Tip of the Day: Winning Wicker

Make sure your wicker patio furniture lasts through the fall and winter no matter where you store it. Lightly brush it with a small amount of vegetable oil and the wicker or rattan will stay supple.

Tip of the Day: Fight Odors With Your Cuppa Joe

Don’t throw away used coffee grounds -- instead, keep them in a can near the sink. Rub a small amount over your hands after handling fish, or chopping garlic or onions to get rid of odors on your hands.

Tip of the Day: It's All at the Mall

Before you head to the mall, head to their website. Many malls now post coupons to their stores right on their site!

Recipe of the Week: Chive and Cheddar Biscuits

This recipe from Working Mother magazine combines homemade baking with a fun activity for your kids. Any little ones who like getting their hands dirty will dive right in to help pat out the dough.


2 cups flour plus extra for dusting
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
8 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 cup minced fresh chives, or 2 tablespoons dried chives
2 tablespoons heavy cream

How to Make It:

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside

2. Let kids whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar, and salt in a bowl. Have kids rub the cold butter into the flour mixture with their fingers until pieces are the size of small peas. Kids can add buttermilk, cheddar, and chives into flour/butter mixture and gently stir with a fork until just mixed.

3. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and help kids gently pat it into a 6- by 9-inch rectangle. Fold dough into thirds as you would a letter and pat into a 6- by 9-inch rectangle again. Older kids can drip edges of a 3-inch-round biscuit cutter in flour, and cut 6 biscuits from the dough. Transfer biscuits to prepared baking sheet, brush the tops with cream, and bake until lightly browned, 14 to 16 minutes.

Do you have recipe to share? Let us know!

Tip of the Day: Fast Relief for Paper Cuts

Instantly ease the sting of a paper cut with a bit of white glue. Just dab a small amount onto the area. Once it dries, it creates a liquid-bandage barrier that will seal out germs and make it hurt less.

Tip of the Day: Find the Stain

If you spilled something on a tablecloth or blanket, make the stain easy to find in the laundry room by clipping a bobby pin or safety pin onto the location. Find the pin and you’ve found the stain!

Tip of the Day: No More Misplaced Keys

If you’re always misplacing your keys around the house, tie a brightly-colored ribbon to your keychain. They’ll be much easier to spot.

Tip of the Day: Egg-cellent

For perfectly peeled hard-boiled eggs, crack the eggs slightly on your counter, then place them in a bowl of cool water. The water will seep in and loosen the egg from its shell, making sure you don’t accidentally take out half the white when you’re trying to peel it.

Tip of the Day: When Life Hands You Lemons...

Lemons will stay fresh for up to three months if you store them in a bowl of water in the fridge. Just change the water every week. Who knew?

Tip of the Day: Tackle Those Dust Bunnies

The easiest way to vacuum under a dresser? Just remove the bottom drawer, and you’ll be able to suck up those dust bunnies with ease.

Recipe of the Week: Spiced Roasted Carrots

If you're looking for an easy way to add more vegetables to your family's diet, look no further. Carrots have a sweetness that makes them naturally tasty, and the cumin in this recipe adds so much flavor, you never thought veggies could be so delicious. The folks at Seventh Generation shared this recipe with us.


1 pound carrots
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin

How to Make It:

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel one pound of carrots and cut them into strips that look like French fries.

2. In a bowl, mix the olive oil with the cumin. Add a little more cumin if you like. Add carrots to the bowl and mix until coated.

3. Place carrots on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

4. Roast for 10 minutes. Mix with a spatula, and continue cooking until the carrots are as crisp or as soft as you would like, 5 to 10 minutes more.

Do you have an easy side dish recipe to share? Let us know!

Tip of the Day: Shiny Leaves

Use olive oil to keep the leaves of houseplants shiny. Just rub a little bit on each side of the leaf using a cotton ball or rag. It will get rid of dust and keep them gleaming!

Tip of the Day: The Secret to Wrinkle-Free Pants

What’s the secret to wrinkle-free pants? When hanging up your pants to dry, make sure to hang them by the cuffs at the bottom. (Either use a pants hanger with clips, or just add clothespins to a hanger.) Thanks to gravity, they’ll dry with little to no creases!

Tip of the Day: Save on Soap

These days, most dishwashing liquids have moisturizers in them to keep your hands smooth even after doing the dishes. They work so well, you can use dishwashing liquid as a stand-in for hand soap! Just fill an old soap dispenser with 2 tablespoons dishwashing liquid and top off with water. Shake to combine and you’ll have hand soap at a fraction of the cost.

Tip of the Day: The Key to Cleaning Keys

The easiest way to clean a computer keyboard? Simply dip a cotton swab or cotton ball in hydrogen peroxide and run it between the keys.

Tip of the Day: Citrus Soak

Give yourself a luxurious bath treat without spending a cent. Just save the peels to citrus fruit like lemons, limes, and oranges in a container in your fridge. When it’s time for a bath, throw them in the warm water. They’ll not only release a lovely scent, they’ll help slough off dead skin cells.

Tip of the Day: Don't Lose Your Cool Over School Lunches

Make school-day mornings a little less crazy by preparing a few days' worth of the kids' sandwiches at the same time (without condiments), then freezing them. Each morning, just toss the pre-made sandwich in their lunch boxes, add a small container or plastic bag with the condiments, and by lunchtime, the bread will have thawed and become soft and fresh-tasting.

Tip of the Day: Coloring Your Car

Chips in your car’s paint job can be expensive to fix, so before you head to the auto body shop, see if you can find a crayon that closely matches the color of your car. Fill in the nick with the crayon, and then buff gently. This works especially well with minor scratches!

Tip of the Day: Lunchbox Lesson

Freezing juice boxes is an excellent way to make sure your child’s juice will still be cold at lunchtime, as well as keeping everything else in the lunchbox cool.

Recipe of the Week: Cheesy Chicken & Salsa Skillet

The Kraft website is a great resource for recipes. It even allows you to create an account and save your favorites in a virtual "recipe box." This week, we tried their cheesy chicken and salsa skillet. It's a fun twist on a Mexican-style dinner.


2 cups multi-grain penne pasta, uncooked
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1-1/4 cups salsa
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
1 large green pepper, cut into strips
1 cup shredded cheese, such as a Mexican blend or cheddar

How to Make It:

1. Cook pasta as directed on package,omitting salt.
2. Heat large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add chicken; cook and stir for two minutes. Stir in salsa, corn, and peppers. Bring to a boil. Simmer on medium-low heat for ten minutes or until chicken is done, stirring occasionally.
3. Drain the pasta. Add to chicken mixture; mix lightly. Top with cheese. Remove from heat; cover. Let stand for one minute or until cheese is melted.

Serves 4.

Do you have a chicken recipe to share? Let us know!

Tip of the Day: Conserve Water... and Money

If you’ve ever turned a sprinkler or soaker hose on and have forgotten about it, then the mechanical water timer is the gadget for you. Available at your local hardware store, these hose attachments work like egg timers and turn off the water supply after the amount of time you specify, usually between 10 minutes and two hours.

Tip of the Day: Never Buy Fabric Softener Again!

You can use white vinegar in lieu of fabric softener! Use the same proportions as you would for a liquid fabric softener—you’ll never notice the difference.

Tip of the Day: Pillow Fight!

Fight stress and tension by resting on a thermal neck pillow that can be heated up in the microwave. Heat generated by the pillow penetrates into your tense neck muscles, soothing away aches and pains and relieving headaches and those oh-so-aging frowns.

Tip of the Day: No More Soggy Bread!

If your kids complain that the sandwiches you make in the morning are mushy by lunchtime, put the mayonnaise (or any condiment) in a resealable plastic bag, and stick it in the lunch box. This way, the kids can season their own sandwiches at lunchtime by turning the bag inside out and rubbing it on the bread.

Tip of the Day: Turn a Brown Lawn Green

If your grass turns brown after mowing, either you’ve cut it too short, or the blades are dull. Dull blades tear up the grass instead of clipping it cleanly. It may be time for a new mower.

Five Shortcuts to Make Cleaning Your Kitchen Easy

Do you feel like your kitchen takes forever to clean? Even if you do feel up to the task of tackling all the food and grease stuck in every crevice, you usually end the job with the smell of bleach and other chemicals all around you (and on you). Luckily, we have five shortcuts to help make cleaning your kitchen easy--without chemicals! Visit our new website for these great kitchen cleaning tips.

Tip of the Day: Forgo the Foliage

The best summer vacation you’ll ever take might not be in the summer. As soon as Labor Day goes by, the rates go down drastically on hotels and airfare to most vacation destinations. Some of the most-discounted areas are the Caribbean, Hawaii, California, and anywhere else there’s a beach. In a warm climate, it will still be as hot as ever on the sand. But the price will be much less and you’ll get the added benefit of having fewer crowds. Check out a travel site like Travelocity.com for good deals to your dream destinations.

Recipe of the Week: Whole Roasted Chicken With Lemon and Herbs

Buying an entire chicken instead of buying just the breasts, thighs, etc. is always more economical, and the great thing about roasting a chicken is that you can put it in the oven, walk away from it, and get things done around the house while it's cooking. Stuff it with chopped celery, onion, and carrots, and your side dish is cooking at the same time! Or try this tasty alternative, which we've adapted from the Whole Life Nutrition Cookbook.


1 whole chicken, 3 1/2 to 5 pounds
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small lemon, cut into chunks
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley or 1 tablespoon dried parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs or 1 tablespoon dried herbs, such as chives, rosemary, thyme, marjoram, or a combination of these
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons sea salt
cornstarch or arrowroot powder

How to Make It

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. Place chicken in sink and rinse, inside and out. Then place in a glass baking dish.

2. In a small bowl mix together everything except the cornstarch / arrowroot. Place some of the mixture into the cavity of the chicken and the rest sprinkled around the chicken on the bottom of the pan. Add about 1/2 inch of water to the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the top of the chicken with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, and some extra virgin olive oil.

3. Place chicken into preheated oven and roast at 450 degrees F for 15 minutes; this seals in the juices. Turn down the heat to 325 degrees F and continue to roast for 1-1 1/2 hours or until juices run clear. Baste every 20-30 minutes to keep the chicken moist.

4. To test for doneness, pull the thigh away and check for clear juices. If they are still a little pink, then the chicken needs more time. You can also use a meat thermometer to test for doneness. Insert it at the thickest part of the thigh. It should read about 180 degrees F when the chicken is fully cooked.

5. When chicken is done, place onto a platter or cutting board to carve. Pour juices from pan through a strainer and into a small pot. Whisk 2 tablespoons of arrowroot powder or 3 tablespoons of cornstarch with a little cold water in a small bowl, then add to the juices and whisk together. Simmer over low heat while whisking until the gravy thickens. Add salt to taste.

Do you have a chicken recipe to share? Let us know!

Tip of the Day: BBQ Squeeze

A Labor Day barbecue is one of our favorite summer traditions. The not-so-great part? Clean-up. One way to make it easier is to eliminate the entire barbecue sauce brushing routine, which is arguably just a way for guys to flex their muscles as they prepare for a big fire. Instead, use one of those disposable sport water bottles with the squirt top to store the sauce and squeeze while cooking as needed. Keep in the fridge when not in use.

Tip of the Day: Save Some Beer for the Bugs

The next time you’re having a party in your garden, place a few cans of open beer around the perimeter of your yard—insects will be more attracted to the beer than they are your guests.

Tip of the Day: Keep the BBQ Going

Nothing gets the Labor Day party going faster than firing up the backyard grill. Just make sure you keep all that smoked and grilled meat coming—it’s unforgivable to run out of fuel before the last kebab is bobbed. Even without a gas gauge, there is a way to figure out how much fuel you have left. Here’s what to do a day or two before the party-goers are set to arrive. Boil water, then pour it down the side of the tank. Place your hand on the side: the cool part has propane inside, the warm part is empty.

Tip of the Day: Is This How Popeye Shaves?

Shaving cream feels great, no doubt, but did you know it’s actually not the most efficient way to get a good shave? Next time, try shaving with olive oil instead—you’ll get a closer, smoother shave.

Tip of the Day: Vanquish Ant Hills

Ants hate oranges, so blend orange peels with water and pour the concoction wherever the little guys are bothering you. Some people also swear by hot chili peppers. Use whichever smell you prefer to have permeating your living space!
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