Grow Your Own Indoor Herb Garden With These 3 Tips

Nothing can add flavor to a dish quite like fresh herbs, but constantly buying them from the market can become costly. One budget-friendly alternative is to grow your own herbs at home. It's relatively easy to do, even for those of us not exactly blessed with green thumbs! Here are a few pointers for growing an indoor herb garden:

1) Start with the right herbs.
Mint, chives, thyme, rosemary, and oregano are the best herbs for beginners. Not only are they easy to care for, they're diversified enough to add something unique to a range of dishes. If your garden will be perched upon a windowsill, then opt for herbs in four-inch pots.

2) Find a sunny spot.
Herbs need at least six hours of bright sunlight per day, which is why many herb gardeners choose a windowsill to host their garden. If your herbs become "leggy," a term that describes herbs with long stems and few leaves, then your plant needs more light. Be sure to rotate your plants every so often to expose all parts of the herb to sunlight.

3) Don't over-water.
Establishing a watering schedule will require a little bit of trial and error. One fool-proof way to see if your herbs need water is to stick your finger about 1 1/2 inches into the soil. If the soil feels damp, then your plant isn't in need of a drink just yet.

Tips on Starting an Indoor Herb Garden [Style Me Pretty Living]
Grow Herbs Indoors This Winter [Better Homes and Gardens]
How to Grow Your Own Indoor Culinary Herb Garden [Simple Bites]
Tips for Growing Herbs Indoors [The Herb Gardener]

4 Blueberry Muffin Recipes for Tomorrow’s Breakfast

Blueberry muffins are a sweet treat that make for a truly special breakfast. There are a variety of different ways to make these classic muffins, from light and fluffy to hearty and healthy. Here are four great recipes to satisfy your morning sweet tooth.

To Die For Blueberry Muffins [Allrecipes]
A cinnamon and sugar crumb topping makes these blueberry muffins extra sweet and just a bit spicy. This recipe makes eight large muffins that are more filling than the usual standard size.

Inspired Taste Blueberry Muffins [Inspired Taste]
When you don’t have much time for baking, this recipe will make delicious blueberry muffins in just a few simple steps. Using only five common ingredients, you can have fluffy, warm muffins that are anything but complicated.

The Awesome-est Blueberry Muffins [Pioneer Woman]
If you know The Pioneer Woman’s baking, you know that it’s usually decadent and a bit surprising. These blueberry muffins are topped with a yogurt-blueberry sauce for an added tangy flavor.

Sparkling Jumbo Blueberry Muffins [Sally's Baking Addiction]
The satisfying crunch of the large sugar crystals on top of these blueberry muffins is just one of their many delicious traits. They’re also much larger than the usual muffin size, so you get even more goodness in every bite.

These Apps Can Help You Practice Pilates Anywhere

While you love the effects that Pilates has on your body and your mind, sometimes you just don’t have the time to make it to an entire class. Lucky for you, these innovative apps can help you to get a core-building Pilates workout right from the comfort of your own home.

Pilates Workout Exercises
This app offers a truly impressive selection of Pilates workouts, containing more than 350 instructional videos with new videos added every day. Each video is categorized by either beginner, intermediate, or advanced skill levels, and certified Pilates instructors guide you through every step of the way.

Pilates Workouts
iPhone users will love this simple, easy to use app, which includes a number of videos that are taught just like a real Pilates class. With acclaimed instructors like Denise Austin, you’ll feel completely confident and at ease throughout your entire workout. There are also a variety of classes for different skill levels, ailments, and time restrictions to help you tailor your exercise to your specific needs.

Pilates for Beginners
Just like the name suggests, Pilates for Beginners is a wonderful resource for anyone just starting a Pilates routine. Informative articles help to educate you about the benefits of Pilates, while tips and tricks will teach you how to choose the right studio or pick the best workout for you.

4 Shoe Organization Tips to Reclaim Your Closets

From high heels to running sneakers, shoes have a habit of overtaking closets. They tumble off of shelves, get lost under the bed, and fill the entryway with unmanageable clutter. Here are four simple tips to help you tackle your shoe collection for good.

  1. Turn them into a display. If you have a too-big shoe collection and a too-small closet, make the most of your addiction. Treat your shoes like invaluable art by displaying them somewhere unexpected, like along a windowsill or in a credenza.
  2. Maximize space with flat shoes. While boots or heels can be clunky and hard to store, things even out with flats and sandals. These shoes can help you save a bit of precious storage space, so invest in a hanging shoe rack with flat pockets, or tuck them into an unused drawer.
  3. Stow fancy shoes away from the others. If you have a pair of expensive heels or leather tuxedo shoes that you only wear on special occasions, keep them in clear shoeboxes on a high shelf to make room for everyday pairs.
  4. Create DIY storage. Shoe storage units can be expensive, so why not get crafty and create your own? Bend some wire hangers to hang flats and sandals from sturdy cords.

25 Ways to Store Shoes in Your Closet [HGTV]
Shoe Storage Tips [The Container Store]

2 Great Math and Logic Puzzle Websites

Once you graduate from school, the time you spend completing math equations or considering questions of logic significantly decreases. You use math and logic skills even when you might not realize it, however, and sharpening your mind can help make completing everyday tasks or work assignments easier and more efficient. These two math and logic puzzle sites are fun, simple ways to work the logical side of your brain.

Math Is Fun
If you want a site with a wide variety of puzzles to choose from, Math is Fun will do the trick. This simple website features algebra puzzles, card puzzles, shape puzzles, logic puzzles, measuring puzzles, and puzzle games that will challenge you and entertain you at the same time. The logic puzzles present situational challenges for which you have to find a solution, and they even make fun games to play with friends.

Math Puzzles
This simple, straightforward website includes a variety of word problems that require no advanced math skills, just logical reasoning. Using distances, weights, ages, statistics, and sequences, these problems create confusing and mind-bending situations that aim to trick your mind and test your use of logic.

Public Domain/Openclipart.org

5 Classic Apple Pie Recipes

There are few things more American than sweet apple pie, and there are a number of different ways to prepare this classic dessert. Here are a few delicious apple pie recipes that are easy enough to make at home.

Scrumptious Apple Pie [Betty Crocker]
With a buttery, flaky crust and perfectly gooey filling, this is a classic recipe for everyone’s favorite dessert.

Old Fashioned Apple Pie [Simply Recipes]
If you don’t have an old family recipe, this apple pie recipe can be just that. It uses real, whole apples, a variety of spices, and even an egg wash to finish everything off.

Apple Pie [Williams Sonoma]
When you want an apple pie that looks just as good as it tastes, this pretty latticed version is the recipe to use.

Apple Pie Recipe and Video [The Joy of Baking]
Ideal for beginning bakers, this recipe features an informative video to follow along with as you bake.

Dreamy Apple Pie [The Pioneer Woman]
This recipe involves real butter and heavy cream to create a truly decadent apple pie.

Nutrition Tips for Vegetarians

Whether you want to show support for animals or simply choose to avoid meat products, becoming a vegetarian can be a very healthy lifestyle choice. Though it decreases your risk for many long-term diseases, a vegetarian diet can make it difficult to get the protein and other nutrients a person needs to stay healthy and energized.

These vegetarian eating tips can help you create a balanced, meat-free diet:

  • Make sure that you get enough protein by incorporating nuts, beans, peas and soy products into meals and snacks.
  • Keep up with your necessary iron intake to create healthy oxygen absorption in the blood by eating a lot of spinach, kidney beans, lentils, black-eyed peas and iron-fortified cereals.
  • Choose calcium-fortified soy milk to replace the calcium normally found in regular cow’s milk.
  • Consider vegetarian alternatives to traditionally meat-based foods to keep your diet exciting (for example, bean burritos, veggie lo mein, or vegetarian lasagna).

Tips for Vegetarians [USDA]

Public Domain/Public Domain

6 Facts About the Washington Monument

The Washington Monument is something you’ve likely learned about in a history class at one time or another, but how much do you really know about this historical landmark? Here are six key facts that every American should know about the monument.

The Washington Monument was created for, you guessed it, George Washington.
Washington commanded the Continental Army and defeated Great Britain, thus gaining American independence. The monument was created in honor of our first president.

The monument’s construction began on July 4, 1848.
It was completed on December 6, 1884, but it didn’t open to the public until four years later.

It measures over 555 feet tall.
The monument also weighs 90,854 tons and is made entirely of marble from Maryland.

The monument survived an earthquake.
Though its tall, thin structure seems unstable, the Washington Monument survived a 5.8-magnitude earthquake in 2011. It suffered cracks to the structure and is still closed for repairs.

There are 897 steps in the Washington Monument.
The fastest anyone has ever climbed the stairs was in 2005, when a visitor completed them in 6.7 minutes.

Approximately 467,550 people visit the monument each year.
Admission to the Washington Monument is free to the public, so many tourists visit when traveling to Washington DC.

Basic Cooking Terms for Healthy Home Chefs

Are you the type of at-home cook who uses the same technique for “grilling” as you do for “sautéing”? Using the proper cooking techniques can make or break a nutritious dish, but many people don’t know the true meaning of most of these terms. This helpful list will ensure that you use the most effective cooking techniques for every healthy meal. Here are some of the highlights:

1. Grill. Ideal for chicken, firmer seafood and hearty vegetables, grilling is a common cooking method that can be done on a stovetop or an outdoor grill.

2. Broil. Broiling is a great technique for dishes that require a crispy surface. It can be used for chicken, salmon, tuna or other lean meats.

3. Sauté. This light stir-frying method is effective on thin cuts of chicken or most vegetables, from mushrooms to kale to zucchini. By using olive oil or another healthy oil, you can add robust flavor without adding fat to your dish.

4. Poach. Ideal for salmon, flounder, trout and other white fishes, poaching uses boiling water to gently cook and add moisture to fish.

5. Steam. Steaming vegetables like broccoli, asparagus, green beans or carrots is one of the healthiest ways to prepare them. By using boiling water in the bottom of a sauce pan, you’ll have tender vegetables in a matter of minutes.

Basic Cooking Instructions [NIH]

Public Domain/Public Domain

Make Breakfast More Fun With These French Toast Recipes

Dipped in batter and drizzled with sweet, warm syrup, French toast is a breakfast comfort food that eats like a treat. While many people order French toast out at restaurants, there are many simple and creative ways to make the traditional morning dish at home. Check out some of these recipes sites for a bit of breakfast inspiration.

All Recipes
All Recipes has a whole collection of unique French toast recipes that just about anyone will love. The Crispy French Toast is covered in corn flakes for an added crunch, while the Easy Pina Colada French Toast gives the usual recipe a little island flavor. Pumpkin Pie French Toast is even great for the fall and winter holiday season, and it’s an easy way to get the whole family to gather around the breakfast table.

Martha Stewart
No one does comfort foods better than Martha Stewart, and her French toast recipes certainly won’t disappoint. Banana French Toast is a sweet and delicious way to get your kids to eat their fruit, and it’s just as easy to make as your regular recipe. If you’re feeling fancy, the Brioche French Toast with Asparagus and Orange Beurre Blanc is a savory brunch dish that will impress even your foodie friends. No matter your guests, you’ll find a French toast recipe for every occasion on the Martha Stewart website.