Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • How to Spot a Scammy Email

    Before you open that fishy email, take a look at these warning signs.Before you open that fishy email, take a look at these warning signs.

    Worried that the email that's landed in your inbox might be a computer virus in disguise? Here's how to tell if it's legitimate... or just a phishing lure.

    1. It doesn't contain your name, or it says "undisclosed recipients" or uses another vague term -- a clue that this is a bogus email.

    Related: Are Your Kids Staying Safe Online?

    2. The sender's address doesn't match the name or email address in the signature. Even if the email seems legit, hover your cursor over the address to see where it really came from; if there isn't a match, be wary.

    3. Bad grammar, weird capitalization, and spelling mistakes are a giveaway that it's a fake email. Legit businesses proofread their communications.

    Related: Don't Fall for These Email Scams

    If you do spot a scammy email, be sure you:
    - Don't open attachments unless you're sure the email is from a trusted sender; they may contain malware.
    - Don't click on a link; it may take you to a fake site where your personal info will

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  • 3 Ways Money Can Buy Happiness

    Three simple ways to improve your happiness and free up your cash flow.Three simple ways to improve your happiness and free up your cash flow.

    "There are people who have money and people who are rich," Coco Chanel once proclaimed. She was right: The things we usually prize most -- family, friends, experiences -- don't come with a price tag. But even though we may say money can't buy happiness, many of us secretly believe we'd be happier if we had a little more dough. And in fact there is a connection between happiness and money -- you just need to know how to spend your cash. Money is "currency"; that word comes from the Latin root for "to run" or "to flow." Here's how to make it flow more freely and joyfully in your life.

    Related: Why Volunteering Is Proven to Make You Happier

    1. Open your palm.
    How you feel about money has a powerful effect on your ability to get more of it. A philosophy in martial arts posits that an open palm signifies receptivity to what comes, while a closed fist emphasizes combative self-reliance. Similarly, when people's hands are clenched tightly around their cash, they're expressing the

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  • How to Make Creamy Soup (Without Adding Cream)

    Follow this simple method to turn a creamy soup into a diet-friendly meal.Follow this simple method to turn a creamy soup into a diet-friendly meal.

    A steaming bowl of creamy soup can be a satisfying meal on a chilly day. But if you're wary of adding high-fat cream to an otherwise resolution-worthy dinner, there are ways to get the same velvety texture without mixing in any dairy.

    The general method is so simple, you don't really need a recipe:

    1. Sauté aromatic vegetables (onions, garlic, shallots, leeks) in olive or canola oil until softened.

    Related: Eek! These Foods Are Secretly Loaded With Salt

    2. Add chicken or vegetable broth and lots of chopped vegetables (choose one or a combination: carrots, winter squash, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, parsnips, potatoes, beets).

    3. Simmer until tender.

    4. Puree the soup in your blender (in batches) or with a hand blender. If you prefer some chunks but still want a soup with lots of body, puree only half the soup, and leave the other in chunks.

    Related: Lose Major Weight With This Meal Plan

    5. Reheat, if necessary, then top with chopped fresh herbs, croutons.

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  • 6 Reasons Tony Goldwyn is the Best Husband Ever

    Tony Goldwyn

    The Scandal and Divergent actor shares his tips for a happy marriage. And he should know - after 26 years, his wife Jane is still The One.

    1. It's all about communication. It's too easy to make assumptions about the people we're with all the time - what they're thinking or feeling - without actually talking.

    2. My best accomplishment is the time I've put into our two daughters. But now Jane and I are empty nesters, and all of a sudden we can do whatever we want, which is exciting.

    3. We have a Sunday ritual where I make a really great breakfast, like waffles; later we follow it up with a big home-cooked dinner.

    Related: 7 Reasons Luke Bryan Is The Perfect Husband

    4. My wife is impossible to surprise, but for her 50th birthday, I had about 70 friends from all over the world waiting when she walked into the restaurant - she was shocked.

    5. 5. A "guys' night out" for me is…being with my wife! Since I'm at work a lot, I want to be with her when I'm home.

    6. The best

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  • How to Grow a Winter Herb Garden

    Stir up memories of warmer months by growing fresh herbs inside your home.Stir up memories of warmer months by growing fresh herbs inside your home.

    What you'll need:

    • Pots with drainage holes
    • Gravel
    • Fresh soil (from local garden center)
    • Herb seed packets or seedlings
    • Plant markers

    Related: Try This Delicious Six-Herb Linguine

    Instructions:
    1. Visit your local garden supply center to buy seeds or seedlings. Can't find what you're looking for? Check out the selection of seeds at the Seed Shop and have them delivered.

    2. Fill the bottom of each pot with 3/4-inch gravel, then fill completely with soil. Dig a hole in the soil large enough for your plant to fit into. Remove the seedling from its plastic nursery container and set into planting hole. Gentle press down the soil around the plant. If starting from seeds, fill the pot with soil and then gently press seeds into soil 1/4 inch.

    3. Spray-paint the top band of each pot with chalkboard paint. Let dry completely and then write the name of the herb using colorful chalk. The best part? When it's time to transfer plants, just wipe the chalkboard clean

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  • The 5 Biggest Mistakes You're Making Washing Your Jeans

    Keep your favorite jeans looking new after washing them.Keep your favorite jeans looking new after washing them.

    Some swear you should never machine wash jeans (or wash them at all for that matter), but most of us toss this wardrobe staple in the washer along with other clothes every week. To keep your basic blue and black denim looking as new as possible, be sure to steer clear of these fabric-damaging mistakes.

    1. Washing them right side out.
    No matter the cycle, the very act of machine washing and drying is abrasive to fabrics because the garments rub against each other in the turning, tumbling load. To help minimize the color loss this can cause, turn jeans inside out before placing them in the washer and leave them inside out until you remove them from the dryer. Zip all zippers and fasten all buttons and snaps, too.

    Related: Avoid These 6 Major Dishwashing Mistakes

    2. Cramming too many pair in at once.
    The more garments you stuff into a load, the faster you'll get done, but the more the more wear and tear your fabrics will endure. Without room to move, zippers and rivets

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  • 10 Ways to Boost Your Cell's Battery Life

    10 ways to stay charged throughout the day.10 ways to stay charged throughout the day.

    As smartphones become more multitasking (at this point, what don't they do?), a notable tradeoff has been a decline in battery life. We all want high-performing phones that we can use to make tons of phone calls while running apps, streaming music, and surfing the web, and have a battery that lasts for a couple days. But unless you want to go back to Zach Morris-style headsets (which could house super-large batteries), you'll have to settle for recharging at least once a day.

    But there are things you can do to increase your phone's battery life. Here's where to start:

    1. Be more aware.
    Make sure you close out of all apps when you're not using them. It's also smart to install a basic app on your phone to monitor what applications you're using that are draining your battery the most. On an iPhone, for the most basic information, go to your Home Screen, Settings, General, Usage, and then look at the time since last full charge and see just how much you use your phone and how

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  • Do You Really Need a Mammogram?

    Follow these guidelines for when to get a mammogram.Follow these guidelines for when to get a mammogram.

    These days, it's hard to know whether mammograms will save your life or do more harm than good. It's not just the headlines that go back and forth -- the major medical organizations, with their conflicting guidelines, keep you guessing, too. But one clear "rule" has emerged from recent research: Screening recommendations -- when to start and how often to go -- aren't one-size-fits-all. There are individual factors that each woman has to consider in order to make the best decision for herself.

    Related: 8 Ways To Lower Your Breast Cancer Risk

    To choose the right mammogram schedule, you need to consider your personal risk for breast cancer. In a recent study of 10,000 women, 45% underestimated their lifetime odds, which might lead them to skip potentially lifesaving surveillance. Meanwhile, 46% overestimated their risk, "which can lead to unnecessary anxiety, testing, and interventions," explains lead study author Jonathan D. Herman, M.D., of Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of

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  • 6 Smart Tips for De-Gunking Your Makeup Tools

    Your skin deserves clean makeup tools.Your skin deserves clean makeup tools.

    Cleaner tools feel nicer on your skin and apply makeup more evenly. Here are top tips for keeping your brushes and sponges germ-free.

    1. Use shampoo to wash your makeup brushes.
    To avoid damaging bristles, use a mild cleaner like baby shampoo in warm water. Be sure to rinse thoroughly. You'll be amazed (and maybe a little grossed out) by the deep color that rinses out, but it'll open your eyes as to how dirty the bristles were. Lay the brushes on a paper towel to dry overnight. In the morning, the bristles will feel way softer and your face will thank you. Try to do this once a month.

    Related: 6 Things You're Cleaning Wrong

    2. Clean sponges with warm water.
    Saturate sponges and foundation brushes with warm water and squeeze out as much color as you can. Then massage the sponge with a mild cleaner until no more color runs off. Thoroughly rinse and let dry overnight. If you can, make this a weekly chore.

    3. If you're pressed for time, try a spray cleaner.
    You can

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  • Don't Fall Victim to These Email Scams

    Fake emails can ruin your financial life. Here's how to protect yourself.Many of us love shopping on the Web and keeping in touch via email, but a digital life comes with a downside: Americans reported losing an incredible $525 million to online cons in 2012, with the average loss a whopping $4,573, says the federal government's Internet Crime Complaint Center. Phishing ploys are among the most common culprits. (The term is a play on the word "fishing," because it means someone tries to reel in your private info and then steal your money or your identity.)

    In two-thirds of the cases, victims are hooked by a bogus email that appears to have been sent from their bank or credit card or an online payment service such as PayPal, reports the Anti-Phishing Working Group. Such a message usually says there is a problem with your account and that your input (specifically, your password or other details) is needed. If you take the steps requested, you share enough personal details for the thieves to access your bank holdings or online payment service and steal

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