Blog Posts by Better Homes and Gardens

  • Last-Minute Holiday Food Gifts

    Dazzle your friends and family (and channel your inner foodie!) with these 15 tasty gifts you make yourself.

    By Gretchen Roberts

  • Deck the Halls with Festive Holiday Food!

    By Gretchen Roberts

    Old traditions like stringing popcorn and cranberries and hanging cookie ornaments are making a modern comeback. Sweet!


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  • 20 Luscious Homemade Food Gifts

    We show you gorgeous ways to wrap decadent sweets for the holidays. Every recipe here travels beautifully -- and is a treat to eat.

  • 20 Favorite Christmas Cookies

    These gorgeous and delicious Christmas cookies will impress your friends and family. Bonus: Every recipe here is a snap to make -- they'll only think you spent hours baking.

  • 14 Holiday Shopping Secrets

    By Gretchen Roberts

    Black Friday and other big shopping days won't scare you if you're armed with these budget-savvy, smart-shopper tips.







    Get the insider deals

    The National Retail Federation is predicting holiday sales of a whopping $447.1 billion this year, up 2.3 percent from 2009. But the smart shoppers we know aren't willing to spend a cent more than necessary to get great buys for everyone on their shopping list. Here are the tricks they have up their sleeves. Let the shopping begin!

    Before you even make your list, check out the online shopping resource FatWallet.com, which is known for leaking Black Friday ads and rumors. Check out its Black Friday Deal Filter when mapping your plan of attack for a big shopping day. The same goes for Black Friday Ads (bfads.net). Both will have their eye on the holiday deals right up until the new year.


    Do You Shop Smart?


    Work your social media skills

    Before hitting the stores (or while shopping, if you have a smartphone),

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  • 25 Secret Weapons to Lower Holiday Stress

    25 sneaky ways to shop smart, reduce the stress, and get ready for a happy, healthy holiday.

    By Rose Kennedy and Diana Reese




    Holidays done right, your way

    Oh, the irony of those Christmas carols. You're singing about "chestnuts roasting on an open fire," but experiencing meltdowns by the microwave. Jingle Bells sounds way too close to Jangled Nerves and "sleep in heavenly peace" is almost comical if you think about it. That's because, for most of us, the holiday season involves lots of stress mixed in with all the Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree.

    But a little stress isn't going to stop most Motherboard Moms. in a recent survey they told us they aren't going to let anything get in the way of creating a special holiday for families. And they're not counting on Santa's elves for help, either; they have their own secret weapons for shopping, making holiday goodies, decorating, and keeping it all under budget. Here's their advice.

    1. Be choosy about traditions

    We tend to

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  • How to Complain Effectively and Get Your Money Back

    If you've got a gripe -- and what consumer doesn't? -- the key to getting a refund (and an apology) is knowing when and how to fight back.

    By Cynthia Hanson


    We've all got horror stories about a rude salesperson, a new appliance that broke after a week, or an online order that never arrived. And lately those stories seem to be proliferating, thanks to recession-related cost-cutting that includes the shrinking of workforces and more outsourcing of customer call centers. It can feel like a small miracle just to get an actual service representative on the phone -- after navigating a complicated phone tree and waiting on hold for 20 minutes, of course.

    What remains unchanged is the fact that as a consumer, you have very little protection against shoddy service or faulty products. Now more than ever it's up to you to make things right -- and that means mastering the art of effective complaining. By stating your case calmly and logically, you can turn that salesperson, waiter,

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  • 20 Last-Minute Halloween Decorating Ideas

    Don't feel like you have enough time to deck the halls with something spooky this year? Think again! Check out these fun, inexpensive, and shriekingly good ideas to get you and your family in the perfect mood for Halloween.

  • 20 Amazing Birthday Cakes & Cupcakes for Kids

    From a whimsical cheeseburger cake to a cute robot cake, these smashing desserts are the ultimate way to celebrate your child's birthday.

  • 5 Ways to Take Years Off Your Body (Really!)

    It's not just laugh lines and crow's-feet that give away your age. From thinning hair to veiny legs, your body speaks the truth. But there are some smart ways to turn back the clock without spending a fortune. Really.


    By Hallie Levine Sklar


    Age Betrayer #1: Sun-Damaged Skin

    Remember those cute freckles you got as a kid? Well, we've got some not-so-cute news: They were your earliest sign of sun damage. Once you hit your 30s or 40s, the evidence of years of UV exposure emerges in the form of broken blood vessels around your nose and on your cheeks, wrinkles around your eyes and lips, and brown spots. Precancerous lesions may also appear, especially as you move into your 40s.


    Stay-Young Solutions

    Easy on the wallet

    • Wearing sunscreen every day all year round won't erase your wrinkles and age spots but it will prevent further damage -- and it may even reduce your risk of developing skin cancer. "Sun exposure decreases immune response in the skin, and
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