Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • 3 Cleaning Chores to Leave to the Pros

    There's nothing wrong with calling in a little extra help.There's nothing wrong with calling in a little extra help.

    Everyone sees spring as the time to do a clean sweep and catch up on all the household chores you've been putting off. But if tacking these jobs is more than you can handle right now, hiring outside help isn't a bad option. Let a pro tackle these three to-do's to get the biggest bang for your spring-cleaning buck (and one less thing on your list).

    1. Washing Windows
    Depending on the type and number of windows you have, washing them yourself can turn into a multi-day project. Professional window-washing services will usually clean the windows (inside and out), screens, and sills as part of the basic package. Some will move furnishings and protect floors and surrounding surfaces at no extra charge. The total cost will be based on your location, the number of windows, and any extras like blinds or storm windows that you also want cleaned. Call several services to compare what they offer. Most will provide free estimates for your consideration. Check the websites of associations

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  • 5 Times You Should Skip the Fat-Free Version

    Great news: You don't have to reach for fat-free cookies. Great news: You don't have to reach for fat-free cookies.

    "Fat free" may sound healthy, but sometimes it's not the smartest pick. Here are a few culprits to watch out for -- and what to eat instead.

    1. Dairy
    Skim milk isn't the only way to go if you're dieting: A few studies suggest that people actually lose more weight when they drink whole milk. But keep in mind that whether you can have fat-free milk, yogurt, ice cream, or cheese depends on what else you're eating. Fat helps absorb nutrients -- like the vitamins A and D in dairy. "I wouldn't recommend a fat-free yogurt or cottage cheese as a stand-alone snack," says nutritionist Keri Gans, RDN, author of The Small Change Diet. "You need a little bit of fat to help fill you up and hold you over till your next meal." Adding a few almonds to your yogurt is the perfect solution, she says.

    When it comes to cheese, Joan Salge Blake, MS, RD, LDN, author of the Nutrition and You series, says it's a taste question. "A little bit of something fabulous will get the job done, where eating a lot of

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  • Being Married is Good for Your Heart (Literally)

    That box you check on your tax return has more of an impact on your health than you might think.That box you check on your tax return has more of an impact on your health than you might think.

    When it comes to your heart health, it's not just physical factors that make a difference -- matters of the heart (metaphorically speaking) apparently play a big role. A new study of 3.5 million Americans has found that married people have a lower chance of developing cardiovascular disease than those who are single, divorced, or widowed.

    Related: 10 Surprising Ways Marriage Makes You Healthier

    The study was conducted from 2003 through 2008 at more than 20,000 cancer and other disease screening sites in all 50 states. The average age of the subjects was 64: two-thirds of them were female, and 80% were white. The married people had a 5% lower risk of heart disease compared to the singles. Widowed people had a 3% greater risk, and divorced people had a 5% greater risk. Married people under 50 had a 12% lower chance of heart disease than single people in that age range.

    Related: 11 Signs You Married the Right Man

    "Our survey results clearly show that when it comes to

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  • A Curious Connection Between Exercise and Your Eyes

    Here's a very good reason to put on your running shoes.Here's a very good reason to put on your running shoes.

    In addition to all the other ways regular exercise is amazing for you, a new study has found that it could keep your eyesight from deteriorating as you get older.

    Related: 10 Habits That Are Ruining Your Eyes

    According to research recently published in The Journal of Neuroscience, scientists at Emory University and the Atlanta Veterans Administration Medical Center tested mice by making a group of them run on little treadmills for about an hour a day and another group stay sedentary. After two weeks, they exposed half of the mice in each group to a searingly bright light for four hours, while the others stayed in dimly lit cages. The light exposure is a known way of inducing retinal degeneration in animals, comparable to what happens to humans as we age -- though with us, it's a much slower process.

    Related: Knowing These Numbers Could Save Your Life

    The sedentary mice, by the end of the experiment, had failing vision: Almost 75 percent of the light-detecting neurons in

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  • Good News: Chocolate Doesn't Make You Fat

    Rejoyce, chocoholics!Rejoyce, chocoholics!

    The verdict is in: Chocolate is good for you... in moderation.

    Related: Do NOT Eat the Fat-Free Versions of These Foods

    Not only is chocolate not fattening, but European researchers report that in their study of 1,458 teens, eating a lot of it was associated with lower levels of body fat. The secret? Chocolate is high in catechins, plant compounds that may increase insulin sensitivity -- helping to keep weight down.

    Related: 9 Surprising Habits That Slow Down Your Metabolism

    But catechins don't turn the treat into a diet food: Best to limit yourself to one ounce a day.

    More from Good Housekeeping:

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  • How Healthy is the County You Live In?

    See how where you live stacks up when it comes to healthy food, smoking, and more.See how where you live stacks up when it comes to healthy food, smoking, and more.

    There are over 3,000 counties in the U.S. -- how does yours compare in quality of life? Researchers from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin's Population Health Institute just released their annual report ranking the nation's counties based on 29 factors, including unemployment, poverty, teen births, access to healthy foods, and smoking. This year, they considered some new factors, too, like housing, transit, and access to mental health providers.

    Related: 10 Clever Ways to Save on Healthcare Expenses

    The findings unearthed some good news: The nation's rate of preventable hospital stays decreased about 20% between 2003 and 2011, teen birth rates have dropped 25% since 2007, and people are smoking a lot less than in past years. But there was some bad news, too: One in five homes is overcrowded. And there are still vast disparities between the healthiest and the least healthy counties. Those living in the least healthy counties have twice the number

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  • 8 Biggest Mistakes You're Making with Your Eyebrows

    Daily plucking is strangely satisfying for some, yet the pros warn against it.Daily plucking is strangely satisfying for some, yet the pros warn against it.

    They're a defining facial feature. Make sure they look their best.

    1. Overplucking
    Daily plucking is strangely satisfying for some, yet the pros warn against it. Brow specialists Michelle Wu and Santi Garay at Browhaus, an international brow and lash grooming company, say tweezing about once every three weeks is best. That way, hairs that may be on different schedules have time to grow out, which will make your brows look more even. "Overplucked brows don't frame the face very well," says Wu. Plus, the full eyebrow has been trendy for awhile and is showing no signs of going away.

    2. Using an old pair of tweezers
    If hairs are slipping through your tweezers or you're struggling to bring the two points together, it's time to invest in some new tools. And don't let them get all gunky in your makeup bag: Clean them with a dab of isopropyl alcohol after each use to avoid bacterial build-up.

    Related: 12 Beauty Myths to Throw Out the Window

    3. Taking too much off the sides
    To avoid the

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  • 5 Biggest Mistakes You Make Putting on Eyeliner

    Here's how to get this tricky part of your makeup routine right.Here's how to get this tricky part of your makeup routine right.

    It's probably the trickiest part of your makeup routine - but it's also the one that makes the most difference.

    1. Overdoing it on the bottom lid.
    Heavily lining your lower lid -- especially with a very dark color -- can make your eyes look smaller, says Mary Clarke, a product analyst in the Good Housekeeping Research Institute beauty lab. Plus, you're more likely to end up with under-eye smudges. If you want to define your lower eyelid, use a light pencil or, for an even more subtle look, a light brown or taupe eye shadow. Clarke recommends MAC Pro Longwear pencil, a top-performer in our tests.

    Related: The RIGHT Way to Put on Makeup for Your Eye Shape

    2. Putting it on unevenly, resulting in a jagged look.
    It's so frustrating to have to wipe off that line on your upper lid with makeup remover a million times before you get it right. To keep liner straight, avoid tugging at the outer corners of your eyes, makeup artist Laura Geller told Good Housekeeping. "This can

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  • Could This Detergent Help You Fall Asleep?

    A good night's sleep might start in the laundry room.A good night's sleep might start in the laundry room.

    We are a country of poor sleepers. In fact, the National Sleep Foundation says that 41% percent of Americans report having sleep problems. And we're guessing the start of Daylight Saving Time this week isn't helping much.

    Related: A New, Disturbing Fact About How Sleep Affects Your Brain

    But thanks to a new line of laundry products from Proctor & Gamble, you might be able to get more shut-eye just by washing your sheets. The company's new Sweet Dreams line claims its lavender scent helps insomniacs relax at bedtime. While I can't necessarily prove that they'll help everyone catch more zzz's, I did try the products and loved them!

    Related: 10 Tips to Your Fastest Laundry Day Ever

    The collection includes Tide Plus a Touch of Downy ($12), and Downy Unstopables ($7), beads you shake into your washer to act as a "scent-booster." You can also try Sweet Dreams Downey fabric softener ($4) and Bounce dryer sheets ($6), but don't use these products on kid's pajamas -- they may

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  • Why You Should Try "Baked" Makeup

    Here's what we found out about this trending beauty term.Here's what we found out about this trending beauty term.

    You may have seen the word "baked" in the name of some makeup products, like face powders, eye shadows, and blushes. But what does that mean, exactly?

    Related: 5 Biggest Mistakes You Make Putting on Eyeliner

    Baked cosmetics are made just as the name suggests. These powders actually begin as creams, and are baked for a period of time to dry them down to a solid. This process creates powders with a creamy, velvety texture. It also means fewer filler ingredients are needed, so that the resulting colors are more concentrated and pigmented, which means they might last longer.

    Related: The RIGHT Way to Put on Makeup for Your Eye Shape

    These types of powders are usually marbled in appearance and -- according to Laura Geller Cosmetics, who feature a great deal of baked powders (including the Baked to Go Palette, left) -- the colors have a more luminous, vibrant quality. Another great feature is that because of their origin as a liquid, the powders can be used dry or wet. Apply

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