calls to your cable, phone, and insurance providers might save you hundreds a year. Call the cable company and trim the channels you don't watch, or at least see if you can negotiate a lower rate. When it comes to car and home insurance, shop around, then call your current insurer and ask if they can match competing rates.
2. Follow These Coupon Clipping Tips
- Use them with pride! There's an average of $350 in savings in the paper each week," says Teri Gault, founder of thegrocerygame.com. "In this economy, coupon use has been on the rise," she adds. "Most anything that anyone buys eventually has a coupon for it."
- Remember, "Coupons can be automatically sent to your phone, loaded onto your supermarket club card, or printed off the Internet," Gault advises. Also, try sites like Coupons.com and couponsurfer.com. Is there a new product