Saturday

Cheap chops: How to cut your own bangs between hair appointments


Have you ever tried to trim your own hair? C’mon. ‘Fess up. It’s time to come clean. We’ve all done this. Even a kindergartner loves to cut hair!

Avoid the rolling salon.

Hey, it happens! My daughter came home from the first day of kindergarten with a not-so-trendy new hairstyle. Although she had boarded the school bus that morning with a darling new haircut, she arrived home with a whole new asymmetrical look.

Her brand-new seatmate on the bus had clipped her locks with safety scissors, as they bounced through a subdivision.

Of course, the bus driver denied this, until I boarded the bus and found the pile of blonde hair under my daughter’s assigned seat. He apologized at length. That afternoon, the principal and superintendent telephoned me personally.

Years later, I have decided to count my blessings that no one decided to take up ear piercing or tattooing on the bouncing bus!

Don’t try this at home. (Of course you will.)

Whether procrastinating or simply trying to stretch our dollars, many of us will occasionally cheat and try to cut our own hair.

In a particularly honest moment, I admitted to my hairstylist that I had trimmed my own hair. She’s known me for over ten years, so this was no news flash. First, she groaned a bit. Then, succumbing to my stubbornness, she showed me how to trim bangs between appointments.

Here’s how to cut your own bangs.

The most important rule is this: Only trim your bangs. Leave the rest to the experts! After all, the bangs are really the most critical portion anyway. If your bangs work, the rest of your style can probably wait a week or two.

Use a comb to separate the bang section. (This usually forms an arc or triangle at the front of your crown.)  Be careful that you do not carve additional lengthy hairs into the bang section.

Fasten the rest of the hair securely out of the way, using gripper jaw clips, barrettes, or hairpins. A little spritz of water or hair gel will help to keep it back.

Comb bangs directly forward. Pinch them between your first two straightened fingers. Pull the bangs tautly down over your nose.

Using a very sharp pair of scissors, gently trim BELOW your fingers (never above them).

For the straightest line, cut from the center out, on each side. This prevents a sloping cut, from one side to another.

Don’t try to cut huge chunks of bangs in each snip. Take your time to achieve the best results.

Always leave bangs much longer than you think you want them. Drying and styling tend to shrink bang length and add lift, which makes them appear much shorter than you thought they were. It’s better to trim your bangs less, and more often, than to hack off too much and regret it!

Make an appointment for a real haircut.

Remember! Do-it-yourself bang trims are only a temporary fix. It’s best to leave feathering, layering, and other techniques to the real stylists.

Do we learn from our haircutting mistakes? Nope! Hand me those scissors, will you?

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Cheap chops: How to cut your own bangs between hair appointments

Created by this user, including public domain artwork

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Friday

Valentine's Day 2015 - Best wishes from Practically at Home

Valentine's Day 2015 - Best wishes from Practically at Home

May your mailbox be filled with merry messages.
May your sweet tooth be satisfied with a surplus of chocolate treats.
May your day be filled with happy surprises.
And may your heart be filled with love.

Happy Valentine's Day all around!

         LAN - 2015





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Super Bowl Party: 4-course - 4-quarter super menu




Super Bowl Party hosts: Want to feed a football-loving family or a full-scale party crowd with fast, fun food? Here’s a quarter-by-quarter guide to catering the big game with no red flags. You pick the plays!

First, grab a bundle of colorful paper napkins, plates, balloons, and other disposable goods in the colors of your favorite team. Or be a real sport, and mix the rival team colors for Super Bowl Sunday.

Add a pennant or two, if you wish. After all, if you host the party, you have the home team advantage.

Wear a black-and-white striped shirt, if you want, just like a referee.

OK, start the clock. Let’s make a run for it – with this 4-quarter and 4-course Super Bowl Party menu. That’s the trick. Serve one course per quarter in the big game.

Don’t forget to set out a bunch of fun Super Bowl snacks too. Pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, and chips are perennial favorites.

  1. Super Bowl recipe: Scrimmage Salsa Supreme

  1. Super Bowl recipe: Spiral Spinach-Strawberry Salad


  1. Super Bowl recipe: Place Kickers Potato Chowder

  1. Super Bowl recipe: Sideline Spiced Cider

While you’re at it, why not satisfy sweet-toothed Super Bowl Party guests by inviting them to construct their own Super Bowl Sundaes? Just set out some ice cream tubs, an assortment of toppings, and a pile of paper bowls. Let them do the rest. You can’t beat that winning percentage!

After the final time out has been called, it will be time to call in your special teams to collect cups, plates and other items. Tackle the cleanup job by calling in reinforcements! If they hesitate, you can always drop a flag and call a foul!

Happy Super Bowl Sunday. And may the best team win.

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Super Bowl Party: 4-course – 4-quarter super menu –
Created by this user, including public domain artwork

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Tuesday

Easy fixes: Don't cry over window screen tears



Autumn is here. Colder weather beckons bugs indoors, especially when window and door screens have tiny tears or rips. These unwelcome visitors tend to creep in, especially at night, when indoor lights draw them through open windows.

Replacing screens on windows and doors can be costly. Is there a simple fix?

If a screen contains a tiny tear or rip (not an actual gaping hole), a little clear nail polish can do the trick. Just paint it on, and let it dry. It may take a few coats, but it works.

Hey, it works for nylon stockings and pantyhose too. Why not try nail polish on a torn window screen?

Or you could purchase a clear repair adhesive product, made specifically for such jobs.

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What if your window or door screen has a small hole?

For a small screen hole, a little hand sewing can work. It may not be pretty, but it will close up the gap. Try using black or dark grey thread, and choose a sewing needle that fits easily through the screen mesh. Follow the grid pattern of the screen, and sew a few rows past the open hole.

Larger screen holes must, of course, be patched. Purchase a window screen repairkit, screen repair tape, or a small piece of screen mesh, and hand-stitch or staple it over the hole in the door or window screen. Or take the entire screen to a hardware store for a total replacement, if absolutely needed.

Autumn is the ideal time for mending torn window and door screens, as many folks are switching to solid glass storm doors and storm windows (or at least sealing windows with insulating layers) anyway.

Why not fix those ripped screens before storing them for the winter months?

Image/s:
Public domain photos

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Sunday

12 creative ways to use muffin tins




Muffins are marvelous, to be sure. Virtually all bakers of all ages and cooking ability levels have muffin tins in their cupboards. But besides making muffins, what else can you do with this compartmentalized cookware?

Consider these 12 creative ways to use muffin tins.

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These 12 muffin pan uses are arranged alphabetically for easy reference.

  1. Cupcakes – With or without liners, a muffin tin is the go-to item for the job.
  2. Cheesecakes – Pour the filling over some graham cracker crust in each muffin cup, and bake.
  3. Chocolate cups – Chill a muffin tin. Dip the bottom into melted chocolate, covering the outside of each section. Chill again until chocolate hardens.
  4. Cookie cups – Press homemade or slice-and-bake cookie dough over the outside of each muffin tin cup. Bake as usual, cookie side up.
  5. Eggs – Pour scrambled eggs or omelet eggs into greased muffin tin cups. Bake.
  6. Ice cream scoops – Shortcut sundae  serving for a large gathering by scooping ice cream into a muffin tin. Cover, and freeze immediately until ready to serve.
  7. Jello molds – Prepare gelatin of any flavor, as directed. Pour it into a muffin tin, and add fruit or other accents before chilling to make easy individual molds.
  8. Pancakes – Grease muffin tin cups. Ladle prepared pancake mix into each one, and bake.
  9. Quiches – Put pie crust into each muffin pan section. Pour egg mixture on top, and bake.
  10. Taco shells – Stretch soft tortillas over the outside of muffin tin cups. (Jumbo muffin pans are ideal for this.) Bake until crispy to make small edible taco salad bowls .
  11. Tarts – Use muffin tins to make miniature pies for a special dessert.
  12. Toddler fun meals – Fill each section of a muffin tin with a different finger food for a young child. Choose apple slices, banana bits, Cheerios, cheese chunks, Goldfish crackers, hot dog pieces, and other favorites.

Outside the kitchen, muffin tins are super for setting up crafts. How about sorting beads, sequins, or buttons into a muffin tin for a handicraft project?

Image/s:
Public domain clipart

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