Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • Graduation Party Menu Ideas

    Graduation parties should be about celebrating the graduate and catching up with friends and family, not about high-maintenance food. We've pulled together a few of our favorite easy, do-ahead recipes that work well for a crowd. Here's a sampling, but find the full menu here.

    Grilled Beef Tenderloin
    A beef tenderloin just naturally says party. It's impressive to serve, and our simply seasoned version requires very little preparation or maintenance during cooking. A few slices of this rich-tasting meat can be enjoyed hot off the grill, at room temperature, or even cold. Try it any way you want, but be sure to pass our two fabulous sauces - Horseradish Salsa and Creamy Lemon - to serve with it.
    Get the Recipe


    Grilled Chicken Breasts
    It's easy to grill chicken breasts a day or two ahead. Serve cold or at room temperature with one or all of our three complementary sauces: Peach Salsa, Walnut Sauce, and Parsley-Caper Sauce. If you prefer not to grill, we've included easy oven-poaching

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  • How to Avoid Getting a Sunburn Over Memorial Day Weekend

    Memorial Day is quickly approaching and that means one thing - sun, sun, and more sun! May is Skin Cancer Awareness Month and here at Good Housekeeping Research Institute we feel it is our duty to arm you with the best advice when it comes to making decisions regarding your health and safety.

    We had a very special visitor at the Institute last week, Dr. Steven Wang of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. His advice for photoprotection is to stay out of the sun altogether - but that isn't exactly practical or a very fun way to spend your summer. What he suggests you can do is cover yourself by wearing protective clothing and applying sunscreen.

    Here's What You Need to Know About...

    Sun Dangers: It is important to remember that sun-protection is not just about anti-aging. Harmful sun rays reach everyone. In fact, nearly twice as many men as women die of skin cancer each year. There is also rapid growth among white women ages 15 to 34, and one in five Americans will develop

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  • Clear Your Clutter in Five Minutes a Day

    Getting rid of stuff seems to be the chore we all dread. But when closets are crowded, drawers are jumbled, and shelves overflow, it can really slow you down. Tackle the problem by taking a little time every day to focus on just one or two areas (like kitchen counters) that drive you crazy. These clutter-busting hints will help you dejunk your space - which will save you time and stress.

    If you have five minutes...

    • Chuck crummy sponges and outdated cleaning products lingering in your kitchen; clear old leftovers out of the fridge and pitch any expired foods found in the pantry.
    • Do a TV-room makeover. During TV commercials, quickly tidy up the room you're in. Gather all the magazines, newspapers, and bits of trash and put them in the garbage. Straighten pillows and refold throws. Organize your work space. On the next program break, you can even give the den a quick vacuum.
    • Throw away old cosmetics and expired medicines in the vanity drawer or the cabinet over the sink. Sort
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  • Is Your Child's Crib Safe? 9 Steps You Have to Take Now

    You've probably read a lot in the news lately about efforts to ban the selling of drop side cribs. Cribs with drop sides have been blamed for the deaths of infants because babies got caught and suffocated in the space between the mattress and side rail. In these cases, the hardware supporting the drop side became faulty and allowed the side of the crib to pull away from the mattress.

    HOW TO CALM YOUR KIDS' FEARS

    Despite the recent recalls, cribs are still the safest environment for children. The key is to take proper cautionary measures when purchasing, assembling, and maintaining them.

    7 STEPS TO HAVE A HAPPIER MARRIAGE

    The Good Housekeeping Research Institute recommends you follow these guidelines:

    1. Look for a crib certified by the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA).
    2. When choosing a crib, be sure slats or spindles are spaced no more than 2 3/8" apart.
    3. Don't buy a crib with any cutout areas on the headboard or footboard - such cutouts could allow
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  • Could You Benefit Your Kids by Putting Your Marriage First?

    The child-centered life is hard on a couple - and not so great for the kids. Learn how focusing on your relationship can not only yield a healthier marriage but also happier children. Get a marriage makeover.

    Researchers who study family behavior agree that a strong bond between parents is the heart of a happy family. As sex therapist Laura Berman, Ph.D., puts it in her couples' guide, The Book of Love, "No matter how sacrilegious it sounds...you need to put your relationship before your children. A strong relationship provides security for your children and demonstrates how a loving, respectful partnership should be." Start by going on one of these romantic dates.

    But it's easy to forget when you live in Kiddie Nation, where gigantic stores dedicated to children's paraphernalia push countless can't-live-without-'em educational toys, and Web sites tout classes that create junior Einsteins. Nobody sets out to have a child-centered marriage; it happens when commercial and cultural

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  • The Best GPS Devices for Your Summer Road Trip

    A GPS device is practically a must if you're planning a family road trip this summer. If you need direction about which on-the-road devices to buy, check out these results from the Good Housekeeping Research Institute's test. Don't miss the results for 9 more GPS devices here.

    WINNER: Insignia NS-CNV20 ($199.99)

    This Insignia tied the Garmin nüvi 265T for the best overall device. It has text-to-speech prompts in which it pronounces the street names, and we thought its directions were very clear. During testing, we found it simple to enter addresses. It was also particularly easy to adjust the volume on this device (one of only two to receive a perfect score on this), which means you should be able to do it without taking your eyes off the road for long. It comes preloaded with 2 million points of interest, and with its wireless Internet capability (free for the first year, $99 per year after), you can also send an address wirelessly from Google Maps and search Google for local

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  • Stay Healthy by Greening Your Beauty Routine

    In the face of this oddball weather and environmental catastrophes like the Gulf oil spill, you may be considering how you can incorporate friendlier-to-the-environment practices into your lifestyle. And with all the buzz about all things "green," it's increasingly difficult to figure out what's legit in the marketplace and what's not. The beauty industry offers a plethora of products with the words "natural," "green," or "organic" splattered all over the packaging in an attempt to appeal to your environmental consciousness.

    If you're an inveterate beauty product shopper, here are some tips and suggestions to help you play your part in protecting Mother Earth.

    • Before shopping for "green" beauty products, familiarize yourself with cancer-causing chemicals or the Proposition 65 list of hazardous substances. The Cosmetic Ingredient Review program (CIR) is also a resource for information about the safety of ingredients in cosmetic products. Then, when you're in the store, whether you're
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  • How to Ask for (and Get) a Lower Price on Almost Anything

    Did you know there are secret sale prices for people who ask? It's true! You just need to know the ins and outs of a little trick called haggling.

    Follow our easy pointers and you could save a great deal on a number of common purchases and even lower your credit card rate. Here's how to master the art of haggling.

    LOWER CREDIT CARD RATES

    Negotiating a lower interest rate can be one of the fastest and easiest things to work out. It costs card issuers about $300 to obtain a new customer, so they'd much rather give you a lower rate than lose your business, says Scott Bilker (yes, that's his real name), founder of debtsmart.com and author of Talk Your Way Out of Credit Card Debt. You may need to repeat your request to a supervisor who will have more leeway to meet your terms.


    How to Prepare

    • Collect three tempting credit card offers that came in the mail
    • Use bankrate.com's Credit Card Rate Search tool to find the best rates for someone with your credit standing
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  • Make Fancy Cupcakes the Easy Way

    What is about cupcakes? They're hot! Some credit Carrie Bradshaw and the girls from Sex and the City for starting the trend when they comforted themselves at the Magnolia Bakery. (See some other big-city food trends.) Others say it all began when Oprah handed out Sprinkles cupcakes to everyone in the audience of her show. Regardless of who's responsible, we can't seem to get enough of them...they're even being served in tiers in place of a wedding cake. But let's face it, those fancy cupcakes we see in the bakery are hard to duplicate at home.

    With the introduction of the new Baked for You Baking Cups from Reynolds, aluminum liners with fashion-forward patterns on the outside, it's easy to bake up something special without possessing any decorating skills. We tested them out, and found that the designs look just as good coming out of the oven as going in. Plus, because they're aluminum inside, not paper, they don't leave grease marks on plates or little fingers. Among the designs you

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  • Are You Spending Too Much on Your Kids?

    These days, parents spend a lot to raise their kids. All those $400 Nintendo Wiis and $200 iPod Nanos fly off the shelves, and a "princess" birthday party can cost up to $10,000. Then there are $900 strollers and cell phone bills and even credit cards for kids. But when does it get to be too much?

    This kind of overspending is not good for kids or their parents - because, unless you're in the top income bracket, the only way to give your children everything they want (or everything marketers tell you they should have) is to neglect your own retirement saving. And the message you're sending, meanwhile, is that money grows on trees. Or at least on Mommy and Daddy.

    "Spending too much" is a value judgment, of course, not a specific number. On average, couples with two kids and a household income in the middle range ($43,200 to $72,600) spend $7,493 a year on each child, from birth to age 17, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. (The per-child total rises to $11,234 if you

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