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Hopping around New England: Northern states are beer havens

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — The woods of northern New England are known for lots of things: bear, moose, towering pine trees, brilliant fall foliage and icy winters. But these forests are luring a new critter — beer tourists. Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont are emerging as major destinations ...

‘Making It’: Cutting and gluing without being cut-throat

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — They made you laugh, but can they make you craft? "Parks and Recreation" co-stars Amy Poehler and Nick Offerman are bringing the same silly, sweet sitcom vibe to reality television with "Making It," a competition show that challenges contestants to craft everything from ...

Ask a Designer: Closet organization that lasts

Most people don't start out with a messy closet. Even when a closet is carefully organized at the beginning, however, it might not take long for order to turn to chaos. "It's common for clients to struggle with keeping the momentum going," says interior designer Caitlin Murray. But there ...

Advocates condemn psych techniques used to keep kids online

CHICAGO (AP) — Children's advocates want the American Psychological Association to condemn the tech industry's practice of using persuasive psychological techniques to keep kids glued to their screens. The advocates, citing research that links excessive use of social media and video games ...

Maybe the ‘Worrier Diet’ is right for me

After a lifetime of battling what to eat in order to triumph over the scale, I’ve realized that I’ve been asking the wrong question. Maybe the reaI question is when to eat. It’s true. One of the latest trends in dieting seems to be “intermittent fasting,” a method of alternating ...

The journey is the vacation on this 35-hour train trip

LOS ANGELES (AP) — It was late Friday night and we were scouring the usual sites touting the top things to do in Los Angeles. Uninspired by our options and facing a long weekend without obligations, my husband and I made a last-minute booking on Amtrak's Coast Starlight. Ten hours later we're ...

So you want a new kitchen? Tips for starting the process

So you want a new kitchen? Whether you're considering designing a kitchen using your own architect, a kitchen planner hired through a store like IKEA or Home Depot, or an online planning service, professionals suggest keeping a few things in mind. PLAN AHEAD, PLAN WAY AHEAD "Many people ...

Serious about laughter, National Comedy Center open to public

JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (AP) — Comedian Billy Crystal asks the question in a video that welcomes visitors to the National Comedy Center. "Everybody else has a place," he says. "Why not us?" It may be as good a reason as any for the construction of the high-tech new center devoted to what has made ...

Kindness is Contagious: Retrain your brain to say ‘yes’ to kindness

I think 2 might be my favorite age. Not for my own kids, but for other people’s kids. When my children were 2, I was caught up in diapers and crushed Goldfish crackers and constant laundry duty. Now, as a mom of school-age kids, I can sit back and see how adorable other people’s toddlers ...

I still don’t care about shiplap, but I’m embracing homeownership

For most of my life, I resisted domestication. Yes, for a while I was married and lived in a rambler, but even then I fought my own little (largely imaginary) battle against becoming a Great American Homemaker. I brazenly snubbed the norm by: a.) Refusing to buy chalk-painted signs about ...

Cape-to-Connecticut: Ride shows progress, bumps on Greenway

BRISTOL, R.I. (AP) — After a white-knuckle trip over a bridge from Portsmouth into Bristol, which involved lifting our bicycles over concrete barriers and construction equipment, the police officer who pulled us over told us something we had already figured out. "You shouldn't try to cross ...

A guide to travel insurance — including when not to buy it

When you book flights online, you're typically prompted to buy travel insurance. Same with cruises and tours. Should you buy the insurance? What will it cover? Equally important, what won't it cover, and when might it not be worth your while? The AP Travel podcast "Get Outta Here!" got the ...

Japan’s declutter queen Marie Kondo expands her empire

NEW YORK (AP) — People often ask Japanese tidying queen Marie Kondo what containers they need to achieve her brand of organizational success. They expect her to "reveal some hitherto secret storage weapon, " she explains in her popular book. Instead, she advised when "The Life-Changing ...

Marriott, Airbnb see opportunity in selling ‘experiences’

By DEE-ANN DURBIN AP Business Writer Hotel and home-sharing companies don't just want to sell you a room anymore. They also want to sell you an experience. Want a "Game of Thrones" walking tour of Dubrovnik, Croatia? Marriott can book it for you. Want to create your own perfume in Paris? ...

It’s a dog’s life for Kita, my needy pooch

Dear Friend: Thank you for agreeing to take care of my dog. I knew you were the right person for the job when you told me about the summer you spent giving insulin shots to your son’s aged goldfish, Emil. I also truly appreciate that you did not mind the waivers and paperwork, including the ...

Homegrown Hollywood: Heartbeats, the best sound in the world

A few months ago, my husband Jason and I did an embryo transfer. For those of you who’ve never done in vitro fertilization (IVF), this is the last step in the process – the thing we’d been waiting for since we began trying to get pregnant years ago. After all the shots and medications ...

Kindness Is Contagious: Kindness can save lives

My brother saved a little boy’s life once. The boy was swimming and got out too deep. No one saw him go under except my brother. It happened more than 30 years ago and I’m certain my brother never even stops to think about what would have happened if he hadn’t been in that lake that ...