Francesco Lagnese Three tips to choosing a carve-worthy pumpkin
When choosing a pumpkin for carving do, be sure to:
Examine the rind.
It should be firm, uniform in color, and free of cuts, bruises, and blemishes.
Make sure that the stem doesn't look brown and dry.
And don't use the stem as a handle, since even a healthy one can break off. Pick up a pumpkin by its base instead.
Give the pumpkin a knock. A thumping sound means the pumpkin is solid, with no internal defects, rot, or soft spots.
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Francesco Lagnese Three tips to choosing a carve-worthy pumpkinRead More »from How to Select a Pumpkin to Carve
- A green clown wig + a schoolgirl outfit = Broccoli Spears Cheryl Zibisky
- A plastic laundry basket with holes cut out for legs + white balloons + a shower cap = Bathing Beauty
- A white dress + a pipe-cleaner halo + leaves in her hair and "dirt" on her face = Fallen Angel
- Black clothes + yellow electrical tape down his torso + toy cars + Velcro = Highway
- A pig nose + a blanket = Pig in a Blanket
- A blue T-shirt + cotton balls + tape + a water gun = Partly Cloudy With a Chance of Rain
- A polo shirt + khakis (or madras shorts) + a name tag = Jay Crew
- A clear umbrella (preferably dome- shaped) + party streamers or metallic ribbons = Jellyfish
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Essentials for Hosting a Pumpkin-Carving Party
Last-Minute Survival Guide for ParentsRead More »from Quick, Easy Halloween Costumes
Jeff McNamaraColleen and Michael Cooney's second bedroom had always been primarily a home office and a stowaway zone for everything from golf clubs to books and files. When the couple learned they were expecting their first baby, they realized that their space was about to get even tighter. Although there was no way to keep the extra bed in the room (which measures 11 feet 9 inches by 12 feet 9 inches), the Cooneys did end up with a calm, airy space for doing business and bringing up baby.Read More »from Big Solutions for a Small Nursery/Home Office
Unify and divide. An energetic yet soothing color enlivens and enlarges the room. The contrast between the white molding and the blue walls makes the window seem larger, too. Keeping the office on one side and the nursery on the other enables them to coexist peacefully in tight quarters. With less clutter (and no double bed crammed into a corner), each side has room to spread out a little.
Always look under the bed. No need to let the space beneath the crib go to waste. It's the perfect spot to
Antonis AchilleosThese three key steps will get you on your way to making order in your home using basic everyday items:Read More »from 3 Clutter-Busting Concepts
Enough storage space is, of course, the Holy Grail of any household. But solutions to the problem are probably littering your closets and cupboards right now. Use monochromatic boxes, wooden crates, berry baskets, and empty jars to stash anything from mementos to old files, paper clips to dried spices. (See Space-Saving Tricks)
Transform stray containers or collectibles into a decorative tableau by clustering like objects. Consistency produces a neater look than a random assembly does -- and while one or two may look arbitrary, a group looks like art.
Although your lidless sugar bowl and your wobbly chair no longer serve their original purposes, they're far from useless. You can eke a second life out of idle treasures by assigning them new functions -- and, in so doing, add style to the surfaces they grace.
Clutter-Busting Secrets of
Litter box: The ripeness of Snowball's litter box depends on the litter as well as on her diet, allergies, or infections, and whether the box is cleaned daily.
Fur: Dirty coats breed odor-causing bacteria. "If we went months between baths, we'd stink," says Robert Krapfl, a veterinarian in Omaha, Nebraska.
Accidents: Fluids spread as they seep into carpet padding and create nasty smells.
Litter box: Clay-based litter that clumps when wet, such as Scoop Away Plus Crystals ($10 to $13 for a 25-pound box, at supermarkets) absorbs odors.
Fur: Brushing and bathing can prevent the buildup of bacteria. Ask your vet about shampoos.
Accidents: Spray Nature's Miracle Stain & Odor Remover (about $8 at pet stores) on an area wider than the spot (and under it, if possible).
Written by Marla Garfield
Conquer Household Odors
At-Home Dog Grooming
The First Thing to Do When Your Pet Runs AwayRead More »from Conquering Pet Odors
Rather than randomly plucking items from shelves (and forgetting the things youDavid Princereally need in the process), make yourself an all-inclusive shopping list, grouped by the aisles of your grocery store. Creating the list should take just one trip to the market (and no more than 45 minutes). Better still, stored on your computer and posted on the refrigerator each week, it will be the last one you'll ever have to make.Read More »from Organize Your Grocery Shopping Trips
1. Before you go to the supermarket, jot down your grocery list. Add to it all the items you stock your shelves with that you don't need to buy this time.
2. Take the list to the store. As you shop, write down the aisle number next to each item on the list.
3. When you get home, type up the list according to the aisle numbers. Print out several copies.
4. Stick a copy of the list on your refrigerator.
Download a Sample Shopping List
1. Superglue mini magnets (available at stationery stores) to a pen and a small stapler and keep
"Exercise is fun," says James Moriarity, M.D., president of the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. "It's a great way to interact socially, and it has tremendous health benefits." Need even more motivation? Work out with a friend -- you'll be less likely to bail. Unless you have a chronic health condition (like diabetes or heart disease), you can walk, bike, or use an elliptical cross-trainer without consulting a doctor. (See the Best Time of Day to Do Your Cardio Workout)Read More »from Work Out 101: How to start exercising
To stay committed, don't overreach. Start slowly, and work up to 30 to 45 minutes most days of the week. "If you can speak conversationally, you're working at the right intensity," says Cedric Bryant, Ph.D., chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise. Be sure to warm up and cool down for 5 to 10 minutes, and include strength training twice a week. Try Pilates, yoga, or resistance exercises (download illustrated guides at www.acefitness.org). If you experience extreme pain (especially
Every DayMikkel Vang
- Wipe out the sink (30 seconds).
- Wipe the toilet seat and rim (15 seconds).
- Swoosh the toilet bowl with a brush (15 seconds).
- Wipe the mirror and faucet (15 seconds).
- Squeegee the shower door (30 seconds).
- Spray the entire shower and the curtain liner with shower mist after every use (15 seconds).
- Scrub the tub (three minutes).
- Scrub the tiles (five minutes).
- Mop the floor (two minutes).
- Wipe the switch plates, doorknobs, and doorjambs (one minute).
- Empty and wipe out the wastebasket (30 seconds).
- Take down the shower curtain, then launder it according to the care instructions.
- Empty, weed, and clean the medicine cabinet (20 minutes).
- Perform "Shiny Sink 101" on the tub and sink.
Don't Miss:Read More »from Cleaning To-Do List: Bathroom
Mark WeissBack-of-Seat Car Organizer
Problem: Hard to believe an elephant could hide in the backseat, but your toddler's Babar book has gone missing. And come to think of it, where's Miss Monkey?
See Car Questions, Answered
Solution: The Case Logic Back Seat Organizer ($13, www.stacksandstacks.com) hangs from the back of the front seat and offers pockets and see-through mesh compartments for books and toys. Adults might use it to stash a road atlas, a camera, and an umbrella.
Problem: Of course you're ready for an emergency, with a flashlight and jumper cables stowed in your trunk...somewhere...you swear...hang on....
Solution: The Axius Easy Access Trunk Organizer ($11, www.axius.com for stores) lets you neatly corral all the stuff that keeps your car going -- coolant, motor oil, jumper cables, ice scraper, flashlight, and cans of WD-40.
Storage for Groceries in the Car
Problem: Your trunk looked like a bowl of cereal the last time you got home fromRead More »from Organize Your Car
Francesco Lagnese1 tablespoon olive oilRead More »from Real Simple Recipe: Pumpkin-Leek Soup
2 leeks (white and light green parts), sliced 1/4 inch thick and rinsed
2 celery stalks, sliced
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 medium pumpkin or 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree
6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
Kosher salt and pepper
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks, celery, and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin cubes and canned puree, then the broth. Simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 25 minutes. Stir in 1 3/4 teaspoons salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Working in batches, ladle the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Divide among individual bowls and top with the rosemary.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
NUTRITION PER SERVING CALORIES 167(16% from fat); FAT 3g (sat 0g); CHOLESTEROL 0mg; CARBOHYDRATE 32g; SODIUM 484mg; PROTEIN 8g; FIBER 4g; SUGAR 7g
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