May 29th, 2010
Time to rid your windows of a winter's worth of dirt
BY CHRISTY STRAWSER
FREE PRESS SPECIAL WRITER
The bright days of summer bring welcome relief -- and a problem. Too often, the gorgeous sunshine is diminished as it tries to stream through cloudy windows. While there are a variety of products that will get your windows crystal clear, the thought of washing them can seem draining. Done the wrong way, your windows will have streaks or a film, even after you've spent all day cleaning them. So make the task easier by following some basic rules.( Read more...Collapse )
May 28th, 2010
3 organizing projects perfect for summer
SARAH WELCH AND ALICIA ROCKMORE
Summer is a great time to kick back and enjoy the simple things. Capture fireflies, run after the ice cream truck or simply pour a tall glass of lemonade and grab the latest best-seller. You can spend summer being as carefree as you want to be. While it's definitely one of the best times of the year to relax, recharge and renew, it doesn't have to be defined by doing absolutely nothing. In fact, summer can be a great time to attack nagging projects that have been tabled for months or to devise new ones. We tend to have more time and energy without any of the interruptions of the school year, holidays and other obligations. So, pour yourself some lemonade and get your organizing on.( Read more...Collapse )
May 21st, 2010
Uncommon uses for some everyday items
BY MARTHA PHIFER
You'd be surprised to hear of all the different uses for many of the products you have in your home right now. I know I was. Read on to learn about a few.
Read it -- then find other uses
Let's strike a deal here: I'll share these alternative uses for a newspaper as long as you promise to read it first. Deal?
The list comes from ReadersDigest.com. ( Read more...Collapse )
May 14th, 2010
Crave coupons, bargains? Group-buying sites offer deals
By Jayne O'Donnell and Rachel Huggins, USA TODAY
Kelsey Smith, a New York University grad student, can hardly afford fine restaurants. Yet, there she sat recently in Vintage Irving, a tony restaurant and wine bar near East Village in Manhattan.
Armed with a $20 coupon from LivingSocial.com for $40 worth of food, Smith and friends had a birthday dinner with drinks for about $80, and for a few hours, reveled in the upscale Manhattan crowd.
Group-buying websites — Groupon, LivingSocial and dozens of smaller ones — are the latest craze among price-obsessed consumers and an evolution of social media and shopping. Groupon has grown from 400 subscribers in November 2008 to more than 4 million; 8coupons.com, which aggregates online deals, says the number of sites offering daily group deals is up from about 10 last June to at least 80.( Read more...Collapse )
May 13th, 2010
Recipe for a perfect kitchen
BY MELISSA RAYWORTH
The kitchen is the heart of many homes, an all-purpose area where much of life happens. But in the end, it has just one function that makes it unique among rooms: It's where you cook.
Clutter, distractions, poor workflow -- sometimes a kitchen's layout can hinder the cooking process more than it helps. Decorating can create similar pitfalls. "We get too caught up in color palettes and soft fabrics, and we over-think it," says Genevieve Gorder, cohost and judge of HGTV's "Design Star."
But a well-planned kitchen can boost your cooking experience and make the room an even more treasured space, say Gorder and fellow designers Betsy Burnham (founder of Burnham Design) and Brian Patrick Flynn (founder of decordemon.com).
How can you reimagine your kitchen to make it the best possible place to cook?( Read more...Collapse )
May 11th, 2010
No way! Mouthwash can prevent athlete’s foot?
Many items in your medicine chest, kitchen have some surprising new uses
By Amanda Pressner
When minor medical issues crop up (nosebleeds, insect stings, dandruff!), chances are your medicine cabinet already contains some effective — and surprising — fixes for what ails you. Here are nine common household items that all do double duty, saving you a trip to the pharmacy — and cash in the process!( Read more...Collapse )
April 26th, 2010
Garage sale tips for buyers, sellers as season gears up
BY JOHN EWOLDT
STAR TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS)
On any Friday or Saturday in the spring through fall, Judith Kean of Two Harbors, Minn., descends on the city's garage sales. As the economy tanked in the past couple of years, her hobby has become even more time consuming. "There used to be six to eight sales every weekend," she said. "Now there are 15 or more." Many garage-salers are entering the market for the first time or re-entering it as a way to raise cash. Experienced shoppers know that because the quality of the goods has gone down, Kean said. People hold on to possessions longer in a recession, but now they're trying to sell what they might have thrown away or donated to charity in the past. For buyers and sellers new to garage sales, here are tips:( Read more...Collapse )
Do-It-Yourself Laundry Detergent
by Stacy Johnson
While having clean clothes is obviously both hygienic and neighborly, how they get that way may be more open to imagination and experimentation than you may have considered. And consider you should, because as it turns out, the companies supplying the soaps you use to make your attire springtime fresh may be doing little more than taking you to the cleaners.
According to soap super-seller Proctor and Gamble (their Tide label alone accounts more than 40% of all laundry detergent used in the U.S.) Americans are doing 1,100 loads of laundry every minute of every day. And it's certainly possible that, thanks to new concentrates, many of those loads feature too much detergent.
As you've probably noticed, the latest twist in detergent is to sell us less product at a higher price with "ultra-new-and-improved" concentrates. "Use less soap, save the planet" is the basic idea. But smaller quantities mean more precise measuring is needed: fail to pay attention and you'll pour too much, which doesn't help the earth or your budget ... but does benefit Proctor and other purveyors of these products.
To read more about the conflict over exactly what kind of green concentrated laundry detergents are really designed to produce, check out this article
from the Wall Street Journal.
Then consider this dirty little secret the suds salesmen don't want you to know: Some people get by with no detergent at all. Many others save 90% of the cost of store-bought by making it themselves.( Read more...Collapse )
April 23rd, 2010
Clean like a pro: Hotel housekeepers share their secrets
SUSAN R. POLLACK
Detroit News Design Writer
Spring is here and you know what that means: Time to roll up your sleeves, turn up the music and start the vacuum for your annual spring-cleaning spree.
This time around, do yourself a favor and stock up on tennis balls, pencil erasers, car wax, hand sanitizer, used dryer sheets, essential oils and a french-fry basket, along with your usual cleaning supplies.
They're some of the surprising tools in the arsenals of hotel housekeepers in Michigan and around the nation who agreed to share their secrets.
Listen to this crack cleaning crew as you tackle what for many is an annual rite of spring:( Read more...Collapse )