Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • How to Make Your Own Shower Curtain

    Changing your shower curtain just might be one of the fastest ways to spruce up your bathroom. But finding one in a fabric to match your décor can be tough which is why I like to make my own shower curtains. And believe it or not, it's a relatively simple process. Here's how.

    1. The Fabric You want to pick a fabric that stands up to moisture, like vinyl, polyester, or a polyester-cotton blend. A typical shower curtain measures 72" by 72" and a stall shower curtain, 50" by 78". As most fabrics don't come in a 72-inch width, you'll have to put together two panels. If you're using a print remember to match up your pattern at the seam.

    sizing fabric sizing fabric 2. The Size Regardless of what size shower curtain you're making, add on 16 inches in length and 8 inches in width for the hem. After you put together two panels to create a panel that is 88 inches long (72 inches plus 16 for the hem) and 80 inches wide (72 inches wide plus 8 inches for the hem) it's time to sew!

    Sewing Shower CurtainSewing Shower Curtain3.Sewing Fold

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  • How to Smoke Pulled Pork and Ribs

    Rubbed RibsRubbed RibsWith summer well underway, it's prime time for cookout weather. Low-heat smoking is a great way to relax outside with the family and enjoy a mouthwatering meal at the end. Here are 5 simple steps to perfect pulled pork and ribs:

    1. Prep the meat properly: In the test kitchen, we tried rubbing spices on our meats from an hour ahead to a day ahead. Not surprisingly, the overnight rubs resulted in much more flavorful meat. Try Bobby Flay's rub from our July issue or our Good Housekeeping Memphis-style one.

    Related: 28 Tasty Burger Recipes

    2. Get the right set-up: If you have a smoker, great! For charcoal and gas grills, you want to create a zone where there isn't any direct heat on the meat. If you have a charcoal grill, banks the coals to both sides. For gas, turn on half the burners.

    3. Wait for the right temperature: For smokers and charcoal grills, the charcoal is going to get hotter before it settles into the steady low heat you want (ideally, around 250 degrees).

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  • 50 Simple Acts of Kindness

    Flowers and CoffeeFlowers and CoffeeWith all due respect to karma, a lifetime's an awfully long time to wait to have your best intentions rewarded with a shiny gold star. Luckily, you don't have to wait: The benefits of charity and compassion are powerful and immediate. You've seen it on the bus, when someone offers his or her seat to an elderly person: The generous person feels noble, the elderly person beams with gratitude, and even spectators feel like cheering inside just from having witnessed a simple act of kindness. As it turns out, the effects of those experiences aren't just psychological. Those who study the science of do-gooding have discovered that performing (or even just imagining performing) a good deed has major physiological benefits - for the giver, not just the recipient. Naturally, we don't behave in benevolent ways to benefit from our actions...but just between us, the side effects are awesome.

    David R. Hamilton, Ph.D., is a chemist who left a career developing cardiac and cancer drugs to do

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  • 10 Ways to Live like Honeymooners

    As married life moves forward and kids and bills start to take center stage, many couples struggle to maintain their initial state of happiness and contentment well beyond the first year. But just because that pleasure seems to have dwindled doesn't mean that you can't get back to where you started. Here are the top 10 ways to channel your former spark so you can regain your honeymoon happiness.

    Seek Each Other's Company Seek Each Other's Company

    1. Seek Out Each Other's Company: With the demands of everyday life keeping socializing at a minimum, married couples often use their free time as an excuse for a "girls' night out" or a "guys' night in" playing poker. It's important to maintain relationships with friends, but don't overlook the best friend you married. Newlyweds know the importance of cultivating a friendship with their spouse and seek them out for their love, support and laughter.

    Allow Yourself to be in the Mood Allow Yourself to be in the Mood

    2. Allow Yourself to be in the Mood: How many times as a newlywed did you say, "Not now, honey, I have a headache?"

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  • 5 Tips for Buying a Swimsuit

    Find the perfect swimsuit for youFind the perfect swimsuit for you1. Check for Customizable Features Finding the right swimsuit is about as hard as finding the right pair of jeans. Make it a little easier by looking for bathing suits that can be adapted to your needs. Adjustable shoulder straps will prevent them from falling down or digging in to your shoulders. Removable cups are also great; if they get old or out of shape, you can easily replace them without buying a whole swimsuit. If you like tankinis, select one with drawstrings that allow you to make the top shorter or longer to flatter your body.

    Related: The Best Swimsuits for Your Body Type

    2. Examine Embellishments Are sequins or beads sewn on loosely with just a few threads or held tightly by a lot of threads? It's always a disappointment to buy a bathing suit only to have some of the colorful jewels or exotic beads that made it so attractive fall off, making you look sloppy. While you're in the store, check out the similar swimsuits on the rack; if there quite a few with beads or

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  • 11 Things You Don't Know About Sherri Shepherd

     Sherri Shepherd Sherri Shepherd

    "My husband, Sal, and I put date nights on the calendar once a week," says Sherri Shepherd. "I know that doesn't sound romantic, but otherwise it won't get done." Between The View and her stint on Dancing With the Stars, it's no wonder her schedule is packed. Here, how else she squeezes in family time.

    What's the best part of your day?
    When I wake up and my son is saying, "Mommy, I'm hungry." So I get him ready for school and watch him eat.

    How do you balance work with being a wife and mother?
    A lot of prayer! And if it's something that takes me away from Jeffrey [7] and Sal, I say no. They're number one.

    The one beauty product you can't live without?
    Fake eyelashes. They give my lashes depth and make my eyes pop.

    Related: The Best New Makeup Finds - Under $20!

    Five things that are always in your fridge?
    There's mango Snapple, for Sal; rice milk for my son; all kinds of salad dressings; mustard, because I put it on everything; and shrimp--my husband

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  • 9 Free Deals for Father's Day 2012

    Father's DayFather's DayFather's Day is only a few days away. Still trying to figure out what to do for dad this weekend? Check out these deals that are too good to pass up - all available nationwide.

    • This Friday and Saturday, Michaels Craft Stores are welcoming kids to make a Duct Tape wallet or design a t-shirt or tie for their dads.

    • T-Mobile has created a Father's Day promotion offering you the chance to get a 4G smartphone and select broadband devices for free with qualifying plans this Friday and Saturday.

    Related: Unique Father's Day Gift Ideas

    • If your pop's a major carnivore, reserve a table at Smith & Wollensky for Sunday. Along with his steak, he'll receive a complimentary sleeve of special-edition golf balls.

    • Make dad feel like a king with a free royal dinner at Medieval Times Dinner and Tournament.

    • At IKEA, pop can have a small breakfast on the house on his special day.

    • Treat dad to brunch at Fleming's Prime Steakhouse and he'll receive a $25 Dining Card
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  • Our Tips and Recipes for Preparing Canned Black Beans

    Ortega Black Beans Ortega Black Beans For this month's issue of Good Housekeeping, we conducted a taste test of canned black beans, a convenience ingredient we never feel guilty about using.

    In our test of 10 nationally available products, Ortega emerged as the winner. As I was tallying the results and reading over tasters' comments, I picked up on a pattern. Tasters were craving salt and Ortega, while it contains an average amount of sodium, definitely tasted the saltiest. It's really no wonder the tasters preferred a saltier bean. When salt is cooked into the bean, the result is a much tastier, "beani-er" flavor. This can't be replicated by simply adding more salt to your final dish. The beans will still taste flat if they weren't seasoned properly before being canned.

    Of course, if you're watching your sodium intake, there are reduced sodium and low sodium options out there. Here in the Good Housekeeping Test Kitchen, we like Goya's Low Sodium line of beans, but if you need to cut even more sodium go for "No

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  • What You Need to Know About Minimalist Shoes

    Nike Free Run SneakerNike Free Run SneakerWhen it comes to minimalist shoes, just as the name suggests, less is more. As an alternative to the barefoot running craze, companies have come out with shoes that mimic barefoot running but also protect your feet. Yes, the category includes those wacky shoes with toes but it also encompasses others as well. Almost every major athletic shoe brand has at least one version of a "minimalist" shoe but the shoes differ greatly from company to company. Some offer a lighter version of traditional running shoes while others have designed shoes that are more like gloves for your feet, giving your feet only basic protection from the ground. Ready to jump on this trend? Here's what you need to know.

    What You'll Find One key component of minimalist shoes is that they're lighter. Companies have reduced the amount of material in the upper part of the shoe, substituting mesh (or another lightweight material) for leather, and reducing the thickness of the sole by decreasing cushioning

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  • How to Get the Haircut You Want

    Great Hair HandbookGreat Hair Handbook

    It's like a bad dream. You know how you want to look - but as soon as you sit in the hairdresser's chair, you somehow can't find the right words. You're talking, but he doesn't seem to be getting the message - and once you see the finished product, you know he didn't.

    Now you'll never have to live that nightmare again. Whether you're trying to telegraph "straight but not flat but not frizzy" or "curly but nicer than my natural curls," you can get what you really want. The secret: Learn to speak stylist. We consulted top pros to find out the right words to say and, even better, we got them to spill the steps for re-creating the looks at home. Bonus: All these styles work on a range of hair lengths and textures.

    Dove Styling Foam and Goody Round BrushDove Styling Foam and Goody Round Brush

    You want: Hair that's smooth but not stick straight -you like a little volume
    Ask Your Hairstylist for:
    The cut to ask for: Shoulder-length or longer works best
    The styling to ask for: "A blowout with bend"
    DIY directions: While hair is wet, apply mousse for

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