Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • 10 Ways to Boost Your Sexual Confidence

    Feeling sexy often has little to do with, well, sex. In fact, building your confidence in bed doesn't even have to take place in the bedroom. Whether it's tossing your old, unflattering underwear, finding the right lighting, or taking a yoga class, there are plenty of easy (and fun!) ways to feel hotter than ever. Here are 10 ideas to get you started.

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  • How to Book a Last-Minute Getaway

    Tips for Booking a Last-Minute TripSometimes you just need a vacation -- NOW! Tips and resources for finding a last-second trip:

    Think off-season The deepest discounts on travel will be for places that are "off-season"-say, wintertime in Chicago, or late summer in the Caribbean. If a getaway for you isn't about escaping the weather, you'll be rife with options.

    Be flexible with your days A weekend trip that leaves Saturday and comes back Monday or Tuesday will be cheaper than one that leaves Friday and comes back Sunday, and a weeklong trip that leaves Wednesday and returns Tuesday will be a lot cheaper than a trip that starts and ends on the weekend.

    Related: Travel Sites that Minimize Planning Time

    Sign up for e-newsletters that offer great last-minute deals. and (two of my favorite travel sites), as well as all the sites listed below, send out deal-packed e-mails that may set your travel bug buzzing.

    To find discounts on...

    Flights: Check out your fave airline sites (these usually

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  • Best Ice Cream Makers

    Nothing's sweeter in summertime than whipping up your own ice cream. An ice cream maker lets you control the quality of the ingredients - and experiment with recipes. You can forget the old-fashioned hand-cranked rock-salt-and-ice machines. The latest ice cream makers rely on a bowl-like insert (stashed in the freezer for up to 24 hours before you use it) and the flip of a switch; dessert is ready in about a half hour. Pricier ones have built-in compressors - like a refrigerator's - which eliminate the need to plan ahead.

    Cuisinart ICE-30BC Ice Cream MakerTop-Choice Churner

    Test winner Cuisinart ICE-30BC ($80, makes up to two quarts of thick, velvety-smooth ice cream or sorbet in about 45 minutes. Drop fruit or candy in through the top; the machine mixes it in. The base's cord compartment makes for tidy storage.

    Related: Tastiest Low-Calorie Frozen Treats

    Cuisinart ICE-50BC Ice Cream MakerPrep-Free (But Pricey)

    Cuisinart's ICE-50BC, a large, compressor-equipped machine ($300,, hogs counter space but

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  • Your Summer Grilling Guide

    Grilling on gas grill Grilling on gas grill Cooking Perfection: Secrets to the Best Steaks, Chicken, Hamburgers, and Kabobs

    1. Steaks: Steaks that are at least 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick won't dry out easily during grilling. Trim off excess fat and slash the fat edges at 1-inch intervals to prevent curling.

    Turn your steak with tongs once, halfway through cooking (don't use a fork - it will pierce the meat and let the natural juices escape). Many factors can influence cooking time - including the weather, especially wind, when you're using charcoal - so test for doneness by cutting into the thickest part of the steak and checking its color.

    2. Hamburgers: Make ground-beef patties about 1-inch thick - they're juicer than thinner patties. Ground meat is very susceptible to bacterial contamination, so be sure to cook your meat until it's at least medium-well done (160 degrees F on a meat thermometer inserted horizontally into the burger).

    Related Link: How To Grill Vegetables

    3. Poultry: Whether you're

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  • Have Your Beauty Products Gone Bad?

    Expired Makeup Expired Makeup Do a quick check of any woman's bathroom, and chances are you'll find jars of rarely used face cream, the dregs of a favorite powder blush, and at least one tube of lip gloss squeezed within an inch of its life. Whether unused, or consumed to the last drop, squeeze, or swipe, these cosmetics are taking up shelf (and makeup-bag) space because we want to get every penny out of the precious dollars we spent on them. But this hoarding habit has a catch: Beauty products do go bad. At best, they stop performing as well as they used to; at worst, they can cause irritations or infections.

    "Unopened, well-formulated cosmetics can remain stable for a couple of years at room temperature," says Ni'Kita Wilson, a cosmetic chemist at Cosmetech Laboratories in Fairfield, NJ. "But the clock starts once you bring a product home and open it. When air hits the formula, certain ingredients start to oxidize and degrade." What's more, every time you touch your makeup or skin-care lotions and potions, you

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  • 5 Tips to Pack the Perfect Picnic

    Picnic TipsPacking a picnic is a summer tradition I look forward to every year. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when taking your meal outside to keep it safe and scrumptious:

    • Freeze fruit ahead of time in quart-sized baggies. When you pile them up in your cooler, they'll double as ice packs. Plus, they're delicious whether they stay frozen or thaw out. Try: grapes, diced pineapple, watermelon, or mango
    • Cover plastic containers of food (particularly saucy ones) with a layer or two of plastic wrap before putting the lid on. For even more protection against leaks, use a wide rubber band to secure the lid to the container. Try: GHRI fave, Rubbermaid Lock-Its

    Related: Food Coolers Fit for a Picnic

    • Pack drinks in a separate cooler than the one your main foods are in. The more a cooler
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  • 9 Tips for Tracing Your Family Tree

    multi generational family multi generational family Author Rachel L. Swarns's new book, American Tapestry, about the multi-racial ancestry of First Lady Michelle Obama includes a major revelation: the identity of Mrs. Obama's white great-great-great grandfather, a man who remained hidden for more than a century in the First Lady's family tree. While the book's focus is on the ancestry of Mrs. Obama, Swarns says it's also a reminder to start researching your own roots. "You should do it for yourself, your children, your parents," she says. "It gives you a sense of your place and your family's place in America's history. You never know what you'll find." Here, Swarns shares her tips for the best place to start uncovering the details of your own family tree.

    1. Get started by interviewing your parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles - all of your oldest relatives. With their help, you can start to put together what is known about your family tree. Important details to ask about? Names (including maiden names of female relatives), dates

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  • How to Clean Up Quickly After a Cookout

    Flings Pop-Up Recycling BinsSure, the fun part of having a cookout is choosing the menu and decorating the yard, but with a little planning, post-party cleanup doesn't have to be such a chore. If you're hosting an outdoor get-together, here's what to do before, during, and after your barbecue to speed clean with ease:

    • Use several large trays to make it faster and easier to transport leftover food and serving dishes back into the house when the meal is over.
    • Stock up on pre-moistened wipes to quickly clean messy hands and faces, sticky surfaces, and zap fresh stains from clothing.
    Related: Take the Grrr Out of Grill Cleanup

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  • How to Clean a Messy Office

    If seeing the stacks of papers and folders on your desk every morning provides you with enough of a jolt that you no longer need a cup of coffee to wake up, it's probably time to clean and organize your office. Even if you don't want to completely revamp your workspace, there are a few easy things you can do to make it a more pleasant place to work and easier to file and find things.

    Set the mood. Make your computer screen easier on your eyes by adjusting the display so your resolution is maximized and the screen is about the same brightness as your environment. Be sure you don't sit too close to the screen and take a break from the computer every half hour or so.

    Related: How to Clean Your Home Office Fast

    Homedics Messaging Center ShredderClear up space. Have a shredder nearby so you can get rid of sensitive items like statements and receipts you no longer need, pronto. If you don't have mounds of paper to shred, the Homedics Black and Decker Paper Shredder and Messaging Center ($100, left) is a

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  • 5 Best Summer Hot Dogs

    With a warm breeze as their ultimate side dish, franks are a simple summer staple everyone can enjoy. Fire up the grill for these best-in-show dogs.

    Oscar Mayer Selects Oscar Mayer Selects

    Oscar Mayer Selects Beef Franks

    Tasters' Pick: Taste and texture came together perfectly in Oscar Mayer's Selects Beef Franks ($5.69 for 16 oz.) with their "smoky," "meaty" flavor and "crisp" casing that couldn't be beat. This "hearty," "flavorful" hot dog "tastes like sausage" and boasts a lack of any added artificial preservatives, like nitrites or nitrates.

    Ball Park Deli Style Franks Ball Park Deli Style Franks

    Ball Park Deli Style Beef Franks

    Taste testers looking for more than just a salty hot dog ranked Ball Park Deli Style beef franks ($4.41 for 15 oz.) highly for its "classic" taste mixed with a "hint of sweetness." Described as "rich" and "beefy," this "satisfying" hot dog hit the spot and had tasters reaching for seconds.

    Related: Our Summer Grilling Cookbook

    Boar's Head FranksBoar's Head FranksBoar's Head Pork and Beef Frankfurters

    Editors' Pick: "The crispy skin is terrific!" pretty

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