Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • Prevent Bed Bugs

    Bed bugs have been staging a comeback. Thanks in part to the ban on DDT, the use of less toxic (but less effective) pesticides, and the rise in international travel, these relentless, resilient, reddish-brown pests are quickly becoming a part of modern life.

    This is important for a few reasons. First, bed bugs are surprisingly easy to pick up. Many victims unknowingly carry them home in their suitcases after traveling and staying in hotels. Second, they're as tough to remove as a months-old red wine stain. These buggers can live many months without eating. Eradicating them is no DIY job, either. A call to a pest control professional is recommended if you spot them. Third, since they shun daylight, bed bugs typically wait until nightfall to make an appearance, often nibbling on you or your pet while you sleep.
    And finally, these critters don't discriminate. Anyone is fair game-whether you live in a spotless two-story home in the suburbs or a rundown studio apartment in the middle of a

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  • Cheap DIY Projects to Perk Up Your Home

    Decorating on the cheap doesn't have to be boring. We've discoved more brilliant ways to refinish old items once destined for the trash and transform them into creative new accessories.

    Tray Chic
    Old cabinet door destined for the landfill? Don't be so closed-minded! With paint and a pair of drawer pulls, a salvaged cabinet door makes a great tray for entertaining. Fill any holes in the board with wood filler from a hardware store; let dry at least two hours. Sand and paint the surface; pre-drill holes and screw in handles of about four inches, as shown.

    Check Out More Inexpensive DIY Home Projects from Designers




    Pretty Practical
    Give your dining table a cheery face-lift by making these custom, easy-care place mats. To start, gather fabric (heavier, "home decorating" weight, like the Amy Butler design shown here works best), pinking shears, and iron-on vinyl topping, which is available at most fabric stores. Cut fabric into 12"-by-17" rectangles; iron. For each mat, cut two rectangles

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  • How Much Ice Cream Are You Really Getting in That Scoop?

    I scream, you scream... and that could be just what you do after reading our report on ice cream serving sizes. To see if the portion and calorie info listed on an ice cream parlor's menu board or Website could be trusted, our GHRI team visited five shops in New York City on two separate occasions, buying a total of 50 scoops. Then we brought the samples back to the lab for weighing. The chilling results: At four of the five stores, scoops were 11 to 48 percent larger, on average, than the posted serving size. The fifth store came in under, averaging 7 percent less ice cream than promised. Here, the cold facts.


    Most Consistent
    We tested the mocha ice cream, and found that these scoops came the closest to the posted size the most often.

    Official Serving Size: 5 oz. (320 calories)
    Average Scoop Size: 5.53 oz.
    Biggest Deviation in Size: 6.70 oz. (429 calories)
    Biggest Calorie Deviation: +109

    This summer, try making your own ice cream.

    Runner-Up
    Servings of coffee ice cream were

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  • The Best Flower Delivery Service

    If you're sending Mom flowers this Mother's Day, make sure you give her a beautiful arrangement that lasts. The Good Housekeeping Research Institute evaluated bouquets from "direct from grower" flower delivery services, which claim to offer fresher and longer-lasting blooms than those ordered from the local flower shop. Here are the results.

    The Test
    We tested each service by ordering a dozen mixed flowers and then asking volunteers and a professional florist to inspect them. The blooms then went to the Institute's climatology chamber, where they were kept at a temperature of 70 degrees F with 55 percent humidity, to simulate an average late spring day. (Flowers lasted about a week.)

    Find Out How to Make Flower Arrangements Last Longer

    The Winner
    The winning service was Flowerbud.com. Its bouquet was both the favorite upon arrival and once it fully bloomed. Plus, the company's phone reps answered our customer questions more thoroughly and efficiently than some of the other services

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  • Six Classic Gifts for Mom, Under $35

    This year, give Mom a classic gift. These beauty staples have stood the test of time, and are still just as useful (and pretty) as when your mother (or her mother) first discovered them. And at less than $30 or less each, you can afford to get her a whole basket of her beauty favorites.

    Glam I Am, circa 1953
    Spicy floral Estée Lauder Youth Dew Eau de Parfum Spray comes in a vintage-style bottle ($28, department stores).

    After spoiling Mom, spoil yourself on Mother's Day



    Fresh Powder, circa 1935
    A dusting of Coty Airspun Loose Face Powder hides skin flaws ($7.19, drugstores).


    What's the best advice Mom ever gave?


    Bar None, circa 1770
    Suds away stress with Yardley London English Lavender Naturally Moisturizing Bar ($1.49, drugstores).

    Remember these favorite (fictional) moms?


    Handy Work, circa 1752
    Dr. Hunter's Original Remedies Rosewate
    r & Glycerine Hand Creme by Caswell-Massey softens rough hands ($12, caswellmassey.com).

    25 things all moms should know


    Bathing Beauty, circa 1849

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  • Host a Fabulous Cinco de Mayo Fiesta

    On May 5,1862, an outnumbered and poorly armed Mexican militia whupped some major French tush near the city of Puebla. The soldiers ultimately failed to keep the French-backed Emperor Maximilian from the throne, but their victory on Cinco de Mayo is still reason to celebrate. Here are some ideas to get your fiesta on.

    Invite
    Notify guests of the impending festivities by fashioning uniquely Mexicano invites. Buy a set of Loteria Bingo cards, cut them up, and paste their fanciful symbols onto an invitation made by folding a piece of card stock in half. Or snap a quick shot of Junior or Fido wearing a sombrero, order or make your own prints, and let your progeny or pooch become your cover subject. Kids and canines camera shy? The Prints and Photographs Online Catalog at the Library of Congress's Website offers extraordinary, downloadable free images that should fit the bill. Enter keywords such as sombrero, fiesta, and cactus in the search field, and check the "bibliographical

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  • Don't Buy a Dud: The Best Portable DVD Players

    It's nearly time for summer vacation, and if you're considering a portable DVD player for your family road trip, make sure you snag a good one. We tested a number of models to find the best options for your money. Check out our full test results here.



    Sony DVP-FX820 ($180)

    This Sony has an 8-inch swiveling screen that's hinged like a laptop but then can be turned and folded flat for better viewing. That, coupled with its conveniently located controls, helped it to earn its second-place title. To boot, the Sony also had one of the longest-lasting batteries, clocking in at over 5 hours, and our consumer testers found it a cinch to use, making it ideal for those non-tech-savvy travelers. It also has two headphone jacks, a car power adapter, AC adapter, and remote control, and Dolby Digital sound. Find It at Amazon.com


    Travel Tip: How You Can Save More on Your Family Vacation





    GPX PD708B ($80)

    The GPX is durable, portable, and affordable - a fine choice for anyone on a budget. It

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  • Female Heroes, We Salute You

    We women do some incredible things. We bear children, we nurture life, and we work hard at every task we undertake. And over the years, women have changed our world. We deserve to be honored for that, so in honor of our 125th anniversary, we at Good Housekeeping have chosen 125 women who have changed out world. Some made music, some made noise, all made a difference. While some are obvious choices and some obscure, all acted to increase our liberty, safety, and prosperity. We honor these matron saints whose work continues to bring pleasure, save lives, and widen the scope of little girls' dreams. Here are just a few of the women on our long list.

    Eleanor Roosevelt
    FIRST LADY, U.S. DELEGATE TO THE UNITED NATIONS, HUMAN RIGHTS ACTIVIST
    FDR's helpmate, national reassurer during WW II, friend to working women and the downtrodden, battler against injustice, she overcame intense shyness to become a supremely public person.

    Adopt these habits to make your marriage stronger

    Nancy Drew
    TEEN

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  • 8 Tips to Make Sure Your Next Bikini Wax Isn't a Whack Job

    Bikini season is almost here and with it comes those not so-pleasant waxing sessions. To make sure you get waxed, not whacked, bring this checklist with you to the salon.

    FIND THE BEST SWIMSUIT FOR YOUR BODY TYPE

    1. The technicians' licenses for waxing are on display. (If not, check with your state's office of licenses.)

    2. The facility is clean and well-lighted and has hot and cold running water and bathroom facilities.

    3. After each client, the tables and bed are cleaned.

    4. Technicians wear disposable gloves and change them after each client.

    5. Waxing sticks are not used on more than one person. If more than one area of skin is being waxed, it's changed for each area. (Don't let them use the one from your face on your bikini area and vice versa. Yes, I know, Yuck!)

    GET SLIM BY SUMMER

    6. Instruments like scissors and tweezers are disinfected between clients.

    7. Avoid the type of wax warmed and applied to skin by a roller device. (Rollers are

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  • 7 Steps to Living Debt Free

    When debt consumes our life, we feel it everywhere -- in our bank accounts, at the grocery store, and most definitely in our marriage. But there are painless ways to get your life and finances back on track. Here's where you should start.

    1. Quit buying on credit. Put your credit cards on ice (some people actually pop them in a bowl of water in the freezer), then stick to cash. If you can't afford to buy with what's in your wallet - or on a debit card - pass it by. Don't Miss: Been Laid Off? How to Keep Your Finances Afloat

    2. Post your debts. Make a list of the amounts you owe on each credit card and tape it to the refrigerator. Next to each debt, write the interest rate and the minimum monthly payment required (or the larger monthly payment you intend to make). List the debts in order of size, the smallest first. (If you're paying off a big medical bill or student loan, include that too.)

    Then, every month, pay the fixed amounts you put on the list. As the bills shrink,

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