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

Cleaning, Dear Mary, Home & Family

Ask Me Anything: Dirty Dishwasher, Charged-Off Debt

From dishwashers to debt, readers of this blog ask great questions. And if statistics can be trusted, we know that

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

Gifts, Mary's Life, Mary's Perspective

Incredible Edible Gifts

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

Double-Pic-cleaning-headlights-quck-thaw-lock
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

woman-at-desk-buried-in-mail
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, Gifts, 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

Food & Recipes, Gifts, Holidays and Special Occasions

Gifts from My Kitchen: Bacon Jam

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

Repair area rug rubber backing with vinyl-latex caulk
Cleaning, Dear Mary, Home & Family

Ask Me Anything: Bath Mat Repair, Wood Cleaner, Keurig Safety

Got a slippery throw rug? A bathmat that’s lost its backing after one too many trips to the clothes dryer?

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, Gifts, 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

Husband and wife have mixed emotions over driving and old car
Dear Mary, Home & Family, Laundry

Ask Me Anything: Lease or Buy, Laundry Detergent Confusion

Pop quiz: What do car leases and laundry detergent have in common? Both can be confusing! Just ask today’s readers

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
Best Inexpensive, 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

Book Reviews, Guest Post

The Power of Thanks

It’s been a few years now since one of my staff members, Kim Penrose, was so excited she couldn’t wait

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.

Gift Guides, Gifts

2017 Holiday Gift Guide: Toys for Kids

I saw it on Facebook and it made me laugh out loud. I want to use this in the invitations to

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,