Tip of the Day: Fix a Nail Polish Disaster

If you’ve just dumped nail polish on your floor or table, don’t despair. You may be able to remove it using shaving cream. Using a soft cloth, rub shaving cream on the nail polish, leave for several minutes, and wipe off. Just make sure to test an inconspicuous area of the surface first, to make sure the shaving cream won’t harm it.

Tip of the Day: Sparkling Can Opener

Whenever your can opener is super clean, you know you have mastered the art of home maintenance. Putting it in the dishwasher can lead to rust so just churn a folded paper towel through it after each use to remove the residue, then quickly wash and rinse.

Recipe of the Week: Simple Salad Dressing

photo courtesy of The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen
Amidst all our dinner, lunch, and dessert recipes, I like to share something purely practical every once in a while, like this salad dressing recipe from The Whole Life Nutrition Kitchen. Blogger and nutritionist Ali comes up with so many fantastic and simple recipes, it makes eating healthily a breeze. Plus, store-bought salad dressing is expensive: it makes more sense to make your own.

3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey
the juice of one small lemon
6 cloves garlic, peeled
2 tablespoons fresh herbs
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

How to Make It:
1. Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
2. Taste and adjust salt and seasonings if necessary.
3. Store in a sealed glass jar in the refrigerator.

Tips from Ali:
"I used 2 tablespoons of oregano here but fresh basil would work too, if fact, you could increase the basil to 1/4 cup. Don't be tempted to add more of the pungent herbs such as oregano or thyme. Otherwise the flavors in the dressing may get too strong and/or slightly bitter. This dressing will keep in the refrigerator in a sealed jar for about 2 weeks."

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

Tip of the Day: Remote Remedy

If you’re always searching for the remote control, pick one designated place for it and try to always return it to that spot when you’re done watching television. You can always keep it on the same end table, or attach self-adhesive Velcro to it and to your TV and affix it there. If you have two (or three, or four, or five) remotes, keep them together in a small basket by your favorite chair.

Tip of the Day: Transmission A-OK

If you’re not an automotive expert, you should be aware that small metal shavings in a transmission pan are a perfectly normal sign of usage. If a garage shows you a pan like this and uses it to pressure you into a new transmission, walk away. They’re likely not being honest with you.

How to Dye and Decorate Easter Eggs for Free with Household Objects

Dyeing and decorating eggs is my favorite part of Easter -- but I never buy Easter egg dyeing kits at the store. That's because you can dye, decorate, and display Easter eggs for free using items you probably already have around your home. Whether you’re using them to make an elegant easter basket decoration or to hide for your annual Easter egg hunt, make your eggs stand out without spending a cent! Check out these "egg-celent" ways (sorry, couldn't resist) to make beautiful eggs with the help of household objects.

Continue reading How to Dye and Decorate Easter Eggs for Free with Household Objects at our new site.

Tip of the Day: Measuring Hint

When measuring sticky foods like peanut butter or cream cheese, first rinse the inside of the measuring cup with hot water. The food you’re measuring will slide out easily into your bowl.

Tip of the Day: Easy Roach Repellent

To get rid of roaches, chop up cucumber skins and bay leaves, mix together, and spread around the areas that have been invaded. The hideous creatures will steer clear, meaning you don’t have to do the dirty work of throwing the dead ones out as you do with traditional traps (one of our least-favorite chores).

Tip of the Day: Baking Soda for Baby Mamas

Baking soda is a gift to anyone who is feeding an infant. Keep some on hand, and if (and when) your baby spits up, sprinkle baking soda on the spot to neutralize odors and absorb the spill before it sets.

Tip of the Day: At the End of Your Rope?

Duct tape is so sturdy, you can use it as a rope by twisting it around itself. Use as a back-up for clotheslines, leashes, tying twine, or anything else you would normally use rope for.

Tip of the Day: Junk Mail Be Gone!

Sick of getting a million credit card offers every time you open your mail box? You can opt out for free by calling 1-888-567-8688 or visiting OptOutPrescreen.com. Signing up will eliminate all of those “pre-approved” offers.

Recipe of the Week: Indian Spiced Lentils

photo courtesy of Stem + Leaf
Lentils are high in iron and protein, quick to prepare, and very versatile. We buy dry lentils in bulk (they're super affordable) and keep them on hand in our pantry for whenever we need to whip up a quick and filling meal. This recipe comes to us from Aja, a chef and blogger who created Stem + Leaf to share recipes and healthy lifestyle tips.

1 tablespoon coconut or canola oil
1 cup chopped onion
1 cup chopped carrots (from about 2 medium)
1 cup cooked brown lentils (from 1/2 cup dry)
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon coriander
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes (optional)
whisper of nutmeg
14 oz crushed or diced canned tomato
1/2 14-ounce can light coconut milk (reserve the rest in the fridge or freezer for another use)
3 to 4 cups frozen spinach
1/2 to 1 cup water (based on your consistency preference)
salt and pepper
chopped cilantro, for serving

How to Make It:
1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sweat the onions and carrot for about five minutes, turning down the heat if they are getting brown.
2. Add in the spices and cook for another minute, then add the lentils and cook for another minute.
3. Add in all of the remaining ingredients, except for the salt, pepper, and cilantro. Turn the heat up to high, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20-30 minutes until heated through, adding more water if you like
4. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve as a stew or over brown rice, millet, or quinoa. Top with cilantro.

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

Tip of the Day: Tutor for Cash

If you know how to play an instrument or have a background in math, science, or English, tutoring may be a good way to make some extra cash. Put up flyers in your area, post an ad on Craigslist.org, and talk to local schools and after-school programs to see if they have children in need of tutoring. Make sure to have your résumé handy, and provide references, even if they’re in the form of your friends whose children you have taught a skill.

Tip of the Day: Time for Whimsical Knick-Knacks

An easy way to add custom knick-knacks to your home is to buy clock mechanisms from your hardware store. These do-it-yourself clocks are just the hands and the motor, and allow you to add them to household items, turning them into clocks. Add them to tins, plates, photos with a cardboard backing, or just about anything else in your home. All it takes is a little creativity!

Tip of the Day: Sewing Board

If you use a sewing machine often, mount a small bulletin board on the wall next to it. Then fill it with pushpins or straight pins. That way when you’ve got your hands full, you can use the pins to hang extra thread, buttons, bobbins, and other miscellany on the board until you need it.

Tip of the Day: Flea Fix

To get rid of fleas on your poor pet’s skin, don’t spring for expensive flea medication. Instead, add a garlic capsule to your pet’s food each day. The smell secreted by your pet will not only deter fleas, but the garlic will help prevent roundworm.

Be sure to consult with your veterinarian before changing your pet's diet or giving your pet any medication. 

Tip of the Day: Video Game Strategy

If your kids love video games, try to buy games that can be played over and over (such as puzzle games) rather than ones that aren’t fun once you “win” them—you’ll go a lot longer before you start hearing requests to buy a new game! When you finally do cave, make sure to buy used games whenever possible.

Tip of the Day: Shamrock Stamp

For a fun St. Patrick's Day art project for your kids, cut a bell pepper in half, then paint the sliced edge with green paint to create a shamrock stamp. 

See all of the great St. Patrick's Day ideas we've found on Pinterest at http://pinterest.com/whoknewtips/st-patrick-s-day !

Tip of the Day: Time to Remove Those Parking Stickers

If your windshield is covered with parking permits and inspection stickers from years gone by, you’ll love this tip. Pour nail polish remover over the decals until they’re soaked. Then scrape with a razor blade and they’ll come cleanly off in seconds.

Recipe of the Week: Crock-Pot Corned Beef

photo courtesy of SmashedPeasAndCarrots

St. Patrick's Day is around the corner -- get festive with food! This corned beef recipe from Maggie at SmashedPeasAndCarrots is so simple to make you might decide to whip it up on days it's not St. Patrick's Day.  Visit Maggie's blog to learn how to turn this corned beef into a delicious beef-and-coleslaw sandwich.

1 three- to four-pound corned beef brisket
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 bottle of beer (dark, if you have it) or 1 can of beef broth
Corned beef seasoning packet (usually included with the brisket)

How to Make It:
1. Place the corned beef brisket in your Crock-Pot or slow cooker and pat the brown sugar and the contents of the seasoning packet over top of it.  
2. Pour the bottle of beer or can of beef broth into the Crock-Pot and place lid on.  
3. Cook on high for 3-4 hours or on low for 6-8 hours.   

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

Tip of the Day: Holiday Flowers

Flora-lovers don’t need fancy arrangements to celebrate every holiday with style. Start your own tradition of dying white carnations whatever color is fitting for the occasion. Various shades of red and pink for Valentine’s Day, green for St. Patrick’s Day, a combination of red, white, and blue for July Fourth, orange and black for Halloween, and so on. It’s also fun to do favorite colors for birthdays. All you need to do is add a bit of food coloring to your flowers’ vase with some warm water. Half the fun is watching the flower take on the new color as it sucks up the water, so make sure the kids don’t miss out.

Tip of the Day: Brush-Shopping Secret

We’ll usually tell you to go for the cheapest option, but when it comes to paint brushes, quality matters. To make sure you’re buying a high-quality brush, look at the tips of the bristles. If they have a lot of split-ends, they’ll spread paint more evenly.

5 Things You Should Never Throw Away: Simple Reuses for Household Items

You may have heard the term “reduce, reuse, recycle,” but did you know that many items around your home can be repurposed for uses you never thought possible? Repurposing everyday items not only stretches your budget further, it reduces clutter. Visit our new website for five of our favorite clever reuses for things around your home, including Netflix envelopes!

Tip of the Day: A Spray a Day Keeps Pests Away

One way to keep unwanted pests out of your garden is to infuse it with a garlicky odor that will be unpleasant for insects. Take 1/4 cup garlic and mix it with 2 cups water in a blender, strain it with an old nylon stocking, and scrape the paste into a jar. Add 2 teaspoons mineral oil and several squirts of liquid dish detergent. Carefully replace the lid on the jar and shake well. Transfer the solution to a spray bottle and use it on your garden in the early morning hours.

Tip of the Day: Tip for Puffy Eyes

Fix a puffy under-eye area by rubbing egg whites on it. As the egg whites dry, you’ll feel the skin get tighter. Leave on for a few minutes after it dries, then rinse off with cool water. You can also try applying a few slices of cucumber or potato to your eyes and leaving on for 15 minutes.

Tip of the Day: Salt an Oven Spill

Oops, that pot in your oven boiled over, and there’s a sticky mess on the bottom of your oven! To easily clean any oven spill, sprinkle salt on top immediately after noticing it. After a little while in a hot oven, the spill will turn to ash and it can easily be cleaned.

Tip of the Day: Tailor-Made

Going to a tailor may seem like an expensive proposition, but it’s often worth it if you unearth a good deal on a suit or other clothing that doesn’t quite fit. Found some jeans for ten bucks that look great but are an inch too long? A jacket that’s a steal, but a bit too baggy in the arms? For a small price, you can get these items custom-fitted at a tailor. And you’ll still be saving a bundle from what the normal retail price would be.

Tip of the Day: Brighten Rugs

Brighten rugs that have faded by rubbing them down with a rag that has been soaked in salt water (then wrung out). You can also submerge throw rugs and drapes in a solution of salt water, then wash as usual.

Recipe of the Week: Potatoes au Gratin

Jenny Rosenstarch's blog "Dinner: A Love Story" is filled with poetic musings on food and practical recipes we love. This potatoes au gratin recipe is comfort food at its best. Mix it up by trying red potatoes, sweet potatoes, or a combination.

1 tablespoon flour
1/4  to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne, depending on your tolerance for heat
1 cup 2% milk
4 to 5 medium Yukon gold potatoes, skin on, sliced thin
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
salt and pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan
1/2 cup shredded cheddar

How To Make It:
1. Grease 9″ pie dish or casserole with olive oil or butter, and set aside. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk together flour, cayenne and milk, and set aside.
2. Arrange sliced potatoes neatly on bottom of dish, then a few onions, in one layer. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and a handful of each cheese. Repeat three times: potatoes, onions, cheese, reserving a little cheese for final layer.
3. Pour milk mixture evenly over the potatoes. Top with shredded cheese and salt and pepper, and cover with foil.
4. Bake at 425° for 40 minutes. Remove foil, and broil for 5 minutes, or until cheese gets slightly brown and bubbly.

Tip of the Day: Party Like It's Wednesday Night

If your children’s birthday parties are putting a hurt on your budget, there’s a simple solution—have the party during the week instead of on a weekend. Sure, everyone wants a weekend party, and that’s why restaurants and other popular birthday locales charge a lot more for Saturday and Sunday events. They’ll be only too happy to accommodate your request for a weekday party, and it might even be easier for you, too—just offer to pick up your child’s playmates from school that afternoon and have them picked up from the party later. Your child will have just as much fun as they would at a weekend party, maybe even more, since it’s a rare weekday treat.

Tip of the Day: Free Proctor and Gamble Products

Are you a member of P&G Everyday Solutions? They send you FREE Proctor & Gamble products and coupons just for logging in! Right now they're offering a coupon book worth $25 on products like Febreeze, Cascade, Dawn, and more. Click here to sign up!

Tip of the Day: Easy Radiator Cleaning

Dreading cleaning your radiator? Here’s a simple way to get the job done. Hang a damp cloth or damp newspapers on the wall behind it. Then use your hair dryer to blow the dust off it. The dust will stick to the wet surface behind it, then you can simply throw it away.

Tip of the Day: Waterproof Slippers

To make your slippers waterproof and therefore safe to wear on a quick trip outdoors, simply cover the bottoms with overlapping layers of duct tape.

Tip of the Day: Piece of Cake

If you find icing too sweet or too rich, try this cake topping: Set a paper lace doily on the cake, and then dust lightly with confectioners’ sugar. Carefully lift the doily off the cake for a beautiful design left behind. Try colored confectioners’ sugar or a mixture of confectioners’ sugar and cocoa powder.

Tip of the Day: Catch Paint Spills with Foil

Before you begin that big painting project, cover doorknobs, drawer pulls, and any other small object you’re worried about catching spills with aluminum foil. The foil easily molds to any shape and comes off when you’re done.

Recipe of the Week: Grilled Winter Vegetable Salad

Blogger Christopher Brooks of table366 doesn't let winter get in the way of grilling up a delicious dinner. A grill pan for your outdoor grill makes it easy to cook without standing in the cold to babysit the food, and cleanup time is minimal. "The grill pan is the best invention ever," he says. "Yes, better than wheels, sliced bread, the internet… well maybe not the internet." When you see how easy it is to make this dish you'll have to agree.

2 yellow squashes, sliced lengthwise
1 large red onion, sliced
2 red, orange, &/or yellow peppers, sliced
3 large portobello mushrooms, large slices
1 fennel bulb, sliced
olive oil
salt and pepper
blue cheese (optional)

How to Make It:
1. Prep the vegetables by sprinkling with salt and pepper and lightly drizzling with olive oil. Place them in a grill pan and grill, starting with the hardest first (fennel, peppers, onions, squash, then mushrooms). They should be slightly soft, but not mushy.
2. Let the grilled vegetables cool. In large salad bowl add two large handfuls of arugula.
3. Cut all vegetables into bite sized chunks, and add salt and pepper. Drizzle with juice of 1/2 large lemon and olive oil to taste.
4. Toss vegetables and arugula with your hands. Add blue cheese to taste.

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

Tip of the Day: Put a Cork in It

We used to throw knives in the dishwasher with everything else. Problem was, “gunk” (scientific word for stuck-on food left from chopping onions, raw meat, and tomatoes) would still be on the sides. Luckily, there’s a neat trick for cleaning knives without dulling their edges—a cork. Simply dip one in vinegar and use it to rub off the gunk, then wash by hand with a soft cloth. No scrubbing necessary!
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