From the category archives:

Home Economics

International Home + Housewares Show ~ What American Cooks CAN Use

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It felt like Dubai crashed into Bed, Bath and Beyond. A trade show of stuff with something for any home on the planet. This was THE trade show for new or improved, classic or kitchy, high end or cheap, useful or useless STUFF. If you are girly, it’s mecca.

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Anybody Can Install This Kitchen Utensil Rod

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Does your kitchen lack storage space for utensils?  Look at them closely — most can be hung.  Get ready for a nifty and impossibly easy craft — install a Kitchen Utensil Rod.  I made this with a spring-loaded curtain rod and some common "S" hooks.  That’s it, baby.

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Container Gardening ~ 6 Take Aways From My 5-Week UCLA Extension Course

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The new house has no available dirt to dig and plant. What we have are decent sized patios, balconies, and a rooftop terrace.  Thatzalotta square footage that still needs landscaping. Suddenly, our potted plants looked pitiful to me.  Hooray!  The UCLA Extension summer series offered what I really needed – a course in Container Gardening.

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Why Doesn’t This Light Switch Work? Mystery Solved!

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In our 35 years of marriage, don’t you think Larry would have shared this pearl of wisdom before now? Mind you, he didn’t actually SOLVE the mystery of “why can’t I figure out which outlet is operated by this light switch?  I plug into EVERY @#$% ONE!”  But he told me something of tremendous value […]

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Hostess Gift: Your Best Dressing Recipe ~ Yes, I Am CHEAP

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Bring a party gift of your best vinaigrette recipe THIS WAY; your host will totally dig it.  No matter that it’s just a recycled jar. Once the dressing is consumed and the jar is washed, the recipe is still there and he/she can prepare it again and again.

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Kahlua Chocolate Decadence Brownie– A Perfect 5-Inch Cake to Save You Forevermore From Sending Pricey Mail Order Baked Goods

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Success is sweet.  I feel like I kinda beat the system. My scratch-baked 5-inch Kahlua Chocolate Decadence Brownie fits in a mailable flat rate box. What started me on this project was the Harry and David cake ordered for my sis’s sinus surgery “get well” gift. GULP!

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Valentine to Self: Little Ways to Live a More Romantic Life

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This isn’t how to get more nookie. Romance doesn’t always mean sex. The definition of romance is an idealistic feeling, a desire for adventure, chivalry, and love.  Larry bought me two bunches of daffodils yesterday at Trader Joes. He knows I particularly love them because I get to watch them bloom. That’s romantic.

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Garage Sale Home Economics ~ 10 Lessons You May Not Read Elsewhere

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Garage sale bottom line: $1,937. Hot, sweaty, grimy but VERY satisfied on my part.  Larry hates this type of requirement in life; it never balances Effort-to-Income. Too bad, it’s a necessity in this scenario.

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Host a Block Party and Reap Warm Fuzzies

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First question you’re asking: “Why would I want to host a block party?”  Easy: to meet your neighbors. Longer answer: so neighbors meet each other, start sharing ideas, compare safety info, exchange resources like babysitters and handymen, indulge in a little kvetching (405 Fwy. widening project a hot topic here) and my favorite bennie, see […]

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Travel Must-Have ~ My Teensy Eyeglass Tool Kit

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There are people who take trips, and people who travel. And then there are Seasoned Travelers. This year alone, we rang in the New Year in Havana, Cuba.  Mid-year trek to Machu Picchu and the Galapagos. Thanksgiving, visit Africa a fourth time, this one to see the Rwandan gorillas. Seasoned travelers carry useful stuff…

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Meet My Knives ~ And Discover A Home Economist’s Dirty Little Secret

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My dirty secret: I @#$%-up knives. I’m not the only guilty party in this household. Yet, we still possess three received as wedding gifts back in the stone age (in the photo, the three at far right). If you want my take on how to stay married for 99 years, read that here. Not included […]

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Count The Silver ~ A Post-Party Tip

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When I was a bride and hosted my first extended family party, my mother-in-law offered to help clean up – did I want her to “count the silver?” Shocked, annoyed, what an insult!  Did she REALLY think a family member would pocket a spoon?  (If you’re “in the know,” you see where this is going…)

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The Chef, The Designer, The Kitchen and The Party

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Ordinarily, I write here about cooking, trips and/or the antics of our Gourmet Club. But for this post, I was urged by Club Member Laura to write about the KITCHEN of our most recent dinner party, and the DESIGNER, who also happens to be in our Club. Laura is right, it doesn’t always have to […]

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