Expert reporter, writer, editor, project leader for consumer business and lifestyle websites, magazines and newspapers. Focus: Travel, family travel, travel tech, kid/mom products, smart spending.
GARDENING metaphors are popular in business: Start-ups seek seed money. Mature businesses fertilize to branch out.
But for W. Atlee Burpee & Company, the seed maker that introduced America to backyard favorites like the Big Boy tomato and Yellow Nugget marigold, the most apt metaphor may be that it is pruning back for a future threatened by a possible drought of avid gardeners.
If you’re like me, your shelves and dresser overflow with T-shirts. They’re mostly freebies, collected over the years at fun runs and new-product promotions, and occasionally bought at a rock concert or for charity. They’re all extra large—even if you’re not—and so instead of getting good wear out of them, you’ll sleep or exercise in them for a year or two before tossing them in the Goodwill pile or the garbage.
Hannah Rogge has a much better idea.
In our gadget-filled world, it’s all too easy to waste electricity. Devices like DVD players and printers have been dubbed household vampires because they suck up almost as much juice whether they’re on or off. Cell phone and other chargers often stay plugged in, draining electricity even when they’re not in use. Then there are the computers and air conditioners that we could turn off when we aren’t using them, but for the sake of convenience, we don’t. These electrical indulgences add up.
There are many health-related and ethical reasons to avoid cow’s milk—veganism, lactose intolerance, a desire to avoid hormones and antibiotics, to name a few. But finding a reliable substitute can be overwhelming, because store shelves are packed with nondairy milk choices.
Would you buy a condo at a book signing? I pondered that very question the other day after attending one for Laurie David, ex-wife of Larry David, who has written The Family Dinner, a how-to guide on reclaiming the family dinner hour. It was an intimate event, held in a posh highrise apartment near Wall Street in Manhattan, and cohosted by Divalysscious Moms, a company that organizes social events for mothers who can still afford Jimmy Choos and actually wear them to playdates.
This Mother's Day, retailers are pushing an array of offbeat and customized presents, offering everything from flowers stamped with Mom's picture to "bouquets" made from cookies and fruit.
Red Envelope, an online gift store, has broadened its line of tailored products this year to include a tote bag you can have decorated with photos of the kids. Wal-Mart's Web site is now selling items such as monogrammed straw handbags and decorative stones for the garden painted with family members' names....
Homes made with materials and techniques that are kind to the environment are becoming increasingly popular with consumers, say builders and real-estate agents. Here are three properties for under $470,000.
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PLACE/PRICE: Denver, Colo. / $439,900
PROPERTY TAX*: $1,745 per year
When most people paint a room, they do all the edges first and then circle back to the middle part of the walls. Not Bill Dodd, resident paint expert at Lowe's Cos. Mr. Dodd does each wall in its entirety before moving on to the next one -- otherwise, he says, you can wind up with a patchy look after the paint has dried.
Because the same color of paint can vary from can to can -- enough to be noticeable -- if Mr. Dodd knows he'll need more than one can for a large room, he mixes the cans toge...
ACAPULCO, Mexico -- All along the main avenue, scenes of Acapulco's popular image are on display: Bars blare out pop tunes, souvenir stores tout silver jewelry, and hucksters sell cart-and-horse rides. But about 30 minutes' drive along a scenic coastal highway to the southeast is the resort town's new center of gravity.