Sun City Anthem

Why Didn't I Think of That...Tips

Sprinkle corn starch on top of the stain.
Sprinkle corn starch on top of the stain.
You can also use baking powder or baking soda.
Once the stain is covered, let the powder sit for 30 minutes.
Once the stain is covered, let the powder sit for 30 minutes.
Brush the powder off gently with a clean toothbrush.
Brush the powder off gently with a clean toothbrush.
Next, spray the stain with commercial stain treatment.
Next, spray the stain with commercial stain treatment.
Place the garment into the washing machine and wash as directed on the label. 
See ya later, grease!
Place the garment into the washing machine and wash as directed on the label. See ya later, grease!
Videos ?

Storing Groceries in the Right Way...Can Make them Last A Lot Longer

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Instead of wasting time, money and gas each week, here are some ways to make your groceries last longer:

1. Toss spoiled produce

Before storing, examine the contents of each bag and promptly remove items that are bruised, overripe or on the brink of spoiling. 
Items in this condition release ethylene gas that could spoil good produce. (You can also purchase an ethylene gas absorber to delay the ripening process of your produce.)

2. Ditch plastic for Mason jars

With glass Mason jars, you won’t have to worry about being exposed to the BPA (bisphenal A) that can be found in plastic containers. 
BPA, which is also found in plastics and canned food containers, has been linked to higher rates of asthmaheart disease,obesity, and cancer.
Mason jars also do not stain, and your produce will last a few days longer. Mason jars work well for pre-portioned salads, extending the shelf life to up to 10 days.

3. Butter and wrap sliced cheese

Tired of cheese quickly drying out? Apply a thin layer of butter to the exposed side, wrap the block in waxed paper, and place it in a plastic bag.

4. Puncture plastic storage bags

Poke a few holes in those produce bags you get at the grocery store. Otherwise, they’ll trap moisture that will cause produce to break down faster.

5. Consider the freezer

Frozen banana pops are my favorite for two reasons: They preserve unused bananas, and they taste great. 

Freezing also works well for most fruits and vegetables, as long as they are consumed within eight to 12 months. 

Just remember to label them so you don’t find yourself eating something that’s been hiding in the back of the freezer for a decade.

6. Shrink-wrap the crown of bananas

It only takes a few seconds to wrap some plastic around the crown of a bunch of bananas, and it will curb the release of ethylene gas. 

This gas makes any other produce in the vicinity spoil faster.

7. Bundle up herbs

Herbs can be displayed like a beautiful bouquet of flowers in a vase of water. Doing this keeps the herbs alive a lot longer without taking up refrigerator space. Just be sure to trim the stems first.

8. Store counter items away from windows

It may be convenient to store melons or pears on an area of the counter closest to the window, but don’t do it. Sunlight speeds up the ripening process.

9. Pantyhose are best for onions

Drop an onion in each foot, tie a knot in between and continue this pattern until you fill the legs.

10. Don’t immediately slice and dice

You may be planning for the week ahead, but slicing and dicing too far in advance reduces the life of produce. 

Of course, if you must get chopping, a little lemon juice will help produce last longer before it starts to brown.

11. Wrap greens in foil

When wrapped in foil, broccoli, lettuce and celery will last in the fridge for a month or more.

12. Stabilize the refrigerator’s temperature

Aim for 40 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the growth of toxic food bacteria. 
You don’t want the temperature so cold everything is frozen. 

On the other hand, a refrigerator that is too warm results in spoilage. That is like throwing money away.

13. Paper bags are ideal for mushrooms

Plastic bags are a haven for moisture, causing mushrooms to mildew.

14. Place tomatoes upside down on the counter

If the stem was removed before purchase, place the tomatoes upside down so air won’t seep into the small opening, which expedites ripening.

15. Tidy up and organize the refrigerator

It may be convenient to leave expired items in the corner of the fridge until you have time to purge; however, the mold content will expand to other areas and contaminate open products. 

Also, too much clutter reduces the circulation of cool air and creates warm spots.

16. Don’t store milk in the refrigerator door

The cooler temperatures are found on the middle shelf.

17. Segregate produce and meats

Allowing fresh produce and meats to mingle runs the risk of cross-contamination, which causes rapid spoilage. 

All meats should be wrapped and stored toward the bottom of the refrigerator or freezer (in case they leak). 

To be extra safe, place meats in a bowl to catch any liquid residue.

18. Reseal prepackaged goods

When you keep goods sealed, air will remain in the package and items won’t quickly harden.

19. Freeze bread

Freezing bread eliminates the onset of mold, which spreads like wildfire and can quickly contaminate an entire loaf. 

You can also try storing half of the loaf in the fridge and the other half in the freezer.

20. Store leftovers in airtight glass containers

Airtight lids keep air out; and with glass, you don’t have to worry about any chemicals leaching into your food.

21. Maximize pantry and counter space

Not all produce should be refrigerated. 

Here are some items that should always be stored at room temperature, preferably not in direct sunlight:
Mangos (in a brown bag)
Melon (in a brown bag)
Peaches (in a brown bag)
Pineapple (upside down)

If any of these items begin to ripen and you want to keep them around, place them in the fridge. 


Seal plastic bags
the tops of water bottles

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Placing a paper towel in with your salad lettuce will keep it fresh all week long.

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Removing an Egg Shell from a Boiled Egg
can be
A Piece of Cake

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 Adding a teaspoon of baking soda when you boil eggs and the shell will come off easily.

If you don't have backing soda, try this !

If you don’t have baking soda, then peel away a small hole at the top of the boiled egg and a large one on the bottom.

Finally, put the small hole close to your mouth and blow.


YOU are their only Defense
 by Robert N.

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"I thought you loved me"

This has been a somewhat brutal summer with daytime temperatures sometimes exceeding 110 F. Anyone who drives a car knows how hot the interior can become in 10 minutes (or less). It’s been documented that the interior temperature of a car can reach (or exceed) 120 F.

Yet regardless of these facts, you occasionally see a poor dog, cat, or other pet locked in a parked car (sometimes with the windows slightly opened – big deal, right?

It is a big deal because your pet can die !

Those of us with compassion, sympathy, and basic human kindness ask ourselves “what can I do?”

The following is a summary of steps you should take gleaned from a wonderfut site for pet owners called Vet Depot

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1Assess the animal’s condition: Is it barking and moving around (a good sign that it has not YET been affected by HEAT SROKE) or is it lethargic, and lying there with eyes half closed?

IF the animal is just lying there and does not respond to tapping on the windows – CALL 911

By the way – check to see if the car is unlocked – if someone is stupid enough to leave a defenseless animal in a car during the Las Vegas summer, they also MAY be stupid enough to leave the car unlocked !

2Start yelling “Whose Car Is This” and (maybe) the owner is close by and will return to the car.

If there is a nearby store, go into the store and see if the owner is in the store.

If all else fails, and the animal is clearly in distress – it’s “bottom line” time. 

Nevada has the following law on the books:


  Allowing cat or dog to remain unattended in motor vehicle during period of extreme heat or cold unlawful; removal of animal; exceptions; immunity from liability; penalty.

1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 3, a person shall not allow a cat or dog to remain unattended in a parked or standing motor vehicle during a period of extreme heat or cold or in any other manner that endangers the health or safety of the cat or dog.

2.  Any:

(a) Peace officer;
(b) Officer of a society for the prevention of cruelty to animals who is authorized to make arrests pursuant to NRS 574.040;
(c) Animal control officer;
(d) Governmental officer or employee whose primary duty is to ensure public safety;
(e) Employee or volunteer of any organized fire department; or
(f) Member of a search and rescue organization in this State that is under the direct supervision of a sheriff...

...may use any force that is reasonable and necessary under the circumstances to remove from a motor vehicle a cat or dog that is allowed to remain in the motor vehicle in violation of subsection 1.

Read the fine printthis law does not authorize a “private citizen” to break into an overheated car to rescue an endangered animal.

So, in such a dire situation, you need to ask yourself whether you’re willing to break into the car OR possibly live with the death of an innocent animal on your conscience for the rest of your life…

I KNOW what I would do.

Grab a nearby rock or whatever is available and smash the window open.

Once you retrieve the animal, time is of the essence:

1. Bring it into a nearby air-conditioned store, and inform every one of the situation.

2. Get cold water and let it drink – if it is in such bad shape and cannot drink, pour some water into its mouth and on its head….hopefully by then some professional help has arrived.

3. Whatever you do, do NOT leave the scene. Since you previously called 911 the Police should already be there (or close by) and you’ll want to give them a full report.

(I’m sure the owner of the car with the smashed window will want to have a chat with you – personally, I would look forward to that.) 

PS...Keep this in mind !

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They love should love them back !

Arranging a Room for Comfort

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For some reason we never really learn the art of arranging a room for comfort.

Often, we simply try to make a particular room look pretty or stylish. While we are often able to do this without a whole lot of problems, being able to make a comfortable room somehow still eludes us.

If you need a little help to create a comfortable room, then look no further.
With these easy to use guidelines you will quickly have a room where you can truly relax.


 When you first begin arranging a room for comfort, you need to think about its purpose.

What is the room going to be used for?

Is it going to be a living room or a bedroom?

Perhaps it will be a study or a game room. Since each different kind of room has its own purpose, it only makes sense that you should know what that purpose is.

When you have it in mind, then you can begin to decide what will be comfortable for that room and what won't.

What is comfortable to you?

The biggest factor in arranging a room for comfort is to decide what is comfortable for you.

While you may end up sharing the room with other people, such as in a living room, there is only one person who really needs to feel comfortable in that particular room: you.

Think about what makes you comfortable and create a list.

Presuming that the different items on your list work well together, use it as a starting point for decorating your room.

Start Big

When arranging a room for comfort, start with the big items first and work your way towards the smaller items.

This means that you first begin with the couches, televisions, beds, and so on before proceeding to the smaller accessories in a given room.

This can help you avoid over crowding and ensuring that you do not have a cluttered feel to any given room.

Go With the Flow

 Keep in mind that all rooms have a traffic flow and to truly have a comfortable room, you need to plan accordingly.

When you place your items in the room, keep in mind where most people will walk and move and avoid placing any items in these "traffic lanes."
Try placing the items where you want them, but be willing to move them around and to try new things, if necessary.

Ideas for Arranging your furniture:

Just another keep you out of casinos !

How to Use a Sponge
as an
Ice Pack


Chilling a Beer
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Wrap a wet paper towel around beer, and put it in the freezer to cool in just 5-10 minutes.


 A Medical Checklist  For Travelers

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Going on a trip ? 

The following is a list of some items you should consider packing in your medical kit before you go !

(if traveling off the beaten track)

 Antidiarrhoeal drugs 
(ex. loperamide)

Acetaminophen / paracetamol 
(Tylenol or aspirin)

Anti-inflammatory drugs
(ex. ibuprofen)

(for hay fever and allergic reactions)

Antibacterial ointment
(ex. Bactroban...for cuts and abrasions)

Steroid cream or cortisone
(allergic rashes)

Bandages, gauze, gauze rolls

Adhesive or paper tape

Scissors, safety pins, tweezers


Insect repellent
(that contains DEET, for the body)
(Insect spray that contains Permethrin - for clothing, tents and bed nets)

Sun block

Oral rehydration salts

Iodine tablets
(or other water purification tablets)

Syringes and sterile needles
(if traveling to remote areas)

Internet resources

There is a wealth of travel health advice on the Internet.

The World Health Organization ( publishes a superb book, International Travel and Health, which is revised annually and is available online at no cost.

Another website of general interest is..

MD Travel Health 

... which provides complete travel health recommendations for every country, updated daily, also at no cost.

Happy & Healthy Traveling !

  1. Your readers should also be aware of this: in some countries (for example, Germany) mundane "drugs" like a roll of 'Tums' antacid, or a bottle of aspirin are NOT sold at the corner convenience store - they are only sold at Pharmacies (or whatever they call them in that particular country) and many times these stores are closed on the weekend. There are also a few, obscure foreign countries that will confiscate mundane items like Benadryl, etc. Always good to check before you try to enter a new country if you are to assure you're not unintentionally "breaking the law"!

Forwarding Emails...a Potential Violation of Privacy

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All too often, many people receive emails from folks that have forwarded interesting and sometimes important information.

Many do appreciate these messages

Some do not.

But... often you see an entire list of those that have also received the message along with all their contact information.


...the folks who have forwarded the email to your sender and then the originator of the message.

This just tends to clog up the clarity of the message.

It puts out to the public the email address of many folks that would like more privacy.

It allows others to accumulate names and addresses for future solicitation.

In short, it violates privacy.


When forwarding emails, highlight and delete the names, addresses and forwarding information from past emails from the email you wish to forward.

Just highlight and delete.

  1. When I occasionally forward an email I always delete the ID of the sender & past recipients AND use bc (blind copy) to forward it to the new recipients.

Washing  & Drying Hand-Washed Clothing
A Salad Spinner

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A large capacity salad spinner can speed up the drying process significantly, working under the same principles as the rinse/dry cycle inside a washing machine, albeit one item at a time and requiring the effort of your own muscles.

Just think of it as a miniature gym machine!

You can easily cut down the line/hang drying process in half with a salad spinner (works great with cashmere items too), though just like the washer/dryer, you don't want to overstuff the spinner while drying for the fastest and most thorough removal of water.

You might also want to purchase two spinners, one for clothing drying duties, others for your greens, and kept in separate areas lest you unintentionally flavor your next meal in very personal fashion.


Making Your Own Ice Cream Sandwich
 The Perfect Dessert for your Next Party

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Eating a Chicken Wing
Easy Way

Pulling the bones out of a chicken wing makes it easier to eat.

 Just twist the bone and pull.


Make a bouquet of flowers last longer by adding

a cap full of vodka


Safety Tips for Foreign Travel
(Part Two of Two)

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Yesterday, we gave you the first 5 safety tips if you're about to take a vacation to a foreign country.
Today, we have five more along with some helpful videos.
1Confirm Visitors With The Hotel Desk

You're in your hotel room and there's a knock at the door from someone claiming to be maintenance or housekeeping.
Before you let this person in, call down to the front desk to verify that someone from the property needs access to your room.
Criminals have been known to pose as hotel workers in order to get inside rooms.
2Don't Flash Your Cash Or Valuables

Keep your cash separated, with some spending money easily accessible and the rest hidden, so that you're not showing off a big wad of cash every time you pay.
Although it's tempting to have your smartphone out constantly to look up directions or take photos, be mindful of your surroundings—thieves love to grab cell phones from people using them on trains and run off at the next stop.
3. Steer Clear Of Animals

Cute stray dogs and cats roaming the streets may make for good photo opportunities, but resist the urge to get too close.
Wild animals can carry all kinds of not-so-fun diseases (including rabies) that could ruin your trip.
4. Keep An Emergency Car Kit

Whether you're driving your own car on a road trip or renting one abroad, make sure you keep a fully stocked kit in case of emergency.
This should include a backup battery for your phone, a first-aid kit, reflective warning signs, blankets, nonperishable food, a tire gauge, a flashlight, bottled water, and a snow shovel.
5Save Emergency Numbers

Remember, you can't call 911 everywhere.
Find out what the local emergency hotlines are and save them to your phone (preferably on speed dial).
Also research the nearest U.S. embassies or consulates and save those addresses and phone numbers as well.

We have some great videos that you might want view...BEFORE your trip.

Here's one specifically for women...

....for a woman traveling ALONE...

Have a great trip...wherever it may take you!

Safety Tips for Foreign Travel
(Part One of Two)

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Travel can be exhilarating but also scary at times.
When you're venturing into the great unknown, follow these 10 safety tips to protect yourself and ensure a happy and secure journey.

1Choose Your Ground Transportation Wisely

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), motor vehicle crashes are the number-one cause of death for U.S. citizens abroad.
Whenever possible, travel in a vehicle that is in good condition and offers working seat belts.
Research the safety records of bus companies, and avoid using less-safe vehicles like rickshaws and mopeds.
2Check In With The State Department

Did you know that the State Department provides updated safety information for every country in the world?

You can search their website and get trustworthy details about wherever you're visiting.

Find out everything, from which vaccinations you need to the local laws to any travel warnings (including crime and security warnings).

While you're on the website, head over to the State Department's Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) page, where you can register your travel plans.

In the event of an emergency (whether it's a natural disaster, an emergency back home, or civil unrest), they will be able to contact you.
3Review The Escape Route In Your Hotel Room

Let's be honest—when you check in to a hotel room, you're more focused on scoping out the amenities than studying the map on the back of your door.
But... before you get too settled in, you should take a quick look at the emergency escape routes.
You'll be glad you did if an emergency arises in the middle of the night.
4Leave An Itinerary And Emergency Contact

Unplugging while on vacation can be great, but try not to go too under the radar, especially if you're traveling alone.
Leave your itinerary (even if it's just as basic as which city you'll be visiting and when  you'll return) with a trusted friend or family member back home, and try to check in with him or her every day.
That way, if something happens, they can alert authorities on your behalf.
5Scan A Copy Of Your Passport

Before you leave, scan a copy of your passport, email it to yourself, and take a photo of it to save on your cell phone.
That way, if you need your passport while out (but it's locked up in your hotel safe), you'll have access to all your details.
Plus...if it's stolen, getting a replacement will be that much easier.

Tomorrow, we'll  have five more tips to make that vacation a safe and happy one ! 


 Coffee Grounds Can Build a Better
Pin Cushion

Filling your pin cushion with coffee grounds will prevent your pins from, it’s like a sachet of good smells every time you use it.
Make sure to dry them thoroughly first by spreading them on a cookie sheet and placing them in the freezer for an hour or two.

The Fine Print of Store Credit Cards

There is a dark side to shopping, and it's known as the store credit card.
It may seem like a good option when you really want that television or something else you simply can't live without !
But here's something most people don't know.
When the salesperson says the store will give you a no-interest offer, it sounds like a sweet deal, but there's a big catch.
If you don't pay off the balance by a specific date – even if the balance is only $1 – you will be required to pay the interest on the original cost of the purchase.
That could increase your cost by more than 27 times.
Miss a payment, and you'll be slapped with late fees and interest, turning that dream deal into a nightmare.
Sixty nine percent of retailers offer credit cards and financing.
Half of them offer this little scheme.
You can take 2 easy steps to protect your money:
First, if you can't afford it, don't buy it.
Second, if you are going to use a credit card, know the terms.
 Here are a few other video tips...


Peeling a Banana
Right Way

Pinching the end of a banana is a far easier way to open it.


How to Avoid Running Out of Money 

in Retirement

Emily Brandon 

Senior editor for Retirement at U.S. News

One of the most common retirement concerns is spending down your savings too quickly and having to cut your standard of living in the later part of retirement, but there are a variety of ways to ensure that your nest egg will last for the rest of your life, no matter how long that is. 

Here are some strategies to make sure your retirement savings will provide you with enough income throughout retirement.

Maximize Social Security. 

Your first line of defense against running out of money is Social Security. 
Social Security payments are guaranteed to continue for the rest of your life, no matter how long you live, and are adjusted for inflation each year; however, it's a good idea to take steps to maximize your payments by carefully deciding when to sign up for benefits and coordinating claiming decisions with your spouse

"Every year that you delay taking Social Security, you get an 8 percent increase in the benefits that you take," says Cathy Pareto, a certified financial planner and president of Cathy Pareto and Associates in Coral Gables, Florida.

 Spouses can claim as much as half of the higher earner's benefit, and widows and widowers can inherit a spouse's benefit payments if they are larger than their own.

Plan to live until old age. 

While a 65-year-old man in 2015 has an average life expectancy of 84, and a woman the same age has a life expectancy of 87, there's certainly a significant possibility that you will live longer than average. 

Many financial advisers recommend that you plan as if you will live into your 90s or even until age 100 in case you do. 

It's better to save up for too many years of retirement and leave the excess wealth to relatives than to prepare for too few years and end up depending completely on Social Security.

Protect yourself from inflation. 

Inflation can erode the purchasing power of your retirement savings, but you can allocate some of your money to investments that are guaranteed to keep up with inflation. 

Your Social Security payments and some types of government bonds automatically keep pace with inflation. 

You could also keep a portion of your portfolio in investments that have historically kept pace with inflation such as equities, commodities or real estate.

Withdraw 4 percent or less each year. 

You should take only small distributions from your portfolio every year if you want the money to last the rest of your life. 

If you withdraw 4 percent annually from a portfolio invested in 35 percent U.S. stocks and 65 percent corporate bonds, there's an 89 percent chance that the money will last 35 or more years, according to Congressional Research Service calculations. 

And if you withdraw less money in years when your portfolio performs poorly, it can help your investments recover faster. 

Common Sense Things to do for Safety in your Home
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Allen Weintraub
Anthem Opinions Administration

1. Motion sensor lights in front of your house and in the back yard at all entrances.
You can purchase at Home depot or at any home store, There are motion sensor lights that are solar powered or electric powered.
Installation is very easy.

2.  Put a Dowel rod in the track of any sliding door
 A 1/2 or 3/4 dowel rod will make it very difficult for anyone to enter.

3 .Have timers on one or more lights in your home.  
Sometimes have a random setting to change the times that lights go on.

4Garage doors
Keep your garage door closed whenever possible.  
Also consider an automatic door closer for your garage door.
There are many brands available and they are inexpensive.  
Installation is quite easy.  Some have settings that garage doors will  automatically close after a short period of time.( 3 or 10 minutes)   
Of course, these can be turned off temporarily if you want them
to remain open. 
Many SCA homes have Liftmaster closers.  
Look on the Liftmaster website for more information.

I am hesitant to touch this one.   If you do have a firearm, make sure you are comfortable, know how to use it and are willing to do so.
If you do not train and learn from a professional, this could not be an answer for you.
Stun Guns are another alternative worth looking into.  Again, only use these type weapons if you are familiar and comfortable with them.

6. Burglar alarms.  
Many options here.  Use the alarm when you are home.  Internal motion detectors can be disabled when you are home.  Turn alarms on.

7. Common Sense…..

You have heard all of these….lock doors, do not leave windows open.  


Your RJ Renewal Bill
A Reader's Advice on Negotiation

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David Eisenberg

Dear Sun City Anthem Neighbors:

Please be aware that the Las Vegas Review Journal's subscription policies are anything but fair to those taking the paper.  Think back to that old camp song that goes something like "Make new friends, but keep the old.  One is silver, the other is gold." – it seems that nobody at the LVRJ took it to heart.

Here's a recent example. 

One of our members just received an annual renewal billing for $335.42 – up from about $260 a year ago

It seemed high so he did some investigating and found that the price offered on the LVRJ website works out to $200.04 per year – 40% less

And then he found another site online where it was offered for the equivalent of $86.84 per year. 

But it gets better. 

He called the LVRJ to explain the price discrepancy and was told the best they could do was $260 – that's $60 more than the offer on their very own website! 

So he canceled his newspaper subscription effective immediately and then sent an email to Sheldon Adelson (the new owner) and Craig Moon (the new  publisher).

He promptly heard back from Craig Moon's office who

a) couldn't explain the huge price increase, and

b) could do no better than offer the $200 price on the web even though they were pointed to the $86.84 price he found. 

$200 was the best they could do. 

The service remained canceled. 

But it gets even better.

Exactly one week after canceling the subscription, he received a call from the Las Vegas Review Journal (probably an agent) offering service for $1.77 per week -- $92.04 annually

So, in just one week's time – and by canceling service – our member was offered a whopping 73% discount on a newspaper subscription (which he refused out of disgust with the LVRJ).

Several morals from this story. 

 First, the LVRJ does not appreciate or respect its customers – it tries to milk them for all their worth. 

 Second, if you want the best price from the LVRJ, cancel your service and wait for that win-back call – you'll save some money. 

Third, think about canceling your subscription and reading the paper online.  You'll save money although you will lose those grocery coupons! 

Lastly, when you hear print media lamenting over its losses to digital, remember this story and don't shed a tear for them – they're bringing it on themselves.


Extend the Life of Your Razor
Old Blue Jeans

Run the razor across old jeans to... 
 resharpen and...... extend its life.


Unclogging a Drain
Nasty Chemicals

Pour a half a cup of baking soda and a cup of vinegar into a clogged drain.

Once it stops foaming rinse down the sink and your drains will be clear.

A cheap and environmentally friendly way to unclog a sink!


Finding the Right Auto Mechanic

So you think the term honest mechanic is an oxymoron?
They do exist.

A little strategic research is the key to finding a trustworthy auto professional.

Here are some of his ideas — and more — to steer you in the right direction:

1Find a mechanic before you break down.

Looking for a mechanic when your vehicle is on the back of a flatbed or hooked to a tow truck gives you little choice.

If you haven’t already picked a mechanic, you are at someone else’s mercy.
Your tow-truck driver will pressure you to use his favorite shop, a sign of an arrangement — and no assurance of quality.

2Start with recommendations and reviews.

Ask people you know if they are happy with their mechanics.

You also can use locally focused social media sites to harness your neighbors’ views.

If you know someone who owns the same car, even better. 

You’re now presumably considering several candidates; time to find more good reviews.

Here’s a strong starting line-up:

Angie’s List — The company prides itself on having a thorough vetting process for all reviews, including those on auto mechanics.

Better Business Bureau — The BBB lists accredited shops, searchable by location, with ratings of A+ through F.

AAA-Approved Auto Repair Network — All shops in the network must offer 12 month/12,000 mile warranties on all repairs; use Automotive Service Excellence or manufacturer-certified technicians; and pass an annual AAA inspection. (You don’t have to be an AAA member to use the site.)

CarTalk Mechanic Files — CarTalk has a database of more than 30,000 mechanics with ratings and reviews. You can narrow it down by ZIP code.

3Look for certifications and memberships.

An Automotive Service Excellence certification is a sound indication of a professional.

Major plus: ASE certifies the mechanics, not just the auto shops.

In addition to passing a test, ASE mechanics need two years of on-the-job training, or one year of training and a two-year degree in automotive repair.

Having all this background doesn’t mean you are honest, but it does mean you are probably competent.

The Automotive Service Association is a membership group for shop owners that has been around since 1951.

The ASA site allows you to locate recommended mechanics by ZIP code.

4Don’t shop by price alone.

Understand that you’re not just paying for labor and parts but also for the professionalism and technical expertise of the technician.
More expensive does not mean better.

5Steer clear of the dealerships.

Unless your car is still under warranty for parts and labor, avoid dealerships because the repairs are usually more expensive.
Also, note what repairs and parts remain under warranty and for how long . 
AutoMD helps you compare local services by providing quotes for specific repairs on specific makes of cars from shops in your area.

6Ask for personal references.

Any reputable mechanic should not have a problem providing you with ways to contact satisfied customers.

The issue of privacy might arise, but the shop should have enough recommendations to give you a list.

The true professional also might have letters of praise.

7Ask lots of questions.

You want the mechanic to detail what is wrong with the vehicle. Even if you don’t know an engine from a light switch, asking questions indicates that you aren’t going to take everything at face value.

If the mechanic cops an attitude or refuses to answer your questions in layman’s terms, you have the answer to your key question. Drive on !

8Scope out the shop.

There are at least three things you can learn by scrutinizing the shop:

aIf the shop is full of smiling mechanics and customers it’s a good sign.

b. Watch how customers react when they leave the premises. If you see dissatisfaction you can assume the obvious.

cAlso note the condition and cleanliness of the working areas. This can tell you plenty about the quality of work.

9Make sure the shop has the latest equipment.

The latest model cars are more like advanced computers.

If the mechanic says he has the latest diagnostic equipment or the latest tools for your vehicle, ask to see them and have him explain how it works.

Attitude problem? Drive on !

10Ask for a warranty.

Warranties can vary greatly, so ask ahead of time.

Make sure you understand what is covered and get it in writing.

There is no “standard warranty” on repairs, according to the Federal Trade Commission.

Warranties may be subject to limitations, including time, mileage, deductibles, businesses authorized to perform warranty work or special procedures for reimbursement.

If you do a lot of traveling in your car, look for a shop that is backed by a national warranty program.

11Subject the mechanic to a credibility test.

Take your car to the shop when there is nothing wrong and see if the mechanic returns with a list of services that need immediate attention.

You could also ask a mechanic to do a routine maintenance task — such as an oil change — and see if you are satisfied with the workmanship and demeanor.

12Get a second opinion.

You think you found the perfect mechanic, but something doesn’t feel right — and you don’t know if the price is right.

So you want a second opinion.

If you know someone who understands cars, all the better. If not, take it to the No. 2 on your list. It might cost you more, but be worth it in the end.

13Don’t ever feel pressured.

The key is not to be pressured into a decision. Remember, you are the customer and you can drive away any time you want.  

At any time during your interaction with a car mechanic, if he gets angry at your questioning or desire for a second opinion, it is a good sign he is not honest.

Finally, just because a mechanic is recommended as being good doesn’t always mean he is honest; however, in most cases, they go together.
Here are some videos to help you in your mechanic search.

Good luck...and Happy Motoring !
  1. Most of the time I don’t make comments on websites, but I'd like to say that this article really forced me to do so. Really nice post!

How to Remove Stains and Tarnish From Regular Kitchen Silverware

Natural Stainless-Steel Solutions 
Remove annoying water spots and streaks from stainless-steel flatware by dampening a soft, clean dish towel with olive oil and rubbing it over the unattractive blemishes until they disappear.

Wipe your spot-free pieces with a cloth dampened with vinegar to polish and shine the stainless-steel items and to remove any heat-related stains.
You also can substitute club soda for vinegar to produce shine.

Alternatively, mix 1 teaspoon of ammonia with 1 gallon of hot water in a utility bucket; place your stainless-steel flatware in the cleaning solution to soak until they are sparkling clean.

Rinse the pieces with clear, hot water and dry them thoroughly with a soft cloth.

Organic Silver Cleaning Options
Clean your silver and silver-plated silverware by mixing an organic solution of 1 tablespoon of salt with 1 tablespoon of vinegar and 1 cup of hot water.

Double the cleaning solution if you have numerous pieces of flatware to clean.

Pour the cleaning solution into a small pan and submerge the stained flatware, along with a 3-inch piece of aluminum foil, into the liquid cleaner for up to one hour, depending on the amount of tarnish and spots.

The vinegar and salt react to the aluminum foil to make your silverware spot- and tarnish-free.

Rinse each piece of silverware with clear water and wipe dry with a soft, clean cloth.

Safe Storage

Store all of your silverware in protected areas, such as the drawers of a china cabinet or lined flatware chests with low humidity levels that are also free from dust, particles and surface grime.

Place a small container filled with a few capsules of activated charcoal in your storage spaces to guard against gases in the air that can tarnish your silverware.

You can also add a piece of white chalk to the area where your flatware is stored to help prevent tarnish.

Avoid storing tarnish-producing items, such as onions, paints, latex gloves, rubber, wool or felt, near your silverware.

Practical Prevention

You can prevent your flatware from getting stains and discoloration caused by stuck-on foods by rinsing each used utensil before you place it in the dishwasher or by hand-washing the pieces.

Hand-washing your silverware with a natural dish detergent helps to preserve the shine, as opposed to placing the items in your dishwasher.

In addition, you can keep your flatware looking its best by using hot water to wash itdrying the pieces immediately, and by avoiding soaking your utensils for long periods of time or pouring detergent directly on your flatware.

Here are a few videos showing some additional helpful tips:


Just for You White Wine Drinkers !


Got Stinky Shoes ?


Traveling with Clothes Pins


Stuck Zipper ?



Peppermint Oil



Groovin' to the Tunes
of our Youth

Like...or should I say...Love...the music of the 50s and 60s?

Then you're going to really enjoy this website that our Tips lady, Valerie Lapin, came up with recently !

It's called...

 "Paul's Video Jukebox"

...and if you "name that tune"....

...chances's there to enjoy !

...and there are areas of the 70s and 80s as well.

So...if you've just sitting at home and longing for some of that music that reminds you of the "wonder years", then check this out...

...and have as much fun as I did remembering the days of the sock hops and Saturday night dates !

Gas Prices Dropping in Valley...
but not as fast as other places

(September 16, 2015)

Las Vegas gas stations remained well above the national average of $2.33 a gallon despite a four-cent drop from the previous week.

AAA's Fuel Gauge Report showed the average price of regular unleaded in Las Vegas at $3.15 a gallon on Monday.

The price was 10 cents less than the per-gallon cost a month ago.

 On Sept. 14, 2014, Las Vegas gas prices were at $3.59 a gallon.

Nationally, the gas price average dropped seven cents from the week before.

Crude oil prices fell $2 per barrel last week, and there continues to be downward pressure on oil prices, which in turn will continue to weigh on the nation's average gasoline price.

The long mentioned switch back to simpler-to-produce winter gasoline will take effect Thursday, as EPA discontinues seasonal requirements across areas of the U.S. effective September 16.

Countrywide, 49 of 50 states saw gas prices decline last week.
In the week ahead, widespread gasoline price declines will continue, especially in light of the switch over to cheaper winter fuel in many areas.

Need a fill-up and want to know where you can get the best prices on gas in the valley?

This site is terrific !


Make that drawer under the bathroom sink that's either fake or doing nothing but collecting junk...



Starkist Tuna
Lawsuit Settlement Offer
Did you buy a 5 oz. can of Starkist Tuna between February 19, 2009 and October 31, 2014?

If you did, you may have been "shorted" !

Shorted ? 

It appears that Starkist Tuna didn't put the full 5 oz of tuna in the can; and as a result, you may be entitled to a settlement offer as a result of a class action lawsuit that was recently settled.

Starkist has not admitted any wrongdoing, but if you did purchase any of these products from Starkist during that time frame...

Chuck Light Tuna in Water
Chuck Light Tuna in Oil
Solid White in Water
Solid White in Oil

You do NOT have to have any receipt to make a claim.  You merely have to acknowledge (under penalty of perjury) that you made the purchase.
The offer is either:
a. $25 in cash
b. $50 worth of tuna

Also, the claim must be filed NO LATER THAN NOVEMBER 20, 2015.

Here's the full detail on the Hendricks vs Starkist Co. suit that includes a link for you that  includes the claim form that can be filed online.


Trouble Cleaning a Bathtub Ring ?

Try This....


Got a Clogged Drain ?
Try a Coat Hanger on the Clog

Here's all that's too it !

 Snake a clogged drain with a wire coat hanger. 

Unfurl and straighten the hanger by hand, then use pliers to make a small loop at one end. 

Run the wire down the drain, rotating clockwise as you push, then pull it back to retrieve clogged material.  Repeat as necessary.


Cleaning your BBQ Grill
an Onion


BounceYourself to Clean Things


The Edible Marguarita


Cleaning a Blender...The Easy Way


Separating Egg Yokes
You'll never again do it the old fashion way....
....after you see how this works !


Too Much Fog in the Bathroom after
Taking a Shower ?

We have two ways how to solve "fog" problem

1. Shaving Cream (not gel)

2. Dishwashing Liquid

Now What ?


NV Energy Offers Simple Tips to Stay Cool and Conserve Energy

With the temperature outside reaching triple digits, NV Energy has tips for southern Nevadans to conserve energy and reduce power bills while keeping their homes cool and comfortable.

Air conditioning typically accounts for the majority of your summer electric bill. So the easiest and most  impacting thing we can all do to save energy in warmer months is to adjust our thermostat to a higher setting,” said Pat Egan, Senior Vice President of Customer Operations.

We recommend setting your thermostat to 78 degrees when you are home and 85 degrees when you are away.”

The following conservation tips can be applied anytime, but are even more important during the hot summer months:

1.  Purchase a programmable thermostat to automatically set your air conditioner to operate when needed and to shut down when it's not needed, usually when home is unoccupied.

2.  Maintain your air conditioner by regularly changing air filters and cleaning condenser coils, making sure they are free from debris.

3. Turn off all lights and appliances when not in use.

 Since we live in an extreme climate zone, it is important to curb energy consumption wherever possible.

4.  Replace incandescent light bulbs with more efficient LED bulbs, which can save approximately $7 per year on energy costs for each bulb installed.

5.  Use your dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer as late in the evening as possible, since these appliances add heat to your home and make your AC work harder.

6.  Use your outdoor barbecue, rather than your kitchen oven, when possible to prevent excess heat build-up in your house.

7. Use portable electric fans and ceiling fans to keep yourself cooler while holding down energy costs.

8. If you have a swimming pool, use pool trippers to reduce the time your swimming pool pump runs--eight to twelve hours a day is plenty.

Customers can also avoid spikes in summer bills by signing up for NV Energy's Equal Payment Program, which takes a customer's average power usage from the last 12 months and divides it into equal monthly payments.

For additional information on any of NV Energy's payment and conservation programs including Efficient Pool Pump Rebates , Energy Star Lighting, Refrigerator Recycling, mPowered and the EXACT Comfort High-efficiency AC program, visit:


Easiest Way to Remove a Corn Husk

Corn on the's one of the best parts of summer.

But...sometimes removing the husk can be time consuming....

We have the way the best way to do it without effort !


6 Best Retirement Freebies

Senior discounts abound, making life in retirement a little more affordable. In some cases, though, older adults can get more than just a lower price -- some goods and services that will appeal to retirees come free of charge.

Here are six great freebies that many retirees can enjoy.

Some are available only for those who have reached a certain age.

Others are accessible to people of all ages but can be especially beneficial to those living in retirement on a fixed income.

1. Free tax preparation. 

The Tax Counseling for the Elderly program offers free tax help to all taxpayers with an emphasis on those age 60 and older. 

Volunteers, who are certified by the IRS, specialize in pension and other retirement-related tax issues.

Use the TCE locator tool to find a site near you.

And AARP Foundation Tax-Aide offers free tax preparation for low- to moderate-income taxpayers, especially those 60 and older, at more than 5,000 locations.


2. Free preventive care. 

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 now requires health insurers to cover certain preventive care -- ranging from flu shots to cholesterol screenings -- without being subject to the policy's deductible or co-payments.

Medicare beneficiaries can also get many preventive benefits without co-payments or deductibles.

The list includes mammograms, screenings for cervical and colorectal cancerpneumonia shots, and an annual wellness visit and personalized prevention plan.

See Medicare's Preventive & Screening Services for a full list. You become eligible for Medicare at 65.

Pharmaceutical companies offer free and low-cost drugs to low-income people without prescription-drug insurance. You can use RxAssist database to find free medication through drug companies' patient assistance programs.

4. Free eye care. 

EyeCare America, which is a public service program of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, provides free eye exams and up to one year of care for any disease diagnosed during that exam for those who are 65 and older and haven't seen an eye doctor in three or more years.

Visit Eye Care America for program guidelines and to see if you qualify.

5. Free education. 

About 60 percent of accredited, degree-granting institutions offer tuition waivers for older adults, according to an American Council on Education study.

In fact, several states have laws requiring state-supported institutes of higher learning to waive tuition for older residents (usually age 60 or 65 and older).

Some tuition-waiver programs allow credit to be earned for the course, while others only allow the course to be audited.

6. Free museum admission. 

Most museums offer senior discounts for admission, but a few actually let older adults visit for free on certain days.
Bank of America Cardholders can gain free admission to more than 150 museums on the first full weekend of every month.

The ABCs of What to Remember Once On a Plane

Add Lumbar Support
If humans were shaped like shrimp, the C-shape of most airline seats would be super comfortable.
Since we're not, passengers regularly stumble off the plane with achy backs, necks, and legs.
Sitting for long periods is already hard on your back, and without lumbar support, your spine and the muscles in your lower back have to work even harder to maintain healthy alignment.
Counteract the crush by wedging a blanket, scarf, or rolled-up sweater behind you to allow your lower back to maintain its natural curve.

Stuck in the Middle Seat?...Claim the Armrests

Even if you're sandwiched between fellow passengers, your personal space needn't be too limited.
Board quickly at your first opportunity so as to make it to your seat before your seat mates, and then mark the armrests as your own.
Don't feel guilty: It's widely accepted that the middle passenger gets both armrests.
But it's important to claim them early, lest you find yourself next to a passenger who doesn't buy into common courtesy.

Defend Your Legroom

If you value your legroom enough to fight for it, buy a Knee Defender ($19.95) to ward off encroachment from reclining seats.
This pocket-sized plastic device locks onto your tray table and prevents the seat in front of you from reclining.
It won't win you any friends, but it is approved by the FAA for in-flight use.

Pad the Armrest

Draping a folded scarf or sweater over your armrest adds just enough padding to boost the comfort quotient from ouch to ahhh.
Found yourself in the middle seat?
In the competitive real-estate market on planes, nothing says "mine" like a draped sweatshirt or scarf over the contested territory.

Adjust the Air Vents to Protect Yourself from Germs

When you take your seat on the plane, make a habit of adjusting the air vents.
To get that Goldilocks sweet spot (not too hot, not too cold), open the air vent about halfway, and then position it so it blows right in front of you but not on you.
Not only will you boost circulation in your personal zone, which can counteract that stuffy plane feeling, but some experts suggest that you may also be protecting yourself from germs.

Avoid Junk Food Before and During Your Flight

Airport concourses are lined with unhealthy eating options engineered to tempt fatigued flyers with the promise of salty, greasy comfort food.
Onboard, candy and salty snacks are sometimes the only offerings.
It's a bleak landscape of on-the-fly eating and one that can lead to dehydration, jet bloat (pressurization causes cabin air to expand inside and outside your body), and digestive problems that can dog you for days after arrival.
Seek out healthier snacks and meals (or bring your own from home) and you won't kick off your vacation with a junk-food hangover.

Bring Your Own (Super Tasty) Carry-on Snacks

You know the old saying, "If you want something done right, do it yourself"? That certainly applies to in-flight food.
Leave your meal options up to airlines and airports and you'll likely become victim to tasteless, overpriced fare.
So why risk the disappointment and insult?
Pack your own homemade snacks instead.
We love this TSA-friendly recipe for stone-fruit oatmeal squares.
Filled with natural fruit flavors but not overly sweet, they can serve as a quick afternoon snack or ready-to-go breakfast treat for an early-morning flight.
Even better, they can be baked and frozen in advance so you won't have to scramble to prep right before you depart.
Just take one or two out of the freezer as you head to the airport and allow them to thaw on your way.
The recipe is also quite versatile. You can use any stone fruits, such as nectarines, peaches, or plums, making the squares especially ideal in summer (though pretty much any fruit, including apples and berries, can be substituted as the seasons change).
Yield: About 9 squares
3 medium nectarines or peaches (or 6 plums), sliced ⅛-inch thick
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 cup rolled oats
¾ cup light-brown sugar, lightly packed
1½ cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
1½ sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 375°F.
  2. Grease an 8 x 8-inch baking pan.
  3. In a small bowl, toss fruit slices with granulated sugar. 
  4. Let sit for at least 15 minutes, then drain.
  5. In a large bowl, mix oats, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or a large fork, then stir in egg and vanilla.
  6. Firmly press half of the crumble mixture into pan. Set remainder aside.
  7. Layer fruit slices on top of crumble mixture in pan.
  8. Pour remaining crumble mixture on top of fruit slices and gently press down until even.
  9. Bake in oven for approximately 30 minutes, rotating pan after 15 minutes, until crumble is golden brown.
  10. Allow to cool, then cut into squares. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap, then freeze for later use.
Wear Breathable Fabrics on the Plane
Maintain your in-flight comfort and cleanliness by wearing breathable fabrics (materials that allow air and moisture to pass through them) such as cotton, silk, or linen.
Fabrics that don't allow air to circulate will hold sweat on the skin, likely making you feel dirtier faster and probably necessitating a good spin in the washing machine upon landing.

Use Lip Balm

Even if you don't normally use lip balm, it can still be an important item to pack.
Breathing dry airplane air, being out in the sun, eating salty foods in transit—travel inevitably leads to mild dehydration and chapped lips.
And there's something off-putting and vaguely predatory about constantly licking your lips.
Lip balm can also be used to tame frizzy hair ends, soothe dry cuticles, protect skin from windburn, and even unstick a stubborn zipper.

Watch Out for Germs

Even if you're not sitting next to someone who is obviously ill, there's still a good chance that germs from passengers past are lurking in the cabin.
Bathroom door handles, arm rests, tray tables, seat-back pockets, and seat-back screen controllers are among the surfaces that get dirty fastest and might not be properly disinfected between flights.
Shared airplane blankets and pillows, especially those not sealed in plastic when you  board, also tend to be germ factories.
Since nothing ruins a vacation faster than coming down with a cold or the flu, it's key to be vigilant against germy surfaces when you fly.
Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer.
 Bring a Refillable Water Bottle
According to the Mayo Clinic, we should all be consuming at least nine cups of water per day to flush toxins out of vital organs, carry nutrients to cells, and replenish the body's natural water supply.
And just because you're on vacation doesn't mean all health concerns should get thrown out the sunroof.
Pack a refillable, money-saving water bottle like the Bobble bottle with a built-in filter or Nalgene's bumps-in-the-road-friendly Narrow-Mouth Bottle.

Fix a Broken Suitcase Zipper

It's happened to everyone: Your suitcase zips just fine when you leave, but upon packing for your return trip, it fails to close.
Rather than replace your luggage, consider these quick zipper hacks.
If the zipper appears to be stuck, rub Vaseline, lip balm, or bar soap on the teeth to get it moving.
Zipper teeth no longer staying closed?
Usually a single tooth is bent out of shape.
Feel along the length of the zipper until you find the one that sticks out, and then a quick adjustment with pliers will do the trick.
And if the zipper handle has snapped off from the slider completely, replace it by looping a souvenir key chain through the slider, creating a makeshift zipper pull.
(An eye-catching key chain will also help you identify your bag on the luggage carousel)

The ABCs of
How to Pack for Air Travel

Buy an Expandable Bag

The best way to fit more into your bag is to have a suitcase that grows with your packing needs.
Expandable suitcases double as two bags in one, often starting out carry-on size but expanding to a larger bag when needed.
We love the Briggs & Riley Baseline Domestic Carry-On Expandable Upright, which grows by 25 percent with the pull of a lever.
If you're packing for a big trip (or need extra souvenir space on a return flight), simply expand the suitcase.

Use Packing Folders

An alternative to space-saving bags and packing cubes, packing folders are pretty much what the name implies: folders for your clothing.
They usually come with boards, which help you fold your clothing efficiently and compact multiple items to save space.
Check out the product video for Eagle Creek's Pack-It Folder 18 to see how it works.
The 18-inch folder holds eight to 12 items, including bulkier garments.
Your bag will be neater and seem emptier! 

Pack a Scarf

Scarves are the Swiss Army Knives of travel accessories.
A good lightweight scarf can be used to dress up an outfit, as protection from the sun, to cover up bare skin in churches or mosques, or even as a makeshift pillow or eye mask on the plane.
Further, if unexpectedly cool weather arrives during your vacation, a scarf will come in handy.
For a warm-weather trip, choose a breathable scarf made of cotton or linen, and seek out something in a neutral color that will go with lots of outfits.
You could also try a sarong, which is basically a really big scarf that can be fashioned into a cover-up.
Men wear summer scarves too. 
Guys comfortable accessories can be found at most major department stores.

Roll, Don't Fold, Your Clothes

It may seem as if everyone from flight attendants to military members knows this trick, but it bears repeating for the uninitiated:
Rolling your clothes is the best way to fit the most in a suitcase.
Plus, rolled clothes tend to wrinkle less than folded clothes.

Zip and Then Add Extras

Have a few overflow items that just don't seem like they'll fit?
Try closing and zipping your suitcase completely (even if you have to sit on it to make it work).
Then reopen your bag and try adding the items in any available spot (think corners, spaces between larger items, etc.).
Often, once you've compressed the bag by zipping it shut, you'll find just a bit more room once you open it again.

Employ the Bundle Packing Method

Fit more in your luggage and avoid folds, creases, and wrinkles by employing the "Bundle Wrapping" method from
This packing strategy involves filling a small pouch with soft items (like socks, underwear, etc.) and then wrapping larger clothing items around the pouch to form a bundle.
(Click here to see a helpful diagram of the Bundle Wrapping method.)

Stuff Things Inside Your Shoes

Shoes take up a lot of space inside a suitcase.
Make them do double duty by stuffing them full of small items like jewelry (in a zip-lock bag), ties (rolled up), or socks and underwear (in a plastic bag).
Pack your shoes on their sides to maximize space.

Save Room with Travel Space Bags

You've probably seen the infomercials for the magical space-saving bags that can shrink bulky clothing (like sweaters and jackets) into a small, compact unit.
Get the travel version of these bags and you'll save space and keep your clothes organized and wrinkle-free.
These Travel Space Bags don't need a vacuum to operate.
Normal zip-lock bags in various sizes can also be used to achieve a similar effect for much less money.

Separate Dirty Clothes with a Pillow Case

While traveling, separate dirty clothes from clean clothes with a pillow case, which makes a perfectly packable dirty-laundry bag.

Pillow cases work well to keep luggage organized, too.

Keep socks and underwear together in a pillow case in your suitcase, which you can reuse as a laundry bag once you arrive in your destination.

Substitute Baby Shampoo for Laundry Detergent

Did you know that baby shampoo can also be used as laundry detergent?

We use baby shampoo to wash cashmere sweaters in the sink at home—it's as gentle as Woolite on delicate fabrics, but less expensive.

Bring a small bottle of baby shampoo with you on the road if you want to leave your travel-sized laundry detergent at home.

Baby shampoo is also commonly used to de-fog goggles.

(Rub a dab of shampoo on the clear part of your goggles and then rinse.)

You'll get plenty of use out of this affordable, biodegradable product.

Remove Static with Dryer Sheets

Stick a few dryer sheets in your luggage.

They take up next-to-no space, and you can use them for a range of purposes.

Stuff them in your shoes or dirty-laundry bag to keep odors at bay.

And use dryer sheets, which contain chemicals that help prevent static cling, to remove static from clothes and hair—just rub them on whatever needs fixing.

Organize Jewelry with an Egg Carton

Transform an empty egg carton, with its neat set of six or twelve small, separate compartments, into a packable jewelry organizer.

The carton will look unappealing to thieves and the sticky-fingered TSA agents who get a glimpse of the contents of your suitcase.

And best of all, it's free (with purchase of eggs).

Protect Breakables with Bubble Wrap

When you receive something fragile in the mail, save the bubble wrap.

 It's perfect for protecting breakables in your luggage, from wine bottles (staple the bubble wrap around the bottle) to snow-globe souvenirs.

Packing apples or pears for a snack on the plane? Fold them in bubble wrap to prevent bruising.

A stapled sleeve of bubble wrap also makes a suitable iPad or iPhone protector.

Wrap Your Clothes in Tissue Paper

There's a reason employees at so many clothing retailers fold just-bought clothes in tissue paper.

The lightweight stuff protects garments and helps prevent wrinkles.

Wrap your clothes in tissue paper to keep them free of unwanted rumples when packing.

(We also recommend using tissue paper to fold a suit.)

Additionally, use balled-up tissue paper (or even newspaper) to keep the shape of items like purses, boots, and bras.

Pick a Color Theme for Your Travel Wardrobe

Even if you don't preplan your outfits when packing, try to pack in a color theme.

 For example, if you're traveling for a week, you might commit to wearing black, navy, green, and white (and throw in pops of colors with your accessories). This helps cut down on any unnecessary extras that you never end up wearing anyway.

"If it's a longer trip that requires two suitcases," says Shiona Turini of Cosmopolitan, "I always pack evenly between the two (e.g. a black shoe in one and a black shoe in the other). In the event my luggage gets lost, I know that I can survive with one suitcase. It takes more time, but I've heard horror stories of people putting all of their shoes in one bag and the airline losing that piece of luggage."

Look for Garments That Perform Double Duty

Smart explorers know that clothes should have more than just aesthetic value, so look for multipurpose pieces to accentuate your basics.

Travel outfitters offer lines of vacation-friendly but stylish separates with a whole slew of side benefits, from sun and bug protection to ample hidden storage.

Check out this wrap with 30 UPF sun protection from Magellan's and, for men, these sun-blocking T-shirts from TravelSmith (they would make great foundations to any ensemble).

Other smart garments include vests with elaborate hidden storage systemsscarves with savvy pockets, and ExOfficio's insect-repellant button-downs (perfect for a trip that takes you from indoors to out). Convertible bags will also extend your wardrobe and lighten your carry-on load; this option from Tumi converts from a flight-friendly backpack to a tote bag for everyday use.

 Pack the Right Shoes
Ever wonder why your bag always seems so heavy by the time you're finished packing?
Shoes—especially boots, wedges, and just about any men's work or dress shoe—may be the culprit.
And many ultralight options have their drawbacks:
There's only so far you can walk in flimsy flats, and lightweight sneakers don't always  deliver on the fashion front.
When it comes to shoes, packing light and well is a tricky balancing act between bulk, style, and comfort.
Since shoe needs and preferences are highly individual, there's no one-size-fits-all solution, but here are a few hints to point you in the right direction:
 Shop Light: Most shoes were not designed with weight in mind, but shoes sold by travel outfitters tend to be the exception.
If you're looking for lightweight options built for comfort, start with a company like Magellan's or TravelSmith. The offerings may not reach any pinnacles of fashion, but there's enough variety that most travelers can find something suitable.
And, unlike most online sellers, travel outfitters often list shoe weight in the specs, so you can shop accordingly.
 Determine Scale: The lightest shoes I found online were a pair of 3-oz. foldable ballet flats.
However, in women's shoes, most travel-oriented options built for all-day wear weigh in at somewhere between 10 oz. and 1 lb.
For comparison, a sample pair of flat boots (women's size 8.5) weighed 2.8 lb., and a pair of wedge sandals (also women's size 8.5) was 1.7 lb.
 Dealing with the Heavy Pair: If you've got a heavier pair you need to bring, let your feet do the heavy lifting and wear them when you're in transit, reserving your suitcase for lighter shoes.

Pack Duct Tape

Duct tape can fix just about anything—including baggage.

That's why we picked duct tape as one of the Top 10 Travel Essentials that Cost Less Than $10.

Pack duct tape in your bag to protect your bag.

Broken zippers, rips, and torn handles can be fixed with a sliver of trusty silver tape.

Don't worry. You don't need to pack the whole heavy roll.

Pick up a package of travel duct tape before your next trip.

Divide Your Money into Multiple Safe Places

If you disregard all other advice about carrying money when traveling, take this tip to heart:

Whenever possible, divvy up your travel cash and even credit cards into multiple safe spots.

If you've got all your money in one place, it only takes one time for a thief to totally wipe you out.

You can even apply this idea when you're out and about by keeping some money attached to your person and some in a bag you carry.

That way, if your bag gets lost or snatched, you'll still have enough to get to a police station or back to your hotel. 

The ABCs of Foreign Air Travel

Check International Airline Websites for Deals
When booking international flights, don't forget to compare fares to those on the airline's foreign-language website.
If the airline is running a sale in a different regional market, you may be able to score sizable savings on your overseas flight.
 If your credit card has a low international-transaction fee, the savings could be well worth it.
Don't Depart from the U.K.
(Unless You Absolutely Have To)
This is one gouge even the airlines don't like—mainly because they don't get to keep any of it.
The Air Passenger Duty (APD) applies to flights departing from U.K. airports.
It was sold to the British public as a "green" incentive that would help alleviate the carbon pollution of air travel.
The duty has escalated to a healthy hit on tourists returning from a British airport to the U.S. or Canada: £69 (about $113) in economy class effective April 1, 2014, and double that in any higher classes, including premium economy.
The duty also applies to award tickets.
Rates are lower for flights within the U.K. and for short hops to Western Europe (£13) and higher to Asia and the South Pacific.
Northern Ireland opted to reduce the duty to zero on direct flights to the U.S. or Canada.
Work-Around: On a multi-country trip, avoid returning from a U.K. airport if you can. Or consider ending your U.K. trip by taking easyJet to Amsterdam or Eurostar to Brussels or Paris and returning from there.

Avoid Phony Fuel Surcharges on International Flights

If you thought that the Department of Transportation (DOT) rules requiring all-up price advertising ended the fuel-surcharge gouge, you're mistaken.
Yes, in the U.S., airfare displays no longer break the true fares into separate but equally phony components, but some airlines (especially foreign carriers) retain the distinction in their internal breakdowns and hit you with fees in these unexpected ways:
  • They offer a "free" companion ticket that covers only the lowball, fake base fare and leaves you to pay the surcharge.
  • Their exchange rules say that you can exchange the base fare but not the surcharge.
  • They apply surcharges to "free" frequent-flyer award tickets.
This rip-off is especially noxious because it is based on a lie—that the fuel surcharge somehow isn't part of the regular fare.
How bad it is?
In mid-October, British Airways was posting a round-trip from Boston to London with  a base fare of $208, plus $230 in government/airport/security taxes and fees and a $458 "carrier imposed" (read: "fuel") surcharge.
If fuel costs were to go down from the present $3 or so per gallon to the 2002 level of 69 cents, do you really think that British Airways would charge only $208 for a round-trip to London?
Work-Around: Most U.S. airlines don't use the fuel-surcharge scam.
Avoid the foreign lines that do.
Book Your European Rental Car from a U.S. Company
Decades ago, before the Internet, one of the standard tips for travelers visiting Europe went this way: If you find you need to rent a car after you arrive in Europe, don't pay the high local rates.
Instead, call the rental-car company's U.S. office and rent at the much lower rate quoted to U.S. travelers.
Surprisingly, this recommendation is still valid.
Book your car rental from a U.S. website to pay about half the local quote.
Work-Around: If you unexpectedly decide to rent a car in Europe, use your laptop, notebook, tablet, or smartphone to book your rental through a U.S. website.
Just make sure you reach a U.S. website; often, when you go online overseas, the default site that appears is the local version of a company's website.
If access to a U.S. site seems blocked, try a Canadian site.

Use Airplane Socks as Scratch Protectors

You know the socks you often get on overseas flights?
The ones that don't fit quite right and come with weird treads that make them impossible to wear with shoes?
Give them new purpose by keeping a pair on hand to protect items from getting chipped or scratched in transit.
They're the perfect size to hold the trinkets you pick up on your travels—the ones that don't need to be enveloped in bubble wrap but do need a bit of extra protection before being tossed into your bag.
And in a pinch, they can serve as a handy alternative to a glasses case in your bag or  purse.

Reset Cellular Usage to Zero

Did you know that your phone keeps track of how much cellular data you've used?
 If you reset it to zero at the beginning of your trip, you can easily monitor your usage and see if your phone is sneakily using any data while you're abroad.

Change Your Phone's Lock Screen

Concerned about losing your phone while on the road?
Change your phone's lock screen to an image that displays your emergency contact information, including your email address and an alternate phone number.
If your phone is lost or stolen and a Good Samaritan finds it, he or she will easily be able to get in touch with you to return it, even if your phone is locked.

Turn Off Data

If you don't plan on using data while abroad but plan to pack your phone, there are two steps you need to take before departure: Turn off cellular data and turn off data roaming.
You'll find instructions for doing so on an iPhone here, and here for an Android phone.
Contact your cellular provider for further details on shutting off data.
Fail to shut down the automatic downloads that bring emails, program updates, meeting notifications, and other data to your phone and you'll likely see some very expensive roaming charges on your bill at the end of the month.

Get a Country-Specific SIM Card

Will you be spending a lot of time in one particular country?
A prepaid SIM card for the region you're visiting is an economical choice for overseas phone usage, and it allows you to make calls and use data exactly as many locals do: through a local provider.
Switch your SIM card and you'll have a new local phone number and likely an affordable plan that puts scary-expensive international calling packages to shame.
You won't be able to make or receive calls via your usual phone number, though.
Here's how to get one:
Either pick one up prior to your departure date or get one from a local store after you arrive.
We recommend the former, especially for those who don't want to waste precious trip time shopping around for SIM cards.
You can order the cards online from companies such as Telestial and Brightroam.
But remember that not all phones will accept new SIM cards.
You must have an "unlocked" GSM phone for this to work.

Make a Digital Backup with Your Smartphone

Prepare a digital backup in case your identification gets lost or stolen.
With your camera phone, take a photo of your passport or driver's license and email the photo to yourself.
You might also want to take a photo of the contents of your checked bag, which may come in handy if the airline loses your luggage. (Use the photo to help document your missing belongings when filling out a claim form.)
Throughout your trip, take advantage of the camera on your phone and snap photos of anything that might serve as a helpful reminder, from your airport parking-lot spot to your hotel-room number.

Ease Into a New Time Zone

A popular practice among junk-science enthusiasts, staying up all night before your flight to confuse your internal clock and fight jet lag mostly just makes you more tired and prone to illness and stress.
And that sets a bad tone for any trip.
Instead of pulling an all-nighter, aim for good sleep before your trip and use the flight time to ease yourself into the destination's time zone by sleeping and waking according to the clock where you'll land.

Pack Your Batteries Separately

Packing your electric toothbrush or razor?
Make sure you either take the batteries out or tape the item's switch in the "off" position.
Battery-powered devices can easily turn on after being jostled around in a carry-on, which can in turn draw the attention of security.
Play it safe and pack your batteries separately from your battery-powered items.

Give Yourself at Least 45 Minutes to Make a Connecting Flight

Trying to make a tight connection between flights is a surefire way to add unnecessary stress (and a possible missed flight) to your journey.
And you can't always count on airlines for guidance; their recommended connection-time minimums often leave frequent travelers wondering how anyone could possibly get to another flight in the suggested amount of time.
The amount of time you should allow between connecting flights varies depending on  the airport, the airline, and whether or not you'll have to clear customs or go through security to switch terminals.
As a general rule of thumb, it's safe to assume that, on domestic connections, anything less than 45 minutes is a bad idea—and you'll likely be better off doubling that amount of time and scheduling about 90 minutes between flights.
For international flights connecting with domestic flights, add enough time to clear customs.

Leave the Traveler's Checks at Home

Traveler's checks are now widely considered outdated and a hassle.
You run the risk of wasting time looking for a place that's actually able to cash your checks, and you'll be hit with hefty fees and poor exchange rates when you do.
We advise you to rely primarily on plastic for travel money—credit cards for big-ticket items and debit (ATM) cards for cash.

The ABCs of Local Air Travel

Purchase Your Flight on Tuesday Afternoon

If you're trying to get the best airfare, when you book can make as big a difference as when you fly. The results of a recent FareCompare study offer some very specific advice: For domestic airline tickets, the best time to buy is Tuesday at noon, PT.
The study also cautions against booking on Saturday or Sunday, since airlines tend to pull discounted airfares in advance of the weekend.

Choose Your Travel Days Wisely

If you've ever done a flexible airfare search, you know just how dramatically fares vary based on the day of the week.
Choose your days wisely and you can save hundreds of dollars.
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays are the least-popular travel days for domestic flights.
For Europe flights, seats are in lower demand on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays.
So if you're looking for a deal, you might find that flying on these lower-demand days means better prices for you.

Fly in the Morning

Since air traffic drops off significantly late at night, early morning offers most airlines and airports a clean slate from which to launch a new day of on-time departures.
And while these best intentions often don't make it to lunchtime, booking an early-morning flight can mean avoiding the worst delays of the day.
Keep in mind that this is a general rule, and it has its exceptions.
For instance, Brett Synder, The Cranky Flier, notes that at San Francisco International, morning fog (which often burns off by early afternoon) tends to delay early flights.
Airports with runway construction are more prone to delays at all times of day.

Get to the Airport Early

The day before Thanksgiving, Memorial Day weekendChristmas week.
Some of the busiest travel days are obvious to most avid travelers.
However, some aren't so apparent:
The busiest travel week of 2013 was the third week in June.
In 2012, one of the busiest travel days was May 11 (the Friday before Mother's Day).
The takeaway? Don't chance it—get to the airport very early. Lines could be much longer than you expect.
Arrive particularly early on holidays, on weekends, and during much of the summer, and don't underestimate the travel rush on so-called minor holidays, like Mother's Day.

Steer Clear of High Airport Parking Rates

Airport parking rates can be very high.
In Boston, for example, supposed "economy" rates are $27 for the first day, then $18 for the next six days, or $108 for six to seven days.
Rates don't have to be that high: At busy Charlotte Douglas International Airport, the long-term rate is just $5 per day.
But parking is one of the primary cash cows for big airports.
Airports typically contract with private operators that, in effect, return more than 95 percent of the revenues to airport coffers.
Work-Around: You can avoid gouged parking rates in several ways:
  • Leave your car home and take shuttles to and from the airport, or have someone transport you.
  • Use private off-airport parking lots; you can find them around most big airports. Typically, however, they fine-tune their rates so as to be just enough below the airport's rates to generate the business they need.
  • Many airport-area motels offer "park-sleep-fly" deals: Pay for one night and get "free" parking at the motel for as long as two weeks. You can take the night at either end of your trip. Rates are generally a few dollars higher than the motel's lowest, but this can still be a good deal.
  • Fly from a nearby airport with lower rates. 

Tight Connection?

Choose an Aisle Seat Near the Front

If you know you're facing a tight connection and you've booked your flight in advance, reserve an aisle seat toward the front of the plane.
Even if it costs a little extra, it's cheaper than missing your flight.
If you can't get the seat you want online, skip the automated ticket kiosk and instead check in at the counter, where you can explain your situation and ask to be seated near the front.
The earlier you arrive at the airport (and the nicer you are when asking for help), the more likely this strategy will have a positive outcome.

Sign Up for Fare Alerts

Outsource your airfare benchmarking by signing up for alerts that deliver the best current flight deals to your inbox.
Customize your route and dates, and you'll be able to keep tabs on price drops and quickly find out when prices are on the rise.
Both Kayak and FareCompare offer notifications for specific city combinations and dates.
Another site...Airfarewatchdog.

The Easiest Way to Peel a Hard Boiled Egg

Want to know the best way to peel a hard boiled egg in order to avoid this mess?

Here's How !

(hint...don't do this while serving the eggs to your guests)


7 Ways to Avoid Lost Luggage

Nothing undermines a well-planned vacation quite like no-show luggage.

When your suitcase fails to appear on the baggage carousel, you're guaranteed a stressful experience filling out baggage-claim forms and futilely waiting.

So how can travelers safeguard their stuff?

The obvious solutions are to book a nonstop flight or pack everything in a carry-on, but clearly this won't work for everyone.

If you need to check a bag, the following seven strategies will help ensure that your luggage stays on track.

1. Upgrade Your Luggage Tag

Opt for a smarter luggage tag.

Several high-tech brands of tags feature codes or microchips that travelers can use to detect lost bags.

SuperSmartTags, for example, contain unique codes with which airline personnel can trace off-track luggage.

 (Many bags get lost when paper airport tags get ripped off.)

ReboundTag, another sophisticated bag-tag brand, tracks missing luggage with an embedded microchip.

2. Check in Early

Travelers who check in late—whether they arrived at the airport with only minutes to spare or got held up in a meandering check-in line—are more likely to get separated from their bags.

Baggage handlers need time to process luggage and load it onto planes.

Many experts say that 30 minutes ahead of departure is the cut-off, but it all depends. The earlier you can check in, the better.

3. Place Your Itinerary Inside Your Bag

Luggage tags can easily be torn off in the rough-and-tumble handling process, but a copy of your itinerary, placed on top of your belongings inside your bag, will almost certainly stay put.

Place a copy of your travel plans along with contact information in a prominent place inside any checked bags; if your bag gets delayed, this will make it easier for airline staff to forward your luggage to you. (Airline staff members sometimes open delayed bags when looking for contact information.)"

4. Ship Your Bags Instead of Checking Them

This strategy kills two birds: By shipping your luggage, you diminish the chance that it'll get lost, and you also avoid costly overweight-, oversize-, and checked-bag fees.

For example, American Airlines charges $100 for checked bags weighing more than 50 lb. on flights within the U.S. In comparison, UPS charges $66.24 to ship a 55-lb. bag from Los Angeles to Chicago.

Sure, it takes longer to arrive. (In this example, the $66.24 fee is for four-day shipping.) But if you plan ahead and ship your belongings to your hotel in advance, you can save money and track your shipment, and you won't have to worry about your suitcase ending up in a warehouse somewhere in the Deep South.

5. Take Some Photos

If your bag has gone AWOL and you're attempting to get it back, photo evidence will help.
Take a picture of the outside of your bag to show the airline staff member who is helping you locate it.

It's also wise to take a quick photo of your baggage-claim ticket, in case you lose it.
Snap a picture of the inside of your bag as well; this will come in handy in case you need to file an insurance claim for your lost belongings.

6. Use a Luggage Strap

Suitcases, unfortunately, sometimes suffer from a case of mistaken identity at the baggage carousel. 

So give your bag a makeover with a colorful luggage strap, some neon duct tape, or whatever your creative little mind can conjure up.

7. Avoid Short Layovers

Tight layovers increase the likelihood that your bags will go missing.

 If your flight is late, the window of time for airport staff to transfer your bag from one plane to the next narrows.

Pay attention to the length of your layover, especially when booking with an online travel agency (OTA) like Expedia or Orbitz.

Often, these sites sell domestic multi-leg itineraries with layovers of less than an hour, which doesn't leave any wiggle room in an industry in which flights are frequently delayed.

If you have an international connecting flight, know that you may have to pick up your checked luggage at the baggage claim, clear customs and airport security, and then recheck your bag, all before boarding.

This is also the case if you're arriving in the U.S. from an international destination and then taking a domestic connecting flight.

For this reason, it's important to allow plenty of time—two or more hours, ideally—on international layovers.


When checking in, ask airline staff if you'll need to recheck your bag at your connection.

Here are some helpful videos.

Paper Cuts

Why They're so Painful
The the Quickest Way to Heal Them

We all get them...and hurt; but why do they hurt and what's a quick way to heal the pain?

Here's why they hurt so much.

Now...what's the best way to stop the hurt and cure the cut?


3 Ways of Peeling Off Stubborn Stickers

What's the most frustrating aspect of buying a glass product?

Removing the sticker!


You can't scrape the darn thing off !

...but...we have 3 ways...all tested, and you'll be surprised at what was the most effective way of accomplishing the frustrating sticker removal experience !


New Shoes too Tight?

How many of you ladies "love" that special pair of shoes...that don't fit?

Here's a way to stretch them....using alcohol !


The Easiest Way to
Pick Up Broken Glass


Batteries Can Raise a Home's Fire Risk

A fire danger may be lurking in the junk drawer of your home. Batteries can start household fires, if they aren’t stored or disposed of properly.

A house fire can be devastating, and they can happen for a variety of reasons.

The junk drawer in your kitchen may be one of the biggest fire hazards in your home; it was the cause of one house fire in April 2011.

The homeowner placed old 9-volt batteries from a smoke detector in a sack. The homeowner was planning to recycle the batteries, but they sparked a powerful blaze.

Nine-volt batteries can spark fires if they touch pens, paperclips or loose coins.
"Batteries Plus Bulbs" owner Mike Brunhild says such sparks can happen easily.

“If you have two nine volts in a drawer, they get stuck together… they will actually get very hot,” he said.

Batteries can get so hot, they can burn a person’s hand within seconds.
Las Vegas Fire and Rescue Sergeant Tim Szymanski says the problem is becoming increasingly common.

“Batteries are electricity, and electricity is the second leading cause of fire in Las Vegas,” he said. 

Homeowners can take simple steps to reduce the fire danger.

Putting tape over the terminals of batteries can prevent fires.

Keeping them in the original packaging also helps.

If batteries do spark a blaze, and it’s small enough to contain, use baking soda or a fire extinguisher. Do not use water to put out the fire, because water is a conductor.

Dead batteries can also spark fires.

Brunhild says a dead nine-volt battery still contains seven to eight volts of power. It can cause a fire, even if it can no longer provide electricity to household items.

Fire officials recommend people recycle their batteries immediately, once they are no longer useful. 

Here are some excellent battery safety videos. 


Removing Scratches From Wood Furniture

Even small scratches on an otherwise well-maintained piece of wooden furniture can leave it looking haggard and old. Luckily, removing scratches from wood is quick and easy if done properly. Follow these steps to remove those dings, scrapes and scratches in no time.

What You'll Need

lemon juice
olive oil
soft cloth
stain or finish or paint
small paint brush (optional)

Note: For expensive or antique furniture, it’s best to check with your manufacturer or a qualified expert before repairing scratches because these pieces of furniture often have special requirements.

1. Identify the type of scratch

Depending on how deep the scratch is, you’ll use different methods to repair it. If the scratch has stayed the same color as the rest of the wood, it’s only gone as deep as the finish. If the scratch is a different color than the surrounding area (or has gone through all layers of paint) then it has scratched the actual wood.

2For scratches on the finish. 

Create a 1-1 mixture of lemon juice and olive oil.

Use a soft cloth to rub the damaged area until the scratch is removed.
Apply a new coat of stain, finish or paint (whichever type your furniture already has) to the area you rubbed with the cloth. Always follow the instructions when using these products.

3For scratches on unpainted wood. 

Rub a walnut (pecans, almonds and Brazil nuts also work) into the scratch so that it fills the area.
Let it sit for 5-10 minutes so that the oil from the nut soaks in and repairs the scratch.
Then, buff the area with a soft cloth. The scratch should be gone!

4For scratches on painted wood. 

Touching up a painted surface is easy as long as you have the matching paint available!

Simply dip the tip of a toothpick (or brush for larger scratches) into the paint and slowly cover the scratched area.

If your painted furniture has a layer of finish, be sure to replace that as well.

Buttons and Nail Polish
An Unlikely Duo


It's true !
The Least Expensive Way to Clean
a Toilet Bowl


The Easiest Way to Find
a Small Object
on a
Large Carpet


How to Tell if an Avocado
is Ripe...or...Rotten !


How to Properly Cut One


Removing Red Wine Stains

Red wine may make a good drink, but it makes a poor fabric cover !

If you have ever spilled red wine on your clothing or your carpet, you know that it stains quickly and is difficult to remove.

There is more than one way to remove red wine stains.

The different methods will probably work, but nearly all of them require one thing in common:

 You must act quickly.

The quicker you act, the better the result.

By attacking a spill just after it happens, you're more likely to stop the red wine from setting and are more likely to prevent a stain.

For your first step, you can do one of two things.

You can either pour white wine over the red spill, or you can just blot the red wine with a clean cloth.

Either way, do not rub the spill.

Rubbing it will only make the stain worse.

Afterwards, sponge the area with hot water, being careful again to blot, not rub.

Use a clean cloth to dry.

Another tip you can try either in combination with that given above or on its own is to pour salt and warm water on the spill.

Club soda is a good alternative to salt and warm water, if you want to try that instead.. The salt will soak up the spill from the affected area.

Alternatives to salt include talcum powder and baking soda.

If the red wine stain has already set in...
...try mixing dishwashing soap with hydrogen peroxide.

The chemical reaction should help remove the red stain.

The soap creates solubility in the stain that allows the peroxide to remove it.

If the stain is on clothing, you can just add this mixture to the wash.

On the carpetpour it over the stain, and blot with a clean cloth.

Panicked ?    Try watching this video !


Evenly Heating Leftovers


Without a Stem....There's More Strawberry


How to Carve a Turkey
 (Third of Three Articles)


Use a long, sharp carving knife and meat fork to prevent the turkey from moving.

Carve on a cutting board.

Allow the turkey to "chill" about 20 minutes after cooking before carving.

Carving: Step-by-Step
  1. Remove the plastic clasp holding the drumsticks together.
  2. Hold the end of the drumstick. Cut through the joint between leg and body. Remove the entire leg by pulling out and back. Serve whole or cut through the joint of the thigh and drumstick.
  3. Make a long, horizontal cut into the breast just above the wing. Insert a meat fork in the top of the breast.
  4. Starting halfway up the breast, carve thin slices down to the horizontal cut.
  5. Continue to carve thin slices, starting at a higher point each time.
  6. Repeat steps on the other side of the turkey.
Want to see how its done?

In my estimation, you have two choices....

a. Watch these videos


Do as I do....

b. contact Anthem Opinions co-owner, Allen Weintraub...

...and have him to do it !

Have a Happy Thanksgiving

Dick Arendt

Special thanks to author, Jeff Phillips for providing this succulent idea for your Thanksgiving feast.

 (second of three articles)

I know that many of you may still have questions about smoking the turkey and ham for Thanksgiving this year so I've compiled a few of the most asked questions and answers to hopefully help you out a little before the big day.

 Smoked Turkey Recipe...a smoked maple barbecue turkey 

Can I Brine a Store-bought Turkey?

Some folks will tell you to not brine a store bought turkey but, for the life of me, I am not sure why not.
I have been brining store purchased turkeys for many years and some of them with as much as 12% solution added and it is NEVER too salty. I am not a big "salt" guy so I would not like it or recommend it if it wasn't good.

The process they do at the factory does not result in a salty turkey.. not even faintly so.
The brining you do at home does a much better job and if you follow my instructions of using 1 cup of kosher salt to 1 gallon of water for an overnight (10-12 hour) brine, it will be a more juicy, 
moist and tasty bird than it can ever be otherwise.

My recommendation is that you try to find a fresh, no solution added turkey if possible.
If you can't find that, then shoot for a turkey that has 8% or less solution added.

Once you do it one time, you will most likely never eat an non-brined turkey again.

Smoking a Turkey Larger than 14 lbs

As most of you know, I do not recommend smoking a turkey that is larger than 12 lbs.. 14 lbs is pushing it.
This is due to the fact that the larger turkey takes too much time to reach a safe temperature at the low temperature.
It is risky at best and in my opinion, is raising the chances that your family and guests could get a food borne illness.

To make it safe, keep the turkey on the small side (12 lbs is about right) and if you need more turkey, just smoke multiple turkeys figuring on about 2 lbs of raw weight per person.

I just usually figure a 12 lb turkey for every 6 people and it gives me plenty of turkey with a few leftovers.

So you've already purchased a big ol' 22 pounder so what now?

Well, you really only have one option of smoking it safely.

Prepare the turkey as you desire...

...smoke it for about 2 hours at 225-240°F in the smoker.

....then finish it in the oven at 325 °F until it reaches 165°F in the thickest as you desire.

...smoke it for about 2 hours at 225-240°F in the smoker.

... then finish it in the oven at 325 °F until it reaches 165°F in the thickest part of the breast and thigh.

I expect this to take an additional 2.5 to 3 hours in the oven however, use the temperature as your guide rather than the time.

Should I Stuff the Smoked Turkey

ONLY after it's done.

Stuffing prevents the heat from flowing into the cavity as it needs to and causes it to take longer to cook, something you do not need at low smoking temperatures.

If you want the bird to be stuffed for presentation, make the stuffing in a separate container in the oven and stuff it into the turkey after the turkey is done cooking and just prior to placing it on the table.

It is fine to place a few pieces of onion, apple, butter,etc. in the cavity as long as the heat flow is not impeded in any way.

Traveling to Grandma's House

If you must travel with the turkey, it is probably best to make it a day ahead of time and just as soon as it reaches 165°F, place it into a roasting pan with the lid off and let it cool for about 25 minutes.

After cooling, cover the turkey with a large piece of foil, place the lid on the roasting pan and place it in the fridge.

Keep it cold (less than 40°F) while you travel.

Once you get to grandma's house and about an hour before you are ready to eat, pour about ¼ cup of water down in the bottom of the roasting pan for humidity (prevents the meat from drying out) and if you have any extra maple/rub sauce from the smoking process, take it with you and baste the turkey again.

Place the entire roasting pan in an oven preheated to 350°F.
It should take about 1 hour to reach a good eating temperature but if it gets done early, just turn the heat down to 170 °F and hold it there until you are ready for it.

Keeping the lid closed, adding the extra moisture and basting again with the maple sauce will revitalize it and it will be nearly as good as it was right out of the smoker.

How Long Does it Take to Thaw a Turkey?

I usually figure on about 4-5 lbs per 24 hour period.

If you are in a hurry, you can place the frozen turkey in the sink full of cold water.
Change the water every 30 minutes (very important) until the turkey is thawed.
For a 12 lb turkey that is completely frozen, you are looking at about 6 hours.

Using an Electric, Charcoal or Gas Smoker, How Long to Apply Smoke?

My general rule of thumb for applying smoke is ½ of the estimated cook time.
I expect a 12 lb turkey to take about 6-7 hours so I recommend applying smoke for about 3 to 3.5 hours.

As long as you have good airflow.. i.e. your vents are open enough to allow plenty of air to come into the smoker and the smoke is able to exit quickly, you can easily and safely apply smoke for the entire time, after all, that is what happens by default in a wood burning smoker and there is no better way to duplicate that real wood smoked flavor.

What to Do When you Run Into Problems

I suspect that some of you will run into issues with your smoker such as not being able to get your heat high enough, the heat will be too high, or any number of other smoker related problems.

I suggest that you first, do not panic.

Second, do the best you can to apply about 2 hours of smoke then, if you are still having issues that you cannot alleviate, consider moving the somewhat smoked turkey to the oven following the same temperature and process recommendations.

There is no shame in moving to the oven if that is what is needed to make sure the turkey gets done and ends up delicious.

A few things you can do ahead of time to lower the risk of problems:

Make sure you have plenty of propane, wood chips/chunks, charcoal, etc..

Do a test run or two in the weeks preceding the big day.

Make the rub, brine, sauce, etc. ahead of time.

How Do I use the Maple Turkey Recipe With a Turkey Breast?

I would not change much.. make sure it is a bone-in (better in my opinion).

I would still brine it overnight and apply the maple syrup and rub as before. 

It may cook a little faster simply because the heat is able to get to all part of the breast unrestricted so you'll want to monitor it with a digital probe meat thermometer to make sure you take it off when it reaches it's optimum temperature.

If you plan to rest it,  you can remove it at about 160 degrees since it will rise 5-7 degrees during the rest

Breast meat is perfectly done at 165 degrees.

Last Minute Smoker Tips

Use the water pan if you have one for your smoker.

Almost all smoking is done with indirect heat.
The turkey is also cooked with indirect heat.

Do NOT use wet, soaked wood. Dry wood is so much better.

In charcoal and wood smokers, use lump charcoal for heat, and a little wood for smoke.

 Set the turkey open in the fridge for a couple of hours after brining to dry the skin. This can help you end up with a more crispy skin.

Here are a few other ideas how to "smoke" your turkey this year !

Now...Enjoy !


Cookin' the Bird
(First of Three Articles)
 (Keep your eye on the picture)

Thanksgiving....just a few days away....and before you know it, our American tradition of consuming vast amounts of turkey with all the stuffins will soon fill our tummies in between football games !

What are you doing on that holiday? 

Eating out in a restaurant ? 


...doing it the way it should be celebrated...

...spending time with family and friends, giving thanks for all the joy they've  brought you during your life... doing the cooking yourself ?

If you're of the later persuasion and still appreciate the true spirit of the holiday, all the time and effort and hours of work seem to be worth it...

...when you enjoy...and remember... the people around you...

... as well as...cherish the moments of those who may no longer be there in body, but have left indelible memories in your mind !

I love's the best holiday of the year as far as I'm concerned.


Nothing religious...makes no difference whether you're Christian, Jewish or any other faith....

Nothing political...makes no difference whether you're a Democrat of Republican....

Nothing but....warmth in a joint celebration of "thanks" with those you love...

...all celebrating the fact that we're Americans who want to enjoy a day with a real or "adopted" family... thanks by way of eating a big meal and spending time with the best of those who brought you full circle to where you are today.

Now....for those who DO want to do it the right way.... cooking yourself.....

...if you haven't mastered "cookin' the bird" by now....there's help...cost free...and it's within the tips of your typing fingers on your computer by way of an organization that's been at it for years....

If you need the personal touch....Butterball has the Turkey Talk Line available Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 5:00pm PST.
(800) 288-8372

...and they'll even be there on Thanksgiving Day from 4:00am to 4:00pm PST just in case you have that "Now what do I do" emergency panic attack !

The moral of this article is simple.....

Do not allow this creature to die in vain !

From all of us at Anthem Opinions....

On behalf of....

AllenCarolValerie, Norm and Jackie.....

No matter what you do....we wish you all...

Dick Arendt


Finding the end of a roll of tape !


Making your Smartphone...
Alarm Clock


A very simple solution to get rid of furniture scratches!


To sharpen scissors, simply cut through sandpaper.


Use ice-cubes to lift out indentations made by furniture on your carpets.


To tell if eggs are fresh, immerse them in a bowl of water. Fresh eggs will lie on the bottom, while stale eggs will float to the surface.

When hanging a picture frame, put a dab of toothpaste on the frame where you need the nails to be. 

Then simply press against the wall to leave marks... 

(which can later be wiped) guides for hammering in.

WD-40 can be used to remove crayon marks from any surface!


To prevent potatoes budding, add an apple in the bag.


Remove pet hair from furniture and carpets with a squeegee.

Create a thrifty watering can by puncturing holes in the top of a used milk bottle.

Don't Throw those old torn nylons and pantyhose away...yet !
Have an old pair of nylons that you're ready to pitch in the garbage ?

Before you do....
We have some interesting ways to use them !
Here's a great video that might think you think twice before you throw out those old nylons.
There are numerous uses for them !

Organize jewelry on a cork board for easy viewing when deciding how to accessorize an outfit

Making Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag




How to make it

  1. Combine the sugar, half and half, and vanilla extract in the pint-size bag and seal it tightly.

  2. Place the salt and ice in the gallon-size bag, then place the sealed smaller bag inside as well. Seal the larger bag. Now shake the bags until the mixture hardens (about 5 minutes). Feel the small bag to determine when it's done.

  3. Take the smaller bag out of the larger one, add mix-ins, and eat the ice cream right out of the bag. Easy cleanup too!












by Jaymi Naciri

We've all been in this predicament, with an itch in the center of our back and no one there to scratch it, right?

That's what hairbrushes and serving forks are for.

Have a dog-hair-in-the-house problem?

A dog brush with metal teeth does more than remove hair from a shedding dog. It is also a great solution for eliminating hair from a tight weave rug.

Items you already have around your house can be great solutions for everyday household problems.

Read on for 20 surprising uses.

1. Need to light a bunch of candles but don't have a long lighter?

Try a piece of uncooked spaghetti instead. "Simply light the noodle, and you can make it around your patio twice without burning your finger tips," said Yahoo.

2. It's inevitable there will be a power outage when you've just burned through your last candle.

If you have an orange and a bottle of olive oil, you can create a makeshift candle in under one minute. Check out this video to learn how.

3. Need some tunes while you're cleaning and organizing? "

Hack a bowl to blast your music," said Yahoo. "Simply place the speaker end of the phone in a bowl (or juice glass) and press play."

4. Make a simple stencil.

It's polka dots the easy way when you hack off a piece of your extra laundry basket and tape it to the wall.

5. When's the last time you used that old magazine holder?

Dig it out of the back of the closet and put it to good use as a storage container for your plastic wrap, baggies, and foil, or your cutting boards.

The shape of the holder helps to keep different shapes wrangled and easy to access.

6. Have a broken light bulb you can't get out of the socket?

Raid your fridge. A carrot, or a potato cut in half, shoved into the socket can help you get out all the broken bits.

7. Create a prettier laundry room.

Turn that unused drink dispenser into a laundry dispenser and kiss the ugly detergent bottle goodbye.

8. Company's coming over and your bathroom mirror is a mess.

Where's the glass cleaner when you need it?!

Forget the spit-shine and grab a coffee filter for clean windows and mirrors in a pinch, said Good Housekeeping.

(check out all the various usages of coffee filters)

9. And about that toilet…you can clean it even without the blue stuff.

Drop in a couple of tablets of Alka Seltzer, and "wait 20 minutes. The citric acid will dissolve the grime," said Buzzfeed.

(check out the various usages of Alka Seltzer)

10. Soap is great, but the only thing that can remove the smell of onions and garlic from your hands is time.

Unless you use this Good Housekeeping tip: "Keep coffee grounds in a can near the sink."

"Rub a small amount over your hands after peeling onions, chopping garlic or handling fish to get rid of the odor."

Of course, then your hands will smell like coffee, but that's probably preferable to fish fingers.

If you've got a bottle of olive oil, you have more than the beginnings of a good salad dressing. 

Real Simple says you can also use olive oil to:

11. Shine stainless steel

12. Keep wax from sticking to a candle holder when rubbed on the base of the holder

13. Unstick a zipper

14. Dust wooden furniture

15. Lubricate a squeaky door by dabbing oil on the hinges

Baking soda is another multi-purpose item Real Simple says you can use to:

16. "Erase crayon, pencil, ink, and furniture scuffs from painted surfaces" with a damp sponge.

17. Unclog a drain.

"Pour 1/2 to 1 cup of baking soda down the drain, then slowly pour 1/2 to 1 cup of white vinegar after it. Let sit for five minutes (covered, if possible). Follow with a gallon of boiling water."

18. "Remove tough stains from enameled cast iron and stainless steel" and remove crusted food from casserole pans.

19. Clean up small oil and grease spills in the garage floor or your driveway by scrubbing with a wet brush.

(check out the various uses of backing soda)

20. Ants marching through your home?

Forget the bug spray and head for the spice rack.

"Cinnamon is a natural deterrent for bugs," said Business Insider.

"If you want to keep ants at bay, cinnamon may be all you need. Use it to deter the six-legged critters from invading your home by spreading powdered cinnamon anywhere you catch sight of them.

(check out certain spices and their affect on bugs, rodents, and snakes)



Are You Eating More by Eating Less ?

How is it possible to eat more cereal than you normally would, by putting less cereal in your bowl?

It sounds like a riddle, but researchers at Penn State University have made this a focal point of their nutritional investigations.

National dietary guidelines define recommended amounts of food in volume measures, such as cups. However, these measures do not account for other variations in food characteristics that affect nutritional intake and the amount of food we eat.

"People have a really hard time judging appropriate portions," says lead researcher Barbara Rolls, professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State.

"On top of that," she adds, "you have these huge variations in volume that are due to the physical characteristics of foods, such as the size of individual pieces, aeration and how things pile up in a bowlThat adds another dimension to the difficulty of knowing how much to take and eat."

"This can be a problem," Prof. Rolls continues, "because, for most foods, the recommended amounts have not been adjusted for variations in physical properties that affect volume, such as aeration, cooking, and the size and shape of individual pieces.

"The food weight and energy required to fill a given volume can vary, and this variation in the energy content of recommended amounts could be a challenge to the maintenance of energy balance."

Crushing flakes allows more calories to be consumed in smaller servings of cereal.

The cereal provided was either standard sized wheat flakes or the same cereal crushed to 80%, 60%, or 40% of its original volume.

To test the relationship between food volume and calorie intake, Prof. Rolls and her team crushed breakfast cereal into smaller flakes using a rolling pin. The smaller size of the flakes allowed the same weight of cereal to fill a smaller volume.

The team recruited 41 adults to eat cereal for breakfast once a week over 4 weeks.
The cereal provided to the participants was either standard-sized wheat flakes or the same cereal variously crushed to 80%, 60% or 40% of its initial volume. The participants were free to pour as much cereal into the bowl as they liked.

The study - which is published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics - found that... the size of the flakes got smaller, the participants poured smaller volumes of cereal into the bowl.
..But despite the smaller volume size, the participants were actually consuming more weight and energy content.

The subjects, however, believed that they consumed about the same number of calories each time.

"When faced with decreasing volumes of cereal, the people took less cereal," Prof. Rolls says. "Yet, even though they thought they were taking the same number of calories, they ended up significantly overeating."
The findings corroborate a book Prof. Rolls published in 2012, The Ultimate Volumetric Diet, which provides practical tips for readers on how to manage  their calorie intake despite variations in food volume.

Prof. Rolls concludes:

"Our research shows clearly that, without us even knowing it, these variations can have a big impact on how much we're eating. For cereals with small pieces, the recommended serving size should be reduced to account for the uncharacteristically low volume, in the same way that the recommended serving size is increased for voluminous foods, such as puffed cereals and leafy greens." 

More Tips from Missy
Want to stop crying while you cut onions ?
Here's  how !


Missy Warfield



Missy Warfield

from Anthem Today reader 
Missy Warfield


12 Tips For Finding Best Airfares

by George Hobica 

Syndicated travel journalist and founder of

1. There's no "magic" day or lead time to buy the best airfare.
A lot of airfare experts think they're clairvoyant, so they know where airfares are headed or how far in advance you should start looking for a fare. The latest myth is to buy exactly 54 days in advance. Others say buy on Tuesday at 3 p.m. or Wednesday at midnight or when the moon is full (just kidding). But airlines are unpredictable, and anyone who claims he or she knows that airfares will be lower or higher in the coming months or the coming days should trade in their crystal ball. No one can accurately predict where airfares are heading, any more than we can predict the stock market. Think about it: if they really knew, they'd put every other airfare search operation out of business, and that hasn't happened. Don't believe me? 

2. So search often, over a long lead time, and pounce when there's a deal
Fares fluctuate throughout the day, and the number of seats offered at the lowest fares also changes frequently. Or someone might be holding the only seat at the lowest fare and not book it, so it goes back into inventory--and then it will be yours. So if you don't like the fare at 10 a.m., check at 2 p.m. or the next day or the next week and pounce when the fare is affordable. It's easy to leave open the browser page where you're searching for a fare and keep on hitting the refresh.
3. Airfare alerts by email
This is perhaps the easiest way to track airfares. Many travel web sites offer emailed airfare alerts, letting you know when fares go down, and they all have something to offer. Do a browser search for "airfare alerts" and you'll see what's available. They all work a bit differently so sign up for more than one. One thing to note: these sites use essentially the same airfare data provided by the airlines' computer systems or ITA Software (which is now owned by Google), so they won't include discounted promo code fares, and they don't include Southwest Airlines (airfarewatchdog's fare alerts do, however, include hand-picked fares on Southwest).
4. Sign up for the airlines' email feeds and frequent flyer programs
Speaking of promo codes, the airlines want to develop a relationship with you, so they'll send you special deals, such as 50 percent off promo codes or two-fers, if you sign up for their emails. Here are links to US domestic airline sign up pages and for international airlines. We signed up for Virgin America's frequent flyer program and because we hadn't flown them yet we keep on getting promo code discount offers to give them a try.
5. Use Twitter
Email is great, but some of the most amazing airfare deals last only a short time (even if they're valid for travel over a long period), or you open the email too late. Twitter is more immediate. Our advice? Follow Airfarewatchdog where we tweet unusual airfare deals every day of the week and alert followers to promo codes and other airfare deals.

6. Be a flexible travel date flyer
If you don't care when you go as long as the fare is low, try a flexible date search. It's getting harder to search airfares based on flexible travel dates now that many sites (Orbitz, Hotwire, Travelocity and Expedia among them) have eliminated their flexible date calendars. But still has a good one (you must register as a user to see it under Flights/more options/flex month). Another good site is and Google has two sites worth exploring: Google Flight Explore and Google Flights.  More about flexible travel date search. 
7. Search airline sites individually, but online travel agencies are still useful

Many airlines have "private" sales, reserving their very best fares for their own sites. These are different from promo code sales mentioned above. International airlines such as Aer Lingus, Iberia and Qantas regularly offer lower fares (i.e., $100-$400 less) on their own web sites compared to what you'll find on Kayak or Orbitz. And yet, you shouldn't ignore online travel agencies such as Expedia and Travelocity, because these sites will tell you if it's cheaper flying out on one airline and back on another (United won't tell you it's cheaper to fly out on United and back on American).

8. Use Priceline for last minute trips
If you don't have a 7-, 14-, or 21-day advance purchase window to buy your fare, your best bet is the "name your own price" feature of True, you won't know the exact flight times or airline you're flying until to pay for your trip, but you can save 50% or more.
9. Use consolidators, but beware of the restrictions
Consolidators specializing in premium cabins will have some great deals, and the airlines themselves will often heavily discount their premium cabins in the summer and just before Christmas, so check the specials on their web sites. Sites like, and also sometimes sell consolidator fares, but read this to understand how these fares work and what the extra restrictions might be.
10. Consider the extra fees before you buy
If Southwest has a fare of $198 round-trip and United has one for $148, and you are checking three bags, then Southwest actually has the lowest fare because Southwest charges nothing for the first two checked bags, whereas United would charge you an additional $165 each way for three. (See Airline fee chart). 

11. Combine two separate fares rather than buying one fare
If you're flying to a destination in Europe, you might save money by purchasing one fare from the US to, say, Dublin, and another from Dublin onward on (just beware of Ryanair's onerous fees). Same holds true for some destinations in Asia (fly into Singapore and catch a low cost carrier such as from there) and to some smaller Caribbean  destinations via San Juan or the Bahamas. Even domestically, two fares are often less than one, such as the recent scenario where Dallas to Honolulu was selling for $350 round-trip with tax, but Houston/Honolulu was $800. As you're no doubt aware, you can fly Houston-Dallas for a lot less than $450! Just be sure to give yourself plenty of time between connecting flights in case one flight is delayed.

12. Buy tickets on an airline that will refund the difference if a fare goes down

Let's say you've found the lowest fare, and then the day after purchase your non-refundable fare for the same itinerary goes down. If you ask for it you can get a refund for the difference. But some airlines will charge you a costly "administrative" fee of $200 or more, wiping out any savings. Others will give you the entire fare difference in the form of a travel voucher without extracting a fee. All airlines used to do this but no longer. The only ones left are JetBlue, Southwest, and Alaska.


19 Mind-Blowing Tricks Every iPhone And iPad User Should Know

You spend, like, half of your life on that thing. Time to figure out what it really does. 

1. On the iPad: Make typing more comfortable by switching your keyboard to thumb mode.

Simply swipe two fingers across the keyboard. This displays a different keyboard, which allows you to type with your thumbs the same way you type on your iPhone.

***Alternatively, you can press the “dock and merge” button in the bottom righthand corner of the keyboard and drag up. The keyboard will turn into thumb mode, and you can also drag it wherever you want.

2. If you put your phone on airplane mode, it will charge twice as fast.

3. Make use of offline Google Maps when traveling abroad.

While you’ve still got internet access, go to the area you want to save. In the search bar, type “ok maps” and the map will be cached for offline use.
This is also super useful for iPads that are only Wi-Fi enabled.

4. In the Calculator app, remove an accidental extra zero by swiping left to right.

If you’re, say, calculating a bunch of expenses for your taxes, you don’t have to start over if you accidentally type in extra numbers.

5. Turn on Guided Access while a child is playing with your phone or iPad.

Guided Access, once turned on, keeps users from errantly clicking or tapping within an app and ending up someplace they’re not supposed to be, or deleting something accidentally.

First, you need to go to Settings > General > Accessibility > Guided Access and turn it on. You’ll also want to turn on the Accessibility Shortcut.

Triple-click the home button in whichever app you want to turn it on for. From here, you can select any buttons that you don’t want clicked. Or you can also disable the home button while keeping the touchscreen on.

6. Take selfies using the remote on your earbuds.

Just click the volume + button on the remote on your Apple or Apple-compatible earbuds while in camera mode to click and shoot, or the middle button (play/pause) while in video mode.

No more selfie arm!

7. Quickly get to the Camera app without having to unlock your phone.

Swipe up on the little camera icon in the bottom right corner of your home screen. The Camera app will open, bypassing the unlock screen.

This is especially handy when something incredibly photo-worthy is happening and you need to access your camera ASAP. It’s also great when handing your phone to others for taking photos — they won’t need to enter in your password.

8. You can use ANY bluetooth keyboard with your iPhone or iPad.

It turns basically any iPhone or iPad into a portable laptop.

9. There’s a built-in level gauge in the Compass app.

Open up the Compass app and swipe to the left and you’ll be at the level screen. If you need to hang a picture in a pinch, this little hack could come in real handy.

10. Tap the top bar of any app to scroll back up to the top.

No more tedious thumb scrolling when you’re way down on the page.

11. Invert your colors for better nighttime browsing.

Inverting your colors will turn the screen black and the text white for less eye strain. Go to Settings > General > Accessibility. Turn on “Invert Colors.”

12. On the iPad: Did you know that a) you can add more apps to the home row and b) you can add folders to it?

A lot of people don’t even know how malleable that bottom dock is. You can fit a couple extra apps in there (the default is four, but it fits six) or swap apps in and out. Just click any app and hold until you get the jiggly icons.
And you can move folders into the dock as well. Your most important apps are always just two clicks or fewer away.

13. When ending a sentence, instead of typing a period and then a space, just tap the space bar twice.

Tapping the space bar twice adds a full stop, a space, and capitalizes the next letter. It may not seem like much, but when you’re composing a lengthy message, this little hack will really improve the speed of your typing once it becomes second nature.

14. With the remote of your earbuds, you can go to the next track or the previous track while listening to music or podcasts.

This should work with any Apple-compatible earbuds with a remote.

15. Use this little trick when you want to go back and forth between the alpha and numeric keyboard.

Like, maybe you want to type a password that is a mix of letters and numbers. Click the “123” button and slide up to the character you want to input. When you let go, the  screen will jump back to the alphabet keyboard.

16. Swipe right to left to banish a banner notification.

Very important to know this when that embarrassing sext shows up suddenly on your  screen.

17. In Safari, hold down the period key to quickly add a domain in the search bar.

18. Use this simple Siri command for taking naps.

19. Outsmart your autocorrect by typing an extra letter when trying to spell a contraction.

Now don’t you feel like you know your portable device so much better now?

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