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Tuesday, April 23 , 2013

Laundromat Detergent Trick

Lighten your trip to the laundromat by putting each wash load in a pillowcase…along with one cup of powdered detergent loosely mixed in with the clothing. Instead of lugging along a big box or bottle of detergent, you'll have only the amount you need all ready to go into the washing machine with the clothing. (Just make sure that there's no hole in your pillowcase!) Empty the pillowcase plus detergent into the washer, and you're set!

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Monday, April 22 , 2013

How to Tell If Seeds Will Grow

The word "magic" aptly describes a seed. And if you love gardening (whether you have a nice plot of land or a pot on your fire escape), you probably can't wait to get those seeds in the ground. Here's a test to make sure all your seeds are healthy and ready to grow. This test works best with larger seeds…

To weed out any seeds that may be infertile, fill a bowl with tepid water and empty the seeds into it. The fertile seeds will sink to the bottom of the bowl…the duds will float. Just strain the floaters out and discard.

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Friday, April 19 , 2013

How to Remove Something from Your Eye

When something small and abrasive gets in your eye—such as a piece of sand or dirt whipped up by the wind—the last thing you want to do is rub it against your fragile cornea. Instead, go to the kitchen and mince an onion…and let your natural tears wash away that intrusive speck.

If your onion tears alone do not flush out that thing in your eye, grab a facial tissue. With one hand, pull your lashes so that the upper lid is away from your eye. With the other hand holding the tissue, blow your nose three times. The pressure should make that foreign object fly away.

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Thursday, April 18 , 2013

How to Make a Bruise Go Away Faster

Tomorrow's forecast calls for a beautiful spring day—perfect to go sleeveless—but you have that unsightly arm bruise! What to do: Spread a thin layer of blackstrap molasses on a piece of brown paper (grocery bag) and apply the molasses side to the bruise. Then bind it in place with medical tape and leave it there for a few hours. Your skin color should go from black and blue to looking much more normal—maybe even free and clear!

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Wednesday, April 17 , 2013

When You Need Unsalted Nuts

When a recipe calls for unsalted nuts but the ones you have are salted, cook the salted nuts in boiling water for two minutes. Then drain them and spread them out on an ungreased baking sheet. Bake them in a 200°F oven until they're dry…no more than five minutes.

And—voila! You now have unsalted nuts and can continue on with your recipe.

Money saver: You might even want to buy salted nuts sometimes and then "unsalt" them on purpose. Salted nuts often are far less expensive than the raw, unsalted nuts found in the baking-supply section of your market. Check the snack section of your market and compare.

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Tuesday, April 16 , 2013

Dripping Faucet? Dental Floss to the Rescue

Drip, drip, drip…do you have a relentlessly dripping faucet? Dental floss to the rescue!

No, dental floss will not stop a faucet from leaking, but it will stop the mind-numbing noise until the plumber arrives. Here's how…

Cut a piece of floss long enough to tie around the spout of the faucet, and let it hang down into the drain. You may have to use tape to position the floss so that the drip is touching the floss, enabling each drop to slide down the length of the floss into the drain, eliminating the annoying noise it makes when it falls freely.

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Monday, April 15 , 2013

Nutmeg Helps You Fall Asleep

Not a fan of warm milk before bedtime? For gentle help getting to sleep, try nutmeg, which can work as a sedative. Grate a tablespoon of whole nutmeg, and steep it in a half-cup of just-boiled water for 10 minutes. Strain, if you'd like, or let the solids settle on the bottom. Drink this tea 30 minutes before bedtime.

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Friday, April 12 , 2013

Vinegar Pimple Prevention

To prevent acne, moisten a cotton ball with some unfiltered apple cider vinegar (available at health-food stores) and dab it on. Do this after a shower or washing your face with mild soap or another gentle cleanser. Be careful not to get any of the vinegar in your eyes!

Excessive cleansing can destroy your skin's acid mantle—the oily layer on the skin's surface that protects the skin from bacteria and other environmental impurities. Vinegar helps restore the skin's natural pH balance, while it acts as an astringent to help tighten your skin's connective tissues. In just a few days, your complexion should look healthier.

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Thursday, April 11 , 2013

Hairbrush Trick to Ease Indigestion

If you've overdone it at the buffet table, here's a trick to ease the discomfort: Take a wire hairbrush or a metal comb, and start brushing or combing the backs of your hands. Brush gently but firmly enough to feel some tingly pressure (though not so hard as to injure your skin, of course). After three or four minutes, you should notice relief from that sluggish feeling you get after eating a big, heavy meal.

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Wednesday, April 10 , 2013

Licorice Cure for Allergies

Achoo! Are you dreading allergy season? Licorice root (the herb, not the candy) can help build up an immunity to allergens. Add three ounces of cut licorice root (available at health-food stores) to one quart of water. Boil it for 10 minutes in an enamel or glass pot, then strain into a bottle.

To use: Take one tablespoon before each meal, every other day, until you've taken the licorice root water for six days. A good time to start this regimen is just as the tree buds are becoming leaves and you know the pollen is on its way.

Caution: Do not take licorice root if you have high blood pressure or kidney problems. Talk to your doctor if this is a concern for you.

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