Blog Posts by Good Housekeeping

  • What the Heck is Resolution Anyway?

    resolutionResolutionResolution is a specification often listed for TV's, phone displays, or any electronic screen. Generally, it's believed that bigger is better, and while this is usually true it helps to understand what resolution is so you can make an informed decision about what you need.

    What is resolution?

    Digital images are made up of thousands of tiny squares called pixels. Resolution is simply the number of pixels in the screen area (or the dimensions vertical-by-horizontal). The higher the resolution, the smaller the pixels, the more detail you can see in the image, and the more the image looks like the real thing. Some of the screens we use today, like the one on the iPhone 4, have pixels so small the human eye can't even distinguish them.

    How is resolution measured?

    It's usually given as the count of a single vertical line of pixels (ie. 1,080).

    Televisions: Usually we're given the vertical dimension of the screen but occasionally, we hear talk about the aspect ratio,

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  • Last-Minute Mother's Day Gifts

    If you've left shopping for your mama this Mother's Day until now, don't feel badly. We assure you-there are MANY others in the same boat. Here, our top picks for gifts a mother can love, even at the last minute.

    1. If mom loves plants, but doesn't necessarly have a green thumb, these oversized tin flowers will give her garden a bloomin' boost. $35 each, Uncommon Goods.

    2. Mom will love this delicious recipe journal from Rag & Bone Bindery. It come complete with spots to preserve her favorite yummy creations, photos and encourages sharing recipes with friends and family. $44.

    Related: Ideas to Transform Your Home

    3. Eric Jannsen's natural beech wood Totem votive set can be arranged in a variety of heights and configurations, so mom can get creative when setting the table. $26 for set (two sets shown), MoMA Design Store.

    4. If mom's entryway or bedside table needs a pop of groovy geometric color, look no futher than Jonathan Adler's 9" tall Carnaby Vase, $68.


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  • 4 Steps to Avoid Mom Meltdowns

    My husband, our two kids, and I were enjoying an idyllic trip to Hawaii, driving up the winding (and dangerous) Road to Hana and taking in the beauty of the cliffs and coastline. And then it happened. For no apparent reason, my son, then age 5, threw a water bottle from the backseat toward my husband, and it hit the windshield with a ferocious bang. By some miracle, we didn't crash, but we did lose control...big-time. Both my husband and I were ranting, raving, screaming, threatening: "Why would you do that? Don't you know we could have been killed? Here we are taking you on the vacation of a lifetime, and you throw a water bottle for no reason?" And on and on we went, spewing way more venom than our preschooler could ever deserve or even comprehend, for that matter.

    Tears began rolling down our son's cheeks, and his lip quivered as he fought back sobs. After what I'm sure seemed like an eternity to him, we calmed down and continued on our way, and I tried to bury the incident

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  • 4 Easy Ways to Clean With What You Already Have Around the House

    If you're taking the pledge to buy less cleaners this year, you can get the job done with these four effective household staples that you probably already have on hand.

    1. Not only will toothpaste make your teeth sparkle, it can spiff up dull spots on your silver jewelry too. Plain, non-gel toothpaste, without additives like whiteners, can rid silver of light tarnish without damaging the surface. Just moisten the silver pieces and gently work the mild abrasive onto the tarnished areas.
    2. Even though distilled vinegar may not be the best cleaner for wood floors, it's acidity helps it tackle other messes, like grease from your kitchen counter tops, film on glassware, or taking off stuck-on bathtub decals.
    3. After cleaning your coffeemaker with vinegar and running a few cycles with plain water, you can check to make sure all the vinegar has been removed by pouring baking soda into the water-filled carafe. If the solution starts to fizz, there are still traces of vinegar so you'll
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  • How to Shop for Earth-Friendly Foods

    Conserving water and recycling are two great ways to protect Mother Earth but making the effort to choose more environmental-friendly products and produce from the supermarket can also go a long way to help conserve our planet.

    To help you sort through the sometimes-confusing "green" claims, my intern, Columbia University senior Sonal Kumar, helped me compile a list of terms commonly used on food labels. Here's the lowdown on the lingo:


    When you see the circular "USDA Organic" logo on a package, it means that the food was produced according to strict practices that don't allow the use of synthetic flavors, colors, sweeteners, most preservatives, toxic or long-lasting pesticides and fertilizers, or methods like genetic engineering. The animals producing dairy or meat products do not consume antibiotics (unless they're sick) or growth hormones. While you may be overwhelmed by the wide selection of organic goods, remember to remain a conscious consumer when you are

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  • Try Recycled Toilet Paper for Earth Month

    As Earth Day nears, I've been thinking about what changes we can all make in our own homes to help the environment. But let's face it, if things don't work as well as the products we're using ... let's say the detergent doesn't get out stains or the T-shirt opens at the seams ... we're reluctant to make the changes.

    Don't Miss: 125 Ways to Live Greener

    One change you can make is in your toilet paper. Recycled toilet paper's come a long, long way since it first came out and got the bad rap that it "falls apart while wiping." Seventh Generation and Marcal both take 100% post consumer paper product and recycle it into toilet paper that's strong, yet soft enough to feel comfortable on your bottom. At the insistence of WalMart, White Cloud just introduced a 100% recycled "Green Earth" toilet paper as well that's partly made from throwaways like office paper.

    Related: 5 Eco Labels You Can Trust

    If you really like to pamper yourself and your family with soft TP, but want to

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  • Easy (and Delicious) Spring Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes

    For our April issue's Easter menus, we developed two delicious spring desserts: a Berry Cheesecake and a Lemon Layer Cake. I love both, but after Lent, I need chocolate, so I decided to whip up a batch of Flourless Hazelnut-Chocolate Mini Cupcakes. Follow my tips and you'll find making these treats foolproof.

    1. Line a mini muffin pan with cute paper liners: This cake originated as a 9-inch round cake, and it's fantastic that way, but the batter can also be baked into 30 mini cupcakes. Look for springtime cupcake liners from Wilton or Reynolds.

    2. Toast and grind fresh hazelnuts: If you think you don't like hazelnuts, it's probably because you've had rancid ones. They go bad fast, so check the date before buying and taste them before using them. The nuts are taking the place of flour, so you want to grind them until they look like crumbs. Because they have natural oils, they'll turn to paste if you overgrind them.

    3. Fold gently: The whipped eggs will give your cakes volume Read More »from Easy (and Delicious) Spring Dessert: Flourless Chocolate Cupcakes
  • Green Your Garden With Compost

    Compost is king when it comes to growing a beautiful plant or vegetable garden organically. This nutrient-rich black dirt forms as vegetable and plant matter decomposes. It's easy to make, it provides a great way to use up food scraps, and it's virtually free! Best of all, the pile eats up food and other matter that would otherwise end up in a landfill.

    Don't Miss: 125 Ways to Live Greener

    To start, you'll need to decide whether to use a closed container or open space near your garden. Naturally, a closed container is easily contained, but it can be harder to regulate moisture within and it holds less. While a compost pile or heap lets you add more material, and is easier to mix, it can be quite unsightly. Whichever you choose, you'll definitely want to keep the pile outside, as it gives off a distinct odor as the matter breaks down.

    Related: Check Out Our Top 10 Energy Saving Tips

    Now, ready, set, compost!

    • Start the pile with dirt from your garden, and add food
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  • True Mom Confessions

    I've always loved that quote from the Earl of Rochester: "Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children, and no theories." I didn't have any theories about parenting before I actually became a parent myself; I had rigid, nonnegotiable certainties. Mercifully, I'm a quick study - it took only three children to kick me off my high horse regarding the kind of mother I set out to be. That is, a perfect one. A few of the innumerable ways in which I've (happily) fallen short:

    • Sometimes I nod and make noises like I am listening to my kids when I am not. Especially before 9 A.M.
    • I gave up on giving daily baths - or getting them - after the second baby was born.
    • I don't have a one-bite rule; a peanut butter sandwich is always on the menu; and I could never send a child to bed hungry. Related: Are You a Pushover Parent
    • I like to be near my kids when they're playing or doing schoolwork, but I don't really want to join in (unless they need
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  • 21 Ways to Green Your Home (and Save Money!)

    Reducing your carbon footprint doesn't require an entire lifestyle overhaul. Start with a few of these simple swaps and habits and you'll even slash your energy bills.

    Don't Miss: 125 Ways to Live Greener

    1. Switch to Energy Star-rated CFL bulbs, like GHRI fave Satco's Mini Spiral S6202; they use 75 percent less energy and last 10 times longer than standard bulbs. You'll knock $30 off your electric bill for each bulb over its lifetime.

    2. Plant trees around the house strategically (on the south and west sides; shading the air-conditioning unit, if possible) to save up to about $250 a year on cooling and heating.

    3. Install dimmer switches in the living and dining rooms and three bedrooms to dial down electricity fees about $37 a year.

    4. Since 1992 legislation, all new showerheads must have a flow rate of 2.5 gallons per minute or lower. We recently looked at the Evolve Roadrunner Showerhead ($40) which can save a family of 3 up to $75 and 2,700 gallons of water per year.

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