Top Beauty Tips

1. If you suffer from dry skin, mash half an avocado and gently apply it to your skin. Leave on for 15 minutes to moisturize it, then wash off with warm water and pat dry.

2. Prevent dryness during cold, windy weather. Avoid washing your face too much and reduce use of alcohol-based toners and astringents.

3. Not sure where to apply your blush to get a natural look? Smile and pinch your cheeks where they tend to be most curved. Those are the apples of your cheeks and the blush should go there to highlight your features. Use a color only a tone or two darker or pinker than your skin color for a more natural look.

4. To give your lips a fuller, moister look, apply lip balm, then foundation, then lipstick. Just make sure that the lip balm is fully absorbed into your lips before applying the foundation so you do not get clumping.


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Top Tips for Handy Home Repairs

1. When fixing a backed up toilet, remember that oval plungers or augers are generally better than the bell shaped ones because they can push more air without creating a vacuum. Handy hint: Try pouring a quarter of a cup of dish washing liquid into the bowl. Let stand for 15 minutes. Boil a saucepan of water. Pour it into the toilet at the end of 15 minutes. Plunge GENTLY to avoid any splashing or excessive bubbles. It should clear up the clog easily without any need for a plumber.

2. Always plan ahead before you replace or buy light fixtures. Location and cleaning are factors that you should always consider. Oddly shaped lights placed high up are very hard to clean and will get dark and dingy over time, darkening your room. A tall Swiffer feature duster can help, but they do cost money, so keep things simple and spend less time cleaning.

3. If repaired cracks are an eyesore for you, use brush-on resurfacers, which will help even out the area and enable it to look like new.

4. Use a thin-bladed utility knife instead of a pencil to draw a saw line when you are working with wood. Scoring the surface of the wood makes sawing easier, and yields a more precise measurement than the pencil mark.

5. Get into the good habit of “Cleaning as you go.” Just as with cooking, in which dirty pots and pans piling up can start to limit your ability to work safely and sanely, clean as you go when you are doing DIY as well. A work area that is cluttered with tools and other items will make you more prone to accidents. Be alert for cords that can trip you up, blades and other sharp instruments that can nick and cut and caustic chemicals that can harm the skin and the eyes.

6. You can repair carpet troubles without having to replace the whole rug. Vacuum stained portions of carpet before repairing. Trim carefully with a sharp knife or scissors. If the damage is deep, cut out the piece using a sharp carpet knife, and replace with one the same size that you cut from a covered area of the rug that no one will see, such as under a piece of furniture like the sofa. Patch it in place with double sided carpet tape.


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Coping with Clutter in Your Home

There is nothing worse than coming home after a long day to a house full of clutter, or trying to work from home in a disorganized environment. Statistics have shown that the square footage of the average home in America has increased significantly in the past 20 years, while family sizes have shrunk.

At the same time, we see more hoarding than ever, with people cramming their apartments and houses full of possessions and actually getting into trouble with credit card companies in order to do so. Conspicuous consumption has been curbed somewhat by the current recession, but for some people, online shopping or television shopping channels have become an addiction.

In addition to this acquisitiveness, families live at a faster pace than ever before. Increased work and school responsibilities can mean that everyday household duties can start to get pushed back to later and later in the week or the month, and things start to pile up.

Aside from extreme solutions like renting a dumpster and hauling away rooms full of junk (1-800-Junk and other companies are springing up to help with this problem) many people seem to have a hard time coping with their clutter. There are several simple and inexpensive solutions that you can consider to help get your home more organized without divesting yourself of all your worldly goods.

One way to tackle the problem of clutter is to work together as a family. If you have 6 rooms in the house, it might take you 6 days to de-clutter, but it will then be far easier to keep on top of your organizational issues once you do so.

Start with one room at a time, such as the family room or kitchen and start getting rid of all the non-essentials that have started accumulating. Get rid of old newspapers, magazines, and so on. Assign age-appropriate tasks to your family members as you work. For example, you can give a younger child the responsibility of dusting with a soft cloth on which you have already sprayed polish, once you have cleaned off all the tabletops.

You could ask your geeky teenager to check over all the electronic equipment and run all the cords through an empty paper towel tube in order to prevent tangling. Involve the entire family in the task. It’s only fair. If everyone uses the family room, then everyone should help clean up and organize the place. Once it is de-cluttered, everyone should take responsibility for cleaning up after themselves. If everyone cleans up their own messes, no one will be over-burdened with household responsibilities.

Once you have worked your way through all the common areas of the house, it will be time to work on tidying individual rooms. This can be a touchy subject for the children and even your partner, but the fact of the matters is, if there are any items in closets, drawers, under beds and so on that have not been used or even looked at for a while, it might be time to consider de-cluttering them from your life as well.

Thanks to eBay, people have made small fortunes getting rid of items that they no longer want. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, as the common saying points out. Make four piles for the clutter:-to keep, to sell, to donate, to give away to someone who would really appreciate it.

Keep is the easy part. In fact, you will have to discipline yourself to not hang onto things ‘just in case’. With the children’s items, selling or donating might be easier than you think. They will have a variety of items, from clothes to books, that they will have outgrown. Once your youngest child has outgrown these items, think of selling them, donating them to charity, or passing them along to someone who will appreciate them, such as a friend or neighbor who is expecting or has children the right age for the item.

You can sell almost anything on eBay so long as it is in good condition. You can also have a yard sale or garage sale and sell your items one by one, or in lots, such as a lot of girl’s clothes in pink, all size X.

If you donate to charity, be sure to get a receipt so you can deduct the value of your donation from your taxes.

Once you get rid of these items, avoid the temptation to buy more to fill up the empty drawers and closets. With children, in particular, there is no need to buy a lot of clothing and toys. They grow out of everything so fast, a few items are better than dozens.

Getting started cutting back on the clutter can be the most difficult part of the process of de-cluttering your life, but once you begin, it can give you a great sense of accomplishment.

It may take some time to get the rest of your house in order, such as your home office, attic, garage and so on, but it will be worth it. Your goal will be to have a clean, inviting home that you would not be ashamed to invite anyone to visit. Your home does not have to be spotless, but you can certainly accomplish more and feel less frustrated and claustrophobic if you are not surrounded by mountains of clutter.


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Apartment Hunting 4

Online apartment listings have several advantages over the local magazines of listings because the websites will be able to stay more current in terms of what is available and what has been rented.

These sites usually also have all of the details right up front. They keep their listings up to date, and will state terms of the lease (pets or no pets, children and so on), the deposit required, and the application process.

One thing to remember when you start looking online is that you will be going through a wide range of listings, so try to stay organized. Print out the details on each one and make notes when you speak to the landlord or the broker. Take the printouts with you and make notes on each apartment you see, and then decide the pros and cons of each.

Above all, be absolutely certain you understand the terms of the deal, especially with regard to the deposit and broker’s fees. Get everything in writing, and know your rights as a tenant in the area you are moving into.

One other valuable resource for finding a good place to live is friends, colleagues and family. It is estimated that the average adult will move 8 to 12 times in their life. Therefore, lots of people you know will be on the move. Find out where they are living, why they are moving, and what their experience has been. In some cases you might end up with their old apartment. In other cases you might be able to find out about the new place they got and if there are any other apartments available in the building. You might also be able to see some of the apartments that they didn’t take or get an inside scoop on the broker and how good they are.

Sadly, even the most detailed and meticulous apartment-hunt on your part can still result in problems. The truth is that you never know what a place is like until you move into it. After all, no one ever warns you about the crazy neighbor upstairs on the treadmill at 2 in the morning, or the one who blasts his stereo so loud at 6 am on a Saturday that the whole building shakes.

By getting the inside scoop from friends, or subletting, you will not be stuck in a miserable living situation, but you will have to move a couple of times until you are able to find a place that is right for you. Getting your deposit back can sometimes be a hassle, and having to pay a second deposit on your new place while you are waiting for your deposit back from your old one can lead to a cash crunch at times.

Apartment hunting can be a really frustrating process if there are a lot of people like yourself looking. This will be particularly true at certain times of the year, such as when all of the college students are coming back to the city for the start of the new school year.

But patience and persistence will pay off. Save your money, work out your budget, your must-haves, and start looking. Use all the resources available to you in book form and online to find the apartment of your dreams.


Apartment Hunting 3

For those of you looking for apartments online, the Internet makes it easy to find out more about the available apartments with the help of detailed entries, interactive maps, photos, even 360 degree apartment tours. There will be contact information, price range, and usually an application form to fill out.

The housing market is changing drastically as a result of the housing slump and foreclosure of many properties, which is driving up the demand for apartments. An apartment guide is great for the high end types of apartments, but what about a more ordinary flat?

Websites like Craig’s List in large cities are often used to find cheap apartments or rooms, but buyer beware. Many listings, especially the really cheap ones, are just a scam.

Especially if you are not sure that you want to get locked into a lease, you might consider sublettting first, and then looking around a bit more, especially if you find yourself suddenly having to relocate to a new city. has a range of listings, both short and longer term. There are rules with regard to subletting in certain cities, so know before you rent.

A sublet has a lot of advantages, in that it usually comes furnished and so you will not have to get a lot of things for the place to start with as you might if this were your first apartment, or you tended to share with other people or were still living with your family and do not have a lot of household items.

A sublet is also great because you can get to know the city and the area. If you like it, you can stay for a while and use it as a base of operations for being able to explore your other options and find a rental of your own eventually.

It can also be handy to have a place to move into with your family if you need to relocate, or if you are between houses, which can sometimes happen if you sell one property, buy another, and the sales falls through or the new house is not quite ready yet.

In the next section of this article, we will discuss apartment hunting online in more detail.


Hamilton Beach 33967 Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

Hamilton Beach 33967 Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker
This is the top-selling slow cooker on the market because of its ease of use, great features and portability.
Here is a handy video to show you all the great features of this slow cooker.
Hamilton Beach Set ‘n Forget 6-Quart Programmable Slow Cooker

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