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Friday, October 31 , 2014

Last-Minute Halloween Dress-Up

Did you just get invited to a Halloween party and need a costume on the fly? You don't feel like spending the bucks on a fancy mask that three other people at the party might have. What can you do? With just a little imagination and some stuff around the house, you (or your child) will be dressed and ready to celebrate Halloween. Here are two ideas for homemade costumes that are sure to be a hit.

You Are a Junk Drawer. Wear a black sweat suit or running suit or a black leotard and tights, and use safety pins to pin on the stuff found in everyone's junk drawer—extra keys, old receipts, odd pieces of string, a nearly empty tape dispenser, coin wrappers, buttons, dead pens, matchbooks, etc. People will relate to this stuff, and you'll have fun looking for the objects.

You Are a Movie Theater Floor. Wear black, as above, but this time, with double-sided tape or safety pins, attach empty candy wrappers and boxes, chewed gum, popcorn pieces, plastic straws, paper cups (a really big soda cup would be fun), ticket stubs, etc. You can wear a popcorn bucket as a hat. (A number of manufacturers of microwave popcorn sell “movie theater butter” versions that come in big theater-style tubs. Check your local supermarket or a discount department store such as Walmart or Target.)

More Halloween tips that are scary-good...


Thursday, October 30 , 2014

Pumpkin Pie in a Cupcake

It's almost Halloween, and pumpkins are everywhere. We just can' wait till Thanksgiving for the great taste of pumpkin and spices! Here's a tasty cupcake recipe we just had to share. We actually like these better than the traditional pumpkin pie.

Impossible Pumpkin Pie Cupcakes

1 15 oz can pumpkin purée

½ cup white sugar

¼ cup brown sugar

2 large eggs

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

¾ cup evaporated milk

⅔ cup all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice, plus additional for sprinkling

¼ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon baking powder

1¼ teaspoon baking soda

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with silicone liners or foil liners sprayed with cooking spray or just spray the muffin-tin cups. (The cupcakes would stick to paper liners.)

Mix the pumpkin, sugars, eggs, vanilla extract and milk. Add the flour, pumpkin spice, salt, baking powder and baking soda to the mixture. Evenly fill each cup with the batter (about one-third cup or so). Bake for 20 minutes, and let cool for 20 minutes. Remove cupcakes from the pan, and chill in the fridge for 30 minutes. Top each cupcake with whipped cream, sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice and serve. Makes 12 cupcakes.

Thanks to TheKrazyCouponLady.com for this recipe.

More festive recipes...


Wednesday, October 29 , 2014

Panty Hose Trick to Dry Sweaters

If you don't use a drying rack for your wet sweaters, then consider the ol' panty hose trick to avoid shoulder pupkees. (That's our family's word for those stretched-out, epaulet-type of shoulder bumps that result from hanging wet—and sometimes dry—sweaters on hangers.) Here’s what to do...

Take a pair of clean panty hose, and thread the legs through each arm of the sweater starting from inside the sweater at the armpits— one leg in one arm, and the other leg in the other arm.

Bring the waist of the panty hose up through the sweater’s neck. If you use a clothesline, attach clothespins to the waist and each of the two feet. If you want to use a hanger or a hook, tie the two panty hose feet together, forming a loop, and then put it on the hanger or hook—the panty hose waist will stretch inside the sweater. Just make sure you have enough height for your sweater to hang. This method puts no stress on the shoulders.

If your sweater is big and heavy—even more so when it's wet—it's better to dry it flat. When you spread it out on a drying rack or table, cut a brown paper bag down the seams, crinkle it and stuff it into the torso of the sweater, using more brown paper as needed. The paper stuffing will speed up the drying process.

More help with your wardrobe...


Tuesday, October 28 , 2014

A Pinch of This Cures Heartburn

When you think of all the things you eat or drink that can cause heartburn, isn't it amazing that you don't get it more often? Here's a surprising remedy that barely costs a dime...

Take a pinch of ground coffee, no more than one-quarter teaspoon...put it in your mouth...let your saliva mix with it for a minute or two...and spit it out. Your heartburn should dissipate within minutes.

We would have thought that coffee would cause heartburn rather than cure it, but after a woman told us about it, we asked some coffee-crazy friends to try it, and they said it worked.

More cures from your pantry...

Monday, October 27 , 2014

Money-Saving Perfume Tricks

You love that scent your partner gave you, but it's a tad too strong. Here's what to do...

You can tone down a too-strong perfume or cologne by adding some vodka. Apply your perfume as usual to your pulse points (wrists, back of knees, behind the ears, etc.), and then just dab a little bit of vodka at a time to the perfumed spots until the fragrance is as mild as you want it to be.

Also, if you want to keep your beautiful scent throughout the day, here's something that will give your perfume staying power. Put a very light layer of petroleum jelly on your pulse points, and then apply your perfume or cologne over it.

The stickiness of the jelly will attract fragrance molecules and lock them in. Just be sure you want the scent with you around the clock till the next time you shower.

More ways to smell great...


Friday, October 24 , 2014


It has been said that a lot of physical pain starts in the mind. "Positive thinking" seems like a pat solution to pain and illness, but we believe good thoughts really do help the body heal. We love affirmations! Here's what to do...

Start by assigning an appropriate affirmation to yourself. Write it down on an index card (or type it into your smartphone), and read it over and over—at least seven times in a row, out loud if possible—time and time again throughout the day. Think about the meaning of it, and when you say it, mean it. But even if you memorize it and then just say it by rote, it will make a proper impression on your subconscious.

Here's an example: I walk through life with joy and ease.

Once you have a better understanding of how deeply affected you are by your words and thoughts, you can create your own affirmations by pinpointing your physical problem and the underlying cause of it.


For back pain: I let go of the fear that is causing my back to tense up and replace it with a relaxed, secure feeling.

For headaches: I am wonderful! I love and appreciate myself. There is no reason for my head to ache.

For a cough or cold: I am relaxed and surrounded by positive energy as my body heals itself.

It's free, it's safe...and it works!

For more healing affirmations, visit FreeAffirmations.org/affirmations-for-health

More ways to retrain your brain...


Thursday, October 23 , 2014

Homemade Mouthwash

Don't you love the smell of cinnamon? Cinnamic aldehyde—the naturally occurring compound that's responsible for its wonderful smell—can also help eliminate odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. Here's what to do...

Boil two cups of water, then add five or six pieces of cinnamon stick (available at supermarkets) and let it simmer for five minutes.

Once it's cool, strain out the sticks and pour the liquid into a sealable bottle. Use it as you would use any commercial mouthwash. Unlike some store-bought brands, it's alcohol-free!

More natural cures...

Wednesday, October 22 , 2014

New Way to Get ALL the Toothpaste Out

So you think you got all the toothpaste out of that tube? Think again! First, put the sealed tube in a tall glass of hot water (from the tap) so that the water completely covers the tube. Leave it there for one or two minutes. As the heat makes the tube expand, it will release any paste stuck on the sides. Carefully snip the bottom of the tube and you’re sure to get another good squirt from that wider end.

If you think you have enough paste for more than one application, roll up the snipped bottom and seal with a binder clip.

Thanks to Julie Edelman, "The Accidental Housewife" (JuliesTips.com), for help with this tip.

More household tricks...


Tuesday, October 21 , 2014

Unshrink Your Wool Sweater

If you have a wool sweater that has become too snug, we've got a tip that'll bring it back to its original size. Here's what to do...

Hair conditioner can soften and loosen knit fibers, which allows them to return to their original size. Mix one-third cup of hair conditioner in a sinkful of warm water. Submerge your tight sweater into the conditioned water, and let it soak for about 10 minutes. Shake off as much water as possible (don't wring!), then lay the sweater flat on a towel.

While it's still wet, reshape it as close as possible to its original size by holding each side and gently pulling the sweater to make it larger. Pull it evenly—both sides at the same time—all around the sweater. Let the sweater dry flat. It should return back to normal (or very close to it).

More help with your wardrobe...


Monday, October 20 , 2014

Tea for Your Face

A yoga instructor once said to us, "Relax your face," which is a strange phrase and something that's easier said than done. The face harbors a lot of anxiety! Here's a steamy facial relaxant that also helps to unclog pores.

Boil two cups of water in a pot, then add two chamomile tea bags. Cover the pot, and let the tea bags steep for seven to 10 minutes. Put a towel over your head, and hold your face about 12 inches above the uncovered, steaming tea. Stay that way for about seven minutes. Then rinse your face with cool water and pat dry.

Bonus:  Chamomile has properties that help unclog pores, making them look smaller and your complexion look better.

More help for your complexion...