Read More »from How green are you?
Check out Real Simple's carbon facts to see exactly how your (small) actions can make a (big) difference.
By Jennifer Bogo
Your Carbon-Saving Equation
See how your earth-friendly measures make a difference: Simply add up the pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) next to those actions listed below. For a more tangible sense of what that number means, work out whether you have saved enough to offset the pollution that one car emits in a year by dividing your total by 12,037 (the pounds of CO2 that the average car emits annually).*
Action: Recycle Aluminum and Steel Cans
Why it's worth it: Recycling aluminum and steel cans directs valuable metal into new products, saving 95 percent of the energy required to manufacture aluminum from scratch and 74 percent of the energy needed to make steel.
Your one-year effect: 414 pounds of CO2 saved. The effect if everyone in the U.S. did it for one year: Equal to 3,934,118 nonhybrid cars taken off the road for one year.
Related: New Uses for Aluminum Foil
Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine
Read More »from How green are you?
Read More »from How do I say, respect my childâ€™s name, please?
Real Simple's Modern Manners columnist answers a reader question. By Julie Rottenberg
Q. What do you do when your parents won't call your kids by their given names? Christine Miller Droessler San Francisco, California
A. As absurd and inconceivable as this question may seem to some, child-name rejection appears to be a bona fide cultural phenomenon. I have a colleague whose mother didn't like her grandson's name, Max, so she started calling him by his middle name, Oliver. An old friend's father, after learning his new granddaughter's name was Margo, bellowed, "That's a hooker's name!" Still another pal's mom said outright, "I don't like the name Leo." Related: What to Say in Awkward Social Situations
Crazy, right? Maybe these overreactions can be traced to the fact that so many of us choose names from our parents' parents' generation (see Max, above) and so our folks are predisposed to find them old-fashioned. Or, conversely, they recoil at names that seem too quirky or modern
Don't Feed These to FidoRead More »from 8 things your pet shouldnâ€™t eat
You may share your backyard and even your bed, but it's probably best to avoid sharing a meal with man's best friend, or any other pet for that matter.
Listed here, from most (1) to least (8) dangerous, are common foods and drinks that make pets sick. If you think your dog, cat, or bird has consumed one of these items and you are concerned, contact your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).
Related: At Home Dog Grooming
Why: Stimulates the nervous system and the heart. Poisonous to: All species, but dogs are most likely to eat dangerous quantities. Possible effects of poisoning: Vomiting, increased thirst, restlessness, agitation, increased or irregular heartbeat, increased body temperature, tremors, seizures.Related: Solutions to Common Pet Problems
2. Grapes, Raisins
Why: Damage the kidneys. Poisonous to: Dogs, cats. Possible effects of poisoning: Increased thirst, increased urination, lethargy, vomiting.
- Real Simple Magazine | Healthy Living – Thu, Apr 1, 2010 1:03 AM EDT
Apple or orange juice? Burger or hot dog? Find out in this nutritional smack down.Read More »from Nutrition smack down: Should your family eat this or that?
Puffed Rice Cereal or Raisin Bran?
The better choice: Raisin bran.
"Iron-rich raisins pack a nutritional punch, and one cup of raisin bran has around seven grams of fiber, which kids don't get enough of," says Elisa Zied, M.S., R.D., the author of Feed Your Family Right!. Fiber recommendations by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) range from 19 grams, for 1- to 3-year-olds, to 31 grams, for 9- to 13-year-old males. Also, cereals with flakes retain more of their nutritional value than puffed varieties, according to a 2006 study published in Food Chemistry.
Keep in mind: Be sure to brush after eating the sugarcoated raisins―one serving of raisin bran has 19 grams of sugar.
Read More: Easy Everday Meal Planning
Peanut Butter and Jelly or a Ham-and-Swiss Sandwich?
The better choice: PB & J.
Two tablespoons of any kind of peanut butter provides about eight grams of protein. And peanut butter is a
Handwriting examiner Kimon Iannetta analyzed the signatures and writing of ruthless criminal Charles Manson―and speculated on why he may have been likely to commit his crimes.Read More »from Do you write like a criminal?
Charles Manson (shown left)
The ever-changing baseline of Manson's writing in combination with erratic margins and variable letter forms indicate someone who is street-smart and impossible to pin down. There is, nevertheless, a "method to his madness." Under nurturing circumstances, Manson's innate intelligence and creative and poetic thought processes might have flourished. However, his life experiences and worldview were adversely colored by violent stints in orphanages, juvenile institutions, and prisons. Remnants of these violent experiences are seen in distortions and angles in Manson's lower loops, which represent unconscious memories. Furthermore, the baseline of many words and ends of sentences have an extreme convex shape, revealing a dark outlook.
John Wilkes Booth (see Criminal Handwriting)
Bob HiemstraReal Simple readers offer small-budget Christmas-gift ideas and other insights on how to keep holidays from wrecking your financial plan.Read More »from How do you stay on budget during the holidays?
Coupons, coupons, coupons! I begin early, and I'm diligent. Start collecting them, make your list, then try to use at least one coupon for each person. The savings will be dramatic. The trick? Don't buy more just because you saved money.
South Hempstead, New York
Shop with a plan. I never leave the house without concrete ideas and a list of what I am buying and for whom. And don't hit the stores willy-nilly. Go to the departments and aisles that have the items on your list, and do not detour to other areas of the store. You save money and precious time.
High Ridge, Missouri
My friends and I exchange birthday gifts but not holiday gifts. Instead, we get together at someone's house to enjoy a glass of wine and wrap presents together. By limiting gift buying to family, it's much easier to stay within my budget.
Keep reading: More Homemade Gift IdeasRead More »from 8 Simple, Sensational Homemade Gifts
by Erin KaneRead More »from Manage Christmas card chaos
Usually I send around 100 Christmas cards and the postage alone could afford another gift under the tree or a donation to my local food pantry. Add in the cost of making a beautiful photo card-ranging anywhere in price from 50 cents to $2 each-and you can see the why the temptation to skip the cards can be so great. And yet I find cards are still a wonderful way to connect with friends and family so I am not ready to give in. When I made my card last week, I discovered a few tools for making the whole process a little easier.
1. Compare prices at online photo card shops before you start creating your card. I actually started making my card using iPhoto on my Mac because it was the fastest and easiest option. But when I went to buy the card, I realized it was going to cost me over $150, well over my budget. Then I checked out Shutterfly, where I have created my holiday cards in the past, and got the price down to less than 48 cents per card.
Tip: How to save money on
James BaigrieThe holidays herald the annual quandary--who should you tip and how much? And when is a gift more appropriate? Use our practical guide to take the guesswork out of holiday tipping.Read More »from Holiday Tipping Guide
Give a Tip to Your...
Building superintendent: $20 to $100, depending on how responsive and helpful your super has been. * Doorman: $20 to $100. If there are multiple doormen, $15 or more for each is fine; if you have only one, then the higher end of that range is more appropriate, especially if he is friendly and does a lot for you. The average holiday tip is $50.
Elevator operator/other building staff: $20 to $50. Check with your building association to see if there is a holiday tip pool that is shared by all of the building's employees.
Landscaper/gardener: $20 to $50. If he or she comes frequently, give up to a week's pay.
Pool cleaners: For a regular crew, the price of one cleaning, to divide among themselves. If a different employee shows up each visit, holiday tipping is unnecessary.
David Princeby Amanda ArmstrongRead More »from 3 Rules for Working From Home
1. Figure Out if It's Right for You
"Many of us would opt to work from home to save on child-care and commuting expenses, but it isn't for everyone," says Tory Johnson, author of Fired to Hired. If you thrive on the camaraderie of watercooler chitchat or are tempted to rush off to a sale at the mall without a watchful eye to tether you down, you probably aren't the best candidate.
If you do think it's for you and you currently work in an office, find out if there is any established protocol, like having a certain title to warrant telecommuting. Then put your request to your boss in writing; address your communication strategy and recommend a trial period for the arrangement. If you're going the freelance route, make sure you have enough business lined up before you leave your current job. To learn about the legal aspects of self-employment, visit nolo.com, a website for small businesses and consumers. To find out about health-care options by state, go to