Subscribe to feed Latest Entries
Friday, December 19 , 2014

Stinky Tea for Cold Relief (It’s Not Garlic!)

You probably know that garlic can ward off a winter bug. But did you know that the onion is also a powerful natural remedy to relieve colds? Here are two ways to cut your cold time with this popular bulb.

Cut an onion in half, and place one half on each side of your bed so you can inhale the scent while you sleep. This should help clear your nasal passages.

Drop a slice of raw onion in a glass of just-boiled water. After a few seconds, remove the onion and, when the water cools (enough to drink without burning yourself), start sipping it. Continue to do so throughout the day. You should feel your symptoms start to abate in less than a day.

More natural cures…


Friday, December 19 , 2014

Keep Your Car Doors from Freezing Shut

If you aren't blessed with a garage, like some lucky so-and-sos, and wet, cold weather is in the forecast, you need a way to get into your car in the morning (or late in the evening!) without denting the driver's-side door with an ice pick. Here's what to do…

Before the Ice Bowl sets in, coat the rubber gaskets around the doors with vegetable oil or a thin layer of petroleum jelly to prevent them from freezing shut.

You can also use a bit of vegetable oil or petroleum jelly to prevent your trunk from freezing solid.

Ways to keep your car forever…


Thursday, December 18 , 2014

How to Clean Up Cat Barf

Homemade cat-vomit removal…easier than you think.

Meet Patches. She’s like a member of the family, but sometimes, she finds herself in the doghouse! Why? Barf cleanup! If you licked the hair off yourself all day, I guess you'd barf, too! The most common form of cat throw-up is the hairball and the easiest way to clean that off your furniture or carpet is to just let it dry and then simply lift or scrape it away. Don't use liquid cleaners on a hairball barf— those will smear the hairball goo into your carpet. If the barf is not a ball- or log-shaped clump of hair, but an icky liquid or food-based slime, here's what to do: Carefully blot up the excess throw-up with a rag or paper towel, taking care to rub as little as possible into your rug. Then mix one tablespoon of baking soda with one-half tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide. This will make a thin, spreadable paste. Spread this paste over the barf spot, covering it completely (double the mixture if needed). If the barf is on a delicate or patterned material such as an Oriental rug, test the paste on an inconspicuous area, since hydrogen peroxide can yellow some materials. Let it sit until its dry (two hours to overnight), then vacuum it. The barf goo should come up with the dried baking soda paste.


Thursday, December 18 , 2014

A Tart Hangover Solution

Hurrah! It's a brand new year, and you feel like something the cat dragged in. Do you need a quick, cheap fix for a hangover? Here's what to do…

Take one-quarter of a lemon, and rub the juicy side on each armpit. You might need to repeat a few times before you feel less queasy. Revolting as this seems, we've been told that it does indeed ease the symptoms of a hangover.

Note: This might sting if you’ve recently shaved under your arms.

We recommended this remedy in one of our books. When we handed in the manuscript, the publisher gave the pages to an MD. The doctor reviewed all the remedies to make sure they were safe. In the margins of each chapter, he wrote comments like “this is outrageous” and “they must be joking.” Obviously, the doctor wasn't into folk remedies. That is, until he came to “lemon on the armpit for hangovers.” In the margin, next to this remedy he wrote, “It's the greatest! It helped get me through medical school.” This was our very first doctor-endorsed folk remedy.

More help for the New Year…


Wednesday, December 17 , 2014

Don’t Be That Guy Who Buys Too Little Champagne

If you're having a party tonight and you're trying to figure out if you bought enough champagne for your crew, this is what to do…

If you want to figure out how many bottles of bubbly to buy for your New Year's bash, instead of winging it, start with a list of the people who are coming (don't forget yourself!). Then write down how many glasses of champagne you think each guest is likely to drink—for some it may be none or one…for some, two or three…and for others, well, you are collecting car keys at your front door, right? If you've invited people whose drinking habits you don't know, count each in for two drinks to be on the safe side. Once you've added up all the expected servings, you can figure that each bottle of champagne will provide about six four-ounce servings (or 12 two-ounce servings, if you're toasting with mini portions). If you want to add regular wine to the blend, figure about five glasses per bottle (people tend to pour a little more wine in a glass than champagne). Now you can do the math and then go out and buy the indicated number of bottles…plus one. Like we said, you don't want to that guy who runs out, right?

More help with celebrations…


Wednesday, December 17 , 2014

Strange New Year’s Rituals from Around the World

Every year is the same for New Year's— you eat and drink and wait for the clock to strike midnight. Maybe it's time for a little shake-up. Try one of these cultural traditions made to bring lots of luck. Who knows? It might be just what you need for the best year ever.

China—The color red is a Chinese symbol of good luck and happiness. Hang a red banner on your front door to bring good energy your way.

England/Wales—For this one, you need a clock that tolls on the hour. When the clock starts to strike midnight, open the back door of your house and then close it. You will be releasing the old year, along with all of its misfortune. Then, on the 12th toll of the clock, open the front door, which welcomes in the New Year with all of its good luck.

France—Good health and good fortune will come to those who eat a stack of pancakes on New Year's Day.

Italy—Good luck will come to those who eat lentils on New Year's Day, which represent a bountiful new year.

Japan—You'll need a string of tiny, white tree lights to symbolize stars. Use the type that has a plug on one end only, such as these. Bunch the string of lights loosely in a clear glass vase. Place the vase in the southwest part of your living room. Just before midnight on New Year's Eve, plug in the lights. This will ensure that you invite lucky stars into your life and have a fresh start for the new year. Keep them on throughout New Year's Day or as long as they brighten your decor. The Japanese also believe in letting out a big belly laugh at the stroke of midnight, setting the tone for a happy, healthful New Year!

Norway—Prepare rice pudding, and hide one whole almond in the bowl. Dish out the pudding to family and friends on New Year's Day. The person who gets the almond is assured of major wealth.

Switzerland—On New Year's Day, let a drop of cream land on the floor to make sure you have a rich New Year.

United States—Did you know that there's a specific reason for the tradition of the midnight kiss? Some say that the practice goes all the way back to ancient Rome, when kissing at midnight was part of the giant party celebrating Saturnalia. The tradition was later adopted and adapted by Europeans, who held masked balls to celebrate New Year's. The masks represented evil spirits, which were removed at midnight, and the kiss was an act of purification. Some believe a good kiss at midnight sets the tone of lucky-at-love for the rest of the year (see more at kisstixx.com).

In the southern US states, luck will come your way if on New Year's Day, you eat a dish of black-eyed peas and greens, such as kale, collard greens, spinach or mustard greens. The beans represent coins and the leafy vegetables symbolize folded money. Who doesn't want a little more green in the new year?

More help in the New Year…

The Surprising Secret of Willpower

How to Buy Low and Sell High

Dream Up the Life You Wish You Had…And Make It Real

Wednesday, December 17 , 2014

Wine Cork Disasters

Did you get some bits of cork in your excellent bottle of wine? Not all of us can be expert wine uncorkers. Don't throw the wine out or bother decanting. It's still very drinkable once you get the cork bits out. A restaurant-manager friend told us an easy way to do that…

Stick a paper-covered straw (like the kind you see in bars or in McDonalds…grab a bunch when you get a chance) into the bottle, and the cork will adhere to the paper like a magnet! Carefully pull out the straw. Don't let anyone make you laugh.

More great tips on wine…


Wednesday, December 17 , 2014

Watch How to Fix a Sticky Iron

Hate ironing? If the underside of your iron tends to stick to your clothes when you use it, try this trick. Wait until the iron is cool...that's important! Then put some baby powder on a cloth and coat the iron's bottom. Once it's coated with powder, turn on the heat and watch the powder disappear. At this point, the iron should no longer be sticky. To be sure, test the iron on an inconspicuous part of any delicate garment that needs to be pressed. It should glide over silks and other delicate, catchy, clingy fabrics—with the greatest of ease!

Wednesday, December 17 , 2014

Fun Christmas Trivia Quiz

We love sitting around the table and chatting after a big holiday meal, nibbling at second helpings and sipping hot toddies. But sometimes the conversation gets thin or too serious, so it's fun to have a little game time. Here's what to do…

Play a Christmas trivia game! You can search online for printable quizzes, or combine a bunch of questions from various sites (search “Christmas trivia questions” ) or click here. Mix in a few “ family trivia” questions, such as “Who hid in the dining room hutch Christmas eve, waiting for Santa Claus?” “Who has to travel the farthest?” Oh, and make sure all cell phones are put away! If you don't have time to search the Web today before your holiday feast, here's a list of some of our favorite quiz questions…

1. What American state was the first to make Christmas an official holiday?

2. Where did the real St. Nicholas live?

3. What men's grooming appliance became a sled for Santa in a Christmas TV commercial from the 1960s?

4. What does Frosty the Snowman say when he's brought to life?

5. Who is the author of A Christmas Carol?

6. When you go Wassailing, what are you doing?

7. Which star led the Three Kings to the baby Jesus?

8. In the movie It's a Wonderful Life, how do you know that an angel has received his/her wings?

9. In Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, what was the name of the elf who wanted to be a dentist?

10. What's the name of the Grinch's dog?

11. Did the Puritans celebrate Christmas?

12. What are the names of Santa's reindeer?


1. Alabama

2. In Turkey

3. Norelco electric shaver

4. Happy Birthday!

5. Charles Dickens (or Darles Chickens to make the kids laugh)

6. You are dropping in on neighbors and receiving goodies!

7. Star of Bethlehem

8. A bell rings

9. Hermey

10. Max

11. No. Because they viewed Christmas as a decadent Catholic holiday, the Puritans in America banned all Christmas celebrations from 1659 to 1681.

12. Dasher, Dancer, Prancer, Vixen, Comet, Cupid, Donner and Blitzen

A happy, healthy holiday to you and yours from Joan and Lydia and Bottom Line Publications!

Special thanks to our helper elf Maureen Naccari at Bottom Line Publications for help with this tip.

More great ways to have fun…


Tuesday, December 16 , 2014

Last-Minute Gifts for Your Loved Ones

If you're short a few gifts at the 11th hour, you don't have to run out to the mall or run up your bill-me-later tabs online. All you have to do is direct your visitors to your Christmas tree. Here's why…

Write out note cards that say wonderful things. You can use leftover Christmas cards, attractive scrap paper folded over…whatever you have available. Or, for something special, place your notes in small red envelopes (in some Asian countries, red is believed to be the color of good fortune and happiness). Then attach them around the Christmas tree with paper clips, binder clips, small clothespins or clamps. Tell every guest that comes into your home to select a red envelope. The uplifting message will make the person feel hopeful, happy and glad he/she stopped by.

Here are some examples of what the cards could say…

All of your dreams will come true in the New Year.

Your dazzling personality makes the sun shine brighter.

Many memorable adventures are in store for you.

Your creative ideas will soon pay off.

Expect the best because you are the best.

Your kindness is a gift that rewards all those around you.

Kind words for the New Year make great gifts!

More ways to give…