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  • How to Dress Up Your Girl Scout Cookies

    It's that time of year. Girl Scouts across America are making their way door to door, smiling diligently at each potential customer. The cookies are hard to turn down, and it is even harder to decline an innocent and bright-eyed Girl Scout. You decided to order a box of everything this year, and you have no idea how you are going to eat all of these cookies once they arrive. There is no need to panic. You do not have to consume your Girl Scout cookies one box at a time.

    Buying Girl Scout cookies has many rewards besides their comforting sweet taste. Girl Scout cookie sales help to support activities and programs for each troop, and they teach the scouts important life skills like setting goals and financial responsibility. According to the Girl Scouts of the Permian Basin, since the 1920s Girl Scouts have been raising money to achieve their goals. Your contribution and support aids the girls directly because every penny earned, after covering the cost of the baker, will remain with

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  • How to Cut the Fat From Fake Calorie Counts

    By Caroline Schley

    Counting calories when you are eating out can be confusing. You need to guess at your portion size and consider which menu options may be healthy before you even see the food. With the nation's obesity epidemic increasing almost as fast as the number of food dollars spent on eating outside of the home, the government has become concerned.

    They've taken pity on the little guy (that's us) and proposed health care reform language aimed at making caloric information available in restaurants. In the best-case scenario, the new health care reform bill would require restaurants with more than 20 chains across the country to post caloric information to help the consumer make healthy, informed decisions.

    However, it turns out there are a few problems with menu labeling in restaurants. A new study compiled by faculty at Tufts University and published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association found restaurant meals that contained 18 percent more calories than

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  • How to Battle the Flu and Win

    By Richard Ferri

    With the final blitzkrieg of H1N1 nicely relegated to last year's news, it is time to revisit surviving the flu. Remember, the dreaded H1N1 virus, or "swine flu," is still out there--so no one should let their guard down.

    But January is the height of the good old regular flu season, and getting a seasonal flu vaccine is still a good idea--unless, of course, you are one of the 10 percent of Americans who get infected with influenza annually and already are in the grips of flu syndrome.

    Read on to get a better understanding of the basics of surviving influenza. Remember, the common use of the term "flu" normally means a really bad cold, but infection with a virus that causes influenza is serious. So far, the 2009 influenza outbreak has killed 36,000 people, and the 2010 flu season still has months to go.

    Things You'll Need:

    • The tincture of time
    • Meds as prescribed by your health care provider
    • Rest, fluids and some common sense

    Step 1
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  • How to Play Santa for Soldiers

    By Linda Natali

    What do the Hooter Girls, Kid Rock, Stephen King and AT&T have in common? They are all busy playing Santa to America's soldiers this holiday season.

    Kid Rock just marked his sixth visit to Iraq to entertain the troops and boosted morale by joking they were the most sober crowd he'd ever played for. This the second year that the Hooter Girls have traveled overseas to the delight of thousands of soldiers dedicated to protecting our soil.

    The Hooter Girls' travel reflects support from the company as a whole, which for the past six years has sent over 100,000 calendars to military personnel overseas along with a note of appreciation during the holidays. The company has also donated over $100,000 to Operation Homefront, an organization that provides emergency assistance and morale to U.S. troops and their families.

    Author Stephen King and his wife are paying $13,000 to bring 150 soldiers from the Maine Army National Guard home from Camp Atterbury in Indiana for Christmas

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  • How to Get Yourself a Black-and-White Bedroom

    Erinn Valencich is an interior designer and lifestyle expert. She has hosted several one-hour specials for HGTV including Decked for the Holidays, Fantasy Wedding in a Week and Light It Up! She has made numerous appearances on The View, Entertainment Tonight, Access Hollywood and Fine Living's Mail Order Makeover.

    The Black and White Bedroom

    Designing a black and white room may seem intimidating to the novice designer, but it's actually a lot easier than you think. Your choices are narrowed down quickly, and the design solution is all about layering light and dark.

    But, when it comes right down to it, your black and white design choice is one of the most diverse home décor options you'll find out there. It can be trendy or classic. Exotic or understated. Sleek or textured. The multiple ways a black and white design can be applied to a room are limited only by your personality - how daring or low-key you're willing to be when choosing accents and accessories.

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  • Holiday Shopping With the Kids

    By Linda Natali

    "You better watch out, you better not cry, better not pout, I'm telling you why, Santa Claus is coming to town." And you know who has to do all the shopping for that guy? You!

    With full parking lots, crowded malls and tempting displays, trying to get all the items on your list for the big, jolly, round fellow can be a daunting feat. Add a couple of crying anklebiters to the sleigh ride to the mall and everyone could end up getting a lump of coal in their stocking.

    But fear not, below you will find some tips on how to keep the holiday magic flowing (or at least your sanity) in the midst of all the shopping hustle and bustle.

    Step 1
    Prep the little angels. Talk to your kids and train them before you ever even take them shopping with you. If they're old enough, teach them their name and address and your cell phone number in case they get lost. If they do get separated from you while shopping instruct them to tell a person with a badge (security guard or policeman) or

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  • How to Get the Whole Family Around the Tree (When Half of them Hate You)

    By Linda Natali

    All together now: "It's the most wonderful time of the year!" Or as we like to sing in the blended family, "It's the most DIFFICULT time of the year."

    You've got your bio-parents, step-parents, your in-laws, your out-laws, kids, step-kids, and half-sibs, the original grandparents, the step-grandparents, and that isn't even counting the aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, and cousins. There are more players in this production than even the brilliant director-turned-octo-dad, Mel Gibson, would want to tackle.

    The holidays can be difficult under normal circumstances, but when you throw in the expectations, emotions, and stress of a blended family, you've got your hands full trying to make it a winter wonderland.

    If you don't have the bling and staff that Mel Gibson, Will Smith, A-Rod, Britney Spears, or even the Gosselin family has to underwrite a fabulous holiday spread, read on for some tips that just might make it a bit easier to get the whole "fam-damily" around the

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  • How to Deep-Fry a Turkey

    Though many people have never eaten deep-fried turkey, those in the Bayou have known for ages that this is a marvelous way to prepare a moist, flavorful bird. So if you're looking to deep fry a turkey for a Thanksgiving dinner or any other occasion, just follow these step-by-step instructions that make learning to deep fry turkey almost as easy as making gravy.

    Step 1
    Remove the neck and giblets from the turkey cavity and rinse the inside and outside of the bird.

    Step 2
    Dry the turkey well, inside and out, with paper towels.

    Step 3
    Fold the wings of the turkey behind the bird's shoulders and then remove the hock lock. Place turkey on a large wire rack.

    Step 4
    Place a 10- to 12-gallon stockpot on a 12-inch propane gas burner with at least 100,000 BTUs and fill with
    vegetable oil. Light fire and heat oil to 390 degrees F.

    Step 5
    Lower the well-dried turkey, breast first, into a deep-frying basket. Put on oven mitts and gently lower the basket into the oil.

    Step 6
    Lift up the

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  • Save Bucks on Beauty

    By Gigi Starr

    There's an old saying that equates beauty to pain. However, looking good doesn't have to pack a wallop on the budget.

    Cosmopolitan Magazine makes some great recommendations in their article, "Brilliant Little Beauty Tricks." Writer Andrea Lavinthal illustrates that it's important to stretch those beauty bucks as far as humanly possible, saying "We're all forced to be recessionistas right now. But skimping a bit here and there doesn't have to cramp your style."

    Take it from the experts: looking great starts in the home, with a couple of trips to some cheaper stores to fill in the gaps. New York Times writer Hilary Howard writes, "A recent report by Mintel, a market research company, said department store makeup shoppers are increasingly trading down to "drugstore selections" in the current economy."

    Paring down and looking fabulous is easy. Follow these tips to reduce your spending and still look like a million.

    Step 1
    Use raw ingredients on

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  • How to Be a Beer Snob

    There is so many different types of beer out there. Sadly, most people in the United States do not drink beers that are full of flavor and full of complexities that rival even wine. Here is how to get into these types of beer.

    Step 1
    Get into the mindset that quantity does not equal equality.
    While many people prefer drinking several cans or bottles of beer in one sitting, good beer is meant to be sipped and appreciated, much like a glass of fine wine. Besides, some of these beers are more than 20% alcohol... so it may not be the wisest thing to down several bottles of those beers.

    Step 2
    Find a good liquor store that stocks craft beers.
    Some of the bigger craft beer companies include Dogfish Head, Stone Brewing Co, and Sierra Nevada. This is not a comprehensive list. In fact, some of those brands may not be available where you live as they may not have distributors in that region. Don't worry though... there are many more to choose from.

    If you have no idea what

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