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Kindness is Contagious: Yard signs spread kindness in the entire community

Did you know you can see the crime rate in your neighborhood? If you go online to Trulia, a home buying website, you can click a little button that says “Crime.” The map is light blue in areas where there are few reported problems and dark blue where there are more crimes. What if we ...

Shop online? Ways to reduce damage to the environment

NEW YORK (AP) — Toothpaste delivered in two days is convenient, but not so great for the environment. After you click buy, online orders leave warehouses to be loaded on gas-guzzling jets or trucks. And returns are a problem, too, since the items have to make the trip back to a ...

How to get the most out of online reviews

In the world of online shopping , often buyers will purchase an item only after they see that other people also like it. And the easiest way to find out consumer sentiment? You guessed it: reviews. Many online purchases are based on careful consideration of star ratings and product reviews ...

Let’s Cook: Thumbs up for bread

Easter baking often includes hot cross buns and special egg breads. Now that you have turned on to the bread avenue, let us travel a bit farther down the lane. So don’t unpack your bread baking suitcase just yet because a quick trip here will introduce you to two more easy breads. The ...

Beyond paper straws: More hacks for reducing plastic at home

To help the environment by cutting down on non-compostable plastics, many people have begun saying no to plastic straws and are bringing reusable bags to the grocery store instead of accepting new plastic ones. But many more small steps like those can be taken. “There are so many simple ...

Decorate with giant paper flowers for Mother’s Day and more

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — Sure, a single stem tucked in a bud vase looks pretty alongside breakfast in bed, but why not go big this Mother's Day, with long-lasting, giant paper blossoms that can brighten up an entire room? Fresh flowers are still fairly scarce where I live this time of year, but ...

Kindness is Contagious: Kindness wins the day at ‘The Price is Right’

I tease my husband that being on “The Price is Right” was more fun than my wedding night. Luckily, my husband has a sense of humor. Back in February, I traveled to Los Angeles to talk about kindness on Hallmark Channel’s “Home & Family” show. Looking for other things to do in ...

The curse of the series that refused to end, ‘The Curse of Oak Island’

Do you want to know what the real curse of Oak Island is? That it will never end. That I have spent seven seasons and countless hours watching the Lagina brothers drilling holes halfway through the earth, only to discover that the real treasure of Oak Island is a hyperbolic advertising ...

Culinary delights found along the Charlevoix Flavor Trail

LA MALBAIE, Quebec (AP) — Danielle Ricard was walking through the woods not far from the shore of the St. Lawrence River when her husband, Jean-Pierre, kicked a patch of mushrooms. It led to an epiphany. Bankruptcies had hit the Charlevoix Region of eastern Quebec hard in 2002 and the ...

5 travel rewards myths that could cost you

e about travel rewards that I took an around-the-world trip without signing up for a single frequent traveler program. Those lost points and miles still haunt me. Fast forward to last summer, when our family stayed two nights at a luxury hotel in Venice, Italy. Our room would have cost an ...

Puerto Rico is rebounding after Hurricane Maria

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Nearly two years after a deadly hurricane season, tourists are visiting Puerto Rico in record numbers as the U.S. territory continues to rebuild from Hurricane Maria. A record 1.7 million cruise ship passengers are expected to visit this fiscal year, new hotels ...

Kindness is Contagious: Picture kindness at the grocery store

I am not a picture taker. That’s my mother-in-law. And my sister-in-law. Going on vacation with them is an exercise in patience because we are constantly stopping to pose. I was only annoyed until the first scrapbook arrived. Now, I have years of memories lovingly laid out in tidy books ...

A chip off a new block

I believe three things in life need to be chunky. One is peanut butter. The second is babies. And the third is chocolate chip cookies. I feel so strongly about plump, chewy cookies that I’ve dedicated years to trying to find the perfect recipe. Granted, this is not important enough work to ...

Exuberant Met exhibit explores the art of rock ‘n’ roll

NEW YORK (AP) — Museum exhibits tend to be quiet. Not this one. In “Play It Loud,” an exuberant show that can be heard as well as seen, the Metropolitan Museum of Art takes on the history of rock ‘n’ roll through iconic instruments on loan from some of rock’s biggest names. There ...

German shorthaired pointer nips at heels of top dog breeds

NEW YORK (AP) — Labrador retrievers aren’t letting go of their hold on U.S. dog lovers, but German shorthaired pointers are tugging on the top ranks of doggy popularity, according to new American Kennel Club data. Labs topped the list for the 28th year in a row. Yet there’s been plenty ...

Forget kibbles: US sales of fresh pet food are soaring

DETROIT (AP) — Kibbles for Fido? Nope. These days he’s getting diced chicken with sweet potatoes and spinach. U.S. pet owners are increasingly feeding fresh food to their dogs and cats. Some order pre-proportioned meals of meat and vegetables or frozen raw meat online. Others find them in ...

Want your dog in the wedding? Pros can make it go smoothly

When Kelly Curry was planning her wedding, she knew her dogs Charlie, Zoey and Izzy were going to be in it, and that her friends would expect no less. “They’d be surprised if they weren’t there,” says Curry. The question was how to make it work. She happened to see a social-media ...

From medications to toys, it’s time to spring clean pets

NEW YORK (AP) — Spring has sprung for many and it’s time to air out the house, toss the closets and start plotting the yard work. For pet owners, it’s also the perfect time to take an accounting of furry and feathered loved ones. From a medication check to grooming, there’s lots that ...