Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • Angie Harmon on Faith and Family Values

    Her intense new job is in L.A., but her family's in North Carolina. Here, how Angie Harmon made the hard choices that ensure her marriage is rock solid, her kids are grounded, and her values are firmly in place.

    On leaving L.A.:
    "I'm happy that we moved. One day, my kids are going to say, 'Remember when we sat in the yard [in North Carolina] and fed the geese?' I'm so proud that I can give them these memories. And I'm more grounded and centered in North Carolina because it's a slower way of life. We go bike riding or go to the ice cream parlor."

    Related: Read the full interview with Angie Harmon

    On insecurities:
    "My biggest insecurity is that my personality is too much, and as I get older, it's just getting bigger," she acknowledges. "I was scared that the women in North Carolina might not like me. I get so excited about things - maybe too excited. I definitely come on strong. So I tried to rein myself in."

    On being a working mother:
    "When I feel like I'm not doing what I am

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  • How to Make Deliciously Decadent Bacon-Wrapped Burgers

    In our grilling cookbook, we offer the ultimate recipes for the basics of grilling - veggies, ribs, chicken, and the perfect Father's Day dish: burgers.

    All the recipes for burgers are straightforward and simple, but the deliciously decadent bacon-wrapped cheeseburger was the only one that had a slightly unique preparation.

    Here are 5 helpful tips for making these tasty burgers:

    1) Parcook the Bacon: Microwaving the bacon for a couple of minutes is enough to render out some of the fat, which will minimize flare-ups that result in a decidedly untasty burnt flavor. Since it's only partially cooked, the bacon slices remain pliable enough to wrap around the burger. Related: Tasty Burger Recipes

    2) X Marks
    the Spot: Criss cross two slices of bacon and lay your perfectly formed patties in the center of the X. As you lift the ends of the bacon slices over the sides of the patty you'll notice they don't meet perfectly, but that's okay. Place the wrapped patty with the ends of the bacon down

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  • 7 Tips for Caring for Your Bras

    As the most delicate of delicates, bras require special care to keep their shape. But let's be reasonable here: Who has the time to hand-wash their bras after every wearing? Here are a few tips for keeping the convenience of machine washing, without stretching and distorting any of your undergarments.

    • When you're separating your clothes for laundry day, hook the back of each bra, so the hooks don't snag any fabric.

    Related: Finding the Best T-Shirt Bra

    • Be sure to wash your bras in a lingerie bag. This should minimize stress on the garment during the wash cycle. Follow the instructions on the label to make sure that you've selected the correct water temperature for the cycle, too.

    • Be sure to use a mild detergent when you wash bras. (Our Cleaning Products Lab recommends a detergent like Woolite that's designed for delicate fabrics.) Stronger detergents can deteriorate the fabric (so your bras will look less pretty the more that you wash them) and degrade the Lycra or
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  • How Much Is Too Much to Keep "Just in Case?"

    We often recommend that, when organizing a room, you create a very accessible space for something to be used regularly, and then make a "backstock" area for the spares of that item, stored somewhere less accessible. For example, you might have your daily toothpaste and floss in your top bathroom drawer; extra toothpaste, floss and toothbrushes can be kept in a cabinet in a bin labeled "Dental."

    Related: Organizing Help You Can Really Use

    A very workable rule-of-thumb for most situations is to keep one item in current use and one as a spare. When you open up the spare, put that item on your shopping list and buy another spare. Any more than that is probably too much for most situations, unless the item is hard to come by.

    Related: Get Organized to Make Summer a Breeze!

    Some people's idea of a backstock gets out of hand. Here are some considerations to help you think through your needs:

    • How much do you use this item? Daily, weekly, monthly, or annually?
    • Does one person use this,
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  • 9 Tips To Make Your Cell Phone Last

    cell phonescell phonesElectronics are big-ticket items, so it makes sense to do everything you can to make them last as long as possible. Here are my tips for extending the lifespan of cellphones:

    • Don't charge your battery any longer than it takes to reach a full charge. Otherwise, you risk overheating and a reduction in power capacity.
    • If you have a spare battery, alternate it regularly with the one that's in your phone. Leaving it unused will reduce its life.

    Related: 9 Steps to Reduce Cell Phone Radiation

    • If you have to replace the battery, buy one that's authorized by the manufacturer of your phone.
    • Set your screen so that it turns off after a period of inactivity
    • Turn off Wi-Fi and Bluetooth when you don't need them.

    Related: How Your Smartphone Can Compromise Your Privacy

    • Avoid using your phone in poor reception areas.
    • Turn your phone off overnight or when you won't be using it for a long period of time.
    • If your mobile drops in the pool (or toilet!), take the
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  • 6 Summer Organizing Tips

    Summer is fun but it needs its own systems and routines to work best. Here are some suggestions from de-cluttering expert Lorie Marrero:

    1. Figure out what activities are going to be occurring frequently and create systems.
    Activities such as swimming or sports will need storage for the gear involved. Storage should be easy for kids to manage on their own. Don't forget to create homes for the details like goggles, pool toys, and gate keys or membership cards. Related: What's Your Organizing Style?

    2. Make your kitchen kid-friendly for them and clean-up friendly for you.
    Place cups, bowls and healthful snacks within their reach, as age-appropriate. You can also try color-coding your glasses so you know that "the blue glass belongs to Joey," and he can be responsible for it.

    3. Give the kids some chores to provide a sense of contribution and routine. My own children have been putting their dirty dishes in the dishwasher basically since they were able to

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  • 10 Best Books for Summer

    Whether you're looking for a mystery or memoir, chick-lit or historical fiction, we have a book for you. Check out our picks for this summer's best reads.

    For the Hammock: "Then Came You" by Jennifer Weiner
    The queen of chick lit returns with a new novel about four women, bound by obligation and opportunity, who must struggle to become a family.

    Related: What We're Reading This Month

    To Curl Up With: "The Paris Wife" by Paula McLain
    The twenties are roaring, and a not-yet-famous Ernest Hemingway has just met the woman who will be his first (of four) wives; she narrates this engrossing novel about their love and its undoing.

    To Haunt You: "State of Wonder" by Ann Patchett
    A researcher flies to Brazil in search of her former mentor, who in turn is hunting for a drug that can extend fertility past 60. Delusion? Think Heart of Darkness with formidable female leads.

    For True Mom Confessions: "Planting Dandelions" by Kyran Pittman
    Pittman's memoir wryly

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  • 3 Symptoms You Shouldn't Ignore

    When you were in your 20s and 30s, you probably ignored random aches or other minor physical annoyances, and they usually went away. But in your 40s and beyond those symptoms can come back - often with a different cause, and calling for more serious attention.

    Symptom: Heart Palpitations
    What it may have meant in your youth: You were in love
    What it may signal now: Fluctuating hormones

    You expect hot flashes and "senior moments" in the years leading up to menopause, but many women are surprised to find they also have palpitations - their hearts pound or beat irregularly. In one 2007 study of more than 1,000 women in four countries, for example, 12 percent said they'd had this sensation. Yet experts aren't sure why it happens. "It's amazing how little research there is," says menopause researcher Susan D. Reed, M.D., professor of ob-gyn and epidemiology at the University of Washington in Seattle. Shifting hormones - the estrogen-progesterone ratio changes at menopause - likely play

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  • Taco Night: An Easy, Kid-Friendly Dinner Idea

    Taco night rules! I like to set up a taco bar and let my kids make their own dinner. It's messy, but fun and delicious. Here's how to do it:

    Start with corn tortillas. Even if you think you don't like corn tortillas. Chances are, you haven't heated them properly in the past. Instead of using them straight from the fridge (they'll crack and break) or microwaving them (they can get tough), warm each tortilla in a hot cast iron skillet, grill, or directly over the flame of a gas burner, turning with tongs, until warm and pliable. Transfer to a large sheet of foil and wrap. Keep heating and wrapping tortillas, stacking them as you go. They'll stay steamy and warm in the foil packet.

    If you live near stores that sell freshly made tortillas, try them. I'm lucky enough to live near Tortilleria Nixtamal, which you should definitely check out if you're in New York City.

    The fillings can range from carne asada grilled steak to shredded chicken to, my personal favorite, pork. If you prefer

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  • Find the Best Outdoor Lighting for Your Backyard

    Memorial Day weekend is right around the corner - and that means more backyard time! Outdoor lights are not only essential, but they can also transform your yard into a summer oasis where the whole family can kick back and relax. There are no rules when it comes to outdoor lighting; mix-and-match all the options below to create your own magical nighttime haven.

    Candles are the easiest to set up and add instant charm. Just be careful of open flames. Also keep in mind that candles are only a temporary form of lighting - they can burn out and need replacing before the evening's over.

    Colored Paper Lanterns are available in lots of different shapes and sizes, allowing you to use your own creative flair to personalize your outdoor area. Also consider glass lanterns, which although more expensive, can last through many summer seasons.

    Related: Easy Organizing: Backyard Party Ideas

    Lighted Table Centerpieces are perfect for any themed event and can be fashioned out of different textures,

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