David Princeby Amanda Armstrong
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
Blog Posts by Real Simple Magazine
David Princeby Amanda ArmstrongRead More »from 3 Rules for Working From Home
Virgil Bastosby Stacey ColinoRead More »from 7 Days to Less Stress
Day 1: See the big picture. When obstacles pop up, ask yourself how stressful the situation really is: Will this matter in three months? Three years? For issues with long-term repercussions, write down exactly what you think the problem is or how the situation needs to change. Brainstorm about what you can do to move toward a better outcome, itemize the steps that must be taken, then create a concrete plan of action.
Day 2: Survey your support system. Make a list of people you could turn to for advice and hands-on help in a pinch. You'll probably realize you have more people to rely on for emotional, practical, or financial support than you thought you did. Knowing that they're there can mitigate the effects of stress and make you feel more resilient.
Day 3: Plant something. Whether it's a window box or a row of bulbs, caring for greenery can have a positive effect on your well-being. A recent study put heart-disease patients in a
John KernickReal Simple readers share their memorable holiday mishaps.Read More »from Holiday Horror Stories
My in-laws were having Christmas dinner at our house for the first time, and I wanted everything to be perfect. I cooked my turkey and the giblets before we left for the family Christmas Eve party. Both were left on the back of the stove to cool. Imagine my shock when we returned to find that our boxer had eaten the turkey and we had to find a replacement at 10 p.m. on Christmas Eve.
Cooking goose for Christmas dinner. The butcher neglected to tell me about the reduced net weight of geese as they roast. When the final timer rang, I looked into the oven to see two roasting dishes full of fat and approximately two pounds of goose meat to feed 11 people. What was intended to be an elegant feast turned out to be a bit of Dickens gone awry.
When I was first married, I didn't know that when making mashed potatoes, you were supposed to use the hand mixer, not
- Real Simple Magazine | Work + Money – Thu, Oct 29, 2009 10:06 PM EDT
Anita CaleroDo You Always Have to Bring a Hostess Gift When You're Invited to Someone's House for Dinner?Read More »from Do you always have to bring a hostess gift? Surprising answers from our etiquette poll
Of course: 49.7%
No, just follow up with a thank-you note: 33%
Only if it's a fancy dinner: 17.3%
Experts say: "Hostess gifts aren't mandatory at less formal functions," says Robin Abrahams, who writes the Miss Conduct social-advice column in The Boston Globe Magazine, "but it's never wrong to bring one." Remember: No flowers unless they're in a vase, and don't expect wine or food gifts to be consumed at the meal. And, adds Abrahams, "if you don't know the hostess well, give something regiftable, like candles."
How Should You Seat Guests at a Dinner Party?
Let them pick their own seats: 54.6%
Boy, girl, boy, girl: 28.8%
No married couples together: 16.6%
Experts say: "There are no longer any rules," says Anna Post, a great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post and the author of the blog What Would Emily Post Do? (annapost.typepad.com), backing up the majority
Tom Schierlitzby Sarah StebbinsRead More »from 16 surprising uses for your dishwasher
Baseball caps can get bent in the washing machine but hold their shape in the dishwasher, especially inside a contraption like the Ball Cap Washer ($5, amazon.com). Don't wash them with dishes; food can get trapped in the cloth.
Action figures and other small toys can ride in a mesh lingerie bag on the top rack (but don't wash Barbie or she'll have a horrible hair day).
Rain boots should have the liners removed and lie horizontally.
Hook flip-flops on tines in the top rack.
Tools with metal or plastic handles will be fine.
Ceramic cabinet knobs do well in the silverware basket, so if you feel like embarking on the process (remove, wash, replace), go for it.
Hairbrushes and combs made of plastic can take a spin, but not wood or natural boar-bristle brushes.
Fan grilles, switch plates, and vent covers are in if they're plastic, aluminum, or steel. Enameled, painted, or plated should stay out.
Shin guards, knee pads, and mouth guards―toss them all into the top
John LawtonTry these go-to fashion choices for instant slimming.Read More »from Dress 10 Pounds Thinner
by Yolanda Wikiel
The A-Line Skirt:
Try a simple A-line cut in a stretch blend. "A wide waistband holds in the stomach, while the A shape creates a smooth line to disguise full thighs," says stylist Allison Berlin, who says the ideal leg-slenderizing length is just at the top of the knees. Get-thin-quicktip: Slip on high heels that match your skin tone, which will make you "look longer and leaner because there's no contrasting color to break up the leg line," says Danica Lo, author of How Not to Look Fat.
You already know that black is slimming, but a dress with a shirred or draped waist will carve out a waistline. Look for a substantial (not T-shirt-thin) wool-blend jersey that won't reveal every lump and bump on your body. Structured Jacket: "Strong shoulders always make the waist and hips look narrow in comparison," says Stephanie Solomon, vice president of women's ready-to-wear for Bloomingdale's.
Yunhee KimQ. How can I determine which size bra I should be wearing?
Old Hickory, Tennessee
A. If your bras leave red marks or are just plain uncomfortable, chances are you're wearing the wrong size. Sandi Simon of the Bra Smyth stores, in New York and New Jersey, says that if you don't have access to a specialty fitting store, then an at-home measurement can give you a good idea of whether your current bra is sized correctly. There are two measurements you need to determine: band size and cup size. To find them, put on your best-fitting unpadded bra and stand in front of a mirror, holding a tape measure.
- Band size: With the tape measure, measure around the top of your rib cage, directly under your bust. Be sure to keep the tape evenly horizontal to get the most accurate number possible. When you have the measurement, round it off to the nearest whole number. If the number is even, add 4 inches; if it's odd, add 5 inches. Your band size is the sum of this calculation. (So if
Andrew BanneckerBy Shelley LevittRead More »from What Do Your Chills and Fever Mean?
There's a reason for each sneeze and sniffle. Learn why your body behaves the way it does when you're sick.
The Symptom: Chills and Fever
What it means: Chills are the way the body generates heat when it feels cold. They usually precede a fever, the body's method for defending itself by raising its temperature to fight a virus.
When to worry: Call your doctor if your temperature rises above 102 degrees, if a fever persists for 72 hours without breaking, or if you also have shortness of breath or dizziness.
Home remedies: To stay hydrated, sip your favorite liquids. Sponging off with warm water may also give you relief.
Over-the-counter remedies: Acetaminophen (Tylenol), ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin), or naproxen (Aleve) can lower a fever that's making you uncomfortable.
The Symptom: Sneezing
What it means: Your body is expelling bacteria and other particles with a sudden, involuntary burst of air. Don't suppress a sneeze, as your body is trying to evict the irritants.
Anita CaleroBy Eleni N. GageRead More »from Soothe Your Sore Throat
Try one of these solutions when that tickle turns terrible.
Try it when: You begin to notice a tickle.
How it works: This pungent bulb is thought to have "tremendous immune-stimulating effects" as well as antimicrobial (read: virus-fighting) and antibacterial qualities, says Finkelstein. So it may help the body to heal the infections that cause a sore throat while fighting the germs that cause the pain and the irritation. The compound that may be responsible for this is allicin, which is released when raw garlic is cut, crushed, or chewed. Finkelstein suggests microwaving one or two cloves for 10 to 15 seconds to decrease the intensity of the taste, then crushing them in a press and eating the garlic on a cracker. Do this once daily.
Good to know: Garlic supplements, which may be effective at lowering cholesterol and blood pressure, do not seem to help the immune system.
Try it when: Your throat feels dry.
How it works: A humidifier keeps the air
Klas FahlenUse the Real Simple guide to lists you can never seem to recall.Read More »from Can you name the 7 natural wonders of the world?
by Sharon Tanenbaum and Ashley Tate
7 (Widely Accepted) Natural Wonders of the World
1. Grand Canyon
2. Great Barrier Reef
3. Mount Everest
4. Aurora Borealis
5. Victoria Falls
6. Paricutín volcano
7. Harbor of Rio de Janeiro
(There is actually no master list of natural wonders, but we think this one by CNN comes pretty close.)
7. Donder (also called Donner)
8 Planets in the Solar System
8. Neptune (
Pluto was a planet until 2006, when it was demoted to dwarf-planet status.)
Keep reading: More Lists You Can't Recall
27 Low-Cost, High Imagination Games
Do You Always have to Bring a Hostess Gift?
How to Behave in Public