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How-To

Well-built decks marry personality and functionality
As temperatures increase, your thoughts may wander to spending time outside sharing conversation, drinks and meals with friends and family. For many homeowners, that can mean renovating an existing gathering spot or replacing it with a new deck. A well-planned deck can increase a home's value and usable space.
 
Travel: cruising 101
If you're thinking of taking a cruise, there are a lot of options to consider, from the cruise line and style to the destinations, vacation length and types of on-board amenities. Cruising is a fun (and economical) way to see several places in a relatively short amount of time without having to unpack and repack every day. While some "hard-core" travelers may scoff at cruises, don't knock it till you've tried it.
 
Five must-haves for your new truck
With a brand new truck decorating your driveway, you've probably got plenty of ideas of how you're going to use it for towing a boat, transporting large and heavy loads and conquering rugged terrain. Or maybe you just want to feel powerful while driving it down the road. But before you get too comfortable, think about what could make your truck even better. What can you add that will help your truck last longer, handle more tasks and look even stronger?
 
Decluttering advice for those drowning in digital chaos
Smartphones, tablets, desktops, laptops, e-readers and music players - most of us have more than one digital device in our lives. Juggling so many devices and trying to sync data among them can leave you feeling like you're drowning in digital chaos. If you're looking to declutter your digital life, getting a handle on your music is a good place to start.
 
Tips for making your spring cleaning a breeze
A long winter season can leave you and your family longing for outdoor activities. Before you head for some fresh air fun, you need to get your home in order for the spring and summer months ahead.
 
What to look for in your next smartphone
Seventy-nine percent of smartphone users have their phones on or near them all but two hours of the day when they're awake, according to a recent IDC Research report. For many, smartphone use is now a way of life, making it even more important to think carefully before you choose your next one.
 
How to host a healthier happy hour
Going out with co-workers or friends after work is a great way to relax, but when you host a happy hour at home, you have full control over the guest list, atmosphere, music and, most importantly, the menu. Use these simple tips to entertain your friends, and your home may just become the new happy hour hot spot.
 
Tips for traveling solo
Is there such a thing as a typical traveler? Not anymore. Travelers run the gamut in age, interests, preferences, likes and dislikes. For couples, families and solo travelers alike, travel preferences have never been so diverse. Nor has the world of travel been so accessible and appealing. And, if you're thinking about traversing the world as a solo traveler, there's never been a better time to go.
 
Five fast fixes and tips for a summer-ready car
With summer just around the corner, it's time to get your car in tip-top shape to withstand hot days and long road trips. Summer driving requires your car to run differently; some adjustments and inspections are important to ensure your vehicle lasts season to season. Follow these five fast fixes and inspections to cruise through the summer and avoid roadside headaches.
 
Protecting your paycheck - for today and tomorrow
People insure their homes, their cars and even their vacations without giving it a second thought. But many do not think about insuring their most important asset - their income - from a disability caused by illness or injury. And it's not just income during working years that is at risk. A disability can also put a serious dent in your ability to enjoy retirement.
 
Go green and live comfortably all year long
Milder temperatures and longer days mean winter is fast becoming a distant memory. However, environmentally conscious homeowners know that the arrival of warmer weather also means the likelihood of increased air-conditioner use and higher energy bills.
 
The truth about losing weight: Separating facts from fiction (and magic pills)
Losing weight can dramatically improve your emotional and physical health, but it's often a slow process. Millions of American adults use dietary supplements to lose weight, choosing a range of products that claim to decrease appetite, block fat absorption or increase metabolism. But with hundreds of products on the market, how do you determine which one to choose?
 
Easy DIY cures for common concrete problems
As with other home maintenance tasks, making your own repairs to minor concrete damage yourself can prevent problems from becoming worse - and turning into something that requires costly replacement by professionals. Here are some concrete repair tasks that you can do yourself, and helpful tips for doing the jobs right.
 
Don't let spring cleaning weigh you down: Here's how to spring forward
Spring is the time to shed your winter layers, dust off the cobwebs, open the windows and embrace the beginning of a new season. Aside from spending more time outdoors, the sunshine and warm weather often energize us to do the things we put off during the cold winter months, such as cleaning and organizing.
 
Top tips for avoiding injury and strain while gardening
Fresh packets of seeds, the dirt between your fingers, and the smell of freshly churned earth - gardening season has officially begun. Whether you're a seasoned green thumb or a newbie to home planting, gardening is a great activity that provides both physical and mental health benefits. But one unwelcome part of taking up gardening as a hobby is the potential for strain and injury. Follow these tips and you'll get the most out of your garden and avoid hurting yourself.
 
Dull, brittle locks? Follow the 4 expert rules for strong, beautiful hair
For years, women have been working at the ends of hair, rather than the foundation - the scalp. Now, it is time to start working at the right end of hair. Follow these top rules from the experts to get strong, beautiful hair.
 
Tips for extending your home into your patio
In warmer weather, patios transform into the ultimate gathering space for backyard barbecues, reading, relaxing or even exercising. These outdoor rooms become an extension of the house, seamlessly merging the outdoors inside and vice versa.
 
Responsible ridership and safety are the first steps toward personal watercraft fun
One of the easiest and most fun ways to enjoy everything the water has to offer is on a personal watercraft (PWC). Personal watercrafts have taken great strides toward modernization; the PWCs of today are quiet, run on clean four-stroke technology engines, include significant safety features, are more stable, and are designed to accommodate up to three passengers.
 
Five tips for spring home decorating 'eco-style'
As spring blossoms, so does our desire to lighten up - in life and at home. Simple eco-friendly changes to home decor can set the tone for a much fresher and brighter outlook. Here are five tips to get you started.
 
Salty snacks reduce stress
Stress affects everyone and can cause problems at work, home and with health. Researchers have found that stress is a leading cause of illness, affecting as much as 20 percent of the population. Economic factors, such as a recession, have also been shown to significantly increase population-wide stress levels.
 
Tips for creating a greener outdoor living space
Outdoor living spaces remain a popular home improvement, but while you're planning your patio or prepping your planting beds do you consider the impact these improvements might have on the environment? Creating a great outdoor space can be even more satisfying when you take steps to make your project as "green" as possible.
 
Renew yourself and your home in four easy steps
Your home can find new life when the weather warms. The transition of seasons is a perfect opportunity to refocus on improving yourself and your space.
 
Get glowing with simple tips for summer skincare
Sunshine and fresh air make us fall in love with summer every year. It's a time to explore the outdoors and enjoy fashions like tank tops, flip-flops and sun dresses. How can you get beautiful summer-ready skin while keeping it protected from the sun's hot rays?
 
Getting girls excited about science and math
Women currently hold fewer than 25 percent of jobs in science, technology, engineering and math fields, but job opportunities in those areas are expected to grow almost twice as much as other occupations by 2018. Parents of girls currently in junior high or high school can encourage their daughters to stay interested in science and math by supporting their education in the subjects, both in the classroom and in extracurricular activities.
 
Save money and do a world of good with reusable containers
Even as the country moves out of the great recession, many Americans are still in a money-saving mode - looking to conserve wherever possible.
 
Five tips to take your home from 'for sale' to 'sold'
If you've been thinking about selling your home, there's no time like the present. House hunters come out of the woodwork in warm weather months and "for sale" signs pop up everywhere. Your job is to set your home apart from all the others. In most areas around the country, it's a buyers' market. So how do you get a leg-up on the competition?
 
Make laundry safety a priority this summer - and always
Sunnier skies and summertime fun are just around the corner, and with them comes plenty of outdoor activities like longs days at the playground, sporting events and barbecues. With so many options, the last thing most people want to think about is household responsibilities … but all that outdoor fun can add up to a lot of laundry.
 
Basic maintenance can keep your lawn equipment running longer
Spring is just around the corner, so it's not too soon to begin thinking about getting your lawn equipment ready. From lawn mowers to hedge and weed trimmers, you want to make sure those items are in good working order before you are ready to tackle the lawn for the first time. Taking the time for seasonal maintenance will mean more reliable equipment and a safer experience for you. Here are some great tips to make sure you're ready to go for the season.
 
Tips for knowing when it's time to replace products on your home
Owning a home means giving constant attention to the building products that go into protecting the structure of your house. While we'd like to believe items like our roof, siding and windows will last forever, that's not the case. All items will eventually need replacing, and here's how to know what to look for.
 
Save time and money with easy DIY auto maintenance tips
Vehicles are a big investment for families - usually the second highest valued item in a household after the home itself. While the purchase price for cars, trucks and SUVs keeps going up, the cost of maintenance is holding steady or even dropping for most vehicles. Better materials, sophisticated computers and other advances increase reliability and allow less frequent oil changes, tune-ups and other service.
 
Think outside the fuse box: Unique energy-saving home improvements
When you've covered the basic and obvious ways to trim energy use at home, it's time to start thinking outside the fuse box. Here are three unique home improvements that can help make your house even more energy-efficient.
 
Californians lead the way - again - in trend toward 'greener' backyards
From implementing stricter standards for vehicle emissions to creating a state-level agency to administer stewardship of the environment, Californians have always been at the forefront of the green movement. That commitment to the environment even extends to local backyards, where California homeowners are turning to eco-friendly materials, building practices and landscaping to create "greener" outdoor living spaces.
 
Weekend home improvement projects that add value and curb appeal
Weekend warriors rule as 2013 is proving to be the year that the do-it-yourself trend reaches full momentum. If you have a weekend to spare, you have plenty of time to make some home improvements that add value and curb appeal. The key is to choose projects that have a big impact, but only take a few days to complete.
 
The most common mistakes homeowners make when choosing a home improvement contractor and how to avoid them
Consumer complaints and lawsuits regarding home improvements are on the rise according to Ripoff Reports; a homeowner that does not do their homework before embarking on a project could find themselves with poor workmanship, inferior products, health and safety issues or even legal problems.
 
Entice buyers into your home with aromatic scents
When a home smells good, it makes a favorable impression on visitors. This is exactly what home sellers want when they put their house on the market.
 
Bringing home baby: When to call the doctor
Most new parents are anxious when their infant has a fever, or is fussy, stuffy and simply not acting right. But how do you decide to call the pediatrician or to wait - especially in the middle of the night?
 
Easy ways to make a difference this summer
Summer provides a much needed break for families and a perfect opportunity to make a difference in the community. Depending on interest and time, there are many different ways to get involved or make a charitable contribution.
 
Whitewashed floors complement lively decorating trends
It's the season of sunshine and enjoying the great outdoors. Celebrate it with a style makeover for your home by tapping lively decorating trends and home decor ideas that will refresh and brighten your living space.
 
Get your car road trip ready for spring
You may be dreaming about escaping on a vacation, but the sky-high costs of flights and cruises can quickly turn into a nightmare. If you're looking to take a break without breaking the bank, a good, old-fashioned road trip could be the way to escape. Aside from packing snacks and preparing the perfect playlist, there are a few things you should consider before venturing out on the open road. A few updates and precautions can help you avoid the wear and potential safety hazards a long trip can have on your vehicle.
 
How to find the right vet for your pet
Pet owners have many responsibilities, and keeping your pet healthy with veterinary care is a significant one. To help make sure your pet receives high quality medical care, several veterinarians offer advice on how to find the right vet for your pet.
 
Solid retirement planning a must for Generations X and Y
When it comes to making plans for retirement years, today's younger workers are struggling to make heads or tails of all the resources and products available to them through work and personal investments. Such lack of financial acumen is a challenge for young adults who face a challenging job market as many continue to struggle paying back student loans and establishing both short and long term savings while balancing the needs of their growing families.
 
Five budget-friendly outdoor living space solutions
As summer approaches, you're probably dreaming of a luxurious outdoor retreat ideal for al fresco lunches, cookouts with friends or lazy afternoons spent sunbathing. While you also may be wondering if this project fits within your budget, it is possible to construct a completely customized outdoor oasis without breaking the bank.
 
On the move? Use these packing tips and tricks
While relocation may never be completely carefree, there are ways to ease the anxiety. A well-thought-out approach to boxing up belongings can help simplify the moving process and bring you one step closer to making your new house a home.
 
Honeymoon encore: The big move in
It may come as a surprise to young engaged couples, but the excitement of the wedding and honeymoon doesn't end when it's all over. In fact, after the honeymoon, it's time to roll up your sleeves and plan the big move - the joining of two households.
 
A celebrity chef's tips for scoring big with game-day partying
Whatever sports you like to watch - whether pro levels or big collegiate moments such as the NCAA Men's Final Four, NCAA Frozen Four or College World Series - they all have one important thing in common: watching with friends makes them even more fun. Hosting the perfect game-day viewing party is sure to score big with your friends, no matter what sport you're watching together.
 
Organ donation: gift of a second chance at life
In 2012, there were more than 115,000 people in the U.S. awaiting an organ transplant - enough to overflow the country's largest football stadium. Each year, more than 28,000 Americans receive a donated organ, but sadly, more than 6,500 people die each year waiting for an organ. It is, however, a problem with a solution - one that depends a lot on education and selflessness. Are you registered as an organ donor? Here is what you need to know.
 
Don't duplicate the stress: think taxes year-round
Now that the April 15 tax filing deadline has passed, so too has the stress associated with filing taxes for most people. This year, resolve to think about taxes early and often so you don't get caught in a last-minute panic. Here are some important tips to consider.
 
Give your small business a social facelift
Small businesses that adopt online marketing strategies see significant business benefits, ranging from improved campaign performance to higher return on investment (ROI), according to a recent study conducted by Forrester. However, small businesses are likely still favoring newspaper advertising and direct mail, which are time-intensive and costly.
 
Give your home a true green cleaning
When you clean your house, you really want it to be clean. Dirt, dust and germs are banned, and all appliances, floors and walls are scrubbed clean. The best way to make sure your living space is clean and healthy is to use safe, natural cleaning products you create yourself, using natural and inexpensive ingredients you can pick up at any natural grocery store.
 
Tech talk: Understanding 'the cloud' and what it can do for you
News headlines, commercials and chatter between colleagues - recently there has been a lot of hype around "the cloud," but the term can be complex and confusing. What exactly is the cloud, and furthermore, what does it mean for you and the way you use technology? Although the concept feels relatively new, it's simpler than you may think.
 
Tips for optimizing small spaces
Being short on space doesn't mean you have to be short on style or efficiency. Even older small spaces can get an open, useful feel with the right design and decorating tactics. Here are a few ways you can optimize your small space.
 
2013's hottest home trends and easy upgrades
The top home decor trends for 2013 are already emerging, and homeowners seeking a fresh look will find a lot to love. Not only can these looks be accomplished in minimal time - they're budget friendly and easy enough for DIYers to finish in a weekend or less.
 
Knowing your risks for type 2 diabetes
Understanding your risk for developing type 2 diabetes, or getting an early diagnosis, is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.
 
Is it time for a financial checkup?
For most of us, checkups are a regular part of life. Dental visits, auto maintenance appointments and even glances in the bathroom mirror all help us catch potential problems and assure that all is - or will be - well. What's true of teeth, engines and grooming is also true of finances: regular checkups are recommended.
 
Rare Disease Impact Report quantifies patient and caregiver challenges on journey to diagnosis and beyond
Getting a diagnosis is just the first of many challenges patients with rare diseases - and their caregivers - face.
 
Aging-in-place upgrades that look great and make sense
Do the words "aging in place" and "home improvement" conjure images of institutional-looking grab bars in bathrooms and overhead kitchen lights that could illuminate an airport runway? Here are a handful of aging-in-place upgrades that shout "fabulous" instead of "fogey."
 
Protect your information during the tax-season identity theft boom
Tax season can be stressful, and each year people scramble to send in their tax returns, right down to the deadline. But for those who do a little preparation and avoid procrastinating, it can be significantly less tense. However, whether you're a last-minute rusher or an ahead-of-the-game planner, you need to take steps to protect your identity during tax time, or you could be facing the greatest stress of all.
 
Boarding your four-legged family member
Whether traveling for business or fun, it's not always practical to take along a four-legged family member. Arranging care of a beloved pet for an extended absence can be daunting. Knowing what to look for in a kennel, and what to look out for, can help you choose wisely.
 
Suppress the sneeze: Tips to help prep your home for allergy season
The season of sneezing has made its annual return and that can only mean one thing for homeowners: preventative cleaning measures. Especially true for allergy and asthma sufferers, there is no better time to get a head start on prepping your home against unwanted allergens than the early weeks of spring.
 
Ask the Pharmacist: Controlling asthma during allergy season
The sun is shining, flowers are blooming, and pollen counts are soaring ... and that means millions of Americans are dealing with the sneezing and wheezing that comes with seasonal allergies. While allergies are sometimes considered an uncomfortable nuisance, for the 25 million Americans with asthma, seasonal allergies can trigger serious attacks that if not managed properly could lead to a visit to the ER. Follow these tips.
 
Easy tips for a manicured lawn
The days are getting longer, the grass is growing and yard work season has begun. Many homeowners strive to have the best lawn in the neighborhood, but the task ahead can often feel daunting and time-consuming. Although yard work can be overwhelming at times, the steps to a great-looking lawn are easier than you think.
 
Budgeting 101: How new graduates can conquer entry-level income challenges
Spring is the perfect time for young Americans to take a look at their budgets and become financially fit. Not only is April Financial Literacy Month, complete with non-profit organizations around the country offering free seminars and online resources, but millions of high school and college students are also preparing for graduation and the next phase of their lives.
 
Why going gluten-free doesn't mean going grain-free
It's impossible to stroll the aisles in your local supermarket without seeing package after package labeled "gluten-free." But who really needs a gluten-free diet, and what does it mean to convert your daily diet to be gluten-free?
 
Trash vs. treasure: Expert tips when hunting for authentic garage sale finds
Collecting relics isn't a hobby just for Grandma and Grandpa any more. With the explosive popularity of TV shows centered around unearthing historic memorabilia and valuable pieces of Americana, searching for knickknacks and artifacts that make one-of-a-kind home decor is now a popular pastime for people of all ages. But how do you know the difference between what's really treasure and what's simply trash?
 
How to ace your next job interview
Making it to the job interview stage means your skill set and resume have caught the interest of a potential employer, who now wants to determine if you'll be a good fit as an employee of a company. Acing the interview is essential if you want to convince the employer that you're the right person for the job.
 
Tips for new Mother's Day and Father's Day traditions
Families have many special traditions to celebrate Mother's Day and Father's Day. Starting new traditions is also common. If your family is looking for some new ways to enjoy Mother's Day or Father's Day this year, check out these tips and gift ideas that will help make your celebrations special.
 
Play day: How time-pressed families can find more time for fun
It waits for no one, flies by and can't be bottled, but it's the one thing everyone would like more of: time. In today's busy, hectic society it's harder for families to find time together for fun, yet spending quality time together is key to the emotional health of the family unit and of individual family members.
 
Protect yourself from summer's backyard pests
Warm weather is here for the next few months, and that means you'll be spending more time outdoors with family and friends - and more time with summer pests. Mosquitoes, fire ants, bees, wasps and yellow jackets are some of summer's worst bugs. And those pests can be more than a mere nuisance.
 
Staging on a shoestring: Tips from the pros for quick home sales
The real estate market is starting to show signs of improvement, which is welcome news for people wanting to sell their homes. This positive momentum alone isn't enough to close a deal, though - a homeowner must make their properties appealing to potential buyers so they stand out from the competition. The good news is it's easy to create an appealing atmosphere with a few staging tips and tricks from the experts.
 
Add fresh grapes for great summer dishes
Grapes from California are in abundant supply throughout the summer which is welcome news for those seeking a healthy, refreshing snack. They're also a boon to the home cook: grapes provide bright color, a sweet-tart flavor, and a refreshing burst of juice to warm-weather dishes.
 
Tips and tools to prepare for power outages
Storms have been packing big punches in recent years. While the debate about the cause might rage on, so do the natural elements that wreak havoc on private homes and public infrastructure. As has been seen in recent years, the aging of the American power grid has resulted in extended power outages - and that increasingly seems that this will be the new norm. However, going without power for long periods of time is non-negotiable for many Americans.
 
Three tips to save time spring cleaning
It's that time of year - throw the windows open and refresh your house with a good, deep clean. Americans spend nearly 70 hours cleaning their homes each year, according to a recent report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Get your time back with three easy tips to make the process fast and stress-free.
 
Stylish stairs: Five can-do ideas that add personality
Stairs are no longer just a way to get from one floor to another. Realizing that staircases are quite often major focal points in their homes, homeowners are showing love to this once underappreciated space with a wide variety of creative and easy updates. Add personality and perk-up the daily climb in your home with these five do it yourself projects.
 
Lawn care 101: Dig into spring with tips for a lush lawn
Having a well-kept lawn not only will keep you in your neighbors' good graces, it also adds value to your home. Lawn care doesn't need to be complicated, but sometimes it just needs to be done.
 
Fitness tips to get ready for summer fun
The sun is shining longer every day, telling you that it's time to get ready for vacations, activities with family and friends and of course, swimsuit season. To help you prepare, there are some simple fitness tips you can follow to look and feel good this summer season.
 
Rise and shine: Tips for throwing the ultimate brunch
Nothing gets your day off to a better start than a tasty breakfast - but on most days, you're too rushed and stressed to enjoy it. Thankfully, on weekends and holidays, it's a whole different story. There's time to relax, enjoy the company of family and friends and prepare and serve that best-loved of all leisurely meals: brunch.
 
Color, texture and more: Vinyl continues to be America's most-installed siding
While vinyl siding has historically been the most-used siding material in the U.S., its continuing advancements are allowing even more choice when it comes to two critical qualities desired by homeowners: outstanding curb appeal and low maintenance. Add to this to the growing interest by homeowners to save energy and the increasing green measures being taken by builders, and insulated vinyl siding stands out as a versatile choice.
 
What every parent needs to know about keeping kids safe around medicine
Every year more than 67,000 children are treated in an emergency room for accidental medicine poisoning. That's one child every eight minutes. Even more surprising is that in 86 percent of serious cases seen in emergency rooms, the child got into medicine belonging to an adult.
 
Be a real life hero: Taking on the most impossible missions and doing whatever it takes to keep America safe
When the Navy needs to complete seemingly impossible missions or track elusive targets, the job is often assigned to Naval Special Warfare (NSW) or Naval Special Operations (NSO) teams. These elite men and women work with dedication and intense courage in locations all over the world, and in every possible climate, to neutralize potential threats.
 
Warm-weather entertaining made easy with expert tips and recipes
Warmer temperatures often mean a busier social calendar. So whether you're planning a meal to enjoy al fresco, or whipping up a sweet treat for a neighborhood block party, it's a great time of year to experiment in the kitchen. But when you're trying out a new recipe, do you hesitate when it calls for certain ingredients? Check out these expert tips to learn alternatives that taste great and are good for you too.
 
Preserving our planet: How to celebrate the environment every day
Greenhouse gases are at an all-time high. Although some gases are naturally present in the atmosphere, such as water vapor, ozone, methane, carbon dioxide and nitrous oxide, human activities have created a new set of greenhouse gases (GHG) that are negatively affecting the ozone layer. GHGs are making it easier for the sun's harmful UV rays to pass through, which has resulted in global warming.
 
Low-maintenance exterior upgrades that add value and style to your home
Sunny days and clear skies are perfect for making exterior home improvements. Homeowners want to use their time and money wisely, so it's important to choose projects that are low-maintenance and have a good return on investment. Consider these top exterior projects that will increase your home's value and curb appeal. And, because they're low-maintenance, you'll get more time to enjoy the beauty of the season.
 
DIY tricks that make bathroom renovations easy
When it comes to home improvement, Americans have embraced doing it themselves - in a big way. Among homeowners who plan to make improvements, 64 percent say they will do it themselves, according to American Express' Consumer Spending and Saving Report. Yet one area of home improvement continues to give even adventurous and confident DIYers pause - bathroom renovation.
 
You are unique - your nutrition should be too
Remember when you were a child and the world was big - full of adventure and possibility? You ate your favorite cereal for breakfast, lunch and dinner and at the end of every day, your mom would make you take those little multi-flavored vitamins usually shaped like a popular cartoon character. You didn't necessarily understand why you had to take these, but you always did what your mom told you - because mother knows best.
 
Summer garden glory without the weeding and watering
Summer can be tough on gardens. In what should be their glory days, many gardens suffer from neglect. Long weekends and summer vacations leave yards untended, while summer heat is an excuse for putting off chores. But it doesn't have to be that way. It's possible to have both a glorious well-maintained garden and time for fun in the sun by taking some smart gardening steps now.
 
Give your home a fresh look with color
A fresh coat of paint can give any room an instant lift, making it a great solution for converting a space from drab to fab.
 
The right home tools for a healthier lifestyle
Even with the best intentions, many of us who resolve to live a healthier lifestyle in 2013 will fall back into old, familiar habits much sooner than we would like. To maintain motivation and create a routine that is both sustainable and effective, it's important to invest in the right tools for every room in your house.
 
One-of-a-kind ideas for an unforgettable wedding
Want to make your wedding moments one-of-a-kind? Here are some unique wedding ideas to inspire you.
 
The key to being in-demand your entire career: Be a 'producer'
Despite the competitive employment outlook, certain individuals seem to remain employed no matter how dismal the job climate. These professionals are the first to receive offers when companies are in acquisition mode and are rarely laid off during lean times. Their seemingly "charmed" reality is far removed from the struggles experienced by the vast majority of their peers, and inevitably begs the question: What is the secret to their success? The answer is simple - they possess the skills that keep them in demand.
 
Chef-inspired tips for a cleaner, more efficient kitchen
If cleanliness is next to godliness - as the old adage goes - than a clean kitchen is simply a divine place to be. It's the room in your home that gets the most intense use, so keeping your kitchen clean can be a challenge. You can make kitchen cleanup a bit easier if you take your cleanliness cues from professional chefs.
 
Get ready to spice up summer meals
The inspiration for a great taco can be found in many places - from farmers markets to food trucks to upscale restaurants. All across the country, chefs and home cooks alike are reinventing the taco with global flavors and fresh ingredients. Craving a perfect, exciting taco? Five secrets to success
 
Tips for setting up your home theater viewing space
The home entertainment center concept has evolved dramatically over the past decade, from a single "tube" TV and a DVD player to full-blown, high-definition multi-media centers. The technology today offers a more immersive experience. And with a proper set up, you can enjoy the full potential of the pride and joy of your living room.
 
Expert tips and affordable tricks for planning summer parties
Warm sun, fresh air, soft grass - the summer season is the perfect reason to plan a festive gathering with friends and family. Whether you're celebrating a special occasion or simply spending time with the special people in your life, a few tips and tricks can help you plan a fun party without breaking the bank.
 
Five environmentally friendly ways to keep your lawn looking great
Maintaining the perfect lawn is easier than you think and with the right tools, you can be both efficient with your yard work and eco-conscious. If it's lush green turf that you're after, but you also care about your carbon footprint, there are a few tools and practices that can help you have it both ways.
 
A small investment returns a safer and healthier home
Warm weather is here, which means many homeowners are beginning new DIY projects. Have you included home safety on your list? Almost every home in the U.S. has a smoke alarm, but most do not have enough. Fire experts recommend installing alarms on every floor and inside and outside of every sleeping area. A recent survey by Kelton Research found less than a quarter of homeowners have applied this rule. A fire can double in size every 30 seconds. The sooner you hear a smoke alarm, the more time you have to escape.
 
Pregnancy can be a beautiful thing
The big news that a baby is on the way is a time for celebration, excitement and planning. Many couples choose to keep this information quiet for the first couple of months, so they can celebrate the upcoming change in their life together. But sometimes, morning sickness for the mom-to-be can let the news out of the bag earlier than intended.
 
Easy Asian recipes for everyday and entertaining
Preparing a meal that will please everyone at the table is something that every host strives for. The vibrant flavors of Asian food are surprisingly easy to create at home - particularly when you have the right ingredients - and so versatile that they can be dressed up or down to fit any occasion.
 
Tips for a bigger tax refund
If you typically dread income tax time, remember this: Three out of four taxpayers receive a federal refund, and the average direct-deposited refund last year was $2,923. You have almost as many tax savings opportunities as last year, thanks to the fiscal cliff-averting tax changes passed in early January. In addition to extending the lower Bush-era income tax rates for nearly all taxpayers, the American Tax Relief Act made permanent or extended dozens of tax breaks.
 
Backyard trends: Save money installing your own vinyl fence
If you want the maintenance-free benefits of a vinyl fence but are intimidated by the price tag, you're not alone. Many homeowners are initially surprised at the cost of a vinyl fence, particularly since the installation costs are generally as much as the materials. Recent trends show that more and more homeowners are saving money by installing their own vinyl fencing.
 
Selling your home? Make it more appealing to buyers
You've made the decision to sell your home - now you want to position yourself for a quick and successful sale. What's the most important thing you can do to entice buyers?
 
Make your summer sizzle
 
The evolution of accounting: new careers in the language of business
Numbers span all languages and cultures, creating what is known as the language of business: accounting. The earliest accounting records date back thousands of years to the use of an abacus, a rudimentary counting tool. As the workplace has progressed, so has the role of the accounting professional. This has been particularly evident in recent years; the integration of technology in accounting has created many specializations and job opportunities within the field - from forensic accounting to health care IT auditors.
 
Select the right insurance for your home-based business
Home-based businesses are booming. About 36.6 million businesses operate from U.S. households, according to the Home Based Business Institute. And the Small Business Administration notes that 53 percent of all small businesses located in the U.S. are home-based, with those numbers expected to grow substantially in the near future. But before you start planning your home-based bakery, personal training studio or computer repair venture, there's one important thing to think about: the right insurance to protect your at-home enterprise.
 
Cut home entertainment costs without loss of shows
Families are always looking for ways to cut household costs. One area that provides a bit of budget-cutting flexibility is home entertainment costs.
 
Preventing medication fraud and abuse starts at home
Prescription drug abuse has reached epidemic proportions across the United States. More than 6 million Americans abuse prescription drugs and much of the abuse begins at home, according to a national survey on drug use and health. In fact, more than 70 percent of those who illegally use prescription pain relievers obtained them through friends or family, including surreptitiously raiding the home medicine cabinet. However, a recent study revealed that only 19 percent of parents are concerned about the misuse of narcotic pain medicines in their own families, showing that many do not recognize the severity of the problem.
 
Advice for choosing a financial advisor
Saving for retirement is an essential task, but one that can be complex and demand a lot of attention. With the arrival of April - Financial Literacy Month - focusing on your existing saving strategies should be a priority. It's also an ideal time to talk to a financial professional who can help you shoulder the burden and explore other options to make your money work harder for your future.
 
Couples who design together, stay together
Opposites attract, and for couples who live together, compromising on personal style and design choices can be a difficult bridge to cross. Someone who wants a modern, contemporary vibe might not like the decor choice of someone who prefers a more traditional or rustic feel. What most people don't realize, however, is that blending two opposing tastes can actually be more visually appealing than sticking with just one design style. And, more importantly, it can be done quickly and affordably.
 
Cleaning the right way to remove allergens
When you're done with spring cleaning, you may assume you've eliminated any allergy triggers that were lurking in your home. But the truth is, if you don't clean the right way, you might be making the problem worse. To maximize your cleaning efforts and reduce allergens, consider these simple tips.
 
Getting married this summer? Tips for combining all your stuff
Wedding day traditions vary ever so slightly from decade to decade based on music, fashion and cultural change. However, today's newlyweds have a distinct issue that their parents probably didn't face a quarter century ago - which sectional couch stays, and which one goes?
 
Garden detective: Clues to determine and deter unwanted animals in your yard and garden
Holmes and Watson, Riggs and Murtaugh, Starsky and Hutch - when it comes to sleuthing out just what critter is munching on your spring garden, you may feel like your partnership with Mother Nature is as contentious as any that ever graced the big, or small screen. After all, how are you supposed to fight the "crime" of a decimated garden if you can't identify the suspect who's been devouring your daylilies?
 
Get organized to help grow your business
Small businesses are always trying to find ways to get organized so employees can work more efficiently and save money in the process. With tax time just around the corner and projects opening and closing on a daily basis, taking your business organization standards to a new and improved level might seem like a huge undertaking.
 
How to be the buyer every seller wants to deal with
If you're shopping for a home this spring and summer, chances are you'll face increased competition from other buyers. So how do you ensure you not only land the home of your dreams, but get the best possible price from the seller and the best possible mortgage deal from your lender? By becoming the buyer every homeowner wants to sell to - a financially stable, credit-worthy, pre-approved purchaser.
 
Digging soon? Call 811 first for safety's sake
With winter forgotten and spring in the air, many homeowners are packing away their snow boots and rolling up their sleeves to get started on long-awaited home improvement projects. Across the country, homeowners and professionals alike will plan landscaping and home-improvement projects this season that require digging.
 
Upcycling: Breathe new life into decor with a dash of DIY inspiration
If you've ever looked around your house and gotten the urge to purge, you might consider pausing and first thinking about how you could transform that old, damaged piece of furniture or outdated light fixture into a fresh-faced showpiece for your home.
 
Roof maintenance tips for every season
From intense heat to extreme snow, your roof protects your house from the elements all year long. When is the last time you checked to make sure your roof was in good shape? No matter what the seasons are like in your area, now is the time to begin preparation for extreme weather by giving your roof a second look.
 
From golf to fishing: America's ultimate destinations for active travel
The word "vacation" means different things to different people. For some, it's lounging poolside and sleeping until noon. Others, however, savor the opportunity to get outside, try some new activities and indulge in their favorite pastimes for days on end. If you're one of the latter group, there are few better places to travel than right here in the United States.
 
Zapping top myths about laser hair removal
For people considering laser hair removal for the summer, there's good news - now is the perfect time to start. Easily hidden under typical cool weather clothing like bulky sweaters and leggings, skin is shielded from the sun and thus in perfect condition for hair removal. However, many men and women are on the fence when it comes to investing in long term hair removal due to several common misconceptions.
 
Seven rules for keeping your job search on track
The economy is starting to turn around, but competition for open jobs remains fierce. For job hunters, the mental and financial stresses mount every day they remain unemployed. To keep job-search momentum high and attitudes positive, it's important to follow a few simple steps from the experts.
 
Eight easy ways to organize - and maximize - a small bath
The bath serves a variety of uses, from a functional room to a serene sanctuary, a storage facility to a salon. And, whether you enjoy it yourself or share with the family, every bathroom is in need of one major thing - organization. To help keep your bath feeling more serene and less insane, follow these eight ideas to help improve your organization, maximize space and even add a bit of style.
 
Simple ways to save water, money and your landscaping this summer
With many states facing drought this summer, homeowners across the country will be looking for ways to save their landscaping while conserving water at the same time. Even if you're not in a drought-affected area, it pays to keep conservation in mind when it comes to watering outdoors. Using less water is good for the environment and your wallet.
 
Spring fling must-haves
Spring provides the perfect opportunity to host a party and show off all of the hard work you've put into your lawn and garden. Before your first guest arrives, make sure you have made all the preparations for your blooms to blossom, your garden to grow and your outdoor space to be pest free.
 
Listen up: For better hearing, work with an audiologist
When it comes to startling health statistics, here are several you may not have heard: 36 million American have a hearing loss, yet only one out of every four people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually wears one. The first step for finding the right hearing aid is to see an audiologist.
 
Impromptu party planning: How to create great gatherings in 30 minutes or less
Parents have never been more crunched for time. Balancing work demands with parental duties is complex - 56 percent of working moms and 50 percent of working dads say they find it very or somewhat difficult to balance these responsibilities, according to a 2013 report about modern parenthood from the Pew Research Center. But just because you're time strapped doesn't mean you need to stress when it comes time to host after-school activities or weekend gatherings with friends and family. With a few key strategies, even impromptu parties are a snap to pull together.
 
Sell your home faster with these cost-effective staging tips
Appearances count, especially when you're trying to sell a home. Even though the housing industry experts predict this spring will be a seller's market, it's important to grab every advantage when you're trying to sell your home. Staging - decorating a house to appeal to the broadest possible range of buyers - can make the difference between a quick sale or a long, painful linger on the market.
 
Backyard oasis planning made easy
Hooray for a holiday. You've got the day off, you've sent out the backyard barbecue invite and all your nearest and dearest are coming over to eat, drink and be merry. So, what's next? Whether you're a seasoned entertaining pro or a new host,here are some tips to make your backyard an oasis for a long holiday or any weekend.
 
New technologies offering hope for those with tinnitus - or ringing in the ears
If you experience a constant ringing in your ears that's bothersome at best and debilitating at worst, you are far from alone. Tinnitus affects roughly one in five Americans and about 16 million people have serious tinnitus that requires medical attention. It's also the most common disability for military veterans, since it can be caused by extended exposure to loud noise.
 
Tips for motorcycle riders: Hit the road and ride responsibly
Freedom. The open road. There's nothing quite like the big sky ahead of you and feeling the rumble of your motorcycle. It's motorcycle season across the United States and Canada. Warm weather accompanied by clear roads means it's time to seek adventure, even if that means ditching your car for your daily commute to and from work. But before heading out, motorcyclists should take heed, because in our automobile and truck-dominated society the odds are not on the side of motorcyclist. Consider this advice.
 
Food terms to help navigate the menu and the supermarket
When you're scanning a restaurant menu or walking the grocery store aisles, do you know what many of the food terms really mean? What designates "local," and what is the difference between organic and non-organic? Here is a helpful guide for staying in the know when it comes to what you eat.
 
Outdoor entertaining made easy
Patio season has arrived, and opportunities for outdoor social gatherings will abound in the coming months. Birthdays, graduations, showers, holidays and any other reasons to enjoy warm weather will call for unique outdoor party solutions that differ from indoor events. Here are a few ideas to make al fresco entertaining a snap.
 
Building project tips to ensure a successful and smooth build
Joey Logano, driver of the No. 22 Shell-Pennzoil Ford Fusion, recently started a huge project: building a race shop for his cars and equipment from the ground up. After deciding to build his own shop, Logano purchased a piece of land and started digging. The massive undertaking brought with it its own trials and learnings, but in the end, Logano took measures to build safely and securely. The project resulted in an impressive race shop that will be used for years to come.
 
Expert fitness tips for a healthy, effective summer slim-down
While children long for the lazy carefree days of summer, many adults view the season as a reason to be active and get healthy. Whether to look good for an upcoming beach vacation or simply to have the energy to enjoy the season to the fullest - setting health goals is a great first step. Sticking to those aspirations doesn't have to be difficult or stressful. Just follow a few expert tips and you'll look and feel great in no time.
 
Season's cleanings - tips to keep your home clean and clutter free
After a long winter, spring is finally in sight. Before the season is in full bloom and outdoor chores pile up, take advantage of spring showers to tackle the indoors first with easy home cleaning and organizing projects. To get your home in tip-top shape, start by breaking down your to-do list room by room, so you can create an easily achievable goal that will leave your house looking fabulous and you feeling refreshed.
 
Serving God and your country: Be the one service members seek to provide constant spiritual guidance both at home and overseas
Whatever their backgrounds, beliefs and duties, Sailors have religious needs that must be met while they are answering the call to serve their country. They need guidance, moral support and worship opportunities - services especially critical to help guide them through the challenges of the job and family life.
 
Going the extra mile: Secrets to keeping cars running longer on the roads
Hitting 100,000 miles on the odometer for most people means it's time to start car shopping. But for others it's a personal challenge to go the extra mile, save a little cash and take their cars another 100,000 miles.
 
Tips and trends to create the wedding of your dreams for less
When it comes to the big day, you want a wedding that suits you and your fiance perfectly, whether it's a casual outdoor affair or a formal black-tie event. One thing every couple can agree on is that planning a wedding shouldn't be stressful. A few insider tips and trends of 2013 will help you plan the wedding of your dreams without undue stress.
 
Make your house look like a 'million dollar listing' for less
A new report reveals houses are selling faster and for more money, yet another indicator of a rebounding housing market. This will challenge sellers to sharpen their competitive edge as more homeowners, encouraged by promising indicators, put their house on the market. Josh Altman, one of the top 10 realtors in the country and star of Bravo's hit TV show "Million Dollar Listing: L.A.," shares three strategies for making houses more desirable to buyers.
 
National Infant Immunization Week: a reminder of the importance of vaccination for children
Immunizations have had an enormous impact in helping to improve the health of children in the United States, according the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). While vaccination has helped to reduce many childhood diseases, some of these diseases still exist and could reappear if vaccination coverage wanes.
 
Tips on how to use Craigslist safely and responsibly
Need a bike to start getting into shape? Looking for a new job? Interested in renting a condo for that long-desired trip? Every day, millions of Americans turn to Craigslist.org to buy and sell items, find jobs, meet other people or find a vacation property to rent. More than 60 million people use the website and view an estimated 100 million ads per month in the U.S. alone, according to the company.
 
Small energy improvements that save big money in the new year
The beginning of the year is a great time to make positive changes in your home. While many will wait until March to embrace "spring cleaning" season and make home improvements, a few simple changes can be made now to help you conserve energy and start saving money right away. Here are some steps that can help lower energy consumption - and associated costs - in your home this month and throughout the year.
 
No need to buy new - a simple update will do
If you're like most homeowners, you have several furniture and decor pieces around the house that have seen better days. And while the natural response is to throw away outdated items and buy something new, even lackluster home objects deserve a second chance. You can easily transform your trash into treasure with a little creativity and some elbow grease.
 
Sure-grow guidance for first-time gardeners
Most of us want that home-grown, healthy goodness that veggie and herb gardens provide, but sometimes it's hard to figure out just where to begin. Gardening can be easy if you start with these six simple steps.
 
Transform garage sale castoffs into fun finds
As the warmer weather is upon us, it brings many new activities: baseball, picnics, beach time and - best of all - garage sales. People are purging what they don't need or no longer want. It's the perfect opportunity to turn their trash into your treasure. From outdated odds and ends to forgotten furniture, there is a wealth of worthy items just waiting to be found, re-imagined and re-purposed.
 
The surprising ingredient that makes favorite recipes tastier and healthier
Modern or current may not be the word that comes to mind when you think of cottage cheese, but this dairy case classic is experiencing a resurgence that is taking it beyond the diet plate to a starring role in how consumers eat today.
 
Financial planning insights for the LGBT community
Over the last decade, many companies have paid increasing attention to the buying power and consumer habits of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) market. But until recently, little attention has been focused on the financial experience of LGBT individuals.
 
Celebrate the grads in your life with financial gifts
Do you have a child in your life who will be graduating this spring? Whether it's from kindergarten or college, graduation marks the completion of one chapter in a young person's life and the start of a new adventure. Honor your grad's achievement by helping him or her save for the future with a digital U.S. Savings Bond.
 
Tips for baby boomers seeking divorce
Baby boomer couples that have been married 25 years or more are divorcing at record rates, according to a recent study by the National Center for Family and Marriage Research at Bowling Green University in Ohio. While overall divorce rates peaked in the 1980s at around 50 percent, divorce among baby boomer couples 50 years or older has doubled over the last 20 years. Here's what you need to know.
 
Keep your cool: Don't get stuck on the road this summer
Summer is the time for road trips, whether they cover thousands of miles across the country, or are "staycation" day trips. The most important component that makes your vehicle run is the engine. Your vehicle will last longer if you take care of the engine by following regularly scheduled maintenance as recommended by the manufacturer.
 
How to breathe easier in your own home this spring
With spring on the horizon, airborne allergens and pollutants can cause much grief to homeowners who suffer from breathing problems such as asthma and seasonal allergies. With the potential for increased irritation, allergy sufferers typically seek long-term, consistent relief any way they can.
 
Reinvent yourself: How to start your own (creative) business
Many graduates in creative fields like graphic design, interior design or Web design are opting to start their own businesses. This is because recent figures show only a slight reduction in the unemployment rate, and job growth is at its lowest in six months. So, how can you make your business a success?
 
Quick tips for getting the most out of your smartphone camera
Today, the majority of adults have a mobile phone, and we're using it for far more things than simply making phone calls. According to a 2012 report from The Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project, of the 85 percent of American adults who own a cellphone, 85 percent use their cellphones to take photos. With a few tips and tricks, you'll be able to take amazing photos with your phone's camera and impress your friends.
 
Green gardening tools and techniques that really work
Americans have embraced recycling and are enthusiastic about cleaner energy sources. Yet when it comes to caring for their outdoor environment, many people still use less earth-friendly tools and techniques. Advances in environmentally responsible products have made it possible for homeowners to effectively care for their gardens and landscaping, while protecting the environment at the same time.
 
Staying at the top of your game
We feel our best when we do our best. At the top of our game is where we all want to be. This is as true in the workplace as it is on the basketball court. But to stay at the top of your game at work and in life, you need to stay primed - ready for that next big play. It requires staying alert; keeping your skills sharp; and hearing your best. That's right - hearing your best. Listening is one of the top skills employers look for in those being promoted.
 
Creating the perfect sleep environment this spring
Everyone, including moms and doctors, can agree that a good night of sleep is necessary for good health, high energy, and an individual's overall well-being. Not getting enough good sleep - or rapid eye movement sleep - can affect the mind and body's ability to react appropriately to outside factors, the National Sleep Foundation reports.
 
Don't miss a beat this college basketball season
The college basketball tournament is one of the most exciting times of the year for basketball fans across the country, so much so that workplace productivity takes a nosedive. Whether you're watching from your desk or from your couch, the following tips can help you stay in the know this season and help make you the MVP among your friends and co-workers.
 
Set yourself up for the perfect season of outdoor entertaining
As temperatures warm, many of us can't wait to get outside and rediscover the joys of our outdoor spaces. One of the best ways to ensure the enjoyment of your space all season long is with some spring cleaning and upkeep of your yard and outdoor living spaces.
 
Better romance to beat the seasonal blues
As spring struggles to break through in much of the country, many of us can't help being affected and feeling comfort food, sitcoms and even chocolate aren't enough to lift our mood. Relationship expert Ian Kerner, Ph.D, the author of five books on sex and relationships, including "Sex Recharge," shares how to beat the seasonal blues by getting back into bed.
 
Four hot, new-home trends that can work for your remodel
If you're planning to renovate your home, you can tap some of the hottest trends showing up in new-home designs. Here are four new-home trends that offer strong returns on your time and money.
 
Housetraining your puppy: Tips for keeping your dog behaved and your home clean
Few things are as exciting as bringing home a new puppy. Whether chihuahua or Great Dane, a pup's playful antics delight people of all ages. Having a dog can bring many years of companionship and precious memories, but before you ask, "How much is that doggie in the window?" consider a few expert tips for positive housetraining.
 
Birdfeeder basics: Bring on backyard birds with the right feeders
When you dine, do you prefer clean and attractive tableware? Does ambiance enhance your enjoyment of your food? Birds feel the same way about their dining habits - the type and cleanliness of your bird feeders directly affects the number and species of birds that will visit your backyard this season. Here is some guidance for choosing the right feeder styles to attract the maximum number of feathered friends to your yard.
 
Address your skin's needs through a holistic approach to facial skincare
Many women cite a number of external factors that can trigger sensitive skin flare-ups, including harsh ingredients, weather and makeup. What they may not know is that lifestyle choices can also influence the health and appearance of their skin. Follow these top tips from the experts to get flawless skin.
 
Five questions to ask before hiring a real estate agent
Want to sell your property quickly? Looking for your dream house? Are you hoping to get the best deal possible during the complex process of buying or selling a home? With so much money - and often, emotion - at stake, going it alone is generally not the best way to reach your goals. The secret for getting exactly what you want: Work with a savvy real estate agent.
 
Experience an extraordinary life with diabetes
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately one in 10 Americans is living with diabetes and one in three adults could have diabetes by 2050. While every case requires an individual treatment plan, with the right attitude and management, people living with diabetes have an opportunity to overcome the challenges they face.
 
Five tips for kitchen redos
Feel the need to renovate? If so, you're not alone. Fifty-three percent of homeowners believe that now is a good time to remodel, according to a recent survey by Houzz.com. When deciding on where the makeover begins, look no farther than the kitchen. Kitchens are a major selling point for homebuyers, so a kitchen remodel is good for the home-selling price. Even if you have no plans to move, the kitchen gets more traffic than any other area of a home and serves as the family hub, so it deserves the attention. To ensure a successful project, keep in mind these kitchen-remodeling tips.
 
What to look for when buying a zero-turn mower
Ever wonder how those lawn-care guys get so much done in a day? They use zero-turn radius mowers that can significantly trim the time and effort involved in cutting grass. If you have a large yard to cut, a zero-turn mower can make your task quicker and easier.
 
Take control and mitigate mold growth in your home
Damp, dark areas of the home, such as an unfinished basement, can often be trouble spots for homeowners hoping to increase their living space. Left unfinished, these areas of the home can potentially suffer significant damage, be prone to flooding or develop mold. When it comes to home improvement, homeowners are wise to consider the affects of moisture and mold buildup and how they can be combated.
 
Busted: The top 4 most common pet myths
It's no secret that Americans love their pets. When it comes to U.S. pet ownership, 39 percent of households own at least one dog, and 33 percent own at least one cat, according to the Humane Society of the United States. Furry family members bring joy and excitement to a household, and providing the best care possible helps ensure pets have a long, healthy life. Unfortunately, with so much information available, it's easy to become confused about what's really best for them. Here's what you really need to know.
 
Rattling down the highway? What those common car noises mean
"What is that rattling? Is it serious?" We all can get a little paranoid about a new sound our car is making. Those sounds can certainly be annoying, but what people don't realize is sometimes those sounds may be linked to something more serious.
 
To comfort a cold or flu, home remedies make a world of difference
For generations, families have passed down home-spun remedies that can help loved ones feel that even during those sniffles and sneezes, they're cared for. Having a bowl of grandma's famous soup or your aunt's special healing concoction can help your body heal and set your mind at ease. Recently, a group of Latina mom bloggers shared their families' home remedies that bring comfort to loved ones.
 
How to freshen up your spring cuisine
For food fanatics, spring is the perfect time of year to add fresh produce back into your recipes and meals. Using seasonal ingredients can really help capture and enhance the flavors of spring and bring your cuisine to life. Whether you're using first yields from your garden or visiting the farmers market as soon as it opens, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of the season.
 
Dogged by pricey pet care? Cost-cutting tips for pet owners
These days, everyone is searching for ways to save money and stretch budgets. Consumer experts advise people to sniff out deeper discounts, saving opportunities and additional ways to cut costs. For pet owners, it can feel challenging to cut costs without compromising on care.
 
Shrug off that winter chill with smart home improvement projects
Spring is drawing nearer and, for homeowners, now is the time to shrug off the winter chill and think about home improvement plans. Building industry experts say that it's an ideal time to carefully consider and prioritize your plans - both cosmetic and structural.
 
Traveling made simple: easy, convenient snacks to tag along on your next trip
With family vacation time nearly here, it's tempting to give in to "fast" food options on the road. But faster options usually leave a lot to be desired as far as nutrition goes, especially for little ones. Try these creative ways to spice up your family's snack routine and help you enjoy delicious and nutritious snacks on the go.
 
Five things to do before sending your child to camp wearing hearing aids
Summer is approaching and many parents will be sending their children off to camp. If your child wears hearing aids and is set to attend a summer camp for kids of all abilities, there are five things you can do to help your child get the most from his or her summer camp experience.
 
Brooke Burke-Charvet takes on a challenge for allergy relief
For many, spring's warmer weather is welcomed with spending more time outside. But for allergy sufferers, the season can mean facing symptoms that make them look and feel bad.
 
Top three reasons to find your banking bliss
What would you do with an extra hour this week? Maybe you would sit down to watch your favorite TV program, jump back into that book you've been dying to finish, or pick up the phone to catch up with an old friend. Gaining an hour this week may be as simple as having a good relationship with your bank.
 
A bright idea: Tips to save money, energy with LED light bulbs
With the U.S. incandescent phaseout wrapping up in January 2014, there are a lot of confusing messages in the lighting aisle using unfamiliar words like "lumens" and "kelvins." The solution is simple, instead of getting lost in the maze of bulb options, go for the one that will make your life easier and save you money.
 
Tips to navigate the real estate landscape and find the perfect home
For most Americans your home is the biggest ticket item you will ever purchase. It's no wonder that people can take months, and sometimes even years, to find the perfect home. When you walk into a house that's on the market, many times the homeowner or real estate agent has "staged" it to ensure that you focus on the home's greatest assets and overlook its flaws. Your job is to look past all that to see if this house is right for you.
 
2013 tax season tips
It's tax season and, as always, there are many new rules that can create traps for the unwary. But with a few tips and tricks, you can help minimize your taxes and maximize your overall long-term financial position.
 
Stop your relationship rut: 3 simple steps to a fresh start this Valentine's Day
Feeling like you're in a relationship rut? You're not alone. Whether you're single or married, getting stuck in a routine may be normal, but that's no excuse to keep on down the same path. Take control of your love life and break out of your relationship habits. Relationship expert and author of "Cheat On Your Husband With Your Husband,"Andrea Syrtash, shares three simple steps to help you identify your patterns, make small changes and ultimately decide if this is the right relationship for you.
 
More beauty, less beast in your lawn and garden
A tale as old as time, true as it can be ... insects, weeds and poor fertilization are the beasts that take away from the beauty of plants and flowers in our lawns, gardens and even homes. To maintain a home and landscape your neighbors envy, interiors and exteriors should remain pest-free, and plants should be fed with the proper nutrients to stay healthy all-season-long
 
Deductions that could dramatically cut your tax bill
For all the talk about taxes during the "fiscal cliff" debate at the end of 2012, many people are still left wondering what it means to them as the April 15 filing date approaches. Here are 10 ways you can cut your tax bill and maximize your return.
 
Cleaning and preparing your grill for the barbecue season
Without a proper cleaning of your grill, buildup and grease will keep you from attaining the succulent flavors in your foods that your appliance is capable of producing. A clean grill also helps prevent flare-ups and grease fires. Here are three important steps to returning your grill to perfect grilling status - which could lead to your crowning as the neighborhood grill master:
 
Five tips for lighter, brighter summer eating
Simple, fresh and delicious - that's summertime eating at its best. Less time in the kitchen means more time to enjoy the bright delicious flavors of just picked berries, peaches, greens and other vegetables. Follow these five tips for great summer meals.
 
The wedding shoe trend for everyone: pain-free and pretty
Sparkles, spangles and color, new or vintage, whatever your preference in wedding shoe styles there's one trend that every bride should get behind: comfort. Here is some advice for choosing the most comfortable options in some popular wedding styles.
 
Three stress-free tricks to refresh your home from floor to ceiling
Spring is the time of year for renewal. So, it's no surprise that springtime finds most people planning to rejuvenate their spaces. Follow these three tips to give your home a stress-free, springtime makeover.
 
Educate yourself before starting the path to a new career
If you're looking to start a career - whether it's because you're just beginning your journey as a working adult or because you're ready for a change in life - you should know that the process is much larger than just getting a degree and looking for a job.
 
The 5 money habits that can help you find true wealth
When did money get so complicated? From spending and charity to saving and investing, it's hard to know exactly what to do with your finances. Cut through the confusion and consider five smart ways you can use your money to your advantage today.
 
Your first resume - dos and don'ts
If you're heading out into the workforce for the first time, there's plenty of prep work to do. An employer's first impression of you could very well be your resume. Here are some tips that might help.
 
Top technology trends for 2013 that make your life easier
Whether you are a college student, working parent or empty-nester, modern life has never been busier. Luckily, a variety of technology innovations are dramatically affecting the way we live, helping us streamline our routines, reduce stress and maximize each minute of the day. Which new technologies are proving to be indispensable?
 
How to support your friend in a split
When a marriage ends in divorce, it's not just the couple who is involved. Friends and family members are also part of the process and often play many different parts. Support can make a critical difference to your friend, but unfortunately, doesn't come with how-to manual.
 
A tech refresh: Top reasons to buy a new PC
At 4 years old, your child is probably adorable. But your 4-year-old PC - not so much. If you find you have plenty of time to brew coffee, prepare your cup, drink it down and start on the next while still waiting for your PC to boot up in the morning, it may be time for a new computer.
 
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