Yummy slice of homemade from-scratch chocolate macaroon bundt cake
Food & Recipes, Home & Family

Finish Off a Great Meal With Cake

There’s nothing like following a great dinner with cake. It’s like the exclamation mark on a meal. I love to

Best time to buy depicted with clock, second hand sweep and sticky notes
Home & Family, Shopping

Best Time to Bag a Bargain

Extreme bargain hunters have something in common: timing. They’ve got it down to a science and I’m talking about specific

us currency rolled in jar
Mary's Life, Money and Finances

Trick Yourself Into Saving Money

Buying things when they’re on sale is a great way to avoid overspending. But unless you are diligent to take the

Holidays and Special Occasions, Mary's Perspective

Do You Hear the Bells?

The year was 1859 and Charles Dickens starts his classic A Tale of Two Cities with, It was the best


Incredible Edible Gifts

Even if you still have 5 or 50 teachers, students, neighbors, co-workers, family friends, kids’ friends, classmates, cousins, uncles, aunts,

Home & Family, Money and Finances, Tips

9 Random Time- and Money-Saving Tips

From frozen key locks to hazy headlight covers, today I have a handful of completely unrelated household tips to entertain

Dear Mary

Letters to the Editor: Lo-Bak Trax, Bad Hair Days, ID Theft, Freezer Tricks, Pay it Forward, Simplify Christmas

I wish you could see my email inbox. No, wait. What I really mean is I’m grateful you can’t see

Holidays and Special Occasions, Mary's Life

Keeping Holiday Party Costs Under Control

Most of us, when we think of the cost of Christmas, think gifts. But there are so many other expenses

Boy taking donation box full with stuff to donate
Holidays and Special Occasions

The Joy of Giving is Its Own Reward But a Tax Break is a Nice Bonus

Here’s a great way to let your children experience the joy of giving to others who may not be as

Two little blond sibling boys reading a book together in bed near Christmas tree.
Gift Guides, Home & Family

Living Books for Every Reader on Your Gift List

What are “living books?” They’re books that are so exciting, their content comes to life in an exciting and engaging way.

woman reading a book and drinking coffee
Cleaning, Dear Mary, Home & Family

Ask Me Anything: Linty Dryer Balls, Grease Relief, Fingerprints on Stainless Steel

Does this happen to you? You get so involved in doing something that you completely lose track of time? You’re shocked

Home & Family, Mary's Perspective, Miscellaneous

Thank You Notes: Never Out of Style

In these high-tech times when text-messaging and email are the preferred method of written communication, it might not have even

large family handing gifts to each other during a christmas dinner
Holidays and Special Occasions, Mary's Life, Mary's Perspective

A Lavish Gift Exchange

When our boys were only toddlers, we and our best friends, who have three children just about the same ages

Beautiful, blue dawn over a lake and mountains.
Home & Family

20 Remarkable Ways to Use Blue Dawn Outside the Kitchen

Take a look under the sink where you keep your cleaning products. See a bottle of Blue Dawn Dishwashing Liquid?

Food & Recipes, Gifts

Just Maybe the Best Homemade Holiday Gift Ever

When the holiday season arrives, the best gifts just might be from your kitchen. And when those gifts are extra

Three generations family opening Christmas Gifts and New Puppy!
Gift Guides, Holidays and Special Occasions

Last-Minute Gift Ideas for Young Professionals, College Students, Moms and Dads

Gift-giving is surely on everyone’s mind as we head into the final weeks before Christmas. Giving gifts is a wonderful

Beautiful white kitchen with gray quartz countertops
Home & Family

The Case for Quartz Countertops

In a recent post, I suggested to a reader that quartz countertops would be a good choice in her quest

Beautiful Christmas gift basket filled with edibles
Gift Guides, Holidays and Special Occasions, Home & Family

Gift Solutions in a Basket

Gift baskets are a terrific gift solution for an individual or for an entire family. The first step is to pick

Gift Guides, Home & Family

Super Cool Gadgets and Electronic Gear

I love gadgets—anything that is clever, innovative, useful and reasonably priced. Gadgets make great gifts, especially when totally unexpected. I just

young woman with a shocked expression examining a document with a magnifying glass
Home & Family

The Fine Print: Deal With It!

Never trust the flashy print, the cool logos or the enticing promises of a credit-card or other consumer credit application.

Carpet surgery
Home & Family

When All Else Fails, Carpet Surgery

Carpet stains are near the top of my personal list of pet peeves. I’m not talking about an accidental spill

Cyber Monday Everyday Cheapskate
Gift Guides, Home & Family

Cutting Through the Hype to Find Some Decent Cyber Monday Deals!

For me, Black Friday wasn’t black at all. It was Fun Friday at a local family fun center with my

Food & Recipes, Mary's Perspective

Stay Calm and Make Your Own Mixes

Checking one of my email inboxes this morning (I have several) made my heart race and my head spin. Hundreds

Cleaning, Laundry

How to Remove Rust Stains from Just About Anything

If there’s one subject that shows up in my inbox more often than any other, it has to be rust.

Food & Recipes, Gifts, Holidays and Special Occasions

Christmas Gifts From My Instant Pot: Candied Lemon

I’ve never gotten into the whole Black Friday retail extravaganza. Might be because I’m not a fan of crowds, chaos,

Best Inexpensive, Home & Family

Best Inexpensive™ Water Filters—Pitcher, Under-Sink, Countertop


Dear Mary, Home & Family

Ask Me Anything: Pre-Owned iPhones, Pet Stains, Carpet Cleaning Machine

Have you seen the latest iPhone X? Read about it? I nearly choked when I learned it comes with a


Great Reader Tips: Packing Cubes, Sink Clogs, Cooking Spray, BBQ Grill Cover

Over the years, I’ve done it a dozen times if I done it once—toss out the clear vinyl zipper bags

Food & Recipes

How to Make Fabulous Meals Using a Formula, Not a Recipe

Ever feel like kitchen klutz? Wish you could take that odd assortment of stuff in the pantry, refrigerator, and freezer

Mary's Perspective

Mistakes Teach Us What Doesn’t Work

Have you made any mistakes lately? Want to talk about it? Most people don’t. Can’t say that I blame them.