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Thursday, October 03 , 2013

Make Your Own Body Scrub

Dry skin on your arms and legs can make you feel, well, all dried up! You can buy a commercial exfoliant to help your skin look and feel better—but these can be expensive and often have harsh chemicals that can cause allergic reactions. And you may not like the smell...or how the store-bought stuff feels. Solution: Here's a homemade version of a body scrub that smells fresh, feels great and saves you money. Create a paste by mixing together one-quarter cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and one-quarter cup of extra-virgin olive oil along with one-half cup of kosher (coarse) salt. Massage the paste onto the parts of your body that need exfoliating. Then rinse off the mixture with warm water and feel how smooth it leaves your skin. Note: Never use this scrub on your face. It's too strong and coarse for delicate facial skin.

More money-saving skin care...

 

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Wednesday, October 02 , 2013

Simple Stove-Top Cleaner Cuts the Grease

Those kitchen-counter sprays don't cut it when it comes to cleaning a greasy stove top. Here's a homemade cleaner that will cut through stove-top grease and leave a brilliant shine. In an empty spray bottle, combine one-half cup of white vinegar with a tablespoon of grease-cutting dish detergent. Add about three-quarters cup of hot water (not hot enough to melt the plastic bottle), and shake well. (We like to boil water in a kettle and let it sit for a few minutes—this sanitizes it and makes it the right heat.) Spray your greasy stove top generously, and wipe away with a heavy dishcloth. No rinsing necessary. You may need to scrub at the most heavily greased areas with a nonscratch scrubbing sponge. Your stove top will shine!

More great ways to clean...

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Tuesday, October 01 , 2013

Apple-Picking Tricks

Did you know that there's a right way and a wrong way to pick apples? Gently twist the apple upward until it releases—don't yank the apple straight down away from the tree. If the apple does not release easily, it might not be ripe. Here's the best way to make sure you are picking ripe, delicious apples: Ask the farmer! He should know which trees in his orchard blossomed first and therefore have the ripest apples. If the farmer is unavailable or if someone just gave you a bunch of apples, you can check for ripeness by the color of the apple's seeds. Cut an apple in half. If the seeds are dark brown, the apple is probably ripe...if they're pale tan or white, the apple is not quite ready to go.

More fun fall-time activities...

 

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Monday, September 30 , 2013

How to Cool Your Muffins

Aren't homemade muffins the best? Yet they're not the easiest to get out of their pans. They need to cool sufficiently before removal—otherwise, you may end up with a handful of crumbs. But muffin mavens advise against cooling muffins completely in their pans. They say that the bottoms will get soggy. Instead, take the muffins out of the oven and put the pan on a wire rack. Let the muffins and pan sit there for 10 minutes. Then angle the baking pan so that the muffins can gently fall out (you may have to loosen some sides slightly with a butter knife), and put them on the rack (without the pan) until they finish cooling (at least a half-hour). Muffins that have been allowed to cool this way are less likely to fall apart.

If the muffins are stuck to the pan when you try to remove them, spread a wet towel on your work surface. Then put the still-warm muffin pan on the wet towel. After one to two minutes, you should be able to pop out the muffins without any problem. But next time, consider baking the muffins in paper baking cups.

More cooking tips...

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Friday, September 27 , 2013

Sweet Cure for Canker Sores

Do you ever get an annoying, slightly painful bump on the inside of your cheek, your gums or on your tongue (yuk!) that seems to linger for days or even weeks? That bump is a canker sore, and you probably have the cure for it sitting in your pantry right now. This is what you do: Several times throughout the day, keep a glob (about one-half teaspoon) of blackstrap molasses in your mouth on the canker sore for at least 15 minutes. Then spit it out and rinse your mouth out thoroughly, because the sugar content in molasses can promote tooth decay. Molasses contains multiple nutrients that help fast, natural healing.

More natural remedies...

 

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Thursday, September 26 , 2013

Fix for Onion Breath

That Greek salad you got from the deli had a mess of red onion mixed in it. It was tasty, but now your breath smells like an onion farm! Here's a quick, low-cost fix: Mix one-half teaspoon of baking soda into a cup of water, then swish it around your mouth one gulp at a time. Spit out each gulp after about a minute of swishing. (Be careful not to swallow this mouthwash.) By the time you've rinsed your mouth with the entire cup, your breath should smell fresh and onion-free.

More self-cleaning tips...

 

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Wednesday, September 25 , 2013

Chase Dandruff Away Naturally

You're seeing flakes on your shoulders...the telltale sign of dandruff. Want to try a natural remedy before using those medicated (and sometimes harsh) shampoos? Here's what you do: Heat up one-half cup of apple cider vinegar to very warm (the warmest that your skin will stand, but not hot enough to burn). Carefully pour the warm vinegar over your head to saturate your hair (washed or unwashed…either way is fine) and scalp. Once you've done that, cover your head with a shower cap and stay that way for an hour. Then rinse your hair with warm water. Do this twice a week until the dandruff flakes disappear.

More hair-care magic...

 

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Tuesday, September 24 , 2013

Special Tea for Arthritis Pain

Do your joints ache with arthritis pain? Here's a remedy to sooth the soreness without dangerous side effects: Bring one-half cup of water to a boil. Lower the heat to a slight boil. Peel and slice thinly a two-inch piece of fresh ginger, add to the water, and let it simmer for five minutes. Remove and discard the ginger. Turn off the heat, and add one-quarter teaspoon of turmeric powder, one tablespoon of unflavored gelatin and one tablespoon of coconut oil. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved, then add one-half to one cup of calcium-enriched orange juice. Drink this beverage twice a day, and you may begin feeling relief within days.

More healing remedies...

 

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Monday, September 23 , 2013

3 Bleach Substitutes for Laundry

Instead of using harsh, pungent bleach to whiten your whites, try one of these safer, gentler alternatives. Use one-half cup lemon juice for a medium to large load of whites...or one cup of white vinegar...or six ounces of hydrogen peroxide (make sure the label says 3% hydrogen peroxide) in your wash. (Make sure to test the hydrogen peroxide on an inconspicuous part of clothing, since it may yellow different types of cloth.) Whatever alternative natural ingredient you use, add it to your bleach (or fabric softener) dispenser in your washing machine just before you wash your whites. If your washing machine does not have a dispenser, add it to the rinse cycle.

Money-saving help for dirty clothes...

 

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Friday, September 20 , 2013

No More Ring-Around-the-Collar!

It seems like you just bought that white collared shirt, and there it is...that ugly yellowish ring. What to do? Grab some shampoo! First, check the ingredients. If the first ingredient is water rather than oil—that's good. Then look for ammonium lauryl sulfate, the foaming agent that will help break down an oil stain. Once you know that you have the right ingredients in hand, take an old, clean toothbrush and rub a few drops of the shampoo on the ring-around-the-collar stain. Let the shampoo set for about 30 minutes, then wash the shirt thoroughly in warm water.

More ways to remove stains...

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