Chances are, work-life balance is your most elusive goal. But it's not impossible.
By Michelle Slatalla
Last Thursday, as I walked into the house after a business meeting followed by a 30-mile round-trip car pool, I smelled something delicious wafting from the Crock-Pot. On my way to the kitchen, I looked in the mirror, gave a thumbs-up to my dependable black pants, and thought, There now, being a working mother isn't so hard. That day, like most, involved a lot of working and a lot of mothering, often at the same time. Ever since giving birth to my first daughter, 20 years ago, I have intentionally blurred the lines between work and home. That's just what the experts tell you not to do. But I credit the overlap with helping me stay reasonably calm. Here are my tried-and-true ways to keep domestic (and professional) chaos at bay.
Brooke Slezak 1. Do work at home; do home at work. You need to accomplish a certain number of things during a 24-hour period. Where you complete those tasks is beside
Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine
Chances are, work-life balance is your most elusive goal. But it's not impossible.Read More »from Secrets of One Unflappable Working Mother
Simplifying strategies, tips, and techniques-from the Real Simple test kitchen to yours. Read More »from Kitchen Tricks and Tips from Our Expert Cooks
By Lygeia Grace and Dawn Perry
Olivier KuglerRemoving Salmon Bones
Before salmon fillets make it into the supermarket seafood case, the fishmonger has taken out the backbone and the ribs. But he doesn't always catch the thin, soft pin bones that "float" in the flesh. Here's a quick way to remove them at home.
Step 1: Run your index finger along the center seam of the fillet, going against the grain. If there are any pin bones present, you'll feel them protruding at about half-inch intervals.
Step 2: With clean tweezers, grasp the tip of the bone and tug, pulling at a slight angle instead of up and out (pin bones grow slanted toward the fish's head). Repeat as necessary.
Also See: 37 Easy Salmon Recipes
Olivier KuglerPrettier Slaws (Chop-Chop)
Sure, your food processor is a whiz at grating vegetables…into short, stubby pieces. The next time you pull it out to make a slaw or a salad, try this trick for creating slender,
Unexpected explanations for why we like doing it and the surprising benefits cleaning can have for us.Read More »from Secrets Behind Why We Really Love to Clean
By Kate Rope
James BaigrieSince spring officially marks the arrival of cleaning season in our books, we went to Facebook and asked our readers if they liked to clean. The surprising results? Nearly 90% of you said you either liked cleaning (or having cleaned) and you had some pretty profound reasons why getting out the scrub brush and the Ajax made you happy. We took those reasons and went to neat freaks and experts to find out just what it is about running that dishwasher and folding the laundry that can produce such a sense of contentment.
Also See: Quick Cleaning Solutions for Every Room
Thomas LoofIt Gives You a Sense of Accomplishment
When we clean, we "get to have an end product. In many tasks you don't get an end product that's so observable," says Dr. Fugen Neziroglu, PhD, director of the Bio Behavioral Institute in Great Neck, New York and author of Overcoming Compulsive Hoarding. For many of our
These smart programs may help ease the financial pain of paying for your child's four-year degree.Read More »from Smart Ways to Start Saving for College
This article originally appeared on LearnVest.com.
Explore Your Options
Saving for your child's education can seem confusing and complicated.
--When should you start saving?
--How should you do it?
--How do you save for your retirement and your child's education at the same time?
Jupiterimages/Getty ImagesThese are all vital questions to ask yourself as you begin to think about saving for Junior's college education.
For starters-take a breath. The first thing to remember is that your child will have many more options to help her pay for college than you'll have to help you retire. Between scholarships, financial aid, federal grants and loans, there's no reason to jeopardize your retirement savings to put her through school. In other words-you should never plan on taking money out of your retirement savings to pay for your kid's college education.
That being said, the sooner you can start saving, the better.
Night owls, rejoice: You, too, can wake up bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. Here's how to make it happen.Read More »from Great Tips for Becoming a Morning Person
By Ayren Jackson-Cannady
Jon Feingersh Photography/Getty ImagesEver wonder why you're able to stay up until 2 am, while your best friend can's make it until 10 pm? It has everything to do with your internal clock, says Tracey Marks, M.D., an Atlanta-based psychiatrist and author of Master Your Sleep: Proven Methods Simplified. "Most people's internal clock has 24 hrs, but if it's a little longer, then you will be pulled in the direction of not feeling tired until later and later each evening." Don't fret night owl-it is possible to train yourself to be more alert in the mornings than in the evenings. Here's how.
Also See: Get a Good Night's Sleep
Monica BuckSlash an Hour From Your Day
If you want to wake up earlier, trim down those evening obligations, says Dr. Marks. We know what you're thinking: How can I not overextend myself? "We typically overestimate how much available time we have and take on projects that we have no
The key to eating right and maintaining weight is a plan that fits your life. Consider these points.Read More »from 7 Principles of Healthy Eating
By Sally Solo
Con Poulos1. Know yourself.
Some people revel in the art of food preparation. For others, the microwave is a lifesaver. What matters is that you find a healthy way to cook and eat that works for you. If you love a large, sit-down dinner, for example, ignore conventional wisdom that says it's best to eat lots of small meals (just be sure not to snack all day if you plan to feast at night).
Knowing yourself also means planning for pitfalls. If, say, you often nosh while you work, keep food as far from your desk as possible or bring in a healthy snack from home. If your downfall is salty junk food, don't eat directly from a multiserving package; take out a handful and put the rest away. Slight changes don't feel like sacrifice, says Brian Wansink, a professor of marketing and nutritional science at Cornell University, but they do make a difference: "Eating 200 fewer calories a day can
How to toss up a picture-perfect salad every time.Read More »from Three Steps to a Perfect Salad
By Sara Quessenberry
Melanie Acevedo1. Clean and dry greens well.
The best way to do this is to break out your salad spinner and use this technique: Fill it with cold water, add greens to the basket (figure on 1½ cups of greens per person for a first course or a side salad), and swish around. Lift out the basket (and greens), dump the water, and repeat until the water is grit-free. Spin the greens until thoroughly dry (in batches, if necessary). Excess moisture dilutes the dressing.
2. Dress greens just before serving.
Do it too soon and the leaves will wilt. Toss in just a little dressing at a time (if you're using homemade and it has solidified in the refrigerator, run the jar under hot water before pouring it in). The greens should be nicely coated. If the dressing is pooling in the bowl, you've gone too far.
3. Add delicate ingredients last.
Place items like sliced avocado and hard-boiled eggs gently on top of a dressed salad. If tossed,
If your walls could talk, here's what they would reveal.Read More »from What Your Paint Color Says About You
By Sarah Stebbins
Dominic Blackmore/Ideal Home
Look around the rooms in your home and you'll probably pick up on a theme (or two). Perhaps you're gazing out at a sea of blues and greens-or a spectrum of sunset shades. "Paint color is an expression of your personality," says Leatrice Eiseman, executive director of the Pantone Color Institute and author of Pantone: The Twentieth Century in Color. "We branch out occasionally, but most of us have a proclivity for certain types of shades." Read on to discover the meaning behind your favorites and tips for creating looks everyone can live with.
If You Gravitate to Soft, Warm Shades… Adrian Briscoe/Homes & Gardens Associated with sunshine and roaring fires, yellow and orange (and close cousins peach and pink) have a cheerful, welcoming personality. And most likely, so do you. "People who use warm tones tend to be friendly and nurturing-they love having others over," says Eiseman. The fuzzy feeling we get from these colors isn't just
Easter Bunny left behind too many eggs? Try these recipes to put those humble treats to good use.Read More »from Recipe Ideas for Leftover Hard-Boiled Eggs
Deviled Eggs, Four Ways
Top each half with assorted garnishes, such as paprika, crumbled cooked bacon, chopped cooked asparagus, or chopped fresh herbs.
Serves 8 | Hands-On Time: 25m | Total Time: 40m
-12 large eggs
-1/2 cup mayonnaise
-1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
-Toppings (such as paprika, crumbled cooked bacon, chopped cooked asparagus, or chopped fresh herbs)
1. Place the eggs in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them by 1 inch. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover saucepan, and let stand for 12 minutes. Drain the eggs and run under cold water to cool.
2. Peel the eggs and cut in half length-wise. Transfer the yolks to a small bowl and mash with the mayonnaise, mustard, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Spoon the mixture into the whites and sprinkle with the desired toppings.
Related: 10 Egg Recipes for Brunch
Curried Egg Salad
Our collection of time-tested favorite cookies will satisfy anyone's sweet tooth.Read More »from Delicious Classic Cookie Recipes
Fill sugar cookies with apricot or raspberry jam for a burst of sweet fruit in every bite.
Makes 42 | Total Time: 2hr 00m
-Roll the basic sugar cookie dough into tablespoon-size balls and place on baking sheets (do not substitute slice-and-bake dough).
-Make a well in each ball with your thumb. Fill the wells with a total of 1⁄3 cup apricot jam or raspberry jam.
-Bake at 350° F on parchment-lined baking sheets until just beginning to brown, 15 to 18 minutes.
-Cool slightly on baking sheets, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.
Related: Delicious Bar Cookies
Old-Fashioned Peanut Butter Cookies
Chewy and crumbly, this favorite has an added bonus-the recipe is flourless, making it a great gluten-free sweet treat.
Makes 36 cookies | Hands-On Time: 30m | Total Time: 1hr 15m
-2 cups creamy peanut butter (not the all-natural variety)
-1 1/2 cups