Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • 4 Surprising Facts About Caffeine

    Being a java junkie may actually be good for you.Being a java junkie may actually be good for you.It turns out that being a java junkie may actually be good for you. Here, 4 ways coffee and caffeine boost your health.

    1. Lowers your risk of developing Alzheimer's disease
    Researchers in Florida found that older people with the highest levels of caffeine in their blood were more likely to avoid the disease in the years to come. The magic dose: three cups of the brewed beverage daily. Caffeine may block brain inflammation, say University of Illinois researchers, which could explain the protective effect.

    2. Protects you from cancer
    In one study, caffeine-fed mice developed 27 percent fewer skin cancers after being exposed to ultraviolet rays than sun-exposed mice who didn't get the jolt. Exercising boosted the effect - the combo led to 62 percent fewer tumors (and the ones they did get were smaller). Researchers think the findings will translate to humans, but warn even the biggest coffee drinkers not to ditch the sunscreen. Another study found that coffee drinkers who averaged 4

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  • Memorial Day Sales: How to Score the Best Deals

    Follow these tips to score the best deals for Memorial Day.Think all you need to do is head to your nearest retailer to snap up the best bargains for the holiday weekend? Think again! To score a real deal, you have to do a little research - and follow these tips from Daniel Butler, the Vice President of Retail Operations for the National Retail Federation.

    1. "This week leading in to the holiday watch your mailbox," Butler says. Looking for mailers and circulars is the easiest way to get an idea of what's out there and find out in advance if any retailers are advertising early bird specials. A lot of stores send out coupons for general discounts or specific items too.

    2. Forgot your coupon at home? Don't worry! Many stores will give you a new one if you go to customer service or ask at the register.

    Related: What's on Sale in May

    3. Hit the clearance rack. Often, if a store's offering a flat discount, it also takes it off sale goods. Butler recommends you double check the retailer's return policy before you buy - many times clearance items

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  • Best Beers and Wines for Barbecues

    Kansas City Style RibsKansas City Style RibsIf you celebrate Memorial Day -- and the unofficial arrival of summer -- with a big cookout or picnic, you're going to need something to drink with all that grilled deliciousness. Aside from a pitcher of iced tea or lemonade, you could just pick up any old beer or box of wine and be done with it. But with just a little bit more effort, and a few guidelines for finding a suitable match, you can make that brisket you've been lovingly tending for the last 12 hours taste even better.

    Without getting too detailed (it's summer -- who wants complicated?):
    - Delicate foods are natural partners with lighter style beers and wines; the opposite is true as well.
    - Bubbles are great palate cleansers and are terrific with fatty foods.
    - Beverages with a hint of sweetness tend to go well with spicier foods.
    - Bitterness can be refreshing and is a good foil for rich foods.

    Related: 4 Easy Ways to Keep Beer from Going Flat

    Of course, if you know you love drinking champagne with everything from popcorn to

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  • 9 Make-Ahead Memorial Day Sides

    Prepare asparagus with eggs mimosa up to two days in advance.Prepare asparagus with eggs mimosa up to two days in advance.Heading to a holiday get-together? Prep these simple dishes in advance and you'll be the hit of the party.

    1. Asparagus with Eggs Mimosa
    Take advantage of late-spring asparagus at your local farmer's market to make this fresh, colorful dish. You can steam the asparagus, make the vinaigrette, and hard cook the eggs up to two days ahead. Just keep the elements separate, then dress the asparagus (no need to reheat) and grate the eggs right over the top right before serving. To put a summery spin on it, try grilling the asparagus (you can still hold it for up to two days in the fridge). Get the recipe for Asparagus with Eggs Mimosa.

    2. Orzo Salad with Grape Tomatoes, Feta, and Mint
    A slightly different take on a traditional pasta salad, this summer-worthy side is refreshing and simple to throw together. Can't find orzo? Try pearled/Israeli couscous or elbows instead. You can make this and refrigerate it up to two days ahead. Get the recipe for Orzo Salad with Grape Tomatoes,

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  • How to Make Your Own Bacon

    Learn how to DIY baconWhat's not to love about bacon? The super crisp texture and rich smoky flavor of bacon is tough to beat. Whether it's on the side of your morning breakfast, on a BLT sandwich, or even in desserts like maple bacon cookies, everything is better with bacon. But, if you're like me and love to be adventurous in the kitchen, how about making your own bacon, from scratch? With "The Original Bacon Kit," a piece of pork belly and a little bit of time, you can make fantastic bacon right at home!

    "The Original Bacon Kit" ($16.99) comes with almost everything you need to make bacon: curing salt, maple sugar, a large plastic bag for curing, and a thermometer. Bacon is made from pork belly, which is not included in the kit. Luckily, you can find pork belly at most butcher shops or specialty supermarkets like Whole Foods.

    Related: Quick Bacon Recipes

    According to the instructions, you begin the process by placing a five pound piece of pork belly into the bag with the curing salt and maple sugar.

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  • 5 Wacky Tools for Grilling

    Have fun grilling with these cool gadgets.5 unusual gadgets that you may have never dreamed you needed, but once you try 'em out you may never want to grill without 'em!

    1. The first step to any flavorful festivity is applying the right seasonings, and with our first find you can smear your seasoning directly onto the grill. The Mr. Bar-B-Q Onion Seasoning Grill Brush ($13) has little teeth that sink into an onion to hold it steady as you rub it all over the grates. And it's a two-for-one deal: this seasoning brush both flavors and cleans the grill!

    Related: Best Outdoor Grills of 2013

    2. Depending on what you're celebrating, throw your ground meat into the Mr. Bar-B-Q U.S.A Burger Press ($10.30) to form a patty in the shape of the USA! Even after grilling, the burger keeps its shape. Patriotic patties are perfect for Memorial Day, the 4th of July, or any time you're feeling especially fun and festive.

    3. In order to perfectly flip your burgers, enlist some help with the Mr. Bar-B-Q Spong ($14). The Spong combines two very

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  • 16 Best Drugstore Beauty Deals

    Here, 16 foolproof ways to look pretty on a dime.

    Hydrate your hair for a bargain1. Hydrate Hair
    Oils are a treat for summertime strands: They keep hair smooth, shiny, and manageable. Apply a dime-size amount throughout locks, then blow out as usual. Try Garnier Fructis Triple Nutrition Miracle Dry Oil ($6, drugstores). If you have fine hair prone to limpness, use the oil as a pre-shampoo treatment instead: Work a spritz through hair; let it soak in while you shave, exfoliate, etc.; and then shampoo it out. The oils will counteract any dryness or coarsening caused by hair coloring or overexposure to the sun.

    2. Shave Smarter
    De-fuzz the night before you hit the beach, pool, or park, and you'll cut the chance of skin irritation from sunscreen or mosquito spray, says David Bank, M.D., a dermatologist in Mount Kisco, NY. And pick a packable shaver: The lightweight Schick Hydro Silk Refillable Razor ($10, drugstores; available only through August) comes with a compact travel cover that shields the blade.

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  • How to Get Toned Arms in Just a Month

    Rock your sleeveless shirts this year with toned arms in one monthIt's still a little chilly in New York, but sleeveless-shirts weather will be here before you can say "bicep curl." If the thought of bare arms in the office and strappy sundresses on the weekends makes you want to hide under long sleeves, you're not alone.

    Related: Best Lightweight Walking Sneakers

    Upper arm lifts, which can include liposuction or brachioplasty (where loose skin is removed from the back of the arms), are on the rise, reports the American Society of Plastic Surgeons. It recently released its 2012 statistics, and arm lifts were up 3% in just one year - and more than 4,000% since 2000. Not surprising, when you consider the toned arms on red carpets and in the White House. (In fact, when asked whose arms they'd most like to have, 31% of women said Michelle Obama and 29% said Jennifer Aniston.) But for many people, a combination of diet and strength training to lose fat and tone up can get their arms in shape.

    Don't know where to start? Make simple swaps to

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  • How to Keep Food Fresh Longer

    How do you keep food fresh longer? Air is the enemy of food. In order to keep food fresh as long as possible you want to keep it wrapped tightly in order to keep air out. Depending on the type and where you'll be storing it, an airtight container or wrap will keep food from drying out, getting soggy, developing freezer burn, absorbing odors, or becoming contaminated from raw meat or poultry. Now practically every storage container out there claims to be airtight but I can tell you from years of testing that that's not true. Here's what we've learned.

    Related: The Truth Behind 9 Popular Vitamins and Supplements

    A lot depends on whether or not air can go in through the material that the container or wrap's made of, as well as whether or not it has a tight-fitting lid. Even if the air seems sucked or vacuumed out, it can still get back in if the material's porous or the cover's loose. In our tests, glass containers with tight lids are always the best at keeping air out. Tops in our latest test: Snapware Total

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  • 5 of the Healthiest Cookies You Can Buy

    Want healthy cookies? Find out the best healthy cookies.Healthy cookies? I know, it sounds like an oxymoron. And believe me, I understand your skepticism! But I went on a mission to find them, and I actually dug up some good options. The cookies listed below are made predominantly with whole grains, have only a reasonable amount of sugar, and clock in at no more than 130 calories per serving (a diet-friendly amount). Here are my picks:

    Related: 50 Best Low-Calorie Snacks

    1. 100% Whole Grain Fig Newtons (2 cookies)
    2. Back to Nature Apple Cinnamon Oat Grahams (2 full sheets), Golden Honey Oat Grahams (2 full sheets), or Crispy Oatmeal Cookies (2 cookies)

    3. Barbara's Bakery Snackimals in Wheat Free Oatmeal (about 10 cookies)
    4. Kashi Cookies (1 cookie) in Chocolate Almond Butter, Oatmeal Raisin Flax, or Oatmeal Dark Chocolate
    5. Willamette Valley Granola Company Granola Chips (about 20 chips) in Butter Pecan, Vanilla Bean, and Honey Nut

    Related: Healthy Cookies Recipes

    What are your favorite healthy cookies? Let me know

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