simple ingredients, simply prepared


    where it all starts


    our communities, our friends and ourselves


    saving for the good times and the bad


    help for the caregiver


    crafting a beautiful living space


    growing your own


    for a sane and happy home


    everyday style


    knitting, sewing and more


    keeping them healthy and whole


    information and home remedies

    photo credit: bohomisfit on flickr

Diary of a New Homemaker

Nov 24

In Which I Am Burned Out of My House

On November 13th, at 2:30 in the morning, we ran for our lives from my home of 27 years.

Sep 22

Me on Family Finance at Mint.com!

I was interviewed on Mint.com!

Newest Article

10 Truly Multi-Purpose Kitchen Tools For A Clutter-Free Kitchen

If you're looking around and wondering how you wound up with 15 spatulas, 12 wooden spoons, eight or so ladles and six kitchen electronics (half of which you have no idea what they do), then it's time to break open some drawers, clear off some shelves and take your kitchen down to its useful and clutter-free basics.

In our kitchen, which is comfortable for one person but a tight squeeze for two, we've narrowed it down to tools -- outside of essentials like pots, pans and mixing bowls, of course -- that are not only used on a regular basis, but serve at least two purposes, if not more.

Autumn, Back to School and Halloween

From House to Home 10/3/07

  • Have your curtains cleaned, dust all blinds and baseboards before you place your furniture, and have your windows washed. Your house will sparkle.
  • Get ready for Halloween by planning a costume party for different generations of your family and friends. Pick a theme and include old-fashioned games such as bobbing for apples.
  • Assign a chore to each family member to make life run more smoothly in coming months. For exmaple, have one child set the table nightly, and another do the dishes. Rotate tasks so everyone gets to learn something new.
  • A mah-jongg set with creamy plastic tiles the size of dominoes with pretty symbols adds cachet to a family room. It can create the theme of the room with the proper mah-jongg table, tiles encased in an alligator-embossed box and the mah-jongg pad or cloth.

Click through for more tips!

From Our Archives

Hand Sanitizers and Safety

Dear EarthTalk: My pediatrician swears by those gel hand sanitizers for lowering the risk of my family getting sick during cold and flu season. But I've also heard that these products can be dangerous to kids if ingested. Are there any safer alternatives that work just as well?
--Jason Blalock, Oakland, CA

A 2005 study by the Children's Hospital in Boston compared illness rates across a study group of 292 families—half of them got hand sanitizers while the other half were given literature advising them of the benefits of frequent hand washing. The findings revealed that those families who used hand sanitizers experienced a 59 percent reduction in gastrointestinal illnesses and that the increased use of sanitizers correlated to a decreased spread of contagions in general.

Oh no -- your toddler has befriended the daughter of the frostiest mom at playgroup! How to deal when you have to spend time with someone you don't particularly care for.
The one thing in your life that should suck
More than what cleaners to use--what cleaners to avoid