Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • 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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  • The Biggest Mistakes You're Making with Your Dishwasher

    Don't load your dishwasher like this.Don't load your dishwasher like this.When it comes to convenience, dishwashers can't be beat, but it's all for naught if you're not using it right. Use these tips to get the most out of your machine and say goodbye to stuck-on messes for good.

    1. Overloading.
    If you try to pile in too many dishes, you'll end up having to do twice the work. If dishes are blocked and water can't reach them, then they won't get clean.

    2. Arranging dishes incorrectly.
    You'll want to be strategic when loading the dishwasher. Put the most heavily soiled items in the center of the bottom rack facing the spray arm. And make sure nothing big is blocking the detergent dispenser; it could impact how it opens and keep dishwasher detergent from being dispensed properly.

    Related: The Biggest Mistakes You Make Using Your Refrigerator

    3. Tossing your detergent pack into the machine.
    Single dose detergent packs should be placed in the dispenser. Tossing one into the bottom of the dishwasher will cause it to dissolve too quickly during the prewash,

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  • These 8 Foods Will Give You Gorgeous Skin

    Eat right and get great skin!Eat right and get great skin!The nutrients in these foods will keep you healthy -- and your skin smooth, firm, and glowing.


    1. Nuts

    The beauty booster: Almonds, other nuts
    The nutrient: Vitamin E
    What it does: Helps protect collagen for firmer skin

    2. Leafy Greens
    The beauty booster: Spinach; other dark green, leafy vegetables
    The nutrient: Lutein
    What it does: Increases skin hydration

    Related: Quick Beauty Fixes You Have in Your Kitchen

    3. Preserved Tomatoes
    The beauty booster: Jarred or canned tomatoes
    The nutrient: Lycopene
    What it does: Boosts natural defenses against sun and may improve skin tone

    4. Orange Vegetables
    The beauty booster: Sweet potatoes, or other orange-hued veggies
    The nutrient: Beta Carotene
    What it does: Helps increase collagen production

    Related: 7 Surprising Ways You're Aging Your Skin

    5. Whole Grains
    The beauty booster: Bread, pasta
    The nutrient: Whole grains
    What it does: Can reduce inflammation, resulting in brighter skin

    6. Fruit
    The beauty

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  • Forget the Juice Cleanse, Try a Salad Detox

    Try a 5-day salad detox.Try a 5-day salad detox.

    Seemingly overnight, packaged juice cleanses and juice bars have turned into a multi-million dollar industry, and they are crazy popular despite a continual stream of reports that they don't actually "cleanse" your body. Our very own in-house nutrition expert, Samantha Cassetty, definitely thinks they're a bad choice.

    So I say forget the expensive juice. Don't forgo solid food. If you want to get back on track, detox, and feel better, try what I do: a salad "cleanse." That's right. Eat real food that will actually nourish you and also make you feel healthier -- what a novel idea!

    Tonight, I'm planning on starting my usual five-day "detox plan," which I whip out every time I'm feeling less than svelte (like after the holidays or a particularly lazy, Sopranos-marathon-and-pizza-fueled weekend on the couch). This plan doesn't require any hard-and-fast rules or a food scale. Instead, it is just five nights of salad for dinner -- salads loaded with all the fresh veggies I want,

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  • 5 Things to Know Before You Buy a CC Cream

    How to buy the CC cream that's right for you.How to buy the CC cream that's right for you.

    If you've ever wondered what CC creams are and if they're right for you, you're not alone. CC cream, which is short for "color correction cream," have taken off in the cosmetics market by building on the success of beauty balm creams (a.k.a. "BB creams"). Both CC and BB creams claim to cover every vital step in your beauty routine and make your complexion flawless. But honestly, we've been exasperated in our search to find consistent differences between the two.

    One helpful rule of thumb: CC creams are lighter in their formulation, targeted to correct complexion-related issues, and also provide hydration, anti-aging benefits, and sun protection. Some of the CC creams we tested even state on their packaging that they can be used as a primer before you apply foundation.

    Related: These are the CC Creams You Should Buy

    Here are five things you need to know before you buy a CC cream:

    1. Don't let CC creams replace your daily moisturizer.
    Half of products we tested didn't

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