This Valentine's Day, why not give your sweetie a head and neck massage? It's easy to do, doesn't cost a thing, and is way more bliss-inducing than a box of Russell Stover candies. Watch as stylist Laura Kingston of Barnets in San Francisco shows you how to give a salon-style massage. (Just be sure to make sure you get a reciprocal rubdown, too!)
I can't rave enough about the wonders of Nature's Miracle when potty training or cleaning pup's playthings. However, truthfully, I haven't stocked a bottle since my pet was a wee babe since he's got the peeing thing down pat. However, many dogs can have a repeat problem with stuff coming out the other end.Yesterday morning, my poor pooch threw up on his bed and then hid in my bedroom, looking as embarrassed as this doxie. Since I didn't want to deal with laundry right before rushing to work, but also didn't want to let the stain (and smell) set in, I went into my kitchen and grabbed two staples.
Find out what they are and what I did when you read more
In order to make it feel like a more elevated supper, over the years, I've gotten pretty crafty with the garnishes and toppings I've tried on my favorite soups. Take a chance and stray away from the typical shredded cheese and crumbled crackers. Mix things up tonight with these more unexpected soup garnishes that you probably have on hand already! For some ideas sure to bring a new sense of life to a seemingly bland weeknight meal, read more.
San Francisco-based interior designer Martha Angus is the first West Coast designer to curate a boutique on Gilt Home. When I asked Martha about her inspiration for the boutique's look and product line, she noted, "We try to be true to ourselves. We love graphic things — you know black and white and color — and we just thought that was our signature. We just felt like more color, more punch, would be fun. And we feel like we have done pretty well with it."
Martha offered some fun tips for decorating your home, pulling some of her favorite designs from the sale. Keep reading to get inspired to refresh your home's look in 2012!
When you're celebrating the onset of 2012 tomorrow night, don't fall short on chilled bubbly. If you've got a warm bottle of Champagne and very little time to make it cold, we've got a fast solution for you.
Place your sparkler into an ice bucket or another tall plastic container. Add ice to the bottom and sprinkle the layer with a few tablespoons of salt. Continue to repeat layering ice and salt until the combination reaches the neck of your bottle; add cold water until it reaches ice level.
In a mere ten minutes, your bottle will be chilled. This method of chilling works much faster than simply sitting the bubbly in ice. Adding water increases the chilly surface area, and salt speeds the drop in water temperature (along with ice), making your sparkling wine frigid much faster. Have your own secret tip for chilling Champagne? If so, we'd love to hear about it!
With this season's chilly temps, it's especially important to keep your pet toasty and safe. Heidi Ganahl, CEO and founder of Camp Bow Wow, shares some important tips on caring for your furball this Winter:
- Never let your dog off the leash in snow or ice. Although it may seem like a fun option to let your pup frolic in the snow, it can prove to be extremely dangerous. Dogs tend to lose their sense of smell in extremely cold weather and become lost. Believe it or not, Winter has the highest rates for lost dogs!
- Thoroughly wipe down your dog when he comes back into the house after being in the snow. It is common for dogs to ingest salts for melting ice as well as antifreeze, which can prove to be very toxic.
- Similar to how you should never leave your dog in the car during the Summer, the same goes for the Winter; a car can act almost like a freezer in the Winter, trapping heat outside and causing your pet to freeze to death.
- Fresh water is a must at all times, as your dog may be more likely to lick ice and eat snow if he/she is thirsty from lack of water. Similar to the above point, it is common for dogs to ingest snow-melting-salts and antifreeze.
Any tips to add?
Source: Flickr User nikoretro
If you're still searching for a passable gift for a friend or family member who seems to have everything she needs, put down that credit card for a moment and consider giving a charitable gift instead. There are amazing charities and non-profit organizations out there doing great work, which could definitely use your charitable gift this year.
For friends and family members who appreciate charitable gifts and have a deep love for causes related to design, architecture, and home, here are 10 gifts they'll be sure to cherish. (These gifts are tax-deductible, too, so you can feel good about your holiday giving and feel good about your taxes.) Of course, this is only a tiny fraction of the charities that need your support. If none of these seem to fit your gifting agenda, make sure to check out charities in your area, too!
- Located in Boston, The Food Project turns abandoned urban lots into productive farms that make nutritious fresh produce available in former food deserts. Around 40 percent of the food grown is donated to hunger relief organizations and homeless shelters, or sold at below-market rates at farmers' markets.
- The Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum is the United States' only museum completely dedicated to historic and contemporary design. With over 250,000 objects, the Museum holds the largest design collection in the country. Contribute with a gift amount or a membership.
- Berkeley's Ecology Center is a public resource for reliable information, tools, hands-on training, referrals, strategies, infrastructure, and models for sustainable living.
- Architecture For Humanity strives to create a more sustainable future through its network of more than 50,000 professionals who lend their time and expertise to help bring design, construction, and development services where they are most critically needed across the world.
- The National Coalition For Homeless Veterans provides advice and assistance to policymakers, Congress and the federal agencies involved with homeless veteran issues and service providers with the goal of ending homelessness among veterans.
- The National Housing Law Project is a law and advocacy center dedicated to housing justice for the poor. For over 40 years, NHLP has used the law to increase and preserve the supply of decent affordable housing, to improve existing housing conditions, including physical conditions and management practices, to expand and enforce low-income tenants' and homeowners' rights, and to increase opportunities for racial and ethnic minorities.
- Habitat For Humanity helps to provide home ownership opportunities through the building of safe, energy efficient, and stable homes, in partnership with the potential home owners through its "sweat equity" program. Habitat For Humanity seeks to "eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from the world and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action."
- The American Folk Art Museum is devoted to the preservation, conservation, and interpretation of traditional folk art and creative expressions of contemporary self-taught artists from the United States and abroad.
- West Oakland's City Slicker Farms has been working to create food justice and improve the environment in West Oakland since 2001 through a series of gardens, workshops, and related projects for the community.
- The Good Shepherd Center in Los Angeles helps homeless women rebuild their lives so they and their children will experience a brighter future. Through housing, employment and other supportive services, we offer women hope and the opportunity to achieve independence.
Do you have a favorite cause or charity that you give to each year? Leave the name and link in the comments below.
Still haven't taken that perfect shot of the kids for your holiday card? Skip the traditional group shot and go candid to create a memorable card! On-the-go shutterbug, Lauri Levenfeld teaches moms how to capture interesting images of their tots in her Zoom Mommy-Snap and Stroll workshops. "Holiday cards are all about reaching out to the people you love and sharing a little bit about where you are in your life and how you've been," she said. "Instead of writing a novel, the easiest way to tell your loved ones about your family is to create an image that is about your life," Levenfeld added. Check out her five fabulous tips.
All photos courtesy of: Zoom Photography
On Black Friday, you can find me curled up at home with my friends and relatives, enjoying Thanksgiving pumpkin pie for breakfast and avoiding the crowds. I do shop Small Business Saturday — I perhaps enjoyed it a bit too much this year, as my bank statement may attest. But what I really enjoy is shopping Cyber Monday. Here are a few of my favorite reasons for shopping today.
- In my opinion, shopping with your feet on the coffee table is a lot better than pounding the pavement — or hitting the malls — to try to get your hands on that coveted sale item.
- Some of my favorite independent online shops don't have actual physical stores, which means their Cyber Monday sales are even more exciting, as online is the only place to get their deals.
- You can also shop Etsy for Cyber Monday. Just plug "Cyber Monday" into the search box to see what deals await you.
- I like to browse through my Twitter stream to find tweeted and retweeted Cyber Monday deals. Even better? Most of the tweets link directly to the sales. A click or two is all it takes to get shopping.
- It also helps to get a little help from your online friends. Today, we're letting all of our Facebook friends know about last-minute Cyber Monday sales by posting about the sales on our Facebook wall. (Are you following CasaSugar yet on Facebook?)
If you're hosting guests this Thanksgiving, you'll want to keep them cozy and comfortable with a well-equipped guest room. Even if your guest "room" is just a pull-out couch or an air bed on the living room floor, you can still make them feel welcome and loved with a few essential items.Want to know what's top on my list? See if you already own these basic essentials that will make any good guest room (or temporary guest space) great when you read more