Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Clean Grill

We're are in the thick of grilling season and many of us have a little more "seasoning" on our grill than we should. At least some of us call it seasoning...others call it burned food.  But worry no more, removing those filthy grates and then scrubbing until your fingers turn purple is a thing of the past.  This tip from Real Simple is worth trying:

As soon as you remove the food, give the grill grates a quick scrape with a long handled stiff bristle brush, like these.

Now for the fun part, let the burning coals do the work for you - the food bits will cook off and your grates will be cleaned and seasoned for your next cookout.  If you use a gas grill, just leave the heat on for a while after you're done to accomplish the same purpose.  It works just like a self-cleaning oven!

Do you have any grilling tips?

Photo courtesy of andrewmalone on

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Curly Girl

I read this book, Curly Girl, a few summers ago and it changed the way I style and care for my wavy hair.  In the winter months, I straighten my hair with my favorite straightener because I like it better straight.  But in the summer months, it's a losing battle so I go wavy.  I learned several tips from Ms. Massey, author of Curly Girl:

Use less shampoo.  Shampoo strips your hair of natural oils and ruins your curls.  Only use shampoo to clean your scalp, your locks don't need it.

Condition the ends of your hair and then run your fingers through your hair to evenly distribute the conditioner.  Allow the water to run over your hair and then do NOT disturb the curls afterwards.  This means no towel wrapping, wringing or combing.  Trust me on this one.  You simply flip your head over and use your hands or a towel to "scrunch" the curls to get the moisture out.  Once out of the shower, use a small hand towel to continue to dry it by scrunching again until it's almost dry.

To style, choose a clear light-weight styling product to hold the curls in place.  Ms. Massey does not recommend a curling mouse - they can weigh your curls down. Spray the gel in your hands and then scrunch and style the curls until you like the way they fall. I've used both Pantene Curl Enhancing Spray Gel and Suave Professional Captivating Curls Spray Gel with success.  If you have one you love, please do share!

Continue to scrunch the curls with a drying towel until your hair is dry or you're ready to leave the house.  I think this works because it gets the moisture out of the bottom of the curls first, allowing them to spring up.

I hope you enjoy these curly hair tips!  If you're interested in learning more, please read Ms. Massey's book. If you have any tips of your own to share, we'd love to hear them!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Lower Blood Pressure

Want to eat your way to lower blood pressure?  According to an article on you can increase your circulation and lower your blood pressure simply by eating watermelon. If that isn't a sweet tip, I don't know what is!

Also, store the watermelon at room temperature until you are just about to cut into it. (Chill it for a few minutes before serving if you like it cold.) You'll maximize its nutritional value by allowing it to ripen on the counter.

How do you like to enjoy watermelon?

Photo courtesy of mynameisharsha on