Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • 3 Easy and Elegant Thanksgiving Centerpieces

    Draw inspiration from items around your home to make three simply beautiful Thanksgiving centerpieces.

    Use dried citrus to decorate candles1. Fruitfully Fabulous Warm up your holiday table with a scentsational centerpiece -- dress pillar candles with dried oranges, lemons, and limes.

    Thinly slice the citrus fruits about 1/8-inch thick. Place a wire cooling rack on a cookie sheet, and then arrange the sliced oranges, lemons, and limes on the rack. Put the cookie sheet and rack in an oven preheated to 250 degrees for approximately two hours, or until all moisture is removed.

    Related: 6 Affordable Place Settings

    Tip: If you find that your slices have not dried in 2 hours, you can also turn off the oven and leave the fruit in overnight.

    Using a glue gun, connect the citrus slices to each other, forming a band around the base of each candle. Do not glue them to the candle. Once your candles are decorated, cluster them in the center of your Thanksgiving table and weave berried branches throughout to

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  • The Inside Story on Price-Match Guarantees

    Get the best deals during your holiday shopping"We will not be undersold!" It's a refrain you may have noticed on store circulars as you peruse them on a Sunday morning. But what does it really mean - and how do you get the best deal? Here, some insights into price-match guarantees from Daniel Butler, Vice President of Retail Operations for the National Retail Federation.

    Many major retailers have price-match policies in place. Stores such as Walmart, Sears, Target, Kohl's, Best Buy, and Staples do it as a matter of practice, and Home Depot even offers a discount plus 10% off. However, they all have their own rules as to what they require in order for you to get the adjustment. Generally, the policies state that you must show the competitor's ad and the identical item must still be in stock there (they'll call to verify). Stores typically won't match closeout prices, special timed events (like Black Friday deals), or bundled sales (say, buy one, get one free).

    Even retailers that don't may still offer you a break.

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  • 6 Tasty New Treats for Tailgating

    Even though the mercury's dropping, die-hard sports fans know we're just getting to the best part of football season, when every game is do-or-die and championships are an arm's reach away. Some might even argue, especially those in the Midwest, that the cold is an inherent part of the tailgate experience, that tailgating just wouldn't be right without it (like port-a-johns or beer).

    To keep your spirits high and your bellies warm, here are some tasty new treats to take with you while tailgating:

    Kettle Bakes are a great addition to any tailgating party

    Snacks:

    Kettle Bakes - With new flavors like Sour Cream and Onion, these baked-not-fried potato chips are addictive (and contain 65% less fat!). They're made of actual slices of potato, not mashed up potato meal, which gives it the hearty crunch every snacker craves.

    Related: 5 Top Tailgating Tips

    Tyrrells English Crisps- These super crunchy chips from England come in funky flavors, like Worcestershire Sauce and Sundried Tomato, but our favorites were the Sweet

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  • America's New Funny Girl: Melissa McCarthy

    Melissa McCarthy

    The hilarious actress shares the secret to her amazing self-confidence. Plus: how she's raising strong daughters - and having a wacky, wonderful holiday.

    Melissa McCarthy will do anything for a laugh. The wisecracking, Emmy Award-winning costar of CBS's Mike & Molly has guzzled ranch dressing on Saturday Night Live and taken a bite of Kristen Wiig's backside in Bridesmaids. As Megan, the hit comedy's wildly inappropriate sister of the groom, McCarthy also hilariously seduced an air marshal (played by her real-life husband, Ben Falcone) and walked away with the movie and an Academy Award nomination. Critics love the 42-year-old girl next door from rural Plainfield, IL, and so do millions of everyday women. They view the immensely likable working wife and mom as a regular-gal role model and cherish her as living proof that self-acceptance and perseverance can make any dream come true.

    The secret behind McCarthy's success is simple: She will do whatever it takes to get a

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  • 10 Tips for Choosing & Using Skillets

    Stainless Steel SklletIn the November issue of Good Housekeeping, you'll see our 8 top skillets. We don't take our recommendations lightly! Our picks were based on exhaustive methodical tests on 74 - yes you read right, 74 - 12-inch pans. We zeroed in on 12-inchers - the ones we think are the most versatile because quite simply, they hold a lot. Whether you're cooking a one-dish supper like chicken and peppers or pork chops with apples, using them to brown meat for a stew, or making a frittata for brunch, it's the size you're most likely to grab. Ten things we learned that can help you pick out the best new skillet and use it wisely.

    Related: Quick and Easy One-Dish Dinners

    1. For browning, your best bet is a pan with low sides and a large surface area. It can hold more pieces at once and foods won't steam as they brown.
    2. If you're making a skillet dinner, opt for a deep pan that can hold lots of veggies and sauce.
    3. Much as I love nonstick finishes for their easy use and care, when it comes to
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  • How to Pick the Right Window Treatments

    Choosing the right blinds or shades for your home can be dauntingWhether you're looking for privacy, style, or both, it can be a daunting task to choose window treatments. Should you head to a specialty blind store, your local home center, or shop online? How formal should you go, or how sheer? And how come your stylish neighbors always seem to get it right? Carolyn Forté, Home Appliances & Textiles Director in the Good Housekeeping Research Institute, puts you on the right track.

    "Windows are a great focal point in a room and blinds and shades should be both decorative and functional. Thankfully, we've come a long way from the days of hiding them behind basic mini blinds. Now you can dress up a room in hundreds of ways without making a major investment," says Forté.

    Related: 11 Easy Bathroom Upgrades

    Here's what to consider before you buy to keep from getting blindsided.

    First Things First

    • Light and privacy: How much do you want and need? Decide whether you want your room bright and airy or more "buttoned up" and cozy. Is
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  • 5 Hearty No-Cook Meals

    Quick and easy no-cook chicken tacosSome days (or weeks - like the one we just had in the Northeast) call for a quick, nourishing meal, without having to light the oven, or even turn on the stove.

    Most of these recipes can be made with ingredients found in your pantry, with a few fresh items to be picked up from your supermarket's produce and deli departments.

    1. Tuna and Cannellini Bean Salad In about 12 minutes you can have this hearty salad. The cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs help to dress up this tasty meal.

    2. BBQ Chicken Tacos Rotisserie chicken is a fast and easy way to add protein to any recipe. Just shred the bird and add some toppings to make these quick no-cook tacos.

    Related: 9 Quick Pasta Dinners

    3. No-Cook Thai Beef Salad Explore your grocery store's deli section for this sensational recipe. Deli-sliced roast beef will get a flavor boost from fresh herbs and lime.

    4. California Roll Salad Craving sushi? This California roll stand-in will give you all the same flavors but will

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  • Beauty Treatments: When to DIY and when to Go Pro

    At-home beauty treatments are convenient and economical. But are they as effective as the salon versions? Here, the verdict on what to tackle yourself and what to leave to the pros.

    Facials

    1. Glycolic Peel: DIY

    These peels contain glycolic acid, an anti-aging ingredient known for its ability to improve skin texture. Glycolic acid weakens the glue-like substance that holds dead skin cells together, encouraging exfoliation. An over-the-counter glycolic peel can make your skin glow by buffing the surface and, over time, diminishing pigmentation and fine lines. You should start to see results after a month of consistent weekly use, says Doris Day, MD, author of Forget the Facelift and a New York City dermatologist. (If you want faster results or major skin resurfacing, consult your dermatologist, says Day.)

    While an at-home peel is less potent than a professional treatment, it can still be irritating. Neutralize or remove a peel immediately if you experience discomfort. Skip glycolic

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  • 3 Great Election Night Party Ideas

    Election Day is nearly here, and no matter whom you plan on voting for, you're bound to be watching the returns with baited breath. Why not ease the tension by having a party with friends and family? Here are 3 great election night party ideas.

    All-American Potato Salad

    1. Bipartisan Hors D'oeuvres

    Consider starting by serving red or blue potatoes-either baked or tossed in a potato salad. Look for red bliss and purple Peruvian varieties. For most effect, leave the potatoes whole.

    Try swapping them out in recipes like potato salad!

    Related: Prep Your Kids for Election Time

    2. Swing State Snacks

    Philly Cheesesteaks

    It seems almost certain the winner will be picked by one of only a handful of states. Here are a few snacks inspired by contests in key battleground states:

    Related: What It Takes to Run for Office

    3. Candidate Specific Menus

    If you're a true loyalist, consider a candidate-specific menu.

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  • 5 Steps to Clean Flood-Stained Fabrics

    FloodingFloodingIt's now four days and counting that my home's been without power as a result of Hurricane Sandy. Sure it's cold and dark, but thankfully it's dry. Many in our area weren't as lucky. If you're trying to restore wet, muddy, flood-stained washable garments, follow these tips from the American Cleaning Institute to ensure the best results:

    1. Don a pair of rubber gloves and a mask and scrape and shake excess dirt and residue from soiled fabrics. It's best to do this as soon as floodwaters recede.

    2. Prewash fabrics in cool water using powdered laundry detergent. Powders are more effective on clay and ground-in dirt stains and cold water will keep stains from setting. Add an enzyme presoak product, like Biz, to help remove protein stains like grass, sewage, and blood. Add it along with the detergent as the washer fills. For the best results, fill the wash to the highest water level but wash small loads so the garments circulate freely. Do wash, rinse, and spin cycles only. Don't

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