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Tuesday, June 10 , 2014

Parsley for Arthritis Pain

Do your joints ache from arthritis? Time to go green! We mean that you should make a healing green tea from this common supermarket herb. Here's how to do it...

Steep one cup of tightly packed, washed parsley in one quart of just-boiled water. After 15 minutes, strain the liquid. (Throw out the greens—they're done.)

Dose: Drink one-half cup of your parsley tea before breakfast, one-half cup before dinner and one-half cup anytime pain is particularly severe. Refrigerate any leftovers.

More help with aches and pains...


Monday, June 09 , 2014

How to Keep Rabbits Out of Your Garden

Are you having a "bad hare day"? What a drag it is to see your chard or cabbage coming up, only to be chomped on by bunnies (or other critters)! Here's what to do...

To stop rabbits from enjoying a salad in your garden, wet down the leaves of your vegetable plants and sprinkle ground cayenne pepper on them. Repeat after every rain shower...and remember to wash your produce well before eating (but you were going to do that anyway).

To protect your seedlings, sprinkle baby powder on them. Rabbits hate the smell of talcum powder. Or sprinkle human hair all around where your plants are just coming up. Remember to ask your beautician to save the clippings when you (or a family member) get a trim.

More ways to a great garden...


Thursday, June 05 , 2014

Prevent Dry Legs When Shaving

Here's a tip for the ladies...and for any gentlemen who also happen to shave their legs. If you hate the flakes that appear after you shave, throw away the shaving cream, lose the soap. Shave with this instead...

Go with oil—sesame, peanut or sunflower. Let the oil sit on your skin for five minutes before putting the razor to work. Also, to avoid razor bumps around the bikini area, shave in the direction of the hair growth—downward or sideways—not upward "against the grain."

More ways to a better shave...


Wednesday, June 04 , 2014

Saffron Tea for the Blues

According to recent studies, saffron can be as effective as some medications to treat depression. It contains B vitamins and flavonoids, which may be behind its mood-boosting powers, although researchers aren't quite sure. So to lighten a heavy heart, try some saffron tea. Here's how to make it...

All you need is one-half teaspoon of saffron threads that you would use for cooking. Steep in just-boiled water for 10 minutes, and add honey and/or cinnamon to taste. Or, if you don't want to pay the high price of high-quality saffron, you can purchase saffron tea bags at your local health-food store or online at Amazon.com...or, if it's OK with your doctor, you can take saffron extract supplements, also available at health-food stores or online.

More help with the blues...


Tuesday, June 03 , 2014

Homemade Elixir for Sprains and Aches

So you had a spill and gave yourself a nasty ankle or wrist twist. Wisely, you went to the doctor to make sure there was no fracture or dislocation, and the doctor said it's just a sprain. Just a sprain! It hurts like the dickens! Here's what to do...

Add one tablespoon of cayenne pepper to two cups of apple cider vinegar, and bring it to a slow boil in an enamel or glass saucepan. Add one cup of this mixture to one quart of water for a foot or wrist soak. (Make sure it's not piping hot before you plunge your extremity.) Soak for a good 15 minutes (or longer if it feels good) at least twice a day until the swelling goes down.

More help with aches and pains...

Monday, June 02 , 2014

Lettuce-Growing Secrets

Want to grow a tasty, less bitter batch of lettuce? Here's how to do it...

Let your lettuce plants grow in a shady patch of your garden. The Farmers' Almanac suggests planning your garden so that lettuce will be sheltered by taller plants, such as tomatoes or sweet corn...and consider planting rows of chives or garlic between lettuce plants to control aphids. (The chives act as "barrier plants" for the lettuce.)

What, you've already planted your lettuce? Then go find a shady spot and plant some more. Lettuce plants mature quickly, so you can sow a new set of seeds every two to three weeks for a continuous harvest. If you keep the lettuce cool as a cucumber, it will mature without any bitterness...but then again, wouldn't we all?

More help with gardening...


Friday, May 30 , 2014

No More Wire Hangers!

Did you just iron your beautiful silk blouse or linen jacket or some special clothing item and then have no padded hangers to spare? Don't despair! Here's what to do...

Take a cardboard tube (from a roll of paper towels, plastic wrap, foil or gift wrap), and cut a slit all the way across lengthwise. Cut the tube in half or in sections (depending on how big your tube is) to fit the sides of whatever hanger you have available (we always have plenty of wire hangers around). Slip the slit tube sections on the hanger, and hang any just-ironed linen or delicate article of clothing that's likely to crease. All you have to do is remember to save those empty cardboard tubes!

Bonus tip for scarves: Roll silk scarves around one of those empty cardboard tubes. This is a great way to keep your favorite scarves wrinkle-free when traveling.

More help with laundry...


Thursday, May 29 , 2014

Homemade Fat-Burning Formula

Do you need a little help in the weight-loss department? Here's a quick mix that will help melt the fat...

Put one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and two tablespoons of honey in a glass of unsweetened grapefruit juice. Mix thoroughly, and drink it a half hour before each meal. In addition to reducing your appetite, this drink is said to help regulate your thyroid and melt fat away, too.

Caution: If you take medication, check with your doctor or pharmacist about drug interactions with grapefruit.

More help with weight loss...


Wednesday, May 28 , 2014

Sock in Your Mouth?

Do you need to give a speech, a toast or a special presentation? Or is it time to make that life-changing request? Congrats, special person! Here's what to do to avoid that nervous, icky dry mouth that'll make your talk all sketchy.

When it's time to make that all-important speech—or pop that critical question—you want to seem calm and sound confident. That's hard to do when your mouth is dry.

First, what not to drink: Avoid cold beverages. Cold drinks will fix your dry mouth, but they tend to tighten up your already-tense throat. Don’t drink coffee…it might wake you up, but it will dehydrate your mouth and throat. Stay away from milk or cream. Dairy drinks can create phlegm, which will give you a slight gargle when you raise your voice (yikes!).

Here’s what to drink or eat: Warm tea is your best bet. Ginger tea is the very best, if you have time to make it the morning before your big talk. Also, eat a nice, crisp apple, which will hydrate your mouth and make it feel great.

If you don’t have ginger or can’t get to an apple and your mouth is dry as a bone, gently chew your tongue. In less than 20 seconds, you’ll manufacture all the saliva you’ll need to end your dry mouth. Good luck!

More natural ways to feel calm...


Tuesday, May 27 , 2014

Don't Throw Out That Tuna Can!

Save your tuna cans! OK, you don't have to save all of them...just a few will do. Once you wash all the fishiness out with repeated washings in hot, soapy water (followed by thorough rinsing), this is what you can do with them...

Substitute Egg Poacher: Remove both ends of the tuna can. Put some water into a deep skillet, and turn the heat to medium-high. When the water starts to simmer, place the can in the skillet and then crack an egg into the can. Within no time, you'll have a perfectly poached egg without the stray egg whites swimming around in the water.

Sandwich-Sized Biscuit: Did you run out of English muffins or bread? Don't bother running to the store. Make a batch of biscuits (we like this recipe). When you roll out the dough, cut out your bigger biscuits with a clean tuna can. Since they're bigger, you'll need to bake for a full 15 minutes (keep an eye on them for browning). Biscuits keep well for up to three days. You can't beat freshly baked!

Mini quiches or mac n' cheese for two. Butter the insides of your tuna can, and get ready to make cute little servings. For quiches, you can roll out your crust and use the tuna ring (without the bottom) to cut out your dough and fill with your favorite small-batch quiche recipe. Use tuna cans with the bottoms on for mac n' cheese—and keep an eye on them in the oven. It'll take less time to brown than a full-size recipe.

Perfect Potato Pancakes or Blinis. Place your tuna can rings on your griddle or skillet, and fill to the sides with your batter. Let the batter set for two or three minutes, remove the mold and flip the cake. Your perfect circles are caviar-ready!

Seed Starter. Don't bother buying a special planter for starting herbs or flowers. Carefully poke holes in the bottom of your tuna cans to allow for proper drainage. An easy way to do this is to lightly hammer a brad nail (the thin kind you use to hang frames) three or four times in the can bottom. Fill three-quarters with potting soil and plant your seeds. This is great for herbs or small crops for your outdoor planters. Label each can before you plant for easy identification.

More great ways to reuse and save money...