Blog Posts by Heidi Cho

  • St. Patrick’s Day Around the World

    If there's one holiday that can unite a nation, it's St. Paddy's Day. Though the most culturally inspired celebration, whether French, Australian, Canadian or American, on one day in March, we all can proclaim ourselves "Irish for a day." While there are too many Guinness-guzzling celebrations and green-speckled parade routes to list, we've highlighted the biggest and most anticipated festivals and events around the world. Discover how the Italians honor the patron saint, how Denmark uses themed competition to support charity and how 150,000 New York City residents march in style up Manhattan's Fifth Avenue. Additionally, for the best references and resources we've found, or to locate a celebration or pub in your area, see our list of links below.


    Chicago, Illinois: Dyeing the River Green
    Chicago is famous for dyeing the Chicago River green on the day of the St. Patrick's Day parade, the Saturday before the holiday (unless the holiday itself falls on a Saturday). The

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  • Women’s History: Did You Know?

    March is Women's History Month, and at, that's a reason to celebrate. To show our appreciation for the amazing women-past and present-who have contributed to events in history, we've compiled a list of fun "Did You Know?" facts that feature groundbreaking achievements (both big and small) by revolutionary women. Have you ever heard of Mary Anderson? Lydia Chapin Taft? Ruth Graves Wakefield? If not, read on! We'd be lost without them, and the many other women who have shaped our history. As the saying goes, "You go, girl!"

    Did you know...

    …that windshield wipers were invented by Mary Anderson in 1903?

    …that Susan B. Anthony was the first real woman to be featured on United States coinage?

    …that in 1921, American novelist Edith Wharton was the first woman to receive a Pulitzer Prize for fiction? She won the award for her novel The Age of Innocence.

    …that Marie Curie was the first woman to win a Nobel Prize? She won the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1903.

    …that Ruth

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  • Picture-Perfect Eyebrows

    A poorly groomed eyebrow can alter the look of your face-and for the worse. Plus, let's be honest, sporting uneven brows can make you feel a little off-kilter. Though brow hair does grow back, it could take weeks for your natural line to resurface following a grooming session-gone-wrong. Hollywood makeup artists Suku Duggan and Brett Freedman (also the creator of VanityMark, a line of high-quality brow and lash products) offer up a batch of freshly plucked suggestions for eyebrow maintenance, shape according to face, masking gray areas and more! Consider these expert recommended tips-sure to banish eyebrow blunders for good.

    Face Shape: Heart

    Freedman says, "The key here is to soften angles." Keep the arch high to add a sense of roundness and femininity, and make sure you have a well-shaped tail to anchor the eyes and balance a strong jaw line. "I tend to like brows a touch lighter than your hair (as shown here); it softens the face and accentuates the usually darker eyelashes."

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  • Traditional Irish Foods 101

    Think Irish cooking is all cabbage and potatoes? Think again. Like many traditions in Ireland, there is a rich history behind the cuisine. We've compiled a glossary of traditional Irish foods that explains what's behind (and in!) all those well-known Emerald Isle dishes. Grab a pint of Guinness and get ready to toast to the wonders of Celtic cookery. Salainte!

    Bangers and Mash

    The king of comfort foods, bangers and mash consists of sausage (traditionally made from pork in Ireland), mashed potatoes and gravy. The combo is also popular in England, and many scholars say the name "bangers" originated around World War II, referring to the way high water-content sausages would explode when fried.

    One of Ireland's most traditional foods, Boxty is a fried potato pancake that can be traced deep into the culture's gastronomical history. Modern boxty is often flavored with garlic and a variety of spices.

    Corned Beef and Cabbage
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  • The Practical Housekeeper

    Just take a spin down the cleaning aisle at the supermarket, and you'll realize the cruel reality of housekeeping: Getting your home clean and organized can cost a lot of money. There has to be a better way. So we asked housekeeping experts for their best money-saving tips to help you maintain your standards without breaking the bank.

    Pare Down the Potions
    Buy strategically, thinking double and even triple duty, says Julie Edelman, author of The Ultimate Accidental Housewife: Your Guide to a Clean-Enough House. "Regular glass cleaner is my favorite; you can use it instead of separate products for windows, counters and other surfaces." If you can, buy in bulk and decant into smaller reusable containers to store in your kitchen and bathroom cabinets.

    Check out concentrated cleaners, which you dilute with water, says Sloan Barnett, author of Green Goes with Everything: Simple Steps to a Healthier Life and a Cleaner Planet. "They use less packaging, which

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  • Little Changes That Help You Live Longer

    It's a rare person who can reinvent her health habits overnight. And the quick changes aren't usually the ones that last. It's infinitely more manageable to make little tweaks-which can add up to a big difference. Try one of these each week and soon you'll be living healthier for good!

    Instead of a bagel with butter for breakfast, try scrambled eggs on whole-wheat toast

    This fill-you-up breakfast won't fill you out. More and more research is showing that people who include protein in their breakfasts (eggs are a great source) as part of a low-calorie diet lose more weight. Eggs are also loaded with disease-fighting nutrients like choline (linked to lower rates of breast cancer) and the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin (which may help prevent macular degeneration). If you're concerned about cholesterol, limit yourself to one egg a day, or go for egg whites or an egg substitute.

    Instead of a steak dinner, try going meatless one or two nights a week

    You'll save calories,

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  • 16 household storage solutions

    A place for everything: It's a nice idea, but who has the space? In fact, your home may be full of hidden storage possibilities-you just need to know where to look. Try some of our ideas for making the most of the room you have.

    CLEAR OUT Move everyday flatware into a handsome wooden box or a country crock to free up kitchen drawer space for less-frequently used tools and gadgets. Relocate larger utensils into wall-mounted baskets or bins. magnetized strip fixed to the side of a cabinet holds knives or spice tins.

    CLIMB THE WALLS Install floor-to-ceiling shelves for books or collectibles and make the most of a dead-end hallway. An inexpensive secondhand library ladder and some comfy floor pillows can turn it into a cozy destination.

    CHECK YOUR COAT Mount a sturdy peg rack or a series of three-pronged hooks on the wall to get everyday jackets out of the closet. Utilize the vacated space for seasonal gear.

    ROLE PLAY Turn yesterday's bureau into an entry organizer. Fit

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  • The Facts About Trans Fats

    A recent report, published in the Journal of the American Dietetic Association, revealed that of the 1,000 Americans surveyed, 92% had heard of trans fats. The growing awareness of this "bad" fat is likely due to the recent ban of trans fats in several cities, including New York and Philadelphia and the FDA requirement that trans fats be listed in the Nutrition Facts panel for processed foods.

    But it's not all good news. Among the people who are aware of trans fats, only 21% could actually name three foods that commonly have trans fats in them. This statistic is important because the consumption of trans fats, along with saturated fats and cholesterol, increases the risk of heart disease. To close the gap between knowing about trans fats and avoiding foods that contain them, we've rounded up useful pointers that will help you make the right choices in the grocery aisles.

    Trans fats are made when hydrogen is added to vegetable oil during the manufacturing process,

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  • Top Tricks for Reducing Your Grocery Bill

    Now more than ever, people are looking for ways to cut the fat from their food spending. We've got 5 easy tips that will lighten up your wallet without making drastic changes at the dinner table.

    1. Do it Yourself
    Chop your own veggies, wash your own lettuce and make your own tomato sauce. Skip preseasoned rice and pasta mixes, which tend to be high in sodium and filled with preservatives, in addition to costing extra. Buy unseasoned grains (like brown rice) and add your own herbs and spices .

    2. Skip Fortified Foods
    Vitamin drinks, cereals designed for women, and energy bars are all fortified with extra (and often unnecessary) nutrients-and have the price tag to prove it. Whole foods provide all the nutrients you need for a fraction of the cost.

    3. Use it, Don't Lose It
    "Instead of tossing all those little bits of leftover chicken or meat, save them to use later in the week," says Dudash, who recommends using them for tacos, fajitas or soup.

    4. Think

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  • Matters of the Heart: What to Ask Your MD

    The little things you do in everyday life are crucial to reducing your heart-disease risk. Your doctor also plays an important part-but you have to "use" her wisely, something the Woman's Day/NHLBI survey found that readers aren't doing. Nearly a third of women didn't know what heart-health questions to ask their doctor, and 45% didn't even bring up the topic. "Discuss the risks that are most relevant to your age, environment, lifestyle and family history," says Sharonne N. Hayes, MD, director of the Women's Heart Clinic at The Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. "These questions are door openers. By having the conversation, you can get a referral to a specialist if necessary."

    What are my numbers, and are they in a healthy range?
    You shouldn't just know your blood pressure, blood sugar, cholesterol (including your LDL and HDL) and triglyceride levels. Your doctor should explain to you exactly what those numbers mean-whether they're high, low or just right. If anything's

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