This story category covers easy step-by-step instructions on a variety of home, food and entertaining topics.

Starck Happy D.2 BATHTUB

Magic Eraser Really Does Remove The Most Stubborn Stains

The stain was so stubborn I thought I would have to replace my bathtub. Turns out all I needed was a small miracle.

Starck Happy D.2 BATHTUB


THIS THING WORKS | Shortly after we moved into our house, the acrylic tub in the master bathroom became stained. It looked as though something had spattered the finish and damaged it, but whatever the cause, the problem was finding a solution. Read more

Baby Drinking Coca Cola

To Break An Unwanted Habit, Do This One Thing

To break a single bad habit, use this famous technique to support your decision one day at a time.


Baby Drinking Coca Cola


SIMPLE & EFFECTIVE | I never make New Year’s resolutions (unless they’re the Babylonian kind, which are really all about settling up—CLICK HERE for the Frugalbits story), but on 01 January 2013, I decided to inch into the game. For years I’d wanted to remove (oh-so-bad-for-you) Coca-Cola from my diet but, for a million lame reasons, had never been able to go more than a few days without succumbing to the drink. Read more

George Lange


This is how you take an unforgettable Photo: 228 ideas, tips and secrets for taking instantly better photos.

The Unforgettable Photograph - George Lange

WHAT TO GIVE | Are you casting around for an inexpensive gift for someone you don’t know all that well, or for someone you do know well but, for whatever reason, everything you can think of to give that person doesn’t feel like a fit?

You won’t go wrong by shooting them a copy of esteemed American photographer George Lange’s The Unforgettable Photograph, written with the assistance of journalist and onetime Vancouverite Scott Mowbray. Everyone is snap happy these days—it’s not for nothing that “selfie” was named Oxford Dictionary’s word of the year for 2013—and most of what is being shot would be instantly improved by adopting any of the 228 dead easy non-technical suggestions put forward in this meaty $6 picture book.

Here are three favourite takeaways from my now dog-eared copy. Read more

Work-Back List

Use A Work-Back Sheet To Get Stuff Done

Take the stress out of planning any event with this tool used by event planning pros. (WORKSHEET)

Work-Back List

FREE WORKSHEET | The holiday season will never be as carefree for adults as it is for kids—we have too much work to do behind the scenes—but this year why not make things easier on yourself by using a simplified version of a “work-back schedule,” a tool employed by event-planning pros, to get everything done in a less hurried, more orderly and enjoyable manner. Read more


4 Ways To Dress Up Plain Paper Lanterns

Tissue Paper Stars
Kate Daudy - NYTimes

Peel and Stick Letters - The Swell Life

DIY | While inexpensive paper lanterns used en masse contribute enormously to the festive mood in a room (try imagining the space pictured above without them), a plain pendant lantern used on its own can easily look like an uninspired afterthought.

Of course a single Noguchi Araki light sculpture would be beautiful, but shades like these, which are fashioned from handmade washi paper and authentic bamboo ribbing, are anything but cheap.

If you are going to use a cheap Chinese paper lantern alone in a room, why not personalize it in a way that makes it distinctive? Here are four of our favourite eye-catching ways to embellish paper lanterns, plus a how-to video from Martha Stewart that covers some of the basics. Read more

Kraft paper tablecloth - Vicky Tang

Make A Great Kraft Paper Tablecloth

In the right hands, cheap Kraft paper can be the thing that turns a dinner table from plain to poetic.
2 plate


DO IT YOURSELF | If you want to host a long table dinner this summer but don’t have enough matching tablecloths (or matching tables for that matter) to create an attractive, cohesive setting, Kraft paper can be a lifesaver. Read more

Rodney Graham

Get Better Photos With Your Digital Camera

This surprisingly inexpensive introductory class will teach you how to take much better pictures with your digital camera.

Rodney Graham


SUPER VALUE  | There’s no way my snaps will ever match the cinematographic style of Jeff Wall, Rodney Graham (featured above) or Ian Wallace, three stellar members of the internationally acclaimed “Vancouver School” of photography, but recently I learned how to get a better than average shot with my compact digital camera. For the surprisingly low price of just $25, I received two hours of solid instruction in alternatives to Automatic Mode, the most commonly used setting (and my former personal fave) on the mode dial of digital cameras. Read more

Dirty Towels- 123rf

Yes, You Can Get Your Kids To Pick Up Their Dirty Towels

How to get your messy kids to stop leaving soggy bath towels in a pile in their room.

Dirty Towels- 123rf


NAG LESS| Have you ever experienced Disappearing Towel Phenomenon? This occurrence is not to be confused with Disappearing Object Phenomenon, a documented paranormal event where random objects mysteriously disappear and then inexplicably turn up later. In the case of Disappearing Towel Phenomenon, the objects are neither random nor their whereabouts unknown. Parents of teenagers know precisely where to look for their vanished bath towels: in multiple, soggy piles on the floor in their offspring’s bedrooms. Read more

I-Love-Chanel Nails

The Best Way to Apply Nail Polish At Home

10 things you probably didn’t know about applying nail polish at home. (VIDEO)

I-Love-Chanel Nails

EXPERT ADVICE | “Shellac is whack,” says my friend Joanna, channeling Whitney Huston. Joanna has the most beautifully groomed fingernails of any woman I know, so I pay attention when she tells me that shellac nail polish manicures, with their impossibly glossy chip-free allure, are a money pit because you need to have the polish professionally reapplied every two or three weeks. “The acetone used to soak off the polish is a problem, too,” she says, “When you use it regularly, even the strongest nails are going to rip or peel.” Read more

Painted slingback chair by Brendan Power - Clinton Hussey

How To Paint A Canvas Slingback Patio Chair

Transform this plain canvas beachside staple into a chair with style and presence.

Painted slingback chair by Brendan Power -  Clinton Hussey


THE CREATIVE SOLUTION | Being fashionably dressed is expensive enough, but imagine the financial damage you can do creating the “latest look” for your home—which is why most of us play it safe with our furniture by sticking to classics. The trouble with this approach is that sometimes safe can mean boring. Fortunately there are ways to be current without taking a vow of poverty.

I suggest using quick changing accent pieces to modify your décor. Here I put my DIY skills to work transforming a classic—and already attractive—slingback patio chair—into something more topical and unique. Read more