Home Economics

How to Paint a Permanent Outdoor Rug for Under $150 ~ On Concrete or Rooftop or Deck or Patio or Wherever


We have a rooftop patio, awesome for watching the sun set, seeing planes take off from LAX over that hill in the distance, snooping on goings-on (a few years back, Modern Family filmed an episode directly below, FUN watching). Unfortunately, the sun up there is brutal. In a single year, our outdoor rug disintegrated. Lightbulb […]

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Tiny Travel Tip: “Red Dot” System–Plus More Tiny Tips From Travel Bloggers


The Red Dot System wasn’t my idea; friend Caroline clued me in for our first African Safari trip. Using a red Sharpie pen, tag old clothes and shoes, then leave behind at the end of a trip. We’re not talking about clothes for a posh Riviera Cruise… more like schlepping around Morocco.

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Renaissance Halloween Costume Secret: eBay + Old Duvet + The Cat’s Toy (P.S. Read How I Made The Hat)


This is sewing. Cheap project, but still requires knowing how to use a sewing machine, read a pattern, cut fabric and follow instructions. Here’s how I made my Renaissance Halloween costume for about $70.

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Unreachable Pantry Space? Build Tilted Shelves–Photo Tutorial


Our home has nine-foot ceilings. The kitchen cabinets had – until now –miles of inaccessible pantry space up in the nosebleed section. Clearly a home economist did NOT design this kitchen. Just tilt those shelves! Here’s my easy photo how-to.

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International Home + Housewares Show ~ What American Cooks CAN Use


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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Anyone Can Install This Kitchen Utensil Rod

Easy utensil rack

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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Five Holiday Gift Ideas ~ Something for Every Style of Giver

collage christmas gifts

Need an idea?  Cheap?  Do it yourself?  A little pricey but nice?   Blogger Dorothy’s recent post on Shockingly Delicious reminded me to post MINE.  I really DID have a gift ideas post in the works.  Where’s my list, where’s my list?  FOUND IT — under a pile of recipe pages torn from magazines.  Here you […]

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


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


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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Travel Must-Have ~ My Teensy Eyeglass Tool Kit


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


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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How to Fold A Napkin Into An Ostrich

Thumbnail image for How to Fold A Napkin Into An Ostrich


Tablescaping at the Lianshulu Lodge in Namibia was fanciful. Each meal was decorated with fresh-cut branches, intriguing little pods, local craft art such as warthogs and dragonflies. One evening, the napkins were folded as ostriches, and later we were taught the technique. I was EXCITED for the demo, don’t laugh.

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Shirley Corriher’s Touch of Grace Biscuits


If you’re a baking fan, you’re a Shirley Corriher fan. Renowned food scientist, writer and frequent guest on Alton Brown’s Good Eats show, Shirley delivers all that’s good about Southern cooking. And, of course, she is the author of my favorite food science book, CookWise. Shirley is a what we home economists love – a […]

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