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Monday, May 27 , 2013

Ear Massage Relieves Allergy Stuffiness

Spring is a lovely time of year…if only you could breathe. When your nose is stuffed up from allergies, massage the outside surface of your ears vigorously with flat hands until they feel as though they're burning. (Don't press so hard to hurt yourself!) For some odd reason, even though this isn't a traditional acupressure zone for sinus trouble, the ear massage reduces or even clears up the allergy-caused stuffiness in most noses.

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Friday, May 24 , 2013

Supercharge Your Iron

Even with all these wrinkle-free clothes available, you still have to drag out the iron once in awhile to keep your outfits smooth. Here are a few tips to make your ironing easier…

Place one sheet of aluminum foil—shiny side up—between the ironing board and the fabric ironing board cover. The foil will reflect the heat from the iron, so your ironing will get done faster and better. Or lightly spray your clothing with warm water (rather than cold)—this will help the iron's heat penetrate the clothes quicker and work out those problem wrinkles.

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Thursday, May 23 , 2013

Ginger Helps Potatoes Last

Keep a big piece of fresh gingerroot (cut, but not peeled) in your potato bin. The antibacterial properties of the pungent ginger will help keep the mold away.





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Wednesday, May 22 , 2013

Fungus-Free Toenails

Here's some help for those unsightly yellowing toenails (Yuk!) infected by fungus. Puncture a vitamin E capsule, and squeeze out the oil onto the nail, lightly smoothing it over and under the front of the nail. Keep the toenail uncovered as much as possible and reapply the oil often—several times a day is best. You can also fight toenail fungus by soaking infected toes for 15 minutes a day in a mixture of one cup white vinegar and two cups water. 

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Tuesday, May 21 , 2013

Hinder Hamper Smells

Collecting all your family's clothes into one hamper makes laundry day a little easier…and a little odorous. To make your hamper less offensive, cut off the bottom portion of one clean pantyhose leg and fill it three-quarters way with baking soda or scented kitty litter (the dust-free kind). Then tie the open end closed and put the baking soda—or litter-filled foot in your hamper. It will absorb moisture and help prevent stinky mildew from building up. Refresh the baking soda or kitty litter every month.

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Monday, May 20 , 2013

Boost Your Bioflavonoids to Stop Nosebleeds

If you're prone to minor nosebleeds and you're otherwise in good health, you may need to boost your bioflavonoids. Eat at least one citrus fruit a day, and be sure to include the white rubbery layer under the peel. That's the "pith," and it's rich in healthful bioflavonoids.

In addition, add lots of leafy greens to your diet. They're rich in vitamin K, needed for the production of prothrombin, which is necessary for blood clotting. Caution: If you take anticlotting medication, greens such as spinach, kale, mustard and collard can counteract the effects of the medicine. Check with your doctor.

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Friday, May 17 , 2013

Combat an Itchy Scalp

Do you have an itchy scalp, but don't have a noticeable skin condition such as dandruff? It's probably just dry skin. Before you shower, work three-quarters cup of lemon juice into your scalp. Wait five minutes...rinse out the juice...then shampoo as usual. The lemon's citric acid helps slough off dead skin cells and kill the bacteria that clogs sebaceous (oil) glands, allowing the release of moisturizing scalp oils that will put an end to the itching.

A very itchy scalp without any noticeable symptoms of dandruff or other skin condition can also be a sign of anxiety or stress. So if you are constantly scratching, scratching, scratching the top of your head, examine your life for a stressor and work it out. Your scalp will thank you.

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Thursday, May 16 , 2013

How to Sprout an Avocado

Did you know that sprouting an avocado pit will spread love throughout your home? Why does that happen? Because, according to astrologists, the love planet Venus rules the avocado. Aside from all the love, it's also an easy way to experience the joy of watching greenery grow—all you need is an avocado pit, a tall glass of water, a few toothpicks and a sunny windowsill. The trick is knowing which end to stick in the water.

First, wash off any bits of avocado meat that are on the pit. Carefully stick four or five toothpicks evenly spaced around the middle of the avocado pit and rest the toothpicks on the rim of the glass of water, making sure that the wider end (the bottom) of the pit is in the water. It might be hard to tell which end is which with some pits. Whatever end was toward the pointy part of the avocado is the top. Place the glass on a sunny windowsill. Check on it daily, refilling the glass so that one-third to one-half of the pit is in water at all times.

Your patience will pay off when the roots begin to grow, followed by the stem and leaves (the amount of time to sprout can vary from two to eight weeks). You might want to start two or three pits in case one of your avocado pits is a dud. When the plant is about 12 inches tall, transfer it to potting soil in an eight-inch pot and cut one-half inch off the stem to encourage more fullness.

To help make your houseplants healthy and beautiful...

 

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Wednesday, May 15 , 2013

Pit-Free Lemon Juice Without the Sticky Fingers

Ah, the constant dilemma of quick-juicing a lemon without releasing all those pits into your recipe. TV chefs squeeze lemon halves over their hands to catch the seeds, but who wants sticky fingers? And what if you have a paper cut? Ouch! Here's an easy way to get the juice without the pits: Wrap a wet piece of cheesecloth around the cut side of a lemon and squeeze—the cheesecloth will collect the seeds as the juice strains through. Or, if you don't have cheesecloth, use sterile gauze or any other mesh bandage (unmedicated, of course) that's large enough to cover the circumference of the lemon. It will also catch any unwanted pulp that your hand could miss.

To get lots of juice, zap your lemon in the microwave for about 20 seconds before you squeeze…30 seconds at most, or it can explode. The microwave also softens the lemon skin for an easier squeeze.

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Tuesday, May 14 , 2013

Easy Ring Removal When Your Fingers Swell

When your finger is a little swollen (from the warm weather, stress, water retention, whatever) and you can't take off a ring, put your hand in ice-cold water (a bowl filled with cool tap water and a few ice cubes works best). The cold water will cause your finger to contract (it should take less than a minute) and the stuck ring will come off easily.

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